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  • Breaking News

    Final Fantasy XV: To be or Noct to be?

    Ever since VII tore down the walls between Japanese development and the mainstream Western audience, the series has been torn between its roots and its future.

    The series has always strived to deliver fresh mechanics to the RPG usually revolving around innovative levelling systems or ambitious battle mechanics but alas, there’s no pleasing everybody. Square Enix has received criticism for taking Final Fantasy down a more casual route as the franchise has aged, but XV promises to hit directly upon that almost mythical barrier between hardcore and casual director Hajime Tabata wants the title to retain the depth of mechanic the series is known for whilst providing an easy point of access to casual players. It sounds like Square Enix is trying to appeal to everyone a dangerous tactic: if it fails, it could easily appeal to exactly no-one. Here are five things we hope will make sure the game hits both prospective audiences:


    IT’S THEMATICALLY TIED TO FINAL FANTASY XIII…
    WE KNOW that Square Enix used Lightning and her convoluted story so much that her mythos and universe became mundane, but the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology has so much more depth to it than the odd iterations of Lightning’s world makes out. Final Fantasy XV will somehow be related to Light in regards to its world; we assume that connection will lie in the gods that orchestrate inter-world events, since XV and the XIII trilogy have completely different domestic realms to play their stories out in. The upcoming Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is also connected by the Fabula Nova Crystallis moniker. We really want the chance to explore this universe some more.

    IT PLAYS LIKE DMC MEETS KINGDOM HEARTS WITH SOME FFXII THROWN IN…
    THE BATTLE systeme volves the Gambit system used in Final Fantasy XII where you can assign abilities to your team which they automatically use in battles. Add to that realistic reactive animations (get hurt and your team-mates will help you up) and you got yourself one of the most realistic battle engines Final Fantasy has ever seen. Tabata has stated his intentions to make it a ‘one-button’ system, but don’t let that deter your interest: that means switching weapons on the fly and chaining combos together with protagonist Noctis’ ‘blink’-like ability. It’s all very quick, and very involving.
    “  Tabata and the entire development team are working, wholeheartedly, towards completing the production of Final Fantasy XV and ensuring the delivery of the highest quality Final Fantasy title to date”
    IT BRINGS BACK SUMMONS…
    THE BATTLE system only gets deeper the more time you spend exploring its intricacies; if you set up a combo, you can galvanise the damage it does by jumping into mechs or tanks around the map or even by calling Summons. No Final Fantasy is complete without Shiva, Ifrit, Bahamut et al, so their presence in XVis reassuring (and we’re also looking forward to seeing beautiful new animations for them): the fact they’re also arranged by class and then subdivided into ranks promises a whole slew of them we just hope that Square Enix brings back Giant Cactuar. Failing that, we’d be happy with just having to run around the world collecting them.

    IT'S A FANTASY BASED IN REALITY
    THOUGH THE game will retain Final Fantasy’s penchant for sprawling, apocalyptic, god centric stories, original director and writer of the game Tetsuya Nomura wanted to make the central cast of characters far more realistic more human and refined and bring in elements of the real world to galvanise the fantastical element within. Noctis’ home kingdom of Lucis, for example, has an incredibly Japanese flavour based heavily on the developer’s local Shinjuku district in Tokyo. Even the police cars look identical this is a game firmly rooted in a realistic world overa purely fantastic one, akin to Final Fantasy VII.

    IT TAKES ADVANTAGE OF ALL FINAL FANTASY TEAMS
    FINAL FANTASY XV has been in development since 2006, when it was still known as Versus XIII, and as such has the benefit of seeing a variety of Square Enix’s teams apply their specific knowledge to the project. The talented animation squad behind fan service feature film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children are taking care of the sure to be beautiful cutscenes (presented in cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio) whilst the Kingdom Hearts II development team take care of the action. We hope it continues to be a productive relationship, rather than a ‘too many Quinas spoil the broth’ scenario…

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