Final Fantasy XV is the latest (we are not counting the remake) and biggest Final Fantasy game. It’s developed and published by Square Enix. Now straight up, we at X35 Earthwalker definitely like this game. We had a great time for sure. There’s a lot going on in this game so we will cover all the important stuff (yes there are spoilers but is it really a spoiler at this point as the game has been out for like 4 years now). So check this out.
First things first. The story. We enjoyed the story. It’s one of those stories where if you don’t pay attention you won’t understand the crucial parts. The main parts are obvious though. You control Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum. Son of king Regis Lucis Caelum. The king sends his son and his friends: Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto of a missions. Basically Noctis is off to go get married to his fiancé Lady Lunafreya. The wedding is also a political move too but whatever. As you are in Galdin Quay you learn that your home town got attacked by the empire during a peace treaty signing. Your hometown, Insomnia, got destroyed, many people died, including Gladiolus and your Father are dead. You can’t reach home, nor do you have the power to take back the city. You continue to Altissia to find your fiancé and encounter the ‘Six’. Who are the Six? It’s a prophecy concerning the chosen king and how the Six, who are gods, the give Noctis power. It’s basically about getting lots of power destined for the king. There’s the ring of Lucis, the crystal, which the Lucis monarchy have guarded for numerous years, power from the six and the royal arms. We won’t explain everything. Just get the power and get to Altissia.
It’s a big journey. You even need to get and repair a boat to travel the sea and reach the island.The story does make sense and it’s easy to understand except for the ending which is sort of cryptic. Unless there’s content that explains what happens or a sequel is coming, games should let the players know what’s happening. Did Noctis really die, if so, him marrying Lunafreya was that in heaven, another realm, his wish granted as the chosen king to be with his fiancé or what? The dossier doesn’t explain and neither is there additional information. It’s not good to leave your players who are paying attention with giant question marks, especially when we worked hard to beat the game and more. This is a small negative though.
Concerning the Final Fantasy XV characters, we like them. Especially the four main characters who we follow around. Seeing how the four interact with each other was excellent. Noctis is the prince who everyone must protect and care for but he isn’t the most mature guy around and clearly has an attitude problem. Ignis is the greatest of all time and our favourite. He is the cook, the driver, the advisor and has the most wisdom. He is also the most educated and has an amazing accent and way of talking. Gladiolus is the big strong guy, focused and super stern and militant in some ways. He’s the big brother of the group. Prompto is the joker, the best friend of Noctis and most cheerful member, bringing the laughs and keeping spirits high. They joke with each other, pick on each other, make fun of each other like Ignis’s hair in the wild wind, or Noctis having a scrawny body and no muscle according to Gladiolus. They act like actual best friends and like best friends they even have arguments which we will get into later. You will end up caring about the four and their safety. There was a hint in the game where Ignis got hurt and he lost his sight. This actually hit X35 Earthwalker personally as he cared for Ignis. That’s what this game does to you. You care and possible relate to this characters based on their traits.
The Final Fantasy XV world is huge and definitely beautiful and amazing. There is firstly the cinematic scenes which are beautifully done and the details are top level. The desert area is dusty, mountains in the distance, the sand stormy areas do effect vision to some extent, there is a deep pit of water and the whole area literally looks like a good wild wilderness area. The next area is a very green, water pit area with literally large lakes, giant fossilised bones , bushes, lakes for fishing and more. Expect rain too. There’s even a simp like area and a mountainous place where rough wyvern enemies dwell. Multiple cities and towns for you to visit as well. All looks good. The roads, the world, as you travel, the graphics, character design is all very good. From time to time and especially when we entered a new area, we would stop and look around at the environment and area to see the design and the hard work that went into it.
Now a large game and world like Final Fantasy XV needs ways to traverse it right. There are cities, a coast, forests, sandy desert areas and more with numerous side quests all around. Well Final Fantasy XV has provided such means. Off course you can just hoof it and walk and sprint to where you need to go.Better though is that you can get access to Chocobos, which are the famous loveable giant chicken birds that you can ride. Chocobos can even do sprints which under the right conditions can bring some real speed. Next is the Regalia, which is the royal car. So actual horsepower right here. The regalia also has some options. For example, you can have Ignis drive you, drive yourself or even use fast travel. Now this is good game design. You have on foot, chocobos, car and a fast travel. Also when you turn the Regalia into the type D which becomes a serious off road monster truck like vehicle that can even jump. Yes… a jumping car. Final Fantasy XV has multiple options and ways for you to travel and get around. You can literally set a route for Ignis to drive and he will automatically drive the car there while the player can put down the control and quickly go do something else. Does come in handy.
Final Fantasy XV rewards players who like to explore. As you travel by car, chocobo or foot you will come across treasure, items, ingredients and more. You may even discover a dungeon containing a mighty beast to face. You can come across fishing spots too. Now the fishing is whole new game in itself. You need to put together your fishing rod and even decide what bait to use. Some bait will only attract certain fish, few have special effects etc. You throw in your bait and see what is paying attention to it. Then you need to reel in your bait at different speeds to attract the fish to it as some prefer fast moving bait while others prefer slow moving bait. Then when they catch, you see what fish it is allowing you to decide if you want to try and catch it or not. You have a brief moment to decide though. Then when you actually try to catch it, it’s a battle. The fish will move right and then left, back and forth to try and make things hard for you. You must tilt the control stick in the same direction it is moving to prevent your fishing line from taking damage. You must wait for the right moments to start reeling in the fish which reduces it’s stamina. Once their stamina reduces to nothing, you win. Fishing isn’t simple and it can actually be real hard to get the biggest strongest fish which also requite Noctis to have a higher fishing level, which increases as you fish. We have caught the Vesper Gar (we hate that thing) and something bigger.
Probably our favourite thing at the end of each in game day is the camping. Final Fantasy XV does have a day night cycle. It gets real dark so you make your way to a camp site. Gladiolus puts up the tent, prompto helps set up and keeps the chatter going. Ignis, the main man, stands by the grill and thinks about what meal to cook. You select the meal and Ignis with the click of his fingers gets straight to work. The way he does it is art. Then you see the meal made and presented in a bowl, plate or whatever is appropriate. Then you see all four characters actually eating the meal you selected and having a good chat. The developers went and did all this work. For example if you choose a meal that’s skewers then you see them holding the skewers and taking bites. If cup noodles then you see them with the cup and getting those noodles down them. Also the details on the food is very good too. Some meals makes us want to eat it too. We also liked the idea that you get buffs from your meals. Some meals increase your max health, attack, magic, spirit or a combination temporarily. Some meals increase the amount experience points you get, others make your tech meter fill up faster. So get tactical and decide what you need… when it comes to food.
The combat in Final Fantasy XV is simple on one side but also deep on the other side. Let us explain. Sure al you have to do it hold down attack and everything is automated, then hold down block to dodge and survive. At it’s core… that’s it… but there’s more. While attacking, use the control stick to adjust where Noctis attacks and shift around to the back of the enemy. Why? Because striking the back does trigger a blindside which if an ally is near you both do a fancy powerful tag team move that does lots of damage. o always aim for the back. If you successfully block an attack that alerts the player by telling you to block, you can parry right afterwards which if an ally is nearby leads to a tag team strike which again does lots of damage. So fight near your allies. Next jumping and then attacking in the air triggers different kinds of moves, especially with certain javelins. Once unlocked through the ascension with AP points you can even air step, dodge and block in the air while striking from above. You can warp strike into enemies which while warping you are invincible so time your warps and you can avoid lethal attacks while dishing out some damage. Best of all though is that you can perform link strikes if you have filled up your link gauge (which fills as you attack and defend). You can unlock and then set what link strike you want each ally to have. For example, Prompto can have piercer, Gladiolos can have dawn hammer, and Ignis has enhancement. You choose which you want and they will do it. You are invincible while they are doing the move. If you wait for the prompt at the end of their move you can perform your tag team strike right afterwards for additional damage. It doesn’t end there. You can use the armiger which fills as you fight, then unleash to increase your attack strength and greatly boost speed and mobility. You literally end up dashing around, and striking with great power (this isn’t even your final form). Then you can do a armiger chain where you use your remaining armiger “fuel” and deliver a strong attack with your allies. You can also do a cross chain with your allies where you warp strike into a vulnerable enemy and you all then take turns striking the enemy, increasing the damage with each successful pushed attack button when prompted to, leading up to a final flashy finishing strike, normally kills the enemy.
Final Fantasy XV also has summons. After you gain the support and help of the gods you can then summon them in combat to help you. They each have conditions though on how to be summoned. This sadly wasn’t explained in the game and we didn’t even know until recently. For example when you get Ramuh’s mark, he can only be summoned when a fight you are in drags on for a long time then you will see the prompt to summon and he will show up. Titan can be summoned when your allies are down or in danger and only in certain places of the world like a bog open place. Leviathan can only be summoned when your allies are in danger and when you are near a good amount of water. We aren’t entirely sure about any of this. This is a big fail of Final Fantasy XV. They didn’t;t make the summons clear or how to do it. We get shown Ramuh’s summon because it’s part of the story only. While playing we saw Ramuh once and that’s it. We then kept seeing a bird goddess thing because we unlocked her through completing a cool special event story. We never saw any other summon.
Last of all Final Fantasy XV has the greatest battle scene of all video gaming time. When we first saw the Leviathan show up and take us on, we were amazed. We knew we can’t beat that thing. It’s too big and has the advantage of going in the water. When we the got our kingly powers unlocked and could fly, launch powerful explosive attacks, dash and practically teleport and strike with immense force we knew it was a serious battle. Combine this battle and the weather, the environment and the epic music. It was a battle that you will never forget. literally no other game gave us an exciting moment like this. Final Fantasy XV has the greatest not just combat but gaming scene in video game history. We were amazed the whole way through. More games need epic moments like this. Sadly there wasn’t anything else like this in the rest of the game even though this game has the room and potential for it.
Final Fantasy XV is also relatable and one of the few games that really brings the emotions at least for us. We will give two examples. When Gladiolus and Noctis had a major disagreement and they almost fought on the train after some exchange of words you understood both sides. Noctis lost his fiancé and was really down about it as anyone would be but the events on the train took place several weeks after that though. In that time he was so focused on that, that he ignored and forgot about his friends, mainly Ignis who lost his sight and was badly wounded while trying to help Noctis. Ignis was blind and it seems like Noctis almost paid no mind. So we understand why Gladiolus was mad and frustrated with Noctis. He was basically being the harsh big brother getting his little brother to get his head straight and be more considerate of others. When we saw Ignis blind, walking slowly and even falling over… it actually hit us sort of hard. We didn’t dear run ahead, we made sure to keep him close by. We cared about Ignis… all of them and you can clearly see how this is a brothers moment. Gladiolus was harsh, heart in the right place and was right but was too harsh and needed to handle things with more gentleness. Noctis had every right to mourn and be sad but that’s no excuse to forget about and show no compassion and concern for others, especially those who will lay down their lives for him like Ignis did. The second example was the camping you had to do before entering the home city of Insomnia. It’s the last camp the four will do together. It, as usual, gives you the choice of what to eat. You then realise that this is literally the last meal the four friends were going to have together. They won’t get this again. No more laughter around the camp fire. All of a sudden you had to think carefully about what you would eat. It was an emotional moment.
Let’s sum up. Final Fantasy XV failed to explain summons properly and the conditions of the summons concerning the ‘the six’. There also wasn’t enough summons. The camera when you was driving the car (the Regalia) was too close to the car and when you went up steep hills, you couldn’t see anything as the camera was in the car. Your line still taking damage even though you stopped reeling and turning the rod in the direction is stupid. Either make us turn faster or reduce or give a heads up of when the fish turns as some turn to quickly without any warning and showing no time to reel in. Also when the fish jumps up and you get a prompt to press a button, it does little to no effect on the fish’s stamina. The ending needs to be cleared up as after spending lots of hours into the game, you deserve to know exactly what happened and understand it. A bit of cryptic for details is fine but the end result should be clear. AP points needed to come more frequently as we finally got the two link strike abilities which cost 333 and 999 AP points but by that time we were basically near the very end of the game. Took too long to get there and have much more to unlock. Also we hate that the empire’s forces can drop in while you are fighting a bounty creature. Regular travels and enemies are fin but not when you are facing tough monsters as bounty. That was super annoying. We hated that. Enemy targeting in combat wasn’t perfect and was annoying when your character starts shining at an enemy far away instead of the vulnerable enemy on the ground right next to you… but when you fully understand how the targeting works, that happens way less.
What they did well was: excellent top level graphics and wonderful looking cutscenes. Great details on the food which makes you want to eat it too. Good options in traverse the game like the Regalia and chocobos. Epic boss battles including the greatest boss battle and game moment in all of history. Characters are relatable, stand out, unique, got own stories and history and you actually care about them. Lots of relatable lessons and moments in the game like friendship, bonds, trust, loss, betrayal, mystery, laughter, victory, love, pain, depression and more.We loved the camping and it’s mechanics. Final Fantasy XV rewards you for exploring. Lots of customisation for car and characters. Can change gear and abilities even during combat. Has epic summons. Combat is smooth, simple but can get real deep. There’s fun activities too like chocobo racing, fishing (can be challenging though). Loads of side quests with most not be same or simple fetch quests, except Dave and his dog tags which makes sense though as being a hunter is a tough job and many will die. Nice interesting story with some mystery. Even something unusual like a proper political meeting between the king of Lucis and the first secretary of Accordo, Camelia Claustra which requires a different approach. Final Fantasy XV has pictures that Prompto takes which you can decide which ones to save and they can bring back memories or reminders of the journey.You can save anywhere and there is a new game plus with more stuff to do end game so it isn’t ver. The game has the right difficulty. Some moments and enemies are real easy but do side quests and level up and you can fairly face the strong monsters. Cool enemies with variety… we got to fight a flaming griffon bird thing. Now that’s cool. An abundance of items granting powerful effects. There’s even a monster arena where you can place your bets and watch creatures you’ve met and thought on your journey battle each other to the death. Bet on the winning monster and you make a lot. There’s even items you can buy to help your chances of winning in the monster arena. There’s more to say but that covers the basics.
Overall Final Fantasy XV has basically everything. It’s positive way way way way overcomes the few negatives which aren’t even that serious. We truly enjoyed playing the game, taking our time and exploring. We like facing cool monsters and enemies. We will never forget facing Leviathan the Hydraean. When it comes to design, details, variety, hard work put in and share fun… we crown Final Fantasy XV so far as the greatest game we have ever played. We know, that’s a most serious statement to make. Is it our favourite game… no. Is it best game ever made, possibly no because it has way more than Halo 5 because of the type of game that it is. Final Fantasy XV being an open world RPG has room for anything and everything. You can have racing, exploration, underwater levels, huge stories and more because open world RPG are built like that and always require the most time spent in them with numerous side quests and levelling up to do. It’s a true adventure. Halo 5 is a set first person shooter game. You complete each of the levels, shoot some aliens and you end the game. It’s linear and set. Open world RPG like Final Fantasy can have multiple stories within one game and has room for DLC and expansions like it already has. It’s just way bigger and allows for so much more. So it’s the greatest game we have ever played wee have yet to decide if it’s the best game ever made but it’s definitely a strong contender. We had so much fun and would recommend it to anyone. Literally anyone. There is a few puzzle elements, racing, explorations, beautiful moneys and environments and action. It has everything. The developers ‘Square Enix‘ have done an awesome job with this game. Final Fantasy XV deserved way more credit from reviewers and way more attention. We didn’t cover everything but this is good enough. Now Final Fantasy XV may be the greatest game ever made but it’s still worthless when compared to… the ‘Earth Walk!’
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