World of Final Fantasy was announced at Sony’s E3 2015 press conference for release on Playstation 4 and Vita and it’s scheduled to be released worldwide in October 2016. It follows the story of two siblings in a world called Grimoire and will feature characters from previous Final Fantasy games, such as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. The game features gameplay that will be reminiscent of the earlier games in the series but the team also wants this title to be accessible to a younger audience.
The story is set in a new world not seen before in the Final Fantasy series, a place teeming with classic Final Fantasy characters and monsters alike. Lann and Reyne, two siblings suffering from amnesia, must navigate this world of chibi-style monsters and characters. Lann and Reyne are able to move between chibi-form and their other form and, as of this time, it seems like they might be the only characters who are able to do so.
According the official website, the player must master an all new battle system where players will utilize captured monsters, called Mirages, to create powerful towers of monsters to fight enemies throughout the game world. The size, element, and order in which the monsters are used is also something that the player will have to keep in mind. The battle system is said to be inspired by the Active Time Battle system of the Super Nintendo era.
The concept of stacking was suggested by Shinji Hashimoto after Hashimoto saw a sketch done by Yasuhisa Izumisawa of a Magitek Armour with multiple other monsters stacked on top. The stacking element, which would be difficult to render, led to a time of meditation concerning which platforms would be able to display this effect in the best way. In the end it was decided that the Playstation 4 would be the best place for the game, but the team also wanted players to be able to access the game in shorter bursts so they developed a version for the Playstation Vita which utilized the Playstation cross-saving feature.
Mirages are befriended after they have been weakened in battle, a system reminiscent of the Poke Ball system used to capture creatures in the Pokemon series of video games. There are also special Mirages that can be summoned into battle using Action Points (AP), these Mirages will stay in battle until the summoner’s AP has been completely consumed.
The player can customize their monster parties by turning their monsters into ability-boosting Magicite, leveling and evolving them to gain new specializations, or even just use them as a means to get from one place to another; like the iconic, lovable Chocobo.
The dungeons of this world have been described as vertically stacked and since stacking the caught monsters is also a key component, this game seems to be using space in a very different way. The stacking portion of the game will help the player get past obstacles and progress farther into the game.
The director of the game Hiroki Chiba has been a designer and writer at Square Enix but this is is directorial debut. He worked on Dirge or Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII and, most recently, on Final Fantasy Type-0.
The normal sized characters in the game were designed by zipper aficionado Tetsuya Nomura. The chibi designs were done by Yasuhisa Izumisawa, who is known for his other chibi FF project Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The chibi designs were originally drawn for Pictlogica Final Fantasy, a mobile spin-off, but it seems that the images are being used in collaboration with World of Final Fantasy. Chiba consulted with Nomura on how best to meld the old, iconic character designs with the new chibi designs without causing damage to the overall iconic image of the characters.
The game is being developed on the Orochi 3 engine to help speed up development. The game was said to be 30 to 40% complete as of June 2015 when it was debuted at E3 that year.
Lann / ラァン (Raan)
To a casual observer, Lann may appear brash and impulsive. In addition, it typically takes a few explanations before he gets a full grasp of any given situation. A deeper look, however, reveals a boy pure of heart and spirit, who is great at taking advantage of opportunities when they arise—in other words, the perfect adventurer.
Reynn / レェン (Reen)
Reynn is a girl of patience and perception, and there will be several times during the Grymoirian journey that all would be lost if not for her. Don’t think she doesn’t have vices, though. She’s quick with the snark, and when she gets shaken up, she starts spouting trivia as a coping mechanism, to the point where even Lann knows what’s up. Even so, there’s no doubting that she’s the glue that holds this adventure together.
Enna Kros / エナ・クロ (Ena Kuro)
Enna Kros is the enigmatic entity who sends Lann and Reynn on their adventure. Who is she, really? What stake does she have in their journey, or any of the worlds? Only time will tell…