My Year of Gaming: Final Fantasy XV
At the beginning of 2017, I purchased a PlayStation 4, and it was the first time I have had a console since 2011. Needless to say, I have quite the backlog of games. I played through 23 titles in my first year getting hardcore back into gaming, and still have a long way to go. Now that we’ve entered 2019, I figured I would look back on some of the games I played this past year.
I have to be honest: This is the first Final Fantasy game I’ve ever beaten. I’ve started several in the past, but was never able to get too far into them. The furthest I made it was the second disc of Final Fantasy VII. Then I got lost and gave up. So I won’t be able to properly compare it to any of the other games, which might actually be for the better. XV chose to ditch the turn-based system. Thank goodness. The RPG style made it much easier for me to stay engaged, and the battles were actually a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the game was filled with issues.
Final Fantasy XV (2016) follows Prince Noctis as he is escorted to his wedding by three of his closest friends and bodyguards. Things go terribly wrong, however, when the capital is attacked and Noctis’ father is killed. Now, the four must survive against the invading army while also trying to locate the means to take back their country.
First things first, there are so many pieces of media that have to be consumed along with the game. If you don’t know this going in, then the heavy-hitting emotional moments will be completely lost on you. I never saw Kingsglaive. I never knew that there was a 6-episode anime series that acts as a prequel. That’s not to say you can’t play XV without having watched those. I did it, and still basically knew what was going on. It does help, though.
After reading articles about the pained production of this game, I now understand why the end product is a bit of a mess. Most of the games’ issues involve the story. The characters are strong. The world is great. The game dynamics are really good. Let’s face is, it looks fantastic. It has all the makings of an amazing story, but falls short because it is so spread out.
Overall, I’m glad that I finally finished my first Final Fantasy game. It was a whole lot of fun and I was a bit obsessed with playing it for a time. I also think that it’s a pretty good place to jump into the franchise because it is so different in terms of gameplay. XV serves as a great jumping-off for future games, and I can’t wait to see what Square Enix does next.