I am a MASSIVE Final Fantasy fanboy, hell I even loved Stranger of Paradise and staunchly defended Final Fantasy 13 but for some reason Final Fantasy 16’s marketing was doing absolutely nothing for me.
As the trailers for Final Fantasy 16 were released, many fans, including myself, grew increasingly worried about the future of the beloved franchise. It seemed that the game was straying from its traditional roots and trying to emulate a different gaming style. However, upon its release, Final Fantasy 16 proved to be a delightful surprise, captivating players with its engaging gameplay, enthralling storyline, and a nostalgic soundtrack that tugged at our heartstrings. While the game wasn’t perfect, it succeeded in rekindling the essence of what makes Final Fantasy so cherished among fans worldwide.
A Fearful Beginning
Initially, my concerns revolved around the gameplay of Final Fantasy 16. As a longtime fan of turn-based combat in the series, the idea of it taking on a more action-packed style akin to Devil May Cry was disheartening. But to my surprise, this deviation turned out to be one of the game’s most significant strengths. The combat system added a layer of excitement and intensity to every encounter, making playing as Clive or harnessing the power of Ifrit feel genuinely epic. Even minor battles became events filled with adrenaline-pumping action, breaking away from the mold of traditional Final Fantasy gameplay.
An Unfolding Epic
One of the most captivating aspects of Final Fantasy 16 was its gripping storyline. Taking on the role of Clive and witnessing his quest for vengeance kept me glued to my controller. The game was a masterful blend of Game of Thrones-inspired twists and turns, which I dare not spoil for those yet to embark on this captivating journey. Each story beat unfolded like a well-crafted novel, with emotional highs and lows that left me eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
A Symphony of Nostalgia
Among the elements that made Final Fantasy 16 truly exceptional was its breathtaking soundtrack. The game ingeniously combined classic Final Fantasy symphonies with modern, epic-inspired orchestral masterpieces. Each musical note brought a rush of nostalgia, reminding players of the unforgettable moments in the franchise’s history. The soundtrack served as a testament to the game’s deep-rooted connection with its legacy, invoking powerful emotions that resonated long after the credits rolled.
A World of Lost Potential
While Final Fantasy 16 boasted numerous strengths, it wasn’t without its flaws. The game’s side quests, in particular, left much to be desired. Rather than presenting immersive world-building experiences typical of the genre, Final Fantasy 16 inundated players with mundane fetch quests that did little to enhance the overall experience. This aspect felt like a missed opportunity, as more meaningful side quests could have enriched the game’s world further and offered players a more varied and fulfilling gameplay experience.
In the end, Final Fantasy 16 breathed new life into a franchise that many feared was waning. Despite initial concerns, the game managed to impress with its exciting and action-packed gameplay, a gripping and unpredictable storyline, and a mesmerizing soundtrack that paid homage to the series’ illustrious past. While the inclusion of lackluster side quests was disappointing, it did not detract significantly from the overall experience. With its triumphant return to form, Final Fantasy 16 earned a well-deserved 9/10 rating, leaving me eagerly anticipating what the future holds for this iconic franchise.
Written by Luke.
Edited by Jackson.