Final Fantasy XVI Review | Attack of the Fanboy

Picture: Sq. Enix

Within the 90s, Squaresoft introduced collectively a number of the trade’s most proficient people to create a “dream team” with the objective of making one of many biggest RPGs of all time. That improvement crew included all-stars like Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and Dragon Ball creator and character designer Akira Toriyama amongst others. This assembly of minds gave rise to Chrono Set off, top-of-the-line video games of its era and one of the celebrated video games of all time.

Now, Sq. Enix finds itself in an analogous scenario with Final Fantasy XVI. Producer Naoki Yoshida has even referred to XVI’s development team as a dream team himself in pre-release interviews, they usually’ve obtained the credentials to again it up. After all, Yoshida helms the critically-acclaimed MMO Final Fantasy XIV and loads of these MMO devs have adopted him into XVI’s improvement, however there are additionally the likes of Ryota Suzuki, the sport’s fight director who labored on Satan Could Cry 5, Dragon’s Dogma, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and Masayoshi Soken, one of many trade’s most beloved composers who frequently churns out bangers for Final Fantasy XIV.

For those who have a look at any of the names connected to Final Fantasy XVI, you’ll discover a historical past of remarkable work. That expertise bleeds into each side of this recreation. As lots of you already know from the sport’s not too long ago launched demo, Final Fantasy XVI fires on all cylinders proper out of the gate. As thrilling because the demo is, nonetheless, issues solely ramp up from there. Final Fantasy XVI is an exhilarating journey full of loads of fairly particle results and larger-than-life Eikon battles interspersed between quiet, human moments of heartbreak, hatred, and most significantly of all, hope.

Picture: Sq. Enix

Welcome to Valisthea

Final Fantasy XVI is ready in Valisthea, a darkish fantasy world comprised of dual continents that depend on Mothercrystals because the spine of society. These Mothercrystals, and smaller handheld crystals owned by commoners and elites alike, permit folks to forged magic to help with each day duties like refilling wells, chilling meals, and heating baths. There are some with the power to forged magic and not using a crystal, however these persons are instantly branded and compelled into slavery as Bearers. As well as, a choose chosen few are Dominants, highly effective people with the power to name upon the facility of an Eikon.

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Bearers, named for the Crystal’s Curse that they bear which slowly turns their our bodies to stone as they proceed to forged magic, are seen as subhuman in every of Valisthea’s kingdoms. It’s these Bearers which are the spine of Final Fantasy XVI’s story, as protagonist Clive Rosfield finds himself embroiled in an underground insurrection amid his private quest for revenge. XVI’s story frequently places new twists on its guidelines as Clive and his companions journey the Twins, and studying the intricacies of the relationships between Bearers, the Mothercrystals, Dominants, commoners, and the elite in every kingdom retains the story attention-grabbing all through its prolonged runtime.

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Bearers of the Crystals’ Curse

XVI wrestles with the very actual penalties of revolution, forcing its forged to confront the struggling that all the time precedes salvation. A serious working theme all through the sport is that issues will worsen earlier than they get higher. Clive’s actions are hurting folks and making the lives of widespread people that rather more troublesome within the brief time period. It’s equal components heart-wrenching and provoking to see Clive and his band of Cursebreakers rally folks to their trigger figuring out that they’ll probably lose their associates, household, and houses and never even see the fruits of their labors inside their lifetime — and that’s in the event that they even determine to listen to Clive out within the first place.

Picture: Sq. Enix

Final Fantasy XVI’s aspect quests may as properly be necessary as a result of they’re the most effective demonstration of those themes. The primary story does a superb sufficient job, however actually attending to know the folks of Valisthea and their cultures will vastly improve your expertise with the sport. Principally each non-compulsory quest within the recreation features as a brand new lens of examination for Clive’s objectives and morals. Just about each “well actually” thought that could possibly be raised by a very pedantic Redditor is answered in a aspect quest sooner or later.

Every of XVI’s quests is crammed with good writing that explores avenues of oppression that aren’t as apparent on the floor stage however nonetheless harm simply as arduous. One could also be compelled to show down their dream job to assist with their sibling’s underground Bearer liberation efforts, for instance, or a health care provider could discover themselves wracked with guilt over misplaced sufferers even when they’re doing every part they will. Loss extends past simply lifeless folks in Valisthea.

Picture: Sq. Enix

As well as, there are a number of aspect quest chains that progress alongside the principle story, providing you with updates on rising settlements and storylines which are central to Clive’s trigger. The rewards for these is perhaps lackluster when you’re solely wanting on the Gil and XP, however the lore and worldbuilding are the actual rewards. Watching a settlement of newly-freed Bearers wrestle to search out their approach, for instance, is extremely compelling. A few of them can’t even comprehend what having a house means, not to mention be motivated to take up arms to defend it from monsters.

The place There’s a Probability, There’s a Selection

Nonetheless, regardless of its darkish tone and overt Recreation of Thrones affect, Final Fantasy XVI is finally a hopeful story. Clive’s group toils for the way forward for these but to come back, and XVI’s story goes to nice lengths to point out the significance of that. It’s a narrative about solidarity, about becoming a member of arms and standing aspect by aspect along with your companions even when there’s solely a 1% likelihood of a greater future someday down the road. In XVI’s eyes, complacency is cowardice.

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It’s an extremely vital story for our day and age as we discover ourselves feeling powerless and smothered by an oppressive ambiance. When most are too apathetic about their scenario to try for change, and those who do have the need to invoke change are too nervous about placing meals on the desk or residing paycheck to paycheck, how will we as a society advance the better good?

XVI asserts that our neighbors and associates are the wings on which we rise, however it additionally reveals the truth that the facility of friendship isn’t a magic bullet that cures all. It’s a harsh path to take — and it’s okay to be afraid and even indignant on the hand you’ve been dealt — however selfless sacrifice for these but to come back is the one approach we are able to develop. Issues could seem fated to stay this manner, however our will is stronger. We solely must take the primary steps to tread a path for the generations that comply with.

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Once more, the sport’s aspect quests are the best demonstration of the sparkles of hope we are able to discover in hopeless conditions. Whether or not it’s tending to the backyard of a misplaced ally, discovering a tasty deal with for a furry good friend, or gathering a bunch of associates to share a bottle of classic wine, there are all the time transient snippets of happiness to be discovered all through Valisthea. A world with out little moments like this wouldn’t be price saving, in any case.

Valisthea Historia

If it seems like Final Fantasy XVI is a dense recreation, then you definitely’d be proper. It calls for your consideration and requires you to be taught the names of varied kingdoms and characters, all whereas conserving observe of manipulation and subterfuge that muddy the waters. That’s the place Lively Time Lore is available in. Lively Time Lore is among the recreation’s breakthrough options, permitting you to press the touchpad at any time — even throughout cutscenes — to entry an internet of transient codex entries for each related character, location, or correct noun in that scene.

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It’s rather more than merely studying an extended codex entry in one other RPG too, since Lively Time Lore normally solely gives a paragraph or two most with probably the most related data that you just want for that scene. Plus, the entries are up to date with new data as you progress by means of the sport, in order mysteries are uncovered, new refreshers can be added. It additionally retains observe of any ongoing mysteries or questions, so that you’ll be capable of inform when you’ve genuinely forgotten one thing or when you’re not speculated to know a solution but.

As well as, there’s a State of the Realm menu that may be accessed on the Hideaway, the sport’s important hub space. This reveals an interactive timeline and map that showcases an internet of each character relationship within the recreation, full with useful hints alongside the connective strains that learn “brother,” “sister,” “manipulating,” “attempted assassination,” and issues like that. The map additionally adjustments as you progress alongside the timeline, permitting you to see borders develop and shrink all through the story so you may maintain tabs on every kingdom on the Twins.

Picture: Sq. Enix

Lively Time Lore and State of the Realm are genuinely two of Final Fantasy XVI’s most spectacular options due to their ease of use and continuous updates all through the story, and I hope to see extra RPGs undertake one thing comparable sooner or later. Think about when you may watch a present like Recreation of Thrones for the primary time yet again however nonetheless have all of the data you understand now. That’s what Lively Time Lore brings to the desk. It’s like having a know-it-all good friend on the sofa subsequent to you, solely much less annoying.

Lively Time Battle

Final Fantasy XVI’s world and story deserve limitless reward, however for the sake of this assessment, we’re shifting on to the sport’s different pillar: fight. Whereas it could appear easy at first look, Clive’s powers create a remarkably deep fight system.

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Clive is armed with a primary sword assault and a ranged magic assault, however the two are supposed to be alternated one after the opposite as your important combo string. On high of that, Clive can have as much as three Eikons geared up without delay, every with their very own distinctive skill and two extra particular assaults that function on cooldowns. Stringing these collectively is the actual meat of the fight, and selecting which Eikons to equip, when to make use of sure skills, and leveling up skills so you should utilize them with different energetic Eikons is the place the majority of construct crafting takes place.

After all, the fight designer on this recreation additionally gave us Satan Could Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma, so you understand there are fancy methods that Clive can pull off throughout fights. Launching enemies into the air, utilizing soar cancels to increase combos, and pulling off riskier parries in lieu of excellent dodges characterize the tip of the iceberg with XVI’s fight depth.

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Plus, there’s Torgal, Clive’s canine companion who serves as the one different immediately controllable get together member within the recreation. Clive can concern instructions to Torgal throughout fight to increase his combos, and this highly effective pup can launch enemies sky-high, prolong combos each on the bottom and within the air, and even slam foes all the way down to the bottom. There’s loads to maintain observe of throughout XVI’s battles once you think about Clive’s rhythmic sword/magic combo, Eikon skill cooldowns, and Torgal instructions, however the feeling you get once you begin to grasp these programs is a excessive that few video games can match.

Eikonic Battle

Merely put, Final Fantasy XVI has a number of the finest boss battles in any recreation ever. Final Fantasy is understood for its scale and spectacle, however the PlayStation 5 breathes new life into these setpieces and makes them unbelievably beautiful.

The sport by some means continues to high itself with every new boss battle, and most of those fights had my jaw on the ground and left me questioning how one thing like that is even playable. Soken’s sweeping rating is the cherry on high, adorning the blinding flashes of particle results and epic scale with a number of the most triumphant tracks I’ve ever heard.

Picture: Sq. Enix

XVI’s regular fight already has an unbelievable quantity of visible aptitude, however boss battles make use of QTEs and jaw-dropping part transitions to essentially promote the spectacle. Issues warmth up much more in Eikon vs. Eikon fights, lots of which have already been showcased in pre-release trailers. The most effective of the bunch haven’t been showcased but although, and the sport retains arising with inventive new methods for these large magical beasts to show their skills.

Smokin’ Attractive Type

Not like Satan Could Cry, Clive isn’t scored for fashionable combos or fancy strings throughout the principle recreation. Nonetheless, there’s one thing for all you DMC junkies on the market: arcade mode. This aspect mode enables you to replay any of the sport’s missions with mounted gear and a scoring system, providing you with a motive to flex on these goblins and an outlet to scratch that Satan Set off itch. For those who actually wish to stretch this fight system so far as it will possibly go, then arcade mode is for you.

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For those who’re on the lookout for one thing to check your mettle, then you can begin a playthrough on “Final Fantasy” mode after finishing the principle marketing campaign. It’s technically New Recreation+, however it serves as Final Fantasy XVI’s postgame. It mainly ramps issues up from the ending difficulty-wise however locations you proper at first of the sport (after the introduction, saving you a headache and letting you dive straight into the motion).

In a recreation the place the extent design and exploration aren’t the first focus, particularly in the principle marketing campaign phases that you just’ll be replaying, including new enemies and harder bosses mainly makes them brand-new ranges. Sure, it’s the identical set of locales, however when most of them are mainly simply fancy corridors, the enemies are what make them distinctive. For those who aren’t sometimes a New Recreation+ enjoyer, you must nonetheless give Final Fantasy mode an opportunity.

The Verdict

For those who couldn’t inform from the heaping quantity of reward I’ve been showering on it, Final Fantasy XVI is among the finest RPGs in a very long time. It’s simply the most effective non-MMO Final Fantasy (sorry, I’m a kind of XIV stans). It’s ironic {that a} studio as plainly named as Inventive Enterprise Unit 3 is placing out a number of the most inventive, passionate, and heartfelt stuff within the trade in the intervening time.

Final Fantasy XVI is an excellent achievement. Each a part of it, from its characters to its fight, was put there with a objective. Not solely does it ship satisfyingly slick motion RPG fight in between masterfully directed cutscenes, but in addition a narrative with actual coronary heart. Most significantly, it’s extremely clear {that a} crew of inventive people was behind each choice. There’s a human aspect that permeates each side of Final Fantasy XVI, and that’s what makes it so particular.

This recreation was reviewed utilizing a replica of the sport offered by the sport’s writer,public relations firm, developer or different for the categorical objective of a assessment.

About The Writer

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At present serving as an Affiliate Editor at Attack of the Fanboy, Diego Perez has been writing about video video games since 2018, specializing in stay service video games like Future and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Recreation Rant and The Outerhaven, however Attack of the Fanboy is house to his finest work. When he isn’t enhancing or writing guides, he is yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Misplaced Sectors in Future. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Research for Texas A&M College.

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