Square Enix celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise way back in 2016 with the release of World of Final Fantasy. The game reconciled the spanning generations of the illustrious and wildly loved RPG series in this celebratory title that flaunted a Poké-esque twist on its typical battle mechanics. The cutesy FF game is now sporting the Maxima upgrade which accommodates new content for both existing fans and newcomers to enjoy across all consoles.
The breaching of its initial PlayStation exclusivity and subsequent hop to Nintendo Switch and Xbox One consoles has served as the epicentre of hype surrounding World of Final Fantasy Maxima. However, for the purposes of this review we’ll stay firmly rooted on the PlayStation 4 and delve into the content brought with the Maxima upgrade.
To recap, World of Final Fantasy depicts the story of twin siblings Lann and Reynn who fight to recover their memories lost to amnesia. The duo wield the power to capture and battle with classic FF creatures known as Mirages that inhabit the world of Grymoire. On their quest to become reacquainted with their former selves, the pair fight to resolve conflict within the world and ward off the impending doom wrought by the Bahamutian army.
Even in the absence of an upgrade teeming with new goods, World of Final Fantasy remains to be a stellar addition to the library of FF titles. Every part of the game exudes oodles of charm from its cutesy visuals to its endearing character line-up that stand at the forefront of its stirring story. This allure endures throughout the game in all aspects including its quintessential yet nuanced approach to combat.
As players explore the vibrant, spirited world of Grymoire they’ll encounter a vast bestiary of creatures from every corner of the FF universe. Using a mechanic similar to the Pokémon franchise, you may “inprism” Mirages you stumble across to level and use in battle as you please. The stack mechanic is a further twist on the typicalities of the franchise, allowing you to sit your adorable little party members on top of each other for added power and expanded movesets. This makes for immeasurable replayability as you mix up your stacks and try your luck with new creatures, as well as invoking an obvious appeal to younger audiences.
Fortunately, World of Final Fantasy Maxima only builds upon the success that oozes from the base game. It was initially intended to rally the best parts of the franchise and this has only been accentuated in its upgrade. Making an appearance as new additions to the list of Champions you may summon in the heat of battle are Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII), Noctis (Final Fantasy XV) and Serah (Final Fantasy XIII-2). Accompanying these are a flurry of new Mirages that further embrace the encompassing of the many generations of FF. With new Mirages come new boss battles and even more ways to configure your party and stacks in turn, really dragging the replayability of the game into the spotlight once more.
Upon loading up the enhanced version of the game, you’re prompted to create a new save to harbour the fresh content. However, as much as it may pay off to start anew and uncover all the new FF goodness from the beginning, have no fear for your prior saves are not lost. As to not jeopardize previous adventures, a transfer save mechanic is well intact. This allows you to salvage saves from both PS4 and Vita should you prefer to pick apart the DLC from where you left off last.
World of Final Fantasy Maxima simply continues to promote the celebratory vibe of the original game. New additions to the catalogue of both characters and Mirages truly encourage replayability, offering incentive to make return trips to Grymoire to tackle the many new endeavours they’ve brought with them. More classic Final Fantasy characters revived in a loveable art style not only act as a lure for younger eyes but also capture the essence of the franchise as a whole, no doubt provoking an appeal to FF aficionados too.