Since its first inception as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, I was not excited for the game. Trailers didnt sway me. Images didnt excite me. People in the media were annoying me talking about it.
So as years flew by I was happily ready to call it DEAD. So It was both suprising and not that Versus XIII changed to Final Fantasy XV during Sony’s E3 press conferance. I was so disappointed that Square would try to cheaply make the next numerical enrty in this tired, over played francise.
As before I had my criticism of the game. One of my stronger opinions was towards the character designs. All black!? J-pop hair!? All guys!? The characters is one of the main reasons I love and hate most games in the franchise. Then they packaged a demo with FF Type-0 another lackluster game that did nothing but get me to hate the franchise more.
The horrible Platinum Demo was one of the most terrible demos I had ever played. Controls were stiff, no story, levels were boring and the final fight was lacking polish. I was so sure this would make or break the franchise. Heck, even the Director Mr. Tabata knows that if this game doesnt sell beyond expectations the series will be dead on consoles.
So, what made me change my strong opinions and hatered!? Let me break it down.
Number one: Story
When you read into the story its very deep. Its not a story that just starts as soon as you play. Its a story that takes place in the course of decades. The history is deep and fresh with cliches peppered instead of poured on like FFxiii. Their is a good reason why the characters were all black and have gel induced hair. Its all part of their culture! One country wears white bright colors. Another wears black and dark grey. Their beliefs stem from light and dark, life and death, magic and technology. Thats part of good story telling.
Number two: Gameplay
Gameplay may look a bit like Kingdom Hearts, but this is not a Disney kinda game. All four characters have special skills and abilities that makes each man important to have in the party at all times. Magic will remind few of FFviii but not as boring or a chore. Draining magic from hotspots then performing them in combat. In addition you can combine spells making combo spells a first for the series. Not only that but players have to be aware of the environments when using them too. Dont use an lighting spell in or near water. Also new are diologue trees with some random characters, another first for the series.Whats intresting is based on your choices you may get different rewards. Remember when I hated the black designs? Well you can change them! The characters have other outfits to wear. This is only a few things that got me changing my tune.
Number three: This is an open world.
Unlike FFxiii or even FFxii this game has a much more open world similarly to that of Final Fantasy xiv. Possibly this game could be more open then even the retro titles had been. The promise of going from a desert road to cold, snowy mountain topsthen to a lush forest in real time ala Skyrim is great. What can make or break the game might be the world itself. Imagine an open world with points of interests few and far between, wasting so much of players time. If Tabata’s team can find the sweet spot of the game world being vast with enough side quests and intresting locations that players will keep playing again and again.
Its been ten years since VersusXIII and I still have no remorse for its cancellation. From its ashes could possibly be the best Final Fantasy game since FFvii! Now I watch the trailers. I see the images and listen to the music with anticipation. That is how I came to support Final Fantasy XV.