‘Final Fantasy XV (15)’ Demo Review: A Real Game Changer

Everyone’s favorite series is beginning to make a comeback after years of waiting; Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV demo release has fans wanting more. Final Fantasy 15 is scheduled for a worldwide release on November 29, yet the demo out on PlayStation store, PC and Xbox One features a story original to it and gets the player accustomed to the combat system used in the main game.

Final Fantasy XV (15) Demo Review

Unfamiliar with the Final Fantasy series? Good. The most recent release to the franchise, FF14, was a pay-to-play MMORPG, while the last official “traditional” RPG entry in the series was as infamous as it was strange. Final Fantasy 13 was all about walking in a straight line with combat so easy and uneventful it was almost concerning. You basically bought a 60-hour movie and, gorgeous graphics for the time aside, that’s not exactly a video game, that’s just a video. As the story got progressively worse with Final Fantasy 13-2, Lightning Returns, and the main character advertising Louis Vuitton with a series of fake interviews, the image of Square Enix’s franchise became all the more clouded (and this time not the character).

However, the recent changes to the Final Fantasy franchise, namely finally giving fans what they actually want, have been for the better. Cloud (this time the character) was not only put in as DLC for Smash 4, but Cloud’s game, FF7, has been announced to get its own remake, something fans have desired for the past 10 years.

So how was the demo? The story is you control some kid in a dream who ends up being the main character, like a prequel to the real game but not really. Final fantasy is all about experiencing the story for yourself, once you explain it, it always sounds stupid, like how in FFX a tic-god rules the world for 1000 years through controlling a whale who is now your father.

As for the gameplay, Final Fantasy is no longer using turn-based combat, rather it seems to be more of a Kingdom Hearts control scheme; walking around collecting floating bells until you walk near an enemy, where the control scheme changes to let you hit things. The music is good, but the graphics are BEAUTIFUL. From a mystical forest to the interior of a house, the Alice in Wonderland-style dream takes you through a journey that shouldn’t take longer than an hour, but it’s a journey nonetheless.

If you don’t have a PS4, Xbox One, or PC, just viewing the demo is worth your while, as is viewing the trailer, showcasing the cutscenes and graphics alongside Florence & the Machine’s Stand By Me. Square Enix might have lost the image for Final Fantasy in the past, but the demo makes the fifteenth installment to the series not only look good, it makes it look like a real game changer, if not series changer.

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