Final Fantasy XV Review

‘A Final Fantasy for fans and first timers’


Final Fantasy XV is the billionth final fantasy in its everlasting franchise and I have only now decided to jump in. With a formidable anime and stunning movie peaking my interesting in properly trying out the games. And with a few hours wasted on Final Fantasy XIII I decided that the games weren’t for me. Until now. Beware: Kingsglaive spoilers.

Final Fantasy 15 starts up with a grownup Noctis Prompto, Ignis and Gladio in what looks like the throne room of Insomnia with a Satan looking character in the throne. The scene lasts about a minute before flashing back to present day where Noctis is leaving for Altissa to meet with his bride to be Lady Lunafreya. The game itself opens up with the 4 friends pushing their broken down car to a gas station not too far outside of Insomnia. You have no car for the first hour or so as you do bounties and quests for Cindy, the games main mechanic, and once you have the car the world becomes your oyster. Well the starting area at least. The areas of the map work very similar to The Witcher 3 as they are there and once you go there for the main story you can go back and forth as you please. Except in this the giant areas have no loading times between them. Now with this starting area at your disposal to explore, quest and all other bro things that you and the 3 friends want to do; whether that be fish, take photos or camp with some flame roasted toast, it’s up to you. The touch I do love is that when Insomnia is being torn apart in the movie, Noctis and his buds are on their road trip with no idea what’s happening. The main story really pics up in the last third of the game, what it does is it enters a linear quest system that is a “no turning back” moment that most games do except you can go back to the open world whenever you want. The story really picks up when the linear part of the game hits and keeps with it all the way until the end. It is phenomenal.

The one big problem I thought Final Fantasy would have with its console only release is the performance. But surprising after the lengthy loading time after the opening cut scene the rest is quite nice. Obviously fast travels across the map will take a minute or two but I’m genuinely surprised on how well it runs. 15 hours in and there have hardly been any FPS drops even when fighting a giant elephant thing with 30 or so imperial soldiers shooting at Noctis there is hardly any drop in the frame rate. I have been playing on Xbox One as well so PS4 Pro users should have an even better time.

There was talk that the FFXV development team played a massive amount of Witcher 3 which is very evident in the gameplay. Final Fantasy has evolved from turn based combat to a real time turn based hybrid thing, that worked very weird, to a now fluent real time hack and slash style combat. It is comparable to Witcher except it just feels better in every way. The use of the warp strike with the combat was very clunky in the Episode Duscae demo but now it looks and feels really nice to play. The AP system that is in place works quite well. You earn AP from various activities and quests and these are used in the ascension tree. The variety and choice given for upgrading the 4 characters are very well done with a good variety of skills and buffs available. I do also love the way they have done the magic system. You know how to use magic but it is costly yet powerful and your combat is more focused on your weapon arsenal. You dabble with it every so often, but it’s really fun. With 3 main elements available to combine with almost all the items available to be added to the spell as catalysts to add some interesting effects. The magic works as these flasks that are consumables so it’s recommended to have some spells on hand before going into a tough fight. With this though I am yet to experience one thing I do know about previous Final Fantasy games, that they are very challenging quite far in. But in 15 it does seem to be quite easy. You either go into a fight that is well balanced and takes time or you fight something 10x the levels of you and after a long time eventually kill it or just run away as it one hits you and come back in a few levels when it isn’t so tough. With that said I do think the bosses are very fun to fight but I hope the later ones will be more challenging.

The graphics are absolutely stunning, easily a highlight for 2016 in graphical fidelity. Everything about it is just amazing. The cut scenes from the Omen trailer and Kingsglaive fit so well because even though they are pure CGI it isn’t too far off in graphics from the game itself. With that said if you go out of your way to position a camera close up to textures then you will see the blurs. But when you play the game it is just pure amazing. the characters, buildings, cities, monsters… It all looks stunning. For you Final Fantasy fans you will be pleased to know that the music in game is nothing short of a Final Fantasy game and if you really want to compare you can as Final Fantasy 1 through 14 plus the anime and movie OST’s are all in the game and available to listen to and buy at stores in-game and is all great to listen to.

The story of 15 is amazing. I would even put it on par with Witcher 3 as long as I don’t get a Bloody Baron similar quest. The story is essentially 4 bros going on a road trip to get the prince hitched. Obviously though stuff goes down and things happen. The characters of the game are so real yet they are almost a play on a stereotype. Noctis is Saskue, Prompto is the pretty boy joker, Gladio is the muscle and Ignis is the sexy one… I mean the smart cook butler posh guy. The NPC of the game are also very life-like and make for great story telling within the world of Eos.

The world map is gigantic and what you initially get isn’t even the entire thing. Exploring it is great. With the outposts offering bounties in the area for easy cash and make for great food stops. The shops offer different supplements and unique items such as OST’s from, previous games and upgrades and cosmetics for the Regalia (the sexy car). The areas feel very different from one another giving the map a constant new feel when exploring and makes it so nothing looks the same.

In conclusion this game is for everyone who loves RPGs, good characters, good story and the Final Fantasy franchise. If you like good games then this will be a pleasant treat for you! Here is what Daniel Aziz, someone who likes Final Fantasy also thinks…

“I’ve only played about 15 hours so far but I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that I’ve enjoyed this game far more than any other game that I’ve gotten to play this year. As a long-time JRPG fan as well as a long-time Final Fantasy fan, I enjoy spending time in the world of Eos. Does it have flaws? Yes, it does. Truth be told I would like to have access to more magic and skill types and the camera does become annoying in busier fights but as a package Final Fantasy XV is extremely good. The characters are very well developed, the battle system is fluid and responsive, the world is beautifully designed and the overall experience is incredibly enjoyable.” – Daniel Aziz

Final Fantasy XV Review
  • Gameplay - 9.75/10
  • Graphics - 10/10
  • Sound & Music - 9/10
  • Story - 9/10
  • Characters - 9.5/10
  • Quests - 10/10

Aiden Botfield27 Posts

I'm a college student, volunteer writer and full time gamer. I have a Xbox One and a mediocre PC that i enjoy modding old RPG games and playing indie games on. I do have a soft spot for punishing games like Dark Souls and XCOM. Add me on Xbox:- CPT Botfield


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