Before Square Enix made E3 history by debuting the Final Fantasy VII remake trailer at the 2015 PlayStation Press Conference, they took about a minute and twenty seconds beforehand to announce a cutesy new addition to the franchise called World of Final Fantasy.
From the trailer, it is revealed World of Final Fantasy takes place in minature lands filled with familiar monsters and creatures like chocobo, behemoth, and cactuar. Twin siblings embark on an adventure journeying from world to world and collecting the creatures they come across as they go. The different monsters can be trained and raised for battle, naturally. Taking a page from Alice in Wonderland, the twins can shrink and grow using a “stacking” ability that can be used to shrink themselves to ride on their monster of choice or to make the monsters smaller and stackable. Iconic characters like the Warrior of Light (Final Fantasy) and Cloud (Final Fantasy VII) also make guest appearances.
At first glance, World of Final Fantasy sounds an awful lot like it could be Pokémon x Kingdom Hearts featuring Final Fantasy creatures and characters. Although the trailer gives a general overview of the game and announces the title as playable first on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita sometime in 2016, it also raises quite a few questions from long-time Final Fantasy fans curious to know exactly what kind of gameplay and story experience the game will provide when compared to other offerings in the franchise.
Director Hiroki Chiba has answered some of those questions during his presentation at the Square Enix E3 Conference.
In developing World of Final Fantasy, Chiba notes during the conference the game is being made with a wide audience in mind for players of all ages, particularly as a title that parents can enjoy with their children. He goes on to describe the art style as “toy-like,” adding that both kids and adults seem to enjoy playing through adventures with toys. Chiba’s point hits home given the popularity of the toys-to-life genre at E3 this year through games like LEGO Dimensions and Disney Infinity 3.0. Although, no announcement has been made or indicated that actual toys or figurines are in the cards for World of Final Fantasy.
With that being said, Chiba took to the Square Enix Blog post-conference to alleviate any worries World of Final Fantasy would be a cute game lacking the depth of character or gameplay substance the franchise is known for.
“…it was not difficult to imagine fans of the series feeling disappointed if we just made it into ‘a cute Final Fantasy.’ If that were the case, I wanted to make it into a game that everyone can enjoy, and so I decided to have the characters from the Final Fantasy series appear in the story and deliver a new adventure to the fans utilizing those characters. On top of that, I consulted with [Tetsuya] Nomura to design a protagonist for a new Final Fantasy, so that those who have played the series before can easily make the connection between the past and this new title.”
Regarding gameplay, Chiba revealed a bit more about the simple yet deep game system in his interview with GamesBeat.
“The battle system, regarding how many players are in it—it would be the two protagonists and the monsters that are in the party. As you saw in the trailer, it’s a total of six. I don’t know if I should say six people or six figures, but you can only use six of them to fight at once. As to multiplayer functions, I’m not sure if we should call it multiplayer at the moment or not, but because the game is going to be released for PS4 and PS Vita, we’re talking about creating a game system where players will be able to play with other people.”
In a nutshell, World of Final Fantasy is shaping up to be a lighter, family-friendly Final Fantasy title with its own unique, stackable monster battle system and some type of social gameplay experience. Can you dig it? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images courtesy Square Enix]