With ten years in development since announcing this game it sure did get peoples hopes up. Gradually each year hope was destroyed that we would get a glimpse of game play and a release date on this game. But finally November 29th we got Final Fantasy XV in our hands which kind of felt like a fantasy in itself. My favorite Final Fantasy of all time is Ten, now some people might be getting triggered right now. But this game made me see the potential of having good cut-scenes to go with good story and I really dug that when it came out for PS2. Now after the long awaited time of Final Fantasy XV does Square Enix give us a quality game?
Story has never really been a problem when being told in a Final Fantasy game. Most of them had an awesome story where it took its protagonists across a big world to get its big payoff ending with a great battle. So the quick summary of the story is four guys Noctis (Who is a prince) and his three friends also body guards of the prince Prompto(Photographer and gun wielder) , Ignis(Cook and Magic) , and Gladiouls (Survivalist and Toughguy). The group of four is on a mission to get to Luna the soon to be princess and get ready for the marriage of her and Noctis. Along the journey you find out that demons are lurking in the night time and throne issues are happening on the home front. Which also involve the Imperial army who I describe gun wielding knights who have mini mechs. Now the characters in this game were interesting especially your four main characters because in the beginning they showed no personality. Noctis and Prompto were kind of annoying to the point where I was getting frustrated hearing their dialogues. But as a Final Fantasy fan with American dubs you are bound to get some annoying characters in the game that you have to live with. Now when I mean they had no personality, I mean I didn’t feel their purpose of going on this journey nor didn’t feel the bond these characters had. Now a big reason why you might feel that way in the beginning is there is a movie(Kings Glaive) and anime that does a ton of backstory that explains why every thing is happening in the game. Supporting characters and the villians in this game play a good part in the story. It is your typical Final Fantasy game you got love interest and your villains who want to see the main character fail. Now back to our main four characters when they finally evolve and have a persona they really shine. I started to have feelings for Noctis and felt the bond of brothers and I just wish this showed in most of the game instead of the end. The story will feel confusing at first but the game does pan out to the point you get the plot where the game was going and striving to give meaning. With the plot panning out it did have a weird flow where it would go really fast telling the story and getting to the battles but there were times the story came to a halt. And when it slowed down it really started to hurt my interest in caring about the scene where I just wanted to get past the part and I never like doing that in games. With getting past the grudging slow parts in the games they did perfect setting up in the story where when the action picked up. I was ready and not tired from in taking this awesome set up of a scene where I started to cherish it than hating it. So even though you need to watch a movie and anime to fill confusing plot holes the story does pan out to be good to the point you will enjoy it. Just give it a chance and you will leave feeling satisfied that you stayed on this weird roller coaster ride.
Now lets get into game play to get it out of the way Final Fantasy XV is an open world RPG. Living in a fantasy world there has to be a lot of things to do in this world. I want to get the combat out of the way, for a person who lives and loves turn based combat. I freaking love the action kingdom hearts style of fighting in this game where it gives off that hack and slash feel but there is strategy behind it. So you can walk into a battle just bashing buttons because enemies will kill you quick and it can be frustrating to people who don’t like to think in battle. But word of advice do the tutorial to understand your strengths and weakness of things to do in battle. Noctis who wields some magic in his arsenal cant warp to high places and perform warp attacks from higher grounds, you can also do warp attacks on the ground as well. You are also taught to hit your enemies in the back to inflict more damage and to kill them quickly. Team work is also a big thing in the combat where you can perform link attacks to get more damage on your blow. After every match you are graded from Time , Finesse , and offense and with good grades you get more experience points. What I like about some battles and side quests is you gain Action Points to build your skill trees. Now these skill trees can make your team work better or make your attack moves be more effective. The skill trees make things better so that you can feel more like a badass when you are linking attacks getting hit damage in the thousands. Now the leveling up is pretty interesting as well because you are leveled in two different groups. The groups are the individual characters themselves and the other group is the characters perks. So with Noctis the more you fish the more experienced you are catching fish, Ignis the more you cook the more exp you give to your team , Prompto the more pictures you take the more experience you give to your team, and Gladiouls the more you run and survive from the enemies the more hp you hold. Now there is three ways you can travel in this open world you have your two feet which can build up your survivalist meter, your car , and chocobos. Now I will say the car did get annoying at first because it is boring to sit around for minutes and get boring dialogue. But if you sit back and look at the environment you get more interested in taking it in the beauty of the world. Or you can take the wheel and drive yourself which the driving is not that bad, so if you want control the option is there. Now what is interesting about the car is you can customize it meaning the paint job and the interior you can touch but you can also upgrade your car features like flying. There is so much to do in this game instead of hitting up the main story, the top things I did in side questing is chocobo racing , Hunting , and getting materials for Cindy. Now that is just scratching the surface on side quests I feel like there is so much stuff I haven’t explored yet and I can’t wait to find it. What actually made me happy about the game play is the respawn of enemies happening so it has that nostalgia feel of walking through the woods and running into enemies. I just felt it brought back that feeling the past Final Fantasy games had when getting into combat with enemies. So overall the game play brought its A game and had no problem with it.
Now the presentation of the game where it showcases the controls , audio , and graphics the gears that makes the machine run. Let start off with the controls of the game , everything felt smooth in the controls. Do not really have a problem with it feeling clunky or running into glitches to point of the game not being playable. I really like the touch of different types of controls so if you want a comfort level of controls you had three to choose from. Type-C was my choice just because the use of R2 being my attack button because I am used to games using that button as their default. Audio was a super strong point from the voice acting and the sound track. I thought the voice acting was pretty decent for a Japanese game there was some annoying characters but it is a Final Fantasy game. If you want a serious interaction put on Japanese with English subtitles and boom you get the main focus of how the developers wanted the characters to speak. Now the sound track of the game was really awesome as well with (Florence and the machine) doing their cover of “Stand by me” kicking off the moral of the story. And other music from the game just putting the emotions from the scene alive through the sound track. The end scene just hearing the music they composed for that scene really gave me the feels that is when you know they did it right. The final thing in presentation is the graphics the eye candy of the game. Boy o boy was the graphics really good on this game, I have never really stopped playing a game just to stand and take in the environment like I do with Final Fantasy XV. It is just gorgeous staring at the environment and looking at the character models everything had the right amount of colors, textures , and shadings. It was just so good looking at and this presentation of this game was spot on to the point of perfection.
So now if you noticed in my review there was no negatives in the game, there was some concerned moments that got resolved when playing the game more. So story even though it had a weird flow a plot it did pan out to give an epic ending and leaves you wanting more. The game play makes the game fun to play there is no annoyance in combat or quests to make things boring in this vast world. And to top it off the presentation just kills it in this generation of gaming where you get top notch controls , audio , and graphics. If you are not catching my drift yet , I am giving Final Fantasy the perfect 10 it was worth the wait and worth the reputability of exploring this vast world. I can not wait for Final Fantasy 16 but will it take another 10 years to come out , only time will tell.