After years in development, Final Fantasy XV officially launched today for the PS4 and Xbox One. To commemorate this occasion, Square Enix has launched a number of promotions and trailers to get everyone excited who weren’t already riding this hype train. After some debate, I actually picked up a PS4 to play the game and got a good two and a half hours in last night after launch and honestly, I believe my expectations were set just a bit too high.
Like many other fans, I was waiting for the game that would stop the trend that XIII and its sequels had begun within the company. However, in my mind I had built FFXV to be this amazing tribute to everything we know and love about the franchise. The game was of course announced as a fantasy based in reality however I did not understand how deep this connection would run. A lot of the early hours of the game are spent doing mundane tasks that you can do in real life such as getting gas, camping out, and going on a road trip. That’s not to say the game isn’t fun but there was something that didn’t register true with me. Something that felt a little lacking.
To say FFXV is anything but a good game would sound like blasphemy at the moment but I suppose most of the games (including the bad ones) kick off with an event or idea that drives the rest of the experience. For instance (20+ year old spoilers ahead) Cecil bringing the bomb into the town without his knowledge and it blowing up which surprised all first time players. That event helped finalize his decision to completely go against the king’s wishes and become his own man. It also pushed the player into the narrative and gave a reason to contest against the empire. The series is known for its spectacle and outside of the very intriguing battles, the first two hours of Final Fantasy XV are missing just that. But again, that’s because I had almost a decade of expectations built up.
Now that I’m able to reflect on my time with it a bit more and remove the idea I have of FF from the game, at its core it’s an extremely ambitious title. There hasn’t been a series entry that has kicked off with the party you’ll have through the whole adventure already formed. Nor has there been a Final Fantasy that gives you the bulk of your fighting ability from the offset. On top of that, it absconds the whole trope of waiting till you’re deep enough in to “open the game up” by making it open world from the get go. Without adding my nostalgia and high expectations in, it’s truly a monumental step in the right direction for the series and I look forward to diving deeper into it and seeing what the 20, 60, and 100 hour mark of the game may hold.
Will my expectations give way to the reality of the game and prove enjoyable? I’m not too sure but I do know that I’m more than willing to give Tabata’s dream for the future of the franchise a fighting chance.
Andron (or Ace as he likes to call himself) is the so called "Head Honcho" of Bombchu.com. He has a deep passion for video games primarily RPGs, Fighting or Adventure. When not gaming, he's furiously typing on his keyboard or coming up with new schemes.