Final Fantasy XV Review-in-Progress; Malevolent Moogle’s Dating “Advice”

Hello, humans!  Still alive and kicking, huh?  Damn…er, uh, I mean, damn, that’s great.  Yup – look at you, all not-dead and whatnot.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  This is what I get for taking evil shopping advice from a goddamn coyote – he never even did catch that bird, useless bastard.  ACME better have a good refund policy on partially-used plagues.

Anyway, since you’re still breathing, I suppose I should at least attempt to entertain you.  So first, I guess we could delve into my thoughts as I have begun playing Square Enix’s recently released Final Fantasy XV.  This isn’t going to be a full review yet – this is a large game with a ton to do, and I simply haven’t had the time to play it thoroughly enough to give my final thoughts on it.  But I can tell you how it’s compared with my expectations going in.

tc7rtnr

Speaking of those expectations, they were…well, let’s be polite (Editor’s Note: for once) (EWE’s Note to Editor: you shut the fuck up right now) and just say that they were “low.”  Now, it isn’t as if I’m not a fan of the series – quite the opposite – but this game had raised some alarms for me.  First of all, I’m kind of old-school in my taste for RPGs.  I mean, for shit’s sake, look at me – I’m an 8-bit wizard.  My DNA is pixel-based.  Swords and sorcery, some steampunk, turn-based combat…this is the stuff I look for in an RPG.

ff-vi
PUMP THIS DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS!

But starting with FF VII, the main Final Fantasy series has started moving away from traditional settings and gameplay elements.  That isn’t to say that this has been entirely a bad thing – taking chances and changing things up is how a long-lived series keeps from getting stale.  But like any experiments with a proven formula, some alterations work…and some not so much.  FF VII was a smash hit, but FF XIII took some well deserved criticism for essentially featuring a 20-hour corridor at the beginning of the game with no real options to deviate.  So when the announced concept of FF XV was revealed to essentially be “Bro’d Trip!” I was…cautious.  When SE announced that there would be an entire universe of products revolving around XV, including anime film and series prequels, visions of the ill-fated Compilation of FF VII swam before me.  And most alarmingly, when I played through the demos of the game that were made available…I was underwhelmed.

But thus far into the release of the full game, I am happy to report that my concerns have thus far proven to be…well, not “wrong” because that’s impossible, but perhaps “addressed” is a better term.  The combat system that had felt so obtuse and unresponsive to be in the demo is in actuality one of the best systems that the franchise has had since the old ATB days.  Battles zip along and are action packed without (thus far) becoming overwhelming.  And while you can only directly control Noctis throughout, you can trigger his three besties to perform joint attacks with him.  And even on their own, the AI for your party members is adequate as far as I’ve gotten into the game.

final-fantasy-xv-demo-confirmed-new-tgs-2014-trailer-out-459155-3
Yeah…I’m going to leave this guy alone for the moment.

Story wise, I have not progressed too far yet, as this is the first FF game to feature a mostly-open world with a TON of sidequests and loot scattered all over the map.  But I can say that thus far, the dynamic between the four best buds has actually been handled quite well.  Sure they’re dressed like something that should be on a catwalk in Milan, but their personalities and banter mesh well together without getting (too) cheesy.  There is still a lot of room for character development, but I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of this game based on my first impressions.

mog-final-fantasy-vi

Now as a last tidbit for you…you all remember my best friend, THE best friend, Malevolent Moogle, right?  Of course you do!  Well, MM and I had an exchange the other day that was so enlightening and life-changing, I simply had to share her wisdom with all you meatbags out there.  Here is MM offering me her, uh, we’ll call it “advice” for lack of a better term, on my personal life and dating.

MM – “Listen up.  I’ve appointed myself your datekeeper.  If you haven’t found a nice girl by my birthday, you have to go out with anybody I say.  Deal?”

EWE – “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…HAHAHA..HAHA…Ha…oh, fuck, you’re not joking, are you?”

MM – “You didn’t say no, so, that counts as a yes.”

EWE – “Uh, we’re both lawyers, and I’m reasonably sure we both know that clearly IS NOT how ‘no’ works…”

MM – “Under this highly particular set of circumstances, and applicable only to you, it does.  Now, we can compromise – you will message any girl who has a cat with her in her profile pic.”

EWE – “Wait…how is that a compromise?  There are a lot of girls with cats…”

MM – “Cats cats cats cats cats!”

Now, for those of you who may still at this point be asking yourself “man, what is EWE’s deal?  What is wrong with that guy?”  I want you to reread that conversation, and then realize that the person I’m talking to is essentially THE SOLE VOICE OF REASON in my existence.  That should clear up any questions you may have had.

Until next time, kiddos, may you all have a merry happy whatever-the-fuck-you-celebrate – just please do it quickly, because I just honestly want it all over as soon as possible.  Thanks in advance. – EWE

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5 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XV Review-in-Progress; Malevolent Moogle’s Dating “Advice””

  1. Thanks for sharing your impressions! I also prefer the fantasy setting in RPGs, and given the word “Fantasy” in the title, I expect more of that from the series. However, I am open to how technological (and whatever XV is) the series has been. I mean, I love VI and there’s a lot of technology there. I’m interested in the new battle system, being a fan of traditional ATB. I’m also most excited about the relationship dynamic between the four dudes. I look forward to most likely playing this game come Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our tastes sound very similar, and while the demos for this game left me very leery of it (given it had a ten year dev cycle didn’t help either) every aspect that you mentioned has help up extremely well for me this far. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well look at that.. I’m still alive and walking around on this messed up planet. Thanks for sparing me for another week!

    Like you, I also had very low expectations for XV. The trailers made them seem like the Backstreet Boys or some other annoying boy band. I was pleased to see the positive opinions of it. I actually ordered a copy and plan to play it after I’m done with FFIV (I’m way behind on my Final Fantasy games).

    *Takes off rose-coloured glasses* Yep, Final Fantasy XIII is essentially one big linear path, until near the end. Even the open area there felt confined. Despite its faults, I still loved the the game. I had fun with the combat, and I loved the story/characters. For silly human emotional reasons, the entire XIII Trilogy holds the #2 spot on my top 10 list of favourite games. (Yes I know that’s 3 games, but my list my rules).

    I wish you a Merry Whatever-the-fuck-you-celebrate as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Where is that version of FFVI and whom do I have to murder to obtain it??? FFVII may be my favorite, but FFVI led me to that path and will always have a special place in my heart. Plus Celes is arguably my favorite character. Opera bitches! Oddly enough it was the leaning towards sci-fi that made me not want to play VII initially. I thought it was “too science fictiony,” but I played it, loved it, and thought “Hm, it’s more like sci-fi/fantasy fusion,” which I now know by its better name of science fantasy. They beat me to it before I could coin the term *grumble* Now that I think more about it, all Final Fantasies kind of have that technological element, but it was around the time of VII that you really started to see it come through. VI had Matitek, but after the, well, end of the world, you really didn’t see that element anymore…er, except with Figaro Castle I suppose. But keep the fantasy in Final Fantasy will always be my mantra. I don’t want to see it become completely sci-fi. I have an awesome sci-fi RPG series I love already (Mass Effect) so stay in your lane Squeenix!

    I’m happy XV is another potential reason to let us humans stick around for a bit longer. I had my reservations, too, but I’ve been like that since XII. I used to be like that about XIII (not even wanting to play it), but a good friend changed my mind about that, and now I’m going to give it a chance, corridor of fate and all 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the iOS / Steam port of FFVI. It’s a very love it or hate it port – I personally like the new sprites, but some people don’t. Some people are fucking stupid. VI was not my first FF or RPG, but it is for me the pinnacle of classic RPG game design. I find that SE and most other JRPG studios have been chasing the dragon of VI ever since. They’ve made great games with great elements – but for me, nothing has been the absolute perfect mixture that was VI.
      XV has continued to exceed all of my expectations for it, with one glaring exception – holy FUCK does it have long load times. Like, not a little long – oh, I’m zoning into a dungeon, might as well go mix myself a drink and make a snack long. The only other thing I would point out, which isn’t a problem for me but could be for others, is that the game leans VERY hard on the Brotherhood anime and Kingsglaive movie prequels. Like, to the point where scenes from the Kingsglaive film are shown in the game, and without the context the film gives, they would feel disjointed and out of left field, leaving you to wonder “what the fuck was that?! What just happened?!” I watched both before I played the game and I’m glad I did. If you can get access to them and watch them before playing, I highly suggest it!

      Like

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