Final Fantasy XV – Demo & Thoughts

Just needed to get some thoughts and feelings out of my head after running through the latest Final Fantasy XV Demo.

Now i am already excited about Final Fantasy XV.  Nearly 10 years in development and leaked screenshots its hard to ignore the presence of this game.  A FF (Final Fantasy) fan or not, its always a big day on the gaming calendar when Square Enix release a new chapter in this behemoth of a video game franchise

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Starting off with the Premium Demo, it took me a little under an hour to run through exploring the miniature world.  This is the second taster of Final Fantasy XV.  The first being a fantastic small cut of an area from the future game which was available at the time from purchasing Final Fantasy Type-0.  This demo on the other hand is a stand alone instalment to give people a taster.  Available on both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, the Premium Demo is now easily available for everyone to take a look.  Visually the demo looks like an average Xbox 360/PS3  game.  But this demo is not about the visuals.  To anyone who has ever played a Final Fantasy game on release you know that Square Enix will treat you to some of the best visuals on that platform.  To me this felt like a tech demonstration on the new combat system.

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You play the main character Noctis.  It appears Noctis has been knocked out or in a deep sleep dreaming.  With the aid of your furry friend Carbunkle (yes i left his name as default, come on Carbunkle just rolls off the tongue right?) you have to navigate to the end of each section to wake up from the deep sleep.

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Since the last demo the controls feel refined.  Pressing the “B” button to attack, holding the “X” button to defend (Xbox One), “A” button to jump, “LS” to run, “LB” to lock on to target and the D-Pad for quick weapon selection.  Very simple but this does allow for varied combo attacks during fighting.  As the game plays much like a stand alone MMO RGP (first demo more so) you can easily chose your battles carefully.  The battle system seems very fluid and will be very interesting to see how this will work in a huge open environment with many enemies.  As you progress through each stage you will be collecting diamond like pick-ups.  These are used to unlock “Plates” on the floor which effect various environmental factors and allow you to move forward from each stage.

boss

Stepping on the weather “plate” allows you to change the environment to either bright and sunny, raining or cloudy.  Its great to control this like some kind of old school cheat code.  The point of this again im guessing will come to play into the full version of the game.  Another plate allows you to view a change in the landscape.  One of these was to release a huge dragon type creature in the distance.  It rises from behind the mountains up into the sky and flies over your head and into the lake behind you.  Maybe this is the first glimpse of an Aeon or Summons.  If so they are going to be spectacular to say the least (yes i am grinning as im typing this…..epic summons!!!! cant wait)  Another plate changes the time to cycle through night and day.  Other plates include changing Noctis into a different animal with different abilities and im guessing these will be in the game.  Noctis also transforms into a truck in the second part of the demo.  A demo of vehicle handling maybe?

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Starting in a secluded forest, being shrunk and running around a giant kitchen, the Final Fantasy Premium Demo is an ok play up to this point.  Its not until you play the final area where you have to face a giant boss that the demo really springs into life.  As i have said before, its all about the combat in this demo.  Moving away from turn based fighting and into a real strategic environment.  You have to think and plan your attacks and at the same time be mindful of defence and healing.  It will take a little time to get used to this but i am very excited about how this is going to turn out in the final version of the game.  I feel like Square Enix have really taken a step forward  with Final Fantasy XV.  Lessons learnt from the stale FFXIII (i didn’t mind it to be honest but need to go back and finish it), FFXV feels epic.

With a five part free anime based on the events before FFXV called Brotherhood (Part 1 – Before The Storm, link below) and the future released computer animated film, Final Fantasy Kingsclaive, I feel September 30th is going to be a fantastic day for Final Fantasy fans.

Any Florence and the Machine fans out there will be please to hear she has sung a cover of “Stand by me” featured in Final Fantasy XV trailer but not sure if this is featured in the main game.(Please click on link below)  A quite fitting pairing if you ask me though.  The game score will be composed by Yoko Shimomura.  Yoko has composed  tracks to other game such as Kingdom Hearts and Parasite Eve 2

All that i have left to say is, the demo and all the other parts that make up Final Fantasy XV release and build up,  looks, sounds and feels like this will be one epic game.  I personally cant wait and feel that this game will be one of Square Enix’s masterpieces that we will look back on as fondly as other epic FF releases.  Enjoy the extended trailer folks and see you on the battlefield

I hope you have enjoyed this post and please take a look at the rest of VGR2016.  Please post any comments and thoughts below, i would like to hear how you feel about the game.  Thanks very much for reading

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. stevenger says:

    Really good write-up, I’ve got several capital-O Opinions/Observations to fire off (which is why I didn’t comment when I was on mobile) so please bear with me. Think of this as the Daily Mail site and me as the stereotypical, foaming-angry UKIP voter!

    The shrunk world idea/look reminds me funnily enough not of the American McGee Alice games which I’m currently playing, but Micro Machines, Mr Domino (look it up) and … Kingdom Hearts. Which leads to my actual gripe. Square are going hard on the KH angle and have been for a while. I like KH but I *hate* FF13-2’s bloody Nithling, fan-pandering Noel Kreiss (lit. “Christmas Jesus”) and his sodding asymmetric shorts. Ugh! Getting similar vibes off Noctis, have to say.

    Weather manipulation to change the foe patterns etc, has been the modern FF equivalent of palette-swapped sprites for a while (12 and 13 certainly) and I really like it, even if I wish the idea was implemented in a bit more dynamic of a way than you describe. Sounds cool!

    The free anime, etc make me wary that Square-Enix is going all-in on this one, i.e. has the sort of heavily-integrated scheme that leads to deadlines being immovable and *something* having to be pushed out on time. I can smell Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on the wind.

    Irony is, as ever, that this shouldn’t affect me, so why should I care? Er, barring an ongoing dislike/disdain for all games converging on a action-like, RPG-lite template that’ll really wind me up in 8-10 years when I get round to playing them!

    Good informative review though, cheers for sharing! Gave me something to think AND rant about, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. retrolechuck says:

    Nice comments Stevenger, that is the best part of doing this. Really respect and appreciate your thoughts . Lets see what happens on September 30th (Its the first and hopefully the only date Square Enix have for the games release) Hopefully no one can blunder as bad as GT5 Prelude. That was just beyond embarrassing for them…didnt they also charge people for that mess too? Fingers fully crossed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. stevenger says:

      Good point about charging for the GT5 thing! Sheesh!

      Like

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