These past few weeks I have been traveling the world of Grymoire for the first time. I’m not really familiar with the other numerous games in the Final Fantasy series. I did play Final Fantasy III, but I don’t remember much aside from the dungeon crawling. A nice enough game, but I liked the spin off The four heroes of Light, that came later, much better.
You have to take that into account that I like colorful games, crisp environments, cute Chibi forms and in general, games that are pleasing to the eye.
I named this game Game of the Month November, so let me give you my opinion of why I think this is a lovely game, that deserves more attention than it is getting.
How is it that so many heroes lose their memory?
Must be because of all the blows they take to their head!
World of Final Fantasy, which is available for the PS Vita and the PS4, follows the twins Lann and Reynn. They wake up in a village that is totally void of other people, without any memory of who they are and why they are there. Fortunately Enna Kros appears, along with Tama, a sort of beautiful white squirrel.
Enna tells them a bit about the prophecy and how they are Mirage keepers. They set out on a quest to collect Mirages that will help them battle the soldiers of the Federation that is taking over Grymoire. Meanwhile, they hope to find their mother at their destination too.
Lann and Reynn set out together with Tama. They discover they can switch freely between their Jiant form and Chibi form, and in both forms stacks of three can be formed. Depending on if the twins appear in Jiant or Chibi form, they are in the middle of the stack or on the bottom.
As with any game that at its core has monster collecting as a goal, you cannot help but think of Pokémon and make some comparisons. You can only take a few mirages with you, the rest of them you have to leave behind with Serafie. This takes some careful planning, as having the right mirages by your side can change any battle. Accessing them while you’re in a dungeon isn’t very easy. You can use a Seraphone but they cost serious money.
Every Mirage has a Mirage board where you can find all their power ups and abilities to unlock. To do this you need to gain enough special points in battle. The unlockable abilities include blank spaces, in which you can plant a seed to give a Mirage any ability you want.
Instead of having the Mirages fight for you, Lann and Reynn fight too. The Mirages are in a sort of Totem pole with an L, M and S-size mirages, including the twins. It looks a bit silly, with mirages stacked on the twins heads, but combining the right stack and making sure you have the right balance gives the opportunity for some nice tweaking and planning. After all, combinations of Mirages make for entirely different moves and strengths.
Bring forth the Heroes
On your journey you meet other heroes, that seem to be familiar faces from the Final Fantasy games. Each of them has special abilities, and once you’ve made friends with them, you can summon them in battle. Currently I have the Warrior of Light with me (or rather, his medal), Refia and Sephiroth. There are limitations of course, but they have been known to save the day for me in boss battles. The little cut scenes when they rush to your rescue are beautiful and cute at the same time because of their chibi form.
The entire atmosphere of the game is influenced by the banter between the characters and the incessant chatter. Not a grim game because of that. Granted, the way Tama includes “the” before every word can get annoying, but it’s like seeing your little puppy having fun. This might no make the game for everyone though, but I fail to see how some reviewers might put this game down as a kids game only. It has so, so much more to offer.
As is to be expected, this RPG has a lot of dungeon crawling and leveling up to be done. The beautiful graphics and exiting new surroundings at every turn however makes it a nice experience. And there’s not just battle, there are little puzzles to be solved along the way too.
The customization doesn’t stop with tinkering with the Mirages. You can choose how to play, use the new battle menu or stick to a more traditional one. You can choose to take you time deciding on every more like I do, or you can battle in real time, not pausing when it’s your turn to make a move.
There’s always something to complain about
Of course, every game has things you might want to see changed. The loading times are quite long and I really don’t like the way the camera moves. You can’t control it, it zooms in and out according to the landscape and your route.
They could have included some more save points, as it’s often the only way to access the seraphone to change your Mirages. And the screens and commands for the management of the Mirages are so nestled that it’s not intuitive.
Every Mirage has a specific requirement before it can be caught (imprisoned as it’s called in the game). While this adds to the challenge, it can be a bit of a pain to get new additions to your collection. And what’s most annoying: the encounter rate is high, too high even. You can hardly get anything done without stumbling into battle again.
This game certainly has earned the right to be my game of the month November. It’s beautiful, the game play is good and challenging enough and it’s deep. Though the main quest isn’t overly long, if you want to collect Mirages you can spend many hours in the game. There’s a Colosseum to battle in too, and while you don’t level up in those battles, you can earn nice items. Plus, you can imprison Mirages that you haven’t gotten yet!
I tend to play my games with the sound off, but not for this one. Beautiful music by Masashi Hamauzu, who is the composer for the Final Fantasy games.
The fact that I have Pokémon Moon waiting and still want to play this just a little bit longer should say it all. A great experience!