I’m not really a fan of negative headlines, since that’s practically all you see these days, but I just wrapped up 30 minutes in World of Final Fantasy. I was able to find it in the PSN Store because I searched for it manually. I knew to do this because the Internet told me, otherwise I wouldn’t have even seen it, and I’d still be spending $40 next week!
Originally supposed to be available this past Monday but delayed mysteriously until today, the game quietly sneaked on to the store earlier this afternoon. Presumably.
Now I’ve been excited about this game since earlier this year when I first heard of it. I love the Final Fantasy world, so naturally I gravitated towards a game called World of Final Fantasy. In the interest of keeping this short, I’ll jump right to the conclusion. I canceled my pre-order.
And that’s not to say that it wasn’t a good demo, but I realized this kind of game just isn’t for me. I was hoping for a return to classic JRPG roots, but with the modern luxuries of modern RPGs thrown in. Unfortunately, it had a huge focus on the former, and almost none of the latter.
Being touted as a 100+ hour game did not give me high hopes right off the bat. As someone who struggles to get through 30 hours, 100+ is just too long, even laughable. But now that I’ve seen how truly slow the game feels, it just isn’t happening. Let’s jump into bullet-point format, shall we?
Things I Liked
- The characters look awesome and I love the switching between the chibi / regular-sized toons.
- The stacking system is really cool. This is what sold me on this game initially, as well as the next one.
- The capturing of monsters is pretty neat. I like the idea, although the convoluted UI made it very confusing as to how or when to use the stacking ability.
- It was relatively easy to get up and running, and figure out how to work the menus.
- It’s a beautiful looking game on the Vita and visually impressive.
- The end boss battle was fun, and I really like the topple mechanic, where you can topple the enemy stack and attack the monsters individually.
Things I Disliked
- There were a lot of Final Fantasy character cameos thrown in, in the ways of random NPCs standing around, being “too busy” to talk to you, but kind enough to throw you free items. Cool to see cameos, strange to have nothing to say.
- The English voice-overs.. not good. In practice I’d probably turn on Japanese but this is still worth mentioning.
- No save-anywhere ability. I know SquareEnix is going back to their roots, but it’s a portable game, guys. No reason for that.
- The user interface is laggy and slow. Unacceptable – you’re going to be spending a decent amount of time in there!
- Walking around is like watching sap drip out of a tree. It’s actually that slow. Come on, not even a run button?
- Random encounters are awful and, in my opinion, unacceptable in 2016. Big words but I stand by them. At least have overworld sprites that trigger battles, like Chrono Trigger. I realize that’s not traditional JRPG, but that’s just how I feel.
- The encounters take too damn long. I don’t have all day. Why can’t it just jump into an encounter, have a quick fight, and go back to the overworld? Is it that hard? It was okay in the late-90s to early ’00s, not in 2016 when there’s tons of other games to play. We don’t need to pan the environment every single battle. It’s wasting time, nothing more. You can hold R during battles to speed things up, or switch to the Active battle system, but it still takes ages to get in and out of battle. Come on.
To be honest, I think the biggest issue here is the game length, coupled with things that will undoubtedly drive me crazy that are responsible for that game length. 100+ hours for the main campaign is ludicrous, because I know that about 50% of that time is going to be spent in random encounters.
I just finished Ys: Memories of Celceta, which is a very fast-paced action-RPG, and I assume it’s playing a major role in my disliking of the World of Final Fantasy demo. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time, the worst thing a game can do to a player is waste their time, and from what I’ve seen so far, this game simply has too much wasted overhead for me. I hadn’t even finished a half hour demo and already I was sick of the random encounters!
I had little to no interest in Dragon Quest Builders, but I played the demo for 2 hours and had an absolute blast! What a fun little game that is. I would quickly grab that game before World of Final Fantasy. If it weren’t for Pokemon Sun/Moon coming out in little more than a month, I would order Dragon Quest Builders right now.
I’m sure World of Final Fantasy will do great and I might consider visiting it in the future, but for now, I’m going to pass.
As you know already, I had the exact same experience with that demo. I’m actually quite shocked that Square Enix had the guts of releasing such an unpolished demo and think they could get away with it. Of course, maybe the final product is slightly more polished than this mess of a demo, but I’m certainly not going to fork out twenty euros to find out.
The thing is, I think I just really want to enjoy Final Fantasy, but I despise random encounters (but enjoy turn-based!) and I’m really impatient with dialog-heavy games. Forget anything “Tales of,” couldn’t make those happen either.
I chalk it up to taste changes, though. In a year, who knows? I could want to get back into a long, deep game.