Final Fantasy games, sixteen of them excluding spin-offs and remakes, are mostly unrelated to each other. If you’ve played more than two games in the shiny series yourself, you probably already know this. Some games depend on each other and there are elements and names that are reused in many games. This makes it confusing. After all, why wouldn’t the character Cid in one game be the same person as Cid in another? That’s not the case: She’s a recurring character, but she’s always a different person. Moreover, as a source of magic, crystals are always present in Final Fantasy games. So each new “FF” car is always different from its predecessor. However, Final Fantasy XVI is much different from its predecessors. And with that, the game may be able to attract a whole new target group.
I am part of that target group. The times I’ve tried Final Fantasy, it never really appealed to me. I loved Final Fantasy VII Remake, but XV did nothing for me. I definitely didn’t have XVI on my radar, also because getting Final Fantasy game right is always a time-consuming exercise, and it doesn’t always fit into the schedule. That’s why I was already convinced that I wouldn’t be reviewing this version on Tweakers. I decided to give the game a try on a day off, because yeah, I got curious after the first reactions…and I was completely hooked within a few hours. It was a little unexpected, but that’s life sometimes.
What definitely helps me is that this Final Fantasy game has a distinct setting. Don’t get me wrong: the look screams Final Fantasy. The names are recognizable, crystals and associated charms do exist, but beyond those factors there is a lot of difference. The game makers have chosen a classic fantasy setting for this game. Fairies, orcs, orcs? Well, not that they are instantly dominant, but there are definitely two of those three groups. Think of swords, fortresses, palaces, knights, and so on. This is what the Middle Ages could look like if it was set in the world of Final Fantasy.
The player takes on the role of Clive Rosfield in this story and throughout the story, with the exception of a few moments, controls only this prince born to the Duchy of Rosalia. Here too we find a clear change compared to the stable Final Fantasy formula. In the series, the player usually controls not only the main character, but also the characters who travel with him. You have control over the entire party. This is not the case now. Clive can give commands to his four-legged friend Torgal, but none of his traveling companions fight independently.
This change has everything to do with another change, even more significant. Final Fantasy is traditionally a fighting game in it turn based It is happening. In recent years we’ve seen some alternatives to this, like the one in Final Fantasy VII Remake, you can choose whether you want to fight in real time or fall back to the turn-based variant. The latter takes some action out of the game, but gives the player time to think and thus provides more control. However, Final Fantasy XVI opts for a real-time combat system without training wheels. So the fastest action is the logo. Veteran FF fans may not like it right away. However, RPG fans like myself can’t find a better Final Fantasy than this.
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