If you watched all of the press conferences at E3 this year, chances are high you remember World of Final Fantasy as that chibi FF game with all the character cameos thrown into its reveal trailer. Exactly what the gameplay mechanics would be wasn’t made clear, but the art style and presentation sure were.
After getting my hands on the game at EGX. I now have a much clearer idea what the game is, but no real understanding of what at least a couple of in-game mechanics are meant to do.
The core gameplay of WoFF is in some ways your typical JRPG fare. You take turns selecting menu commands to attack, heal, defend or summon while taking part in fights with increasingly tough monsters and enemies. Most of the cameo characters from past game seem to exist as in-game summons for limited use attacks, with your in-game party is made up of new human characters and collectible monsters.
Where WoFF differs from other similar RPGs is that it has a Pokemon-reminiscent system for capturing defeated enemies and adding them to your team. Each monster needs defeating in a unique way to open up the option to recruit them, and these monsters each have unique attacks, types and stats. The monsters added to your party can either be used as three separate entities on the battle field, or stacked as a tower on your head, like a totem pole. It was unclear in this demo what value there was to stacking them on your head, but it was a thing you could do.
Turn order is decided by a series of rising bars on the side of the screen, with turn order progression pausing when a counter hits the top. Splitting from your totem made these bars rise faster for your team, but seemingly put your totem monsters at risk.
Enemy totems could be knocked down to the floor by strong attacks, but that didn’t ever seem to happen to me. I’m not sure if it could happen to me as a player character. You could also apparently switch from chibi to non-chibi art styles, which would change their combat abilities, but I could not work out how to do so even with a sheet of controls.
Ultimately, World of Final Fantasy looks adorable but the demo shown at EGX was short and mechanically confusing.
Also every time a treasure chest was opened, a trailer for the game would play. I really do not know who thought that was a good idea, but it was super odd.