Game Review – World of Final Fantasy: Maxima (Xbox One X)

World of Final Fantasy is an RPG developed by Tose & published by Square Enix. Originally, it released back in 2016 for PS4 and then eventually Xbox One in 2018. The game returns to more traditional gameplay seen in earlier Final Fantasy entries. World of Final Fantasy is set in the world of Grymoire, a land populated by classic Final Fantasy characters and monsters from across the series. However, it’s unconnected to any other series entry. Players take control of twin siblings Lann and Reynn as they attempt to recover their lost memories. They hold the power in one of their arms to capture and wield Mirages, the monsters of Grymoire.

In Grymoire, all the characters and monsters encountered by the player are rendered in a chibi-style. The exceptions are Lann and Reynn, who can shift at will between chibi form and their true forms. During their travels, Lann and Reynn befriend various monsters called Mirages that they can utilize both in battle and within the navigable environment.

The game’s battle system makes use of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system employed by multiple Final Fantasy games. In battle, players control a party of Mirages which can be stacked upon each other. The types of Mirages used affect the party’s available skills and abilities in battle. Mirages can be captured in battle after they have been sufficiently weakened. Once in the party they can be freely named. In addition to standard Mirages are special Mirages that can be temporarily summoned into battle using AP. The Mirage remains in battle, replacing the main party, until the AP is depleted. Also, you can summon Final Fantasy characters who can deliver epic special attacks.

World of Final Fantasy is a delightful celebration of the entire Final Fantasy franchise. If you’ve ever been a fan of one or multiple games in the long-running series than you’re in for a treat. Yes, this game is extremely cutesy. The Chibi style won’t be for everyone but it just works and adds a nice spin on everything that’s come before. I’d be lying if I said that the adorable nature of it all didn’t grate on occasion. Although, it’s undeniably charming. You have a companion called Tama and they are just the cutest.

I have no qualms in telling you that I believe this to be the best Final Fantasy game in many years. The story and the mystery it presents is highly compelling and genuinely unpredictable. This game manages to combine so many of the best aspects and characters from the storied history of Final Fantasy. There are cameos from your favourite characters but they are used in ways that don’t detract from the main narrative. It even takes you to some classic locations like Nibelheim, Balamb Garden, Besaid etc. It takes all of this and manages to create something original and unique that is just fantastic.

There are way too many features to mention. The stacking system is very innovative and simple enough to get the hang of. The number of different stack combos and variety of ways that you can approach battles is simply staggering. If you’ve been crying out for turn-based battles then look no further. It does start to wear a little thin in the latter stages though. This is partly because the game doesn’t offer much in the way of challenge, especially in the main story. Also, I found a solid group of mirages early on that worked well and got me through most of the game. There wasn’t much incentive to change my stacks when I was always winning.

Still, if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy & Pokémon then this will feel like the perfect combination. It’s always fun to capture monsters, give them personalized names, level up and even transform as they get more powerful.

You’ll be traversing typical environments with little room to explore which is a shame. Most of them are formulaic, endless corridors. You’ll come across the odd puzzle but that’s about it. Thankfully, you can ride certain mirages to pick up the pace.

Lann & Reynn are decent protagonists who bounce off of each other in amusing ways. The voice actors do a great job of bringing them to life even if the dialogue isn’t always good. Cutscenes in the game have a full blown anime style which are just beautiful.

A couple of other things that I liked/disliked – Travelling back to Nine Wood Hills every time you want to travel somewhere is annoying as hell. The fast forward feature is an absolute lifesaver. World of Final Fantasy has several remixes of classic Final Fantasy soundtracks that are just amazing. Hearing certain previously unvoiced characters talk was surreal to say the least. Also, the end credits has to be the most Japanese thing I have ever witnessed.

If you’ve been crying out for a modern Final Fantasy game that’s a throwback to the classic games of old then look no further, this is it. It gives you a lot of freedom to choose exactly how you want to play. Also, there’s an abundance of post-game content to sink your teeth into. If you’re looking for the game to really challenge you, some of these battles certainly will. The game is so jam-packed with content, the value for money is unreal. This the Final Fantasy that I know and love. It’s everything I have been waiting for, I hope we get more.

World of Final Fantasy: Maxima
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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