First Impressions - Final Fantasy XV

Available on PS4, XBONE, PC (to be released later); version played XBONE, gameplay from PS4 version

15 Hours In
Synopsis (the short version of course): Crown Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne goes on a quest to retake his throne and its crystal after it is attacked on the eve of peace negotiations with the empire of Nifelheim.

Noctis is joined by his crownsguard or you can just call them his boys. As they act more like brothers than protectors of the prince. The game starts out a little before the Kingsglaive movie that came out late last year. Noctis is going on a journey to meet Lady Lunafreya as they are to be married. It is then that the crown city is attacked and the game really starts. This is a different type of Final Fantasy game as this game feels more like an action RPG as opposed to the more standard Final Fantasy game. I like this change to the gameplay as fights feel more fluid and are faster, the gameplay reminds me of the Tales series at least speed wise. After each battle, you are given a grade based on time, finesse, and offense. There is a little bit of a learning curve for the battle system in this game, however, once you have it done you will be able to get A+ on a lot of the battles. Every time you are engaged in battles you earn experience but it's important to note that you won't level up until you go to a safe zone i.e. an inn, RV, or make camp. If you are defeated before you can get to one of those places then you lose all of the experience points you have accumulated up to that point. Personally, I try to find an inn or campground before nightfall. At night the monsters and enemies are more ferocious and have higher levels normally. I kind of have this love/hate relationship with one aspect of the gameplay and that's with how the enemies don't drop gil (the games' currency). At certain points in the game, you are forced to handle story elements during this time you won't be able to do side quests on go on hunts. Hunts are valuable as this is the main way you make money in the game. Some of those story elements can last a long time and you have no way to make money to buy more curatives. A piece of advice, be careful with curative use and try to up Prompto's HP as soon as possible.

Graphically, the game is beautiful. Having played both the PS4 and XBONE versions I can tell you that while the PS4 is better visually it isn't by much. I prefer the XBONE version because at the time of this post my PS4 controller barely last 2.5 hours, I'm lucky if I get 3 hours out of it, not good when you're playing an RPG. Back to the visuals, each area look great cities look and feel populated with the outposts looking like, well an outpost. Creature designs are impressive especially when you start finding the summons. The Titan and Rammuh look amazing and when you finally summon him in a battle he wrecks shop. The only thing with the summons is you can't set who you summon. This could be a good thing or a bad thing but I haven't complained when a chance to summon has happened as it usually saves me from a dire situation. The soundtrack for this game is beautiful. From the music to the voice acting it is all well done. Wish they would sell the soundtracks over here but I guess that's what Play-Asia is for.

Final Thoughts
I am enjoying myself with this game. I am admittedly not a Final Fantasy head. I usually on play certain games in the series. When it comes to JRPGs I am usually more of a Tales or Grandia fan, this game, however, is fun and I am getting more and more interested in the story. The characters are likable and even though you can only play with Noctis it's actually not a bad experience. I am enjoying this game and may actually pick up the DLC once I am finished with the story of the game. Have you picked up the game? Let me know what you think in the comments.



Images via PS4 ImageShare

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