Okay! So although this is number 2 on this list this is the first time I’ve posted a post while playing Final Fantasy XV for real; no demos, no beta or anything, the REAL game! FINALLY! After all these years, years where I really wanted to see more of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and now XV, FINALLY I’m playing it for myself! And I must say I love what I’m seeing so far. The last thing I want to do is spoil the game too much for those of you that haven’t gotten it yet or are waiting, but 30 minutes in (with more time added before I finally publish this post on the site) and I can already feel that Square really has put a lot of heart and soul into this game, I mean a lot. From the detail of the world map, to the feeling of running around, to interaction and all in-between, this is a game I’m very happy to be playing. But I’m not all that long into it, so what do I like so far? Well there is plenty, believe it or not. I’ll bullet point some of the points I like so far and go from there.
- For one you can start the tutorial right out of the gate (which I did, just to make things easier right?) and while it was simple and easy to get through it also can be accessed as you play the game later, so you don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t jump right into the tutorial, you can skip it and revisit it later! And also it’s not too hard to get what you can do and have to do in battles; granted I know more than a fair share of things will be hard in the game, that’s unavoidable in a Final Fantasy game, but the tutorial and learning how to do things in this very different feeling game from the other FF games wasn’t hard at all and I love that, it’s nice to start things off on a good and understandable foot.
- You can readjust the difficulty as you go, switching between easy and normal. A lot of games keep you locked in from the get go and I always appreciate if you can change later; even if you don’t use it, it’s a nice feature to have.
- Conversation choices!!! I’m a sucker for video games that give you dialog options when you talk to characters. Don’t get me wrong, I can play any game that doesn’t give you a choice and love the game to death; but there is something about your choices influencing the game, even a little bit, that I truly enjoy. Any game is a changing book depending on how you play, which I’ve talked about in the past, but still, a choice like what to say in a conversation drives that up even more. And it’s not simply where you choose one thing then the next then the next; you’ll be required to play multiple times to see it all play out, which I LOVE. The conversations play out differently depending on what you choose to say and the contents of the parameters you obtain (all of this part I read online; fyi) will change based on your response. So it’s not just the different dialog, you’ll get different rewards depending on what you say, and again, I can’t state how much I love this.
- The feeling of the game is great all in all. I love the feel of seeing cars and gas stations and things like that; it feels like you could see these guys hanging out in town somewhere. The start of playing with the guys, outside of a quick intro, you’re pushing a broke down car down the road while strangers don’t stop to help out. How real life is that!? I’ve been there and done that in real life, it’s not fun, but this game nailed that down perfectly, for however small that moment will be once all is said and done. When you’re fighting enemies in the beginning you can see cars in the background driving to wherever it is they’re going, and that feeling, though not needed in a Final Fantasy game, is truly something cool. Oh and the feeling of using magic and seeing how it affects the backgrounds is great too, and you get covered in ice shards too, which is a nice added affect.
- It’s not hard to see where to go. Once you get a map and select the first mission you can play it’s very easy to see where to go and what you need to do, which is always great in a game like this that has a large area to go in. It’s idiot proof, you can’t miss where to go and what you’re doing and how far along you are in said mission, it’s simple and that’s a great thing.
- Oh and the music is wonderful as well, especially in the main menu; it screams Final Fantasy is all the best ways and actually greatly reminds me of Final Fantasy X and that game had great music so I feel like that’s a strong comparison to this game. Final Fantasy games always seem to have great music, even the games that weren’t received all that well, so it’s not a shock but still it’s such a great track that I can see myself downloading it to listen to in my phone, so well done Square on the soundtrack!
- Attacking is very easy to grasp. Magic, at least the fire and blizzard, is more aimed than something that auto hits like normal Final Fantasy games, there is a strategy to using magic but it’s so easy to jump into it’s like second nature. And swapping weapons is seamless and very manageable and the game feels and plays differently depending on the weapon used; the weapons don’t all swing with the same speed and do the same damage and Square did a great job showcasing that, even early on in the game. It’s not difficult to lock on, to warp away, to dodge, and more. The tutorial certainly helps in giving you a grasp on all of this but even when you’re in the field it’s not hard to remember what to do and that’s great and appreciated for sure. Doing buddy attacks is simple too; simply let the bar build up, hit L1 and the directional button in the way you want to go, and boom, you’re all set. The fact that everything in attacks and more has been so accessible and easy to learn is something I find truly great about this game.
- Side missions are aplenty and are pretty fun, could be their own game. I mean specifically taking Noctis and going fishing; that’s so cool! I found a cat on a pier and he was hungry so I had to go catch him a fish off the dock, at first I tried it at night but the fish that were out at night weren’t any good for eating for my little friend. So I went and camped until morning, went and did some main mission stuff, then went back and fished in the daytime for the cat and caught a fish he was able to eat. I couldn’t just give it to him as is however; I had to go and get it cooked first! What a picky cat! But it’s varied and a lot of fun. I love that side missions are available not only out of the gate but in a different manner than the norm for Final Fantasy. I’m very happy to get to go fishing for a cat, I mean how cool is that? The fishing could be it’s own game within a game. There is strategy, you can get a better rod and lure and everything you’d expect, it works very much like real life and I love that. Oh and you get to upgrade and decorate your car!? Are you kidding me! And when driving down the road you can toggle the radio on and off, which is beyond cool to me. The side details are very much alive and strong in this game and I’ve barely put a dent into it! It feels like a great mix of so many different games plus Final Fantasy all rolled into one, and it has all be done very well so far, I’m very impressed.
- Another big thing that impressed me is when you’re driving down the road you can change the radio which I literally just mentioned, but it gets cooler than I thought it did! You can listen to soundtracks from past Final Fantasy games! I just listened to One-Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII while cruising down the road, and that’s beyond awesome! As I went through the music I was thinking it would be great to see other Final Fantasy games be in this one through music and what do you know! I scroll on and find some! I would like to see more from other games be included but I’m happy with what’s there. And yes, I’d so buy DLC for that! But after playing more I realized you’d not have to do that! Go to the various gas stations and look at what’s for sale and you’ll find various game music for sell for a variety of Final Fantasy games! And you can buy a portable music device too so you can listen to the music outside of the car as well!
There is more I’m going to play before I go too much further in makings posts about it; after all, I can make a better, more comprehensive post if I’ve played more of the game, but all in all I love this game so far and can’t wait to take the next step in the journey. Oh and by the way, the more of the bonus stuff surrounding XV you can get into and watch, such as the film, the better you’ll understand the backstory. It’s not necessary to enjoy the game, for sure, but it definitely adds more depth overall so I recommend you take advantage of watching the film for sure. That’s it for this post, time to move on!