World of Final Fantasy Review: An exce-Laan-t spinoff to the Final Fantasy series

World of Final Fantasy Review: An exce-Laan-t spinoff to the Final Fantasy series

Embark with us on a journey through Grymoire, a realm teeming with familiar faces and iconic locales from the Final Fantasy universe, yet offering a fresh perspective through its whimsical storytelling and innovative gameplay elements. As we navigate through this magical realm, we'll uncover the strengths and weaknesses of World of Final Fantasy, ultimately determining its rightful place among the pantheon of beloved titles in the renowned franchise. Now, without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... a World of Final Fantasy Review: An exce-Laan-t spinoff to the Final Fantasy series.

Battle System - 6

JRPG Jungle: Review: World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Played on Switch, also  on Xbox One, and PS4 and PC as DLC)

This game has a solid battle system, but with only two party members most of the time and relatively easy difficulty, battles get mundane quickly. I often found myself using Stealth Mirajewels, Auto-Battle, No Encounters, and Max AP. A big part of this was the very slow ATB gauges, which felt almost as slow as Final Fantasy IX—a travesty to humankind. While there is a speed-up option available, it is still slower than many games in the series, and it is perhaps the slowest battle system in the series after Final Fantasy IX. However, while many battles were incredibly monotonous, more challenging battles were tons of fun and required a lot of strategy to be used! Stacking, unstacking, and managing AP costs were all fantastic parts of this battle system, even if they were only particularly relevant in challenging boss battles. Ultimately, this battle system was fun, but it certainly wasn't a top-tier RPG battle system.

Customization System - 10

With monster capturing, stacking, summoning, and leveling, this game is heaps of fun to play. While customizing characters in the menu was consistently much more fun than actually battling with those characters, I can't pretend like that's a bad thing. Each monster (or Mirage) has a different way they need to be imprisoned, making each monster much more fun to recruit than in games like Pokémon, Ni No Kuni, Dragon Quest V, and Dragon Quest Monsters. You also can create stacks, with Reynn and Lann being able to stack two characters on top of their head (in Jiant form) or ride on one monster and put another on their head (in Lilikin form). This allows for combination abilities and amalgamated states, making for a much more effective approach than splitting into a party of six and being butchered by the opposition. On top of the intricate imprisoning and stacking, each Mirage has a unique Mirage Board, which is essentially a mini sphere grid that can be upgraded and transfigured. Once you capture certain monsters or obtain their Mementos, you can transfigure other monsters into them or upgrade them into their ultimate forms. There are also extra large mirages that can be summoned to dish out massive damage, or you can take on the abilities of Champions (characters from previous Final Fantasy titles) by summoning them (in Jiant form) or becoming them (in Lilikin form). This also adds depth, as building stacks around what XL Mirages and Champions you will be using makes the game all the more fun. This game found a way to make me interested in Pokémon, a game franchise I've never been fond of, which is quite a big feat. This game is one of the most fun monster-centric games I've had the opportunity to play, and this customization system really makes me hope for a sequel to this game someday.

Story - 8.5

The majority of the story in World of Final Fantasy is a fun and whimsical adventure through familiar, iconic Final Fantasy locales that will make you laugh your butt off and "turn those corners up," but it won't particularly impress you. I loved this story for how fun it was, but it wasn't awe-inspiring, and it was primarily based on how I liked the characters, not the plot or world-building. However, this all changed at the beginning of the third act, where the story climaxes with impressive twists and turns that pay off the majority of the game so well and make for one of the most intriguing finales to a video game I've played. However, since so much of this game just amounted to being up Mirages over and over, I can't justify giving this game any higher score.

Characters - 9.5

The only things holding this game's characters back from a score of 10 are the lack of Final Fantasy XII representation and Tama's initially annoying voice acting (it grew on me, though, so that isn't a big deal). Besides those factors, I adored seeing characters like Cloud, Squall, Tidus, Terra, Lightning, Vivi, and many other iconic characters interact with one another. But the true stars of the show here are Reynn, Lann, and Tama. While they all were insufferable at first, they eventually grew on me to become some of my favorite characters in the entire series. The three of them have such hilarious chemistry and camaraderie, and they even have some fantastic emotional moments and character growth near the end of the game. In the end, with hilarious characters, tons of nostalgia, and some tremendous late-game character development, World of Final Fantasy has brilliantly fun characters.

Art & Graphics - 8.5

Review: World of Final Fantasy – Destructoid

The art style in his game was endearing and charming, and the mix of Chibi and full-sized models was able to synergize perfectly with the plot being told, all while somehow looking seamless. The UI was also incredibly charming, and flying around the Airship in a tiny, chibi-sized ship was adorable. While I would've loved to see so many of these fan favorites have a Jiant form to witness how they'd look in the art style of Reynn and Lann, in the end, this was still an excellent art style.

Music - 8.5

With Masashi Hamauzu composing another brilliant soundtrack for this game (and arranging so many of the best titles from previous entries in the series), this was a beautiful soundtrack that hit me right in the feels. However, as much as I loved the arrangements, I would've preferred more original music by this phenomenal composer. That's my only genuine gripe with this soundtrack, but otherwise, it's fantastic.

Sidequests - 8

This game's sidequests aren't necessarily fun in the way many other Final Fantasy sidequests are, but they do excel at one thing: expanding the story in a significant way. The majority of sidequests in this game are tackled by collecting Arma Gems and talking to the Girl in the Tearoom, who uses her mystical powers to intervene with time and space. Through these Intervention quests, the player is able to witness the lives of characters they meet along the way and see all the concurrent events taking place across Grymoire. This helps make the story feel so grand in scope and helps develop bonds between unlikely pairs of characters. On top of Intervention quests, each dungeon has secret areas that house secret Mirages to capture, and the Coliseum has a plethora of fun combat challenges to participate in. Ultimately, by perfectly building on the story and progression system, this game has fantastic sidequests.

Locations - 9

This game does a terrific job of blending locations from previous Final Fantasy entries together, even if the locations are rarely as good as their initial iterations. This game also has many masterful locations on its own, with the beautiful Nine Wood Hills and the sinister Castle Exnine standing out the most. Interested to see Midgar be the basement of Figaro castle or see Celes take on vampires inside of the Library of the Ancients? This game has got your back. While the fan service is incredible, don't mistake this game for unmeaningful fan service—this game tugs at the heartstrings with tons of nostalgia yet still crafts a plethora of exciting scenarios that are entirely fresh and new. The dungeons were also fun, as they weren't copy-pasted like tons of games, with unique dungeon aspects and party members' abilities affecting traversal. Ultimately, this game's Grymoire is one of my favorite Final Fantasy worlds—it's just incredible.

Quality of Life - 4

World of Final Fantasy Review | Gotta catch 'em Squall – Digital Outburst

My biggest issue with this game is the imbalance of Mirages with the difficulty of the game. In a perfect world, the experience gain and difficulty would be tripled, but, in the end, this game was balanced. It's just sad to see so many interesting Mirages never being used because of the lack of experience gained, but, in the end, I'm not going to pretend like that completely ruined the game for me.

The Verdict

Fun Factor: 8
Overall Score: 80%
Letter Rating: A

I came into this game expecting a game full of unnecessary nostalgia-baiting and bad Pokémon-inspired mechanics that I would not be a fan of. However, after finishing it, I realized that this is one of my new favorite entries in the series. I'm shocked to say it, but, for me, this title surpassed even some of the most critically acclaimed entries in the series, including Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy IX. I'll never forget my time with this beautiful world, endearing characters, engaging menu customization, and emotionally resonant, nostalgic storytelling. This is undoubtedly one of the most underrated games in the series—if you've avoided it for its art style, monster capturing, or overblown statements about Tama's voice acting, I encourage you to put aside those preconceived notions and try this excellent game.

Want to try this fantastic RPG and support our website in the process? Check it out down below! I recommend the Xbox One Maxima version, as it is a glorious physical release, or the Nintendo Switch Maxima version, as this is a perfect game to take on the go and that version has bonus content! But, ultimately, all of them are great!

World of Final Fantasy (Play Station Vita)
World of Final Fantasy (Play Station 4)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Xbox One Digital Code)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Xbox One)

Primary Version: World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Xbox One)