final fantasy 16 ifrit

Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Developer: Creative Business Unit III
Publisher: Square Enix
Price: $69.99

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of how this game plays all over the internet, and you want to know (if you haven’t bought the game already) how it measures up. Final Fantasy 16 is a highly anticipated action RPG that has been praised for its stunning visuals, epic story, and exciting combat. The game follows Clive Rosfield, a young nobleman who embarks on a journey to avenge the death of his father. Along the way, he must master the power of Eikons, powerful creatures with abilities that are used by people called dominants. This concept is actually very similar to a very popular anime called Naruto where each nation has a chosen individual that can control these gigantic beasts that reside within them.

The combat in Final Fantasy 16 is fast-paced and flashy, with a wide variety of combos and abilities to choose from. Players can also summon Eikons to turn the tide of battle. The combat is incredibly customizable, thanks to the wide variety of weapons, abilities, and Eikons that players can choose from. Honestly, it’s probably the biggest highlight in Final Fantasy 16, due to just how complex you want it to be. The most controversial amongst hardcore gamers and fans alike is a set of rings, that basically puts this game into auto-pilot for you.

Captured on PS5

These rings of…timely abilities (strikes, evade, heal, etc.) take out all the heavy lifting of having to practice your combos until your hands go numb and lets you mash the square button till kingdom come, landing all of those flashy, satisfying combos and brutal finishers anyway. And it gets better as you gain more abilities, which are given to you based on the Eikons (most commonly known as Summons) you have in your tool belt. The Eikons in this game all have something unique to them – magical attacks. Most of them have elements such as Ifrit and his fire abilities, or Shiva and her ice.

What’s peculiar to me is the exclusion of elemental and magical advantages or disadvantages that are in past Final Fantasy games. In this game, they serve absolutely no purpose and are treated as regular OP attacks. The targeting system in FF16 isn’t great at all, however. To switch targets, you have to press R3 instead of moving it left or right like in most games. Because of this, I don’t use target lock when there are three or more enemies on and/or off-screen. Your skill tree is dependent on the Eikons you acquire. You can choose to spend or reset points and use them to unlock whatever abilities fit your play style. You gain ability points as you level up or sometimes as a gift via The Patron’s Whisper station in the hideout.

Grinding for experience points to level up and make Clive stronger doesn’t feel punishing or unbalanced. You could unlock most abilities fairly quickly, especially if you have gear equipped that boosts the rate at which it’s gained. Another interesting change to this game is the lack of party customization and skill trees. Even though the main focus is on Clive, it would’ve been fun to be able to customize party members, such as Jill or Cid, to enhance the combat experience even more. Although I did miss this aspect, it didn’t hinder my experience and allowed me to focus more on Clive’s loadout ranging from special moves to the weapons and armor.

Hunts are another great feature, it’s basically a bounty-hunting system that rewards you with experience points, items, weapons, armor, and money. Battling the enemies you’re hunting can be challenging at times, especially the higher you go in alphabetical rank a la Devil May Cry. My only complaint is you can’t track your hunts in your journal. I had to either rely on memory when doing consecutive hunts or go back to the hideout every time I wanted to find the location of my target.

Source: Square Enix’s Instagram page

As I mentioned in my first impressions, the story is a dark and gritty tale of revenge and redemption and feels Game of Thrones-ish with certain tropes that are commonly seen in TV or movies based in medieval times. In my opinion, it’s because of this that made some parts feel predictable while also keeping you pleasantly surprised with other plot twists and turns that’ll keep you glued to your screen. Although the story does well with drama and theatrics, I didn’t find myself becoming attached to any of the characters…except for Cid. Has there ever been a game where no one liked Cid?

Source: Square Enix’s Instagram page

The visuals in Final Fantasy 16 are stunning, to say the least. The game is set in a beautiful and diverse world that is brought to life with stunning graphics. The character models are also top-notch, and the combat animations are incredibly fluid. With over-the-top fight scenes and flashy theatrics everywhere, combined with some thrilling combat to boot, Final Fantasy 16 is an experience you shouldn’t pass up. With a solid rating of 8 out of 10, it’s well worth the money at full price and would be one hell of a deal whenever the price drops.

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