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FINAL FANTASY XV review
by StevenFortney

Much like just about every Final Fantasy game since FFX, XV fails to meet the expectations that fans had built during the absurdly long development process for this game. That being said, there is a lot to love here. Probably the biggest achievement is how much fun I had level-grinding. The game is at its best when you're marathoning side-missions for two-to-three days with no sleep, driving to new corners of the map in your monster truck Regalia, carefully planning out where you're going to stop to eat and stop to sleep so you can max out your EXP for level-ups. It's really simple, but really rewarding, and at the end of the day that has to do with strong gameplay, strong characters, and strong world-building, all things that can be said of the best Final Fantasy entries. 

Side note: haven't played the most up-to-date version of the game, so I'm curious how much the changes to the story actually affect my overall enjoyment -- probably won't get around to playing it for a long time though.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Sit back and relax»

Other reviews5

It's complicated to review a game that was teased more like an event or an experience, I fell in Square Enix's trap and I eat all the media that came before the game: movie and anime episodes, so my time with the game was pretty positive in regards of lore and story. With that in mind, my review goes as follows:

First things first, the mood of the game it's perfect, it starts as a best friends road trip and that feeling of adventure and friendship never gets old, the sound team made an amazing job making every sound feel almost real, things like footsteps, rain, forests at night, even the sounds of the Regalia (your car) when closing or open its door, it may sound dumb but the immersion and the feeling of traveling with friends through the sound design it's outstanding, it also makes the Regalia like a 5th companion to your adventure. Which leds us to another great topic, your party, the developers took the great decision of making a small party that always accompanies you, they feel real and their dialogues are so detailed and at times silly that only helps to build a real bond with them, there's no need to watch the anime episodes about them but it sure helps to stablish and understand some things related to their personality or bond with Noctis, speaking of Noctis, at first I taught that I was going to hate this guy because of his "generic character and design" but the truth is that I really like it, I understood his feelings and decisions, also I firmly believe that is necessary to play this game with japanese audio, I'm not a big fan of the english dub, its not bad but not great, also is pretty noticeable that they took a lot of liberties with Noctis, they feel like complete different persons, where the Japanese is kind of introvert, sweetheart and silly, the English one sounds more stoic, "cool" and it kinda tries to be Cloud, so at least for me, that it's a big no, no. As for the supporting cast, there are some cool characters like Aranea or Lunafreya, they're good but not as good as our main villain, I won't spoil anything but as for me, at least he is now a top tier antagonist on Final Fantasy franchise.

I really liked how Square Enix dished out unnecessary complex and convoluted stories like the one presented in the first installment of FFXIII, instead, we have a simple "reclaim your throne" kind of story that works for the best, I really liked a lot of the twists and turns, I have no issue with that, but its worth note that there are major events hinted through the game that are just hinted but really important to the overall plot, mainly things in the movie and stuff that happens in the Episode DLCs, its not that they felt so necessary to the plot but they sure feel like holes, speaking of holes, the game has a nice rhythm and passing until you arrive at a point of no return (at 3/4 of the game more or less), it feels rushed and suffers a lot of breaking the immersion.

As for the gameplay, I have mixed feelings about it, first, is very simple and enjoyable, at times almost addicting, its simplicity compensates with its flashiness and fast passing action, my only problem is that the HP system it's broken, you can kill almost everything if you have enough potions so in order to enjoy it you must put a rule of limited potions, but then again that's a thing that was meant to be solved by the designers, not you. Another negative aspect is the side questing, the world map is massive and so beautiful, it's accompanied by a masterfully crafted soundtrack led by no other than Yoko Shimomura (which make instant classic songs for this already filled with classics franchise), but it kind of feels empty at times, the only thing that makes you do any quests is for the combat, which maybe is no the cup of tea for everyone but it's very fun.

In the end, the negative aspects didn't were overweighted by the positive ones, its characters felt to me like real friends and its twists and turns were for the most part very interesting and enjoyable, as for the ending, it has a heavy punch that reminded me why I prefer storytelling in videogames over other media.
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«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
Finished on December 14, 2016 (PS4).

+Graphics
+Gameplay
+Lore
+Music

-Characters
-Side Quests
-DLC
-Story
I've replayed this at least 3 times but after the last playthrough and purchasing the full edition I have to say this is pretty terrible. Broken story, terrible combat, amazing graphics. Skip this and play the classic Final Fantasies.
«Waste of time»
«Boooring»
There's a lot wrong with Final Fantasy XV that needed massive improvement, like the terrible horrible story and the dreadful nightmare Chapter 13.

Other than that it was fucking amazing. Loved the Americana meets Final Fantasy vibe. 
Loved the characters and combat system. Hated the story.