The Final Fantasy series has certainly seen its heyday by creating RPGs that mastered every aspect of fantastic gaming; from memorable characters and storytelling to musical scores that would make a behemoth purr.
But are we ever going to relive the glory days in next-gen gaming?
Final Fantasy XV definitely looks promising and, with Square Enix’s pedigree, there is a seemingly endless amount of expectation weighing down the shoulders of this unlikely band of heroes. So, here are 5 things that could potentially destroy this highly anticipated title.
Let’s start with an obvious one. The 4 main characters (Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto) generally look like a very unsuccessful emo band who have borrowed their dad’s car to scrounge for a gig. On top of this, each character is wearing an almost identical all-black outfit, which is about as dry and boring as the personality that they all seem to share. Therefore, it is difficult to anticipate how these characters will become likable and how they will develop throughout the game. From a series that has given us incredible character development arcs, such as Cecil, Cloud, Squall and Zidane, it is worrying to see such 2-dimensional robots in the previews.
One aspect that the Final Fantasy series has always delivered is a rich and enthralling story with more twists and turns than an M. Night Shyamalan thriller. But, war? Crystals? A ragtag band of unlikely heroes on their journey to form a rebellion and thwart a tyrannical imperialistic state? This is not a new and innovative story and the developers have used this in countless entries in the past. It would be great to see a refreshing and engaging story, yet it is unlikely we will see a much-needed improvement with this title.
Frame Rate Issues
FFXV boasts a the most gorgeous landscape seen in a Square Enix game to date. It teases the Luminous Studio engine, which will make players stop in their tracks to bask in awe at the atmospheric bounty the game has to offer. The risk, however, is a game that requires a high-end, state of the art gaming PC to run at the full 60fps, thus leaving console gamers to struggle endlessly through the moments that have been destroyed by the lack of capacity to run the game the way the developers intended. FFXV looks incredible; hopefully all manner of gamers will be able to enjoy the experience.
Button Mashing Combat
While the combat and old time fan-favourite monsters look incredible, it does seem reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts-esque button mashing. FFXV is advertising itself as an Action RPG, yet the constant bombardment of the A/X button does not justify the use of the word ‘Action’ in the genre title. Also, although Noctis can teleport and throw fire, are the other characters going to have their own unique abilities that make them just as playable? Or is the combat going to be a glorified version of having Donald and Goofy dying every 30 seconds? The FFXV previews have yet to show the potential in-depth strategy and party balancing systems we have come to know and love; this is concerning.
Monsters – Too big?
Finally, it has become an assumption of recent RPGs that bigger must be better. This is not always the case. It feels great to take down a towering beast once in a while, but doing it too often can turn into a chore. Constantly butt-poking and hacking away at an enemies’ legs for 20 minutes is not the strategy-filled experience that brings intrinsic gratification. The Final Fantasy series has a library of fiends that all have their own unique abilities and subsequent strategies that are required to beat them, but it looks like Square Enix are aiming to force the player through enormous beasts and sword-fodder imperial troops to drive the player through this world.
Are you worried about Final Fantasy XV? Share your thoughts in the comments, so we can all hope that the next entry in the series will be a return to form!