Final Fantasy XV fills the void that was left when Final Fantasy left my generation behind.
I wanna start off by saying, I know I’m about a billion years late in the world of video game “journalism” to share about Final Fantasy XV, but, I kinda do my own thing and, despite it creating lackluster engagement numbers, I’m happy to just do my own thing most of the time. This is the key to life, I think. That being said, I’m an early thirties man who still hasn’t quit playing video games. Before you get started with this thesis, I want to share with you the TL:DR – Final Fantasy XV is probably the best thing that Square Enix has done in a long, long time.
I’ve played lots of Final Fantasy games, from the original Final Fantasy, all the way up until I played their latest MMO entry, and most of the games in between. Honestly, I quit caring about Final Fantasy as a product after 7. Here’s a handy chart that explains my pros and cons of Final Fantasy games so that you can see where you and I compare, and, feel free to disagree in the comments below. (Please?)
So… I realize my infographic is designed in such a way that it says absolutely nothing, like most infographics, so… feel free to share that on Facebook like it’s political literature.
Someone told me the best way to get metacrawler thingies is to link to somewhere ELSE on my own website, so, check out the game a few friends and I made in 24 hours.
Final Fantasy XV is about 4 guys going on a road trip before one of them gets married. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but I assure you that it’s fantastic, because you get banter from four friends who know each other really well, but who TOTALLY aren’t sexually into each other. It’s not a series where realism is going to set in because it’s four dudes in a car, but, something that I found super satisfying about the game’s entire world is that even though all this really questionable bullshit is going on, like, dogs that can travel cross-country, or that a bunch of tiny little dudes can knock you over repeatedly while you’re blocking sword blows from an enemy 50 feet tall, the only way you’re going to really succeed is through the power of friendship. It’s just something that was done really well, even if it’s cornball.
So, the graphics are amazing, and the audio is amazing, but, you can figure this out by seeing the screenshots or watching the trailer, and for the audio, just knowing it’s Final Fantasy pretty much puts you in line with what you’re getting. That being said, art direction is a much more logical choice of discussion here – honestly, these are the four most pretty looking people I’ve ever seen just hanging out and going around slaying monsters. I don’t mean that in a “hey, this is a really well done art design.” I mean it like, this is four models hanging out like it’s a movie, and there’s no way everyone would look that way in real life.
Seriously, the four of them look like Zoolander and Company, provided Zoolander was from Japan and all of his friends were really into J-pop. The main character having a skull and crossbones theme without being a pirate, your muscle’s whole leather pants/leather shirt thing, and your buddy’s grunge/metal flannel and knee high boots with white socks thing all are pretty great, because they show personality differences without really changing the ensemble too much, but it’s also pretty… hokey. You look like a team, or a group of friends who have something in common without being in uniform. Yeah, I didn’t talk about the nerd, but, it’s because I tend to do run-on sentences and I’ve been told that’s super annoying.
Perhaps I’m a victim of American Culture a bit here, but, the whole J-pop hairstyle thing and everyone kinda looking like pretty boys is one of the bigger complaints I have about the game. The muscle shouldn’t be ruggedly handsome, he should look like he’s been hit in the face with a brick a time or two. That’s why he’s the muscle. Instead, we get, “Hurr hurr, I don’t know much about technology, except how to use eyebrow cake powder to fake having a fuller beard.” We should be having a bunch of guys who are jocks, trying to smash mailboxes and shit, but instead we get 4 guys making duckface and shouting #SORRYNOTSORRY when they start jabbing at each other for having too many instagram followers.
My favourite thing about the gameplay is being able to just hold B and smash most enemies. This is caused easily, as I accidentally over-leveled because side-quests exist. Seriously, if you want to just beat the game, don’t do side-quests… they are seemingly infinite and there’s really no point, you can just get away with using what’s given to you. (There’s an exception to this, and I’ll talk about that in a bit.) Hold down a single button to just run at things and attack them, but, you’ll have to hit your block button on tougher enemies, and, if you want finesse points, which… I don’t know if the grading system means anything, but, I try to get A+ on everything, you gotta stand behind enemies when attacking them.
One of the major things to remember, and… actually one of my favourite things about this game, is that you don’t just randomly get money for battling in this game. Enemies aren’t walking around with huge sacks of gil for you to pick up. The only way to really get some cash together is by monster hunting, where you go talk to people who own restaurants and they send you on missions to kill groups of monsters, for which they pay you thousands of gil. This is a more realistic approach to money than you’d normally find in a game like this, and it would create situations where I was forced to pull away from the main story arc for a minute to go fill my bank accounts, or my inventory with curatives. It was really refreshing to see a Final Fantasy where money didn’t become meaningless after a certain point. In fact, before the final battle, I had about 130 gil in my playthrough, because I had made a big push to the end-game and had absolutely no potions left, so I had to go back and get me some money.
I know, by that point, and you’re out there trying to save the world, and people are still hitting you up for cash, but, when you think about people asking you to cough up money for items, it’s been silly since the dawn of time when you’re going to save the planet, and at least enemies aren’t handing you their wallets when you kill them now.
Magic is absolutely useless, but the weapons are cool, and hitting enemies from behind causes your allies to do link attacks with you, which is super nice. The game’s animations are insane, I don’t even know how many animations one character model could have, but, if there’s an upper limit, this game’s gotta be close to it.
Overall, I think this game’s pretty freakin’ fantastic. I’ve put over 40 hours into it, and, I’m RIIIIIIGHT at the last battle, but I haven’t beaten it yet, but I did the DLC to get the shirtless guy so my screenshots would reflect the jokes I made earlier about how this game is a bunch of sweaty guys hugging each other and stuff. It’s a great game, and, if you have some money, go ahead and get it, especially if you wanna wait 5 minutes between loading screens with me so we can do co-op.
Yeah, it’s got an online mode, and you get to make your own high-fivin’ butt-chugging sword bro. Easily worth a lookie-loo.
Disclosure: We paid money for this game, so, it is what it is.
Developed by: Square Enix