After a decade since its announcement (as Final Fantasy Versus XIII), Square Enix finally released Final Fantasy XV. But before you get too excited, you now must wait approximately 118 minutes for Final Fantasy XV to install on your PS4. And don’t get me started if you choose to download the game. I know, I know. Somehow, this seems worse than the years of silence and rumors prior. However, notice that I didn’t say “you have to wait 118 minutes before you can play Final Fantasy XV on your PS4.” That’s because Square Enix has provided a nifty feature for you to play while you wait.
Before I go on, I’ll preface by saying the installation times for PS4 games are beyond ridiculous, and at times I wonder what the point of owning a console is if it inherits the inconveniences of PC gaming except somehow making them worse. Second, this is not a review - Cheatcc’s Becky Cunningham already covered that. I just wanted to take the time to commemorate Square Enix on getting one thing (of many things) right: the combat demo.
The demo is nothing special. It takes place in the same ending arena as the one in the Platinum Demo. This time, however, you only fight goblins. It could have used some more variety, although perhaps some technical difficulties made that impossible. But you can see the list of abilities on the left and right side of the screens, and you have plenty of time to figure out how to use them. Considering that this is a Final Fantasy game for both old and new players, I think this is a wonderful idea because it helped me to better grasp the concepts provided in the actual tutorial.
I tweeted this very praise, which led to an exchange with a former colleague of mine. I asked him if he could think of any games off the top of his head that allow players to play around while the game is installing on the PS4 – besides playing the actual game until you reach the point the game has yet to install. Neither of us could think of any examples (although I could have sworn I had played one recently). It's a shame that not a lot of companies seem to have thought of this before.
Anyway, I bring this up because I know Final Fantasy XV is going to be a divisive game for some, even though it’s doing well critically. I myself like it but have my own list of pros and cons apart from our official review. Still, if there’s one thing - just one thing - that developers take away from this game, I hope they provide combat demos or anything else to familiarize us with their worlds while we eagerly wait to play them.