First Impressions: Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

(author’s note: This is long winded! Bear with me!)


 

It never occurred to me to ever include gaming into this blog; it didn’t seem to fit my theme….BUT, let’s be real; my blog has always been evolving. If I can’t nerd out here 100% where else will I get that kind of chance? Also a special thanks to lethargic ramblings for supporting my idea for this entry. 🙂

I am by no means a professional gamer, and I’m definitely not a hardcore gamer. I just game because I find joy in it – and it’s something I’ve grown up doing as an only child.  I can spend hours a day playing and other days I won’t even get to touch my PS4. I’m not even sure how to go about writing this first impression since it’s my absolute first time writing about a game!

I’ve been a final fantasy fan for awhile. Maybe not from the beginning, and I didn’t start with the iconic FFVII. My first Final Fantasy was FFX. I LOVE FFX. It’s one of my favorite games ever next to the Mass Effect series! FFX resonated with me so much on the PS2 when it first came out – I loved the characters; but more specifically the OST is what really got me. I love all the music from the Final Fantasy series; so much so I treated myself to the “Final Symphony” for my birthday this past year.

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But I digress; let’s get back to the task at hand: FFXV. At it’s core FFXV was a 10 year in the making video game. There was a very familiar feel when I started this game. I thought it oddly felt similar to FFX-III (I haven’t even finished this series). I had asked a buddy if they were within the same Final Fantasy universe and he told me it shouldn’t be.  But I did a little digging of my own. Back when FFX-III was being developed XV had started out to tie into that world alongside Type-O (which I also started but didn’t make it far). The three games although not related in realms share the same Mythos, in which theres a link between crystals and dieties and that’s pretty much all that ties them together – it’s under the title Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy. According to Wikipedia, the level of connection of mythos varies from game to game. But anyways, let’s breakdown my first impression of XV.

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VISUALS
Square Enix just never ceases to amaze. They’re always pushing the boundaries of realism in fantasy and it just gets better and better with each iteration they produce.It’s been pretty fluid for me so far in terms of cut scenes and battles. But sometimes I get some weird pixelation when I have Ignis mark enemies. I’m not sure if that’s part of the game or if that’s a glitch – cuz the pixelation looks cool >_< like magic in his hands. Also I think the Regalia is a pretty slick ride for a road trip!

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Ignis might be my favorite

MECHANICS
I’m not used to this active battle system. I’m used to the one in FFX, a conditional turn-based system and I could never really get FFX-III’s Command Synergy Battle system, it became pretty clear that if I don’t have the time to think – I’m the button mashing type. I used Noctis’ warp strike a lot in the beginning; not thinking about the link strikes or the L1 button to dictate what your friends do. Hence my finesse rating was always a “D“. That brings me to the “wait” mode. Thank god for the “wait” mode of the battle system; this slight pause gives me a few more seconds to think tactically about how I want to advance or what orders I want to give –  it gives me a better look at my enemies weaknesses as well. I’ve been able to bump my Finesse up to a “B” but that took so effort to get to it! My anime counter-part Armin would totally be disappointed in my lack of tactical expertise. T_T I have a bit of trouble with the magic and elemancy components – just because I accidentally end up incinerating my comrades (thankfully I haven’t killed anyone). Even if I throw it a distance sometimes they run into it and at the end of battle I can’t help but laugh at how burnt their clothes are.

INTERFACE
Also, to be honest I completely flubbed on how to read the quest map. I didn’t see that there was a correlation to what you were selecting from the list to the map that was in the background. Wayfinding is definitely not the strongest suit of this game – sometimes I wish I could zoom in even more on specific points because they’re still too jumbled up together to really see what’s there.

final-fantasy-xv-noctis-gladio-ignis-promptoSTORY
If you’ve seen my twitter you’ll know that I’ve been posting screenshots as I play through. Mostly smart ass remarks about me going on a roadtrip with my homies and living up the bachelor life/broke college student life. But in all seriousness, I watched the anime Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV and liked the backstory we got of each of the other people that make up Noctis’ circle.  I know that the movie Kingsglaive happens during the time Noctis leaves home and heads for Galdin Quay. Noctis leaves his home in Insomnia as he makes his way towards Lunafreya, his future wife to be, in Altissia; but in some unfortunate events (I need to watch Kingsglaive again) his Father, the King of Lucis is killed and the country is in a state of turmoil so to speark. Since I’m still in the early stages of this game (I’ve only played like 20 hours and I’m still in chapter 2) – this is all I know so far, so I apologize this doesn’t have much else to say. I’ve also mentioned some of the Mythos story earlier too.

MUSIC
Ah, the music. As I’ve said – I love the OST’s of Final Fantasy. They’re well composed scores that are just really incredbile to listen to. What I like about the music so far in XV is that on the long roadtrips with my bro’s I can listen to other OST’s from previous Final Fantasy games. I’ve actually been listening to Final Fantasy X-III’sSaber’s Edge” because of the adventure feel it gives off with the use of the brass section and the strings (Oops the music nerd in me is coming out). What better song to go on an epic road trip than with this track in the background – especially with the sweeping landscapes you encounter. I think it fits it perfectly.  I’m still on the hunt fot the FFX soundtrack – I have yet to find it in one of the mini-marts.

OTHER THINGS OF NOTE:
The damn fishing mini-game is fun! I feel so accomplished whenever I reel in a fish. It’s the little things.  I don’t get the pinball game really, but I managed to score over 200,000 points the first time I played it.

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I have a gripe with Prompto. The weakest in the bunch; he dies so easily that I don’t even bother reviving him with a Phoenix Down  half the time because I know he’s just going to die again in a matter of seconds. I’ve started to equip him with HP boosting accessories and make sure Ignis cooks Prompto’s favorite meals to further boost his HP for the upcoming battles, and that’s helped quite a bit. I think this is the most planning I’ve had to do – just to make sure he can try to stay alive and help in battle. I love that he’s a photographer though! Also, rake in the moola with those photography sidequests. That guy pays really well! Ignis is shaping up to be my favorite homeboy. I think the marking of opponents for Noct to follow is visually pleasing; an on top of that Ignis is our cook! He can cook for me any day! His meals look delicious! Also, I’m probably partial to Ignis because I’m like him. Always writing things down in a notebook and the driver on a roadtrip..

Another thing I don’t like but will have to live with, are the dungeons/caves. I don’t do well with surprises, and I hate spiders on top of that. So you can imagine the heart attack I have when I’m in the tomb trying to retrieve one of Noctis’ weapons only to be ambused by a gigantic spider in the middle of the dark. Also, in that ice tomb, what the heck was that samurai looking thing!? This is why I could never play Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, or Silent Hill growing up – just knowing something was there waiting for me just gave me anxiety and therefore unable to playthrough. But I could watch others playthrough it.

Ah, I digress again! Overall, I’m rather enjoying XV. I’ve seen some reviews really hate on the battle system, story and little things like the interact/jump button. But as a Final Fantasy fan over the years, I really really do love this game! I love that it’s got that open world feel and I can just wander around aimlessly looking for random items or engaging in battle with strange creatures. However, I hate the magitek battles; no matter my level I find them difficult to take down.

This was a longwinded first impression but I figured my game reviews will probably be lengthy until I figure out a type of system. Thanks for reading my ramblings on FFXV! What are your guys’ thoughts on the latest installment of Final Fantasy XV?

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5 thoughts on “First Impressions: Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

  1. Lethargic Ramblings says:

    An excellent post and a fantastic break down of your impressions of the game! You should definitely do more of these if any other games come up in the future.

    Interesting to see you mention Wait Mode. I haven’t even tried to use it yet, since I love the real-time system. It reminds me of Xenoblade Chronicles and Kingdom Hearts, so I’m pretty used to it!

    I think the game is fantastic. It’s become an instant classic already and it’s really revitalised my interest in the franchise, which was almost gone after XIII, that game was awful to me.

    Quite a lot of fans seem disappointed with this game in terms of its story and its gameplay, but I honestly feel it’s just Final Fantasy fans being the whiny, ungrateful, babies that they are. They’re never happy and just want every game to be FFVI and FFVII forever and ever (even though those games are far from perfect and have aged horrendously). The game is an incredible piece of art from its story, to its design, to just about everything so far, and I can only see it getting better from here.

    Loved this post. It was a great read!

    I’ll be doing one myself (most likely tomorrow), so feel free to check it out!

    And thanks for the mention too! Really appreciate it!

    And FFX was amazing! One of my favourites!

    Like

  2. raistlin0903 says:

    I have very fond memories of Final Fantasy. Even though I don’t game anymore these days, it’s always nice to look back on things. My first Final Fantasy experience was part 8, and I loved it (especially the mini collectible cardgame that was included). As for part X, it was briljant. I truly enjoyed the characters, abd the story was superb. Then came part X-2, and that one I did not like (mostly because the turnbased system all of a sudden turned into a hybrid realtime system).
    This game really looks fantastic, the graphics are simply amazing. It looks so cool, I would almost start gaming again. This was a great read, hopefully you will continue to enjoy the game, but I have this funny feeling you will definitely do that. Keep up the great work 😀

    Like

    • heyitszel says:

      FFX was a masterpiece! Even tho I haven’t finished it. I’m literally at the end where you have to beat Sin. However, i thought i was leveled up enough to take it on. but i don’t think so T-T. sucks!
      Thanks for reading!! Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

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