Final Fantasy XV (Non-story Related Spoilers)

  • I know we have a thread dedicated to published reviews of the game, but with a release that is 10 years in the making, I really felt as though we needed something more focused on the game itself. I'd like to avoid discussing story where possible, but everything else should be up for grabs. Needless to say, if you would rather not read anything about the game, turn away now!

    Before I get going, I should mention where I'm at in the game and where I stand with the series. I'm roughly 10 hours into the game and I've just reached the Duscae region, completing a few sidequests there. With the series, I've been a fan for about two decades now and I've enjoyed nearly every entry in the franchise (yes, even XIII).

    With all that being said, I still don't know how to feel about this game. There's so much good and yet so much bad, all working in conjunction with each other. I'll address the bad first, as it is resonating more with me at the moment. This is Final Fantasy's first take on an open-world (if you don't count the MMOs) and... it's rough. The world feels absolutely barren, besides a few quest markers (that are fetch quests), some places to gather materials, and a few outposts and campsites. I don't wish for a cluttered Ubisoft map full of collectibles to gather, but something more than what is offered considering how long this game took to produce seems reasonable.

    On addressing the world, it doesn't feel like a real place, instead, it's very obvious it is a game world. There's a few details to me that just show an extreme lack of cohesion. Let's examine the names of some characters. Regis, Noctis, Prompto, Ignis, Cor, Takka.... Monica and Cindy? Those last two names just don't feel like they would exist in a world with all these exotic names. I've been to a total of 4 outposts, each with its own restaurant... but two of those restaurants (The Crow's Nest) are exactly the same building. Same design, same furniture placement, hell, the radio and the posters are in the exact same spot. Even in the case of a real-world franchise like a McDonald's, I think you'd be hard pressed to find two buildings that were exactly the same, especially just a few miles from each other. My last example comes from the dock outpost. Walking along the docks during the day, I saw a couple on the beach, with the male splashing the female. I decided to run down there and scope things out. Not only can you move through this couple, but they repeat the same animation loop (it's about 5 seconds long), over and over, no matter what is happening around them. NPCs as a whole don't react to anything really, just phasing in and out of existence.

    Glitches and bugs. I haven't really heard anyone talking about this but my household has been plagued with them. Towards the very beginning of the game, it stopped letting me use the car. I could select it, enter its menu, but every option was greyed out. Reloading the game had no effect. The journey down to the docks was excruciating, taking a full in-game day, my party members actually complaining about why we were running such a long distance. The trick to breaking out of this? Dying, reloading, going back to the first outpost, trying to use the car at night, and telling Ignis I'd take over. I had this prompt at other outposts but nothing came of it, this one let me back in. Then of course, I've had hard crashes, quest markers not showing up, quests not letting me complete them, and graphical glitches (such as Ignis' glasses floating in front of his face). I've never had to deal with such a mess when it came to a Final Fantasy game, but I guess those are just open-world woes.

    It's so strange that this disregard to detail exists because other areas of the game show such love and craft, it's hard to believe it all exists on the same disc. It's been praised to death already but the characters in your party are really what is making me continue to play. I feel Final Fantasy has always taken a backseat to other franchises like Persona and the Tales series as far as party interaction is concerned but they nail everything here, generally without having to use cutscenes. There's still strange bits, like Gladious repeating the exact same line everytime Ignis thinks of a new recipe, but as a whole, the party feels like friends. They joke, they make fun of each other, and they share thoughts and emotions in believable ways.

    Combat is the thing I thought I would despise but... it's not bad. I still prefer turn-based and always will, but I think they've struck a great balance here. I have yet to try the Wait mode out, but I feel like that would probably better suit my play style. I suppose my only gripe is that (so far) battles come in two varieties - attack constantly, find cover if low on health, win OR lose no matter what because you're too low-level. I'm hoping that changes later on but I'm not entirely sure just yet.

    My favorite part of the entire game? Being able to purchase soundtracks to other Final Fantasies and listen to them in the car. Again, it's a detail that is done with so much love.

    At the end of the day, it's a game that has absolutely captured my attention and I plan to see it all the way through, but I can't help but feel like this wasn't worth the 10 year wait. I understand the game is extremely different from what it was originally intended to be and production must have been an overall mess, but looking at other open-world games, it becomes obvious this doesn't even hold a candle to most of them as far as interactivity with the world is concerned. If they continue to build on this formula, I truly hope it's used on a new entry in the numbered series that doesn't take a decade to come out with, as opposed to a slew of sequels none of us actually asked for.

    What about you all, what's your take on the game so far? Am I just a nit-picking dummy that needs to get over it, or do you have gripes that you'd like to share as well? Lemme know! And please again, avoid story discussion if possible. L&R.

  • im about 5-7 hours in doing side-quests mostly about to start the first story quest of chapter 2. as for my history of the series i have played all main entrys of the series finishing 4,7,9,10-2,

    so far in the game im having the same glitch as you where i cant drive the car only ignis can but i can choose my route with a tap of the pad. i dont find the game world anymore barren then say the witcher. however the side-quests are alot worse while each quest in the witcher was like a episode of game of thrones. 15's for the most parts (there have been a few exceptions so far) been like miscellaneous
    quests in skyrim.

    As for the story well there hasn't been much yet and i get whats going on but i have watched kingsglaive. i can see there being confusion for people playing without kingsglaive but ff7 had a similar opening where you were just tossed into the action.

    the games exactly what i expected a good not great name the will return credibility to the Franchise, however there next mainline games gotta step it up.

  • @FF7Cloud Once the second area opens up, Ignis lets you know you can drive freely if you choose. My issue was I couldn't even get Ignis to drive, dunno why that happened, but I'm grateful it was fixed. A lot of my issues with the beginning section of the game is definitely due to lack of story, but I didn't include that with my mini-rant since they do start introducing a more involved narrative. It's really great to have a cast that doesn't whine all the time too. 13 laid the complaining on real thick, this group of adventurers is ready to tackle the challenges ahead of them.

  • Banned

    Driving manual is kinda bad anyway. I just let Ignis drive everywhere.

  • @Art Yeah, I've learned to do the same. Manual driving seems to get real confused at intersections, snaps me into a pole, and I've gotta pay 500 gil for repairs. I just started riding chocobos though, so I don't see much use for the car anymore. I do miss those sweet tunes though.

  • Banned

    I highly recommend to anybody who is interested in XV to watch the Kingsglaive movie and Brotherhood anime.
    Kingsglaive helps flesh out stuff like how magic works in XV, the political climate of the world (this stuff is explained in the game, but not until later), and basically tells you what happens between chapters 1 and 2, which is otherwise glazed over in a 2 minute cutscene which is just a montage of scenes directly from the movie with very little context.
    Brotherhood dives into the history and relationships of the four main characters and gives a bit more context to the bros.

  • @El-Shmiablo Personally, I'm glad I didn't watch Kingsglaive because I was genuinely surprised when that moment happened in between chapters. I had my theories of course, but there was no definitive "this is going to happen," which made it have a little more impact. I plan on watching the supplemental stuff after I complete the game, so I'll see if that makes me appreciate things more. Still kind of on the fence about all this extra lore being far removed from the game but... at least it's not grimoire cards.

  • Banned

    Does anyone else just sell all their treasure instead of using it to make magic?

    Magic in this game is almost as useless as it is in Kingdom Hearts.

  • Banned

    @Art Pump more points per element into your slots. Magic can be fucking devestating.

  • I've only done the first little quest but am enjoying it a lot. FYI I recommend changing to controller layout 2,it makes combat a little more intuitive with the button layouts

  • Yep Magic is super powerful, you can wipe out a whole group of enemies with just one spell!

  • I wasn't using magic but then I watched my roommate devastate an entire group of enemy soldiers (at least 10 of them) with one Thunder/Bolt/Lightning/WhateverThisGameCallsIt. Plus, if you mix in a debased coin, you get EXP for casting.

  • @SabotageTheTruth sweet thenak for telling me even though this game gives out levels like there goin outta style

    also when you get to chapter 3 things really open up

  • I can now say being 20 hours in, I'm appreciating the game more. The side quests are beginning to wear on me as literally every single one is kill this number of enemies or pick up this package for me, but aside from that, I'm enjoying the journey much more. I just wish I could listen to different tunes on my chocobo.

  • @SabotageTheTruth theres a walkman for sale somewhere

  • @FF7Cloud Your car sells it. Unfortunately, it only works while on foot though, not on the glorious chickens. If they could add that in with the ability to pick up items while riding, that'd be pretty nice.

  • Banned

    What jams do you guys listen to?
    I love cruisin' to the theme of Oerba from XIII.
    Maximum comf.

  • @El-Shmiablo I usually just put it on shuffle and trust it makes the right choices. Although once the story revealed a certain death happened, you better believe I put on Aerith's theme.

  • @El-Shmiablo rose of may, your not alone, anything from 7,8

  • 20 hours in and it feels great to have a game that I haven't been able to beat in a few days.