You’d have to return over twenty years for the final Ultimate Fantasy recreation that wasn’t thought of to be divisive, and Ultimate Fantasy 16, appropriately sufficient for the franchise, can be a recreation that has divided the fanbase. For our cash, there’s much more to love right here than there’s to dislike, however there are notable areas of the expertise to level out in each these teams. Right here, that’s precisely what we’ll be doing, as we speak about just a few issues that we love about Ultimate Fantasy 16, and some that we don’t.
LOVE: THE COMBAT
Ultimate Fantasy 16’s fight might be the sport’s greatest spotlight. That’s probably one thing that even most of its detractors will inform you. Eschewing the sequence’ long-held custom of command-based fight techniques and as a substitute adopting a completely real-time, action-driven method, Ultimate Fantasy 16 arms the participant with an enormous and ever-increasing pool of skills, assaults, and limitless combos that they can be utilized in. Every of its strikes is flashy and bombastic, and the top consequence if a high-flying fight system that continues to be an absolute blast irrespective of how a lot you play the sport.
LOVE: THE BOSS FIGHTS
Fights even towards the bottom of the grunts and trash mobs are quite a lot of enjoyable in FF16, however the boss fights are the place the fight actually sings. As you’d count on from any Ultimate Fantasy recreation, there’s lengthy listing of bosses that you just conflict swords with in FF16, coming in a wide range of sizes and styles, and nearly each single considered one of them feels uniquely memorable. Some are clearly more difficult than the others, however nearly all function stellar exhibitions of the sport’s wonderful fight mechanics. The very best of the very best, in the meantime, additionally go hand-in-hand with among the recreation’s most jaw-dropping moments. Talking of which…
LOVE: THE SCALE
Ultimate Fantasy as a franchise has all the time been related to tales of epic scale and scope, however 16 takes that to even larger ranges. Within the lead-up to the sport’s launch, its builders stated that they took quite a lot of inspiration from the older God of Battle video games, and particularly the size of their boss fights and set items, and that affect is obvious to see again and again in Ultimate Fantasy 16. The Eikonic battles particularly are showpiece sequences that maintain nothing again, and each from a visuals and mechanis perspective, they function some o the sport’s finest moments.
DON’T LOVE: SHALLOW RPG SYSTEMS
We’ve sung quite a lot of praises of FF16’s fight right here (and elsewhere), however as well-deserved as all of that adoration is, the sport additionally does deserve criticism for a few of its ancillarly techniques. On the finish of the day, that is an RPG, however the precise RPG aspect of the expertise is disappointingly shallow. You stage up, spend means factors on, nicely, skills, and equip Clive with new or upgraded gear- and that’s about it. That won’t have been an issue if the few RPG techniques the sport has did present sufficient depth, however even the the techniques that do exist are fairly shallow of their implementation, to the purpose that, for the overwhelming majority of the expertise, you barely even want to have interaction with them in any significant manner.
DON’T LOVE: LEVEL DESIGN
Ultimate Fantasy 16 has been oscillating between totally different design philosophies through the years, swinging from linear to open world and again once more. Each of these have had good examples and unhealthy examples, and Ultimate Fantasy 16, sadly, is without doubt one of the sequence’ extra underwhelming outings with the extra linear type. The sport focuses nearly solely on fight – which is nice, as a result of the fight is nice – however that signifies that exploration is de-emphasized, and quite a lot of the sections find yourself being collectings of linear rooms and corridors. There are some massive, open areas within the recreation that do have extra room for exploration, however even these really feel pretty pared again, particularly when in comparison with among the sequence’ previous efforts.
DON’T LEVEL: THE SIDE QUESTS
Aspect quests proceed to be a very arduous for factor for many builders within the trade to get proper, as they’ve ever been, and Ultimate Fantasy 16 appears like a little bit of a letdown on this space too, as lots of its predecessors have. Although just a few of the aspect quests do sometimes hand out precious rewards, or have fascinating narrative perception to share in regards to the world or among the aspect characters, the overwhelming majority of them very a lot really feel like they observe the MMO faculty of design (which is suitable, given the truth that that is made by Sq. Enix’s CBU3). Positive, FF16’s aspect quests are excuse to have interaction with the fight extra, however sadly, they by no means actually attempt to be something greater than that.
LOVE: THE WORLDBUILDING
For so long as we will keep in mind, the one factor Ultimate Fantasy video games have excelled at is transporting gamers to their worlds and totally immersing us with their distinctive, wealthy lore and worldbuilding. Even when the tone and aesthetic of these worlds have radically different, they’ve all the time been excellently realized. The identical is true for Ultimate Fantasy 16– the truth is, it may be more true for FF16’s world than it’s for many of its predecessors. The world of Valisthea is an extremely robust setting, and studying extra about its historical past, its many kingdoms and their distinctive cultures, their totally different beliefs and ideologies, and the various conflicts all of that results in all the time stays charming.
LOVE: THE STORY
Although the sequence fumbled with its storytelling in FF15, Ultimate Fantasy video games have a tendency to come back with excessive expectations for his or her story, and it’s honest to say that FF16 matches these expectations. Taking a way more mature and grittier outlook on its conventional medieval fantasy setting, Ultimate Fantasy 16 weaves a grim story that deftly makes use of its excellently crafted world in constantly shocking and charming methods. Many would argue that the story goes off the rails in direction of the top, and people arguments aren’t precisely with out merit- however the good positively outweights the unhealthy right here.
DON’T LOVE: THE BEGINNING
By the start, we don’t imply the very starting, as a result of the opening couple of hours of Ultimate Fantasy 16 are wonderful, and function an excellent introduction to its world, characters, story, and gameplay mechanics. After that starting although, the pacing grinds to a halt, and it doesn’t actually get going towards till 5-6 hours after that time. Positive, as soon as it does get going once more, it doesn’t ever cease, and recreation goes constantly uphill from there, however that gradual starting is usually a little bit of a chore to get by means of.
LOVE: THE CHARACTERS
We’ll finish on a excessive be aware, as a result of even when these opening hours of Ultimate Fantasy 16 may really feel like they’re plodding on a bit of bit, the sport boasts a wonderful forged of characters. Clive Rosfield is a wonderful protagonist, and seeing his development all through his life stays massively partaking all through the expertise. Essential characters who encompass him, together with the likes of Cid and Jill, additionally make a powerful impression, and proceed to get higher because the story lends them extra depth. Even the much less considerably ancillary characters who’ve a recurring position all through the story, like your crew within the Hideaway, are well-developed and well-written.