When Final Fantasy XV released in November last year, one of the most popular features of the game was, of all things, a fishing mini-game.
With that in mind, Square Enix’s tie-in VR title, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV, borrows that idea completely, allowing you to engage in relaxing but occasionally tense fishing sessions.
To start, you’ll create your own avatar using a rather robust set of customization tools. It’s a nice touch that can be appreciated when in cutscenes and taking selfies, especially given that most VR games don’t even show you your character.
Beyond playing as either a male or female, you can change facial structure and features, body size, clothing and more. You can even put on an arm tattoo that features the four main heroes from FFXV — Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladio — in sprite form a la Final Fantasy VI.
From there, you’ll play out various fishing missions spread throughout prominent FFXV locations and meet some of the game’s prominent characters, including the aforementioned quartet and Cindy the mechanic. Monster of the Deep is playable using either the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Move controllers, and surprisingly, both methods work rather well.
With motion control, the DualShock remote can be used to aim the trajectory of your cast, with the analogue stick handling the reeling in. Naturally, the Move controllers are more engaging, though, letting you handle all the elements of fishing in a more dynamic way.
At times, you’ll encounter larger aquatic creatures like the titular Monster of the Deep, which is treated as a sort of boss encounter. The beast has a health bar and you’ll need to aim a crossbow to lower its health before you can reel it in.
It’s even simpler that it sounds, but it’s nonetheless fun thanks to great use of FFXV‘s beautiful Yoko Shimomura-composed score and intuitive motion controlled-aiming.
While not wrangling monstrous fish, you can play around with a free, open fishing mode, take pictures, go over different rods, hooks and bait and play over 20 different songs from the main Final Fantasy XV game and its Kingsglaive movie tie-in.
Occasionally, you’ll sit around the campfire and enjoy your catch with the four FFXV heroes in a particularly nice bit of fan service.
While it would have been interesting to see what the more combat-heavy VR experience Square Enix initially revealed back at E3 2016, I think focusing on a popular, calmer mini-game was ultimately the better idea. As it is, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV is a relaxing, fan service-filled VR experience that’s worth getting reeled into.
Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV is available for download for $40 CAD exclusively on PlayStation VR.
Image credit: Square Enix