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Final Fantasy XVI

ファイナルファンタジーXVI

Developers: Square EnixPlatinumGames Publisher: Square Enix
22 June 2023
Final Fantasy XVI [ファイナルファンタジーXVI] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.71 / 5.0
0.5
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221 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#675 All-time
#22 for 2023
13 years after bearing witness to the destruction of his kingdom following a deadly coup, Clive Rosfield is an indentured soldier fighting in a pyrrhic war. After a failed assassination attempt on the Iron Kingdom's Dominant of the Eikon Shiva leads him to reconvene with a childhood friend, Clive embarks on a personal journey to avenge his family, discover his true nature, and restore a world ravaged by its reliance on the magical properties of the Mothercrystals.
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Title
This game wears its influences on its sleeve and a lot of it feels like a cheap imitation of those. It does have some merits however.

First, let's start with the poor design choices, after that, the good, or at least better ones.

Things I think this game does poorly:
- Most of your time is spent watching cutscenes. There is absolutely no environmental storytelling or subtle exposition through gameplay. I do not buy and play videogames to watch a movie or read notes and lore pages. This is not a movie, nor a book.

- Quick time events are dumb and do not add actual gameplay or immersion and do not excuse excessive use of cutscenes.

- Holding R2 after pressing X to open a door is not immersive or interesting gameplay. It is a dumb way to forcefully add haptic feedback "gameplay" which is probably some criterium laid on by Sony.

- Itemization and loot in general is very uninteresting and most of the time worthless. New items are just +damage +whatever and there is never a real choice to consider what equipment you will use. New items are always better. Tying equipment progression to crafting is also not interesting. The only (somewhat) interesting gear choice is in the amulets, but even those provide mostly boring effects like reducing cooldowns or an increase of +% damage.

- Expanding on the previous point, exploration is never rewarded and always felt like a disappointment.

- Most of the characters are uninteresting or bland. This is true for a lot of the main characters, all of which I didn't care for or disliked, but especially so for the side characters. Not only in their personality, but also in their design. Most characters look like random MMO quest npc's.

- Side quests are a complete waste of time and uninteresting pretty much all of the time. They only exist to prolong the game length, in other words; to waste your time.

- The game is very repetitive. In the main story you go to fight another dominant, first in human form, then eikon form. Cinematic quick time events, another surprise phase 3 eikon battle, absorb their power, rinse repeat until the end.

- Environments felt uninspired. Breath of the wild has a big influence here, in the design of quite a few enemies and environments.

Some positives:
+ The combat is fun, though simple and too easy in the regular game.

+ Graphic effects during combat are cool end the abilities feel great and powerful. Combining abilities is fun.

+ Story is interesting enough and had some good moments. Unfortunately let down by bland characters and poor character design.

+ Eikon fights are cool, but again, riddled with cutscenes and quick time events.

+ Most monster designs were very cool, Eikons especially looked great.

Conclusion
Overall I guess I enjoyed my time with this because the combat was cool, but on the other hand it felt like a huge waste of time, which is a shame because there is a lot of potential. It is clear they were inspired by the latest Zelda games, The Witcher, Game of Thrones and even Souls games. But never did it really get interesting enough to set it apart or provide a unique and worthwhile experience.

The only compliment I can really give is in regards to the combat design, which carried the game, but was unfortunately overshadowed by poor storytelling and lack of gameplay.
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etc_ 2023-07-26T12:24:23Z
2023-07-26T12:24:23Z
2.0
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Title
This game took me several months to finish for a variety of reasons, so in lieu of a structured review, I'll simply list my thoughts in a list.

- My biggest complaint about the game is the side quests. They do a lot to add to the lore, but they don’t add much for the gameplay, most of them being simple fetch quests with mediocre dialogue and no real reward. I decided early on that I would finish all of them, which was perhaps a mistake on my part, but it was tedious and not very fun. Similarly, I feel like they could have folded the hunts into the side quests, since so many of the side quests were straight-up boring. Still, there were a few quests worth doing that advanced the plot of the main characters. While I wish the game had denoted these more important quests, I'm at least glad I did them.

- The gameplay rules. You can tell it’s the FFXIV team who worked on this because they used a lot of the same MMO-driven design philosophies in an action game. The two that stick out to me are the enemy telegraphs (sometimes literally a giant AOE marker on the floor) and the rotational gameplay that keeps things feeling smooth. It’s really satisfying to hit a groove with your three eikons, switching back and forth as needed and filling time with combos and Torgal commands. They break that smoothness occasionally, and most disappointingly with Ramuh and Odin, but it’s overall a solid loop. The boss battles were also a huge positive; while I don't typically love active time events, they made the battles feel even more cinematic. The massive fights between the classic summons were so cool as a diehard FF fan!

- The combat does get a little stale at the end of the game. I think this is mostly because the last few eikons don’t synergize particularly well with the others. Odin, for example, is reasonably strong if you stay in his abilities, but loses impact if you switch to another eikon. Bahamut is super strong, but casting megaflare by sitting and dodging isn’t so fun. Even Shiva, who I like the most of the last three, has weird spacing in her attacks. This is compounded by the lack of enemy variability at this point in the game; there’s nothing that I haven’t really seen before except behemoths. Still, it's hard to complain even in the final boss, which challenges you to use everything as efficiently as possible.

- A minor note here, but the difficulty was mostly too easy. I'm not really complaining, since I'm glad I wasn't constantly struggling through the story portions, but it would have been nice if there was a choice to use hard mode from the beginnning.

- Minor complaint, but the scale of the world is off, somehow. The entire world seems like I could walk it in a day or two, but there’s all these different cultures and stuff. It’s not a bad thing per se, but it breaks immersion a little bit.

- Another minor note, but the voice acting is mostly just fantastic.

- The story is mostly just “good,” and the stuff about freeing the bearers is a little platitude-y. But the philosophical questions with Ultima are actually really interesting. Ultima is a god who made mankind just to see some greater vision fulfilled; free will was an irritating accident. That clash of wills between man and god is actually fairly interesting, where they both want opposing outcomes for the world. It’s an interesting thing to think about, and I wonder a bit if it’s meant to critique a particular religion or if it’s simply a philosophical question. You don’t often see fantasy stories where the god is mostly irritated about the whole free will thing. I think this carried through to the ending, which was satisfying, if a little cliche.

- I didn't love Jill's characterization. I think she's a strong female character until she isn't, at which point she just loses all agency and feels like a very basic love interest. I felt like she could have maintained a stronger force throughout the game's story instead of just acting as a support to Clive. It's weird though, because I also like their story as a couple? I dunno, it's complicated. I think that's the trouble, they could have just made her stronger on her own and also made her a love interest for Clive.

Overall, it's a very good game and one that I was stoked to play. While there's small things I would change about it, I think it's a great addition to the series.
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- The side quests do a lot to add to the lore, but they don’t add much for the gameplay. They’re mostly simple fetch quests. I almost feel like they could have folded the hunts into the side quests somehow, since I want some action in them as well. Still, they are just charming enough that I am doing all of them.
- The gameplay rules. You can tell it’s the FFXIV team who worked on this because they used a lot of the same design philosophies in an action game. The two that stick out to me are the enemy telegraphs (sometimes literally a giant AOE marker on the floor) and the rotational gameplay that keeps things feeling smooth. It’s really satisfying to hit a groove with your three eikons, switching back and forth as needed and filling time with combos and Torgal commands. They break that smoothness occasionally, and most disappointingly with Ramuh, but it’s overall a solid loop.
- The scale of the world is off, somehow. The entire world seems like I could walk it in a day or two, but there’s all these different cultures and stuff. It’s not a bad thing per se, but it breaks immersion a little bit.
- The story is mostly just “good,” and the stuff about freeing bearers is a little platitude-y. But the philosophical questions with Ultima are actually really interesting. Ultima is a god who made mankind just to see some greater vision fulfilled; free will was an irritating accident. That clash of wills between man and god is actually fairly interesting, where they both want opposing outcomes for the world. It’s an interesting thing to think about, and I wonder a bit if it’s meant to critique a particular religion or if it’s simply a philosophical question. You don’t often see fantasy stories where the god is mostly irritated about the whole free will thing.
- The combat has gotten a little stale at the end of the game. I think this is mostly because the last few eikons don’t synergize particularly well with the others. Odin, for example, is reasonably strong if you stay in his abilities, but loses impact if you switch to another eikon. Bahamut is super strong, but casting megaflare by sitting and dodging isn’t so fun. Even Shiva, who I like the most of the last three, has weird spacing in her attacks. This is compounded by the lack of enemy variability at this point in the game; there’s nothing that I haven’t really seen before except behemoths.
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teriyaki_dreams 2023-07-17T09:03:17Z
2023-07-17T09:03:17Z
4.0
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Final Fantasy XVI is a return to form for the series after almost two decades of MMORPG and Kingdom Hearts-esque excursions into animé drudgery. The story retains some of the semi-complex lore and labyrinthine politics that were typical of the PS2, PS3 and PS4 titles, but ultimately 'rests its laurels' on some solid character development and interactions to drive the story. The heavily telegraphed Devil May Cry-esque gameplay confused a lot of 'fans' and drove them to compare this game to Square-Enix's 'ace-in-the-hole' Final Fantasy 7 Remake project.

Despite the noise from gamers who don't know any better, Final Fantasy XVI will stand the test of time as a solid mainline entry.
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MoaM 2023-11-18T01:36:13Z
2023-11-18T01:36:13Z
4.0
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Pacing issues and underdeveloped characters (mainly Jill) keep this game from achieving it's true potential, despite the very engaging gameplay and great visuals.
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rened22 2023-11-01T15:57:52Z
2023-11-01T15:57:52Z
4.0
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Having been a loyal fan of the "Final Fantasy" series for decades, I've witnessed and appreciated the various shifts and transformations that Square has undergone to evolve its franchise. While some of their experiments have borne fruit and others have stumbled, they've always exhibited a willingness to innovate and understand the market. However, "Final Fantasy XVI" stands out negatively not because of its shift towards action-oriented gameplay, but due to its failure to understand and meet contemporary industry benchmarks under all aspects except graphics.

First and foremost, it's difficult to categorize this as an action RPG, for it seems to lack any RPG element whatsoever. The main inspiration for the gameplay seems to be the last couple of “God of War” chapters, and I know it sounds like a joke to say that even those two games have more prominent RPG elements than “Final Fantasy XVI”. Not only there is no party other than a dog sidekick you can’t even customize or upgrade, but the skill tree is also ridiculous, and there are not even statuses or elemental strengths and weaknesses to add depth and strategy to the combat. Combat mostly boils down to button mashing and nervous dodging. There are macro-areas, but they are all empty with nothing to motivate the player to explore and collect loot. Sometimes you cross empty valleys and deserts to pick up 3 gils or a potion. The equipment, crafting, and shop system are barebone, further undermining the drive for loot or pre-battle strategizing. On top of that, there are no puzzles nor side activities other than hunting.

Alternatively, if we regarded it as a pure action game, the combat system is astonishingly rudimentary, failing to hold its own against titles like "Devil May Cry." There are no combos, no attack synergy, no variables.

The game does, however, excel in lore and world-building, though it's essential to note that major cities on the map remain inaccessible, experienced merely through battle sequences and cutscenes. A substantial portion of the map is also off-limits, owing to an in-game plague that destroyed most areas. The plot has been mentioned as one of the redeeming factors, but while I have to say it’s not bad, it doesn’t stand out enough to make the game worth playing. The writers' clear infatuation with "Game of Thrones" is evident in world-building and character design, yet the comparison paints "Final Fantasy XVI" as a simplified and juvenile rendition of Martin's world. Characters are largely one-dimensional, often presented in blocks before meeting their end as bosses in an arcade-like progression. Their interactions barely influence or alter the plot, which typically follows a pattern of introducing and defeating the villain of the week. Though the initial hours are tainted by predictable plot twists and stereotypical fantasy tropes, the overarching narrative gets dangerously close to the plot of "Tales of Arise" in its latter stages. The quality of cutscenes is laudable, especially during intense combat phases. The Eikon battles are sparse but reach a level of visual impact only comparable to the Greek gods battles in “God of War III”.

People have been bashing Final Fantasy XIII mostly for its linear nature, but now it seems that it’s not a big deal as far as it’s directed by Yoshida? At least Final Fantasy XIII was shorter and, most of all, more layered with its combat dynamics and RPG elements. “Final Fantasy XVI” might have been just as satisfactory if the good bits were condensed into a 10/15 hour experience. Alas, players are confronted with a 40+ hour ordeal, with at least three-quarters comprising verbose cutscenes that elucidate the obvious and drudging fetch quests.


I'll abstain from overly critiquing the sidequests, as they often hobble similar titles. Yet, it's ridiculous that completing the main plot necessitates engaging in quests like "talk to A, then relay A's message to B, report back to C, then return to A to report what you've heard from B and C. But don’t forget to get back to where B was to give him back this thing." Some quests even seem to challenge players' intelligence, like the one where you're tasked with investigating the disappearance of a girl working at a brothel. The mistress of the brothel gives you the quest, and she has two other employees. Speaking with one of them, right in front of you, yields all the answers required. Definitely a job we only could do, isn’t it? Another instance involves searching for a man who has gone missing in the forest, and, conveniently, he's to be found a few meters away from the entrance. There’s also a weird main quest where you must choose a partner to go and pick up sand at the beach or go shopping, which resolves in merely getting there and picking up the things, with no battle or revelatory dialogue whatsoever. What was the point of even choosing a partner?? Maybe these are things that may work when you fool around with friends in an MMO, but definitely not in a single-player experience already burdened with tedious tasks.


Pacing is further brought down by the purely Japanese custom of sandwiching dialogues, particularly quest-related conversations, between unskippable camera movements, fade-ins, fade-outs, accept buttons, congratulatory graphics, reward screens, little jingles, etc. This indicates a glaring lack of understanding of quality of life in a video game.


While "Final Fantasy XV" succumbed to its ambitions, the polar opposite dilemma plagues "Final Fantasy XVI." Understandably, Square had to play it extremely safe as the saga is in a precarious position, yet in a market inundated with "passive" generic experiences, it's doubtful that this entry will endure in memory after a couple of years.
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TurnerClassicGaming ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-27T20:41:49Z
2024-02-27T20:41:49Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Banana_PD ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-22T21:41:22Z
2024-02-22T21:41:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
col10 ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-20T01:04:39Z
2024-02-20T01:04:39Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
808wtf ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-19T06:34:08Z
2024-02-19T06:34:08Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kouto ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-16T09:01:14Z
2024-02-16T09:01:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Dellamorte ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-14T18:36:33Z
2024-02-14T18:36:33Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aeTH74 ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-13T21:08:05Z
2024-02-13T21:08:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
brianhassler ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-09T12:00:13Z
2024-02-09T12:00:13Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
enragedlobster ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-07T18:19:57Z
2024-02-07T18:19:57Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dooberson ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-02-07T15:54:37Z
2024-02-07T15:54:37Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
QuodDixi3161 ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-01-31T02:54:32Z
2024-01-31T02:54:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
geckoo ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-01-24T01:44:13Z
2024-01-24T01:44:13Z
4.5
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: D
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Blu-ray
Franchises
Also known as
  • Final Fantasy XVI
  • View all [1] Hide

Comments

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  • Previous comments (166) Loading...
  • Einfinet 2023-12-30 03:04:41.880914+00
    This shit is long as fuck. Many of the side quests are a waste of time and the dialogue is so repetitive on some sentimental bullshit. But I’m committed to seeing it through.
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  • Einfinet 2023-12-30 18:56:37.872956+00
    Ending made me tear up a bit
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  • Yattaze 2024-01-20 17:53:44.542008+00
    If they had got rid of all the boring side-quests and filler, focused on the combat and setpieces and called this "Final Fantasy Revengeance", it would be heralded as GOTY
    reply
    • salem_3 2024-02-10 01:29:20.616438+00
      agree with everything but the name change, final fantasy is taking a new direction in its approach to the rpg formula and this game in my opinion is them fully committing to a more action oriented style. you can only pump out so many turn based games before they get boring
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  • ... 2024-01-30 07:32:29.737609+00
    Seems very bland and generic compared to other FFs, from the perspective of an outsider - that being me
    reply
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  • riguyisfly 2024-02-09 15:46:09.037211+00
    This game is lucky the highs are so incredibly high that they overpowered how many boring ass side quests there are
    reply
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  • aeqenko 2024-02-16 07:11:31.169827+00
    wish I had a ps5
    reply
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