Is Final Fantasy XV Worth it?

Is Final Fantasy XV Worth it
Talk about badass, am I right?

Is FF15 Worth Your Time and Money?

Even after two years of its release, Square Enix still isn’t done giving us new content to for the game. Now, anyone who’s been following this game since it was still called FF Versus XIII knows that it’s had a few hiccups in development over the past decade. A major development shift occurred just three years before its released. The result? A game made for both old and new fans of the franchise!

FF15 Story

Gotta be honest with you here, if you just go by the game alone without watching any of its other media releases, it’s going to be a little confusing. You start off on a road trip with the main character Noctis and his three friends: Prompto, Ignis, and Gladiolus. Of course just like any Final Fantasy, the story takes a dramatic turn when you find that the Crown City has been attacked and you’re being hunted down by the Niflheim Empire.

It does a fantastic job at capturing that chill and relaxed road trip vibe. From camping, fishing, selfies, to playful car banter, you really get the feeling that it’s just one big joy ride amongst friends. The huge and detailed open space of Lucis will have you stopping every time just to explore. At some point, you just want to keep doing quests and messing around that you forget that there’s an Empire worth defeating.

Halfway to the story, everything pretty much goes downhill fast. You’re almost forced back into a linear plot. The game does have a way of warning you that you’re at that point of no return. Though, there is a stark difference in pacing between the first and last half of the game that might give you a bit of a whiplash.

If you look at FFXV in its entirety (including all its related titles), the story is actually good, but the way it’s told is problematic. A lot of things happen off scene and the game itself has a bunch of plot holes that had to be resolved through other media. I mean if you have to watch a movie, an anime, and play three DLC to fully know what’s going on, then there’s an issue there. I can tell you for sure that immersing yourself in them would be worth it though!

What About The Open World?

A definite stand-out that XV has over the other titles is its attempt at open world gaming. Did they succeed? Well, it was a good effort that could have been better had they been given more time.

No question, the explorable world of Eos is beautiful. The plan was to make it seem more like a real world with elements of fantasy, and they definitely achieved that. You can easily just stop anywhere and get a photo-worthy shot of the scenery. The depth and details of the world certainly adds to the experience of being on the road. If you take the time to do more than the necessary side quests, then you’ll discover some of the most complex and difficult dungeons yet.

It is not, however, without its faults. Invisible barriers exist in the form of high railings and mountains with no way of climbing. It can get a little frustrating when you see a potential location in the distance that turns out to be inaccessible. Also, most of the open world happens in Lucis, and you’ll notice that locations after Altissia are considerably smaller and less explorable.

What About The Combat?

Unlike most FF games you’re used to, it plays more like an action game than the usual turn-based. You’re going to hear people complain about how it’s too much action, but it’s actually done really well. Contrary to belief, it does actually apply some level of skill, especially when you chose to stay properly leveled. Sure, you can just hold the attack button the whole time, but that’s not always gonna work.

As expected for Square Enix, the fights look really aesthetic and exciting. The warping and phasing is a nice little touch that make it seem so fluid (if not a little chaotic at times). Plus, the link strikes with your teammates give you this quirky little interaction that shows some of their character.

While Noctis himself has a wide range of weapons (from swords to shields to firearms), the updated game lets you switch out and play any of the other bros, too! Each of them has their own unique playing style that is entirely different and is a challenge in itself.

What About The Characters?

Your main party is basically the four main bros with an established friendship, but the interactions they have along the way just further highlight this. Each one has their own distinct traits with their own likes and even their own favorite food (that gives them an extra boost in battle). You can actually know more about them in just the occasional dialogue.

Their respective DLCs also lets you use them as your main, and you learn a little bit more about their backstories in each one. The best part of them is the fact that you start to understand their relationship with Noct a lot more. Their connection goes beyond being his retainers, and it just makes the moments when you’re using Noctis alone all the more painful.

Just because the main cover features an all-male party doesn’t mean that FFXV doesn’t have its share of strong female characters. On some occasions they’ll join your team, but don’t think they’re just there to act as healers. Both Iris and Aranea are strong fighters on their own that by the end of their chapters, you’ll wish they were permanent members.

As for our villain, Ardyn is one of the best things about the story. He’s crazy and manipulative that’s comparable to Kefka from FFVI. He has an interesting backstory with realistic motivations that you just have to find out when you play it! Even better is that we’ll get to see more of his story in the upcoming Episode Ardyn DLC in 2019!

What About The Soundtrack?

FFXV’s soundtrack is easily one of the best in the franchise. The main game’s soundtrack has some of Yoko Shimomura’s best work like Somnus, Apocalypsis Noctis, and The Hydraean’s Wrath. You can listen to the soundtrack while in the car and you know what’s better? You can get the OST from past games in the shops in-game, too! This is just one of the few nods to the past games that old FF players would appreciate.

What About The Dungeons?

Part of the game’s objective is to collect the Royal Arms that are special weapons that also boosts Noctis’ Armiger ability (this game’s version of a Limit Break). You can find them in Royal Tombs, which are scattered all across Lucis. Some of them are easy to access, but others are hidden in dungeons and that’s where the real challenge is.

Dungeons here are basically hidden locations with associated quests to them. You just go through the area by fighting daemons and fight the boss at the end. The rules of each dungeons aren’t all the same. Some have disappearing platforms while others require you to find keys to proceed.

While some are accessed by following the main storyline, a lot of them are optional. They’re all uniquely designed and have varying degrees of difficulty. Some are pretty easy and straightforward while others are just downright cruel. Inside are high level daemons, bosses, and maybe a nice weapon.

You’ll find the hardest parts of the game in some of these, and there’s even a harder second dungeon to them that you can access post-game. You want a 100-floor dungeon? How about no items? Or maybe a three-hour puzzle with no monsters?

What About The Graphics

If we have to compare, the FF Windows Edition looks infinitely better than both the PS4 and Xbox One. They did extremely well when it comes to the optimization, but that’s if your PC can handle it. Right now, the minimum requirements on Steam is pretty demanding for the average user. Though, it’s honestly worth it considering the console versions can get a bit blurry when you’re moving the camera around.

What About The Bugs and Updates

During its initial release, it did feel incomplete and was pretty glitchy. Thankfully, new patches and updates have fixed most of the problems with it. The Royal Edition for the PS4/Xbox One and the Windows Edition is more complete and without all the bugs from the original. They also come with new features like access to the Royal Vessel (that means open ocean exploration!) along with a new and improved Chapter 13! At this point, you have more reason to get the game even after two years because you get a more complete set.

Should you get it?

Yes, 100%! It may not be the best game of its time, but I can honestly say that you won’t regret playing it at all. The characters would keep you emotionally invested that you’ll end up wanting to watch all the titles they have to offer.

Even if you’re new to Final Fantasy (or JRPGs in general), this game is very user-friendly, so not knowing any of the past games won’t hinder your experience at all. It also gives you a little bit of an insight to some of the things we love about the franchise.

For old players, you’ll love all the little nods to the past games, both the subtle and not-so-subtle ones. There’s just the right amount of new features that couple with some nostalgic elements from past games that’ll keep you interested. It’s an experience that you won’t find in the past games, so why not give it a shot.

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Born from anime and raised by RPGs, I've probably spent way too much time geeking out in fandoms. Might as well take it a step up and make a living out of it!
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Final Fantasy XV
Top 3 Favorite Games:Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Sid Meier's Civilization V,

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