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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
5.0
 
 
250 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#690 All-time
#21 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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Final Fantasy XVI Deluxe Edition
2023 Square Enix Platinum  
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GB 5 021290 096943 PPSA-10665
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2023 Square Enix Platinum  
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ES 5 021290 096998 PPSA 10665
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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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It's solid
It's solid, I think it's an overall 'good, not great' entry in the franchise.

I think this game starts off really strong, up there with some of the best in the franchise, and though I don't think it ever gets 'bad' per se, it does kinda feel like it gets worse the longer you play it, both in terms of story and gameplay.

The story is really interesting at first. It starts like a mix of Attack on Titan and Game of Thrones in a classic Final Fantasy settling a la I-V. I was completely on board with the demo and intrigued to see where it would be. Unfortunately, it devolves into your typical JRPG/Final Fantasy tropes by the end and it isn't nearly as interesting. Eventually it just becomes a game about 'defying fate' and 'killing god' by the end, instead of elaborating on some of the more interesting themes it touches on earlier. Mild spoilers, but ironically, the Game of Thrones influence leads them to killing off every interesting character. By the end of the game, you're left with the main cast, while good, don't really get a whole lot of development, especially Jill, and they don't really have much to say to each other without any other interesting characters to pull the weight.

The same could honestly be said about the gameplay. I don't have a problem with the series shifting to fully action based combat, in fact I'm completely fine with it and prefer the series taking this approach rather than some weird hybrid system like in FFXII. But it just isn't really that deep. Once you start unlocking more abilities, you eventually realize they are pretty much interchangeable and don't matter that much, because all you're really doing is timing your cooldowns so that when you stagger an enemy you can go through them all in quick succession. If this were like a 15-20 hour game that wouldn't be too much of a problem, but this is a 40-50 hour ride, and the combat is bound to get kind of repetitive. IMO the FFVII Remake games handle this better, as they are mostly action games, but let you pause the game to select commands and spells. The highlights, mainly the kaiju fights, are good though, and make for some fun spectacle, if a bit mindless.

Also, it needs to be said that the side quest and pacing absolutely suck in this game. Nearly every side quest is a crappy fetch quest, and while some do provide some interesting lore, they just aren't worth doing IMO. This could be easily ignored if they were optional, and most are, but sometimes the main story quest makes you do what are essentially side quest disguised as main objectives before you can get to the good stuff. They absolutely ruin the pacing. However, the hunts are pretty decent, if not a bit simple, if you're looking for some decent side content.

Overall, while I think it's worth playing once if you're a fan of the series, because despite some questionable narrative choices, especially surrounding how they write some women, it is still a good story overall with fun, if a bit basic, action rpg gameplay. Although I don't think it's quite up there with the best in the series, I think it's a pretty good mid tier Final Fantasy. Though as far as action RPGs go, I would say VII Rebirth is vastly better, as is the great yet flawed VII Remake. I'd probably say this ends up around a 7.5, but I'll round it up to 8 for this review.
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Payt 2023-07-29T21:49:40Z
2023-07-29T21:49:40Z
4.0
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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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Catalog

_cojiro ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-18T03:18:41Z
2024-06-18T03:18:41Z
0.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JAChanning ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-15T21:10:35Z
2024-06-15T21:10:35Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Megistotherium Final Fantasy XVI 2024-06-15T07:40:47Z
PS5 • US
2024-06-15T07:40:47Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Collector's Edition
silverspork ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-09T21:08:27Z
2024-06-09T21:08:27Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
goeie_oko Final Fantasy XVI 2024-06-09T10:54:44Z
PS5 • US
2024-06-09T10:54:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dev. square enix pub. square enix franchise. final fantasy
B4rtoszG ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-08T08:42:43Z
2024-06-08T08:42:43Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ukmi ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-08T07:02:20Z
2024-06-08T07:02:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Futilitarian Final Fantasy XVI 2024-06-08T06:04:31Z
PS5 • US
2024-06-08T06:04:31Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jcoley19 ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-07T21:55:31Z
2024-06-07T21:55:31Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
danielrqt ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-04T19:00:36Z
2024-06-04T19:00:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
charredwind ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-04T00:04:47Z
2024-06-04T00:04:47Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
karhupuoli ファイナルファンタジーXVI 2024-06-03T21:23:59Z
2024-06-03T21:23:59Z
4.0
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Content rating
CERO: D
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Blu-ray
Franchises
Also known as
  • Final Fantasy XVI
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Comments

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  • Previous comments (168) Loading...
  • 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
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  • DaymanNightman 2024-03-05 07:37:26.661153+00
    Incredible game let down by poor side content, there doesn't need to be downtime for side quests right before the literal apocalypse
    reply
    • DaymanNightman 2024-05-24 08:27:17.090427+00
      Battle theme is gonna be stuck in my head for eternity tho
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