Millions of Final Fantasy fans watched the brand new Final Fantasy XV trailer released at TGS with anticipation. Several are saying it renews their faith in the franchise. Others are saying that it has gotten them hype for what’s yet to come. I’m sorry but… I cannot agree. The only thing that this trailer proved to me is that the majority of the Final Fantasy fanbase, really is swayed by pretty CGI more than they are concrete gameplay or story details, a statement that has been said jokingly for years now.
First, let’s start with the plot. The plot of this game has been muddled and vague and has been changed around several times since back when it was versus XIII. Now we have this big world with fantasy creatures in it and high technology, which is cool but it’s been done before in Final Fantasy 7, and 8, and 13… and 6. That doesn’t automatically make the game good.
The whole concept of this king or prince or whatever is barely addressed and now we just see a bunch of bros with fabulous hair taking a road trip in a car and we don’t know why. Supporters have said things along the lines of “BUT THAT’S SO COOL! WE NEVER SAW MODERN CARS IN FINAL FANTASY BEFORE!” to which I say “that is not a story.” That is a gimmick. That is a shiny object that is being used to distract you.
We don’t know who these characters are or why they are fighting or why they are taking their road trip. It’s just shiny scenes interspersed with dialogue cuts and music. It’s like a fan made anime music video! I don’t understand how people are saying this trailer made them cry.
Also, on a personal note, I am very very disappointed that it seem as if the rumors about Square-Enix finally giving us an openly gay main character appear to be untrue.
The story aspects of the trailer disappointed me because, frankly, there just wasn’t a whole lot of info. The trailer did, however, show a bit of gameplay, and that actually disappointed me more than anything else. It’s another real time battle system with no menus that seems to be dependent on button mashing more than anything else. The huge mob battles looked like something out of Dynasty Warriors, rather than a strategic Final Fantasy game. The combat looked incredibly repetitive and, for that matter, non-interactive. I bet all I’m going to do is mash attack through this one just like I mashed attack through Lightning Returns.
The only new or compelling aspect of this game’s battle system is the ability to teleport to your weapon. However, that was shown once, out of battle, in a quick scene. We didn’t get to see any of the high flying “fight on a building” scenes that we did from early Versus XIII trailers. We didn’t get to see the main character psychically control a volley of swords. Heck we didn’t get to see any “system” because all we saw were characters attacking enemies in real time, and here’s a secret for you, games have been doing that for a long time. It’s nothing new.
Do I think Final Fantasy XV is going to be bad? I don’t know. I’ve been burned a lot by recent Square-Enix projects. Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns were really just god awful attempts to milk a franchise for all it’s worth. The magic of classic games like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana have just been drained from Square-Enix as they become more of a publisher and less of a developer. Frankly, I don’t want a new cool thing from Square-Enix anymore. I need a solid traditional JRPG. Recently, they announced that they were going to try and return to tradition in their RPG development but… Final Fantasy XV just does not appear to be that return.
Former Contributing Writer