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Malphisto

Final Fantasy XV Story and Opinions (SPOILER WARNING)

3 posts in this topic

So yeah, this has been gradually getting worse for me and now that I have just beaten the game not but 15 minutes ago, I desperately need a venue for expressing my thoughts and venting a tad bit. I may or may not decide to go ahead and toss a copy of this over in the feedback section at the game's official forum. I happily welcome anyone else who would like to weigh in on this or share their own opinions on the game as well.

Where to begin, though?

In truth, if I wasn't such a huge fan of the series the vast majority of my issues might not even exist, but considering what they were trying to accomplish with FF15 I feel its important to be critical on the things that clearly deserve it. And when I say I'm a fan, I mean that I have played and own every single Final Fantasy ever to be produced, have assisted with a number of "Fan Theories" associated with them and have even done my fair share of online RPs centered around the franchise. (FYI, my two favorite games in the entire series was FF6 and FF9)

Let's go down the list.

Pros~
I have over 80+ hours spent as of beating the game, so it isn't as though it was terrible. The developers managed to nail a few aspects and that is ultimately what kept me playing for as long as I did. The Kingdom of Lucis was rendered beautifully and I quite enjoyed spending time in the world setting itself. I actually liked the added danger that accompanied night time and that made the world come more to life. I liked the Mob Hunt system and that served to show off the environment more by having me travel to places off the beaten path. In addition to that, the spirit of exploration was alive and well here.

I hate games that offer you an "Open World" and yet there is very little reward for spending that time exploring, which is definitely something you get here. (Such as picking up a Thunderbolt 2H from Malmalm Thicket. You can tell that exploration was seriously on the developer's mind as even the Tipsters would show you the location of caches for extra goodies. In this respect the game scores major brownie points for going above and beyond in this regard, something most other games either do a lack luster job at or only bother to put in the bare minimum effort. Camping was also quite enjoyable and between that and being able to sleep at inns as well as actually EATING in the game, it makes the experience far more authenticate in terms of realism.

Not to mention all the various mini-games that were available; Pinball, Fishing, Chocobo Races, etc.

The game's combat was also very good. The combination of effects and sounds really serve to make you feel like a badass when you come down hard with a Greatsword and break off a piece of an enemy. The Warp-Strike was also a nice addition that kept the action fast while giving added tactical options in battle.

Cons~
The story. Yeah. What you have here is basically all the right elements of an EPIC tale, but damn near none of it is properly put together or conveyed.
1: FF15 is like FF7 only without the Turks, Rufus, Hojo or Shinra in general. The Niflheim Empire was utterly pathetic, relegated to nothing more than a simple plot point used to conveniently progress the story missions along. You had important looking characters show up such as that old guy who never made another appearance, they were shown once or twice and then quickly forgotten. And just when you think this will change or the game will start to pick up with all this? (When you actually travel to the Empire, personally) NOPE! EVERYONE IS DEAD! You can't even be like "what a twist!" with that nonsense.

Quite possibly the most interesting character of them all from the Empire was General Glauca who played a MAJOR role in the downfall of Lucis. We're talking about the guy who killed YOUR father, and you don't even get to see this dude. Not once. And why? BECAUSE THEY DECIDED TO KILL HIM OFF IN THE KINGSGLAIVE MOVIE! WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I get that they want FF15 to be the second coming of FF7, but look... The game had already been released for years before they ever came out with Advent Children, and even then that was meant to serve as a sequel to the game's story. You take a HUGE chunk of the game's narrative, rip it OUT of the game itself and decide to sell it separately as a movie? No. That's bullshit. At the very least, General Glauca should have survived to be present in the actual game. I don't care about Nyx. If you wanted me to care about him, then he should have been a party member.

2: ZERO BACKSTORY FOR ANYONE. You know what MOST of all the other games have in the series? Fleshed out party members. Example, as part of the main story of FF7, Cloud and the party travel to Rocket Town where they encounter Cid who ends up joining the party. You get some of his backstory the first visit and then the second time the game brings you back to Rocket Town its all about Cid. Each character is given ample stage time, and as a result the player gets invested in them. THAT is why Aerith's death is considered legendary, because to actually lose a character, a party member in a Final Fantasy game, will hit the player hard right in the feels.

Where was that here? You got Ignis, Gladio and Prompto at the start of the game and that was it. Which is fine and all, but are you seriously telling me that NONE OF THEM get any kind of personal quest? Or is that the purpose of these paid DLC "Episodes" because money? Yes, I am aware of the anime Brotherhood which tries to do this, but again WHY DOES THE GAME RELY ON ME LEAVING THE GAME TO LEARN THIS? This is like Destiny with those stupid Grimoire Cards all over again.

Additional Media is intended to "ADD" to the experience, not serve as the damn foundation for a story that was clearly in desperate need of more TLC.

3: Prompto, specifically, is the most ridiculous character of them all. In fact, the game itself contradicts his own backstory that was established in Brotherhood and utterly fails to answer any basic questions. You find out that the Empire's Magi-Tech is created from Daemons and that the machines you fight are essentially newborn children bred for combat. You then find out from Prompto that he is no different from them, created in the same way. BUT THAT MAKES NO SENSE. In Brotherhood you see a young and plump Prompto living in Insomnia who later becomes friends with Noctis at school. HOW THE FUCK DID HE GET THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!? His backstory is just, at this point, soooooo convoluted that I can't even bs my way into somehow making it all fit together.

And bare in mind, I don't give a rats ass if they somehow magically find a way to tie the loose ends together in the DLC, the fact remains that the game, upon release, has a twisted story riddled with plot holes. I feel as though the game world and mechanics were made first and then the story came second. Its NOT OK to seal off KEY PLOT POINTS behind paywalls. No one should have to be spending extra money JUST to understand what the game failed to properly convey. I care less about pretty graphics and care MORE about a meaty, juicy story, which is why I STILL rank FF6 above FF15.

4: Princess Lunafreya needed a LOT more fleshing out. She had the ability to communicate with Noctis and his group through Umbra the entire time, so why the hell did they never meet up? If it was her "mission" to give Noctis the ring, she literally could have done it at any time. Likewise, they could have traveled together to form the covenants. Now... If she was purposefully keeping her distance from Noctis because of the covenants seemingly killing her and she knew he would try and stop it? That's one thing. Though, the game fails to give any sort of indication about this. And the romance between her and Noctis just...it feels way too forced. In fact, the entire time I kept hoping that the game was being "hands off" about it in order to leave an open opportunity for some other potential love interest, like Iris. (Who I was personally pulling for) And even when Lunafreya dies? You get this impression that she's more like an older sister to Noctis rather than a lover.

 

5: I'm still confused about Ardyn. The game didn't do a good job of explaining what his whole story was about. Its revealed that he was also a King of Lucis, but then that is where it gets muddled. Ardyn is the darkness, but why? How? Was there some random thing in the game that I failed to read? Because the story failed to convey these answers to me even after I killed the guy. And a better question might be what was his motivations? I got the impression he was trying to bring about the prophecy (Which was likewise rather vague and poorly delivered to the player, I mean that's the kind of thing a game should establish either right at the start or close to the beginning), which truth be told I didn't even remember until inspecting the various paintings just before the Throne Room at the Citadel. But what was his ultimate goal? He obviously was expecting a final confrontation with Noctis, but was he expecting to die? He seemed awfully surprised when Noctis and his ancestors vaporized him afterwards, but shouldn't this have been also expected as per the prophecy he was helping make happen?

In the end, Ardyn's reasons are just convoluted. I felt no real emotion from the battle itself or even after he died. His existence just seemed like one giant Deus Ex Machina, there for the purpose of setting up Noctis having to die in order to drive away the darkness. And even then, is the darkness actually gone for good or is the world just screwed now that the last King of Lucis is gone now without any living heirs? Not like it matters since the ring clearly dissolved as well which means the crystal is pretty much useless now too.

There were a number of other, smaller story related issues that popped up but they mostly came up in dialogue between party members, I can't really remember what was said off hand. But yeah, the game's story was a massive problem for me. Like I said, all of the elements are there to have this really amazing, 10/10 epic story, but it was completely mishandled and needed way more work.

Of course, that wasn't my only gripe with the game.

I get that they were wanting to do this whole "Road Trip" thing with the four guys, seeing the sights and camping out, etc. But to be honest that kind of shit should have been all focused BEFORE the Empire decided to betray Lucis and seize control of Insomnia. At no point did I feel like the "Rebel Prince" fighting to reclaim his homeland. With the exception of Cor and the lady who was with him, there was no one else. Why? Hell, even at the end of the Kingsglaive movie, Nyx's friend managed to survive and left the city. So that's it then? No one is contnuing to fight back or put together a resistance movement?

And why the hell was Noctis and the others just so casually driving around the countryside after the fact? Again, I understand the whole Road Trip experience and such, but there weren't any Imperial Checkpoints that had actual soldiers stationed at them. You got to visit a grand total of 3 enemy bases (Even though they appear to be all over the place on the map), and after clearing them out it was nothing. Why? BECAUSE YOU HAD NO REBEL FORCES TO MOVE IN AND RETAKE CONTROL! You don't even get the opportunity to destroy these places, you literally just leave so that the enemy can move right back in, totally invalidating your efforts. (Like capturing that one guy during the second Base Infiltration only for him to escape before you can even finish the mission. He gets handed off to some Hunters and then magically escapes, cause reasons... -_- ) I felt no drive or motivation in the least to attack these bases. And the only other time I had to deal with the empire, outside of the main story missions (which were short as fuck, for the record), were the random drop ships.

Furthermore, what the hell was up with that super linear garbage past Altissia? Let me get this straight... You took the time to flesh out Lucis, but Altissia only offers the city despite the map clearly showing a larger land mass? Yeah, I was seriously expecting to be able to leave Altissia and go explore the rest of those areas. This really clipped my wings when I quickly realized that the "Open World" aspect which was one of the few big things keeping me invested was restricted to only Lucis and no where else. I immediately got the impression here that the game felt unfinished. Which is probably the case, the developer was most likely forced by corporate to push the game out despite wanting to do more with it. And if that is the case and what we got was a rushed product? Then that could very easily explain why I have all these issues with it, in which case it really is just like Destiny all over again and I really... REALLY wish this bullshit would stop already. Again, if having a FULL and COMPLETE game means taking a hit on graphics? Fine, I'm cool with that. I grew up playing ATARI for Christ sake, I don't give two shits how photo realistic things are on my screen.

OH! AND THE END GAME! NO! BAD!

You know what made going after Ruby, Emerald and Ultima WEAPONs worth it in FF7? Spending time at the Gold Saucer fighting in the Battle Arena or breeding Chocobo for the sake of getting a Gold to visit the secret locations on the world map? That all of it was taking place before the end of the game. Basically all of the "cool" stuff is set for AFTER you beat FF15, meaning that you can't even access it until after you have already completed the game. Why should I bother spending time getting something like the Balmung Sword or any of these other "Legendary Weapons" when the story is already over?

The 80+ hours I have was spent doing Side Quests. Why? Because I wanted to do as much as possible and be fully prepared for the "Final Boss."

It was a joke. Ardyn was a total failure. I kept expecting something grander to happen, but no. I had 99 Hi-Potions, Potions, Elixirs, Hi-Elixirs, Antidotes, etc. I came expecting a challenge. I even went and grinded for a Sturdy Helixhorn to fully upgrade the Engine Blade into the Ultima Sword. I even went and got ALL the Royal Arms. I kept waiting for Ardyn to whoop my ass throughout the entire battle. Hell, I thought the way to him was going to be loads more difficult than it was. In the end, I was disappointed to not find said challenge.

I know there are supposed to be "free updates" coming out to expand the story, but as it stands now I don't feel like investing anymore of my time into the game as a result of having beaten it. Yes, there is plenty of "End Game" content in the form of new side quests and really powerful bosses, but do I REALLY want to put in anymore time than I already have knowing the kind of ending this was? And look, this isn't even "End Game" either, because all I'm doing is literally "going back in time" to before I went to Altissia. That isn't what I consider to be End Game.

TRUE "End Game" would have been Noctis NOT dying at the end, assuming his position as the new King of Lucis and then getting to see the Aftermath following the defeat of Ardyn. Hell, you could have even justified not being able to go around Insomnia by saying it was still undergoing reconstruction. And then I could take KING Noctis around the world and do said End Game activities.

But no, instead you did two of the things I hate most in both games and anime. You did a stupid ass "10 Year Later..." garbage during the main story as well as killing off the main character.

That pretty much ends my rant.

Personally, I would give FF15 a 7/10...8/10 if I'm being generous.

The 7/10 seems more fitting if you add in the horrible way that Magic was handled in the game (Grenades? Really? -_- ) and if you weren't really into the Side Quests or other various side attractions. And if I was judging the game simply on its main story content alone? It easily drops to a 6/10.

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Loud and clear. I enjoy the game but I feel everything else will be a slap in the face.

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To answer the question about Ardyn, he just wants to die basically. So he's grooming Noctis to be a proper powerful king so he can have a satisfying battle to the death. Like Boros finding a worthy opponent to fight in One Punch Man.

 

Phew, just finished the game. And I want to talk about the story!

 

 

What is it with FF games and having a main love interest that are less interesting than the other girls in the story?? The only pairing in the series that I agree on is in FF7, 9 and 12. Luna is more like Noctis' older sister than a girlfriend. Iris is a MUCH better girl for that guy. 

 

Speaking of Luna, why did Ardyn need to stab her again? There's no point to it. If he stabbed her to immediately kill her so it'll disrupt the Leviathan taming process then it made sense, but after he stabbed her, Luna can still move and she still proceeds to whoop Leviathan's ass. I'm like "tha fuck?" And stabbing her is pointless because Luna's dying anyway, so she's pretty much going to get killed by doing that taming ceremony because it'll drain the life out of her. 

 

I guess it's to make Ardyn as a villain of the story, but that can be done in another way, like the train section by him acting chummy like usual, and then commanding his entire army to destroy the train and kill Noctis, and then telling him "it was I who planned the destruction of Lucis, including the death of your dear old father, and I'm just getting started!"

 

I love that in Final Fantasy games, even though people have healing items and Phoenix Downs, people who get injured or in the brink of death doesn't even bother with them for the sake of the story. Like why does Ignis have to go blind? Can't he just use a potion to cure himself like what he did in the entire 30+ hours of adventuring?

 

And chapter 14 was a really missed opportunity. 10 years passed and all we get is exposition from the formerly child character. I want to see Iris and Cindy in person damn it! Make me explore the country to collect the people that I know 10 years ago so we can go together for the final battle and whoop Ardyn's ass all over Insomnia! 

 

 

 

Other than that, I love this game. Exploring dungeons are fun and the sidequests keeps me wanting to complete them. Well aside from the stupid "oh can you pick this crystal from this cave?" 

 

1 hour of exploring later

 

"Thanks! Now can you pick this ore from this other cave?"

 

2 HOURS of exploring later 

 

"Thanks! Now can you pick

 

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