Final Fantasy 16: The Best The Series Has Been In Ages

Final Fantasy 16 is a spectacular accomplishment that breathes fresh life into Square Enix’s iconic RPG game and may be the finest the series has been in more than 20 years. It is a daring and dangerous swing towards action for the series.

A exciting episodic plot packed with massive action set pieces and touching moments between endearing characters can be found in Final Fantasy 16, which chooses a more linear approach to the open-world immersion Nintendo perfected with recent Zelda games.

With its globe map and distinct zones, it has a PlayStation 2-era feel to it, but the PlayStation 5’s capability enables world-class cinematics for an original tale. Thanks to dynamic surroundings and a significant amount of side missions focusing on the Valisthean populace, Final Fantasy 16 seems just as expansive and even more immersive than your typical “open world” game. The specific something that makes Final Fantasy 16 unique is captured best by the care and attention to detail.

In order to illustrate how damaged individuals cope in a gloomy world where magic’s presence is both a blessing and a curse, it boldly employs subtle gestures. Intimate moments balance out the main story’s rapid and oftentimes bombastic pace, whether it is a lover’s gentle caress or a brother’s fun poke to the chest.

What’s Final Fantasy 16 about?

Final Fantasy 16

The once-beautiful world of Valisthea is now plagued by a corrupting Blight that is driving six kingdoms to battle for the enormous Crystals that the population depends on for magical energy. You take on the role of Clive Rosfield, the Duke of Rosaria’s eldest son and the sibling Joshua’s protector. Joshua is a Dominant who acts as the host for the Eikon Phoenix, a supernatural entity of unfathomable power, like a select few other people in this universe. For pretty much everyone concerned, it is a frustrating complication for the weaker Joshua to host Phoenix. Because of her Malfoy-like devotion to blood purity, Clive’s mother despises him for this turn of events.

At least Clive gets a cute dog named Torgal. And his father’s love.

We follow Clive’s adventure through three separate historical periods as he battles and harnesses the power of the world’s Eikons in an effort to rescue mankind from the conflicting legacy of the crystals after a terrible occurrence sets him on a road of revenge.

Like the finest Final Fantasy 16 examines how trauma influences courage and what it takes to persist in the face of overwhelming adversity. This is a mature, grim tale. But it only means that when decent people stand up for what is right, the light shines that much brighter.

Although Final Fantasy 16 may appear to be dressing up as Game of Thrones, it is actually far more imaginative than iterative in that sense. Producer Naoki Yoshida has said that the game’s first core development team viewed the full HBO series in order to replicate the more Western “feel” of Westeros. This mostly includes of things like overt similarities between the Rosfields and the Starks, as well as how much the interaction between Clive and Togoral mirrors that between Jon Snow and Ghost. There is also a man who resembles Hodor so strikingly that it makes one want to wince.

Your worries that this would only be a hollow replica of that epic, however, will fast disappear.

Final Fantasy 16 approaches Game of Thrones with equal parts adoration and scepticism. This game goes in a thematically different path for every feature that seems to pay mindless homage to the series, with its narrative emphasis on compassion and sensitivity eventually serving as a type of critique of Game of Thrones’ nihilism.

Leave torture porn and meaningless incest alone. A tale that is filled with passion, significance, and refinement is told in Final Fantasy 16, without a doubt, better. The political machinations, huge battles, intense fighting, and adult tone that we love about Game of Thrones are all present here. However, Crystals and Dominants imply Valisthea is dripping with magic, whereas Westeros is a dismal location for wretched people with relatively little magic. People are frantically seeking healing and freedom from the corrupt forces in charge of everything in this sick and hazardous environment. Characters adopt a Ted Lasso style of sincere closeness to do this. They do not always engage in world-saving combat. To save their loved ones, they struggle.

Daenerys Targaryen did not “break the wheel,” despite her claims to the contrary. However, Clive is on a much more fulfilling quest to overthrow the crystals’ centuries-old order.

Imagine if a select group of people possessed godlike abilities. How does that characterise entire societies and families? How may the world’s political swindlers influence such beings for their own gain? How many Dominants would abuse their authority in a despotic manner? Not to mention the Bearers, who are randomly endowed with low-level magical abilities and are treated as slaves by society. Their forced, deadly facial tattoos cause them to be branded as “Branded” from an early age. They then spend a lifetime utilising magic to keep flames burning for the wealthy while draining their own life force, only for their entire body to crystallise.

Perhaps since Clive himself carries the Brand, Final Fantasy 16 spends a lot of time focusing on the fate of the Bearers. Since they have been oppressed for so many centuries, all of the Valisthean cultures are characterised by brutality towards them. Many religious fanatics view them as a sin against nature that needs to be atoned for, and the majority are subjected to slavery and regarded as second-class people. All cruelty stems from magic, and Bearers are the ones who experience it the most.

In this game’s universe, almost everyone is white, hence most of those who were unfortunate enough to be born with magic are also known as Bearers. It is clear that the Bearers function as a form of reflection on actual oppressive structures, although the environment of the game does feel somewhat removed from these issues due to its overwhelming whiteness.

As a result of Valisthea’s reliance on the Crystals, Dominants, and Bearers for so long, magic appears to be the sole genuine form of money in this dystopian post-capitalist society. Everywhere there is trauma, but instead of focusing on how hopeless it all is, Final Fantasy 16 shows how individuals can fight through it and recover.

These earthly issues ultimately give way to larger cosmic battles, as in so many Final Fantasy 16 games, and the mythology’ expansive scope is one of the most intriguing in franchise history. Even the most devoted followers who have seen every Final Fantasy 16 teaser will be in the dark.

Clive’s search brings him into contact with Cid the Outlaw, the attractive outlaw with a kind heart who lives in Final Fantasy 16 (FF16). Cid’s lofty aspirations and roguish charm come through as grounded in a lifetime of experience thanks to actor Ralph Ineson’s legendary portrayal. He never misses an opportunity to use magic to start another smoke that is much too long, and he never holds back from imparting wisdom while speaking with a gravely, gruff accent that is heavy with years of remorse. From beginning to end, he serves as the narrative’s driving force, and Ineson’s Cid is a scene-stealer who will go down in history as one of the greatest Final Fantasy 16 characters ever.

However, the cast as a whole doesn’t have any weak links. As Clive, the lead actor Ben Starr portrays him with the exact gravity needed to make him a likeable edgelord.

If there is anything wrong with Valisthea, it is that she isn’t more diverse. The design idea was always centred on the “historical, cultural, political, and anthropological standards” of mediaeval Europe, producer Naoki Yoshida told IGN in November 2022. In other words, these civilizations only represent a small portion of the world and are mostly distinct variants on white, mediaeval patriarchies that appear recognisable, like Transylvania or England. Obviously, the Dhalmekian Republic in the game has Middle Eastern codes. Hugo Kupka, the Titan’s Dhalmekian Dominant, however, looks white. As a result, the main cast becomes excessively homogeneous.

In a world where a young blonde child may change into a huge fire bird, a more meaningful approach to diversity does not seem too absurd.

Final Fantasy 16 Combat

The gaming mechanics of Final Fantasy 16 are radically different from previous entries in the series, yet the game’s strong emphasis on action seems like a long overdue progression. The turn-based strategic combat of the earlier games has been gradually abandoned since Final Fantasy X, but Final Fantasy 16 makes a bold leap that is immensely rewarding, especially if you’ve ever fantasised about kicking a Chocobo in the stomach.

The combat has elements from The Witcher and early God of War games, but it also has a lot of similarities to Final Fantasy VII Remake, Kingdom Hearts, and the Nier titles, but at a quicker speed. This entails using Clive’s greatsword in battle, deflecting opponent blows, activating potent Eikonic powers with cooldowns, and occasionally transforming into a gigantic, extremely strong Eikon. The “Stagger” combat mechanism from the FF7 Remake is quite important here as well, motivating you to go all out within a brief window when you deliver additional damage.

Timed dodges and parries are just the beginning of Clive’s extensive repertoire of skills. For each Eikon, Clive can only unlock a small number of skills, and he may equip a maximum of six skills from all the different skill trees, all of which are assigned to the same button combinations. You could execute a vicious uppercut by holding R2 and pressing triangle to sweep a Phoenix wing upward. In Final Fantasy 16, Clive powers up to a “Semi-Prime” state that is functionally comparable to Kratos’ Rage, both in its flaming looks and in its ability to restore life. This Limit Break mechanic—a strong strike fueled by absorbing and inflicting damage—appears.

In the midst of combat, Clive will sometimes cry out the names of the different Eikons he has channelled as he switches between their magical abilities. He summons the air harpy’s enormous claws to rend at foes and shouts out in a fit of frenzied despair, “Garudaaa!?” A pleasant degree of detail that adds to the realism is the impression that the tone varies just a little bit depending on how the combat is progressing.

Final Fantasy 16’s combat is hard to put down because of its furious, scorching fury. The simpler, more rhythmic flow of combat is only enhanced by epic small touches like Clive shouting out to specific Eikons. Final Fantasy 16 supports a range of playstyles because to the lack of element type benefits and the abundance of powers available to you.

However, the item economy occasionally seems a little underdeveloped. The majority of the treasure you find in the overworld and after conflicts consists of commonplace objects like Wyrrite, a stone, or standard Sharp Fang. They are used to upgrade and build gear, although doing so feels quite routine and compulsory. Over time, carrying thousands of Bloody Hides begins to seem a little foolish.

A high point for the RPG series

Final Fantasy 16 recounts an episodic tale about the roles performed by Valisthea’s numerous Eikons across the roughly 70 hours it takes to complete the game.

There is a pattern at work here: Before you proceed to battle a deity, explore a new area of Valisthea, conduct a number of errands for a local kingpin, making them your lifelong buddy. You’ll meet new individuals along the way and solve any issues the most recent Dominant is causing. Some of the best gaming shows come from the inevitable fights between each Eikon.

However, each Eikon’s Dominant eventually turns out to be a tragic character who is equally a victim and a deity. It has the effect of watching several seasons of a television programme because of how frequently they are in the limelight. Garuda’s Dominant Benedikta swiftly establishes herself as a villain in Act 1 who used magic to vape in her very first appearance. She is a lady who uses her sexuality and power for personal gain. She can first come out as an old-fashioned stereotype. But there’s so much intricacy seething beneath the surface, just like every significant character.

The “Semi-Prime” state is a scaled-down form of this that improves their inherent skills (Clive’s Limit Break). Dominants “Prime” to call their Eikon, channelling a significant amount of magical Aether at the price of straining their body. There is no better rush than Semi-Priming a couple of thieves who are robbing a beautiful innkeeper of her coin.

BACK OF THE BOX QUOTE“Haven’t you always wanted to punch a chocobo?”
TYPE OF GAMEAction role-playing game set in a magic-heavy
Game of Thrones-esque world with an epic story.
LIKEDCombat is thrilling, progression has satisfying ties to
the narrative, side quests make the world feel more realistic.
DISLIKEDLoot economy, lack of diversity in cast, goes
too hard on the Game of Thrones vibes at times.
PLATFORMSPlayStation 5
RELEASE DATEJune 22, 2023
PLAYED70+ hours.

With all the powering up and down, Final Fantasy 16 becomes very anime, yet it somehow never becomes stale. When acting as Ifrit, Clive can launch fireballs like Goku does with a kamehameha, but the beast is as swift as he is powerful, scaling entire mountains to reach his more mobile foes. Additionally, because each Eikon is the warden of a distinct element, each encounter presents a completely unique set of difficulties. Face-to-face combat with Titan, for example, is quite different from dealing with the other outstanding foes since he looms above you and has authority over the whole world. Though no two confrontations between Eikons are same, if they took place in the wrong location, any one of them might very easily wipe out an entire city.

A greater cosmic struggle that explores the purpose of being by focusing on the abstract and metaphysical is hidden below these more earthly issues. Without conscious thought and free will, what are we? Does having free will make us slaves to pain and desire? How crucial is it that we follow our dreams? Final Fantasy 16 eventually succeeds in saying something really profound about identity, connection, and accepting the immense mystery of life while honouring the strength of the human heart by posing these huge issues. I find myself wondering how much Neon Genesis Evangelion had on this.

The game tends towards softer interpersonal interactions despite its investment in large-scale fights between Dominants. Many of the side missions are so straightforward that they border on being too easy. For example, one side quest can ask you to visit a location highlighted on the map, listen to someone speak, kill some bandits, and then reward yourself with a number of bloodied hides. You can’t help but fall in love with this universe as much as Clive does because of the several excellent voice performances and well-written character journeys.

Come for the Kaiju battles, but stay for the heartfelt adventures delving into the convoluted and honourable past of the local blacksmith who lives in your lair.

What does it mean to be a Final Fantasy 16?

In an interview with Push Square from May 2023, Yoshi-P discusses what makes the series unique:

“My response is basic,” he declared. In order to qualify as a Final Fantasy, a game must have the finest plot, visuals, and fighting system, as well as a tonne of other stuff, like Chocobos, Moogles, and fantastic audio. And the supporters will despise you forever if you’re missing even one of them.

However, despite all chances, Final Fantasy 16 provides all of the aforementioned in plenty. At the time, it seemed like a sly acknowledgment that you can’t please everyone.

Yoshi-P has acknowledged that the series “struggling.” Final Fantasy XV is a long cry from the 1990s heyday of the franchise, yet being incredibly underestimated. It makes me think of the predicament Hironobu Sakaguchi had when working at Square in the 1980s: He gave his all to creating one last game for a firm on the verge of going out of business, and they dubbed it Final Fantasy.

I’m thrilled about a new mainline Final Fantasy game for the first time in a long time. It’s past due.


Will Final Fantasy 16 have romance?

Themes of love and romance will be present throughout the narrative even though Final Fantasy 16 promises a darker, more adult experience.

Who is the main girl in Final Fantasy?

There is a case can be made for Celes to be just as significant as Terra, even though Terra is commonly regarded as Final Fantasy 6’s primary protagonist.

Also Read: In Huge New Sale Nintendo Switch-Exclusive Games Are Discounted

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Riya Kapoor

Riya Kapoor writes about lifestyle, entertainment, news and gadgets. She has been in this industry for almost 4 years now. She is a graduate from Delhi University with English Hons and had deep connection with writing since her childhood.

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