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Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trail

December 1, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trailIt is hard to believe but it has been 20 years since the first Pokemon games, Pocket Monsters Red and Green in Japan and Pokémon Red and Blue internationally, were released for the Game Boy system. Since then, the series has evolved from a colourless RPG to an oftentimes arresting 3-D experience. To celebrate 20 years of the franchise, developer Game Freak and Nintendo have released Pokemon Sun and Moon, the most vibrant, accessible and refined Pokemon game to date.

Final Fantasy XV is more than a video game. It is a living, breathing piece of art. From the picturesque, oftentimes stunning settings that rival anything produced by Frank Frazetta to the colourful cast of endearing heroes to the sweeping and majestic score, there is no arguing that Final Fantasy XV is a masterpiece.

Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trailBeyond the beauty on display, Final Fantasy XV is also a testament to great storytelling and great gaming. As Noctis Lucis Caelum, the prince of Lucis, and his fiancé Lunafreya Nox Fleuret are to be wed but a peace treaty between Lucis and Niflheim crumbles as Niflheim invades Lucis. The king and queen, other members of the royal family are killed. On the run with his loyal defenders and pals, Noctis must recover his family’s artifacts and fulfill his destiny as the king of Lucis.

The open world before you is as sprawling massive as it is detailed. Most of your travel will be done in your most faithful companion, the Regalia, a car that almost rivals Dean Winchester’s Impala in Supernatural. Totally customizable, the Regalia’s only drawback is that it must be refueled from time to time, other than that, it is as more than just a means of transportation, it is one of the crew.

Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trailYour faithful friends are truly what separate Final Fantasy XV from others in the series. They all battle exceedingly well and intelligently so there is no need to babysit them or micromanage the group which thankfully leaves you to concentrate on more important things like your own survival.

While we are talking about combat, the system itself is not very advanced or intricate. There are times when you feel that the game itself is doing all the work while you sit idly by. Spell casting is limited as well as are the choices of spells. Most also require disposable components and elements. Many have limits on their use and duration too. Thankfully the Summon spells are still as devastating as they are awesome.

Be warned though. There is a jarring change that occurs halfway through the game. The experience shifts from an open-world adventure to very linear, quest mode style play. While it may take you a few moments to wrap your head around the change, the game is so well crafted that the switch-up doesn’t really affect things once you have re-aligned your tactics and approach.

Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trailThe first thing you will see upon beginning your epic Final Fantasy XV adventure are the words…"A Final Fantasy for fans and first-timers." Ten years in the making, Final Fantasy XV takes the series in welcome and refreshing direction despite some of its imperfections. It has enough nostalgia to win over devoted fans of the series and enough renovations to appeal to modern gamers who may have never given the series a shot.

Final Fantasy XV is a step in the right direction in modernizing and revolutionizing one of gaming's most beloved series.



Final Fantasy XV blazes a new trailFinal Fantasy XV
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB Rating: T for Teen

Official Site: http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/

Rating: 8.5 / 10

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.