Final Fantasy and Disney gave birth to a baby called Kingdom Hearts. And then if Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy had another baby…that would be World of Final Fantasy.
I wouldn’t blame you for not knowing about this PS Vita/PS4 title. It showed up at E3 right before the announcement of the Final Fantasy 7 remake, and thus was mostly forgotten. As if to add salt to the wound, Square Enix decided to release the game about a month before FF15, thus overshadowing it again. I had completely forgotten about the game until a few weeks ago when the trailer showed up on my YouTube suggestions page.
From the trailer I sort of figured it was a game that would cater very strongly to fans of the older titles in the series, so I decided to pick it up. As of right now, I can say that it does definitely have TONS of fanservice (not the perverted kind) and cameos for people familiar with the older games.
Additionally, the game has a very Kingdom Hearts feel from the very start. It may just be because Tetsuya Nomura designed the characters, but I mean look at this:
Roxas? Is that you?
And then the facial expressions…that looks like a face Sora would make.
The story also seems to have the same magic Kingdom Hearts did. Although they took a somewhat cliché introduction by saying that the twins (above) lost all their memories and are looking to fill in the holes, it’s clear that there’s something darker and deeper at play. But what reminds me most of Kingdom Hearts is that there are some mature themes (e.g. How do we know that what we remember is true?) that are disguised by the very cute, childlike appearance of the game. Reynn and Lann also sort of reflect that contrast, where Reynn is the more mature, wiser older sister and Lann is the innocent, childish younger brother. Serious moments presented by Reynn are fluffed up by Lann’s borderline slapstick humor.
Other things to note would include the soundtrack. It has a very Final Fantasy 13 feel to it, which I suppose is really because Masashi Hamauzu was the composer. I am happy to say that it definitely has the quality of a main numbered Final Fantasy entry, which is great :). Also the battle system is pretty unique and very mix-and-match. You stack characters on top of each other by size (S, M, L) and it gives you the abilities of every character in a stack. You can use this to stack multiple characters with Fire, giving you access to Fira and Firaga. You can also stack different types of characters, giving you Fire and Blizzard at the same time. Some characters also have linked skills, which allow you to use the strength of a Babyhemoth (Baby Behemoth :D) with the element of an ice type, for example. It’s really cute, unique, and versatile.
But seriously, this game is super cute. I mean look how cute this is:
THERE’S A BABY TONBERRY TO THE LEFT OF THE USUAL TONBERRY.
CHIBI SHIVA, RAMUH, AND IFRIT. IFRIT LOOKS LIKE A PUPPY.
Overall, I would say that this game has a lot to offer to JRPG enthusiasts, fans of the old Final Fantasies, and people who generally like cute things. The people who should stay away from this game include players who hate lag, as the game LAGS on my Vita. I haven’t heard about this problem on the PS4 version, so I think that that is the definitive version of the game, but I generally prefer my RPGs to be portable these days. If none of that is your cup of tea, I don’t think this game would appeal very much to you. As for me, I’m very happy to have this title on my PS Vita for the life of the game :).