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Final Fantasy XV was one of those games a lot of people never really expected to see. After all, Square Enix managed to reboot the development process at least 3 separate times and we still didn’t have anything concrete to set our eyes on, other than a small cinematic trailer that didn’t explain anything. Fast forward to the end of 2016 and Final Fantasy XV finally got released and it turned out to be a refreshing change in comparison to the meagre and dull Final Fantasy XIII arc that everyone seemed to be tired of at this point.
You play Noctis, a young prince that is set to marry the Lady Lunafreya, an old childhood friend, to close the rift between two warring nations and to potentially bring about some resemblance of peace. Journeyed with 3 of his closest friend, Noctis takes out onto the open road in this modern-fantasy tale, where all is never as it seems. Before too long, Noctis is required to take up the mantle of his family line and protect Insomnia before it becomes too late. The story isn’t exactly ground-breaking, however, the characters in this game really make it go along way; especially when it comes to Noctis’ friends. Every single member in Noctis’ party has their own personality and fighting style and, in some ways, become even more memorable than Noctis himself.
A fair long departure from the classic style of turn-based RPG’s, Final Fantasy XV has a much more action-based combat style. Instead of random encounters, when you come across an enemy in the open world, you draw your sword and get to fighting, dodging when needed with a button press, lunging back into the enemy with perfect timing, and constantly striking at them by simply holding down a button. Even throughout combat you can switch between several chosen weapons, as every enemy has a certain weakness that can be exploited thanks to your choice of weapon. All of this makes for a very refreshing change in combat in comparison to previous Final Fantasy games, but it’s a style of combat that definitely manages to work out well for the player.
One problem that can be seen from the start of the game is the character of Noctis, he somehow manages to be bored almost all of the time, even when his friends start joking around with one another. All 4 of them are close friends and regularly make jokes, both in and out of combat, and Noctis somehow manages to derail all entertainment and responds to a lot of these sort of situations with an ‘okay’. He comes across as nothing more than a mopey teenager at times and it makes it difficult attaching to the character when he spends so much time not caring in the slightest.
Overall, Noctis can be a touch and go character at times, but the rest of the cast more than make up for his lack of personality at times. The story is easy to follow, but keeps you engaged from the moment you play the game for the first time and the combat is designed to keep you coming back for more, and considering you can put over 80 hours into this game before finishing it, that’s definitely a good sign!
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