Final Fantasy XVI PS5 Console Exclusive Six Months Sony
Features Gaming News Opinion PlayStation

Final Fantasy XVI is Painfully Too Easy and it Ruins The Game

Square Enix has dumbed down the difficulty in Final Fantasy XVI and it has ultimately ruined the game. Don’t get me wrong, as the most ambitious, action-based entry in the series to date, Final Fantasy XVI holds up but the game’s lack of difficulty and spam combat approach fails to deliver any sort of challenge.

This seems to be a theme at Square Enix when the company westernizes its games. The last big triple-A RPG which went this route was Kingdom Hearts 3. At launch, the game was incredibly easy. Even on the top-tier difficulty at the time, Hard Mode, it barely offered any sort of intensity when it came to combat. Kingdom Hearts 3’s combat was heavily dumbed down to make the game more accessible to the masses and sadly, the same thing is said for Final Fantasy XVI.

Final Fantasy XVI

Before you all scroll down to the comments section to blast me, just hear me out. I don’t expect a soulslike challenge in Final Fantasy XVI but the game’s combat inspirations – Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, reveal where this new RPG has fallen short.

If you haven’t played Final Fantasy XVI yet, just know that instead of turn-based combat which has been a staple for the series up to now, the game adopts an action approach which is fine. This means Clive can whirl together combos by hitting the square button. He can perform abilities which all depend on his equipped Eikons at the time too.

The combination of the basic attacks, holding down some buttons to charge magic and pulling off abilities delivers a flashy and rather satisfying fight. Sadly, enemies just end up dying too quickly and don’t fight back as hard as Clive hits.

Final Fantasy 16 Final Fantasy XVI

Sure, Clive can dodge attacks and parry them. A perfectly-timed dodge results in a quick counterattack and a parry slows down time giving me a chance to spam even more attacks. These moments do rely on quick reactions and paying attention to enemy movements but missing these opportunities doesn’t come with enough consequence.

A missed dodge doesn’t always mean Clive gets hit. Instead, he would still dodge the attack but not be able to counterattack. Even if Clive does get hit as a result of a poorly-timed parry, the damage is minimal. This means I would have to fail my dodge a few times to really fear for my life and start popping potions.

The potions are a whole other story too. While Clive can only carry a set number of them at any given time, they are easily found in the world and if you’re carrying more than the max capacity, the collected one is then automatically used.

Final Fantasy XVI State of Play Combat World Map Gameplay

Most of the time, Clive also travels with his hound and other party members who will end up healing him when need be. So even if you were to say “no” to potion use (you know to try and give the game a little challenge), it doesn’t always work out.

Most of the challenging fights in Final Fantasy XVI (I use the word “challenging” loosely here) are also ridden with quick-time events. So pressing a button within a 5-second timer results in a block or counterattack. So all the grinding and gear management in the game doesn’t matter during these portions anyway.

I absolutely hate quick-time events. They add nothing to a game. Why would a simple press of a button take a chunk of health away from a boss when I have spent hours trying to level up and master combos I want to pull off myself? Can’t I just use my own gear and abilities to take the health away myself? This further takes away from the game’s challenge.

Of course, if you look at the combat inspirations for Final Fantasy XVI, you can see where the game’s combat has fallen short. In Bayonetta and DmC, combat is tough. Enemies hit hard, dodge, and have quite a lot of health and parrying and dodging relies on a much tighter pressing of buttons.

The big difference in those games is that health doesn’t come easy. HP items are hard to find, refilling health during segments is few far and between and the more health items you use, the more expensive they get. So in a way, you’re forced to master every aspect of the combat or pay the consequences.

Final Fantasy XVI doesn’t do this. Potions are always available and healing is plenty. There’s no risk either. Instead, dodging is easy, enemies are squishy, quick-time events hold your hand and abilities are just overpowered. One specific attack called Flames of Rebirth, is a large AoE attack that just decimates enemies. So much so that any fight with five or six enemies would last just a few seconds.

I even tested things out to see how forgiving the game would get. For example, dying in a fight automatically refill all your potions and health. So if you’re at a boss, there’s no risk of death either. On the odd chance you have no potions and health, just walk into the fight and die. You’ll then reload the game with everything maxed out.

Final Fantasy 16 Final Fantasy XVI

I know I am harping on the subject now but I kind of miss the challenge that Final Fantasy games offered. Remember those save-lock encounters where you were stuck for days trying to beat a boss? Lady Yunalesca served me my backside and I couldn’t go back to train my team and get better. Even the fun of grinding some XP in preparation for a fight was a staple in the series.

Then we had those difficulty curves when we thought we were overpowered only to start a new chapter and realise the game cranked up the enemy’s health and damage. It was always enjoyable working your way back up the ladder by sweating through these new fights, using all your potions while you’re at it and saving at every possible point.

Final Fantasy XVI

There’s nothing close to that in Final Fantasy XVI. Don’t get me wrong, these fights are fun but spamming combos and watching enemies vanish isn’t really offering a challenge. It all brings back memories of Kingdom Hearts 3 and sailing through the game without ever worrying about health, stats, gear and what the next encounter will bring.

Square Enix has also implemented some gear in Final Fantasy XVI which aims to make the game even easier. Certain items automatically evade attacks and even slow down time when you need to evade. This does make the game even more accessible. But you don’t even need to use them because, without these accessibility trinkets equipped, the game doesn’t offer much of a challenge anyway.

Of course, I haven’t dipped into the New Game+ yet and apparantly that is meant to offer more of a challenge. However, I wish the first playthrough of the game was already on that level. Why make me play the entire game with almost zero challenge only for me to have to replay it AGAIN to experience a difficult mode? It should have been there from the start.

Final Fantasy XVI Ambition Trailer Kingdoms Square Enix

Maybe I am just being a brat. Maybe I should roll over and just accept that Final Fantasy fans wanted an action game that holds your hand and does little to test your skill. I mean the game already has a shallow gear system, next to no elemental weaknesses to build into, and an ability tree that feels uninspired. It is an action game alright, just not a very difficult one.

How are you feeling about the Final Fantasy XVI difficulty? Let me know in the comments.

NOW READ – Final Fantasy XVI – Don’t Skip These Two Shocking Side Quests

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.


  • Piotr 26 June 2023

    Yep definitely too easy. Dissapointing that there isnt a hard mode. The only reason to play is really for a cinematic experience

    • Mark 29 June 2023

      100%. I’ve been calling this game an interactive movie and I’ve been getting blasted for it. But ESPECIALLY after spending a week or two on Diablo 4 before this. What a contrast.

    • Rellek 3 July 2023

      There is a hard mode, called “Final Fantasy” mode, but it requires the player to beat the game on normal difficulty first. That’s the part that bothers me, it doesn’t respect our time. Just let us pick that difficulty from the start.

  • TaylorMaDE18 28 June 2023

    I couldn’t agree more and absolutely agree with ALL your points. The precious hours of grinding and hardening your team is what makes Final Fantasy so amazing. The reward of feeling that growth in power and the fruits of your labor are sadly gone in this addition! You’re not being a brat in the slightest, you sound like a true FF fan just like myself, and experiencing the same frustrations of comforming to the modern gaming style of making them as easy and soft as possible 🤮 The good ol days of pulling your hair out at hours of getting destroyed by a boss are dwindling. It’s sad, it’s what made us good.

    • AdamCATV 1 July 2023

      The slow start had me excited to think that this game was going to get insanely difficult… I thought they were holding my hand for a reason… I thought this system would become complex… 3 Eikons at a time? Maybe some enemies would be more vulnerable, or some immune to fire… Nope. I could understand if FF wanted to try out a system where “grinding it out” wasn’t required. I get it, some people just don’t have hours a day to beat up enemies over and over before going into the next boss fight… I can sympathize, I’m one of those guys these days. But at least make the boss fights hard. I was stunned when I died for the first time in the game; during round 1 with Kupka; and the game took me back to where I left off in the fight with potions fully stocked… half of his health was gone… wtf? Yep, this game could’ve been so much more. And for the love of God when will these RPGs give up on the stupid side quests, less is more sometimes.

  • mikasual 29 June 2023

    Same feeling here!

  • Anonymous 2 July 2023

    Honestly I was hoping for everything you said at the end , the grinding before bosses , thinking you were OP , and honestly going a few days without beating a boss just to see what I could do because I couldn’t get my team back up were all things I missed. Items were huge as well ! You had to find the right gear for the right person with a large amount of gear that was picked up. This game lacks a lot , there is no challenge . I almost wish I didn’t buy it .

    • Marco Cocomello 3 July 2023

      It is a great action game but definitely not a Final Fantasy RPG we all know. The more I play it the more I realise just how far the game is from the core series. Even the simplest thing like using fire on a fire flan deals damage. In every other game that would heal the enemy. The game has literally zero elemental system at all.

  • Jack 14 July 2023

    Incredibly on point on all aspects. It’s really a pain, and I’m not saying I wanted a Dark Souls difficulty…just a GoW one would have been nice, forcing me to try different strategies and with a few optional bosses (damn Valkirie) forcing me to REALLY master the combat system. Here I just press square and use eikon moves off cool down. A real pity 😕

  • Manu 27 July 2023

    Man you are not a brat. It’s just an example of how to mess up what it could have been a great game. Playing now and why am I supoosed to care about money, potions, gear, etc if when I die the boss has the energy left after my previous failed combat and I’m full of energy and potions? I just finished vagrant story last week and of course I understand you can’t do a AAA now with that level of complexity/difficulty, but this is ridiculous and destroyes every moment that is meant to feel epic. It really doesn’t matter what you do. You just can’t lose.

  • Manu 27 July 2023

    Man you are not a brat. It’s just an example of how to mess up what it could have been a great game. Playing now and why am I supoosed to care about money, potions, gear, etc if when I die the boss has the energy left after my previous failed combat and I’m full of energy and potions? I just finished vagrant story last week and of course I understand you can’t do a AAA now with that level of complexity/difficulty, but this is ridiculous and destroyes every moment that is meant to feel epic. It really doesn’t matter what you do. You just can’t lose.

  • Angry! 29 July 2023

    I waited so long for this game .Took vacation days ,turned phone off to go all in .
    The game started so good i was fully excited and ready for the grinding .
    Than after a boss i died i wanted to kill him withouth getting hit so i let myself die after i got hit .The boss came back with half health .
    I was like huh is this a bug.
    Now i read that this game doesn’t has the grind element en is just to easy .
    I was waiting for the game to become difficult .
    What a waste of money!!
    This game could be top tier ,l
    They ruined it.
    With Final Fantasy i want to be strategic ,think about wich items to use,saving them ,grinding .
    The fear when you get to a new boss and he demolishes you in 3 turns.
    Than to come back after grinding an kill the boss just barely is the best feeling .
    They ruined final fantasy with this one !

    • Marco Cocomello 30 July 2023

      100% agree with you. It is an action game. Could be named something completely different and you would never know it was a Final Fantasy title. Such a shame. I don’t see them changing this anytime soon. Even Dragon Quest 12 they confirmed is going the action route too. I now look elsewhere for RPGs because Square Enix is bound to let me down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *