It’s been a long time coming.
As the Final Fantasy chime begins to play over the closing moments of Square Enix’s newest trailer for Final Fantasy XV, the lead character Noctis utters that statement as a way to let fans know that their game is finally on its way. It’s been eight years since we first saw Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Originally billed as a companion game to Final Fantasy XIII, Versus XIII was rebranded in 2013 with the number XV. The game has changed platforms since its original debut and is now showing up on PS4 and Xbox One. The original shift was quite exciting at E3 2013 when fans were finally able to see what Versus XIII had become. Originally directed by Tetsuya Nomura of Kingdom Hearts fame, XV look to capture some of the best elements of both series. Since 2013 Nomura has stepped down as director to focus on Kingdom Hearts III while Hajime Tabata has taken his place. From the looks of the trailer, this game is looking great.
The visuals of this game have left me speechless. It is amazing to see classic Final Fantasy so fluidly meshed with cyberpunk and modern gameplay. It looks so bright and vibrant as compared to the dullness of Final Fantasy XIII. Noctis does appear to be the fairly standard “moody-yet-heroic” protagonist that we’ve seen with characters like Cloud and Squall in the past, but that’s a familiarity that we need. In a way Final Fantasy XV looks like an homage to that era of games. At this point that era of Final Fantasy is “classic” and by the time this releases FFVII will be close to twenty years old.
The battle system is a combination of real time action mixed with team-party management. There appears to be some kind of environmental and team-based assist work happening with an emphasis on third-person action as well. It looks excellent. I’m all about classic, turn-based gameplay but it’s hard to execute these days without looking and feeling dated. I love the car that the team drives around in as they have menial conversations about dates, food, and general nonsense. It feels like the calm before the anime storm.
While this trailer has garnered some much needed enthusiasm for Final Fantasy XV, it still leaves me wanting more. A release window would have been nice at the end of this trailer. Will we be seeing a simultaneous release in East and West (doubtful)? What year will we finally be able to play FFXV!? I’m happy Square’s putting all their chocobo eggs in one basket, but a little more info will help. We know that since KHIII has been pushed on the back burner, FFXV is Square’s top priority right now. I just hope that the game doesn’t end up being a mess of garbage like Final Fantasy XIII.
Also way to go with bringing Garula back, haven’t seen him since Final Fantasy V!