Final Fantasy XVI is the first fully fledged action RPG in the mainline Final Fantasy series. Clive Rosfield is on a mission to free mankind from its fate, and must use the Eikonic powers at his disposal to overcome every obstacle his enemies lay before him.


Also in series

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail
Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

Released on

Genres

RPG


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Un jeu dont je suis mitigé. Mon souci avec ce dernier est l'instabilité de sa qualité, par moment il est absolument phénoménal à en être bouche-bée, et d'autres il est ennuyeux et pas du tout intéressant. Malheureusement c'est ce dernier qui m'a le plus marqué, et je me suis senti moyennement à la fin de ce jeu.
Un bon jeu, qui aurait pu être meilleur

DISCLAIMER: This is the first game I have reviewed where an update, version 1.3.1, has come out before I beat it that added substantial QoL. Usually I don't update my games but it read like no nerfs, only buffs so I said why not? As such, some topics about early game might no longer be viable but because I was more than halfway through when the patch dropped I cannot correct those topics without another playtrhrough. It is worth bringing up because it did, in fact effect my score

As usual, I will try to not do any story spoilers but gameplay is free reign. I had worries going into this game, most due to the style of combat they decided to go with. Would fight be too long? Would the darker tone come off as "what your average 13 year old wants all media to be"? Many said to me "Trust in Yoshi P" but when you also don't care for the game that got him his standing, it isn't something I'm going to do easily.

As far as plot goes, I was slipping in and out of interest as the game went on. I had played them demo on release but I redid the intro again for easier reacclimation and reminder of purpose. The early plot I was the most engaged with and given how most jrpgs are, it was totally unexpected. The entire mid plot however, I had zero interest whatsoever and was just going through it to get through but thankfully once that was resolved the plot also became interesting again. The general pacing didn't help, and its one of those "Oh right, the mmo team made this" aspects. There are sidequests that are only not classified as such due to them having the red marker instead of green. Come come off this large climactic moment and you next course of action is running back an forth between 3 people to have them talk to you and then maybe go do a fetch quest or fight a group of fodder enemies, after of course seeing a cutscene shown via a map with pieces on it to illustrate "what has now happened". I guess they blew the budget on other things because this reeks of trying to cut down on something. We saw plenty of scenes where the main cast should have no way of knowing so why go about it this way? If I was just told "oh yeah this happened" in a blurb it would have had the same outcome. And yes, majority of the sidequests are awful but I did them all anyway and thank god that update added the quick warp back to the questgiver. I was real tired of Clive's "its chilly outside but I'm too lazy to bundle up but I gotta get the mail" jaunt of a walk in the hubs. Why didn't they allow him to dash? This is in EVERY hub, town whatever. I swear if the teleport wasn't added it would have put another 45 minutes to the total game time. I will say though, the darker nature of this game had me shocked at some actions they took. I certainly never would have expected violence of that type in a Final Fantasy game before. Also lots of Fucks were said, sometimes comically so.

The characters were, fine I guess. Honestly I didn't really have a favorite aside from Torgal. Clive seems to be very well liked and I can see why, Ben Starr did a pretty damn great performance. Cid had a very nice voice too. But Torgal, I think he's up there in terms of video game dog hierarchy. My boy was doing some sick ass combos and follow ups on enemies both in and out of cutscene. Everyone else I couldn't care less about and thats probably another large reason why I was having a hard time keeping interest in the plot. I'm probably not gonna remember most of the character's names outside of the main like 5, and one unfortunate girl who's nickname is an accurate description of interacting with her.

The music was very good. The ost had a lot of slower, soft and somber tracks which if anyone knows me are my favorite types. There was even a rendition of the main theme that is probably my number 2. I'm just a sucker for that theme, its like a cheat code to get a smile out of me in an FF game. The prelude was also invited to the game and its renditions were nice as well. The most surprising thing was even the battle music had its slower moments. I'm trading blows with a boss and suddenly the strings come in and its like something I'd hear during some high class party, not a life or death battle.

I'll be a lot more detailed going forward, because we're entering the gameplay now.

Lets start with the game's gear and general itemization. Why is it even here? This gear system is 6 items: Your weapon, belt, arm and three accessories. There is only 1 weapon type Clive has access to and that is his sword and all that matters with them is the attack and stun numbers, this goes for your belt and arm gear as well but it replace attack and stagger for defense and bonus health. Majority of the time both will increase so it doesn't matter. There was maybe two times were I had to choose between keeping my current sword on or using one that only had more attack or stagger. There is also no innate elemental affinity to the weapons themselves. Flametounge, Icebrand, Gaia Sword etc just do typeless damage. The accessories is where you're gonna get any sort of meaningful changes from however its still not much. You have your usual stat increase ones for attack, defense and HP (the rest of the stats despite being in the level up menu seem straight up pointless), your "easy mode" ones that automate certain aspects and then ones that decrease the cooldown of your eikon abilities or their damage. I played on action difficulty the whole time (basically normal) and I never saw a reason to swap from the increased exp, increased ap and auto charge magic ones once they were unlocked. I did try the eikon related ones but the changes seemed negligible on action, on final fantasy difficulty (that you need to beat the game to access) I'm sure they're more necessary. The game also has a crafting system which also begs why its even in the game. There are weapons and gear that can only be crafted and you can also reinforce you gear to make it stronger. Sounds fine so why does am I questioning it existing? Because most materials are in abundance! Unless it was a sidequest, mark or boss reward I never was lacking and could make gear the moment it appeared. Even the limited materials were only needed for the specific items so their rarity was more just to block you out of getting stronger stuff early than anything. Your consumables are also limited in terms of how many you can hold of each, you can also only access 3 types at a time that you set and they're all standard. Potion, Hi Potion, attack/defense buff potions, elixer, one time revive elixer etc. Hey though, this is probably the first final fantasy game I can say I used the standard potion during the final boss!

Exploration was barely a thing. Sure there were some more open maps but most of the time it was empty with just the scenery and a couple enemies. The chests you run into would mostly have either gil or materials, with the more important ones being in the story based mapless dungeons. Clive has access to that dash I complained about earlier but outside of the more hallway oriented parts it isn't enough. Even when you get the Chocobo, I think she's too slow. She's faster than Clive for sure but I don't know, she just didn't feel like she helped me get to where I wanted to go all that much quicker. I fast traveled any chance I could have.

Combat is the big thing in this game. "Devil May Fantasy/ Final Fantasy May Cry", its as deep ad you want to make it but even then I didn't find it any deeper than waist high. You have a handful of tools at your disposal: Perfect dodging, parrying, ability and dodge canceling, timed magic burst, eikon switching, ariel rave air combos, however you only have one singular 4 hit combo as you main and I think is the largest issue. There should have been more routes, maybe delayed style to vary it up a bit because no, the eikon abilities do no do enough since they are limited as well. You can set up to 3 eikons in your loadout, and each has 2 slots you can put a skill in along with each one having a unique mechanic like a dash, charge or block on the other button since X is relegated to jump. This limits them greatly, each eikon has 4 moves not counting the unique one and the skills can only be changed outside of battle. Upgrading costs AP with some of them being expensive to master with the point of mastering being that skills can be used on other eikon sets. Once I got my full moveset situated, I build my loadout and didn't bother with tinkering for the remaining 1/3 of the game. Titan's was probably my favorite because I am a simple man and anything that allows me to punch is my go to. Before I unlocked it I was honestly not into the combat, just going through the motions hoping it would eventually become fun. Flurry of Punches was just so satisfying and the fact it could be used to counter not just melee but also magic made it even sweeter. The eikon abilities are the closest thing you will have to a different weapon type in the game. Magic is just aesthetic, as it changes with each eikon equipped but otherwise did no difference in damage and enemies didn't seem to have any weaknesses.

Credit where its due, the normal fights never dragged on which was one of my largest fears going in. I say normal fights because the stagger rears its ugly head here and if any of you read my FF7 Remake review then you know how I feel about their last attempt at it. I can say here while the general feeling of "it feels more like a nerf and then allowed to do full damage", aside for a SINGLE fight it never once reset after a cutscene. The bosses did drag at times, but I expect a boss to have more health so I'm not too annoyed about it. Some of those fights were pretty damn great anyway. The sidequests are the weakness of the devs but the cinematic aspect of the bossfights are their strengths. One fight its a tense one on one sword, perfect dodge and parry fest and the other is an Asura's Wrath level event. I do think the Eikon fights could have used more depth, the trickle of moves made the first few some of the slowest fights in the game but in terms of pulling them out to fight they showed a surprising amount of restraint. The setpieces of these eikon fights were lovely to see for the first time and the sense of scale was preserved no matter what they did. I do think that these would be the worst part of replay though, due to just how cinematic they can be. I hope you like quicktimes, especially the mashing kind. Also I don't know where to put this but an enemy had an attack called "Spirits Within" and I find that funny.

Saying that this game was a twice as long but half as fun Devil May Cry is false, there is much more to the game than that and same goes for the "Final Fantasy of Thrones" or "Game of Final Fantasy" or whatever that joke name was. However in trying to make sure the usual rpg fan can get in, the combat is shallower than what a character action stlye enjoyer would want so as a fan of both it left me doubly displeased. The story had more ups and down than a merry go round horse in terms of its pacing, it could have used some fat trimming. Turning such a longstanding plot tradition on its head could just be for the sake of it or those who try to find meaning in every sentence could see it as a direct statement on some reliance of the past and needing to break it. Despite that I will still never agree with Final Fantasy ditching turn based/atb and going full on combo MAD, but I wouldn't be opposed to coming back to FF17 if they allow the combat to pull from more of the movesets. I don't know if the darker tone is going to be the standard going forward, but maybe don't realy on people yelling FUCK so much, eh? FF16 tried dto do something new, its trying to get its feet planted on the ground again, which some would argue its been doing since FFX, but the groundwork is here. Whenever I get around to Rebirth, its combat is gonna have a hard time comparing and this is exactly why I went through FF7R before this. I wonder if those Torgal plushies are still on sale?

I want to start off by saying no, this game is not perfect, I don't think any game is, I do wish side quests offered more and that you could play as other party members (albeit I understand why you can't) but with that aside. FFXVI has managed to do something I've wanted from a RPG for so long, I felt so immersed in this world, in this experience. From the beautifully crafted story, immaculate worldbuilding, phenomenal gameplay and combat, and dare I say the best boss battles I have ever witnessed in a video game, this game does it all. There wasn't a moment in this game where I wasn't enthralled by the sheer spectacle this game put me through. The cast and their dynamics were beautiful, especially between the two brothers, the world building was so thick yet so easily accessible, I felt like I could get lost just reading about Valisthea and it's history, and god man, when this game peaked it peaked. Each boss battle had me exhilarated and on the edge of my seat, and the soundtrack as well was just gorgeous, captured exactly how the scene felt every time. And the flexibility of the gameplay allows for even the longest battles to never get dull. I am trying to be vague so I won't go into spoiler territory, but I wish I could just list ever single time Clive's Journey took my breath away. Please play this game, you will not regret it.

I don't get what other people are seeing here! I've played around 15-20 hours of this, and I just can't get into it. I think the story may get more interesting later on, and I do really like the characters, but the gameplay just doesn't hit for me. Every side quest feels like an MMO "go find this for me," and even the bombastic main quest moments feel like they completely take away any player agency during pivotal story moments. Let me play as the big summons! Don't show it to me like I am and just give me button prompts! I'll fully admit I might be missing something here, but after trying to get into it for so long, I just really don't want to keep playing.

I think the best way I could describe Final Fantasy XVI is that it’s one of the most “it’s so over -> we’re so back -> (repeat)” games ever

My favourite part of XVI was the combat, which didn’t feel like it got old even once for me. It was one of those types of gameplay that got better as you got further, especially with the amount of Eikons you get to unlock and chain together (Titan my beloved). I liked the story and Clive is easily one of my favourite protagonists in the franchise, I wasn’t too sure how I’d feel about him at first but he ended up growing on me a ton. And of course the boss fights were just perfect, with my favourites being Odin, Titan and Bahamut. There wasn’t a single one that didn’t have me at least slightly locked in, whether it was in Clive’s regular form or as Ifrit

With all that said though… I do kinda wish I ended up liking this game more? Don’t get me wrong I did really like it, but my god the lows of this game were enough to get in the way. I don’t think I need to say much about the pacing and amount of fetch quests this game throws at you out of nowhere since many people have said the same thing about them (for good reasons too). The part after the Titan battle especially because god that felt like it took foooorever to get through. I did enjoy the final parts but at that point, it did feel like it overstayed its welcome and I was more than ready for the game to be finished during the last few chapters

Despite all of that though, I enjoyed my time with XVI and felt that the ending was a satisfying one for me. I do wish I could call it one of my favourite Final Fantasy games, because it easily has so many parts that would make me think that if it wasn’t for the issues I had. If I spent a full £70 on this back when it first released, I would’ve been way more conflicted about it, so I’m more than glad that I waited. But with all that said, XVI was one that I liked and can definitely see why it was GOTY for many people

Would have loved to see a party based system with this level of polish. Great game with a twisty plot.