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Final Fantasy XV

ファイナルファンタジーXV

29 November 2016
Final Fantasy XV [ファイナルファンタジーXV] - cover art
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646 Ratings / 8 Reviews
#1,901 All-time
#90 for 2016
Enroute to wed his fiancée Luna on a road trip with his best friends, Prince Noctis is advised by news reports that his homeland has been invaded and taken over under the false pretense of a peace treaty – and that he, his loved one and his father King Regis, have been slain at the hands of the enemy.
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Title
The Funnest "Bad" Game I've Ever Played
FFXV is a "bad" game. The game has very high highs but very low lows. It's rigged with plotholes, lacking in combat, and has huge pacing issues but the themes, characters, and environment made me enjoy this game so much. The critics are right, the game is seriously flawed and has tremendous issues but it's still one of if not the funnest Final Fantasy experience I've ever had! Forget FFVII or other JRPGS that have "deep" stories and themes but sometimes forget the most important part of gaming: having fun. If you want to have fun, enjoy characters and concepts on their own, and have a laugh then FFXV is perfect!

What FFXV does really well

FFXV has very high highs that make you forgive the very low lows. FFXV's goal and as FFXV director, Hajime Tabata, himself says was to “Restore the outlook of FINAL FANTASY from that of a jaded champion, back to being an eager challenger, aiming
to be an RPG that could truly be called AAA standard.
" It's important to keep this vision of innovation and meeting the "AAA standard" when understanding FFXV because both its strengths and flaws stem from this objective.

In my opinion, FFXV's greatest strength is its worldbuilding and thematic approach. As a part of Hajime Tabata's vision to revive the FF franchise, FFXV has a very unique worldbuilding and thematic vision than other entries. Most FFs rely on the same steampunk or high fantasy setting which obviously stitches the franchise together and is interesting but can also be seriously bland and repetitive. Though FFX and FFXIII try to depart from this usual FF approach, FFXV tries something totally different and incredible: a high fantasy world in a contemporary modern setting. It's really refreshing to see regular cars, smartphones, civilians wearing jeans, and contemporary culture alongside Chocobos and monsters in FFXV. It's an awesome setting and aesthetic that also works perfectly alongside its themes of destiny, friendship, and coming of age. No other FF feels so relatable or so fitting for our reality than FFXV because of its setting and themes. This alone makes the game unique and an interesting addition to the franchise.

Alongside this worldbuilding and thematic approach are FFXV's protagonist and party members, which I believe are fantastic characters. FFXV's protagonist, Noctis, is also a key strength of the game. In a franchise with notoriously simple or overshadowed protagonists, Noctis is the opposite, he is both memorable and the center of the game. What I enjoy about Noctis' character is his growth from an immature prince to a confident king, which makes the game's conclusion satisfying and interesting. The rest of party may seem unoriginal, just the typical archetypes of the strong guy, Gladius, the smart guy, Ignis, and the funny guy, Prompto. While that's true, the fact is that these characters were meant to start off like normal unoriginal people. Just like Noctis, the party members also grow and develop as characters, discovering purpose and distinguishing themselves from their first appearances. As a whole, the party members and protagonist of FFXV are also interesting and compelling because they align with the setting and theme of modernity. This makes FFXV's characters much more identifiable than in other FF entries and makes the whole idea of friendship work very well.

FFXV's second greatest strength is its idea of freedom, enabled by both its open world gameplay and roadtrip theme. In no other Final Fantasy can you truly explore an open world with inumerable side quests, hunts, mini-games, and various items to collect. The open world system is built on the cycle of Car -> Outpost -> Quests -> Combat & Exploration -> Campfire. This system allows for replayability and a very unique type of grinding that other FF games usually end up making repetitive and very unimmersive. The game's mini-games like fishing or the endless recipes Ignis discovers along the way also enrich the gameplay and add to the replayability. So not only does this open world aspect create a totally different and intuitive FF experience but it also adds to the theme of freedom and the idea that the whole game is an extended roadtrip.

Another interesting point of contention in FFXV is its infamous combat system which I find shallows but simultaneously fun. Its action real-time combat system draws from hack and slash games and some aspects of FFXII's open world integration. Even though it sounds absurd to say it's both shallow and fun, it really is. I had a blast warp striking as Noctis or shooting with an RPG at monsters as Prompto but in the end the combat is extremely one-dimmensional. Even though it's one-dimmensional and can be pretty shallow, it's a combat system that isn't about being complex or difficult, it's about being as quick and efficient as possible. In normal battles, you even earn grades for battles, with one of the grades actually being "speed". So even though it's a simple and one-dimmensional combat system where you just have to press "attack" and "dodge" at the right times, it's backed up by the incredible graphics and grade system that somehow makes this system fun.

So, in short, FFXV follows through with Hajime Tabata's original concept for the game, it's a very beautiful, innovative, and modern take on FF. The original vision of destiny and freedom, built on its open-world gameplay and characters, make FFXV a different but very interesting FF.


What FFXV doesn't do well

FFXV has a lot of problems. Hajime Tabata says "Nothing aboutthis project did not present a challenge" and it shows in a lot of ways. However, despite the various flaws, I believe most come down to overambition and poor execution rather than fundamental issues with the game's vision and core concepts.

The biggest issue with FFXV for me was its very confusing, incomplete, and oddly paced story. Without getting into spoilers, the story itself is not bad but only when you've played all the DLC, read the wiki a dozen times, and picked up on all the lines of dialogue. Particulalry towards the second half of the game, the story becomes very confusing, feels rushed, and is ultimately incomplete without additional content. You can't understand the antagonist or much of the lore without the DLCs or wiki which is very frustrating and damaging for the game. There are some great moments in the story, particulalry the first half of the game and the very very end, but its sometimes hard to ignore its flaws. Even though it's a shame that FFXV was rushed towards the end, the characters, gameplay, and concepts on their own sometimes overshadow the plotholes so you can perfectly have fun while ignoring the story in FFXV.

Another key issue with FFXV is how it reduces the open-world aspect towards the second-half of the game. Some later chapters in the game felt like unfinished and rushed sequences of dialogue and scenes to just progress with the story, with no access to any of the previous open world features. While it's understandable that roadtrips and the camping system aren't easily translatable in urban cities, making the gameplay linear and removing the main open world features seriously dimminishes the FFXV experience.

Ultimately both of the serious flaws in FFXV come down to the game's rushed development towards the end of the game. It's a shame that the story's pacing and gameplay had to be dropped in order to release the game and then later patched up by DLCs and extra content.

Conclusion

In short, had FFXV been thoroughly completed and polished upon release with a comprehensive but coherent story and consistent gameplay, I'm conviced it would have been one of if not the best FF. Even though it had serious flaws, I still had so much fun playing FFXV for its characters, themes, and gameplay. FFXV is an example of what a modern FF will and can be so it's definetly worth checking out.
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Swaylius 2022-06-28T06:33:55Z
2022-06-28T06:33:55Z
3.5
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Flawed yet accomplishes everything it needs to
If I was writing this on release in 2016 I'd probably give this game at most a 3, however in 2021 with the release of the Royal/Windows editions there have been several QOL as well as story improvements.

I'll start with arguably the most important aspect; gameplay. While it isn't as complex as other action RPGs, it is still very cinematic and interactive enough to keep you engaged. I'd highly recommend playing with the HUD off as it allows you to pay attention to the gorgeous visuals and monster design rather than just staring at numbers. Playing HUDless honestly raised the game's score by an entire point for me. It allows you to actually learn monster attack patterns and have to pay attention to the surprisingly detailed audio cues your party members give when certain things happen in combat. Once you get to post game and unlock Armiger Unleashed the combat really opens up and allows you to input semi-complex button combos. Overall I'd say it's serviceable, maybe a little above average if only for how cinematic it is.

Now for my favorite part of the game, the atmosphere. The entire game feels just like hanging out with your group of close friends. There are a plethora of quiet moments that feel real, like when you and your party members are driving in complete silence with the radio on. The environments are gorgeous with some decent variety (mountains, forests, plains, etc). All three of your friends have distinct and likeable personalities, as well as some nice background lore if you care to look.

Finally I'll cover what many would consider to be the weakest aspect of the game, the story. With the release of the Royal edition and added cutscenes and content, I think the story is actually quite decent with some genuinely sad and touching moments. People look at the big picture of the narrative when they really should be looking at the characters. At its heart FFXV is a character driven story, and the characters are a delight to watch. Overall I think FFXV accomplished everything it set out to do story wise, and the actual narrative is engaging enough to be worth finishing.
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ForTheNguyen 2022-01-08T08:46:01Z
2022-01-08T08:46:01Z
4.5
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Originating as a FFXIII spinoff with years spent in development limbo, Final Fantasy XV offered some intrigue as Square Enix's take on western open-world games, but suffered badly from the lackluster action-rpg combat, lame setting and placid MMO-like side quests. If for nothing else, the road trip segments are pleasant little novelties, which benefits mainly from the laid-back atmosphere and party members, all united not by a common enemy but simple friendship.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-28T14:22:44Z
2021-06-28T14:22:44Z
4 /10
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Easily the best Just Dudes Being Bros simulator I've ever played, tbh.

Look: Final Fantasy XV is, by any realistic measure, an absolute mess. As much as I (mostly) enjoyed it, I cannot pretend to be even remotely surprised by the lukewarm reaction it got. The story is a garbled mash of cliches, rushed in some places and not rushed enough in others; while trying to follow what was going on, I regularly felt as though I'd gone to the toilet during a film and missed several key scenes. (One of the main characters gets permanently blinded at one point and another is furious about it, but this all happens entirely off screen; you're just left wondering why one of the ordinarily happy and sweet characters is suddenly being a total dick out of nowhere, and even when you get a brief explanation of what happened, it doesn't answer that question.) Some characters outside the central four don't get anywhere near enough screen time (Aranea, a high potential character who feels wasted, and Lunafreya, who simply doesn't get explored enough for the player to care as much as they apparently should about the scenes involving her), while some get far, far too much (the profoundly irritating Ardyn, who you only know is the game's main bad guy because he's vaguely sinister, and whose entire character and motivations is explained inside one sentence near the very end of the game long after you've stopped caring). The open world is huge and beautiful until it's not; you're ripped away from it halfway through the story and taken to an absolutely gorgeous river city that feels tiny (more high potential wasted), and then you spend a bunch of time on a train you can barely move around in, before later moving on to a bunch of identical grey corridors for one very dull, interminable mission that now feels like an early tech demo for the indoor missions in Final Fantasy VII Remake. You then go back to the original open world location after it's fallen into ruin, ten years in the future, with most of it now inaccessible - so both the openness and the beauty, its two best features, are gone. The game ends with not one, not two, but SIX!!! boss fights, all one straight after the after, with no opportunity to rest or restock items between them; the first and last of these are passably mediocre, but the four in the middle are all absolutely awful, unspeakably tedious fights with insane difficulty spikes that take place in dour, ugly little rooms that regularly break the camera, leaving you trying to dodge attacks while you can't see yourself or the enemy. (I've since learned that these four were patched in later for the Royal edition, which is just absolutely unhinged behaviour on the part of the developers - it's like they were trying to deliberately sabotage their own game.) At least two of the sidequests at the end of the game are buggy enough to make them impossible to complete too. There are significant chunks of the last third of this story that needs to be suffered through and endured, not enjoyed. If you hate the game because of that, then fair enough. I cannot point to any redeeming features for these sections, because there aren't any.

And yet....if you ignore the story entirely, Final Fantasy XV is absolutely lovely, warm and charming and fluid. Single player video games haven't historically done a great job of recreating the pleasure of just hanging out with your friends, but the time you spend in Eos, on a road trip to nowhere in particular, does so wonderfully. The dynamic between the four central characters and the obvious care they have for one another is not just the best thing about this game, but arguably one of the best things in this console generation, honestly. Each of the four feels fully realised as an individual character, distinct enough from the other three to give the group range, and totally complimentary to the rest. They don't feel like four heroes on a quest. They just feel like four best friends, doing best friend stuff, eating and camping and fishing and taking in the sights and doing odd jobs for cash here and there. It's a gap year spent backpacking around Europe with some combat thrown in. The post-game content, where you just mill around doing side quests, raiding the occasional dungeon, and fighting a few mini-bosses using the massively overpowered weapons you get for completing the story, is so much better than the last third of the 'proper' game it's unreal. A version of this game that removes the story entirely, perhaps one where the ultimate goal is to travel the world and help Ignis and Prompto become a world-renowned chef and photographer respectively, would honestly get at least a 4/5 from me, probably even higher - the vibes in the open world sections are just that good. The Lucian continent of Eos is one of those places, like the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild [ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド] version of Hyrule, that it's a pleasure to just exist in, even if you're not particularly doing much.

The bones of the best game in the series are buried somewhere in here. It's a shame they're buried so deep, but at least the lessons of this game appear to have been learned; if the first part of Final Fantasy VII Remake is anything to go by, all of its mistakes have been corrected, and its greatest strength has been largely retained in the dynamic between Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith. We must just hope that the open world we get in later sections if up to the standards of the world here.
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Iai 2018-03-15T20:11:20Z
2018-03-15T20:11:20Z
3.4
12
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I stopped playing this with about 27 hours logged, because I realised that I just wasn't enjoying it very much; if the other reviews are to be believed, then it's probably a good thing too, because from the sound of it I was still in the 'good half' of the game, having not even reached Altissia yet.

Final Fantasy XV is an extremely frustrating game to play, because at its heart it has so much potential: a game where you roam around hunting and slaying monsters in a huge open world may not be an original concept, but integrating cars, highways and other modern technologies puts an intriguingly novel spin on the idea. And for the most part, the execution of this idea is masterful: the open world is easily the best aspect of this game, gorgeously animated and genuinely huge. Even with the option to fast travel, I usually found myself choosing to drive (or rather, let the game drive for me) around the map just so that I could take in the scenery and admire the frequently breathtaking views the world offered.

unfortunately, my unqualified appreciation of this game pretty much begins and ends with the world itself. I don't honestly have too much to say about the plot, which didn't really grip me enough to engender any strong positive or negative emotions towards it. There are a couple of cool setpieces in the game, like the confrontation with Titan, but for the most part the main story itself just isn't very interesting, and when it tries to actively impose itself on the player by limiting what you can (e.g. by taking your car away from you, or consigning you to a small area of the map) it only reminded me why I was putting off the story to begin with. I will also say that the characterisation of the four main protagonists is surprisingly good: they each come across as distinct characters with their own personalities, and their interactions are genuinely well-written and believable. There was a moment in the game when I stopped at a motel for a night, and a completely unexpected cutscene between Prompto and Noctis started where Prompto opened up about his insecurities to Noctis, like a real friend might to another. i also really like that they have their own individual hobbies, each of which functions as reasonably entertaining minigames/activities.

I mention the characterisation of the main four characters specifically, because unfortunately every other aspect of the playable characters is poorly implemented. The only other final fantasy games I've played are the III remake and XII, and even though neither of these had a huge amount of characters you could control, they at least allowed customisation of gear, weapons, abilities and jobs. FFXV pretty much limits you to one controllable character, Noctis, when in battle; for some reason, you have to unlock the ability to control the other characters in the tech tree, but by the time I'd done this for one I was 25 hours in and could not see the point of learning a completely new set of controls (!) for a character who would probably fight better under the control of the AI than myself. This ties into another complaint with the characters, that you have no basically no control over them even outside of battle: they all use their set weapon types which can't be changed, and despite them having customisable gear, there's so little variety that I never even bothered to change anyone's armour in the whole 27 hours I played. Sidebar: usually in these sorts of games you'd upgrade gear and weapons whenever you found new items in caves or in the wild, but in FFXV the only items you find on your travels are consumables. Perhaps this is an attempt to make the game feel more 'realistic' by not just having you stumble across powerful bows or what have you in random caves, but it makes exploration much less interesting.

nowhere is this poor design of character playability more obviously exposed than in combat. I hate the combat in this game. Hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it. it's so bad on so many different levels I feel like I need to actively restrain myself from writing too much about it, because I feel like I could write another review as long as everything I've already written about why it sucks. So I'll just break it down into a few key bullet points (note: these bullet points actually ended up being as long as the rest of the review anyway, lol):

  • Throwing your sword around as Noctis is kinda fun, I guess, but it's literally the only interesting mechanic about the actual fighting. For the most part, every fight I've had in this game just involves me spamming the attack button and occasionally dodging or blocking

  • Speaking of blocking, the game gives you visual promts of when you should block an attach, after which you can parry, but blocking at these times only seems to work half the time.

  • regardless of what weapon you're using, all the damage you deal out with regular attacks feels very low, probably because most enemies have a ridiculous amount of health for no apparent reason. this forces you to rely heavily on the combo special attacks your allies use, which completely undermines the sense of agency I'm guessing they wanted to give you by only letting you control one character

  • even with these combos, sometimes battles can drag on for a very long time due to the low damage output/high health problem. I think I had several battles against regular enemies last longer than 5 minutes

  • - additionally, for some reason the game puts a huge emphasis on you attacking enemies from behind to deal massively increased damage, but this is hard to do when your character moves so slowly that circling behind enemies (especially big ones) is pretty much impossible[/li]
  • the levelling system in this game is bizarre. If you're fighting an enemy at your level or below, then you're probably going to have an easy fight. If you're ever slightly underlevelled then winning is basically impossible

  • sidebar: there's a hunt in this game that requires you to kill 5 lvl 34 couerls, but for some reason each one of them has an attack that can kill you in one hit regardless of your level. I tried this hunt several times, one time when all my characters were ~lvl 45 and never even came close to killing one of them.

  • if your characters gets lows on health, one of your allies is supposed to revive them by walking up to them and restoring some health. however, in practice I found that they only actually do this half the time, since sometimes even if you're right next to them they just completely ignore you

  • in turn-based combat, you could select which enemy you wanted to attack very easily, since the game was effectively paused while you did it, but since combat here is real time and the targeting system is hard to control, it's annoyingly difficult to get you or your party to focus on just one enemy and pick them off one by one

  • any time you fight in the wild (i.e. most fights), the game makes no effort to hide foliage or other landscape features, which means that roughly 60% of fights consist of you fighting enemies that you can't even see because there are a dozen bushes and trees obscuring every angle.

  • the magic system in this game is so bizarrely convoluted and inefficient it might as well not exist. Instead of just learning spells and adding them to your repertoire, you have to go around the map finding elemental deposits, absorb energy from them, go into a submenu and use this energy to 'craft' spells and then equip the spell you just made (you only have four equipment slots as noctis). And even after all that, you only get three uses of the spell before it disappears! The real kicker is that in battle instead of just targeting an enemy, you have to manually aim every spell at an area, so if your target moves erratically at the last moment then you just wasted 1/3 of your magic

  • besides all the practical reasons why the combat sucks, I also find myself wondering why they even bothered designing such a horrible combat system when they'd already designed a great, post-turn-based-combat system in FFXII (I can't speak for FFXIII since I've played less than an hour of it and have no memory of it). Why throw out something that worked so well? Any complains about it 'automating' combat seem beside the point when three of your characters in this game are already automated for you, and you can't even determine their preconceived actions like you could in FFXII's gambit system.

I have other issues with this game: unskippable repetitive cutscenes (I don't need to Ignis to remind me about the dangers of driving at night every. fucking. time.), the menu designs that somehow seem like a step backwards from FFXII and FFXIII, the cave designs being pretty much all the same, the stealth elements in certain story moments that feel and play like a complete afterthought, the fact that most subquests are boring fetch quests with little tangible reward (since, again, for some reason the gear and weapon selections in this game are extremely limited). But the combat is the big problem here, and it's a serious enough one that I doubt I'll ever pick this game up again.
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The game tries to give the feeling of a road trip, and succeeds in it. This also means things can take a bit of time, moving from one point to the other, cooking meals etc. But it is done in a way that is very enjoyable.

Gameplay is very different then other FF games, but it works. Graphics are amazing and make it a joy to go through the world. Sadly it is the story that disappoints, mainly at the end.

There are holes in the story made to be filled with the dlc that feel forced. The beginning of the story is a movie, that is watchable but should never be a requirement if you want to play a game. Then there is a mini anime series that delivers some of the character depth?

I played the game before all the patches and dlc's, so it is very possible it has only gotten better, but there are definitely better FF games out there.
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Catalog

Jacksxn17 ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-26T21:15:24Z
2022-09-26T21:15:24Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PashaAlex ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-24T23:12:47Z
2022-09-24T23:12:47Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
efitos Final Fantasy XV 2022-09-24T07:40:08Z
Windows
2022-09-24T07:40:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Samarama Final Fantasy XV 2022-09-20T03:40:25Z
PS4 • XNA
2022-09-20T03:40:25Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
REDWLP Final Fantasy XV 2022-09-19T09:19:59Z
PS4
2022-09-19T09:19:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Hunteriscoolio ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-18T16:15:02Z
2022-09-18T16:15:02Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BuckZero ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-17T21:41:25Z
2022-09-17T21:41:25Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BestestBests
Art0ria ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-14T05:19:31Z
2022-09-14T05:19:31Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
roemanlaporte ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-09T04:28:29Z
2022-09-09T04:28:29Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jdcomix ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-07T14:37:02Z
2022-09-07T14:37:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
snooppigg ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-02T12:36:04Z
2022-09-02T12:36:04Z
6.7
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DaBlackGoku ファイナルファンタジーXV 2022-09-01T00:21:23Z
2022-09-01T00:21:23Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Also known as
  • Final Fantasy XV
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  • Previous comments (27) Loading...
  • aminstrel 2021-11-03 08:10:51.071202+00
    here's my review: not gay enough
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  • Apple2k 2021-11-28 21:49:37.206376+00
    better than vii remake tbh
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  • moonhalo 2022-02-02 04:33:39.285392+00
    forever my most loved/hated game.
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  • AquaProjection 2022-05-11 12:13:54.975913+00
    Cup Noodles
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  • SpiffyJUNIOR 2022-06-03 17:18:18.870132+00
    most chill ever
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  • Gamepro3093 2022-08-17 05:14:42.372192+00
    One of the worst games in the series and one of the worst RPGs ever made. Practically everything about this game is a failure. From storytelling to combat to characters to pacing XV is seriously lacking on many fronts. It’s best asset is it’s looks but that’s about it.
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  • jdcomix 2022-09-07 14:37:23.548419+00
    The gut wrenching ending saves this game for me
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