Have you ever ended up waiting for a game for 10 years? However, it is not the expectation or optimism that you will find, but a project that seems increasingly impossible to complete and release as a commercial product. We are not only talking about several rumors of cancellation that had surfaced, but also the absence of information, changes in character, unclear gameplay system, uncertainty on the platform, to the extent of our doubts that the game called "Final Fantasy XIII Versus" is indeed still busy working. by Square Enix. But believe it or not, 10 years later, a game that carries the essence of the game that had swallowed the hype has finally arrived in the hands of gamers. A game that now carries the name - Final Fantasy XV.
Those of you who had read our previous preview, of course, have got a pretty clear picture of what Final Fantasy XV is. The open-world session offered by Hajime Tabata does come with a quality that deserves thumbs up, with visual beauty, atmosphere, and so many monsters that you can kill. Stories also come with enough emotional impact to bring tears to your eyes, but unfortunately they are marred by flaws that are hard to ignore. A 10-year wait that will delight you on the one hand, but disappointment on the other.
So, what does Final Fantasy XV actually offer? Why do we call it a game with holes that are hard to ignore? This review will discuss it more deeply for you.
In contrast to games in general where it is designed to be understood by just playing the game itself, Square Enix designed Final Fantasy XV as a larger universe. Therefore, before tasting it, you are "required" to taste the CGI film series - Kingsglaive: FFXV and the anime series - Brotherhood to get a clearer picture of what happened. Otherwise, you will be forced to taste it with more question marks with no clear answers.
The story of Final Fantasy XV itself centers on the figure of a prince from a kingdom named Lucis - Noctis Lucis Caelum, in a world called Eos. By his father, King Regis, Noctis was asked to go to Altissia to meet his future bride - Lunafreya. But one thing Noctis did not know, Regis did this to protect him from the inevitable disaster considering Lucis's position, now no longer under the invasion and the ruse of a country with high military power - Niflheim. Noctis left with his three comrades in arms - Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis without any suspicion.
But on the way to Altissia, Noctis had to deal with bad news. The capital of Lucis - Insomnia and the kingdom of Lucis itself reportedly fell to Niflheim. For reasons he couldn't understand, the crystal that was supposed to protect his beloved kingdom was not doing its job well. He heard that Regis and Lunafreya died in the invasion. But Noctis didn't have time to be sad. With the responsibility of Lucis's existence now on his shoulders, assisted by his mentor - Cor, he now has to struggle to find Lucii's weapons - which are the legacy of the Lucis kings from the past. On their way, they also met Ardyn Izunia whom they didn't recognize as Niflheim's important adviser. With his trickery, Ardyn managed to bring Noctis and friends together to gather the Astral who he said would help Noctis' attempt to reclaim Lucis.
The adventure to reclaim Lucis begins. However, as can be predicted, this has not been an easy journey. Because it wasn't only Niflheim's army that he had to fight, Noctis also realized that something strange had happened to Eos, the world itself. That days now last much shorter, and nights are now occurring much longer and more frequently. The same night that brought new threats in the form of stronger monsters known as Daemons.
So, what kind of challenges have to be faced by Noctis et al? Will he be able to successfully seize Lucis from Niflheim? Which important characters will it intersect with? You can find all the answers to these questions by playing Final Fantasy XV.
If there's one thing Square Enix has been successful at doing with Final Fantasy XV, it's making sure you can feel, enjoy, and agree that Lucis is a wonderful world. Even though the scale itself is not as wide as the open-world-based games in general, you will get a world that is able to offer dramatic views with a variety of effects. The asphalt road that reflects a little light after the rain when it touches the setting sun, or when the fog strikes your morning adventure, to a landscape that suggests that something so massive has happened in this one world. There is a magical sensation there.
The city that Square Enix built on it also deserves a thumbs up. Although it must be regretted that the number is very limited, but you will get a strong impression of the designs he offers. Lestallum looks like an industrial city with a unique culture, considering that women are the backbone of the economy there. While Altissia feels like “Venice”, it's a much more grandiose city design. Water transportation is key and replacing roadways, making Venice-style boats the only way to get from one important place to another. Even though it's a little, the presence of cities with different cultures and architecture is enough to strengthen the impression that Eos is indeed a diverse world.
Despite its status as a game that offers a few open-world elements in it, unfortunately, Lucis is not a world that you can explore freely. Regalia - the royal car Lucis for Noctis and friends is trapped on the available highway, so he can't be used to explore other than that. Fortunately, you have a Chocobo that can be used to carry out this task, as well as allowing you to explore areas with high water depths considering that Noctis et al are not equipped with the ability to swim. The rest? Is to enjoy it on foot. The vast territory it offers doesn't feel that empty considering that you can almost always find a variety of animals roaming it, regardless of whether you intend to kill each one of them or not. The sensation of a living ecosystem is strong enough, although you won't be able to see these animals interacting with each other, like stronger animals preying on weaker ones, for example. But at least you can take comfort in the size and toughness of some of them that look like they can kill you with just their breath.
This combination of worlds, various dungeons, and lighting effects ends up making Final Fantasy XV visually deserving of thumbs up. Especially when you see the giant monsters that you have to kill start to maneuver and “exhale” their breath in this vast world, or when you just stop on a high place and look around Duscae which seems to have an epic history there. It is a world that draws you to want to know more about what's going on.
If we have to mention one of the best policies that have been made by Tabata for Final Fantasy XV, then releasing a variety of demos for gamers to try right away, from Duscae, Duscae 2.0, Platinum, to Judgment deserves to be on the top of the list. Why? Because it is not just to rekindle the dead hype, it is also a source of feedback needed by Square Enix to create a solid action RPG battle system for FFXV itself. And so far? At least from the final version, they did do a fantastic job. Compared to our introduction to the countless intuitive combat system in Duscae, the final Final Fantasy XV comes out as a solid action RPG game.
By holding down one button to attack and the directional keys to produce different combinations, the battle is very fluid. The camera angle that is quite adaptive to the battle situation makes it more comfortable to end. Unlike the battle system in Duscae which makes weapon changes run automatically when you attack, this final version of FFXV provides an opportunity for you to change weapons manually via the D-Pad. This concept also includes a few elements of strategy, considering that some enemy variants no longer only show strengths and weaknesses in attack elements, but also the types of weapons you use. Different colors, which damage goes into Critical or Resistance conditions will be clearly visible.
And in the end, no matter how fluid the combat system is, Final Fantasy XV can assure itself that it won't be solved by just holding down the attack button and hoping it will solve all the problems that exist. There's a level of strategy there. Management MP is one of the most essential mechanisms, considering that it is a resource for Parry or Warp Strike which not only deals more damage, but also much better mobility. Attacking using Warp Strike, attacking, dodging, and then moving on to the next target will be your routine when fighting in FFXV. Which are interesting? If you forget to manage it properly, including restoring it by teleporting to the nearest Warp Point, Noctis will fall into a “Static” status which makes it unable to attack using just MP attacks, but also evades and therefore, is more risky of being hit with more damage. big.
Unfortunately, there is no chance to use other characters in battle. You can only use Noctis. Fortunately, the AI designed for Prompto, Ignis, and Gladiolus itself is also quite adaptive for battle, where they not only attack, but are also active enough to avoid existing attacks. But still, it's hard to deny, that a design like this creates one problem of its own - that you have absolutely no control over what your three friends do. Not infrequently you will be faced with a situation where you encounter a deadly enemy AOE attack and move as far as possible, but your three friends "stupidly" stick around and attack the enemy who is preparing to carry out the ultimate attack. Seeing a situation like this and not having any control does generate frustration in itself. The fact that you can still restore themselves with items does not necessarily justify a design "flaw" like this. A little general control for controlling the motion and demeanor of these AIs will really help.
The good news? Square Enix manages to make the role of this traveling companion essential in combat, especially when fighting huge, rampaging monsters. Most of the enemies are designed not to be defeated with Noctis alone, even if you've reached the maximum level. There are several types of attacks with your other companions, which are designed to inflict greater damage, buffs, or status effects on certain enemies. By using a bar that will fill up through the various actions you perform in battle, you can trigger it. Some of the companion's skill combinations will be more effective when used together with Noctis' specific weapons. As an example? Ignis 'Overwhelm skill that caused the Party to attack indiscriminately in a short period of time would make the Bow of Clever, one of Noctis' Royal Arms, end up like a machine gun. Making it effective to finish off enemies who have super large damage.
And don't forget, you will also be supported by a magic system here. However, it is different from the previous Final Fantasy series where it is positioned like a "grenade" that you have concocted yourself. Collecting ice, electricity, or fire resources located at several exploration points, you can "mix" your own magic. The more you use, the higher the potency generated, the higher the damage. The rest? Adding items to change the nature or strengthen the magic itself. With the right items, you can increase Fire to Fira, Firaga, up to the fourth level - Flare for example, which is no longer “locked up” at the damage limit of 9,999. With this item too, you can change the nature of your magic to be more varied, from being able to heal the caster to multiplying the experience you get from battle.
Making it a consumable piece of equipment that needs to be remade according to your needs, Square Enix's approach to the magic system in Final Fantasy XV is something refreshing for this franchise. Moreover, the strongest magic effect that you can mix is not only associated with greater damage, but also visualization of more epic attacks with a significant direct impact on the environment. For example, you can throw Blizzaga's magic in a swamp full of water when dealing with Malboro to freeze him. So it's not just damage, Malboro who stands on the puddle will also freeze and be silent for a long time, so you have a wide space to attack without risk. Interestingly, this magic system also carries a friendly-fire system, so that it also has the potential to injure yourself or your other companions. The same reason that makes us rarely use Ice magic level 4 - Freeze which not only freezes the room, but also produces periodic ice damage for your friends who are "trapped" in it. Again, in these conditions, we always expect one simple feature to give orders to your AI friends to prevent further damage.
One of the essential features included in Final Fantasy XV is food. This feature that has often been applied by many JRPG games has turned out to be something more essential for this Square Enix RPG action game. You can buy and eat it directly at the restaurant or build a camp at the nearest resting place and let your butler - Ignis cook one of the various recipes he learns. Serving as a buff for a period of time, regardless of the visuals that are ready to make you swallow hard, you will find this feature to become more and more important as you progress. With a variety of buff effects that not only increase the amount of HP or the percentage of EXP you get, but also strengthen the critical chance to nullify all existing elemental damage, Square Enix has succeeded in making this feature that is often underestimated by many JRPG gamers into something essential.
As an action RPG game that requires speed and accuracy, it's hard not to praise Square Enix's success with FFXV. Although there are a few camera problems in certain combat conditions, in general, it manages to present a gameplay mechanic that is precise, comfortable, fun, and tense at the same time. It's up to the level that we don't mind if they will take the same approach with the Final Fantasy VII Remake project that Tetsuya Nomura is looking for.
This may be a sentence you never thought would come out of our mouth, JagatPlay. That we will combine repetitive and exclamatory words in the same sentence. As most of us can predict, instead of offering something completely new, Final Fantasy XV offers an open-world concept that feels familiar. A novel formula that has been implemented by Western RPG games so far. That you don't just follow the main storyline and complete this Noctis adventure as quickly as possible, you can complete a variety of side missions that can be said to be monotonous.
You will be faced with a mission design that is not innovative. There are missions from Cid that require you to collect certain items to strengthen your weapons, missions from each of your companions which are usually triggered when resting in a certain camp, Hunt missions that ask to hunt several large monsters, to typical open-world game missions that require You to pick up items from one specific place. There is no new, revolutionary formula in Final Fantasy XV. But one thing is interesting, if you look at it from the perspective of a JRPG game and don't compare it with the same concept that is often offered by Western RPGs, then you will not object to it. It's a first step that, fortunately, ends in awe. Especially with the fact that it ended up being less boring as imagined.
We personally are not too interested in missions asking you to take or find certain objects and return them, but the Hunt mission which asks you to hunt enemy variants ends up being more interesting than you imagine in your brain. Why? Regardless of the nature that asks to destroy one giant monster or a group of monsters in general, Hunt is the gateway for you to "enjoy" the real open-world sensation of Final Fantasy XV. It will end up asking you to explore areas that can only be reached on foot or with a Chocobo, or enter a previously unregistered dungeon. The rest? You will be faced with enemy variants that you might never know Lucis offered if you just followed the main story line. Fight with a giant bull that can kill you instantly? Catoblepas who become "stars" in the Duscae demo? To a giant bird with an egg as big as your body? Everything this Hunt has to offer.
One of the interesting “side” missions from Final Fantasy XV also emerged from a mission to find various Royal Arms which from the side of the story, are called essential to help Noctis reclaim Lucis. Being an interesting enough approach to make it just a side mission, and not the main mission that must be completed by gamers themselves. There are dozens of Royal Arms that can be collected with only a few of which you can get from the main story. Each Royal Arms comes in a variety of forms, from giant axes, large shuriken, to mystical arrows, each of which has an effect, a certain buff, and usually requires sacrificing a portion of HP to be used to attack. But the advantage of gathering them was for Armiger - which was no different from Limit Break for Noctis. Armiger's effectiveness will be influenced by how many Royal Arms you have, because it is related to attack speed and damage.
And of course, a side mission like this will help you gather a variety of resources needed to strengthen Noctis et al. Following a modern design where the enemy will no longer drop money in the name of rationality, the best way to raise money is to sell materials from monsters in a nearby shop or get money as rewards for existing missions. The number of missions that you complete will usually also affect the wider area you explore, so you will have the opportunity to find more accessories or weapons used by your party. What's more important? The more plant material and monster meat you kill, the more opportunities you have to get new recipes for Ignis, which will make your job easier.
But of all functions, apart from the fun of killing various monsters and how it is essential to get money or recipes for Ignis, side missions are also the best to collect one of the most important resources in Final Fantasy XV - AP. Because this resource is arguably more important than just the character level, which here only gives certain status increases. Increase the damage from collaboration attacks? Making use of MP Noctis more economical? Or even get you through 9,999 attacks? Everything is determined by the AP. Uniquely, this resource is considered difficult to obtain. The main missions will only give you a fraction of what you need, with the rest having to be earned from exploration. Complete side missions, just activities by fishing or cooking, your actions in battle, to the monsters you kill. With so many skill tree branches that you can take advantage of with large AP requirements, even the process of completing one side mission will give you a reward that deserves to be pursued.
One thing that makes Final Fantasy XV's side missions not boring apart from the lazy design and seems repetitive, is the fact that it will be your gateway to enjoying the open-world sensation that he has promised so far. Through it, you will inevitably explore areas that have nothing to do with the main story and kill enemies that you won't be able to find from there either. Reinforced with rewards that feel appropriate, depending on how intentional you are, this will end up being a process you simply enjoy.
If you are a gamer who simply follows the JagatPlay article, then you know that we have entered Final Fantasy XV as one of the most potentially disappointing games in 2016. The reason? We called it at that time that this game would invite so much anticipation and hype, that every gamer will have one definitive standard that will determine whether this game will satisfy them or not. And for us personally, one of those standards is the summon they bring to this series. After Ramuh's fantastic presentation at the Duscae demo, the dream of seeing Summon called Astral look like a God who deserves to be worshiped, respected, and feared and the potential for its implementation on so many summon in the Final Fantasy franchise has indeed strengthened. Unfortunately, for us, it ended up being a disappointment.
Hajime Tabata himself had indeed communicated this summon openly. In the past year, he has shown the form of 4 Summon / Astral fruits that will help Noctis et al's actions - Ramuh, Titan, Leviathan, and Shiva, some of which even contain certain battle modes to be recruited and are also related to the main story. As a gamer, let alone seeing the trends that have developed in the industry lately, it would be rational to see this statement as something Square Enix will not fully offer. That Tabata would definitely sneak in more summoners in XV that he didn't announce to the public was both a secret and a surprise, something that would have all of us dazzled, fell in love with, and then kept talking about. A dream that turned out to be too big.
In the end, what Tabata has said for the past year ended up being the only Summon you can use in Final Fantasy XV. That's right, you will only be able to use Ramuh, Shiva, Titan, and Leviathan during the battle as details slide via trailers and screenshots so far. The good news? Each of them is so well designed, that it looks grand, threatening, and creepy at the same time. The form that will make your eyes pampered and your familiar feeling in the Final Fantasy franchise seems to pay off sweetly. Unfortunately, the other two summoners - Ifrit and Bahamut who have a more important portion in the story, end up being unusable for you to use them in normal combat. They appear in scripted events, and cannot be used anymore.
Dealing with only 4 summoners wasn't the worst part of this system. What's worse is the inconsistency of the indicator to trigger their presence and which summon will appear due to its random nature. Unlike the previous Final Fantasy series that were chosen, the summon system in XV appears randomly if any requirements are met, although it has never been explained in detail to you in what game it is needed. As an example? At least from the information on the internet, Titan is said to appear if one of your friends is knocked out. But believe it or not, from our 100 hours of gameplay, we've never spawned a Titan at all. Even when referring to the stated requirements, it was always Shiva who appeared to help.
This fact of course makes the disappointment with the limited number of summon even stronger. Only four Summons and you also can't choose which summon will come to your aid, to the extent that you can even end up not seeing one summon and even getting a Platinum trophy? It's certainly a design that provokes even more question marks. Even worse, you also never have certainty as a foundation for whether a certain summon will come to your aid or not when you are stuck, making this system unable to be included in the calculation of your battle strategy and nothing more than a fortune-based "reward". For old Final Fantasy gamers, especially those who had tasted the VIII series, let's just say that all Summons in XV are Odin. Uninvited, not escorted home, but present with great damage.
So, what kind of design can actually be taken? For us, XV needs to give gamers more control than leave it to AI or luck. As for this Summon problem, they could do less damage than now, making it an option in the battle menu, but it comes with certain consequences.
To balance it, it can be linked to the life / death of existing companion characters and their availability in battle. As an example? To summon a Titan or Shiva, you must sacrifice Gladiolus' life and render it unusable during battle, with a "dead" state that Phoenix Down cannot restore and can only return after the battle has progressed. Tabata can associate a specific Summon to which companion you have to sacrifice, for example Ignis for Leviathan and Ramuh for Prompto for example. This provides an option that can be used for certain strategic considerations, rather than the current profit-based ones. This also prevented the annoyance of never summoning a specific Summon like we felt.
For now, the Summon ending condition is related to the story line in XV, it must be admitted - very disappointing. Only four summon can be summoned with Ifrit and Bahamut class Summons that no longer show their nostrils outside the main story is a big slap on our faces. It doesn't matter how cool the appearance and attack animation of each Summon animation is, but choices like this are enough to make our hopes end empty. Summons in FFXV are a huge disappointment.
Fortunately, the disappointment in terms of the story that we will talk about in a moment and this Summon is quite paid off with end-game content that deserves thumbs up. In fact, you could say, we actually had more fun in Final Fantasy XV thanks to the end-game content that only opens after you finish the main story. This is where the open-world content it offers shines and seduces, with some surprising designs that not only offer extra challenges, but also have more fun.
In the end-game, you can finally get the Regalia F - which now allows your car to take off into the sky. Even though you have to end up disappointed because there aren't many “secret places” that you can explore after getting them, at least they are an essential key to one of the coolest dungeons we've found in any JRPG game - Pitioss Ruins. Unlike the dungeon end-games, most games which end up filled only with high-level monsters and secret bosses, Pitioss is a pure platformer dungeon. There are no enemies here, just a dungeon full of puzzles that need a certain sequence to complete. He will challenge your ability to control Noctis' power to jump, land precisely in tight spaces, and find your way in anti-gravity places. This clever design has indeed been conquered by some hardcore gamers in a matter of minutes on Youtube, via existing shortcuts. But if you try to solve it without a guide, we will not be surprised if you will need 3-5 hours to beat it with a proper reward too. This dungeon was a sweet surprise.
Does this mean that Final Fantasy XV doesn't offer dungeons with classic designs? Of course not. After completing the existing game, you will get a side mission titled "Menace Sleeps" which asks Noctis to continue his father's promise - Regis which was never fulfilled before, cleaning the monsters under Lucis. Divided into several high levels, the design of each dungeon is countless special, but the rewards are quite tempting. One thing is for sure, he will be the strongest motivation to maximize your character to the best point. One of these “Menace Sleeps” dungeons requires you to go down 100 levels of ladders each containing high-level monsters, while others throw at you several level 99 monsters with no item ability at all, with recovery relying on the camp and Ignis food variants. .
If you are among the gamers who prefer epic battles against super strong monsters, Final Fantasy XV also provides several superboss. There is Adamantoise, who was rumored that it took 72 hours in the real world to be defeated, but it ended not as difficult as imagined if you have strengthened yourself with the required accessories, weapons, items, and damage buffs. Tantangan lebih berat justru muncul dari dua Super Boss – monster level 110 dan 120 dari dua jalur quest sampingan berbeda yang butuh strategi untuk ditundukkan dan tak sekedar mengandalkan keberuntungan.
What do you expect from a game that has been in development over the last 10 years? Even though he had experienced difficulties with rumors of delays, changes in responsibilities, and the name he brought up, there is hope that this will not have a bad impact on the story that is being carried. Because in the end, the story is one of the strengths of RPG games, not just JRPG. But on the other hand, it's hard to argue that Final Fantasy has always had problems with this one aspect, like what happened with Final Fantasy VIII, for example, which is even enough to make you scratch your head, ask questions, and end up still not getting an answer until you play it. several times. But at least, in the case of Final Fantasy VIII, it is present complete and coherent. Something that Final Fantasy XV doesn't offer.