When Square stated they were holding off for an E3 trailer in favour of a Gamescom one, fans were simultaneously excited and disappointed, but was the wait worthwhile and just how much of the title does the trailer actually reveal?
As time flies by, Final Fantasy 15's release grows ever closer, but for a title that was originally announced nine years ago in 2006, will the game deliver or will it just pale in comparison, much like the recent 13 series?
By now, most of us know Final Fantasy 15 (XV) started out as a project within the same "Fabula Nova Crystallis" universe as FFXIII, but whether it was down to poor sales, Leona Lewis or a negative fan reaction, Square decided it was time to depart from what already existed to create a new chapter for Tetsuya Nomura's more grounded, realistic based Shakespearean fantasy.
For me, the moment I heard (the then titled) Final Fantasy Versus XIII was being built on a modified version of the Kingdom Hearts engine, I was overjoyed with excitement and couldn't wait to see how the game would turn out. The earlier trailers (where Stella still existed) seemed dark, moody and promising, but as time went on more and more changes were being made. Stella became Lunar, tweaks to the story and theme departed from the original concepts (to appeal to a wider demographic most likely) and Nomura ended up with less involvement to move onto other projects (Most likely Kingdom Hearts 3), opening the door for Hajime Tabata to become the sole director of the title.
Check out the losing battle Malboro trailer below:
Supposedly the core design remains in tact, but after doing some research myself I still preferred the original concept and ties between characters. Regardless, having played the title myself (Episode Duscae, though the old and not the 2.0 version) I was a little disappointed. The game didn't feel fast enough or as atmospheric as I'd have hoped, combo's were lacking and attacks just didn't feel all that impactful. They felt weak, under-powered and the collision of each swing didn't really have a whole lot going for it visually, in relation to hit detection. Still, it's early days yet and it was only a demo, so hopefully the finished product will be faster with a huge amount of upgrades and move sets to choose between or unlock. Plus, each weapon appeared to hold a special move from previous titles, such as Freya's "Jump" ability from FF9 for example. This was a nice nod to previous titles and in-game, gives you more of a reason to mix things up, considering these special moves are linked to specific weapon types.
On the plus side, I really love the visual direction and styling of Final Fantasy XV. I'd have loved for the main characters to have vastly different clothes to one another as I'm not all that big on the "let's all wear black" approach, but judging from every trailer we've seen so far, I firmly believe no matter how the game plays, the story is going to be amazing. The characters are all unique and likeable (so far) in their own way, the opposing army reminds me of something from Final Fantasy XII and I'm a huge fan of anything to do with Nobility in fantasy-based settings.
You can view the latest "Dawn" trailer below:
As you can see, we get a little insight into Noctis and Lunar's childhood with this latest trailer, plus a foreboding look at the father and son relationship between Prince Noctis and his father, Regis. Will we experience a huge amount of loss? Will Regis die for a good cause? Will he even die at all?
If the original story concept is anything to go by, Noctis and Lunar are likely to have a relationship akin to Romeo and Juliet. They meet, they fall in love but are sided with opposing factions, ultimately and possibly resulting in the loss of one of, if not both of their lives. Perhaps the only way to unite nations is to remove all power and merge into one under-privileged society? I know as much as you right now, but I'm expecting a cruel yet potentially uplifting plot that will have a great deal of meaning behind it, as is the way of most Final Fantasy titles.
For now, I sit here waiting impatiently in the hopes for a Special Edition FFXV PS4 announcement and as we discover more information, so will you. As for the finished product, it's scheduled for a 2016 release, though as it stands that could be at the start, middle or end of the year. It's taken nine years to get this far, so who knows?
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