FINAL FANTASY XV REVIEW
REVIEWED ON PS4 / Jan. 23, 2016
Its Finally here
Back in 2006, A Final Fantasy game was announced which will be darker than other Final Fantasies. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was the game I really wanted back in high school. Now in the year 2016, I’m now 25 years old and working, The game has finally released and all I can say is that Final Fantasy XV is worth your time.
Final Fantasy has been a legend in the gaming industry but the recent years hasn’t been nice to them. From XIII’s linear corridors fiasco to XIV’s bad launch which is now a great MMORPG, XV also had its fair share of troubles. After being announced 10 years ago, The game was ridiculed with problems to the point that everyone thought it was cancelled until they rebranded it as Final Fantasy XV.
Final Fantasy was always regarded as a master of beautiful graphics and art style and XV is definitely one of the gorgeous games of this generation. The open world sprawls with its size and the different landscapes are stunning in its wake for how varied they are. The more linear sections are less captivating than the open world. But when the big parts come into place, the settings really shine. It’s such a shame that they could’ve made these linear sections more open.
Character models are no slouch either. Noctis and the boyband were created to perfection as their models are top notch. Side characters like Cindy and Cid are also great. Even normal NPCs were great. Monster designs are also varied in which you can recognize them immediately because of their individuality.
While the graphics are great, The true hero is the animations of Noctis and the gang. The fluid animations make them feel alive as they interact with each other while walking, sitting on the Regalia and especially when fighting. Them working together looks natural as they help each other back stabbing an enemy or helping a bro up when they’re down.
The music for the game was composed by Yoko Shimomura who is famous for the Kingdom hearts music. The music is well done and it blends at the right moment especially in intense fights with the upbeat tempo. The overworld music is less noticeable as it only plays seldomly. A feature implemented here is the use of a MP3 player where you can play old final fantasy songs and some bonus soundtracks.
One downside of the game is that the English dub is not as great as hearing the Japanese dub. Noctis and the bros voices don’t fit their looks and makes a disconnect feeling sometimes. The other cast however did a stellar job on their respective roles especially Ardyn Izunia which is a highlight in the game.
The story of final fantasy was always the biggest draw to me. Did this final fantasy did the story justice? Short answer is yes and no. While the ending was satisfying and was really emotional for me, the build was wasted and clearly unfinished. The linear sections were linear because of the clear cut content. These will be part of the season pass and hopefully the other patches where tabata-san said that they will indeed add more cutscenes for a certain character as the characters motivation suddenly shifted and there was no real explanation why. By far, This game has the weakest presentation of the story it had. The potential was big and we even got a satisfying ending. Sometimes, the saying “The journey is better than the destination” rings true and this is the perfect example of this.
Fluid and chaotic. Those are the words that come into my mind when describing XV’s battle system. The system itself is easy to use as you only need to hold one button to do a streak of attacks. Pressing other buttons like pushing the left stick to the right will create other attacks that can be advantageous. Positioning in battle is need to get an advantage. Getting a back stab can get you a Link-Strike which you and one bro deliver huge damage to the enemy and may break appendages or try getting to a warp point and use warp strike to deal massive damage the further you were. Stealth is also added in the game but only really useful on some quests that needs it. While its a nice feature to add, it could have been used more often especially in the linear sections of the game.
Equipment are light on this game as the gang really relies on their equipped accessories rather than the weapons they wield. Better weapons are found in dungeons and quests. Magic is also present in the game. You can now combine fire, ice or thunder with items to create magic that can cast stop or making the magic power into high levels but has return damage. You can get magic from campsites or get it from killing enemies using certain weapons.
Quests in Final Fantasy XV are really repetitive and lacks variation. Hunts comprises of hunting different monsters either on day or night or having it rain. At least you won’t need to fight the same hunt again if you don’t want to as you have the option to do it again. There are also random side quests that you need to do like give repair kits to stranded drivers or take photo ops on sceneries. Most other side quests revolves around finding items and fighting some monster to get that item. Some of the intense quests are from the dungeons and end game side quests which I will not spoil but be ready to give more than 3 hours per dungeon as these are long and hard.
Boyband Simulator 2016
Easily the best and fun part of the game is the interaction between the crew. When battling, they banter and help each other like any other reasonable human being would do. Because of this you can feel their bond strengthening. On the story, They have typical fights or disagreements like any of your friends have. When the story reaches the linear portion of the game, They will grow into more than just your travel buddies. The emotional connection with the 3 boys are astounding especially towards the end.
The game easily is about 30-40 hours or even less when you don’t explore that much. The game wants you to explore and it will easily give you more than enough time to do these quests. I defeated the game about 60 hours and done many side quests. After you defeat the game, you can do post-game dungeons where these are the most intense dungeons you can find in final fantasy. The enemies are at their peak and you need to suit up for these events.
Overall, I’m happy with what Final Fantasy XV did. Yes, it could’ve been more and it could’ve been the masterpiece we waited for ten years to play. While this is a big issue, they are willing to fix some of these issues and provide more for us in the future. The journey of the boyband made me love this game more. The frantic action and the glorious music, these game makes you feel the feels. All in all, No game is worth ten years to wait, but Final Fantasy XV is well worth your time.
+ Open world is interesting and alive
+ The Boy Band is great and feels like they’re really your bros
+ Music is phenomenal
+ Combat feels fluid
– You need to watch Brotherhood and Kingsglaive to appreciate the whole plot
– Cut content is glaring especially in the linear sections which affects pacing
– Side quests are largely the same with little variety