Monday, April 3, 2017

A Nerd Poser Reviews FFXV

Consistency is key, right? 

Second blog in a week, woo! 

I haven't posted much about my geek side on this blog, but I am --indeed-- a geek. Started with my Sega Genesis and was fed during high school by a steady diet of Square Enix and anime. 

That being said, I'm most definitely a poser when it comes to Final Fantasy. I've tried to get into some FF games, really I have, but RPG just ain't my thang unless it's a button masher like Kingdom Hearts. The starting, stopping, and god forbid strategy needed to complete the average FF game are too much for my brutish, impatient nature. 

I couldn't even get past FFX, for Pete's Sake! And that one has a story...A STORY! 

So, I was very skeptical when the long-awaited FFXV came out for PS4. I'd just gotten my console (because I didn't bother getting one in Japan...sounds foolish until you're packing a year into two suitcases) and I was looking for stuff to play. Actually, I'd given a birthday/Christmas list that included Uncharted 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and FFXV. 

Now, I'm a huge Tomb Raider fan, and I have been since that little TR2 demo for the Playstation, but somehow that one didn't make the birthday present pile. Since I'm not an ungrateful little shit, I was happy with my Uncharted bundle and my FFXV deluxe edition game. 

And after playing Uncharted 4 (excellent ending to a really good franchise) I dicked around on some of my older titles before tackling FFXV. I'd been hearing a mixture of responses from friends and on social media, so I really didn't know what to expect. All I knew was that the bromance was strong and that it had a Crisis Core vibe to it 

Since Crisis Core is, now was, the only Final Fantasy game I truly loved, I figured it was time to jump on the FFXV bandwagon. 

Still my boyz~ 

So, without further ado, here's my SPOILER FREE~* review of the FFXV experience! 

Starting the game...

I opted to not watch the film included in the deluxe package before playing. Not because I wanted to save it or anything, but because I'm wildly impatient when it comes to video games and the last FF film I watched (here's looking at you Advent Children ) was pretty disappointing. 

The game starts off strong. You're the prince to a small kingdom setting off to go marry your beau. You got your boys, a sweet ass car, and your father's blessing. The little beginning where the car doesn't start and Florence sings an underwhelming version of "Stand by Me" is a cute way to start 4 friends' adventure.

Side Quests Schmide Schmests

The early chunk of the game moves rather slowly. It starts off well enough with a canceled ferry and political unrest, but that tension dies down to a sluggish pace for the rest of this bit. 

Most of the time, you're hopping from town to town, getting weapons from Notcis's ancestors' graves. In between, there are tons and tons of side quests and photo-ops for Prompto to get all the sick shots. 

Now, I love dicking around games where the characters are cool, and FFXV definitely has its share of cool characters, but these side quests get to the point where the game becomes pretty mundane. Having a car means filling it up with petrol often enough to be a problem with small funds of gil. You also need money for items, food ingredients, and caravans/hotels to hide away when the demons come out. 

And in order to make money, you have to slay monsters which requires leveling up. Remember how I said I didn't like RPGs? Leveling up is about 3/4 of that hatred. 

That's not to say it's all side-quests and boring boss fights, though. You do get to travel to pretty interesting places and learn a bit more about each of your buddies, who are infinitely cooler than you. 

Ends in a rush!

Once you get enough experience and materials to fix a boat, you finally get to Altissia, which is where Noctis and grown-up Namine are meant to be married. 
Courtesy of Reddit. Glad I ain't the only one who sees it. 

That's where shit goes down and the story gets real. The villain is revealed, you have your first major boss fight, and you're probably longing for the simpler times where riding a chocobo was the least of your concerns. 

The plot moves about ten times quicker during the second part of the game. With the world literally ending, you have to move quickly. This is also where most of the backstory and character revealing happens. One of you is wounded, while the others are trying to keep it together. All while you, the prince who's supposed to be the leader, throws a hissy fit and becomes the worst character in the game. There's a little side-story that happens around this time where teamwork triumphs over pettiness, but it barely scratches the surface after all the shit that takes place beforehand. 

The final bit leaves you alone and weaponless. This is where Noct really has to dig deep and be a decent human being in order to save the day. 
This is hard for someone who looks and acts like Sasuke, so it's probably the most challenging part of the game. 

You get to play the hero, reunite with your buds, and fight the big bad guy. 

The End...was dumb. 

Honestly, I'm no stranger to weird and anti-climactic endings from Square Enix. Being a Kingdom Hearts fan, I kind of expect the endings to be pretty foolish. FFXV does not disappoint with this, but to save anyone stuck in the side-quest vortex from being spoiled, I'll keep my mouth shut on that one. 

Still, the bromance saved this game and puts it up there on my "Final Fantasy Games I Enjoyed" shelf. The gameplay and elemancy were also fun to use and kick butt with. It was like mixing my button mashing love with a little bit of strategy, which played a role without overpowering the story. Relationships between the characters and the backstories of each were conspicuously missing, so I hope that's due to the upcoming solo titles for each of the boys. I'm looking forward to playing all of the characters' story versions coming out, and I hope this one releases more games like FFXIII and FFVII have. 

Crisis Core is still my favorite, though. 

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