Final Fantasy XV is the latest game in the Final Fantasy JRPG series. It tells the story of a prince named Noctis and his three companions, and his quest to retake his throne from the sinister Empire of Niflheim.
Unlike previous main-series Final Fantasy games, it features action combat instead of turn-based combat, although you can slow the pace through use of an option called “Wait Mode.” You can have up to four weapons equipped at a time and smoothly switch between them during combat. Magic can also be equipped, and each cast functions as a consumable item.
Magic Points (MP), therefore, isn’t used for magic. Instead, it’s expended for Noctis’ special warping abilities. He can dodge attacks, warp to a safe position to regain Health Points (HP) and MP, and use a “warpstrike” to teleport straight to the targeted enemy and attack it.
The combat system is fluid and enjoyable, and it should be easy to pick up.
Noctis and his friends also have a car, which is your primary mode of transportation for much of the game. Although manual control is possible, you can’t drive off-road. It is possible to set the car to drive automatically to a specified location, and fast-travel is also available for many spots.
In the open world section of Final Fantasy XV, you’ll find numerous side quests and areas to explore. Some of the side quests can be repetitive, but they usually at least include entertaining dialogue. The game also has optional monster hunt quests and mini-games such as Chocobo races, a pinball game called Justice Monsters V, and betting on monster fights.
Story content is thin early on, and players who enjoy side quests may spend the bulk of their time there. Partway through, the game takes a dramatic shift and removes the open world (although it can be revisited). From then on, it features an almost nonstop barrage of story.
The story has fantastic ideas and excellent moments. Unfortunately, it suffers from flawed storytelling. Several important moments occur off-screen, and at least one key character disappears early on to never appear again, which leads to the unfortunate suggestion that this content is intended for downloadable content (DLC). The final twist lacks the emotional development it deserves, as Final Fantasy XV hurries on toward its conclusion – which, at least, is satisfactory.
Nevertheless, despite its flaws, Final Fantasy XV builds up a strong rapport between the members of its main cast, and it’s a fun game to play. It may not give all the answers it should, but you’ll still want to see Noctis and his friends through to the end of their journey.