While there hasn’t been enough time in the world since the release of Final Fantasy XV to see all that exists in the game, we do have some initial thoughts on whether or not the game is worth all of the hype surrounding its release.
The score of Final Fantasy XV
The first thing you may notice about the game is the intricate soundtrack the game features. Right from the first note of the opening score you can tell that the soundtrack was expertly crafted and will stand out as one of the more memorable ones of the franchise. Yoko Shimamura’s opening score instantly sets the tone for the game you are about to play through (or at least the first portion of it.) and does a fantastic job of musically foreshadowing the events of the plot that are about to come. Continuing into the game, every single piece of music is just as gorgeous as the opening score was with no sign of any sort of lack of attentiveness to the score that you might find in other games. What I mean by this is many video games will hook you in with a good musical theme but then lack any sort of followup to that theme and also lack an evolution of the sound throughout the score of the game. In Final Fantasy XV it seems as if every piece is was in fact crafted with Noctis and whatever moment is going on in mind. Each moment of the score does a fantastic job of painting the scene of a prince adventuring through the world, whether it be from the first moments of having to get your car repaired in the middle of a desert area or the regal tone that plays when Noctis and his Crownsguard do battle with countless foes in the world of Eos. I can only describe so much without having the soundtrack on hand to show you the pieces so when you pick up the game, I highly recommend taking some time to listen to the soundtrack and pay attention to how it paints the story of these characters, which brings me to my next point.
The cast of Final Fantasy XV
It would seem that building up a universe around the game before it’s release was an incredibly intelligent move because the relationships between the characters of this game are instantly captivating even from the first 5 minutes. I already found myself more interested in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the characters who showed up in the first chapter than I had with most other games I have ever played. (I play a lot of RPG’s in my free time if that says anything for you on how much I value good character depth.) The game even sets up interesting backstories and character depth for the minor side quest characters that you meet in the first chapter. Everyone you talk with in the game feels fleshed out and developed and not just some basic character archetype. I don’t want to spoil anything for you in this post so I’ll stay brief on this point but at this point in the game its very hard to determine whether or not anyone you have met thus far is a major or minor plot character if that tells you anything. Each person Noctis and his crew speak with feels as if they have enough depth to their motivations and overall character that they could stay relevant and integral to a 60 hour plot line.
The Visuals of Final Fantasy XV
This actually was something people talked a lot about in the days leading up to the release of the game and one of the reasons that the game may have been delayed. Rest assured though, this game is beautiful. Every scene has an incredibly high visual quality and shows that the delay to polish up the game and its visuals and make sure they would be able to run well on all versions of the PS4 was time very well spent. The level of intricacy in the graphics of this game is paralleled only by a few choice video games but succeeded by none. Thus far, we have yet to see any sort of frame rate issues from the game and we have been playing on the standard PS4 so let your worries be quelled about whether or not the game any sort of lag or frame rate issues from the high graphical power demand. Final Fantasy XV is incredibly visually appealing and if you are playing on a standard PS4 it will most likely get you questioning if you should get a PS4 Pro just to see how the game looks on the Pro. I mean just look at the detail on that giant …. Bird monster thing? You can see every single detail of its anatomy! The same can be said of the intricacy of each character design as well. Every person in the game looks as close to real as you can get and every single one of them looks as if they have a large amount of time and detail put into the character design. Each moment of gameplay is gorgeous and visually appealing. Final Fantasy XV certainly looks like a game should look after 10 years of development and care.
The Gameplay of Final Fantasy XV
This is the last point before I leave you to go play more of the game myself but it a point that must be discussed given how the change of play style for a game in the Final Fantasy series. Some had concerns regarding the new combat system of the game and were worried about it’s difficulty and also the fact that it was a far cry from the turn based combat that fans have grown to know and love. For the ones wanting a report of the return of turn based combat, I’m sorry but the system is still fast paced action combat. That being said, the fast paced action combat of this game does incredibly well given the fact that the game is an open world Final Fantasy entry and feels very fluid and is just downright fun. The tutorial is necessary, as the combat style takes some getting used to, but the combat itself is more fluid than it was in “Platinum Demo” and is far easier to navigate and manage and pull of what ever you are trying to do. Warp attacks create an interesting dynamic in battle, as it allows for both an expedient way to navigate the battlefield and escape to heal up. In addition it allows for you to recharge your mp as well as quickly change weapons without being punished. What I will call “inventory magic” has returned in this game as your magic spells operate from how many spells you have in a what the game calls a “Magic Flask” instead of being managed by how much Mp your character has. Your Mp strictly dictates your ability to use warp strikes and has various methods that are explained in the tutorial about how to keep it charged up and not consistently empty. (Basically by using the warp point ability to warp to a specific ledge or cliff instead of an enemy. This recharges the gauge fairly quickly in addition to the regen for your health.) The magic in the game also features a new effect that adds a bit of more realism to it in the fact that you need to be aware of where your allies are in the battlefield because damaging magic hits everything in the targeted area. While this is probably frustrating for players to some degree it actually adds a bit more depth to battle and honestly just makes logical sense.
Overall, this entry in the Final Fantasy series feels very fresh and new and currently from our perspective has a lot of potential for greatness in it. The game also seems to be hitting every point that it needs to in order to capitalize on its potential so we recommend purchasing it for all you who have been on the fence about the game after the delay of release.
More reviews and tips to come after we have progressed further into the game!
What do you think of the game so far? Let us know in the comments below!
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