Final Fantasy XV improvements

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ptdebate
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Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby ptdebate » November 23rd, 2017, 5:38 pm

***WARNING - MINOR FFXV SPOILERS BELOW***

Dear VGCers,

Happy Thanksgiving! Released just days after Thanksgiving last year, Final Fantasy XV features beautiful fall vistas and plenty of chilly weather (courtesy of the Blizzaga spell), so it seemed like an appropriate time to talk about the game's peculiar post-release history as a follow up to my review.

In my review for FFXV, the game scored less than stellar. That review, however, was based on the version of the game that shipped on a disc on November 29, 2016. I felt that the game merited further discussion in light of the extensive patches and content updates which have since made it a much better experience. Ever since release, the developers have continued working on the title nonstop, delivering improvements and additional free content (as well as paid DLC) at a steady pace. The unusual thing about these patches and updates is that more often than not they include not only gameplay tweaks and improvements but also significant story content!

One major problem with the original release is that several key plot points were inadequately explained, leading to too many unanswered questions at the ending. Significant characters lacked screen time and met their end abruptly. This has since been almost entirely rectified through added scenes and exposition. There is now no way an attentive player can get to the end of the game without feeling a sense of resolution at least in the storylines of the main cast of the game. For those inclined to explore, there's tons of optional scenes and interactions that can be encountered throughout the world that serve to enrich the story. More background was given to the villains as well, furthering the complexity of their motivations. It seems that Ardyn and Ifrit came together both through their shared hatred of humanity and their status as denigrated outcasts. The former romance between Shiva and Ifrit humanizes both deities in a way that we've never seen in the series before. Gentiana is an absolutely incredible presence in every scene she appears in. Luna's struggle is more impactful now that we understand what she's actually going through.

I recently replayed the latter half of the game (from Altissia onward) on the Xbox One X. This brings me to the subject of graphics. The stock consoles struggled with this game before, with numerous frame pacing issues and a general lack of texture filtering and anti-aliasing on characters especially. I can confirm that FFXV on the Xbox One X is all-in-all the best-looking game I have ever played. The lighting was dazzling before in spite of the other graphical issues. Everything else has been cranked up to 11. Truly spectacular.

When I got through the expanded Chapter 12, I was absolutely floored by the new story content, because I didn't expect it at all. When I got to the end of the game, I felt that I had a much better picture of what the developers intended. It doesn't excuse the fact that the game released in an incomplete state, nor does it vindicate the "games as a service" model, but it does bear mentioning that the developers seem committed to finishing what they started, no matter how long it takes. And it doesn't stop here - apparently they have plans to continue working on FFXV well into 2018. Needless to say, I will be following these developments closely.

I still believe that the battle system is fundamentally misguided - especially the magic system - but I can confidently say that FFXV is at least worthy of the name. It is a new Final Fantasy with a lot of new ideas that I think will help move the series forward. It is also very reflective of the Zeitgeist of game development in its approach. For what it's worth, I would probably raise the grade for the current version of FFXV from a D+ to a B-.

GameOfThrones
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby GameOfThrones » November 28th, 2017, 10:29 pm

A game that says £10 to me. I have got my fingers burned on the Square Enix rpgs so I am wary of them now.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby Retro STrife » November 29th, 2017, 9:43 am

Good to hear; thanks for the update on this. I have some hope for this game after reading the positive reviews from Game Informer and elsewhere. Like I've mentioned before, I've always been a fan of the series (played and beat FF 4 through 10, and 12), but I was scared away after not liking 12 much and then seeing less than stellar reviews for XIII. I did buy XIII but haven't played it. I also saw XV for $15 on Black Friday, so I bought that too. Not sure when I'll get to these, but after reading reviews on both, I think I would play XV before XIII.

GameOfThrones
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby GameOfThrones » November 30th, 2017, 6:52 am

Retro STrife wrote:Good to hear; thanks for the update on this. I have some hope for this game after reading the positive reviews from Game Informer and elsewhere. Like I've mentioned before, I've always been a fan of the series (played and beat FF 4 through 10, and 12), but I was scared away after not liking 12 much and then seeing less than stellar reviews for XIII. I did buy XIII but haven't played it. I also saw XV for $15 on Black Friday, so I bought that too. Not sure when I'll get to these, but after reading reviews on both, I think I would play XV before XIII.

13 is horrible. It is so linear. You just go the way they want you to. You get used to the battle system and the game seems good. 9 Hours in they change the battle system and you are like WHAT? Now it is so complicated I gave up.

13 part 2. There is so much dlc for this game it seems like the disc only has half the game on it.

I did not play 13 part 3 but it has so much bad press. Though the rpg critic on here seems to love all FF games in equal measures apart from the last one. I never bother with the online only mmos which are subscription based. So I cannot comment on them.

I have not played the new one and it is too expensive for me to purchase at the moment. Plus I have not completed 13 part 2

I quite enjoyed FF type 0 HD. Though it suffers from the normal confusing mazes that FF is famous for. Plus the graphics really are last gen.

http://uk.ign.com/articles/2017/11/29/final-fantasy-xv-character-swapping-episode-ardyn-coming

this is some extra info on FF15. There is new dlc coming out. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.

GameOfThrones
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby GameOfThrones » November 30th, 2017, 7:16 am

I just had a look at the mp trailer. This game looks gorgeous. It will probably be my summer game next year.

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ptdebate
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby ptdebate » November 30th, 2017, 10:40 am

Story wise, there's more to latch onto in 15 than in 12 or 13. You can tell that the story came before the mechanics and setpieces, not after. It was such a shame to see the good aspects squandered on such a shoddy production. I'm glad that Square Enix is committed to making it right. Hopefully they can make their production pipeline more efficient in the future so that games can get done right and on time.

I would disagree with GoT that 13's battle system gets worse with time -- in fact, as the mechanics grow and develop it becomes one of the more strategic, frenetic systems in the whole series. I love it! The story is far from peak Final Fantasy, but the overall polish of the game is commendable.

FInal Fantasy XV, as far as I can tell from about 80 hours of gameplay, has the worst battle system in the series. By worst, I don't mean that it's painful to play - it can be quite enjoyable in a shallow, button-mashey way. It's just that the element of strategy and contemplation is gone. You can either whittle the enemy down by alternating dodging and weapon attacks, or you can atomic bomb everything with magic, wait for the cooldown, and repeat. The magic only features the 3 elements, with no buffs or debuffs. FF13 was all about nailing the right rhythm of buffs, debuffs, and various assault patterns depending on the situation. In FFXV, it's pretty much the same approach for every fight.

GameOfThrones
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Re: Final Fantasy XV improvements

Postby GameOfThrones » December 1st, 2017, 7:10 am

ptdebate wrote:Story wise, there's more to latch onto in 15 than in 12 or 13. You can tell that the story came before the mechanics and setpieces, not after. It was such a shame to see the good aspects squandered on such a shoddy production. I'm glad that Square Enix is committed to making it right. Hopefully they can make their production pipeline more efficient in the future so that games can get done right and on time.

I would disagree with GoT that 13's battle system gets worse with time -- in fact, as the mechanics grow and develop it becomes one of the more strategic, frenetic systems in the whole series. I love it! The story is far from peak Final Fantasy, but the overall polish of the game is commendable.

FInal Fantasy XV, as far as I can tell from about 80 hours of gameplay, has the worst battle system in the series. By worst, I don't mean that it's painful to play - it can be quite enjoyable in a shallow, button-mashey way. It's just that the element of strategy and contemplation is gone. You can either whittle the enemy down by alternating dodging and weapon attacks, or you can atomic bomb everything with magic, wait for the cooldown, and repeat. The magic only features the 3 elements, with no buffs or debuffs. FF13 was all about nailing the right rhythm of buffs, debuffs, and various assault patterns depending on the situation. In FFXV, it's pretty much the same approach for every fight.

Awesome explanation.
Good news for you, the world of final fantasy is just out on PC and it looks awesome. Though the graphics put it in the ps2 era, the game play looks pucker. After having a look online I can see that it is a Vita game. It has been ported to the pc and Playstation 4.


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