“Prompto, Gladio, Ignis. I leave it to you. Walk tall, my friends”.– Noctis, Final Fantasy XV
Ten years – that’s how long fans waited for the next numbered Final Fantasy game. Boy, what a ride. What. A. Ride.
After multiple delayed launches, a name change and a complete story rework, what we got was Final Fantasy XV.
I remember driving down to my nearest GameStop to buy Final Fantasy XV Day One Edition for the PS4. The store’s midnight launch party only 12 hours before was cancelled. The winter storm died down overnight. My brother and I were surprised by the lack of attention the game got in-store.
Fresh copies of the game covered an entire shelf, waiting for its next gamer. I quickly grabbed the game and ran to the cashier. The game I waited ten years for was finally in my hands.
From beginning to end, I was enthralled by Final Fantasy XV’s characters and beautiful open world map. I was overwhelmed. I had so much to see and do. My eyes were going through a sensory overload. This is exactly how I want to feel everytime I play an open world game.
Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus are my favourite characters in any video game genre ever. These characters’ bromance are not only believable but enjoyable to watch. Their in-game banter is meticulously timed with every game play action and scene. These tiny, tiny details is why I still play Final Fantasy XV today.
My first few hours in FFXV took my breath away.
The next 20 hours or so, well, it wasn’t the best.
Final Fantasy XV’s main story felt rushed. To this day I still don’t understand the story. Some how daemons taking control of Eos (the game’s world) didn’t seem like such a bad thing. I loved the world but I wasn’t attached to the other characters that inhabited it. I only cared about four characters. So what if all the other characters disappeared? If my boys are alright, then so am I.
The sidequests were boring and unfulfilling. NPCs were also boring. After I finished the main game and extra dungeons, the game replay value drastically plummeted.
I was sold on the world but not the story.
I still love the game in spite of all the criticism. Even when Square Enix cancelled their second set of DLCs, Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future, I was still supportive. I even bought the other four DLCs and Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition for the PC. I watched the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV movie and all five episodes of Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV anime. I also plan to buy the Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future novel. I was a mega fan from release date to the DLCs cancellation. I was loyal to the bitter end and I didn’t mourn the loss of the game until now.
Square Enix, FFVX’s game developer, are masterminds in creating video game worlds. They revolutionized the RPG video game genre. FFXV is still a good game but honestly, it isn’t their best game. I know this, other gamers also know this and video game journalists also know this.
Final Fantasy XV is a perfectly unfinished masterpiece. I’m sad the game fans were promised is gone. The original story ideas are probably sitting in a game dev’s computer right now. We’re never going to know the true potential of Final Fantasy XV’s gameplay, characters and world.
As for me, I still need more time to mourn the loss of Final Fantasy XV. After ten years of patiently waiting, I’m not sure I’m going to get over this disappointment anytime soon.