There have been a few franchises I have been playing for a while such as Mortal Kombat, Tekken, anything with Mario somewhere lurking in the title and many more. One of them is Final Fantasy, a good long running one at that. I’ve always enjoyed fantasy games and hey this one even has it in the title so why the heck not right? I first encountered Final Fantasy when they had it up in the store as one of the try-out demo stands, back then you still saw that a lot more. Since then I have played the different ones and enjoyed them, some more than others of course, in the course of the years you can see how this franchise has evolved and changed graphics wise and also gameplay wise.
In this one I enjoyed how they returned to the open world exploring game style, like in the older versions, some of the new ones are to linear for my taste where you just have to keep heading to next pre-set point. In this open world you can run around and choose to level grind till you no longer have to face-plant in the main story. You just had to run in head first rushing in as a lower level and getting your ass handed to you by some floaty gundam wannabe robot. Well… you could always be good enough to choose your team properly and see what character you use when. This way you’re not stuck with the characters that are most suitable half dead for the boss fight way at the end and the most useless ones that are so not suited for that specific battle are the only ones you have at full health. Let’s forget about that well thought trough line-up and tactics for now and just level grind till the team is so overpowered you can basically strut over the battlefield like a slightly retarded cow practising ballet. To each their own game style of course, no-ones judging here anyway, maybe the rest of the internet.
The large range of characters with each their own type of fighting and special weapon, offers to each player their own style of playing. I like wielding scythes in games so as soon as I realised there was a character wielding one I just had to play it. It wasn’t long before I found myself twirling around this pointy ‘once farm tool’ weapon. You go into fights with a team of 3, the team I usually compiled consisted of a melee, ranged and a healer. Pretty all around and balanced in my opinion. My preferred ranged was King with his double pistols, mainly because I liked the entire double pistol blasting cowboy feeling it gave.
This game doesn’t really belong in the numbered line but still part of the same universe, it is also just an amped up version of what was supposed to be just a mobile app game not even being released outside of the Asian market. It is called HD in the title thanks to this and despite its being upgraded like this you can still see the difference graphics wise, it is still not the most overwhelming 3D environment you can imagine, but this game really does not need that. Graphics have never been the biggest sale point of any Final Fantasy series in my opinion anyways, the best editions are still the ones with a strong storyline. If you put a lot of effort in a game and make it work it can even still be enjoyed when it’s done in basic 8bit pixel art, some recent indie games, such as Samurai Gunn or Skullgirls, that are so enjoyable don’t rely on great graphics but on a solid base of content and good old fun.
If you’re a die-hard Final Fantasy fan or just a “meh I might enjoy this stuff …. Maybe” it’s an enjoyable game, though maybe not the highlight of the series, that retouches with its older brothers in the open world feeling where some of the more linear ones got out of touch with. The newest one in the franchise currently in development seems to be going into the more open world feeling but in a modern jacket. Maybe they have been hearing the cries of the gamers to get back in touch with the more original concept we used to love and have been missing, where a good storyline and open and good gameplay stand central. Just focusing on the graphics and pumping it up like body-builders on steroids doesn’t work, never has never will, not truly at least… it’s just a temporary fast burn and fade out thing you rely on in that case. So let’s hope that this rehash game is at least a good learning experience for the future development of the rest of the series, or at least a good stepping stone. Just gonna have to leave this with “Never forget where you came from.”
Oh and we got the Final Fantasy XV demo out of this too so … FUCK YEAH!