Final Fantasy XVI begins by faithfully fulfilling the promise of Naoki Yoshida. Without a doubt, it is a “roller coaster ride of emotions”. Once that’s over, the game ends, calms down, and begins. to calmly describe the tensions between the different protagonists. That said, it doesn’t always keep up with the demo; In fact, it quickly transforms into a Metal Gear Solid V. From your mother base, you’ll have to travel to different parts of the world to complete missions.
By the way, I would like to inform you that this analysis does not contain the slightest spoiler. You can read without fear.
Narratively, the game is structured by storylines. Each of them focuses on a Dominant, that is, an enemy with the ability to become an Eikon. These stories always mix two tones. On the one hand, there’s one that’s heavily inspired by Game of Thrones. So much so that there are almost copied characters. Clive, the protagonist, is John Snow. His mother is Cersei and his father is the head of House Stark.
You won’t have a hard time making these comparisons as you play. On the other hand, there’s the One Piece tone. The dominants are ordinary people blessed with the power of Lamú, Shiva, Odin, etc. From a practical point of view, they are like carriers of an Akuma No Mi, ie a devil fruit. Their powers work the same way: they have multiple phases and an awakening that transforms them into the invocation they carry.
Final Fantasy XVI is better the more Game of Thrones there are
Game of Thrones and One Piece have something in common and that is politics. Adapting JRR Martin’s play is difficult, he’s not afraid to be cruel to his characters and his message is that it’s impossible to be political. Dialogues between countries end badly, its leaders end badly, negotiations end badly, and marriages far worse. The only solution is steel, fire and revenge.
But “One Piece” is cute, except in the flashbacks, there are only tears. And friendship, heart and hope are always there. Final Fantasy XVI mixes those two tones with a lot of Kingdom Hearts. Sometimes things go well and sometimes things go wrong. When the game gets sadistic it’s great, but not so great when he decides to solve something with a superpower or summon the strength of the heart.
The title keeps looping this way and that, and there’s a problem with that deviation: our character, Clive, is alone most of the time. He doesn’t have many people to talk to. His friends come and go and there is no stable bond that is always with us. We only have our trusty dog (who is allowed to be petted) and our Mother Base colleagues.
This leads to a very strange plot development. It’s brilliant when it finds its balance, but erratic when hooded characters appear You look like Organization XIII. All that I have told you is not a defect as such, it is not something I point out to curse the game, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a detail that suggests it needs clarification. If this is the new direction for Final Fantasy, there needs to be a change in tone. Because it scares him to be as coherent with what he wants to say as he wants to say it. Without going into spoilers, uses a very simple resource to organize the story. You will recognize him because he talks very ridiculously.
There is a lot of Kingdom Hearts II in this game
With a “how” that intrigued me at times and seemed like a Keyblade like a nomurada at times, the “what” is great, which works. I really liked the world of Valisthea, loved its approach and development. It’s a very solid universe that incorporates the best of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics into its setting and blends it with ideas from Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy
The game is about palace and political intrigue. You are the son of a disgraced house and despite everything that has happened to you, you make a drastic decision against the world that has caused you so much sorrow. Your determination leads you to face off against the rest of the kingdoms and dominants, but the great thing is that your enemies don’t stand still.
Valisthea suffers from a disease known as the Stygian Lands. They advance inexorably, devouring everything and forcing your rivals to fight each other for the areas that are still fertile. That tension and tremendous desire to know how it all ends will make you drink the game. Despite its many comings and goings in tone. That said, I liked the story, but its narration made me weak. Although I’m sure more than one will read, “Game of Thrones mixed with One Piece in a Final Fantasy? Give me twenty!” I’ve already said that the way this is being judged is a pure one question of perspective.
The villains from Final Fantasy XVI are awesome
In addition, there is something that brings you into play. As in One Piece, the villains are great. I liked them all. When one appears it fills the screen and you just want to hear it talk and see how it does things. I’m an absolute fan of the Dominant of Titan. I think he’s one of the coolest villains in the entire franchise.
What I really liked are the fights, the cinematic scenes and how beautiful everything looks. The game looks so good that I’ll tell you right now that it’s easy to forget about scratching. Of course I would have sold my son for a little more trouble. Final Fantasy XVI runs smoothly; not on the level of Kingdom Hearts III, but I only died twice in the game. This makes the fights against common minions not very exciting, but the fights against bosses and underbosses are.
This is where the game shines. In the long run, Final Fantasy XVII doesn’t feel as trite as we might fear; It’s more AJRPG than anything else. The difference is how you plan the battles. In a game against the neighborhood, the player is usually more reactive. You study the rival and react to what he is doing; But in a Japanese action RPG, your brain works backwards. You lunge like crazy at the enemy and choose one or the other attack or defense option.
As Clive becomes acquainted with the Dominants, he is able to learn his powers from them. This opens up new opportunities for growth and skill enhancement. Your task is to choose one by one, the ones with which you can create your perfect combination. A couple of twenty hours into the game out of the forty hours that I could see the end credits, I already had my attack chain, defense and healing options ready.
Combat feels like a JRPG, not hack and slash
I think that’s what separates an AJRPG from hack and slash. In the first case, choosing skills allows you to role-play your character through them. Secondly, you need all possible options to elegantly get out of any situation. So if you are looking for AJRPG, you will find it here. Don’t be afraid, it’s not a fighting game. And congratulations to everyone who loves Kingdom Hearts. There are many Roxas and Sora in Clive.
I talk a lot about Kingdom Hearts because there are many Kingdom Hearts here. Do you remember the incredible fights in Kingdom Hearts II? The ones where cinematic sequences were mixed with live action and QTE? Well, here they come back with crazy graphics. I assure you that any great battle that comes your way, you will celebrate with popcorn. They put on a fantastic performance, well choreographed and entertaining. And because the enemies are so memorable, you’ll love busting their ass.
The fact that these confrontations are so intense and powerful has a lot to do with artistic achievement. Final Fantasy XVI is beautiful. The interior and exterior areas are very well designed and help to understand the world and the main reason for the fight between the kingdoms. Everyone wants to be blessed by the light of one of the giant crystals of Valisthea, and they need to look gorgeous while doing it.
The game does not perform perfectly, but it is very beautiful
The characters are also very well animated and recreated. The game knows this, which is why it takes a lot of extreme close-ups to show off sweat, skin, corneas, and pupils. It’s also great for recreating interiors or forests, but has a problem with the design of its floor plans. Facility layouts are very boring and rely too much on combat. It’s all too common for an entire area to be a makeup hallway that takes you from fight to fight.
That is, sometimes it sins a “poor linearity”. Great things can be achieved with a linear feed. You can add elements to look at, details of the setting that tell stories, little puzzles… But Final Fantasy XVI hardly does that.
To help you better understand this issue, you can ask your dog to tell you where to go by pressing R3. All these corridors were so homogeneous, they had so little different decoration, that I didn’t know whether I had to continue through the door through which I had entered or through the other. I’ve also faced a design decision more than once that seems unacceptable to me in 2023. You’re driving a man who’s practically capable of flying through the air. Despite this, Final Fantasy XVI puts you in front of a bridge where five planks have fallen down and tells you that you cannot progress there.
Has very stupid zone design decisions
I cite this real-world example from the game because of the irony that a few hours later you’ll come across another similar bridge, but this one allows you to jump through a hole in it. You touch these artificial blocks in advance and solve them in a different way, according to Square Enix. And please, enough of swords and axes floating on the warriors’ backs or belts.
This, the low difficulty of the usual battles and the ups and downs in the sound are the biggest problems of Final Fantasy XVI. But fortunately the good bosses, the world, their political tensions and the fights always keep the game at an excellent level. Come on, highly recommended game.
As said, unfortunately the title doesn’t always resemble the prologue. We have a base from which we move around the world. This leads to many quiet moments when we can do additional things. Final Fantasy XVI has quite a few side quests. There are extra high level monsters to hunt and silly quests coupled with others that involve delving deeper into the game’s story.
The truth is that I liked making them. The hunting quests present you with some really fun challenges, and some of those errands have a strong Witcher 3 flavor. Remember those quests that seemed completely nondescript and suddenly had a twist? Well, here are a few of them too.
With all the good and the bad I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XVI. I have to admit that I don’t think it’s among the best in history, but it’s hilarious. He’s solid, his antagonists are really cool. The world is rich in nuance, the combat is fantastic, and it’s one of those games where you can’t stop until the end.
However, it needs to revamp its tone to be perfect, adjust its difficulty, and add something different to its mix so we don’t miss out on anything from the Final Fantasy of our lives. Traveling alone puts a lot of strain on Clive. But I liked doing it by his side.