Final Fantasy has been one of the leading titles combining a great story within a huge world to explore populated by monsters. It combines weapons such as swords and magic as your tools for combat against the hordes of monsters on the loose.
As you expect each final fantasy game has a different story meaning if you haven’t played any previous titles you won’t feel out of place with this one. In Final Fantasy XV you take the role of Noctis who sets out to marry Lady Lunafreya as part of the peace treaty between two warring nations, however things don’t go to plan and Noctis must reclaim his kingdom after his father is killed in an invasion by imperial forces from the rival city of Niflheim. You join up with your friends Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto as you begin your quest to invoke the power of your ancestors to reclaim your crown.
Final Fantasy XV takes a new approach to the Final fantasy series introducing a new combat system while still maintaining the core gameplay that you expect in any Final Fantasy game, this new combat system allows for real time action rather than the turn based system in previous games. The controls at first have a simple hack and slash approach but as you gain new abilities you can warp away from danger or parry enemies that get too close plus the ability to learn new techniques as you improve your character and your weapons.
From the start of Final Fantasy XV you are thrown into one of the most stunning worlds I have seen from desert landscapes to lush forests which blend seamlessly as you move from one area to the next, even weather effects are brilliant with dust storms blanketing areas from time to time which really add to the detail in the game.
From the beginning of Final Fantasy XV you might feel that the world isn’t as large as you are accustomed to for a Final Fantasy game, but believe me as the game progresses the world of Lucis does expand opening more and more areas as you explore. This also is helped with the Regalia, a car that you begin the game with, this allows you to travel quicker around the map to new locations, and to add the diversity of travel as the game expands Chocobos become available which allows for faster movement rather than just walking.
Final Fantasy XV offers a great story set over 14 chapters but it’s the side quests that really make up the bulk of the game which make this game legendary with quests such as Dungeons, Monster Hunts, supply runs or treasure locations provide a huge amounts of diversity within the game which will keep you occupied for months on end. These sidequests will help you earn much needed Gil (Final Fantasy’s currency), experience and AP points to help build your characters abilities through ascension. This is the system which allows the player to unlock nodes over various fields of your character’s development from combat to teamwork.
As you build your character new weapons can be acquired through the Royal tombs or by purchasing them through the many shops scattered around the kingdom of Lucis, you can even acquire some powerful weapons through side quests to help you defeat the more tougher monsters you encounter.
The disappointment for me was that there were only 3 main types of magic; Fire, Ice and Thunder but the strength of this magic was determined when using a higher number of units you crafted from the raw materials would create more powerful magic such as Thundra which does far more damage to enemies, the downside is it will damage yourself and your team if you are in proximity of the enemy you have locked onto.
Final Fantasy XV brings back the ability to summon deities known as the six such as Shiva or Leviathan, the downside is they will only appear under certain conditions but when they do they cause so much damage it sometimes is worth the wait as you watch in awe as the animated scene is just breathtaking.
The monsters and creatures of Final Fantasy XV offer the usual mix with some familiar and some new but it’s the scale that these monsters are introduced into the game, for example I remembered Iron Giants in previous final fantasy games, but in this game they are huge and tough to beat as well. As with each monster in Final Fantasy XV most of them do have a weakness and even though most of them can be easily defeated with your weapons, magic can do more damage if used wisely and at the right time.
Certain monsters also use status effects such as poison or petrify on you and your party these can be overcome by using various gear. This gear can be assigned to various slots in your character’s development screen and help increase a player’s health, weapon damage or defence while protecting the user from these effects. This is key as you may have to equip specific gear for certain battles in order to endure.
Final Fantasy XV has been development for years and even though everything is near perfect it does have its flaws such as the jump controls are the same as what you use to interact, for me this is just me trying to be a perfectionist and these little things don’t spoil the game but I thought I would just highlight. The other issue I had with the game was the pop up effect which shows parts of the landscape disappearing and reappearing for me this was the only negative point I have to talk about in the Final Fantasy XV game as at times you were too busy fighting monsters to notice this, it’s only when you complete the game and you get the Regalia Type F which allows you to fly over the kingdom of Lucis this is where this issue was most noticeable.