Final Fantasy seems to have gotten into a pendulum state where the way to correct one problem is to go super-hard in the other direction. The main complaint of 13 was that it was too linear and focused on cutscenes which naturally means the answer, Final Fantasy XV, should have a sprawling open world with a significantly trimmed down story. Along with the Development Hell this game went through between tight budget, swapping directors, pushed back release dates, tie-in merchandise... well, I\'d like to think they did the best they could. The good news is that the game IS gorgeous, the main four are likable, and combat is fun. It\'s more in line with Kingdom Hearts than previous F Fs and in this case, it works. To balance out the long stretches of walking around, when you\'re in trouble a potion will generally help you out. And there is a lot of area to explore. The only major downside is that magic took a huge hit as it relies entirely on farming to make limited-use spells. (Think the draw system from 8, but having to be done with much smaller rewards.) There also isn\'t much variation in spells that you can cast either. Given that your main attack is with weapons, this isn\'t the end of the world but it is a change. The bad news is... the game sacrifices a - lot - because of said openness. The plot isn\'t intricate nor really fully explained, as the creators assume a player will either watch the tie-in movie or the Anime episodes to fill in blanks. The gameplay becomes linear in later chapters to force the feeling of everything going to crap but some of the so-called tragedies aren\'t that tragic as the game itself has never built up WHY you should feel sad over some of the sacrifices. Some villains are completely shelved or forgotten about in a distant \"oh they\'re dead now sorry.\" That\'s right - you won\'t even get to fight a lot of the antagonists along the way or even see them being all that antagonistic. Quite a few areas have been hacked out entirely (even ones in promotional materials!) and interactions with NP Cs are pretty limited aside from overhearing conversations. Surprisingly, few that you meet seem all that upset or freaked out about their country being invaded and leaders killed. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that the game itself feels very empty. For all the space you\'re given to explore, you won\'t really find rewards or secrets waiting for you... just a lot of scenery. Living, breathing NP Cs are scarce and at no point so far has it felt like a major crisis has occurred. By the point massive tragedy has stuck my initial feeling is \"..and why should I care about these guys?\" The plot does get DARK but the buildup is very hit and miss. Don\'t get me wrong - this is a fun game. But it\'s a game that, given its creation time, doesn\'t live up to the hype. But seeing as how it\'s a Final Fantasy, it will sell fine.
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