Four years after it was thought that the evil sword known as Soul Edge had been destroyed, warriors from all over Europe and Asia once again take up the search to locate the blade for their own personal reasons.
A young king, Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, is usurped from his kingdom on his coronation day. He sets out with Roland, a man from another world, to create a new kingdom where everyone can live happily ever after.
Lightning has disappeared, and her sister Serah travels through time and alternate realities with the help of a moogle and a mysterious boy named Noell who claims that Lightning needs her help to defeat a powerful, immortal foe.
Great game for fans of the series, but not perfect
The pros: The battle system is really great for fans of strategic turn-based RPGs like the old FF games. The way you have limited AP no matter what your level really forces you to think about your moves rather than just spamming magic on everyone once you get to a high level. Another plus about the battle system is that you've got the ability to fast-forward and enable auto-battle, which makes those low-level battles and grinding a lot less tedious. The returning characters really retain their personalities from previous games and being able to hear old characters like Refia and Faris speaking for the first time makes you fall in love with them all over again. The story of this game is filled with all the classic FF story elements and is dark in places, but also is filled with a lot of humour. There are parts of this game that have literally had me laughing out loud. As with the overall theme of this game, there are tonnes of references and allusions to games of the past, which you will enjoy picking out if you're a big fan of the series like me. The world is really nice and diverse, and although linear, you do have the ability to travel to any part of the world you've discovered from early on in the game, to stop things from becoming too corridor-like.
The Cons: Although I like most of the characters, I feel that the character design of Lann and Reynn themselves is rather uninspired: the whole idiot younger brother vs smart but cautious older sister thing is hardly what you'd call original. The prism system, as well as being a copy of Pokémon (well I hate to say that because FF has had monster summons since way before Pokémon even came out), is just unnecessarily complicated. By the time you've got several dozen mirages in your prism case, it's really hard to juggle the EXP growth with the ones you might want in future battles. Also, the amount of abilities and elements you can use is really limited by what monsters you have stacked with you, making it difficult to go into a dungeon and really have a battle team that is ready for every eventuality. Speaking of elements, again I think 8 elements is too much and just over-complicates things. There is only one save slot, which is annoying. Finally, the graphics. I know this was released on PSVITA as well as PS4, and quite frankly, that's what it looks like: a PSVITA game. I appreciate that the low-fi effect of the graphics was somewhat deliberate given what they were going for, but things like jagged pixelation and bad draw distances surely are not. The cynical side of me thinks that they deliberately throttled the graphics on the PS4 to make you go out and buy a PS4 "pro" instead.
Overall, I think it's a must if you're a fan of the series, just for all the throwbacks and allusions, as well as the great battle system which harks back to FF games of old. But don't expect it to be perfect. 7/10.
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