How Final Fantasy XVI fixed issues with Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XVI. Image courtesy Square Enix
Final Fantasy XVI. Image courtesy Square Enix /

Final Fantasy XVI successfully managed to tackle a common critique of its predecessor’s difficulty, and still maintain its accessibility. That’s right, our pals at Square Enix have come up with some fascinating ways to up the ante and keep us on our toes.

Now, let’s talk about Final Fantasy XV for a sec. It was a feast for the eyes, sure, but some of the hardcore fans felt that the challenge level… well, it lacked some bite. The culprit? A healing items bonanza. You could stock up to 99 potions, high potions, and phoenix downs, which meant even the most formidable bosses felt like a walk in the park.

That’s where Final Fantasy XVI comes in and shakes things up. Things have changed. Big time. First off, you can kiss those mountains of healing items goodbye. Exploring dungeons or squaring off with bosses, you’re going to feel every hit, because those health restoratives are on a tight leash. But don’t worry, Square Enix isn’t playing Scrooge here. They’ve fine-tuned player and boss health to keep the progress ticking, without making things too easy.

So, what’s the score with healing items now? Starting with a humble stash of four potions and three high potions, your journey through FFXVI is going to demand a bit more tactical thinking. Want to heal up while wandering around or facing the big baddies? You’ll have to pick your moments. And phoenix downs, those magical revivers from FFXV? You’re not going to see anything like them until quite late in the game. This is a stark contrast to Noctis and his gang, who could revive themselves from the brink like there was no tomorrow. While this limited potion supply in FFXVImight sound brutal, they’ve balanced it out with a retry system to give struggling players a helping hand.

You see, if you perish while tangling with regular monsters or those infamous hunt board targets, you’ll pop back up at the nearest obelisk. The items you used during the battle, though? Gone for good. But when it comes to epic multi-phase bosses, like FFXVI‘s intimidating Akashic Dragon, the game has a little mercy. Die during one of these behemoth battles, and you can retry from the start of the last phase, with your items replenished.

Is it a bit of a blow to the ego to have to reset mid-boss battle? Maybe. But trust me, with bosses that can keep you locked in combat for ages, starting from scratch could be a rage-quit waiting to happen. So, this more forgiving approach is a clever way to balance difficulty. It’s an invisible helping hand for those who need it, letting all types of players enjoy the awesome campaign of Final Fantasy XVI.

And now we are left with a masterclass in game balancing from our friends at Square Enix. Final Fantasy XVI is out now for PS5, ready for you to dive in and experience these ingenious tweaks first hand.