Community Review: Final Fantasy 15

I've had friends message me in all-caps the day they picked this game up. It's sold millions and millions of copies already, apparently. Even just looking at the trending page on the PS4 shows that this game has absolutely taken off.

So it's time. Tell me what you think about Final Fantasy 15.

I'm only a couple of hours in so far, but I've already hit upon what I consider a good sign for Open World Video Games: I'm enjoying running around looking for random shit. The measure of a good open world is how much time you want to spend in it, and I've already enjoyed the little things like playing whatever that random pinball game was, hunting for plants and bits of elemental power just because, fighting enemies way beyond my level.

It's been good fun.

The camera seems a touch annoying - it would be handy if it was a few inches further back. But I don't mind the combat system so far, although I'm expecting it to branch out to be wholly dependent on vulnerabilities, creating timing windows and flanking manoeuvres. That makes the over-simplicity of the combat (holding down circle, occasionally square, and the odd QTE) acceptable.

It certainly flows well. It's probably why I don't mind scouring the world more than I have before, if only because the real-time combat and the actual manner of combat is more fun than anything I've played in a Final Fantasy game previously. It's certainly less arduous.

The in-game world seems nice too, although the High resolution setting on the PS4 Pro is surprisingly unpleasant thanks to the regular interruption of jitter. I'm hoping a patch gets issued soon, since not using the High mode nullifies any advantage you might have playing the game on PS4 Pro over the base PS4 hardware. (You do get more detail and better effects, but the jitter is too aggravating not to sour the whole party.)

I'm looking forward to the future patch that adds 1080p/60fps as an option. And I'm looking forward to seeing where N-Sync's adventures take them next.

Have you been playing Final Fantasy 15? What do you think so far?


Comments

    I've played about 8 hours now.

    I've taken a screenshot of most of the foods because they look so delicious.

    I've also saved a lot of shots of Gladiolus every time I rest at camp. Why? Because he's amazingly photogenic, and he keeps giving these incredible cheesy smiles in every photo.

    Love the monster hunting. Love the car stuff. Love how I have time to put down the controller and just chill out when travelling from destination to destination.

    Still too early to say much more.

    Last edited 05/12/16 11:25 am

      I think going through my saved photos so far would show much the same thing; an over-abundance of Gladi ^_^. He just does not know how to take an awkward photo does he.

    14 hours in, level 23, chapter 3, just got chocobos!

    I'm having fun with it. Story or lack thereof is a disappointment. Squeenix just gave up and went somewhat minimalist with this.

    The bromance is great. I love running around in skin tight leather in the heat with my bros, eating, sleeeping, going on dates with my bros. Brotastic ;)

      Did you watch the Kingsglaive movie?

        Yep. Game still has to stand on its own though and its poor.

          Righto, I was just curious as the whether the movie needs to be seen to catch the plot. I havent seen it so I am making my own plot up as I go along :P

            Watching Kingsglave before playing the game is highly recommended. The game would make even less sense without it!

            Last edited 05/12/16 4:23 pm

              Copy that a mate of mine suggested watching the Kingsglaive movie I told him I didn't have the time due to play time lol. Will give it a watch.

                I watched Kingsglaive, then played thru to the beginning of Ch2, then had to watch Kingsglaive again because I was still wtf about what was going on. The cutscenes from the movie that they added in to the game, I did not even recall from the movie. Turns out they are there, along with a whole bunch of other stuff I don't recall from the first viewing.

                Actually, maybe I fell asleep partway thru the first viewing of Kingsglaive...

                  Ugh yeah you shouldn't have to watch a movie for the game to make sense that is terrible.

    Why N-sync? Why not One Direction? Get with the times Alex.

      I thought the first 10 Chapters of FF XIII told the story of One Direction.

    I just saw a video about this weird-arse cup noodles quest and it has done nothing at all to improve my opinions of Final Fantasy.

    I'm blown away by it. Only done 6 - 7 hours on it so far but I'm really loving it.

    10 hours in. Leisurely pace. Done everything I can before catching the ferry. Best instalment since FF9 IMO so far.

    30 hours in, level 42, chapter 7. I have been on a side quest frenzy...

    It's good. Really good. The dungeon design and combat is excellent. Once you pick up the combat it feels so smooth, like a dance.

    The camera does let you down occasionally, especially in close quarters combat. If you are ambushed amongst the trees you will have a bad time...

    This is a good return to form for the series. I'm loving it. <3

      I'm 30hrs in, level 45 and only on chapter 4, side quest frenzy!

      Completely agree with the camera being a bit crap, especially when in among trees. But otherwise I'm completely in love with an FF game for the first time since FFIX.

      If you are ambushed amongst the trees you will have a bad time...

      Or just fighting amongst trees in general. Especially those tall/small bush/trees that you can't run through. Those are the worst.

      Explain the combat to me. I could hold my own in the demo but am constantly in danger in the full game.

      What changed?
      How to dance?

        It's a rhythm thing. Once you get a feel for it you won't even realise what you're doing half the time. It's so fluid. I'm really liking it, but it didn't come natural to start with.

        Make use of your bros too!

        It's actually quite simple (but hard to adhere to)

        Trust in the techniques to do what they are designed to do.
        Hold O to attack and don't focus on the enemy your hitting, its essentially an auto attack that frees you up for dodging.

        Use the phasing points a lot (w/e they called). Teleport to one, hold lock on and attack, phase to another Nd repeat.
        Don't waste time adjusting the camera and if you phase in to a group, roll out before trying to mash through them

        Friend skills can turn the tables instantly and save you from a strong hit if timed right.

      Trust in the buttons, the moves you know and fast phasing turnovers.

      Once I realised the combat mechanics only appear complex, it was like something out of the matrix.

        I'm doing all of the above, perhaps I just find it tedious.
        @Gemini

          I know what you mean, I often fall back in to button mashing my way through and getting rolled for my trouble.

          It wasn't until I watched my gf struggle too that I noticed.
          You end up 10 steps behind everyone and spend the entire battle running and trying not to die, by the time you heal you are being hit again.

          I then focused on times where I stomped through enemies and saw its because I had gotten more breaks, blind attacks and knockdowns.

    Fantastic gameplay and mechanics but the story... Hoo boy that's where the game fails, and hard. At least for me. It feels like large chunks of the game's story are missing which leads to certain characters being severely under-developed. Luna is a prime example as we find out literally nothing about her character outside of her desire to fulfil her duty as oracle. Not only do you skip over 2 large continents with 0 exploration (no snow areas to explore which bums me right out), but "twists" to the story are given well in advance and any type of suspense or surprise is ruined.

    But worst of all is the god awful way they handled Niflheim. I'm not kidding when I say the ENTIRE FUCKING EMPIRE is wiped out off screen with 0 interaction from you. No story about Noct & co. freeing towns, saving people from this oppressive regime or having the group carve their way into the heart of the Empire so Noct can get to the emperor and get justice for his dad, county and it's people. Nope they are all wiped out. Unless they do an ME3 style colossal DLC pack that adds a LOT to the game story wise I couldn't give this more than a 7.

    Last edited 05/12/16 11:56 am

      Agree re: story. It's a complete clusterfuck. You can largely ignore the fine details, but at least the interaction between characters is well played.

    It's just like one of my Japanese animes.

    With 300+ hours spent on final fantasy 10 not to mention the countless hours spent on 4,5,6 I will give this generic action game a miss.

      I'd suggest you reconsider. It's the best final fantasy since 10

        Some people just cannot let go of the turn based which is fine but I am glad the series has moved past it. Much more satisfying combat.

          Square Enix put a lot of people off with their first non turn based effort which had combat so dull it played itself after spending 5 minutes setting up gambits.

          It's not just the lack of turn-based, it's the fundamental shift from a tactical, thinking-man's game to one of timing and reflexes. Not that there's anything wrong with those types of games but if I wanted that there's a million other games and franchises that I could be playing.

          It's for similar reasons that I consider Metal Gear Rising a blight on the series.

            It's actually not as 'twitch' as you might think. There's a wait mode that kicks in and pauses time when you stand still, allowing you to engage in all those thinking-man's gambits.

            And if you dive into the Hunts, sidequests, and travel at night, you will definitely be forced into the thinking-man's game.
            When you face epic enemies a few times higher level than you, you absolutely will find yourself needing to take advantage of every flanking opportunity, exploiting elemental resistances and status effects, weapon changing, gear-changing, situational magic-crafting, weak-point exposing, using combo techniques, and using consumables.
            (You know that old trope of always having 99x potions/hi-potions/whatever, never using them because you're saving them for when things get hairy? You should use them, in FF15. I'm rarely ever above 20 of anything.)

            Much of the power in the game is gear-dependent, meaning you can't simply power-level past the higher-powered elite enemies.

            I am so much more engaged than spamming speed, then magic/attack/summon/cure. FF15's providing me with a level of tactical challenge I'd never experienced in any Final Fantasy game prior.

            Last edited 06/12/16 2:56 pm

        Nah, both XII, Crisis Core & Type-0 are all better.

        Actually, There was one or two Tactics games since then? They're both better.

        It's fine, not saying it's bad, but it's not this huge return to form.

    Love it. 30ish hours in on chapter 6 or 7. No real complaints. Its a nice evolution of the series. Would have liked to have seen more fantasy in the locations but not a complaint and more a hope for the next game. Crafting would be cool as well.

    It feels a bit like an empty MMO and the story is beyond a joke.

    The rest is fantastic.

      I've played about 8hrs but each time have felt like booting up 14 due to the fact that 15 feels like a big EMPTY open world....

    Not going to lie, 30 hours in and loving it, dat Bromance makes the game imho....just play it guys (I mean Bros).

    I can't get into the combat, I really enjoyed it in the demo but I feel like I'm being constantly knocked into danger & spending more time crawling over to a dudebro for help.

    I really like the look of the game but the combat is grating.

    What's with magic? That ain't magic, that's elemental grenades.

    I've had a couple of harsh glitches too. Wouldn't end battle mode after I'd killed every soldier in a base. Was about to reset after 10 minutes of aimless wandering, presuming I'd missed a soldier when the game suddenly realised it was all over.

    After that, I kept seeing graphical anomalies & odd shit.

    I don't hate the game by any stretch but I wish they'd just gone full in on the action combat instead of this middle of the road crap. A boss actually died while I was in danger mode & looking for help once. It's like I could wander off for a cup of tea & let the dudebros take over.

    Too early to comment on the story, I'm on the fence about how much happened in the anime & Kingsglaive. It's interesting to play from the perspective as a guy who was busy taking selfies & hanging out with a hooked mechanic while his own father sacrificed his life.
    But it stinks of missing content, if I hadn't bothered to watch them, I'd be pretty lost right now.

    Will stick with it, hopefully the combat clicks or I get a new ability or something to improve it.

      Don't you heal yourself in danger mode?

        Sometimes

          Yeah, get into the rhythm of healing. And phasing. And blocking. Then fill the remainder by holding down attack.

          I find it challenging, but I get it. Just need to forget "what I think I know".

          *takes the blue pill*

      You can use potions in 'danger' to get yourself back up. You might also want to consider using 'wait' mode if you find yourself getting overwhelmed.

    3 Trophies from Platinum (max the last 3 skills) so as someone who has spent a good deal of time with the game.

    The game looks fantastic and there are rarely frame rate drops (on the regular PS4) and aside from some texture pop-in there wasn't anything too immersion breaking. One look at the photo-realistic food and you know that food was one guys job through the entire development cycle.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack, it was suitably epic when it needed to be, accompanied the casual world roaming when it had to and the way it layered on itself when you were moving through areas like the pier to Galdin Quay and then walking into the restaurant itself were really nice touches. The addition of soundtracks from other titles in the series is something that more games need to do too.

    The story itself is poorly told as most people can attest to though I think it was less the way it was told and more that we only ever see it from one point of view. The fact that Niflheim falls off screen is, while something we would have liked to see, isn't an event that we are involved in, anywhere near when it happens nor do we contribute to in any way. My biggest story gripe is right at the end The 10 year time gap that everyone brushes off so casually

    Battle can be hit or miss, I didn't mind it but I found it more enjoyable out in the wilderness where I could see what was going on, get in positional attacks easier etc. A few fights through the game were definitely epic, most notably Leviathan, Aranea and Ifrit while others fell a little flat. The last last battle I understand what it was trying to achieve, it wanted to feel like the Sephiroth v Cloud battle in Advent Children but because it still behaved like a regular battle it didn't work as well as it would have with scripted sections. Naglfar and Adamantoise were also tedious. Naglfar due to the sheer number of consumables I went through and Adamantoise because of a gumpy as hell camera and a boss that while enormous in scale rarely felt like a fight I was in danger of losing, merely an exercise in attrition and how long I could pound away at his left foot and get armiger back up.

    The world itself is fantastic, wandering around just seeing stuff, stopping for a spot of fishing, riding round on chocobos and simply existing in it is one of the best experiences I have had in an open world game. You cannot however excuse the side quests and their blandness. In an age where we have the likes of the witcher 3, go out and collect me x macguffins or kill me y of z is pretty inexcusable which is a shame because a few side quests are genuinely interesting such as the sylvester map fragments that really promote exploring.

    There is one section that could ruin an otherwise decent experience depending on how forgiving you are of what the game is trying to do. That something is the entirety of Zegnautis. An argument could be made for Pitiloss (sp?) the hidden solo dungeon and not because it is hard by design, it is hard by extension of it being a platforming dungeon in a game whose engine is not a platforming engine, it is like sens fortress from dark souls all over again.

    I recommend the game but it does have its flaws though most are found in the later stages of the game, by which time you are likely already invested and can press through.

    Got to the point where I can use HM03 surf and now exploring the island archipelagoes.

      Did you give it to Gladio or Prompto?

        Gladio, Prompto wasnt strong enough to carry my weight around whilst trying to swim everywhere poor bloke.

    As someone who hasnt played the game yet, but played the demos, can someone answer be a couple of questions?

    1. In the demo, I found constantly that the battle camera was too close to Noctis. Is this still the case? Like, every battle I felt like it was really hard to keep track of where everything was because it was hard to see.

    2. Have they fixed the ridiculous framerate drops/jaggies/graphics problems from the demos? From what I've read, everyone is praising the graphics, but the performance problems were a bit of a concern, considering they were still present in the carbuncle demo. This was noticable in some of the fights, which made the camera issue above even worse.

    For context, I have a regular PS4, and this is the only game I've had issues with.

      The camera is still an idiot, but have found no graphical problems and frame rate issues.

      Re: 1.
      The camera is slightly better than the platinum demo. You get a lot more room to move, usually, too, and the addition of your bros drawing threat, and wait-mode, gives you a lot more room to breathe.

      2. Yeah, I haven't noticed any frame-rate issues at all. Girlfriend did comment once or twice about textures being weird at some moments, but for the most part it's been pretty smooth.

        Thanks both @slyph and @transientmind for the answers.

        Sounds good. I'm happy if they have made the camera more friendly, even if it is a bit of a pain in the arse. Sounds like it's gunna be good then.

        Last edited 06/12/16 3:08 pm

          Heads-up on a control which I didn't see pop up during tutorials. When you're riding in the car, it feels a little close. You can cycle the camera through 4 settings with L1.

            Hey cool, I'll keep that in mind, thank you good sir!

    Enjoying it, but can't help thinking how much better it would play and look on my PC

    It's good, not great. Spent too much time building hype with shit like Kingsglaive and Brotherhood when they should of focused on the game's own story. There's also a lot of really stupid design choices that get harder and harder to ignore as you keep playing, like movement slowing to a crawl in dungeons. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

    I love it! I love it! I love it! I love it! 14-ish hours in and I've only reached the second area/chapter 3.
    Loving the combat, the side quests, the hunts, the chocobos! Ahhh!

    40 hours in. Utterly enraptured. Haven't been hooked like this since Witcher 3.

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