Final Fantasy 16 Hard Mode

Once you beat Final Fantasy XVI, you'll be able to play through it again with all of your abilities and equipment intact, thanks to a dedicated New Game + mode. But if you really want to dig deeper into the game's combat system, then you might want to try Final Fantasy Mode — an exclusive difficulty option that's available on a New Game + playthrough.

According to Game Informer, Final Fantasy Mode "increases the game’s difficulty, changes monster placement, and remixes which enemies might appear in combat". It sounds like an impressively robust addition, and it could essentially transform Final Fantasy XVI into a massive time sink for players who want to experience absolutely everything.

To be clear, you don't have to select Final Fantasy Mode when playing New Game +; you can simply stick with the default difficulties instead, although we imagine that earlier battles might be a bit easy if you're packing all of your endgame gear.

"The main design philosophy is that the first playthrough is about learning Clive, learning the controls, and then enjoying the story,” explains combat director (and ex-Capom designer) Ryota Suzuki. "The second playthrough, we want to shift that focus – because the story hasn’t changed – to the action."

He continues: "Basically, what we’ve done with [Final Fantasy] Mode is give players controlling Clive the sense that they’re always in danger, that death is around the corner, and that you’ll need to really, really pay attention to be able to clear the content.” Sounds tough, doesn't it?

But of course, this also reinforces the idea that Final Fantasy XVI's combat system will have a lot of depth to it — especially when Clive's unlocked loads of different abilities.

Final Fantasy Mode even makes adjustments to the game's Arcade Mode, which, in the base game, acts as a way to replay certain parts of the adventure and compete for high scores online. Within this higher difficulty, however, Arcade Mode can become Ultimaniac Mode, and it's basically the most challenging content in the entire release.

It's "pretty much created solely for the hardcore players, those players that pride themselves on their skills in action games," according to Suzuki.

Will you be taking on Final Fantasy Mode in Final Fantasy XVI? Try not to get Clive killed in the comments section below.

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