Final Fantasy XV was finally released at the end of November, and with that, many of us at Black Oni Blog have had the opportunity to play through it to completion, taking on the many end game challenges you can explore. Now that we’ve already discussed the things I don’t like about FFXV, let’s move on to the many things that I do like about FFXV.
1 | Freedom, Ooooooh Freedom!
The game starts with teaching you the combat system, and how the it’s many systems work, introducing you to it’s many mechanics and modes of transportation. From the get-go, you pretty much have freedom to traverse many of the locations in the first zone. I found myself stumbling into a high level dungeon, facing off against daemon and a level 52 samurai (I was literally level 15 at the time).
While it would have been great to get a real warning about this higher level dungeon, I loved that the game didn’t stop me from taking on this challenge. You can access many places right off the gate, with more opening up as you progress through the storyline.
2 | Fast, frantic, but strategic combat
The combat is front and center in FFXV and I absolutely adore that aspect of it. I was always eager to jump into another battle, optimize my movement and attacks, and strategize around what weapons would work best in certain scenarios. The deceptive simplicity means newcomers can enjoy the spectacle, while others looking for more depth will find plenty in the dodging, parrying, timing, and strategy implementation within the combat system. It’s not uncommon to go up against enemies 20 levels above you and still come out victorious. It’s difficult, but possible!
3 | Bonding (… James Bonding)
One of the themes this game drives home so prominently and so well, is the brotherly bond between Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolous, and Ignis. Each character fulfills a role in a family – Gladio (my favorite) acts as a big brother to Noctis, Prompto, the little brother, and Ignis as sort of an eldest brother/parent figure hybrid. The team dynamic does a great job of driving home their closeness to each other and ultimately, how that bond helps them stay in sync with each other while in battle.
Additionally, some of the more emotional scenes in the game come from the strong bond these characters share. I won’t delve into exactly what those are, as to avoid spoilers, but it can be quite the roller coaster, even if unjustified at times. But even then, there’s a great deal of empathy that players will naturally develop towards the main characters.
4 | Varied Fan Service
It’s important to offer a variety of experiences in games – that much is certain. That’s one of the many aspects of this game I’m happy with! The boy band offers diverse qualities that make them all attractive, aside from aesthetics. Gladiolus is the macho, muscular, and protective scruffy man, Ignis is the sophisticated, fashionable, nerdy tactician who always has a plan, Prompto is the silly, light-hearted, pretty boy, and Noctis is the brooding nonchalant royalty.
These four characters offer some fan service for those more attracted to the males, and the females also offer a great deal of variety, with Luna covering the sophisticated, but strong willed, beautiful character, Aranea fulfilling a role as a sexy and deadly warrior, and Cindy as the voluptuous and handy mechanic, offering car upgrades and repair services for the crew’s trusty Regalia.
Yes, someone, somewhere will complain about any number of these factors or feel offended by some of these designs, but it feels as though these characters have enough visual variation and depth to keep things interesting. There isn’t any one demographic here that is specifically pandered to, as there’s a type of attractive character for most people, and I’m happy to see it work out as well as it does.
5 | Multiplayer DLC
Final Fantasy 15 is getting multiplayer. C’mon, how is that not awesome? Being able to (potentially) create your own custom character alongside your friends, and adventure the land of Eos together as you try to take down the mighty adamantoise? AND not have to worry about managing their health like the AI? I’m game!!!
While we have no idea what the multiplayer is actually going to be like, many suspect that it will follow a formula similar to the main story, but with drop-in co op. I suspect that we’ll see a scenario similar to games like Black Desert or Blade and Soul, whereas those are multiplayer centric experiences with active real-time combat systems. I can only imagine how much fun it could be to employ the same camaraderie these 4 characters share with other human players. And speaking of camaraderie…
6 | Focus on Camaraderie
As previously mentioned, the bond between these men is amazing. They cover each other during combat and provide moral and emotional support. They’re brothers in arms in several regards. In combat, whenever you or an AI companion is downed, approaching them and pepping them up with a pat on the back instantly replenishes some of their devoid health, giving a greater sense of focus to helping each other out in combat.
Additionally, Final Fantasy XV has sections fairly early on in the game that introduces you to more heartfelt moments, like when Prompto opens up to Noctis about his own insecurities and his usefulness in the group. Players have an option to be less emotionally supportive, but the narrative and character motives clearly steer you towards offering emotional support to the group. I have no idea how the game would change based on how you responded to these moments with a more cold and cut off demeanor, but the connection between these characters makes interacting in a more dismissive way an obviously poor choice.
7 | Multi-medium story telling
I want to take a moment to commend Square-Enix for their amazing injunuity with how they utilized different mediums to tell their story. FFXV had Final Fantasy Kingsglaive (the CG movie leading up to the game,, giving more background and insight into both King Regis, his royal guards, the Kingsglaive, as well as Princess Lunafreya), Final Fantasy Brotherhood (an anime choreographing how the Boy Band is all connected) Final Fantasy a King’s Tale (a side scroller, beat em up game detailing the events of King Regis and his very own band of brothers) and of course, Final Fantasy XV. Well played Square Enix, well played.
8 | Variety of activities
Aside from the the main story and side quests, there’s a great variety of things you can do, such as: gathering resources for cooking, playing in game arcade games, hunting, fishing, driving, photography, cooking and riding Chocobos. Many of these activities net you things in the form of money, experience, and special items for hunting, experience and food for fishing, traversal for driving, experience & great imagery for photography, and temporary stat boosts for cooking.
9 | Expect the Unexpected
Expect to have your predictions flipped on your head. Sometimes, the unexpected outcomes aren’t “ideal” in their implementation, but at other times the “shocker” moments are great! Even though some of the events that unfold in the game fall under the category of “They’re really gonna end it there?”, there are others that are “Holy s**t I didn’t see that coming! I really don’t want to say any more than that as to avoid spoilers, so you’ll have to take my word for it, or watch my full playthrough of the game on this youtube playlist.
10 | Side Questing is Insanely Fun
I may have already mentioned this, but the side quests in this game are surprisingly fun and interesting. There’s a unique story to all of them, like getting cat food for a random stray cat that’s been following you around, exploring dungeons to find secret boss battles, gathering rare gems to make more powerful accessories, or rescuing chocobos from other dangerous creatures. There’s typically enough going on with the side quests to keep you coming back to see what else is in store for you. Many games get side questing wrong by making the quests too similar to each other, or making them uninteresting variations of what you were already doing in the main story quest, but Square-Enix was able to do something pretty special here by mixing it up, offering new enemies to go against with a variety of tasks, and even adding new dialogue and mini stories for these side quests.
I was pretty harsh on FFXV in my last segment about the “S**t I don’t like”, but understand that it came from a place of love. A fair criticism of a game that I, as a whole, really love. The beauty of this experience, is that there is more to like than not, and the content planned for FFXV looks promising. We may see even further improvements implemented into the experience, which can only be a good things. Are there aspects that you adore about this game that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments section down below, and let’s celebrate the fact that this game is finally released!
Also, support this channel by purchasing FFXV through amazon if you haven’t already purchased the game!
Edited by Dillon Payne