By now, you’ve almost assuredly heard of “Final Fantasy XV,” the newest entry in one of gaming’s most long-running franchises set to come out for PS4 in late November.
That’s not what we’re here to talk about.
No, there’s actually a second “Final Fantasy” game coming out this fall that’s taking the series in a decidedly cartoonish, goofy, nostalgia-laced direction.
It’s called “World of Final Fantasy,” and the very first thing you’ve probably noticed about it are how giant the characters’ heads are, like those Funko Pop figurines come to life.
Though its childish art style might lead you to believe “World of Final Fantasy” is a small, short, bite-sized smartphone game, that’s not the case at all. It’s actually a fully fleshed-out RPG that will retail for the usual $60. It’s flown under the radar so far, mostly because it’s being overshadowed by the louder, more Shakespearean “Final Fantasy XV.”
At once, “World of Final Fantasy” is both harkening back to a bygone era of “Final Fantasy” while also treading into some brand-new territory: It has traditional, turn-based combat that fans of older games will recognise and its packed with familiar characters from several older “Final Fantasy” titles — like Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart — but it also has a lighter, humorous tone that’s usually not present in “Final Fantasy.”
For example, Andrew Goldfarb wrote the following for IGN after getting some time with the game in early September:
“‘World of Final Fantasy”s humour really took me by surprise. Early on, [main characters] Lann and Reyne have wonderful banter as they explore Grymoire trying to get their memories back, and even break the fourth wall as they observe the circumstances they have found themselves in. They use decidedly un-‘Final Fantasy’-like slang (calling a Queen “dude,” for example), which prompts fun responses from the characters they encounter.”
“World of Final Fantasy” will be available for PS4 and PS Vita on October 25, but you can snag a free demo of it from the PlayStation online store on October 17 to try it out.
I had written it off initially because of its childish art direction, but the buzz I’m hearing about “World of Final Fantasy” has been surprisingly positive. I’m anxious to try it out for myself, even if it’s just to hang out with Vivi from “FFIX” again.
Watch a trailer for the game below, but beware of the blaring horn that kicks it off: