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Author Topic: Final Fantasy XV (No plot spoilers)  (Read 304 times)

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Witherweaver

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Final Fantasy XV (No plot spoilers)
« on: December 06, 2016, 01:54:38 pm »
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Anyone playing FF XV?  I picked it up over the weekend.  I was going to wait until I finished The Witcher 3, but there is so much side stuff in that game that it was taking too long.  FF XV actually has a very similar play feel to Witcher 3; they're both open-world exploration type games.

I've finished the first chapter of FF XV, which is more or less an introduction.  Moving around takes a very very long time, though that does add to the sense of immersion.  Apparently Chocobo access is opened up a little later, which speeds up exploration.  The areas are very large.

I miss the menu style for combat, but I guess I'm okay with this system.  (It's similar to Witcher 3.)  The advancement system looks interesting; I'm not sure about magic yet---it feels a bit tedious.

The only thing that I've found detestable so far is that there is a fishing system.  Seriously, fuck fishing.  It's like the most boring thing you can do in real life (besides watch a baseball game, I guess); why would we possibly want to spend our recreation time doing it?  And it's the stupid mini-game mechanic.. cast a line with the controller command, reel in, lose the fish, etc.  I wouldn't mind so much if it was set up in a menu interface and you didn't actually have to 'play' at it, or if there was some auto mode, but it's more of this stupid 'press the right buttons at the right time' kind of game that has been plaguing Final Fantasy games since FF VII.  (Snowboarding was fun once, then it was annoying.  Boxing was stupid.)   I mean technically combat is 'press the right buttons at the right time', but there there is strategy, decision making, preparation, and the novelty of fighting something.

Some things get to feel tedious because so many mundane things are shown (for realism/immersion, I suppose).  Like it's novel that you fill up your gas tank, but you don't really need to see someone stand there with the nozzle every time.  And various other things that add realism but mean you have to wait for the resolution.  Maybe you can cut down on these scenes in the settings; I haven't checked yet.
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Galzria

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Re: Final Fantasy XV (No plot spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2016, 04:38:12 pm »
+1

I'm about 40 game time hours in (I know, no life), and I'm really enjoying it. Much like Witcher, I've probably spent 30 of my 40 hours (if not more) doing side quests and hunts.

The world is amazing. It feels like I'm playing in an art book. There's very rarely a camera angle or scene that isn't absolutely stunning visually. And they did an amazing job with scale. I don't think the world is nearly as expansive as it seems (certainly there's more "world" in say, Skyrim or Fallout), but your rate of travel - by car, chocobo or on foot all feel very accurate to the scale of the world. The world ultimately feels a little small, but quite grand - and I think that works in it's favor.

I enjoy baseball. I enjoy the fishing. I'll get around to doing it at some point. I'm currently only level 2. It's by no means a required feature of the game. It adds depth to character development and personalty - makes Noctis seem a little more reel (#badpun). And if you enjoy cooking, it gives Ignas some more variety. Other than that? Completely ignorable if you so choose.

The battle system isn't my favorite, but I don't hate it. They've tried to make your allies a strong feature of the system, but it still feels like a one-man-show. It's also very one dimensional. One button attacks, one button defends. The warp feature is fun - and definitely important - but it's ultimately hack-n-slash. They've gutted Magic down to just the three spells (standard variations -ara, -aga), and while they've made it so that there's side effects when casting them (poison, stop, curse etc) it really feels lacking in creativity. Using magic certainly doesn't mesh with their combat design, and I think they left it in only because the idea of removing it completely... That said, what magic there IS and you choose to use is ridiculously powerful.

I like the Ascension system. I liked IX and XII as well. The upgrades seem small, but over time they stack up - and there's lots of different areas of gameplay to invest in.

I still miss the feel of the older games. I don't feel completely immersed in the story with every action I take. It feels more like there's the story, and there's everything else. I feel that about most games these days though. I think the move towards such stunning visuals and open worlds have made it incredibly difficult to run a tight, immersive storyline driven experience. That's not to say the story is bad, or the side quests aren't fun - they just seem separate, and that makes me a little sad.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Final Fantasy XV (No plot spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 01:16:10 pm »
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How do you feel about the magic system?  I'm kind of annoyed that you can't just stack charges of a spell in a single flask.  Because it's a lot of tedious clicks to make a spell (with whatever potency), get just three charges, equip it, wait until it is used up, make another three charges, equip, etc.

It seems that you get more flasks as the game goes on (I think I have three so far), but it looks like the only way to increase charges per flask is with a catalyst. I.e., there is no simple 'consolidate flasks' mechanism. 

So far I haven't used magic much at all; I've only made a few and put them on Ignis or Prompto.  Ideally I would want to delegate one of them (Ignis I guess; I think he becomes stronger at magic) to be a primary spell caster, but you can't seem to influence their AI, and I don't like the idea of continually checking my inventory screen to see if the store is used up or not.  I suppose the practical way is to include spells in Nacht's play, and equip them on Ignis (or whomever) for battles for which they may be needed.

On a different note, I got to the point where you get the weapons that take HP when you use them.  At first they seemed not helpful, but then I realized that since Warping to high points recovers your HP, and you can usually get very far from an enemy for a strong Warp Strike, you can make big attacks with little downside.  So Warp, select strong weapon, go for big Warp Attack, Warp again, regain HP if needed, Warp Attack, etc.  Switch to your basic weapon if you need to do a lot of regular melee.  The attacks with the strong weapon can do a lot of damage.  It's a pretty neat play style, and it makes the ability to switch weapons (well, from a set of four) actually useful.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Final Fantasy XV (No plot spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 01:21:23 pm »
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So I played this extensively over the holiday break, and I beat the main story of FFXV.  There is still post-game content after you beat the game. 

General thoughts are, game is good, mechanics are overall good (with one or two extreme exceptions---Regalia Type-F is TERRIBLE), story is good, but it feels very abridged.  It's perhaps an artifact of the open-world style, where you can spend tons of time exploring side stuff and basically cruise through the plotline.  Or maybe it's just because I played so much so quickly.  But I felt a lot more engaged and invested in other FF stories... of course the classics IV and VI, but also VII through X as well.  It felt like a big journey going through those.. like at the end of the game, you were in a much different place than where you started.  FFXV has all the pieces of such a story, but for some reason I don't have the feeling.

A game like Witcher III has a similar structure, but the side quests manage to feel much more deep and more connected to the story.  I also went ahead and finished the main Witcher III story line.  (I had gotten close over Thanksgiving, right before FFXV came out, and then set it aside to play FFXV.)  I don't really have anything to do in that game except quests involving Gwent (I hate it), fistfights (they're not great, but I don't really like them), races (I hate those), and a handful of unexplored  points in the middle of the ocean in Skellegie (most are just Smuggler's Coves, and it's tedious to go get all of them).  I haven't, however, downloaded the expansions (Blood and Wine, Hearts of Stone).  I heard those have good content, so I may get them.
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