Why you should be excited for 'Final Fantasy XV'
We only have a day left until Final Fantasy XV drops. And no doubt most of the PlayStation 4-owning crowd will be playing this most-awaited title on the first day of release. For the few who are quite unsure, that’s understandable. This game has been stuck in development hell for quite some time now and it has gone through dozens of trailers that ended up nowhere. But after getting the opportunity to play the first 3 hours of the game, I can tell you that it’ll most probably worth the decade wait.
And here’s why:
One of the most impressive open worlds
Western RPGs like Witcher 3 and Skyrim are famous for their incredible and beautiful open worlds, but Final Fantasy XV may give them a run for their money. Right at the beginning, you can immediately get lost in the massive world of Final Fantasy.
To give you a perspective, the media were given three hours by Sony to explore Chapters 1 through 3. Most didn’t even reach Chapter 2 just because of the sheer number of side-missions to complete and the places you can explore.
I managed to power through Chapter 2 and ignore some of the activities, but I was still thoroughly distracted from the main quest. And even if you’re not into side-missions, you can still get stuck driving and marveling about just how gorgeous Final Fantasy XV’s world is.
From the vast dessert to the beautiful sunny beach coast to the cavernous ruins, I was awe-struck by the level of detail and attention given to this game. And this bright and slightly modern fantasy world we get to play in is honestly just a breath of fresh air from all the gritty medieval fantasy worlds we’ve gone through in recent months.
Eye-candy graphics with no perceptible problems in performance
The cinematic trailers were impressive enough but the visuals for the actual gameplay were remarkable. While there were those who took issue with the reported “downgrading” of the graphics, I’d say the quality of the visuals right now is still enough to drop jaws. To add to that, the demo I played ran on a standard PS4 and I was pleasantly surprised that it was able to run smoothly despite the amount of detail and texture brought into this game.
The animation is stunning and the combat is just pure eye-candy. It reminded me a bit of the flurry and flourish of Devil May Cry, Bayonetta and other fast-paced action games but Final Fantasy XV’s action just looks better. It’s not as fast as the aforementioned games but it’s fluid. And the sparks and sounds that come with every strike against an opponent will even give you a subtle reminder of the old Final Fantasy games.
Of course, with this being a Japanese RPG, you can expect that the characters have porcelain smooth skin textures that could rival your favorite Korean-pop stars'. Couple that with the way they’re dressed, one could say that they’re both ready to kill and burst into song and dance in the middle of nowhere. But these observations aside, one can really see how much Final Fantasy XV has come in terms of character animation and graphics. The characters’ movements are more fluid and the fact that they are sometimes subject to mundane tasks make it even eerily realistic.
A Final Fantasy plot with down-to-earth characterization
Noctis, being a prince whose father just got murdered, is not exactly relatable, but Director Hajime Tabata was true to his word when he said that the game would still show some relevance to our daily lives. This is most apparent during Noctis’ road trip with his friends/body guards and whenever he’s tasked to do random errands for NPCs.
Often times I found myself laughing at the prospect of a prince having to retrieve and deliver items for different folks but nonetheless, the friendly banter, the voices of concern and the teamwork displayed by Noctis and friends was heartwarming to see.
Even moving forward in their journey felt real. If Geralt of Rivia can go on long trips without the need for sleep, Noctis and their friends do. While it first rubbed me the wrong way when Ignis kept suggesting that we make camp or crash in a hotel in the evening, it makes sense in reality to do so. Getting some rest will allow you to level up and it will also give you a chance to reap a few benefits. When you’re camping, Ignis’ home cooked food will give you a full day’s boost of different stats. And if you manage to procure better ingredients, you will also get better boosts.
A long enjoyable trip
All in all, I am genuinely looking forward to Final Fantasy XV. From what I’ve seen so far I have high hopes for this game. That being said it isn’t perfect. I expect that the new combat system will rub a few gamers the wrong way and from my experience it would take some time to get used to it.
There may also be those who have qualms about doing mundane tasks that feel very much like every MMORPG but we still have to hold judgment for the full release to see if these quirks can easily be overlooked.
Final Fantasy XV is off to a good start and I feel like this would be a long and enjoyable title. The game wants you to take your time with it and not rush to its conclusion. The frequent breaks, the gorgeous scenery, and the good amount of distraction all give me the impression that this is a game best taken slowly. Tabata did mention that this game will roughly be around 200 hours long so it makes sense that we should relish it as much as we can.
Excited for Final Fantasy XV? The JRPG game that took a decade in development hell will finally be released on November 29.– Rappler.com