Final Fantasy XVI isn't the first main entry in the series to do away with turn-based combat, but it is the first game in the series whose combat system comes with a surprising amount of depth, offering players a variety of offensive and defensive options.
Among these options is the ability to parry enemy attacks, which has now become somewhat of a standard for action games. However, unlike other action titles, parrying in Final Fantasy XVI can be quite challenging, requiring a good knowledge of enemy attack patterns and timing.
How to easily master parrying in Final Fantasy XVI
Parrying in Final Fantasy XVI comes in different forms, but the most challenging of them, as well as the most satisfying, is the basic parrying that can be performed without learning any additional abilities. To parry attacks with just Clive's sword, you need to time your attacks with your enemies' attacks so that the blade actually connects with the attack. When this happens, time will slow down for a few seconds, allowing you to unleash your most powerful attacks without being interrupted.
Doing this consistently is a bit difficult at the start of the game, especially since the timing is strict. Since your attack must connect with the enemy's, you need to stay calm and swing your sword at the right time, so use audio and visual cues to help you. Usually, pressing the attack button while the enemy is preparing their attacks is not a good way to go, as most enemies, especially the bigger ones, delay their attacks a bit. Since the timing is so tight, and you risk getting hurt if you mistime your swing, it's always better to attempt to parry attacks this way only with larger enemies, as their attacks are easier to read. It's possible with smaller, faster enemies, but it's ultimately not worth it.
While not as beneficial, there are a few Eikon abilities that can be used to parry and counter long and short range attacks, such as Phoenix's Heatwave, Garuda's Rook's Gambit, and Titan's Titanic Block. These abilities allow for easier parrying thanks to a much larger window of opportunity, but they don't slow down the time like normal parrying does, so consider all your options while defending against the most powerful enemies in Final Fantasy XVI to optimize both offense and defense.
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