I have a confession to make.
I am embarrassingly unaware of most video games out there. Rather than any kind of falsified indifference toward games, I like to chalk this up to the fact that my family’s first console was a Wii. We missed all previous consoles, and to be entirely honest, all following consoles too.
I never really saw it as missing out, because I had no idea what I was missing.
Fast-forward a few years.
Nowadays, I have a lot of catching up to do. When I met Shane, for example, he was mildly astonished that I’d never played Final Fantasy. I think I felt the appropriate shame, I’m not sure.
You can guess what happened next, though.
A few weeks ago, Shane booted up the dungeon demo for World of Final Fantasy and, without a word, handed me the controller.
I had no idea what I was doing, but good heavens, was it fun.
I hadn’t planned on buying any new games, but within days, we went out to the mall and came home with the Day One edition of the game. I had never played a Final Fantasy game before, but now I was play-for-a-full-seven-hours obsessed.
Entering the world of Final Fantasy
If you’ve ever wanted a pet behemoth or maybe a friendly Moogle, this game is perfect, kupo.
You get to run around the collected worlds from previous Final Fantasy games, complete with previous characters, build your own little jellybean monster army full of what they call Mirages, and then battle with them piled on your head like Chiquita Banana.
It’s basically what you’d get if you crossed Final Fantasy with Pokémon and added hats.
It was clear to me pretty early on that it’s also designed to attract newbies (not like me, what are you talking about) to the franchise. The game holds your hand for rather longer than it needs to, slowly introducing new concepts and creatures that would probably be very familiar to seasoned players.
The game is structured like an anime, which I gather is also something new for Final Fantasy. The story itself plays out in episodes, and some of the cutscenes are done in a fun little anime design.
All in all, I thought it was really well-done.
That's no mirage!
For the first while, most of the decent mirages I found were small and medium sizes, so I had to use the Jiant versions of the heroes, Reynn and Lann. It was a little disappointing, because it meant that until I got some good large mirages, I couldn’t run around as a chibi jellybean army of death.
But then something happened.
Somehow, I triggered a mysterious cutscene where a tonberry walked up to me out of a sandstorm in the desert with his adorable little lantern and butcher’s knife. I was 99% sure I was about to get cartoon-style-shanked, but instead he showed me to the Coliseum, this wonderful place where you can catch extra-super-fun things.
And little did I know this included Shiva and Ifrit.
The game doesn’t tell you this, but there’s a very small chance that these two legendary spirits will appear in the Coliseum. There’s also a very small chance that you can catch them.
Shane swears I have a horseshoe hiding somewhere, because catch them I did. And now I finally have large mirages, so I can have my little jellybeans too.
Now it’s time to put them to the test—and maybe that Sephiroth summoning that came with the edition, too, kupo.