Written by: GnarlyCanary
Final Fantasy XV Worth The Wait! ￼
It took 10 years to get to us, but, this game is definitely worth the waiting we endured. As we played demos and watched a movie anticipating the release, Square Enix was crafting yet another masterpiece. Not since Final Fantasy VIII has Square pulled me into a Final Fantasy as intensely as this one. From the beginning it was pure magic. Having kids myself, watching the king send his son and his companions away and into the world was well done. Neither knowing exactly how to convey exactly how they felt was poignant and relatable. Once again the level of fidelity in Square’s cut scenes is gorgeous. That studio has a way to push the level of art and graphics on a console that few other studios can harness. The game starts cleverly low key. Four friends pushing a broken down car, albeit an awesome looking one, down a road sets the road trip aspect of the game early. The use of the song Stand By Me in this mundane moment makes it’s use at the end that much more impactful. Square pulls off the open world well. Those of us who get absorbed into open world games will instantly dive in. There’s a slew of things to do. From hunting exotic creatures, to finding the perfect photo op, to helping an eccentric professor, and much, much more. These can be done while completing the lengthy story drive campaign and it’s seamless. Chocobo’s once again make an appearance and they are as charming and quirky as you remember. Racing or just riding them across the expansive map is always fun. They level up and gain new abilities to aid in combat if need be. The Regalia however, is a much needed and fun to customize mode of transportation. Some may find the drive times between objectives tedious. It’s offset however by the ability to purchase soundtracks from the Final Fantasy library of previous games. There is fast travel as you travel and open up outposts and other spots. The car is customizable. Different paint schemes, parts,decals, and more become available as you visit different towns and outposts. These facets give you more things to accomplish and play around with if you want to spend more time in the world. ￼
You play as Prince Noctis, a young man slow to embrace the responsibility of who he is to become and what that entails. With him are Ignis, a dry and logical chap who enjoys cooking. Gladio, a bodyguard who takes his job seriously and pushes Noctis to do the same. Then there’s Prompto, he seems younger and looser than his other compadres. He loves photography and will find places for that perfect picture throughout your travels. These hobbies have benefits to the party and level up as they’re indulged, which I highly recommend. Especially Ignis’s cooking. When you use one of the many campsites in the world he’ll cook a meal, you choose which meal from a menu. The ingredients are gathered either by collecting them, marked on the map, or by taking hunting jobs. You can also buy them at shops. They give stat boosts to the entire party. You can choose different dishes based on what stats you want boosted for the situation you’ll be heading into. Aside from the benefits of the hobbies Square does an excellent job of building a sense of friendship as Noctis and company progress through the story. It’s a great take on the formula of most party based rpg’s. The combat is fluid and active. You can equip up to four weapons and switch through them on the fly with a button press, making for interesting combos. The warp strike never gets old and adds some power to the many fights there are to be had. Phasing is also a new function. You use this to dodge attacks or to get behind an enemy. It takes some practice to get the timing right, but when you do, it keeps you on your feet and sets up devastating team attacks and critical hits. Your allies also have special attacks you can call for by filling a meter. More skills are unlocked as you purchase them in the AP skill tree menu. You earn AP by completing side quests, story missions, combat challenges, and indulging your friends in their hobbies. You have a hobby also, fishing. It’s more engaging than I first thought it would be. Throughout the world there are fishing spots. You level up the more you catch fish,like your friends. AP skills boost every aspect of the game. You purchase them in the Ascension menu tab. They are well worth investing, although some can get expensive. ￼
I don’t want to spoil the story. Just know, it’s engaging and well worth the time. My ten year old took the ride with me and at the end cried her eyes out. Few games can elicit real emotional response. This game, however, is one of the examples of a game as truly an artful masterpiece in look, playability, and story. Highly recommend it to any gamer. One of the best games of this past year.
What are your thoughts? If you’ve played the game are there any areas that you loved or hated? If you haven’t played it, did this sway you one way or the other? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading and make sure to check back through the week for more awesome articles!