Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Final Fantasy 16 - a truly captivating story with unpleasant battle mechanics

October 01, 2023 | Games

Final Fantasy 16 is a game that has a lot of videos in it. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! It was noticeable while playing already (well, duh), but now that I'm currently playing the game on new game plus, I'm skipping videos constantly. Probably might be a good idea to wait a bit until playing the new game plus so I wouldn't remember all the videos. But then again, I'm a trophy hunter who likes to get all the trophies as soon as possible.  

The music and the visuals

The visuals are impressive. I've spent a lot of time taking a deeper look at the sceneries. The music is also really good, it really fits the game. I've fallen in love with the music that plays before I turn the game on the PS5.

I found it slightly hilarious that they did bring some kind of transmog features to the game in an update. I think it is a very useless feature for this type of game. Though, I did use it, of course, since it was available. Torgal actually looks absolutely magnificent with the alternate skin. Brings the frostwolf in him more alive even.  

The battle mechanics  

I knew I wouldn't like the battle style before getting the game. I'm an old school Final Fantasy player, I enjoy the turn-based strategy from the older games. Now you'll just spam some buttons. If the Final Fantasy wasn't about good stories, I wouldn't have bought it at all.

And to make it even worse for me, you'll get the cinematic battles! Those, where you in a certain moment press a specific button, or worse, spam a button. Just give me the cinematic and let me enjoy it. My dislike for these battle styles is what have prevented me from playing the God of War game series. I just don't like these.

There are some interesting things like the Eikons with their abilities, though. And it's good that I can test and change my skills as well as their upgrades without a cost.

In some of the battles, they took things even further and there were really unnecessary battle mechanics. Like flying the Phoenix. In that fight all you could hear from our livingroom was me complaining that I couldn't give a shit about this type of combat.

This game has one of the best stories I've played through

I like the story. I mean, I really, really like it. The story is what keeps me getting back to the game almost every evening. And the best part is that the side quests actually bring a lot of detail to the actual story. Even though I sometimes find it a bit annoying that side quests appear constantly when I've been planning to move forward in the main quest, the side quests are still definitely worth it. They bring so much depth to the relationships and everything.

The characters in the game are a joy to follow

The characters feel also quite real. As in, the developers haven't felt the need to put an annoying character into the game, like they often do. Well, some characters are annoying because of how they are. For example, Mid is an annoyingly demanding person who doesn't even know the names of people around her. But Mid as a character is still well done and realistic. If you've played more Final Fantasy games, I'm sure you know where I'm getting at here.

The characters are surprisingly believable in general. And a fun little thing is also that they actually swear in the game. That brings a lot of credibility. They don't swear a lot, but when you hear a character suddenly yell "FUCK!", you know something is going on. The only character that felt a bit shallow and filled with clichés was the main nemesis. And I can understand why they did that.

I also really enjoy that the main characters in the game are amazing people. Clive and Joshua both are selfless and real heroes. Pretty much everyone loves them and it's very obvious why that is. Often you have a type of antihero as the main character. For example, that was the case in the previous game. There is nothing of the sort in this game. The characters have realistic emotions. For example, seeing Jill being obviously annoyed and jealous of Isabelle was a fresh type of quest.

Also, of course, I just love Torgal. Especially because they bring quite a surprising amount of depth to the feelings and behaviours of him. As an animal lover, I naturally also enjoy the ability of pet and play with Torgal. Unfortunately, he is the only animal you can pet. Though, if it was possible to pet every animal you see... I probably would have never finished the game.

Another very interesting part to me was that Ralph Ineson had a role in this game as well. He plays Lorath in Diablo 4 as well, if you haven't played the game. But here he is the voice of Cid. And I already loved his work in Diablo 4, but here he just shines even more. What a fantastic voice actor! But, that's not to say that the rest of the voice actors would be bad in this game. Far from it. Every actor is well selected and they bring very much depth to their characters.

The only character I was a bit disappointed with was the main villain. The character was a bit shallow and full of clichés. While I get why they'd do that, I would have preferred to have more depth in the villain as well.

I think this is at least one of the best games character-wise I've played, if not the best.

The gameplay

Personally I would have enjoyed the story possibly more if I'd just been presented with the story in videos. While I didn't mind traveling around and talking with people, the battle mechanics are just not for me. And I'm not saying this because I'm bad at the mechanics, because that is not the case. I just don't enjoy those types of mechanics at all. And sometimes the fact that they bring more "feeling" to opening a heavy door by adding an extra button to press to get the door while the controller vibrates... completely unnecessary, in my opinion. Some probably like those since that has been implemented in the game. But that is not for me. Let me just open the door and get on with it. I don't mind the controller shaking or the character struggling to open it, but let me stay out of it.

Also, the chocobo feels clumsy and I usually don't use it much. And to be honest, I do miss the chocobo music from Final Fantasy 8. That was my jam. I'm happy they also shed some light on the relationship of Clive and his chocobo. That is a sentence I wouldn't have expected to say before playing this game. Usually, the chocobos have felt more like a vehicle than an extra character. Though usually the main characters of the games do treat them well and all that. But with Clive and his chocobo, the relationship is much more than that.

If you enjoy a Final Fantasy story, I do recommend you to play this. Even if you are like me and don't enjoy the battle mechanics, the story itself is absolutely amazing. I can't wait to see if I get some good DLC story additions in the future.

Photo credits © Square Enix