Final Fantasy XV Review
System: PS4, Xbox One
Final Fantasy is a game that needs no introduction, a title that is synonymous with adventure and fantasy. It’s a game that through the yeas has had a variety of titles to its name, and either smashing success or critical failure at some points – yet Square Enix produces them one after another.
This game has been a change from the norm that represents most Final Fantasy adventures, which despite its previous recipe for success – was successful in its own venture. The only real issue I have – for myself – lay in the games rather patchy story telling. It seems to try and throw a heart felt story together, but seemingly fails in most cases and often left me feeling unsatisfied with the way in which the game progressed. A story that centres on two warring states that were in the middle of peace negotiations when the Niflheim, a militaristic war machine, betrays the peaceful state of Lucis. From there the crowned prince Noctis and his band of merry men go on a quest of revenge and personal growth. The actual story of revenge is rather bland at best, and doesn’t really pick up until near the end of the game – however Noctic’s connection to his three friends is something that makes the game worth wild in terms of story. There camaraderie is something witnessed through subtle moments on the road while travelling, and conversations held while traversing the wilderness. All of which allow you to feel closer to your travelling companions than many games in the franchise have allowed – and often gives you a plucky feeling of adventure to go along with your order of gaming mischief.
The gameplay of Final Fantasy XV focuses on real time combat, unlike the previous turn based system that Final Fantasy has employed until now – barring Final Fantasy 12. It plays much like Kingdom Hearts in that regard, and often makes you and your trio of friends feel like quite the force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. The game rewards well thought out manoeuvres – flanking strikes rewarding big damage and show casing slick animated team up attacks. During this is when the banter really flies, and you start to feel like monster hunting is a past time worth engaging in. Though a mark against it lies in the fact that when your in tight quarters the fighting often falls into madness and chaos – strategy goes out the window and sheer running is the best method to regroup.
Notice that there are a variety of different methods of engagement to attack your enemies, ranging from heavy handed sword swings, too quick two handed strikes with short swords, and long distance shooting with Prompto’s gun. Of course like all Final Fantasy games, there are magic attacks – however the amount you can use is limited due to a recharge time and the need to find magical veins in the wilderness to restock your magical supply.
So unlike games like Kingdom Hearts, or even previous Final Fantasy’s, you cannot spam the magical abilities granted to you with enough MP – which is unfortunate because a well placed cure has always saved the day for me.
One thing for all gamers to really admire though lies in the sheer scope of the world available to you within the walls of FFXV. There’s next to no place you can’t go, whether by car, by chocobo, or on foot. If you want to see it, it just a matter of being willing to put in the travel time. It’s an open world of sheer beauty that changes as time flows, as the sun can and will set – bringing with it a host of new dangers. So keep your car stocked on fuel, or else you might get caught in a place that you can’t make it back from.
There are also a host of nifty little side activities that characters can engage in that will add to the overall fun of the game. Whether its from playing pin ball, fishing, or even finding new recipes for Ignis to cook. It all add’s to the fun enviornment that is meant to pull gamers in, and have them waste 60 + hours playing this monstrous addition to the FF world.
The game itself is stunning in nature, and often has you wondering whether you’ve explored everything on the map. While fighting is often fun, it can sometimes feel chaotic in nature and sometimes rather hectic as oppose to smooth. The broadscope of the world itself allows for us to explore a story book world that many games don’t flush out in much the same manner. However it’s lack of a story really plays against it – and if the gaming market was more saturated at the moment likely wouldn’t hold water. Yet as it is, is pretty fun way to whittle away your hours.
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