Intro: Prince Noctis is off to meet his fiancee, Lady Lunafreya, with his boy band. His father, King Regis, knew their enemy Niflheim was planning on attacking them, so he sent Noctis off on a broneymoon. With his dad dead and Luna struggling to deliver King Regis’s ring to Noctis, what will become of the boy band?
*As always, I own nothing in my reviews.
Final Thoughts Below:
Gameplay: FFXV is a road-trip with the bros. You’ll get to know your Regalia real well, which apart from running around, builds character with the bros. You can buy soundtracks from previous games to listen to as you traverse Duscae. You aren’t forced to drive the Regalia-except when night rolls around and Ignis is like STAHP. Until chapter 9, you’re going to be cruising and running everywhere, and while the latter may not be preferable when you can ride chocobos, it’s necessary to unlock Gladio’s Survival Trophy. Which takes a long time.
You have your standard rpg activities such as quests, upgrading weapons, exploring dungeons, collecting like a hoarder, leveling skills for that platinum, and never having enough money. In fact there’s so much to do you may find 4 hours have passed and all you’ve done is raised your fishing skill to 7.
Combat: Real time combat is easy to get the hang of, but when more than a couple of monsters on screen, there’s some lag. The combat can seem like banal button-mashing, but there is some strategy needed to perform combo attacks, bonuses, learned skills, etc. Warp striking is cool but it’s a shame we had to wait until the Royal Edition for the combat we saw in previous trailers to be realized. No Armiger Unleashed for you plebs. No, it’s not the most complex battle system out there but it’s surprisingly fun, engaging, and for me, it never became monotonous.
You can gain AP points through combos, driving, camping, etc. and these are used to unlock new skills.
Unfortunately, Summons are a pain. I like how you can’t spam OKs like no tomorrow, but the way you activate one could’ve been designed better. Summons are activated upon certain requirements during battle and differ with each Summon, but when you finally do get the chance, it’s usually when you’re under duress. If there’s a lot of enemies on screen you’re gonna have a field day as you hold down L2 and pray nothing touches Noctis or it won’t activate. If you manage to Summon, which isn’t too hard, you’re treated to visually stunning cinematics as it obliterates everything on the field-except friends and items.
Graphics: As mentioned, there is some lag. It’s a breathtaking world and everything looks as if you can reach out and touch it. Fantastic.
Sound: I’m absolute trash for XV despite the larger flaws I’ll be talking about. So much so that I’ve replayed it in German and Japanese. I’ve also listened to the other tracks online and I’ve gotta say, the English dub
would’ve been perfection, if not for Dino. is lovely. However, there’s a plethora of weirdly mashed-together accents that a lot of people have been puzzling over, especially with Ignis. Regardless of how out of place his British accent is, it fits him. Mamoru Miyano’s performance is also ❤ and uses a lot of keigo, leading many to speculate this as the reason for using a British accent in the dub.
Darin De Paul steals the show with his performance as Ardyn. He really made the character and I can’t imagine anyone else. I personally found the Japanese dub underwhelming. Of course, this is merely my opinion. French speakers online have also been very ardent about their delight for their dub of Ardyn. So there’s several ways to enjoy this slimey character. Spoilers in the video below.
Likewise, the soundtrack is glorious and I can’t do it justice so if you care to, here are some tracks I loved. I also was so impressed with Florence and The Machine in this game. It worked so well. Don’t listen if you don’t like spoiled songs.
And Now For The Shit
Before I nosedive into a conclusion about my embarrassing love for
Noctis this game, I must talk about it’s glaringly shameless issues, most notably in the wake of the recently released cash cow Royal Edition.
Story: You wouldn’t think you’d need to see an anime, watch Kingsglaive, read up on wiki pages, etc. to fill in the blanks. Oh and don’t forget purchase that good old DLC!! You know, for story. (Though, in retrospect you can easily understand the game’s plot without watching everything first but there will be many questions by the end).
I was so pumped for this game I did just that. And because I only got to finish it this year, I had enough time to do so. The story was much easier for me to piece together but that’s just the problem-it had to be pieced together. It’s not a complex story by any stretch of the imagination, but I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for those who’d waited so long only to discover the story wasn’t even done.
The villain was so promising and while he delivered in a lot of areas, he also was a letdown in many others. The lore that seeped into the narrative (summons) was confusing and I had no idea Niflheim was going out of its way to kill the summons-but then we find out they can’t be killed anyways so how in the heck did Shiva-ok you know what, never mind. We’re expected to assume it’s souls or something that Noctis can summon. I don’t even know anymore.
I liked how they tried to make the long distance relationship between Noctis and Luna romantic, but you’d think they’d have tried to call each other, facetime, SOMETHING. Noctis is so in love with Luna and all he wants is to reunite with her, but not once does he ever try to call her. I mean, hey, romantic af, sir. I like it. But damn, I bet you regret not calling her before chapter 9……
The shameless advertising cringe-fest.
I loved the linear focus of the latter chapters. The despair and hopelessness Noctis feels during those chapters really makes you feel how he does, and it’s a shame chapter 13 is going to be taken out.
The shameless advertising cringe-fest: I don’t think I need to elaborate.
Dat Money: XV is the new Hakuoki Cash Cow and it hurts. This game isn’t complete. It’s not finished with the Royal Edition! I was lucky to have gotten this last Christmas so I didn’t pay for the base “game”, but to those who pre-ordered Day One Editions, it’s gonna cost a lot more to afford what should’ve already been in their copy of the game.
If you’re new to XV, you can pick up the Royal Edition for about $45-50, which has everything so far released-but of course it’s not finished!
On launch, XV was ~$60. (Now it’s about $20). The Royal Pack, which includes everything in the Royal Edition, is added onto the base game for ~$15. To those unlucky players who got the base game and bought the season pass (~$25), they STILL need the Royal Pack to add on more. With MORE DLC coming out this year, it’s extremely difficult for me to justify spending $100 + for a shell of a game that STILL isn’t finished. What the fuck.
There’s a lot to be disappointed about how this game was handled because those mistakes have bled into 2018 (and now 2019). Those who pick up the Royal Edition won’t have to lose an arm or leg like those who got the game early. Yet, despite all of those terrible designs, I immensely enjoyed XV.
I wanted to play it when I saw the first trailer. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do. Noctis is ❤ and needs to be protected at all costs.
Yes, there’s awful design flaws and marketing decisions and that really sucks. However, XV got me out of a difficult time and made me excited to play games again. When the credits rolled, I was so happy to have experienced this fantasy.
FFXV made me so happy, and I’m so glad this was the first FF game I ever completed. There is always a new dawn to be had.
FFXV is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you’d like to support my blog and you want to pick up this game, you can purchase the game here. Thank you so much!!
What did you think of FFXV? Are you going to get XV if you’ve not played it?
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