Or as I liked to call it: Bromance: the Road Trip
The Crowned Prince Noctis heads out on a road-trip with his personal guard/best friends to meet his fiance in order to get married. His car breaks down on the way and while it’s getting fixed they find out that his father has been murdered, his city occupied/destroyed and his fiance has gone into hiding. Noctis then goes on a cross countries road trip to get all of the artifact weapons, get the blessings of the world’s gods, and find the ring that will allow him to use a magic crystal to save the world from encroaching darkness and demons.
The story was interesting but not mind-blowing. At least it was better than the storyline in FFXII, which I basically don’t remember. However, I was sufficiently invested in the characters throughout the story. I even felt regret whenever I would go back to ‘present’ time to advance the storyline, so now that I’ve beaten the game I can just hang out in the past forever.
I liked all of the characters. I am a sucker for bromance, so I loved the main four, and there was a colorful cast of side characters throughout the story.
Clothing put me in a weird mood. Remembering back to X-II (That’s ten-2, not 12) I feel like whenever there are outfits and girls, the variations are sexy, plentiful, and etc. When I found out there were outfits in this game I thought there would be a little more than: you start with two outfits with two variations each and the only other one you get is storyline based. Sure, I loved ‘dressing up’ the car as well, but not quite the same thing. I would’ve liked a little less cleavage on Cindy and the Dragoon or a little more shirtless action for the boys. Equal opportunity nudity please.
The combat was a little too spectacle fighter, and not enough rpg for my immediate liking. I got the hang of it over time, but I never actually liked it. I also found the ascension grid …well not exactly complicated, but annoying? I had to play for quite a while before I figured out which spheres were beneficial to my play style.
I was also pretty astonished by the number of items I needed to get through fights. I think Ignis kinda sorta turned into a healer at some point, but not really? I kept waiting to get some sort of healing spell for myself, but no, I ended up chugging potions and elixirs at an alarming pace. Now I doubt I was playing the game as intended because there was some kind of “crouch” mechanic, but most of the time when I tried to crouch during a battle I would either jump forward instead of crouching, or the monster would come over and eat my face, so I gave up on it pretty quick. I probably also should’ve used the point warping more, but it’s hard to find a point warp while avoiding the baddies and you can’t move the camera in wait mode.
But the one thing that I think caused me more annoyance than anything else were simply the load times. I mean I’m not entirely surprised because of the complexity of the world, but when driving around doing different quests, the downtime really added up.
This game is gorgeous to look at. Not just the characters and mob models, but the world itself is so seamlessly put together and…well just real-looking. I found myself in awe over and over again. Once I finally learned to put up with the camera being annoying to control (and way too close) and my disappointment over having to wait for Prompto to take pictures instead of being able to take them myself, I settled well into this world.
Overall, I enjoyed this game the most out of the Final Fantasies I’ve played, though I am really into the whole bromance thing and pretty graphics. I could take or leave the fighting system (though when I managed to get a link strike, that was rather cool) and the Ascension grid. The world was just so huge and interactive. It might even be that it feeling like it was just a step outside the real world really did a lot for it. We’ll just have to see if this is an upward tick in the Final Fantasy genre, or a dying gasp.