“The first thing is we wanted to bring back the energy – the excitement – of the original Final Fantasy series from years ago.”
-Director Hiroki Chiba
*New Trailer Added 6.6.16!
I don’t care what’s in it. I don’t care how “kiddie” it looks. I don’t care if it sucks, because it won’t if they can just meet that one statement made by the director. If World of Final Fantasy can capture the sensation of the early FF’s, then I can have more confidence that I’ll enjoy it, personally, than I did with the newer titles in the franchise and the direction they seem to be going in.
Nothing wrong with bland characters, J-pop, and hyper-realistic graphics, except that I don’t much care for them. Of course, Final Fantasy has always been known for featuring some of the best graphics respective hardware can muster, but it’s a trend which seems to unfortunately take the center stage, where previously graphics worked together with great characters, story, gameplay and presentation.
I’m thinking of Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the Final Fantasy XV – Platinum Demo when I say the things I just said. Their graphics were hugely impressive but that’s about the only thing that was. FFXIII had some real problems with fleshing out its characters (particularly Lightning was super-boring with her “femacho” stare) and FFXV – Platinum Demo just felt like it used the original battle mechanics from Kingdom Hearts. If the demo was just a means of them showing off graphics (and not giving us even a premise or a reason to identify with Noctis) then that sort of says something about where their intentions are, doesn’t it?
Now you may or may not agree with me, but you can feel free to agree with this “very informed” kid instead:
Sounds like he knows a lot about Final Fantasy. Yes, take it from someone who is too young to have likely played most of the FF’s that a game he hasn’t even played yet sucks because “it’s just crap”.
The importance of World of Final Fantasy is that it does away with that controversy immediately, no matter which side of it you’re on. Because it isn’t aiming for realistic graphics, they can’t possibly take center stage, so hopefully things like characters, gameplay, story, and setting will. You could judge it on the basis that it looks too childish, but then you’re dismissing the early Final Fantasy’s with their tiny, chibi sprites and charm too. And then how can you say you’re a fan of the series? Nerd.
From what I’ve read, it sounds like World of Final Fantasy is the FF franchise’s take on a Pokemon style of gameplay with collecting and raising monsters. Addiction levels shoot through the roof with anything close to that concept. Captured monsters can be used both in battle and in the environment, and the protagonists will be able to switch between chibi and realistic form, providing an interesting new gameplay feature. With the return of the Active Time Battle system it seems we will indeed have an homage, if not a monument, to the old classics. Oh, and the cameos from past legends are an extra spoonful of sugar.
It will certainly draw younger players with its whimsical aesthetic and kid-friendly presentation (which is fine by me… I’d like to own more than just M rated games for the PS4) but it may just touch the old, calloused, cobwebbed hearts of those who have loved this series since the wee numbers and have watched it sail like a ship over the horizon, slowly catch fire, and begin to sink into the depths of pandering hype.
Director Chiba says:
“Of course, World of Final Fantasy doesn’t have realistic graphics like the recent numbered titles, but as a fan of the series myself I believe I’ve been able to put in the fun elements from the series that a lot of people will recognize so I feel that any FF fan will love the game.”
Let us hope so. This may be the only FF title I’m truly looking forward to, providing they can both update the graphics and maintain the original appeal of Final Fantasy VII in its coming remake! World of Final Fantasy is set to release sometime 2016 for the PS4.
-The Well-Red Mage
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