Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy and I go back a ways now. I didn’t start playing as early as most, but at 13, I got my first taste. Bigfoot let me borrow his copy of Final Fantasy 7, and I was immediately hooked. All of a sudden I needed it all, I wanted to play the 6 before it and the new ones coming out (it was at 9 at the time). Ever since, I’ve been a fan of the series, even at it’s lower points. The question is, do I consider this a high point or a low point for the series? Whereas it’s not my favorite in the series, I definitely consider it a high point! Very, very high. The game has its misses, but all and all as the credits rolled I found myself satisfied! Here’s why:

First, brief spoiler-free synopsis. You play as the young Prince Noctis. The story starts as you are sent out on a road trip of sorts by your Father, the King, with your three protectors and closest friends. What ensues is part buddy road trip movie, part epic blockbuster. One of the fantastic parts of this game is how quickly I became attached to this group of friends and the bond that they forged on their adventure. The ups and the downs. The good decisions and the bad. They were there for each other like few friends are. They even got upset with each other and fought at times, just like real friends do. But they forgave each other. These were more then just characters in a game, these were friends. As someone who has had the same best friends since Kindergarten, this really hit home with me as something that I truly appreciate.

This entry is different then most Final Fantasy’s. It has a huge open world with a ton of quests. You travel to most locations in your car, the Regalia. Once you’ve been to a location you can fast travel from one point to another. But where is the fun in that? By actually just putting it on auto pilot and letting them drive from location to location you can gain AP, but even better, you can see a living breathing world that is just phenomenal to look at. To make things better, you can collect soundtracks from your favorite FF games, and listen to them while you drive. There’s something to be said about turning on the soundtrack to FF8 and just watching as they drive. Looking at the wildlife and the creatures as they cross the street. Night time is a different story though. At night, out come the real baddies. Being stopped on a long drive in the middle of the road as an Iron Giant comes from a portal in the road, is both frightening, and exhilarating. The side quests can range from being interesting and fun, to repetitive and cumbersome. Either way they also allow you to see a major part of this world you inhabit, adding to the overall scope of the game.

 

The battle system was fun, if not very different from past entries in the series. Gone are the days of turn based FF. these battles are very fast paced, active battles. The limit break can add for some nice strong attacks, but the link attacks you do truly add to the character growth in the game as you watch these characters loyally fight with each other, for each other. The really amazing thing about the battle system this time around are the summons. There aren’t many of them, and the qualifications for using them are a bit hard to achieve sometimes. But due to their scope and pure power, its easy to see why. I won’t go in to deep discussion on them but I will say, they are without a doubt the most epic of summons seen in a FF.

Is this to say this entry in the series is without its flaws? No. There were quite a few. For example, outside of the main cast of characters, a lot of the voice acting was not good at all. Like, I had to laugh out loud a few times when hearing the voice they used for certain characters. The quests can get extremely repetitive. Painfully so. If you want to do them all, expect to be doing a lot of backtracking and taking a lot of pictures. Catching frogs. Fishing.. Over and over again. But the thing I found to be the worst, was the pacing of the game. It was so easy to be distracted by side quests that once you get back to the main story, you forget what’s going on. And at that, personally, I thought the story happened so fast at times, that I didn’t always understand what was going on. Literally before I knew it I had reached the end game and felt like I needed more time and development. But that’s just me.

Honestly though, even though I do have some complaints, they are rather small in comparison to all the game does right. Even though I found the pacing to be off, the story was so epic in scope that I couldn’t help but marvel at what I was doing in game. And these four characters alone make up for a lot of the negative I could even find to say about the game. I grew attached to them and look forward to the future DLC and whatever expanded story may be added.

So is this my favorite entry in the Final Fantasy series? Personally, no. But it is now up there with what I consider the greatest in the series. And hands down it is the best title in the series for awhile there. If you are a fan of the series and haven’t given a try yet, I feel like you have to. The game offers too much to be skipped completely. It feels like Square Enix listened to the complaints from their fans from the last few entries and actually worked to fix them, and that deserves our respect. If you can find time, pop the game in and enjoy getting to know your new friends. You won’t regret it.

Krispy
From as early as he can remember, Krispy has been a gamer. From the Super Mario Bros 3 on NES to Destiny on PS4 he has been running, jumping, and button smashing across worlds on most major consoles. A few of his favorite games are Super Metroid, Earthbound, and the Uncharted series.

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