PDA

View Full Version : Spoiler and Final Impressions Thread



Fox
12-02-2016, 02:48 AM
!!!WARNING. THIS THREAD WILL BE FULL OF SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE GAME. IT IS ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE GAME OR WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS!!!

This is a general thread for any and all spoiler discussions and any opinions on the game you want to share if you have finished it. Or if you haven't finished it yet but aren't bothered about spoilers. I'll try and keep anything super specific spoiler tagged just to be safe but do be aware there will be open and frank spoiler discussion.

To kicks us off, there's one particular aspect of the game I want to talk about. But first of all I have to talk about Final Fantasy IX.

Princess Garnet begins the game conflicted, desperate to escape the castle. She feels she has a duty to prevent a war, but she wants to save her mother, whom she loves dearly, from the specter of greed and corruption that she has been consumed by recently. After escaping the castle she becomes determined to fit in as a common girl in order to achieve her goals, so she names herself 'Dagger' after one of Zidane's blades and begins leading a double life of sorts; both princess and pauper. She fails many times on this journey. Her mother arrests her and essentially tortures her to extract her Eidolons. She discovers she's actually an orphan from a destroyed village. Her mother dies. She ascends to the throne and now has to try and be a worthy queen. She watches her city be destroyed by Bahamut. She is torn by grief and loses her voice.

After all this, there is a scene with her at her mother's grave. She asks Zidane to borrow the dagger she used to make her last life-altering decision.

BKGDm7ApmaY

She cuts her hair.

I always shed a tear at this scene because of what it represents; it represents letting go of the pain of her past. It represents no longer being held down by the expectations of her position. It represents being born again as a new person, and living a new life on her own terms. And it has impact because she has been with us from the very beginning. She has grown with us as a character, which makes these moments in her arc so powerful. And this was just one moment in a long and strongly developed arc, and there were many, many others like this for the other characters in the game. Zidane, Vivi, Kuja, Beatrix to name a few.

Final Fantasy XV has none of that.

It is so focused on letting you do cool things with your team of bros, that it forgets to tell the rest of its story. It forgets that other characters exist. What are their motivations? What are their feelings? We don't see them grow during the course of the game at all. This is true of our main cast but goes doubly for the supporting case. Hey guys, remember when Luna died? Did you care? I sure as hell didn't. Because through the entire course of the game, she didn't actually have a single conversation with Noctis that wasn't part of a flashback. I was more upset when the Regalia got totaled; at least she'd had the FFVIII soundtrack on the radio for the first few chapters.

I liked the main 4 dudes; they were good characters. The trouble is the game doesn't do anything with them. There's hardly any growth, hardly any development. There are a couple of nice touches in the final third, but it was way too little, way too late.

The actual plot itself was vague and poorly explained. I understood who the villain was and why he was being a bad guy at the end. Just barely. But to say his motivations were 'flimsy' is, I feel, being rather generous.

I have to be perfectly honest here; I have never been so devastatingly, profoundly disappointed with a game.

Marshall Banana
12-02-2016, 03:37 AM
I liked Luna, actually. She was one of the few characters with a little development, although that's probably thanks to the movie. I think they were trying to recreate the big Aerith moment in FFVII with Luna's death, but you're right, it's not very impactful.

It's hilarious how the movie did so much to set up the evil empire as the big baddie but then forgets about it in the actual game. You find out from a NPC at the very end of the game that the emperor died at some point and the empire dissolved. Womp-womp.

I was thoroughly confused about Ravus' loyalty, by the way. He seemed like a different person in every scene with him.

Okay, okay, and also, this is what bugs me about the ending:


Those symbols around campgrounds -- they ward off daemons, right? Why aren't they everywhere?
If the crystal sent Noctis through time to bring back light, then why did it send him 10 years into the future instead of sometime in the past?
Why did Ardyn wait so long to wipe out the royal bloodline if he's so old?

Fox
12-02-2016, 03:41 AM
It's hilarious how the movie did so much to set up the evil empire as the big baddie but then forgets about it in the actual game. You find out from a NPC at the very end of the game that the emperor died at some point and the empire dissolved. Womp-womp.


HAHA WHAT.

I missed that! Not sure if I didn't talk to the right NPC or if I just wasn't paying attention. That's astonishing. I'm imagining FFVII where they forget about Shinra, or FFX without Yevon. But yes, I agree. Didn't we only get one cutscene with the emperor in in the entire game?

Sephiroth
12-02-2016, 02:14 PM
The emperor didn't "just" die. He was transformed by Ardyn into that monster that hunted you while you had to save Prompto. Didn't you see the imperial garb lying on the throne? By that point it was very clear something happened to him. And the boss fight then should have ultimately said it, especially as he still talks while you kill him that he wants to rule over the world - the common bad guy stuff. But even that aside the empire thing feels very underwhelming indeed. I could not help but feel like this was a water down version of the Gestahlian Empire with its Magitek, the Emperor and the not so secretly mastermindish right hand.




If the crystal sent Noctis through time to bring back light, then why did it send him 10 years into the future instead of sometime in the past?

I did understand that like the Master Sword in OOT was explained which basically (at least for the future not for the past) said that Link just slept for 10 years in the Sacred Realm. So if that is the same case here, Noctis did not really travel through time by the power of the crystal just happened to be gone for so long. But to answer your question, at least they were able to avoid a causality paradox.




Why did Ardyn wait so long to wipe out the royal bloodline if he's so old?




He couldn't get past the Insomnian wall.

I am not disappointed by the game, especially as there are so many great aspects and the final scenes makes up for everything for me but I would be lying to say I don't think it was somewhat underwhelming. But well, my two reviews basically said that anyway.

For me except the finale the really sad thing was when you had to go through that swamp with the blinded Ignis. I felt legit pity for him.



I liked the main 4 dudes; they were good characters. The trouble is the game doesn't do anything with them. There's hardly any growth, hardly any development. There are a couple of nice touches in the final third, but it was way too little, way too late.



There are at least some hidden caping scenes with them. Like when you stay at night at a certain motel Prompto approaches Noctis sitting on the roof and they talk about the past. Should not have been hidden though. Obviously they expected you to sleep everywhere.

Fox
12-02-2016, 04:49 PM
There are at least some hidden caping scenes with them. Like when you stay at night at a certain motel Prompto approaches Noctis sitting on the roof and they talk about the past. Should not have been hidden though. Obviously they expected you to sleep everywhere.

I got the Prompto one but I didn't find anything for Ignis or Gladiolus. I thought I stayed everywhere at least once but I guess I must have missed a couple or missed something I needed to do beforehand.

Sephiroth
12-02-2016, 05:04 PM
Some are also some "quests". Like if you camp in Vesperpool Forest you get a scene with Ignis who says he wants you to help cooking but you end up getting a nice character interaction scene where he distracts a Black Chocobo so you can get back his glasses that were stolen by the Chocobo. I mean I am sure you know of some of those quests but some appear to be a bit more story-like than the others - while all of them of course are supposed to be "the story of the friends".

Jinx
12-02-2016, 06:08 PM
Link actually slept for 7 years, not 10.


Aaaaand, that's my contribution to this thread. xD

Marshall Banana
12-02-2016, 11:37 PM
Re: Sephiroth, I didn't get any of that about the emperor during my playthrough. None of my friends did either. Weird.

Sephiroth
12-02-2016, 11:40 PM
Re: Sephiroth, I didn't get any of that about the emperor during my playthrough. None of my friends did either. Weird.

O.O

It is even obigatory to enter the throne room - there you can see the garb - and fight that teleporting demon the emperor has become (in another room shortly before the chapters ends). I mean, I give you that you did not notice the garb but that you have missed how the demon was once the emperor should be a bit harder to not get.

Fox
12-03-2016, 01:16 AM
Re: Sephiroth, I didn't get any of that about the emperor during my playthrough. None of my friends did either. Weird.

O.O

It is even obigatory to enter the throne room - there you can see the garb - and fight that teleporting demon the emperor has become (in another room shortly before the chapters ends). I mean, I give you that you did not notice the garb but that you have missed how the demon was once the emperor should be a bit harder to not get.

I was kinda busy either running away from it or fighting it to pay too much attention to what the voiceovers were saying, so that's why I didn't notice that.

Personally I did notice the garb so figured the Emperor must either be dead or... I dunno, in the hot tub somewhere. But I think the original point being made on that front is that the empire collapses in on itself long before that point; whilst you're still on the train on your way there. But the game doesn't mention it to you until either a) you talk to some random NPC who says "btw dudes the empire is no more" or b) you actually get to the capital and see that it's turned into Raccoon City.

Either way I feel like that's an event they might have wanted to draw attention to as and when it happened.

Tyson
12-03-2016, 01:25 AM
obligatory to enter the throne room - there you can see the garb - and fight that teleporting demon the emperor has become (in another room shortly before the chapters ends). I mean, I give you that you did not notice the garb but that you have missed how the demon was once the emperor should be a bit harder to not get.

Don't you see the emperors body strung up with Luna, Nyx and Regis at the end of chapter 14? I did not think he was that daemon at all.

Honestly up until you went to Altissia in the game I was pretty positive, could easily have seen myself given this a 9/10 at least. Then Luna died and the entire story went to crap. Everything after that was terrible, not to mention chapter 13 was probably one of the most frustrating parts of a game in recent memory (slow movement speed and all those key cards).

How they made a game with so much dialogue and cutscenes but failed to flesh out any of the characters is beyond me, when Luna died I didn't even react as she'd never interacted with the group at all. She had almost no character development. Then you're led to believe that her and Noctis were in love or something? Even tho they hadn't seen each other since they were tiny. I'm honestly getting serious MGSV vibes from this game. It seems like they got up to making Altissia and some big-wig from SE knocked on the door and said the game has to release in 6 months. So they just cobbled together a half assed second half of the game.

Also the World of Ruin should of been expanded on immensely, being stuck in Hammerhead was a joke. No older Cidney? Iris? Cid in a wheelchair? Being able to explore and see how the world had changed would of saved the ending....a little bit at least.

I'd give it a 7/10, which is disappointing for a game I waited so long for. It's better then XIII, but that's as much praise as I can give it.

Fox
12-03-2016, 01:44 AM
when Luna died I didn't even react as she'd never interacted with the group at all. She had almost no character development. Then you're led to believe that her and Noctis were in love or something? Even tho they hadn't seen each other since they were tiny.

Agree entirely. And I also really really really disliked Luna as a character. As far as I could tell she had a number of very compelling motivations such as:

- Helping Noctis
- Getting the ring to Noctis
- Being with Noctis
- Getting married to Noctis
- Hoping Noctis is happy
- Seeing Noctis one more time

Such an incredible depth of character right there.

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 02:09 AM
Don't you see the emperors body strung up with Luna, Nyx and Regis at the end of chapter 14? I did not think he was that daemon at all.

Except when killing Faras or whatever the demon was called you can see a text "Iedolas: blablaba rule the world ..." and they talk about him. So either the hung up body is sort of a spiritual presentation or it is "just" the essence of people that becomes the monsters - which is hardly the cases as we have seen with Ravus.

Also, the garb. So the hung up body was just a symbol anyway. I mean, of course it was a symbol. But even more then. It is not like you can hang up corpses in fresh air for 10 years anyway. For Final Fantasy I would forget that but seeing as Iedolas was killed by our Backstreet Boys before in his demonic form I do not need to "forget" that.



Either way I feel like that's an event they might have wanted to draw attention to as and when it happened.

I noticed it. I think that was one of the things that was done okay at least. But of course there could have been more about that. However they wanted to shock with the whole monster transforming thing in the chapter so it could have ruined something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgQ1JUQUaXs

Loony BoB
12-03-2016, 09:14 AM
I know I should know better after all these years watching every game from VIII onwards get the same treatment, but I am baffled by the criticism this game is getting in this thread. xD

The emperor thing was really blatant to me. Just before (or was it in the first five seconds of?) the fight with the Emperor you get the "Is that the Emperor!?" routine from your characters while the enemy you kill fades away very slowly and does his big speel about ruling the world. Honestly I'm kind of glad they didn't make a big show of the Emperor because we don't really see him at all throughout the entire game. He was a pawn of Ardyn from the start, as were many. I guess they could have given it a short cutscene but I don't really feel there was a need at all.

Luna's death, the blinding of Ignis and the rift that came between Gladiolus and Noctis was incredibly well done to me.

I was a bit gutted to not see the old gang (main party excepted) at Hammerhead, and the inability to go and see the others elsewhere, that much I definitely agree on.

I think this game was excellently done. I spent hours doing sidequests and was clearing out level 50 dungeons before I got to chapter nine. And then I felt like pushing the story a bit and finally got around to hitting chapter ten yesterday, then pulled an all-nighter (8am finish of the game).

I guess there will be some who will focus on the bad but I am still quite captured by the good in the game. It isn't my ideal Final Fantasy game this year (World of Final Fantasy, hi) but as a game in general, it was absolutely incredible. An epic story, a massive world, a buttload of things to do (I haven't even done half the minigames despite spending so long doing everything else), the battle system was great, the ascension system was great, the ending was great, the feels were great.

Really happy. :up:

Fox
12-03-2016, 09:49 AM
I think this game was excellently done. I spent hours doing sidequests and was clearing out level 50 dungeons before I got to chapter nine. And then I felt like pushing the story a bit and finally got around to hitting chapter ten yesterday, then pulled an all-nighter (8am finish of the game).

I guess there will be some who will focus on the bad but I am still quite captured by the good in the game. It isn't my ideal Final Fantasy game this year (World of Final Fantasy, hi) but as a game in general, it was absolutely incredible. An epic story, a massive world, a buttload of things to do (I haven't even done half the minigames despite spending so long doing everything else), the battle system was great, the ascension system was great, the ending was great, the feels were great.

Really happy. :up:

Only because, for me at least, the story was awful and that's what I play these games for. I have no problem recognizing that this is a very good game that does a lot of stuff very well - if this were a Final Fantasy spin off I'd have nothing but praise for it. I'd say it's probably up there with Crisis Core in terms of the best Final Fantasy spin-off games I've played. But as a main title I'm not comparing it to Crisis Core and DoC, I'm comparing it to VII-XIII (it's a better game than XIII but XIII had more emotional weight for me). And I am glad that you enjoyed it though; I wish I were able to join you in that.

I also liked the development with the main 4 when Ignis was blinded, that was definitely a high point. It affected me much more than Luna's death because Ignis had been with us throughout the game where Luna never even had a conversation with Noct outside of 2 or 3 flashbacks. I wish they'd played more with those tensions from Ignis's blindness though; we had that one dungeon where Noctis was being a dick and then as they came out Ignis says "Right let's sort this out" and they just kinda sort it all out there and then. It would have been nice to see that conflict carry on for a while longer.

Loony BoB
12-03-2016, 10:00 AM
I may bring myself a massive amount of criticism here, but I don't think Final Fantasy has ever been groundbreaking for storyline. I think this one was par for the series. Final Fantasy plots tend to be pretty basic stuff overall. Rag tag team of adventurers team up to save the world from some evil bugger. For me, what makes Final Fantasy stories great is all the dialogue/scenes you get along the way, and the feels. I got 'em both in spades in this game so I'm good. I feel people have very rose-tinted glasses when they look back at the much older games in the series, story-wise. I can name at least half a dozen games in the series that I felt had worse plots than this one, including VIII which is one of my all-time fave games.

Also, urgh, I'm glad the conflict didn't go on longer. I played the game at a slower pace than most people (70 hours played) and the tension in that particular chapter was insane. I also felt it did last a bit longer - some of the snarky comments were still around afterwards, not sure if that was intentional by SE.

EDIT: Also, watching Ignis stumble over a couple of times and get picked up by Prompto while we were just moving around was heartbreaking. He also walked in the wrong direction for a few moments sometimes and Prompto would run back to him to correct his walking direction. :( Feels.

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 10:06 AM
EDIT: Also, watching Ignis stumble over a couple of times and get picked up by Prompto while we were just moving around was heartbreaking.

Always have to think of this when talking about it. Just saw it again in my second run.

Fox
12-03-2016, 10:19 AM
I may bring myself a massive amount of criticism here, but I don't think Final Fantasy has ever been groundbreaking for storyline. I think this one was par for the series. Final Fantasy plots tend to be pretty basic stuff overall. Rag tag team of adventurers team up to save the world from some evil bugger. For me, what makes Final Fantasy stories great is all the dialogue/scenes you get along the way, and the feels. I got 'em both in spades in this game so I'm good. I feel people have very rose-tinted glasses when they look back at the much older games in the series, story-wise. I can name at least half a dozen games in the series that I felt had worse plots than this one, including VIII which is one of my all-time fave games.

I don't disagree that overall FF plots are nothing groundbreaking, but I do object to my criticisms being boiled down to rose tinted glasses. Go look at my example in the OP about why I felt like Garnet cutting her hair had emotional weight where Luna's death didn't; we spend time with Garnet. She goes through a hell of a lot of character development from her initial kidnapping/escape, redefining her identity, trying to save her mother, enduring her mother's death, assuming the responsibilities of the queen, seeing her country be destroyed. Luna, we got a few 30 second cutscenes of her sat in her castle talking about how she wants to be by Noctis's side and how she'll do everything in her power to ensure he succeeds.

Now, I don't think that's a 'rose-tinted' examination. I think that's a perfectly fair criticism. At the end of the day FFIX made me feel something 16 years ago, before nostalgia set in, just as it does now. XV failed to elicit any emotions from me as I played it the first time. Even XIII got a few tears from me at the end because despite it's massive flaws it at least made me care about Fang and Vanille a little by the end. VIII did have a pretty poor plot in many respects, yes, but it was more competently told in my view (Except for the Trabia Garden twist which was definitely utter twaddle :) ). The big threat in XV of the light fading from the world, for example, that was super interesting in this game! But it's barely mentioned. I remember being on a train and Ignis tells me about the nights getting longer. "That's really interesting!" I thought. But then it barely gets mentioned again until the time skip. It wasn't this constant, driving threat as I feel it should have been. In FFVII you had the entire latter half of the game where nobody would shut the hell up about Meteor, so it was very foreboding. There was an opportunity for something similar here that never materialised.

As for the main 4 dudes who this game wanted to focus on, I liked 'em. They were good. My favourite scenes in the game are the ones surrounding Ignis's blindess and that one you can get with Prompto on the roof of the motel. There just wasn't enough of it. Nobody except Noctis really grew or developed through the game, save for one or two small moments. Prompto reveals he's actually an MT in one scene and the guys say: "but we still love you, bro!" and that's an end of it; it's never brought up again. That could have been a sequence as powerful as Cloud discovering his memories were all taken from Zack, Zidane discovering he was created as an agent of Garland on Terra, Tidus learning he is a dream of the Fayth. But no, instead it's "hey guys I can open this door because I am one of these monsters. You must hate me right?" "Nah dude it's cool let's go".

Loony BoB
12-03-2016, 04:33 PM
Oh, I should probably clarify that I was talking about FF fans in general, not you and your IX commentary. I agree that this story isn't the best in the series, but I kinda never expect any game to be the best. I do feel it was better than half the stories in the series though... but it's a subjective kinda thing so I guess there's that. :D I'd agree that IX is a better story, too, despite me enjoying this game more than I did IX.

I agree that VIII was told better. I don't think it had the better story though. Trabia stuff and time compression stuff just left me shaking my head and looking away from the screen for a while because it was just bad. Loved the game though. Adore it.

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 04:55 PM
Just during my 2nd run with like 14 hours and in chapter 13. I do not mind the short story as much now but of course it still is a thing and I still would want more.

Now if I would get a novella like with FFVII and XIII.

Fox
12-03-2016, 06:30 PM
I will say I don't think there was much fundamentally wrong with anything in XV, even what I consider the 'bad' plot was mainly bad because they didn't elaborate enough. If someone told me to make changes to XV to put it on par with X at the very least, I wouldn't have to throw much away that's already there, I'd just take the good moments it had and add a hell of a lot more of them

In a perfect world the biggest change I would make would be to make Luna a party member. Have the first big thing you do in the game be to rescue her from the clutches of the empire post-treaty disaster and then she joins up. Having her around in the car and at camp with the bros, being a part of events as they unfolded, then they'd have their Aerith moment when she dies. It would also alleviate my issues with how they represent women in this game in general which is pretty poor in my view.

One thing I thought of earlier when I was considering Aranea (a highlight of the game - again she needed more of an arc though. She felt like Beatrix-lite), which is: why did the empire help Noctis and co get the Mythril for their boat? Maybe I'm mis-remembering, but I'm pretty sure their entire mission was "get some mythril so we can fix the boat". They show up at the mythril cave and the IMPERIAL CHANCELLOR is waiting for them with Aranea the dragoon mercenary. He then helps Noctis and friends get the mythril and then leaves without accomplishing anything else or demanding anything of them, and even gives them a lift out of the area.

Now, considering the empire has just taken over my city and murdered my king and is also trying to kill/capture Noctis... the fact that the chancellor is going out of his way to help me get bits for my boat is unbelievably suspect. The guys should be about 7 MILLION times more suspicious than they are. They say "Oh I don't trust this guy" but they still follow him around everywhere and accept lifts on imperial ships with him and let him send mercs into dungeons with them.

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 07:06 PM
One thing I thought of earlier when I was considering Aranea (a highlight of the game - again she needed more of an arc though. She felt like Beatrix-lite), which is: why did the empire help Noctis and co get the Mythril for their boat?

For the same reason the Empire asked the Returners for help to open the Sealed Gate: So the main villain who planned it could get what he wants earlier, though in case of Kefka it seems more like it was a bit spontaneous because while he dreamed of te Statues before he did never actually seem to really betray the Emperor, just was a guy who did what he wanted. If he gets sure Noctis reaches his goal he can settle things with him.

Also I love how Aranea sometimes randomly appears for a battle.

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 09:36 PM
Okay, after having finished it for a second time I love it even more now.

Fox
12-03-2016, 09:40 PM
Okay, after having finished it for a second time I love it even more now.

What made it better the second time?

Sephiroth
12-03-2016, 10:01 PM
Okay, after having finished it for a second time I love it even more now.

What made it better the second time?

Is often like that for me. I just can get through it again and I do not have any expectations about a 50 hours game anymore. I know the good parts and can focus on what I get even more instead of "oh, hopefully this happens until the end". There could have been a lot of it but I love it nonetheless.

Fynn
12-03-2016, 10:14 PM
(Just sayin', experiencing a story a second time when you know exactly what to expect can provide you with more insight into the material and thus more satisfaction)

Marshall Banana
12-04-2016, 12:18 AM
The high-level story of XV isn't bad at all. It's a simple, classic story: four lads go on a quest to find the weapons of destiny and reclaim their fallen kingdom from the evil empire. I can totally get behind that.

But it might be the least coherent game in the franchise with its bizarre logic and out-of-context scenarios. Like when Gladiolus leaves (for some reason? I never heard the reason), then out of the blue after getting Mythril (while fighting with Mythril weapons, I might add, because you can buy some at this point), you go to the power plant in Lestallum to clear out monsters (how did monsters get in there, what do you mean "there's only one" uniform when a lady next to you is also wearing one and apparently everyone in this gosh-darn town is wearing the same uniform, can we PLEASE get a little more context?). Then there's that weird part in which Ardyn, the bad guy -- the bad guy -- makes you follow him in his car without tailgating. So you follow him for a block and then everyone's like, "Welp, let's turn in for the night," as if the thirty-second drive was that exhausting. That is actually a part. What. the. poop.


EDIT: Also, watching Ignis stumble over a couple of times and get picked up by Prompto while we were just moving around was heartbreaking. He also walked in the wrong direction for a few moments sometimes and Prompto would run back to him to correct his walking direction. :( Feels.
I couldn't get over the fact that it made no darn sense, so it had no effect on me at all. It wasn't shown, there were no details about how it happened other than when it happened (unless I missed them, which isn't unlikely), and it has no real consequences in the game. One of your party members goes blind, and just stays in the party, continuing to fight, hardy anything changes. What. What. What. Whaaaaaat. Like, let's retire Ignis somewhere safe and put someone else in the party (Aranea?), or let's go on a quest to heal his blindness...something that makes sense.

Like I think I said before, the realism of this game really amplifies the ridiculous parts for me. This is why I poop on them hard.

Fox
12-04-2016, 12:23 AM
One of your party members goes blind, and just stays in the party, continuing to fight, hardy anything changes. What. What. What. Whaaaaaat. Like, let's retire Ignis somewhere safe and put someone else in the party (Aranea?), or let's go on a quest to heal his blindness...something that makes sense.
.

What I will say in defense of this section is that, for a while at least, he fights extremely terribly. He basically just swings his daggers around in the vague hope of hitting something and falls over a lot. He's only really useful as a meat shield at this point. He does seem to get the hang of it though, I guess because it would be too annoying to have him useless for the rest of the game.Also you do actually see him with one eye open later on, so I don't think he's completely blind. Just blind-ish, which improves a bit as time goes on.

It's definitely ambiguous though.

Sephiroth
12-04-2016, 12:29 AM
One of your party members goes blind, and just stays in the party, continuing to fight, hardy anything changes. What. What. What. Whaaaaaat. Like, let's retire Ignis somewhere safe and put someone else in the party (Aranea?), or let's go on a quest to heal his blindness...something that makes sense.
.

What I will say in defense of this section is that, for a while at least, he fights extremely terribly. He basically just swings his daggers around in the vague hope of hitting something and falls over a lot. He's only really useful as a meat shield at this point. He does seem to get the hang of it though, I guess because it would be too annoying to have him useless for the rest of the game.Also you do actually see him with one eye open later on, so I don't think he's completely blind. Just blind-ish, which improves a bit as time goes on.

It's definitely ambiguous though.


Being blind does not mean you cannot open your eyes. Also his eyes can have healed a bit with him being blind nonetheless.

Marshall Banana
12-04-2016, 12:32 AM
I have no idea what that means. XD

Additionally, I thought his blindness never healed. Noctis asks Ignis about his condition at the end of the game when they're reunited, and Ignis says it never improved. One characters comments on it, saying something like "Ignis is more used to the dark than we are."

Sephiroth
12-04-2016, 12:35 AM
I have no idea what that means. XD

Additionally, I thought his blindness never healed. Noctis asks Ignis about his condition at the end of the game when they're reunited, and Ignis says it never improved.

That is why I said you can still be blind with other things being healed. Like for example his ability to open his eyes.

Loony BoB
12-04-2016, 12:35 AM
If I were to manage a re-write, I definitely wouldn't have Luna join the party early on and just hang out with the bros. It would ruin the brotherhood vibe going on throughout the game, and much more importantly, it would defeat so much of the purpose of the first half of the game, which is to reach Lunafreya. It would be too big a change for my liking.

Having said that, I like the idea of Ignis retiring from the party and someone like Aranea filling in. What would be really great is if you had a choice and it basically decided between Dragoon Aranea joining you later or having Ignis go 100% mage.

I don't mind that we didn't see how Ignis was blinded. These things happen, and it's nice that they actually did something. I also really felt that chapter where you go around with him learning how to walk as a blind man. It does impact gameplay because you have to walk extra slow and his effectiveness in battles is next to useless until the end of the Malboro fight. He literally just swings wildly up until that point, rarely connecting, sometimes not even being close to an enemy. Well done, I'd say. It was effective in giving me the actual thoughts of "Crap, can he really go on like this? Is he hindering us? Is this okay?" and I think any chapter that can give you feels is a good chapter. It was an extremely uncomfortable chapter for me to play through because I felt guilty for running ahead, angry for how Gladi was treating me, frustrated at how slow everything was but knowing it's not exactly Ignis' fault... well done, imho.

Him suddenly going full Daredevil was a bit absurd but hey, this is a Final Fantasy game after all. I think he should have sat out a chapter or two and then rejoined with slight eyesight but also enhanced senses to make up for it, making him an effective mage.

As for Gladi leaving the party for some reason... honestly I'd also like to know what that was about. But I guess we didn't find out why Gandalf left the hobbits alone for quite some time. Perhaps it'll be DLC.

Sephiroth
12-04-2016, 01:20 AM
Does anyone find it funny how the background of EoFF is from FFXV with one hooded character that we have never seen/never seen hooded (Ravus?)?

Fox
12-04-2016, 01:24 AM
Does anyone find it funny how the background of EoFF is from FFXV with one hooded character that we have never seen/never seen hooded (Ravus?)?

Yeah, definitely think that's Ravus. That's from the E3 2013 trailer right? So many characters we never see anything of, really... specifically the emperor and... the other dude. You know the one. Old guy with a cape and weird headpiece. I can't remember his name due to his only having 2 lines in the game.

Psychotic
12-04-2016, 10:36 PM
I just finished it, I can finally hang out in this thread! I don't think it's as awful as has been implied but not the greatest game I've played either. Better than XII and XIII at least, so that's something.

Positive
I agree with everyone that the bro-bond and the Ignis blinding were the strongest bits storywise. That was a really difficult dilemma but it was also a great way to have an escort character in a game you don't feel pissed off with. I was also really worried about poor Prompto! I know some people aren't fans of the photo taking gimmick but I unreservedly love it, and was really thrilled to see a montage of the ones I'd taken to Stand By Me in the ending. The ending itself was neat enough too.

A few more quick points:

Ardyn was also a delightful and thrilling villain.
World design - Altissia especially - was smurfing gorgeous.
The big set pieces were great - eg the Leviathan battle or the train warping battle. They were great changes of pace!

Negative
I totally agree with Fox that more explanation of what the smurf was going on was necessary. It's a fantasy world with new concepts, explain them to me a bit more, I'm okay with it! I genuinely had no idea where I was going or why half the time and just went along with it. I also agree that Luna's death had very little impact at all. I thought she wasn't dead at all because of how wishy washy it was, and the radio and some NPCs said they were still searching for her so I thought she'd pop back up again.

I also absolutely loathed Chapter 13 - Noctis on his own in the imperial base. Ugly and sameish level designs, irritating backtracking puzzles, weird game mechanics thrust on you out of nowhere, no other characters to interact with and overstayed its welcome waaaaay too long. Lowest point of the game for me.

Fox
12-04-2016, 11:59 PM
I also absolutely loathed Chapter 13 - Noctis on his own in the imperial base. Ugly and sameish level designs, irritating backtracking puzzles, weird game mechanics thrust on you out of nowhere, no other characters to interact with and overstayed its welcome waaaaay too long. Lowest point of the game for me.

It was especially grueling how they took away your combat abilities for a huge stretch. "Hey, you know the absolute best feature of the game? Let's cut that for a chapter!" Reminds me of Ultemecia's castle in VIII where all your abilities get locked. It sucked there and was worse here.

I did like the Holy spell on the ring though. I didn't really use the others but Holy turned phasing into an offensive power and that was neat, especially in large groups of enemies.




World design - Altissia especially - was smurfing gorgeous.



One of my favourite parts of the entire game was probably the ride into Altissa. We got a ton of entertaining exposition on the ship, and then as you go around the rocks and see the city, and then sail over that elevated waterway into the harbor? That was fantastic.

Aulayna
12-05-2016, 03:46 AM
https://scontent-cdg2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/15272072_10154895957214708_2280032288435261028_o.jpg

I forced myself to stop exploring and doing sidequests so I could finish it tonight. It's nearly 4am and I finished it about 20 mins ago. Have work in 6 hours (groan). Will post some thoughts later on today.

As Noctis said (a lot): "It's bed time."

Lamia
12-05-2016, 10:21 AM
I think the game is fantastic. I especially love all the fan service and references for all the old FF fans like me in it. The world is gorgeous and well-made and there are so many things to do. BUT I was majorly disappointed in the story... ESPECIALLY after being shown this stuff in the promo trailer. It seems a lot got cut out of the final game.

- Barely any Lunafreya in the game. I was looking to get to know her. She was marketed as a the heroine of this game... it really sucks that her role ended up being so limited.

-Where is the relationship between Noctis and King Lucis? It was hinted that they had a deep connection in the promo trailers, and other than Noctis' grief over his dad getting killed, we don't see any of this in the final game :(

I didn't like the fact that Ignis went blind. :( Shoulda happened to Gladdy instead, he's a jerk.

Fox
12-05-2016, 10:46 AM
I'm still really salty that the professor who wants you to collect frogs for her and the dude who wants you to retrieve hunters dog tags have more screen time than the Emperor and Verstael.

I wonder if when Tabata took over he wanted to ditch those characters entirely but someone reminded him they were in the E3 2013 trailer so they had to have at least one line. I went back and watched that trailer last night, which was a mistake because now I'm pining again for the game that promised. Remember when it came out and we had that scene of kid Noctis and Regis eating that green soup? And we were all like "Ha, that's kinda dumb but it's sweet to have interactions like that between the king and the prince".

Shame that was 100% absent from the actual game.

Aulayna
12-05-2016, 11:20 AM
Small-thought:

Originally there wasn't any DLC or sequels planned for FFXV. Tabata said as much a couple of years ago.

Of course, now we have the Season Pass, which reaks of marketing coming in and forcing the dev team to gut content so that it can be repackaged and sold separately. There are definite places throughout FFXV where it feels like something was "missing" story-wise, I really wonder if this ends up being where the DLC would slot in.

Psychotic
12-05-2016, 11:22 AM
I'd like that to be true but it feels like there's just a lack of expository information throughout the story from start to finish, and I don't think DLC will fix that. I wonder if there's been a knee jerk reaction to reception to some of their recent titles at Square and they think people don't want super long cut scenes and dialogues and the like.

Fynn
12-05-2016, 11:27 AM
I mean, it makes sense to assume that when you consider this push-and-pull thing we've had in FFs since X.

Some people didn't like cutscenes were so long in X, so XII came out with a much larger focus on the world and a more sparce story.

We all remember the backlash to that, so then XIII came out and made it all linear cutscene viewer-style again, only even more than in X this time.

Now, I haven't played XV yet, but from all that I've been reading about it online, it seems it goes back to XII's style yet again, as it's trying to win back the crowd that XIII alientated.

Fox
12-05-2016, 12:05 PM
Now, I haven't played XV yet, but from all that I've been reading about it online, it seems it goes back to XII's style yet again, as it's trying to win back the crowd that XIII alientated.

You're not wrong in what you say, but oh man. It goes far, far beyond XII in its sparseness. I'm still a fan of that game despite its many flaws and the way the plot lost its way towards the end because they still had a fairly reasonable balance of gameplay and exposition. But the meat of XV's story is reserved for the wikia page.

Gonna make two other unfavourable comparisons to XII while we're at it. Firstly, XII had one of the all time great localisation efforts. XVs is merely adequate. Secondly, the hunts. They felt so much more special in XII, which is kind of ironic considering XII was the one trying to be 'like an MMO' but XV was the one that ended up with 'kill X of this monster that is all over the place anyway' missions. The hunt that stands out in XV is Deadeye and I am utterly convinced the only reason that exists is because they wanted to make an exciting demo.

Psychotic
12-05-2016, 12:24 PM
I thought the localisation was great myself. I also thought the demo Deadeye was better than the game Deadeye!

Also to be fair there's some interesting side quests here and there, buried under a lot of the boring fetch/kill quests. I liked the one where you had to climb up a freaking volcano!

Dignified Pauper
12-05-2016, 01:01 PM
This game. Where do I start?!

Gameplay, by far some of the most innovative RPG gameplay ever. It's not as real-time as KH series, but it's still very fluid, and a lot of damn fun. Getting the hang of warp strike, spells, the Weapons of Old, the ring - all of that is great!

The moments with the bros, all of these moments, were just great. The end, with Ignis' blindness - I'm conflicted. I get that this story is an extremely close first-person perspective of Noct. So, it makes sense that he doesn't know what happened to Gladio when he left - but Gladio should have told him, and we should have seen the moment in a flashback cutscene. Like-wise with Ignis' blindness.

Lunafreya's death, I think I was impacted by it because I watched Kingsglaive and all the Brotherhood episodes; however, just because Noct and Luna saw eachother on occasion meant that they had some sort of love connection? That I don't buy. And I don't understand this whole Oracle and King of Light nonsense, especially with that woman with the G-name, who is Shiva/God Messenger. This is all fleshed out extremely poorly.

Speaking of Kingsglaive and Brotherhood, how is it explained Prompto is an MT, but also, we know he's known Noct since he was a child... So, when did that happen that Prompto became an MT? It seems like he wasn't infected by those demon cells as a child, as that was a more recent development of the empire, according to the papers you find in the penultimate chapter - so what in the world? I didn't understand that at all, and thought it was bullshit - but I was pleased with how the bros treated it; although, knowing what I know from Brotherhood - again, it makes no sense.

I don't understand the Omen trailer where Regis communicates with the Old Kings and asks how much will be enough for them.

I don't understand what happened to the empire. We get hints from some newspaper clippings you can find, and if you pay attention to listening to the radio, that's it. The entire "demon cells infect everyone" in an FFVII kind of way, with the "Ardyn - the Chancellor/Emperor's right hand man" being the ultimate villain in the FFVI way could have went really well together, if there was any exposition at all. I'm just really disappointed by the entire dynamic of the story, and why any of these things are happening. When Luna is dying, she mentions to Ardyn something that even the most darkest souls will be saved, and he almost looks encouraged before enraged and he slaps her. That, again, doesn't make much sense in the context of the story. (I also have not actually beaten the game, as I went back in time with the dog to get two weapons I missed)

What else am I forgetting?

Oh yeah, Altissia was beautiful, and the fight with Leviathan was breath-taking. I don't know if Bahamut comes in toward the end, but I'm surprised I haven't seen him yet - unless Ardyn is really a God - I dunno yet. Don't care if it's spoiled either.

I also don't understand what I'm supposed to take-away from FFXV. I mean, other than the idea of "Stand Together" - and that opening with Florence is really damn endearing - I don't know what else I'm supposed to care about. The world? Meh. Luna? Meh.

Oh, dragoon Aranea... She seems more fan service, but I still don't understand her, at all. She's a mercenary, so she has no allegiance - that much I get, and she just blindly follows orders, until Tenebrae is destroyed? And then all the, I assume, human MT's are with her? And you meet some random old lady who was a servent of the Nox Fleuret's who explains Ravus isn't a bad guy anymore, and you get a cut-scene where her and Ravus chat about the ring and Noct. That doesn't make ANY sense. It doesn't make context with the story we received in Kingsglaive or the game proper.

OH! Regis' death is just a passing note in XV proper. Without Kingsglaive, you care because Regis is the protagonist's father, but I mean... they don't even show any of their backstory really. Someone else talked about the King and Noct eating soup, and that was a touching moment in the trailer, but no where in this game. It's as though they developed all this content, and they did nothing with it, but make marketing materials. Again, I haven't finished the game fully, but that Omen trailer was a poor thing to release since it doesn't make sense with this game as well.

And all of this is a true shame, because the gameplay is so damn fun. I'm just confused that I can't understand the motivations of these characters, the gods, the villains, the assist characters - I mean, it's all very lacking.

Loony BoB
12-05-2016, 01:57 PM
You're not wrong in what you say, but oh man. It goes far, far beyond XII in its sparseness.
I'm not sure if you mean story sparseness or map sparseness. I struggled with XII and literally had to start over because I completely forgot what was going on in the story after getting sidetracked by hunts and exploring. Similar happened to me with XV but not to the extent that I felt I had to restart from scratch. I mean, I do agree that XII was better fleshed out (regarding thins like what Pauper was saying about Shiva/G...person) but I don't feel that I understood it any better or had it ingrained into my head any better... if that makes sense? xD XII's story was largely forgettable to me, which is a shame as I played through it twice.

Regarding maps, I feel they are also about on par with each other. I feel "far, far beyond" is exaggerated. They're about the same in this area. The main difference would be that in XV, the final chapters really focus you more on the story progression, although you can still technically return to older areas it's something you feel very much removed from at that point.

I agree that hunts felt way cooler in XII. I think it's because they had a good chunk more to them than simple quests for quick rewards with some leveling up. There was a clan, and each hunt had a little story to it (ie, you met the person who was personally invested in the hunt and why, stuff like that).

Also, I can confirm there is 100% DLC stuff coming in to do with what Gladiolus had to get up to during his absence from the party. It's detailed in the Piggyback guide that this is the case. I think there might have been mentions of other DLC in there too but I can't remember off the top of my head and going through the book to find that kind of sidenote is not worth the effort. xD

I'll also note that while the Piggyback guide is awesome as always, it doesn't include a story breakdown like we got for XIII, which is a shame as a lot of the stuff happening in the background could really do with more information, as everyone in this thread seems to agree on.

Dignified Pauper
12-05-2016, 02:05 PM
To stray from topic a little bit - Yeah, I think XII's story was incoherent only because of Vaan and Penelo. I think the world of XII is much more interesting, from a lore perspective and what we know. I also think that I'm judging this based on all the Ivalice lore we get from the Tactics series, and from a lesser extent: Vagrant Story.

I think the reason I like XII's story so much is because it's similar to the reason I love Suikoden II. The story is more political, vs. evil thing destroying the world. Vayne isn't out to eliminate Ivalice, but control it and bring his version of Peace. Venat (I think that's his name), while having ulterior motives, also doesn't seem that hell-bent on pure destruction. (Memory will be refreshed with the XII HD release) Granted, there's plenty of plotholes with XII as far as what the hell the Occuria actually are, these espers being not-so-bad vs. the espers in Tactics, and yeah... But, for some reason, the story is a lot more coherent and memorable for me. I think it's because Balthier, Basch, and Ashe are such great characters, and the writing in XII is second to none - same with the Tactics rewrite for the PSP/Mobile version.

Back to topic: XV doesn't really do anything like this. I mean, I really don't know ANY of the motivations of ANY of the characters. VI's Kefka has one tiny hint meant to explain a ton - when he was first infused with magic, his mind snapped (soldier in Vector) and the fact that VI barely fit on a SNES cart - so I can forgive some of the plot-holes there. But, and again, I haven't completed the game, Ardyn is not fleshed out enough for me.

OH! And to vent about the treatment of women in this game:

What they do to Cidney is fucking deplorable. They could have classed her up. Everytime she's washing the car and exposing cleavage, I can't help but think a massive dick-service to teens and male chauvinists everywhere. And in the big city across the revine that starts with an L - there's an NPC who talks about his lady getting a promotion, and that while he is happy, he now feels "less than" - WHAT THE FUCK!?

Aulayna
12-05-2016, 02:20 PM
Positives:

Combat: I always find Action RPGs to be incredibly hit or miss and sometimes this type of combat can be frustrating to me. Going into FFXV I was under the expectation I wasn't going to like the combat, but would stomach it for the sake of the story. How wrong I ended up being. Aside from camera hiccups and blocking not blocking from time to time, I really enjoyed the combat system. There were very few moments where I got truly annoyed with the combat, I think the only incident I can really think of is when I got a bit too cocky in Insomnia and engaged the two lv50 something Nagas in a narrow side street.

Graphics: This is a game that screenshots really don't do justice. On a still image, the lack of Anti-Aliasing etc and blurry textures are all too apparent, but when you're actually playing the game, the subtle use of blurring and ambient lighting really create such a vivid and immersive world. The amount of little touches, such as the car and characters getting dirty, the dash on the car actually reflecting your speed, hair blowing in the wind, the way rain interacts with surfaces etc. is staggering.

Ascension: Although this is effectively a streamlined Sphere Grid, I felt it was a nice enough character progression system. I always felt like there was a lot of things to work toward. Although a minor criticism of this is that the starting Techniques seem to have the most bang for the buck, with the exception of Ignis's Regroup.

The Bros: I was as skeptical as anyone that Square Enix could pull off an all-male cast. With the franchise being so diverse in previous titles in terms of party composition, this was a very odd move for SE. I wasn't sure I could get into a title with no relatable female in the party. However, they really nailed the dynamic of the bros. The banter and interactions, the realistic falling-outs, and the general comradarie were all on point. This is probably the first FF I've played where none of the main party have pissed me off. I was expecting Prompto to really annoy me, but he didn't. While he is the jovialness of the party, the comic aspect never grates as much as the comedy character in previous titles have.

Dungeon Crawling: This is by far the strongest point of the game. Dungeon crawls are something the main-numbered series has been sorely lacking since FFV. Every dungeon I've explored so far has felt compelling and unique.

Soundtrack: The battle themes were so memorable. Yoko Shimomura really delivered here.


Neutrals:

The World: Don't get me wrong, the world is stunning. However, it really isn't as open-world as it makes you feel. Sure there's these stunning vistas and views, but so much of it is barred off with fences, hedges, rocks or invisible walls. This is especially true along the coastline where there's whole areas of coast you can't even get too. It's definitely far more open-world than any FF to date, but compare it to something like Skyrim or The Witcher 3 or even GTA V, and it's far more limited. Kinda disappointing when they made a big deal about how big the world is compared to some other open-world titles. Also, the entire other continent just being, quite literally, an "on-rails" linear experience, was very disappointing. But, when the world delivers, it delivers big - and some of the sights are truly breath taking.

The Story: The story is definitely a very traditional Final Fantasy one, it's not told in the greatest way though. While I like having supporting material to enjoy, the fact that so much of the story goes unexplained unless you've watched Kingsglaive and Brotherhood is a huge misstep. Also the Omen cinematic, which is basically supposed to show what happens if Noct failed, really makes no sense within the story of the actual game. I enjoyed the story pretty much up until after the Leviathan fight, from that point onward it became a (no-pun intended, given the chunk of the game that follows) a train-wreck up until the finale.

Sidequests/Hunts: So many glorified fetch/kill quests. It's a shame there wasn't more on the level of the Deadeye hunt in Duscae. While some of the sidequests were fairly enjoyable, and revealed more about the NPCs that some of the actual suppporting cast get treated too, they could've really have pulled up the bar a bit here. I don't mind kill/fetch quests in the slightest, but when something like Deadeye shows what they can do if they put their mind to it, you can't help but feel the rest of the offering is somewhat lacking.


Negatives:

Supporting Cast: The lack of, or complete flippant, character development of the supporting cast is really a series low-point to me. I still don't even understand Ravus's motivations, especially when taking Kingsglaive into account. I get that he wants to protect his sister, but to go about that he first tries to steal the Ring of the Lucii, only for it to reject him. He then goes about trying to kill the Archaeons due to the hurt awakening them causes Luna. Then in another flashback he's seen urging Luna to fulfill her calling, which would mean doing all the very things he's tried to prevent her from doing. Like... what? Luna herself sees very little in the way of development and characters from Kingsglaive such as Iedolas etc are relegated to about 5 lines of dialogue in the entire game. There's so much missed potential here.

Chapter 13: smurf everything about this trout. The first 20 minutes or so were fun, but then it really outstayed the welcome.

X to jump & interact: Quite how that got QA approved I'll never know.

Kingsglaive & Omen clips: These feel so shoe-horned in. The Kingsglaive stuff works mildly to flesh out parts of the story. But Omen really makes no sense where they chose to include it.

-----------------------

Overall: I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XV from start to finish. Some of it's dungeon crawls and more linear elements really gave me the nostalgic Final Fantasy feels that I haven't felt since FFIX. The game has some moments of sheer brilliance and colossal scale, but at the same time it stumbles wildly on many of the finer details. I hate to say it, but when I look at the elements where FFXV falls flat, I really feel like it could've done with more time in the oven. The gameplay is solid enough to carry it through, but it's flaws detract it from being something amazing and leave it firmly in the "good" tier.

Personal Highlight: Sunken Temple dungeon thing with Prompto, Ignis and Aranea.

TL;DR: Game is great up until the end of Altissia. After that it really falters. Makes me feel like they hadn't even started on the post-Altissia stuff and then got forced to rush it due to an executive forcing a release date on them.

Fox
12-05-2016, 02:39 PM
there's an NPC who talks about his lady getting a promotion, and that while he is happy, he now feels "less than" - WHAT THE smurf!?

Oh yeah, I forgot about that dude for a bit! I was so mad when I walked by him. "My wife has a good job and it makes me feel like less of a man". I wish I could believe it was some kind of social commentary about an insidious patriarchy but considering their treatment of women in general in this game I'm not going to give them that much credit.

Psychotic
12-05-2016, 02:43 PM
Wasn't that in Lestallum, too? "The power plant is operated by women only!" I didn't quite get where they were going with that but then I didn't quite get where they were going with a lot of things.

Loony BoB
12-05-2016, 02:46 PM
Damn. I think, tl;dr line excepted, Aulayna just summed up my viewpoint really well. So read her post as my viewpoint, and then add in the following...

Transport - They nailed this. Car to drive around on roads, chocobo for off-road, FF playlist of music,

Music - It's easy to forget the actual FFXV music because you get hyped up for the mp3 player. But the FFXV music really impressed me, and I know when I streamed, I got a few comments from DrAssenov that she really liked certain songs that were playing that were part of the game's soundtrack. I particularly love the chocobo music and the music that kicks in when you get near a camp. Beautiful, calming music that instantly makes you feel safe.

Ending - I am in two minds regarding this. I both really like it and dislike it. I really like how they tied up the bros. I really dislike how they closed off the World of Ruin, locked out secondary characters bar Talcott, and locked out Lestallum. I am definitely annoyed that they didn't really expand on the World of Ruin. I don't think I'd have liked to spend much time there, but I'd like to have spent enough time to meet old friends, learn more about what had happened over the past ten years, etc. Potentially even mourn a passing.

I am in two minds on the final wedding scene. There are a lot of theories being thrown around and I sincerely hope that SE never confirms which one is accurate. The immediate thought is they are dead and in "heaven" or some afterlife location. The other theories are that the Gods let them live, or that if you interpret "removing Ardyn from history" (Noctis' quote) literally then time has been corrected and all is well again. I'm in two minds because while I want Noct to end up with his 'true love', I was kind of hoping that after Luna died, in the long run he'd end up with Iris. :shobon:

EDIT: I remember that Lestallum line. And I think it's reasonable to put that kind of stuff in. I think it's good to have "real" situations, even negative ones. A great example is how much I loved that people were racist against my character's race in FFXI. Meanwhile in FFXIV, the races barely acknowledge anything about each other at all. Hell, I barely know my own culture. I think this is kind of idealistic and sugar coated. It's not nice, but racism is a thing in the world. Sexism is too. The fact that the females are the only ones who work in the factory at Lestallum is another example of sexism, as Psy mentioned. Why? Why not? It's an interesting little tidbit but they don't expand on it enough. I'm not sure it would help them out at all if they did, though, because people will always lose their shit over things like that.

Psychotic
12-05-2016, 02:58 PM
It struck me as sort of a token attempt to address the criticism they'd received about the portrayal of women. Like, hey, we've got women doing a traditionally male role! See? We're not so bad! I guess you have to at least appreciate the attempt even if they did it in such a cack-handed way.

Fox
12-05-2016, 03:16 PM
Damn. I think, tl;dr line excepted, Aulayna just summed up my viewpoint really well. So read her post as my viewpoint, and then add in the following...

Music - It's easy to forget the actual FFXV music because you get hyped up for the mp3 player. But the FFXV music really impressed me, and I know when I streamed, I got a few comments from DrAssenov that she really liked certain songs that were playing that were part of the game's soundtrack. I particularly love the chocobo music and the music that kicks in when you get near a camp. Beautiful, calming music that instantly makes you feel safe.


I have two points the bug me with the music, none of which are a slight of Shimomura-san herself. Firstly, there wasn't enough of it. Too often they'd reuse the same track, and though there were nice themes there were few variations on those themes. FFIX had a total track count of over 100 including pieces written for FMV sequences, I expect XV to have well under half that.

Secondly it didn't get used as effectively as it should. Too often in cutscenes it would be so quiet in the mix that it wouldn't have the impact it should have. Another good example is when they play Somnus when you return to the crown city, but a) it's too quiet and b) it keeps getting interrupted every ten seconds with battle themes. Fighting through deamons in the crown city to a background of Somnus would have been so atmospheric, but in the end I had to just stand stationary for a while just to be able to listen to the thing.

One thing I really liked about how they used the music was how it would transition seamlessly from one style to another sometimes. The Chocobo theme is the most prominent example of this; it's a lovely, chilled out piece led by some woodwind when you're on a chocobo at walking pace, but as soon as you start to run the percussion and other instruments fade in. That was very smooth and awesome. More of that please.


EDIT: I remember that Lestallum line. And I think it's reasonable to put that kind of stuff in. I think it's good to have "real" situations, even negative ones. A great example is how much I loved that people were racist against my character's race in FFXI. Meanwhile in FFXIV, the races barely acknowledge anything about each other at all. Hell, I barely know my own culture. I think this is kind of idealistic and sugar coated. It's not nice, but racism is a thing in the world. Sexism is too. The fact that the females are the only ones who work in the factory at Lestallum is another example of sexism, as Psy mentioned. Why? Why not? It's an interesting little tidbit but they don't expand on it enough. I'm not sure it would help them out at all if they did, though, because people will always lose their trout over things like that.

I don't disagree that most of the time this would be fine. If this were a game that I felt generally treated its women with a high level of respect, then I would've just walked past that dude and thought "Well, he's a dick." I wouldn't have been mad at the developers. But in a game where Cindy gets dressed like she is, the main heroine's primary motivation in life is to marry and lay her life on the line for a guy and where crotchless pants are the only fashion option available for every single woman in Lestallum, that otherwise throwaway line just felt like rubbing salt in the wound.

Loony BoB
12-05-2016, 03:31 PM
According to the SE store...

Standard Edition (CD): 80x songs

Standard Edition (BR): mp3 files, graphics.

Limited Edition: Florence + the Machine song (how Stand By Me isn't included in the standard edition I don't even know), behind the scenes recording session "among others", bonus BR disc with the entire car stereo, featuring over 250 songs from the series (apparently the largest ever compilation from SE), bonus CD with piano arrangements of several tracks from the game, and a large sized booklet with discussion from the music team.

Also, definitely agree that some tracks were interrupted too easily by fight music. I'd have loved for the FFXV songs you've stumbled across in the game's story to be added to the car stereo/mp3 player as you go, or at least in the endgame put the whole lot in.

Fox
12-05-2016, 03:36 PM
Standard Edition (CD): 80x songs



I'll be very interested to see how it gets to 80, it certainly didn't feel like that much! I wonder if it'll be something like a large number of tracks having that dual layer such as the Chocobo theme, which feels like one piece in game but would naturally count as two in the OST.

Sephiroth
12-05-2016, 03:39 PM
I just saw that there was a guy who literally spoiled Final Fantasy XV months ago:

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1233181

Loony BoB
12-05-2016, 03:41 PM
To be fair, ever since voice acting and constant sound effects (ie, footsteps, crowd noises, etc) kicked in, songs are much less noticeable. You notice them a lot more in situations where you are going to be around for a while, like field areas. I imagine there were a lot of songs I didn't notice during certain cutscenes or even battles.

In addition to that, often they are similar but not the same a la FFXIII-2 which had a theme that was used in a large number of songs. They did the same with FFXIV.

I can't think of a single FF soundtrack that didn't surprise me with how big it is. They manage to cram a lot of songs into these games and I often don't even notice half of them. It's not until I listen to all the tracks from VII one-by-one that I realise how many songs there really were in that game. Crazy. Same for many others in the series.

It's also notable that these days sound quality is far better, so they have to put a wee bit more effort in. Whether that ends up working out is up for debate for certain (few songs of the modern era compare to Aerith's Theme, for example), but as time goes on, I've grown more and more fond of the more recent tracks. Answers was an immediate hit with me from FFXIV, Crazy Chocobo was hilariously great, and I've found myself listening to a lot of XIII tracks in this game while skipping older songs, which surprises me. XII probably still has my favourite soundtrack overall to listen to though.

Aulayna
12-05-2016, 03:45 PM
The more I think about it, the more I'm disappointed by what happens after Altissia but before Insomnia. The stuff in the swamp with blind Iggy was great, the train set-pieces were great, but only getting to see Tenebrae from a train station was lame, not getting to explore any of that continent in the Regalia was lame, the Resident Evil style gameplay in Garlea (w/e) was pretty lame after a while. And the pacing of the story throughout all of that was so off.

I really can't help but feel those chapters were rushed. They're okay enough, but within the context of the rest of the game they just feel off. I feel that whole segment had good ideas but was sorely lacking in polish. (biggest case in point here is Prompto being an MT... where the hell did that come from?)

Loony BoB
12-05-2016, 03:55 PM
I agree with all those points. Chapter 13 has really destroyed a lot of people for enjoyment factor. On the first RE-like moment I got a legit shock and thought "oh man, is this gonna be like RE? Awesome." Then after what felt like an hour or two... urgh. But yeah. It would have been a LOT better if either you could run during that part, there were more enemies you could actually kill using Doom (I could only use it on the weak enemies), give you a chance to use R1+Triangle move (the mass-destruction one) to better effect, or perhaps just make it shorter, I dunno. I did like reading the notes around the place. It had some things going for it, but needed work.

Despite that this is still possibly the first FF I've ever actually looked forward to dungeons in. They had nice little tricks to them and felt like old-school dungeons in that regard, the ease of movement after killing initial enemies meant you didn't have to drag yourself through 50 fights because you took a wrong turn, etc. Stuff like that gets a thumbs up from me.

Just not chapter 13. xD

Psychotic
12-05-2016, 04:03 PM
I used that instant kill vortex sucking move non stop in Chapter 13. The hiding mechanic was stupid and Death and Holy both took too long.

Sephiroth
12-05-2016, 07:51 PM
Do you think there is a chance they get the licenses to bring in songs like Eyes on Me, Melodies of Life, Suteki da Ne and Kimi ga iru kara?

I mean, of cours eit is a matter of money but I would rather know how probable you think it is that this happens.

Aulayna
12-05-2016, 10:30 PM
So I think it's pretty much a certainty that the DLCs will explore what happens when the 3 bros weren't in the party. I just switched to the PS4 Digital Deluxe theme, instead of the Big Bang Amano art, which cycles through the promo images for the DLC Episodes.

Episode Ignis shows the ruins of Altissia.

Episode Prompto shows the frozen wastes outside Gralea.

Episode Gladio shows him on his own in some ruins fighting a golem.

(Also, incidentally, decided to watch through some of the older trailers since Tabata took over. So much stuff in them isn't in the final game. Also stuff he said in interviews about Luna joining the party and will fight alongside the brothers for a while. Just really adds to my sense that they cut stuff from Chapter 8 onward due to running out of time.)

Sephiroth
12-05-2016, 10:43 PM
As long as the story is shown to be extended, I do not mind. It can destroy my main complaint easily then.

Fox
12-05-2016, 11:31 PM
If they extend the story via DLC I'm not sure whether to get it in order to try and fix my concerns or not got it because smurf them if they want me to buy DLC to get an acceptable plot out of a Final Fantasy game. Though I doubt they even could fix my problems with DLC, the bros were never my concern, it was the goings on with Ardyn, Luna and the Empire that are my problems. Unless they release a DLC called "Literally Half the Cutscenes We Planned for the Game Including the Stuff Cut From E3 2013" then I'm probably not gonna bite.


Do you think there is a chance they get the licenses to bring in songs like Eyes on Me, Melodies of Life, Suteki da Ne

Surely they have the license to these already, they were all written in house and they're regularly performed at Square Enix concerts.


and Kimi ga iru kara?

You mean "My Hands," right? :P

Sephiroth
12-06-2016, 12:13 AM
You mean "My Hands," right? :P

Sure, if you want a Coca Cola commercial-esque song. But I want Kimi ga iru kara.

Bright Shield
12-06-2016, 03:23 AM
As reviewers noted, the story in this game is it's weakest aspect. It's a complete joke. The current writers at Square needs to learn the basics of story telling.

For starters let's just stick to the extremely obvious.

- DO NOT hack off the beginning of your game, and make a movie out of it.

- DO NOT cut out your game's character development and make an anime out of it.

- DO NOT gloss over major events. Show instead of tell. Not seeing Ignis go blind was ridiculous. You are just supposed to accept that it happened off screen. WTF?


This should all be frickin obvious. I have no idea why getting basic story telling down is so hard for Square Enix. This isn't hard people.

Dignified Pauper
12-06-2016, 12:21 PM
EDIT: I remember that Lestallum line. And I think it's reasonable to put that kind of stuff in. I think it's good to have "real" situations, even negative ones. A great example is how much I loved that people were racist against my character's race in FFXI. Meanwhile in FFXIV, the races barely acknowledge anything about each other at all. Hell, I barely know my own culture. I think this is kind of idealistic and sugar coated. It's not nice, but racism is a thing in the world. Sexism is too. The fact that the females are the only ones who work in the factory at Lestallum is another example of sexism, as Psy mentioned. Why? Why not? It's an interesting little tidbit but they don't expand on it enough. I'm not sure it would help them out at all if they did, though, because people will always lose their shit over things like that.

I'd agree with you, if they didn't treat every other female character like garbage or as if they were unimportant/served one purpose.

Having finally beaten the game... I dunno. I don't really understand this story at all.

Ardyn - First king of Lucis, responsible for holding demons inside him, becomes bitter, blah blah blah.

Ending: Noct is either dead with everyone else, and marries luna in some afterlife, I guess?

Nothing makes sense to this story at all. The most touching moments are the connections the bros make on their BroadTrip, and those are all super endearing moments, but the plot narrative on why they go on this trip at all is just a complete and utter mess.

Aulayna
12-06-2016, 03:25 PM
After trying to explore Insomnia a bit more, I do wish the vocal version of Somnus played throughout, instead of being interrupted by the battle music for fights. I was so giddy when I first got to Insomnia and the vocal version kicked in.

Aulayna
12-06-2016, 03:29 PM
Also for those who enjoy the music, watch the Credits on the Title Screen. It uses completely different tracks to the ones used at the End Credits after beating the game.

Necronopticous
12-07-2016, 02:06 AM
An excerpt of the main scenario of Final Fantasy XV:


Aranea Highwind is shown in the background of a scene where some men are talking.
Noctis & company stealthily infiltrate an imperial base. Getting spotted results in a game over. After this sequence, the base is put on full alert and all security systems are confronted and destroyed on the group’s way out.
Aranea Highwind tries to kill Noctis because she’s a mercenary hired by the empire on some sort of contractual basis. She is not contractually obligated to do more than fight for a little bit, so she leaves.
The prince of the world has only one option available to him to travel internationally, a broken boat. The boat can not possibly be fixed without some of the rarest and most precious metal in the land, mythril.
Wielding weapons crafted from mythril which the group purchased from a gas station weapon truck in the preceding days, the group sets off in search of the legendary ore which is said to be laying on the floor of a distant dungeon, guarded by a mythical beast.
Gladiolus leaves the party because he has an unknown task to attend to that is more important than his royal duty.
Aranea Highwind joins the party in their search for mythril ore and departs thereafter.
Before setting sail, Noctis decides to put on a space suit and slay some demons that have gotten into a power plant and are causing some trouble.
Gladiolus has also decided to slay the demons in the power plant, and is also wearing a space suit.
After the power plant is cleared, Noctis & Gladiolus remove their space suits.

Fox
12-07-2016, 12:45 PM
Oh. My. God.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-12-07-final-fantasy-15s-story-is-being-patched

So, basically... this game wasn't finished. Not by a long way.

Aulayna
12-07-2016, 12:51 PM
So my gut feeling I've been banging on about in multiple threads, about certain parts being rushed, was spot-on. Well, at least these updates are being released for free!

EDIT: AFAIK they're also planning to add a New Game+ mode in a future free update too.

Fynn
12-07-2016, 12:57 PM
Honestly, this is a good thing and only goes to show how much Tabata cares about the fans. People have complained about too few story scenes, so there you go, we're adding some, completely for free.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 12:58 PM
I think "Not by a long way" is exaggerating. xD But yeah, I'm glad we'll be getting some additional content for free, and even more so that they are addressing concerns raised by fans across the world instead of just ignoring them.

Really looking forward to being able to have important characters added to my party. Does this mean I can have Iris and Aranea together in my party? Oh man I hope so.

I'm not sure how they could work in Luna as a playable character but I'm interested to see if they do, and how she would compare with the other guest party members.

Fox
12-07-2016, 01:08 PM
Considering the game we got, I guess it's good that they're trying to make some improvements? But I don't recall seeing an 'Early Access' label when I bought the game. I went in expecting a complete story, and frankly I've never been more disappointed by a game. There's no undoing that experience. And now I'm going to have to experience the game again just on the off chance that the patches make it good.

One of two things has happened: either they always planned this story content but released the game too early, in which case smurf Square Enix for rushing it out, or they've only just decided to make it after reading feedback, in which case I don't trust their creative competence.


I think "Not by a long way" is exaggerating.

I don't. I never thought I'd miss XIII, but here we are.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 01:12 PM
Well, for XIII the majority of vocal people were against the game, although I personally liked it.

With XV, my impression is that the majority of vocal people favour the game.

Fynn
12-07-2016, 01:13 PM
I don't. I never thought I'd miss XIII, but here we are.

Shhhhh :soothe:

Psychotic
12-07-2016, 01:30 PM
I agree with Fox entirely. Actually I tell a lie, I don't agree with him bringing up XIII as better :p

I was more understanding when I assumed the minimalist story was a creative decision and was a knee jerk reaction to criticism XIII got. I'm doubtful that they planned new story content in a week. This was content cut to save time and cut corners. I'm pragmatic enough to understand that they presumably had to rush it out to meet financial pressures and it's good that at least they're releasing a free patch when many devs wouldn't.

However, they would have a lot more integrity if they'd said from the outset that a more expansive story patch was due to come out in a few months before releasing the thing. Yes, that's commercial suicide so you have to make a choice as to what you want more of: Customers or fans? They chose customers and that's fine, good for them, they've just made a fat stack of cash. But when you compromise on both being honest with your fans and your artistic vision for financial gain then you lose some of the goodwill and respect you had stored up.

As Fox says, this was not sold as an Early Access game. This was sold as the final product, and I, as a consumer, paid full price for that game. Indeed, I broke my no pre-ordering rule due to my loyalty to the series! Again to borrow from Fox, I can't experience the first time I played this game but if I had known that the story was missing content I might've preferred to wait and experience my first time with the complete package. Square didn't make me aware that was an option because they wanted my money now rather than later. Fair enough. I've learned my lesson.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 01:40 PM
Oh, I agree they didn't finish it to the degree that they would have wanted to, and that this content was probably planned in some way. Apparently the voice acting hasn't been done yet for it so I don't think it was as concrete as people might think, though.

I just disagree that the game wasn't finished "by a long way" because if the game was released and never got a patch, well, let's just point to the reviews from users and critics alike fawning over the game after it was released. If they had never put out these patches they have announced, then they would have settled down with a game that was being praised by the majority and in a strong way. Technically they could have done nothing and not released a patch, so if people are going to say "Oh, I should have waited" after enjoying the initial released game then I think that's just encouraging them to not put out patches in future and just let the initial game remain as-is for all time, like they did with XIII.

Fox
12-07-2016, 01:53 PM
Bear in mind I'm only referring to story content. The actual game systems, whilst certainly in need in some polish, are not in a terrible state. The story telling, on the other hand and in my opinion, absolutely is. I mean I'm just coming up to Burmecia in my FFIX play through and I already feel like I've had an equivalent amount of story development that vanilla XV had in its entirety.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 02:09 PM
I actually think that's a really interesting thing about both FFXIII and FFXV. I feel like the new games, with voice acting, have so much more dialogue than the older games. Yet I feel I got more story in VI-XII (XI excepted) despite this. It makes me wonder if character development is considered more important than story than it was in earlier games. Or maybe not character development so much as... character... detail? You know, getting to know more about a character's personality. It doesn't need to develop from one state to another for me to enjoy a character so much as it needs to let me actually get to know them on a notable level, something that I feel XIII in particular did excellently. I guess in modern games it's more about the journey and getting to know the characters than about the world plot.

Don't get me wrong, I feel like I got to know individual characters in-depth in the previous games, but not a full cast. I got to know all six of the XIII characters far better than I did Aeris, Cait Sith, Red XIII, Barret, but I feel I got to know Tifa and Cloud on a more personal level probably on par with the XIII team.

Hard to say for XV as I'm still playing through it and getting character tours or whatever they are called on a regular basis despite having all characters at level 99, and I know there is at least one tour I've not yet done, I suspect a few.

Fox
12-07-2016, 02:19 PM
I believe that impression comes from the separation of 'game' and 'story' from X onwards that didn't really exist in the earlier games. Back on the PS1 and before when it was all text boxes, you had a bunch of story development in bitesized moments that you wouldn't really call a "cutscene". Think about running up the Sector 7 pillar, you stop and have a very brief chat with Biggs and Jessie on the staircase. Moments like that which are indistinguishable from a big plot cutscene because they're all presented in the same manner.

You do still get this sort of thing in XV in the form of barks. Maybe you're going into a cave and Prompto calls out "Hellooo, anybody home?" But it's not a cutscene in the same style as a full cutscene, so it feels more separate from the story. Also, voices are expensive, so you naturally get less of these moments than you would if just relying on text. For this reason I like the hybrid approach where sometimes characters do still talk in text only, even though your game is voice acted. It just allows you to give every NPC something to say and pack in a lot more words. So in X all the important scenes are voiced but when I'm just wandering around Besaid I can talk to every character be they party member or NPC and they'll have something to say. In Lestallum on the other hand there are only a handful of NPCs with lines.

Loony BoB
12-07-2016, 02:23 PM
I actually feel like there is more dialogue (written or voiced) in the later games than the earlier ones. Sure, there are moments like Kalm in FFVII in which there is an absolute plethora of dialogue, but for the most part the dialogue in previous games felt like a considerable amount more story-focused than flavour. Modern games have a crapload more flavour, at least, I feel they do.

Dignified Pauper
12-08-2016, 02:39 PM
There might be more dialogue, but most of the dialogue isn't serving a purpose to move the plot forward, and what dialogue does move the plot forward, is weak at best. This game ultimately suffers from the "Show, don't Tell" syndrome that a lot of writers fall pray to.

While character development is important, and we have some great moments where it happens as part of the plot, the plot is the driving focus of the game leading you to the objective. If you're going to craft this world with rich lore, but never explain it, and never provide context on how and why the plot is important to the narrative of the world, then everything else falls flat from a "why am I doing this?" perspective.

Don't get me wrong, the little moments when you're sleeping at a motel, the banter between the characters - that's great, and really helps you develop a sense of connection to the characters - but it does nothing to serve the objective of the plot, which is what is driving you to finish the game, ultimately.

Lamia
12-10-2016, 06:38 AM
I finally beat the game (when I first posted in this thread I was at Hammerheads right before the final battle), and I have to say that I am very happy with FFXV and its ending. I really loved seeing Luna and Noctis reunited in death. That made it OK for me that she was killed off. And when they showed that Luna is the picture in the logo... beautiful. I still wish the story wasn't so thin. Namely, I wish we were given what we were shown in trailers in terms of story :/ but it is what it is. In the end though I feel it's fine, and doesn't even come close to ruining the game.

DMKA
12-11-2016, 06:12 AM
I just finished it and yeah, if there's one single aspect of the game I'm disappointed with, it's the story, and the fact that LITERALLY NOTHING FROM THAT AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER IS IN THE GAME. If ever a case were to be made with false advertising for video games, this is it.

IcUSXub_ypU

It's tragic really. Watching the trailer again, you can tell a sweeping epic of a story with a huge cast of characters and in-depth villains was planned, but tons of money and man hours spent on developing all that, and animating those breath-takingly gorgeous FMVs was thrown away, because not one shred of it is in FFXV.

It's a fun game. The gameplay is wonderful, the world is beautiful, and there's lots to do. Your main cast of four heroes are extremely likable, believable, and you come to truly care for them, but it feels like that all came at the cost of what would have otherwise been an epic memorable story akin to what most Final Fantasy games are known for.

The one exception to all this is the span of time from when you get on the boat to Altissia until you get to Tenebrae. That was the only span in the game, for me at least, that I felt like I was playing a game that belonged under the Final Fantasy banner. Had the whole game been full of moments like those, you'd have an instant classic to rival the best games of the genre.

Again, I can't stress enough that I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and still am enjoying it (there are tons of quests I've yet to complete and I'm having a blast going through them, especially now that I have the flying car to speed things along). I'm just very let down by a plot that showed so much promise pre-release that seemingly got thrown away and none of us will ever get to experience now.

Aulayna
12-11-2016, 12:13 PM
I just finished it and yeah, if there's one single aspect of the game I'm disappointed with, it's the story, and the fact that LITERALLY NOTHING FROM THAT AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILER IS IN THE GAME. If ever a case were to be made with false advertising for video games, this is it.

IcUSXub_ypU

It's tragic really. Watching the trailer again, you can tell a sweeping epic of a story with a huge cast of characters and in-depth villains was planned, but tons of money and man hours spent on developing all that, and animating those breath-takingly gorgeous FMVs was thrown away, because not one shred of it is in FFXV.

I'm actually working on a piece about this for the frontsite, going through all of the Versus XIII and XV trailers and point out what did/didn't make it into the final game in some form.

Scruffington
12-11-2016, 04:46 PM
I finally beat the game (when I first posted in this thread I was at Hammerheads right before the final battle), and I have to say that I am very happy with FFXV and its ending. I really loved seeing Luna and Noctis reunited in death. That made it OK for me that she was killed off. And when they showed that Luna is the picture in the logo... beautiful. I still wish the story wasn't so thin. Namely, I wish we were given what we were shown in trailers in terms of story :/ but it is what it is. In the end though I feel it's fine, and doesn't even come close to ruining the game.

That ending was dreadful. Luna and Noctis reuniting in the afterlife would have been beautiful had Tabata and co. not bastardized her character.

The entire game never gives any clear indication that the two have any romance or deeper relationship beyond just being childhood friends. Their marriage is presented as purely political and never evolves beyond that during the story.

Her becoming the logo was so painfully forced, considering it wasn't even her who was originally on the logo. That was Etro. It's almost as though they ran out of time to properly fit her on there and had to shoehorn her in. (they did)

And Noctis' design on the logo looks pretty awkward with him just floating in mid-air.

Fox
12-13-2016, 03:10 PM
I have a plot question! So, I've looked around the internet to find answers to various questions I had and just better understand the story that was told. But there are a couple of things I can't wrap my head around.

1) Are the royal arms actually important to the story in any way?
I mean you have to go and collect them but there doesn't seem to be a reason for that other than "these are super strong".

2) Are the Astrals actually important to the story in any way?
So, you do the trials to get the power of the Astrals. But... this doesn't seem to actually do anything other give you the ability to use summons in battle occasionally? Noctis's important power is not related to the Astral's power at all, and it's awakened by Luna in order to defeat Leviathan. So beyond Bahamut being the person who reveals some plot details to you at the end, I don't see how they are actually important to the story in any way. If you took the Astrals away the plot could remain basically the same, couldn't it?

Sephiroth
12-13-2016, 08:39 PM
To break it down in a very primitive way it is basically just the "you have to prove yourself as worthy successor" thing.



The entire game never gives any clear indication that the two have any romance or deeper relationship beyond just being childhood friends. Their marriage is presented as purely political and never evolves beyond that during the story.

Her becoming the logo was so painfully forced, considering it wasn't even her who was originally on the logo. That was Etro. It's almost as though they ran out of time to properly fit her on there and had to shoehorn her in. (they did)


The game does indicate it. It just lacks proper execution which is exactly the problem. It does indicate it nonetheless. I totally agree though that I want Luna to grow more on me which is why I would love to have DLC about her. It can easily destroy my greatest complaint.

And Etro or not. Rewrite is rewrite. I also don't care about how Cloud has no black hair or how Sephiroth and Aerith were no lovers in the final version (I mean, it could have been interesting but it is no game breaker for me).

Scruffington
12-13-2016, 11:07 PM
The game does indicate it. It just lacks proper execution which is exactly the problem. It does indicate it nonetheless. I totally agree though that I want Luna to grow more on me which is why I would love to have DLC about her. It can easily destroy my greatest complaint.

And Etro or not. Rewrite is rewrite. I also don't care about how Cloud has no black hair or how Sephiroth and Aerith were no lovers in the final version (I mean, it could have been interesting but it is no game breaker for me).

No, the game does not indicate it. Being fond of someone and caring for someone doesn't necessarily mean you're in love with them. I'm not contending that they were in love, I'm contending that the game itself does not show that they're in love. To suggest that they are is entirely up to your own interpretation, but I'm basing my opinion off of facts.

The way some people interpret the ending, which I agree with, is a sort of "ideal world" that would have happened had Luna not died. They would have developed a romance and been together. But in reality, they didn't.

The logo itself was not rewritten or remade to fit the new story. Only the character filling the role of the logo was rewritten. Which makes it seem forced, because it is.

Sephiroth
12-14-2016, 09:32 AM
No, the game does not indicate it. Being fond of someone and caring for someone doesn't necessarily mean you're in love with them. I'm not contending that they were in love, I'm contending that the game itself does not show that they're in love. To suggest that they are is entirely up to your own interpretation, but I'm basing my opinion off of facts.

The way some people interpret the ending, which I agree with, is a sort of "ideal world" that would have happened had Luna not died. They would have developed a romance and been together. But in reality, they didn't.

The logo itself was not rewritten or remade to fit the new story. Only the character filling the role of the logo was rewritten. Which makes it seem forced, because it is.

Base your opinion off the fact that not every sentence is blunt and we are lucky enough to even get some blunt Japanese things because a lot of what is said in Japanese is part of subtext. In Final Fantasy we even get plenty of stuff where we do not even need to know that. And people still manage to not understand the blunt parts. So make of that whatever you want.

Whether you like it for not, the game as a matter of fact does indicate their feelings and emotional bond. The only thing that is a fact is what I have already stated and that is that it has no good narrative execution, meaning it could be told a bit better and with a few more steps, that is basically the part where I agree. Your problem is that you just want a blunt "they are in love. Rinoa sits on Squalls lap, Tidus and Yuna dance underwater" message and that's it. There are various ways in stories to actually tell a message about an emotional state of one of more persons. In Final Fantasy IV Cecil and Rosa are already together. We are supposed to believe that they are in love even though that is not even close to being one of the most important plot points. Luna points out multiple times how her fate is connected with Noctis. They have this "person x has some sort of obligation to person y but it becomes more than just that" kind of story. Luna is so close to Noctis that they have the old-school "I meet you in a dream-like world" thing going on, in this one of course also combined with Luna's entire oracle-esque role and all. Luna is supposed to be connected to Noctis in any possible way, because he is the chosen one, share a more emotional and spiritual bond, know each other since childhood, et cetera. Noctis and her send messages each other all the time because they were not able to have any other contact for 12 years (if you really think you send a dog over the world for a person that is a mere friend to you and nothing else then think again). Not being together for 12 years is a very hard time and makes it even harder to tell such a story but what you claim they did not do is just not what it was. It was sloppy and in my opinion also not enough for my personal taste. But that's it. "Not enough" is not the same as "non-existent". Luna is there for Noctis all the time, even ready to die for him. And I am not talking about the main game alone but also Kingsglaive. That you need a full on-make out mode to believe them is the real problem here. And also - you have a hard time believing the ending because of this complaint of yours. But how about the ending itself being the final confirmation instead? We know almost nothing about Lord Rasler and it is still believable that Ashe felt something for him even though her storyparts when she thinks about him are not all about "oh Rasler we met when I was 16-year old and on our first date we were there and afterwards we were there ..."

It absolutely is there. It could have been better and I also want more to flesh it out and let Luna be more for me than the rare spawn of characters. But it is there.

You can see even I want more. But I would never actually say "I want more because there is nothing at all" because I know there are various ways to express the same thing.

Also, almost no one "interpretes the ending as the ideal world that did not happen". The ending goes from a very easy to understand healing world to a spiritual appearance of Luna and Noctis to show that they are finally together. even if it is just in death. The ending is basically nothing but Titanic. We get the typical fantasy shonen-type thing. The entire part before is "very dark and unforgiving but hey, at least here you get something for the ending to know that at least they are together in the end, here you have your happy end". There is no excuse of "reality" because reality in this Final Fantasy is also that there is a spiritual existence of people.

It also does not matter in the slightest if the logo was not changed. Fact is, the logo does not stand for what you want it to stand for. You are not the one who decides what is getting rewritten, you do not own the franchise and stop making factual claims like "it makes it seem forced because it is" because not everyone was annoyed by what you claim to "feel forced". I for example thought it was a very nice and sweet addition while Ardyn seemed forced to me.

Loony BoB
12-14-2016, 04:32 PM
I have a plot question! So, I've looked around the internet to find answers to various questions I had and just better understand the story that was told. But there are a couple of things I can't wrap my head around.

1) Are the royal arms actually important to the story in any way?
I mean you have to go and collect them but there doesn't seem to be a reason for that other than "these are super strong".

2) Are the Astrals actually important to the story in any way?
So, you do the trials to get the power of the Astrals. But... this doesn't seem to actually do anything other give you the ability to use summons in battle occasionally? Noctis's important power is not related to the Astral's power at all, and it's awakened by Luna in order to defeat Leviathan. So beyond Bahamut being the person who reveals some plot details to you at the end, I don't see how they are actually important to the story in any way. If you took the Astrals away the plot could remain basically the same, couldn't it?

1) No, not as far as I am aware. They are just weapons that have a bit of lore behind them and can only be used by Noctis.

2) Yes, to some extent. The Astrals created the crystal and it is they who Noctis needed approval from in order to use it in the way he did - at least, that's how I understood it. I think he got approval from all bar Ifrit, and that was "enough", I guess. Majority vote or something.

Scruffington
12-14-2016, 05:51 PM
Base your opinion off the fact that not every sentence is blunt and we are lucky enough to even get some blunt Japanese things because a lot of what is said in Japanese is part of subtext. In Final Fantasy we even get plenty of stuff where we do not even need to know that. And people still manage to not understand the blunt parts. So make of that whatever you want.

Whether you like it for not, the game as a matter of fact does indicate their feelings and emotional bond. The only thing that is a fact is what I have already stated and that is that it has no good narrative execution, meaning it could be told a bit better and with a few more steps, that is basically the part where I agree. Your problem is that you just want a blunt "they are in love. Rinoa sits on Squalls lap, Tidus and Yuna dance underwater" message and that's it. There are various ways in stories to actually tell a message about an emotional state of one of more persons. In Final Fantasy IV Cecil and Rosa are already together. We are supposed to believe that they are in love even though that is not even close to being one of the most important plot points. Luna points out multiple times how her fate is connected with Noctis. They have this "person x has some sort of obligation to person y but it becomes more than just that" kind of story. Luna is so close to Noctis that they have the old-school "I meet you in a dream-like world" thing going on, in this one of course also combined with Luna's entire oracle-esque role and all. Luna is supposed to be connected to Noctis in any possible way, because he is the chosen one, share a more emotional and spiritual bond, know each other since childhood, et cetera. Noctis and her send messages each other all the time because they were not able to have any other contact for 12 years (if you really think you send a dog over the world for a person that is a mere friend to you and nothing else then think again). Not being together for 12 years is a very hard time and makes it even harder to tell such a story but what you claim they did not do is just not what it was. It was sloppy and in my opinion also not enough for my personal taste. But that's it. "Not enough" is not the same as "non-existent". Luna is there for Noctis all the time, even ready to die for him. And I am not talking about the main game alone but also Kingsglaive. That you need a full on-make out mode to believe them is the real problem here. And also - you have a hard time believing the ending because of this complaint of yours. But how about the ending itself being the final confirmation instead? We know almost nothing about Lord Rasler and it is still believable that Ashe felt something for him even though her storyparts when she thinks about him are not all about "oh Rasler we met when I was 16-year old and on our first date we were there and afterwards we were there ..."

It absolutely is there. It could have been better and I also want more to flesh it out and let Luna be more for me than the rare spawn of characters. But it is there.

You can see even I want more. But I would never actually say "I want more because there is nothing at all" because I know there are various ways to express the same thing.

Also, almost no one "interpretes the ending as the ideal world that did not happen". The ending goes from a very easy to understand healing world to a spiritual appearance of Luna and Noctis to show that they are finally together. even if it is just in death. The ending is basically nothing but Titanic. We get the typical fantasy shonen-type thing. The entire part before is "very dark and unforgiving but hey, at least here you get something for the ending to know that at least they are together in the end, here you have your happy end". There is no excuse of "reality" because reality in this Final Fantasy is also that there is a spiritual existence of people.

It also does not matter in the slightest if the logo was not changed. Fact is, the logo does not stand for what you want it to stand for. You are not the one who decides what is getting rewritten, you do not own the franchise and stop making factual claims like "it makes it seem forced because it is" because not everyone was annoyed by what you claim to "feel forced". I for example thought it was a very nice and sweet addition while Ardyn seemed forced to me.

Sorry that my post came off as a bit...absolutist. I'm definitely not someone that can't enjoy something unless it black and white.

We both agree that the game needed to have more exposition on Noctis, Luna, and their relationship together. I still hold that even while there are some hints in the game that they're in a deeper relationship, their relationship together outside of being friends as kids isn't really shown. The one time they see each other outside of being kids? Noctis doesn't say a word to her because she's giving a speech. I'm not looking for something explicit from him, I want to see how he interacts with Luna when they're together. The difference between them and Squall/Rinoa is that the two exchange dialogue constantly. They spend a lot of time together. And they spend time alone together, too. Some stories explain character relationships as occurring before the story begins, some during and some after. Noctis and Luna are only together after the story ends.

It's not about "what I want it to stand for." That was literally the original version of the logo when the game was Versus XIII. The character in the logo was always intended to be Etro. So when the game was changed to XV, the concept of Etro was scrapped. Okay sure, stories and characters get scrapped from games all the time. Yet they kept the original logo from Versus XIII with a character that is no longer in the game. So that means that the new story needs to have a new character to fulfill that role. They chose Luna.

Why this is forced is because they shoehorned Luna into a role that wasn't her own. Just because the role is hers now doesn't mean it was designed with her in mind. They put her in that role after the logo. Not the other way around. And the scene itself is incredibly unnatural with her sleeping on the side of the throne. Not exactly the most comfortable place to rest your head.

Kappy
12-15-2016, 10:54 PM
So, I just beat it.

Overall, I found the game absorbing and fun. Definitely a step in the right direction after XIII. I really enjoyed the open world setting and variety of things to do, the quest system and the battle system (after learning it properly). There was some truly jaw-dropping moments - I don't think I'll ever forget the first time I summoned Ramuh. The overall design of the game was excellent - art direction, music, voice acting (save a couple of characters), attention to detail - all great.

When it all boils down though, I play Final Fantasy games for two things - story, and characters. And I've got to say I agree with much of the opening post. It just doesn't have that X-Factor that FFVI through to FFX has for me, and that's down to poor storytelling, some frankly odd pacing, and poorly fleshed out characters and ideas.

That's not to say the potential isn't there. I think it very well could've been phenomenal, and that's all the more frustrating to me. For example, I lacked a true sense of menace from the villain and the stakes at hand, even though potentially he was excellent. I didn't really feel a sense of devotion or investment save for a couple of excellent scenes where you could see the potential of it all - that last scene around the campfire with your friends where Noctis struggles to speak - just awesome! So frustrating.

Instead I kind of feel left with barebones, and that a bunch of stuff was missing. If it's fleshed out later via DLC, I'll revise my opinion, but also be quite angry. :lol:

Overall, it's not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. It's just not a classic Final Fantasy at this moment in time.

The Summoner of Leviathan
12-18-2016, 02:33 AM
Imma gonna keep it quick because I'm on my cell, but I loved the game and enjoyed it a lot. The narrative however was bad. Without the supplemental media you don't get much about Regis and Luna. Almost all the characters outside the chocobros are throwaway: flat characters who only serve to further the plot or sidequests. For example, Luna has no character development if you view the game in isolation. One of her scenes are skippable if you don't check the radio ffs. KG has this problem too (Crowe anyone?). There is a lot of potential there but the ball was seriously dropped.

Night Fury
12-20-2016, 10:42 AM
Haven't played it, but watched Pheesh play it.

My thoughts.... It's better than FFXIII on a lot of things. The gameplay and battling didn't appeal to me, but the story was pretty good and better than what I thought. I also really liked the 4 boys a lot, and enjoyed their friendship - I think they pulled it off well enough.

Solid game, gameplay itself isn't for me but I really don't think it has come out as bad as I thought it would.

EDIT: I really liked the ending cinematics and the FatM cover song fit really well.

Wolf Kanno
12-29-2016, 09:22 AM
Not going to pay attention to what else has been discussed...

Lets do a quick and final Pros vs. Cons and then I'll elaborate at the end.

Pros:

It was better than FFXIII, which was about the only major requirement I needed to be fulfilled from this game. Seven years since that clusterfuck and it still makes my blood boil thinking about how much a waste of time that turd was. I am happy to see that FFXV was a much more fun, expansive, and intimate experience than "rail-movie the game".
Gameplay was overall really fun and well designed minus a hiccup here and there.
I really enjoyed combat, and that statement is coming from someone who generally never cared for Action-RPG combat and was the one element I was the most concerned about. Switching weapons doesn't have the "weightiness" of the demos which was a nice improvement, and the variety of weapons made combat feel fresh as long as I experimented with the load-out. The greater emphasis on dodging and blocking attacks kept combat interesting and devolving into "hold circle to win" The dual weapons for comrades also helped make them more diversified and helpful in combat, speaking of which...
My biggest compliment goes to the treatment of the A.I. comrades who finally hit that sweet spot of not being so dumb that I'm screaming at them for being totally useless and making me wish for the Gambit systems (this would be your KH/FFXIII type of A.I.), but they are also not so overly competent that I have to start wondering why I'm even here (your FFXII/MGS type of A.I.).
The Tech system really made the party feel alive and spiced up combat exquisitely by giving me that interactive/cinematic quality to combat that older FFs had and has been missing from the franchise since FFX. It also helped establish a distinction among the party of who they were and where they fell into place on the team.
I'm happy the game actually begins open-ended instead of being narrow and then opening up. It may have hurt the pacing in the early sections in terms of story, but since so much of the character bonding moments generally happen during the gameplay moments, as oppose to the story proper, I felt it really helped establish the team rather well, and allowed the world to open up more organically instead of constantly being dragged from place to place and being given the quick rundown of why I should care.
I genuinely enjoyed most of the game's locations, even in the few times I felt disappointed when I couldn't explore or learn more about a place. Still, the game does a great job of capturing familiar locations in the real world and twisting them into something more fantastic. From the early Americana Route 66 sections, to Listallum's fantasy Havana, to Altissia being fantasy Venice, to even the wild and scare locals of the Nifelheim Empire. The locations were rarely boring to explore and there is so much content that it's easy to drown in the options.
The summons were pretty awesome. While it has the smallest list of available summons in the series, I was happy to see them return to being something impressive after so many years. I don't even mind the fact they are "I win" buttons since summoning them can often be tricky, usually meant you were getting your ass kicked and needed them, and could never be exploited like previous installments.
The core four characters really work. I really felt a level of trust and camaraderie among the main four that never felt distant or forced like the previous single player installments. The characters bounce off each other really well and I am thankful that the cast doesn't really rely heavily on appealing to archetypes like most of the series. There is a real sense of them being people and I feel XV might have one of the better playable casts in the series. Ignis and Prompto are easily the two best characters in the game.
Barring one important character and one minor character, I really loved most of the female cast. Iris is adorable and spunky but doesn't have the irritating traits of the hyper genki girls often seen in the medium, instead she feels genuine, and how one would think a sixteen year old would feel like. Aranea certainly deserves to be in the same league as Kain and Freya as a memorable and awesome dragoon. They were easily the best side characters. Cindy may have the creepy lech elements going for her but as I did quests for her, I came to really enjoy her more as a character who was much more well thought out than previously imagined. Gentiana was quite the surprise since I didn't think much of her before the game, she has enough quirks and story relevance to make her memorable.
Ardyn was a damn good villain, having that nice dual quality of being charming and scene stealing, but also a total ass you wanted to punch in the face when you saw him. I feel he suffers a bit of the same issues as Lord Vayne in XII in terms of his motives not being well presented, but he is easily one of the more memorable villains to come out of the series in awhile.
The more "out there" elements like the car and skills worked really well for this game and helped to set it apart from not only other FF games but a few open world ones as well. I didn't mind the fact the car had limited control cause I've seen too many times my terrible video game driving skills ruin the immersion factor for me and I enjoyed the fact it worked really well with the central idea of the game being a Road trip. It definitely hit a certain nostalgia for me, as my family mostly did road trips as vacations; so sitting back, watching the scenery and listening to conversation and good music hit all of my nostalgia buttons. The quirks of the character from their skills was also neat from checking out Prompto's photos, to finding new recipes for Ignis, to Noctis finally breaking from bored attitude to one of excitement when he finally got to fish, and Gladio always insisting on camping. All these elements were great as a means to tell you more about the characters.
I loved the fact the game had more interactive moments from the onset like pushing the car, stirring soup, doing foot races, and just in general for exploring and combat. It's not immersion if I'm just sitting there watching cutscenes, make me feel like I'm actually there, that was what the Golden Era of the series did and something I really missed.
The ability to explore and discover was also super nice, and I appreciate that I often had to look around every nook and cranny to discover a dungeon, a royal tomb, or some other cool element. Again the open world element of the game really helped to bring back that swashbuckling adventure feel of the early games, before the series devolved into poor and bizarre knock-offs of Hollywood summer blockbusters.
Several of the quests in the game are amusing and help to establish a fun cast of minor NPCs. While they get monotonous after awhile, they still do a great job of introducing a fun cast of minor characters who help to bring the various locations and world alive.
Soundtrack was pretty good, not great, but it works for what it needed to do, and I'm happy the party had some nice character themes that were actually noticeable for once.
Most of the game's mini-games were actually fun, fishing especially brought back pleasant memories of the Breath of Fire series.


Cons:


There is a real sense that XV feels like a "catch up" game. Similar to how I felt about DQVIII, there just seems to be a real sense that the design team was seeing what was hot in the gaming market and putting it in. While it certainly has it's charms and eccentricities that can only be offered by a Japanese developer, the game often feels like something you've probably played from many other AAA open world titles on the market. The team probably could have done more to branch out and make themselves feel different from the pack, but they rarely did.
The game has one of the same problems I had with Xenoblade Chronicles, which is that there are too many sidequests, and too many of those sidequests are too similar to each other. The game content could have been edited down a bit, and several of the quest lines could have been more impactful had a third to half of their number of quests been removed. It's too easy to get stuck in the sidequest grind like many open world titles and the fact they are just you redoing maybe the same seven things over and over just makes them feel monotonous.
While there are some gorgeous enemy designs and I am loving the fact that many of Amano's classic designs were getting the 3D treatment; it just seems like the enemy variety is pretty small considering the size of the game. The "wolf" like creatures were especially jarring since there seemed to be a lot of pallete swap/minor design difference among them.
While magic type abilities are usually underwhelming in Action-RPGs compared to good old brute force (Secret of Mana being one of the few exceptions) I was still a bit sad to see so little variety in magic abilities. The three core elements plus Holy, Death, and X-Zone seems really slim picking for an FF game. I get how the system works in the game, but for a world where magic is rare and supposedly powerful, I felt like the game could have done more to show that off. I mean when VI talks about how freaking powerful magic is, the gameplay mechanics back it up. Same with FFX and the summons. There was no reason why we couldn't have gotten Aero, Quake, and Water as Elemancy elements and maybe some more big magic spells from the Ring of Luci like Flare or a team attack with Armigar that is Ultima.
The Mark Hunts are still being done poorly. Like I mentioned in the first impressions thread, it lacks what made them cool in FFXII. There is no story component to any of them, and the enemies encountered are mostly just beefier versions of things you've fought (or will fight) a million times anyway. XII's worked because most of the monsters on the list had a story element to them but many of them also offered unique gameplay challenges and would often subvert your expectations with them. They were a series of cool mini-boss battles, not just beefier trash mobs.
While I appreciate the more linear nature of the final chapters (you know, the part when you're suppose to be invested and rushing to see what's next) the game has the same issue as Xenogears second disc where all these cool events and places are revealed but you the player are getting the Reader's Digest/ Travel catalog version of it. You get to the lands of Nifelheim and Tenebrae and you get to see so little and the impact is kind of lost on the player. It's sort of the same problem XIII had with making you care about Cocoon, but you have the added disappointment of having these places subtly hyped for you only to find so little of it.
So let's just discuss the big pink elephant in the room shall we? The plot doesn't have much going for it. The first half is just a loose series of ill-defined fetch quests and the second half is rushed and lacks satisfaction and clear context. It's not the worst plot in the series, that would be XIII, but it definitely was a bunch of great ideas that fall painfully short of their full potential. Like Crisis Core before it, Tabata finds interesting ways to bring in an emotional impact from all of it, but again, the writing is weak and leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth due to it.
With the exception of Ardyn, the rest of the villainous cast is largely lacking, and the game has a similar issue to XIII where the villains all seem cool on paper but often get removed with little ceremony or fanfare. They are also poorly developed and their motives change off screen in the case of Ravus. It ultimately hurts the overall story and the game lacks the usual catharsis that many of the better villainous ensembles have had to offer. Most fans figured Ardyn was the big bad, but XV didn't have to make it so blatantly obvious by giving him all the screen time while the rest of the villains get the majority of their screen time in Kingsglaive.
Speaking of which, Kingsglaive, and to a lesser extent, Brotherhood should have never been made. All of that content should have been in the game proper and I really wish large studios would stop trying to transform all of their projects into multimedia ensembles because it weakens the element by pulling them apart. The early sections of XV could have benefited from having the Fall of Insomnia as a gameplay piece (just drop the Kingsglaive and let Regis and Lunafreya have some more screen-time) and the Brotherhood scenes could have been nice story elements to spruce up the more dry parts of the early chapters. Yes it's easier to get all this content now, but it still doesn't change the fact the main game felt a bit empty by having these events removed, and in the case of Kingsglaive, it had an epic moment over-produced into something that can't really stand on its own and would have worked better as a scaled back experience to kick off the main event proper.
Lunafreya is probably not going to win "best female FF character in the series". She has the same issue as Serah in the original XIII, where she's kind of just there in the plot and only after she's gone does the game bother to give you the flashbacks to develop her as something more than just "The Oracle". The Aerith undertones don't help either. The bigger pet peeve I have with her is that I felt the game should have left her relationship with Noctis ambiguous. It would have helped both of them to give the fans less and leave us wondering if they truly loved each other, were just friends, or two people trapped in their duty. The last half of the game ruins the mystery that should have been there and is a wonderful example of when less is more could have really helped.
Regis is another character I feel under-performs, and is probably one of the few times I'm going to bother saying that Versus XIII promised us something more with him and XV kind of falters with that promise. He was a character that had great potential from the other media sources but his role in the main game proper feels empty.


So final thoughts on the 15th installment of the series:
Overall, I am quite pleased with XV, it's hardly perfect but I feel anyone going into it thinking it was going to be "the greatest game ever!" was doomed for disappointment. Considering it's very public implosion on the development side, I was expecting a much worse and I feel the game does a good job of taking half baked ideas and making something presentable out of it. Could it have used more time to be better developed? Hell yes, but we the fans were not going to give it anymore, so it's our own fault for rushing the game out once it changed directors, and either way, I still feel like it was always doomed to begin with.

With that said, the core game is still super fun if still trapped with the usual pitfalls of open world design that is starting to feel tired after the over-saturation of the market last gen, yet I still feel that it was some of the best gameplay satisfaction I've gotten out of a numbered entry in ten years, so it at least succeeds as a game. While the narrative falls flat, the core cast make up for it with their frank conversations, small moments and little idiosyncrasies that help make the world feel alive and actually inhabited by real people. In fact a more subdued story and cast was a bit overdue for the franchise, so while it falls short of it's potential, I'm still satisfied with the results.

XV to me feels like one of those games where several years from now, when the raw emotion of it's development history and controversial design choices in the aftermath of Tabata taking over has faded just a bit; fans will finally be able to look back and see this game for what it truly is: a fun if flawed feature we placed too much hope and expectation on. The game is also filled to the brim with so many secrets and shout-outs, it may still be many years before fans uncover everything about it, which is something I always appreciate from my games. For the most part, I would recommend the game to people. To both new and old fans of Final Fantasy. :wcanoe:

Fox
12-29-2016, 12:03 PM
Glad you enjoyed it overall, Wolf - interesting how a bunch of things on your 'Pro' list would be very much on my con list. Specifically

- Gameplay treatment of the AI comrades
- Tech system
- Game starting open
- Summons

I really enjoyed the scale of the summons, and I too didn't mind them being 'I win!' buttons. I minded having very little control over when they were available. I know there are conditions that cause them to trigger but I never felt like I was doing it deliberately, sometimes it would just kinda randomly happen. Kinda like Odin in FFVIII but with every summon.

Serapy
12-29-2016, 12:29 PM
Development hell (staff changes i.e. Tabata, delays) and all that cut content or changes have made this game so bland and messy. The storyline just felt so lacking too.

Spawn of Sephiroth
12-29-2016, 11:39 PM
I hate that they created a movie out of alot of the game material and could have done a better job in certain aspects if the story. My only complaints are of course Ch. 13 and I feel they should have doen something with Noctis while he was gone those 10 years. I feel like we should have seen what he went through. That would have been a perfect spot to complete Nocts charactor development and show us how he went into this rather whiny and immature and then he comes back he is calmer, more mature demeanor and focused on what he has to do. I would prefer to have seen that. Use that for a few hours of gameplay for that developement that way when we go back to Hammerhead it feels like we were gone a while. Then I still loved the Leviathon fight, but the earlier versions of that in the early trailers were to me better than the one we got. It was still awesome as hell, but I was dissapointed a tad about it.

Scruffington
12-30-2016, 12:45 AM
It was better than FFXIII, which was about the only major requirement I needed to be fulfilled from this game. Seven years since that clustersmurf and it still makes my blood boil thinking about how much a waste of time that turd was. I am happy to see that FFXV was a much more fun, expansive, and intimate experience than "rail-movie the game".

You really do act like a child when it comes to XIII. The first bullet point in your review damages your credibility because you can't seem to dislike or disagree with something without calling it a "turd." Sad.

XIII was a phenomenal game, and much better than "development hell fetch quest simulator the game."

There isn't a single area in which XV is better than XIII in, except maybe the main cast.

Wolf Kanno
12-30-2016, 06:13 AM
It was better than FFXIII, which was about the only major requirement I needed to be fulfilled from this game. Seven years since that clustersmurf and it still makes my blood boil thinking about how much a waste of time that turd was. I am happy to see that FFXV was a much more fun, expansive, and intimate experience than "rail-movie the game".

You really do act like a child when it comes to XIII. The first bullet point in your review damages your credibility because you can't seem to dislike or disagree with something without calling it a "turd." Sad.

XIII was a phenomenal game, and much better than "development hell fetch quest simulator the game."

There isn't a single area in which XV is better than XIII in, except maybe the main cast.

If you want a constructive dialogue, then its best not to come in with a self-righteous tone. I simply stated an opinion, it was uncalled for you to attack me personally because you disagree.

XV remembers that it's a game, and thus gave me something that actually had this thing called content, which means doing something more than babysit A.I. in combat, walk through linear corridors with no other options, and suffer through over-dramatic cutscenes.

XV at least tries to be interactive and keep the player involved, giving the player free agency to go through the story and immerse themselves at their own pace; not the perpetual moving forward by lack of options and a Datalog that describes the plot better, while failing to explain why you should care about anything, because the world is a shallow void the story never felt was worth really expending on in any meaningful way.

It gives you a cast that actually understands emotion and feeling and the subtlety of human interaction instead of long winded monologues and over dramatic poses and speeches. Its plot is rushed and simple, but at least it's coherent and doesn't need the Ultimania and an inevitable series of increasingly convoluted and terribly written sequels to explain everything.

Both are flawed games, but XIII doesn't have enough good qualities to help it shoulder the weight of those flaws like XV does.

Scruffington
12-30-2016, 06:37 AM
If you want a constructive dialogue, then its best not to come in with a self-righteous tone. I simply stated an opinion, it was uncalled for you to attack me personally because you disagree.

I can't really respect someone's opinion when they call something a "turd" in a supposedly well-written review. It's childish. If you want to be lighthearted or joke around about it, that's fine. But to present something as a legitimate, well-articulated review and then say that completely undermines the entire point of your post.

Maybe you should think about how you write your criticisms if you don't want them to be called childish.


XV remembers that it's a game, and thus gave me something that actually had this thing called content, which means doing something more than babysit A.I. in combat, walk through linear corridors with no other options, and suffer through over-dramatic cutscenes.

Yes, XV's content. The 30+ hours of sidequests that Tabata put in the game because he wanted players to have a lot of content to play. The story DLCs that were intentionally excluded from the final release to be sold as content later.

I find your complain about XIII quite hilarious, considering that you can't even control the AI in XV. At least with XIII you have the Paradigm Shift system where you can control what they do. It isn't perfect, but it's a better system than XV.

Outside of open-world battles, all of the dungeons take place in fairly linear environments in XV as well. And you have to contend with a janky camera a decent amount of the time.

I would rather take "over-dramatic cutscenes" than a lack of cutscenes. Especially when you only devote one of those cutscenes to two villains, one of which was presented as a major antagonist. And speaking of over-dramatic, how about the chapter where the party overreacts to Jared's death? The cutscene was completely jarring and unnatural considering the dude was barely in the game.


XV at least tries to be interactive and keep the player involved, giving the player free agency to go through the story and immerse themselves at their own pace; not the perpetual moving forward by lack of options and a Datalog that describes the plot better, while failing to explain why you should care about anything, because the world is a shallow void the story never felt was worth really expending on in any meaningful way.

Giving the player "free agency" in the story completely dismantles the pacing and narrative of the game. At the end of one chapter, Aranea is fighting you. At the very start of the next chapter, Aranea is helping you through a dungeon. There's no real transition. If you want to talk about "pacing," XV is not the game to defend.


Both are flawed games, but XIII doesn't have enough good qualities to help it shoulder the weight of those flaws like XV does.

Better soundtrack from start to finish, a complete and fully coherent story, beautiful and varied environments, gameplay that has flexibility and deep customization, and no cut content sold to you later? Yeah, we're not talking about XV. XIII is better.

Sephiroth
12-30-2016, 10:22 AM
Part ways. I know where this goes. 12 years experience.

Fynn
12-30-2016, 10:27 AM
Darlings, please. Cut it out.

Sephex
12-30-2016, 10:33 AM
I couldn't read fully because I just got this game for Christmas, but yeah, I did see a sample earlier (which was thankfully spoiler free). But I did see that things are getting a bit too much with the personal insults. You guys disagree and that's fine, but can we keep the low blows out of it? Thanks! :)

Fox
12-30-2016, 11:22 AM
I have had another thought about XV's 'road trip' premise and the conclusion I have come to is that they kinda screwed that up as well. Don't get me wrong, hanging out with your dudes is still one of the game's strengths, but it fails to make me feel like they're going on a real adventure together and I think I know why: they just don't go far enough.

To me, a 'road trip' is cross country, or close enough. Driving from LA to San Fransisco? That's a road trip. Pottering about Nevada for a week? Not a road trip. XV was more like pottering about Nevada, you were driving back and forth around one small town and the same set of gas stations for the entire first half of the game. Where's the adventure in that? The sense of unknown? Now, usually I wouldn't mind this of course - I don't buy Final Fantasy in order to play Euro Truck Simulator - however in the case of XV the concept was used as an excuse to remove a bunch of stuff.

Oh, you want some plot points in the first half of the game? Can't spare many of those, we're on a road trip!
Want some female party members? Sorry about that, this is a game about brothers on a road trip!

The first time a roadblock was removed and you drove to a new location was pretty cool - that felt like you were discovering something new. But that only happened 3 or 4 times in the game, the rest of the time you were going back and forth between the same points. Bearing that in mind I'd go so far as to say that FFX was a better road trip, because all the way until Zanarkand you were always coming across some new part of the world, a new challenge, a new bump in your adventure.

Squall Leonhart Loire
01-01-2017, 12:37 PM
Man, I was just re-watching the old Versus XIII trailers and they keep on reminding how much more impressive just the trailers for Versus were than the entirety of Final Fantasy XV. Combat and concepts looked better. Character switching.... Tactical Kingdom Hearts/Dissidia system. So much better and overall a game with better lore. I'm not sure if that petition to reboot Versus would do anything(very few petitions work in gaming) but a man could dream.

Scruffington
01-01-2017, 05:17 PM
Man, I was just re-watching the old Versus XIII trailers and they keep on reminding how much more impressive just the trailers for Versus were than the entirety of Final Fantasy XV. Combat and concepts looked better. Character switching.... Tactical Kingdom Hearts/Dissidia system. So much better and overall a game with better lore. I'm not sure if that petition to reboot Versus would do anything(very few petitions work in gaming) but a man could dream.

I wish I realized earlier, but all hope of Versus XIII died when Tabata was put on the project. The game philosophy shifted from realizing Nomura's dream to turning a profit on all the years of development 'wasted.' XV fortunately turned out to be a somewhat decent game, but it will forever be wasted potential.

On the bright side, I hope Nomura intends to use some of his ideas from the Versus XIII development in a future title.