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Rounding up my favorite moments from Final Fantasy XV’s new footage By Tony Garsow on August 21, 2016 at 11:53 PM


Yeah, we’ve all heard the news by now, Final Fantasy XV is getting a delay until November 29th. While we’ll have to wait two more agonizing months until the next numbered title is in our hands, it’s encouraging to know that director Hajime Tabata and the team are taking the time they need to release a game they feel meets the quality standards expected by fans.

Speaking of the team, they were out at this year’s Gamescom, but did not leave empty-handed after the delay announcement. To make amends, a new 50 minute gameplay video of the first three chapters has been released. There’s quite a lot to unpack here in one go, so I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite moments below.

In no particular order:

Warp Strike is as cool as ever

footage1
Even back in Ye Olde Versus Days, Noctis’ ability to teleport wherever he throws a weapon has been his most interesting combat characteristic. Here we see the Prince use a combination of his Warp Strike ability and Wait Mode. The latter is a feature revealed back at E3 that will slow things down to allow you time to assess a frantic situation. If there’s a ton of enemies around, it’s useful to slow down and manually select an important target. It’s all completely optional — a setting in the game’s configuration menu.

Monsters are properly monstrous

footage2You wouldn’t be the only one unnerved at the prospect of fighting a monster as huge as the one above. If size wasn’t enough to intimidate you — the chunk taken out of your party’s health when the beast lifts off might. There’s another scene where Noctis and company are exploring a dungeon when suddenly a grotesque Arachne boss drops down suddenly from the ceiling — and it’s no pushover. Don’t forget that huge Adamantoise in previous trailers. I really dig the sense of fear imbued into these segments. I mean, after all, these are monsters. Well, “daemons” is the game’s specific nomenclature.

Head back to the chocobo races

footage3Chocobo racing returns in Final Fantasy XV, and it looks pretty fun. In the short clip we see, Noctis races Prompto head-to-head or in a time attack mode. The minigame’s been an on-and-off staple since Final Fantasy VII‘s iteration in the Gold Saucer. It’s cool that the game’s got a place for bit of non-combat activities. Count me out if we have to dodge seagulls and chase balloons. Once in a lifetime is enough.

Blink and you’ll miss the ability upgrade system

footage7While it’s not shown for very long, we do get our first look at the ability upgrade system Noctis and company will use on their travels. By levelling up, completing quests, participating in “strategic ops”, or “impressing your friends” in conversation, you’ll earn AP (Ability Points) to spend on upgrades. While this system looks pretty simple — similar to Final Fantasy X‘s Sphere Grid or Final Fantasy XIII‘s Crystarium, I’m anxious to learn more or play around with it myself.

When you select Ascension in the party menu, you’ll be greeted with the Astralsphere shown above. Here you’ll be able to purchase new skills by activating nexuses when the required amount of AP has been obtained. We see new upgrades such as Phase, which allows Noctis to evade attacks by holding down the Square button, Libra, which allows you to see enemy information, as well as the ability to equip two accessories.

Draw points are back and magic crafting looks cool

elemancyFinal Fantasy XV‘s magic system shares a few fun characteristics with Final Fantasy VIII. In the image above, Noctis draws fire-based magical energy from a point on the map — a skill called Elemancy. This is similar to Final Fantasy VIII’s draw points, which allowed you to absorb specific magic spells into your inventory. It’s also interesting that magic in Final Fantasy XV is stored in flasks and is treated similarly to consumable items.

In the party menu, you can craft magic spells that have different effects in battle. You can do this by using your stockpile of absorbed magic and items you collect on your travels. Such effects include the ability to dualcast a spell or to heal the user’s HP when cast. I’m pretty interested to play around with this myself — particularly to play around with what modifiers are the most effective.

Hey, Final Fantasy’s about those chill moments too…

footage5One lamentation many fans had with Final Fantasy XIII was its lack of “towns.” Well, it had towns, but not in the conventional sense. For a cast of characters labeled as fugitives and cursed with an impossible task, towns were probably the least chill place to spend your time. Personally, I thought it wasn’t so much that towns weren’t towns, or the game’s tubular level design, but that it lacked variety in what you were actually doing. We’ve seen the team go on about fun places to grab local food or getting your portrait drawn in Altissia for example. Giving the road a little more personality can go miles. I’m curious to see what other distractions await.

It’s been a long time coming…

footage4In the image above we see Iris invite Noctis out for a leisurely stroll through Lestallum to see the sights. If you’re curious about this character, we get a brief introduction in the third episode of Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV. You can watch all of the episodes released (as of this post) here. I could take or leave the cold open, the scene we see of “Chapter 0”, but the opening to Chapter 1 seen above is perfect. There’s something poetic about the guys struggling to push their car down the road towards a distant goal while Florence + the Machine‘s cover of “Stand By Me” plays in the background. Something, something, ten years. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but it got an big, endearing smile out of me. The dialogue and its delivery is a teeny bit awkward, but for some reason, it kinda fits in a quirky, charming way. I like it.

How about you? What are your favorite moments from the near hour-long gameplay video? Chime in by leaving us a comment below.

Final Fantasy XV releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29th, 2016.

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  • Tony Garsow

    HAT NOCTIS

  • Wazi the pa

    That giant bird with one set of wings on its body, and the other set of wings on its head. It’s interesting to see players able to experience those sort of moments outside of story-focused missions and quests.

  • jamurjamban

    personally I can’t wait to see how fishing minigame and Justice monsters five turn out.

  • Jesus Christ

    So is that two birds in one or just one big bird (LOL) with two wings?

  • Jesus Christ

    Not my cup of tea!

  • Justice V

    Hard to say. So many good parts. From new costumes, menus, weapon buying, chocobos, monsters, driving, locations, hunts, side quests, etc. easier to say what I didn’t like and that’s probably the fishing hehe. Looks good, but I always hate fishing in rpgs.

  • Noctis

    Well its optional ;)…at least i think..

  • D.3ND

    Everyone love the Zu.

  • I like just about everything I saw. After so many games with ugly monsters like the stuff of nightmare in games like Fallout and Bloodbourne its good to see monster that just look like bigger stronger smarter animals. Easier on the eyes.

  • Saw the Engine Sword in the menu. Glad its still around from the Versus days. Anything special about it?

  • If your responses change dialogue chains and whatnot can you improve scenes like dates and help Noctis and Prompto hit it off with women?

  • NoctisStrife87

    It can be upgraded with Paw-Paw Cid. That’s good.

  • Good so as long as you get parts it can be one of best swords regardless of the chapter you’re on. I always hate it when someone’s signature weapon is useless after the first shop. And I also hate it when you switch weapons and can’t see the new models.

  • NoctisStrife87

    The mechanic weapons will be able to upgrade. CId will MOD them.

  • •december

    WHOLESOME POST +1

  • Justice V

    Yeah, but still probably useful since Ignis can cook what you catch I believe. And some of the fish might give some nice bonuses hehe. Plus I just wanna see everything Ignis can cook hehe. But yeah even in Zelda games when it’s kind of important it’s still optional and I tend to skip it hehe. I think the only game where fishing was fun was Breath of Fire, where you got a weird side view of the character casting into the water and sometimes there’d be a fish person down there just walking around hehe.

  • Justice V

    Starts off looking kinda crappy. Guessing as it gets modded and upgraded it eventually becomes the motorcycle sword from the old trailers. It was the one thing I always hated about the original trailer though haha. At least they gave it and other Machine weapons a place in the story to kind of explain their existence.

  • One in Yeshua

    I hope square also include the original costume noctis was wearing the versus XIII trailers as a DLC, that will definitely make my day if they can do that.

  • One in Yeshua

    That’s final fantasy for ya.

  • Ditto. If they did that and made like a new color scheme or you could change the colors like in Tales games I’d be psyched.

  • I just feel like as far as FF leads go its good for Not to be the first with that.
    Cloud started the Buster Sword motif. Squall started gunblades. And now other than Nero of DMC4 Noctis is the only one with an engine blade. Its his own thing even more if you factor in the telekinesis.

  • Then I’m gonna try to get a build of each of my favorite mech weapons in each slot. Shuriken sword daggers and maybe spear or shield and sword.

  • Mini game wise I’d like a monster scavenger hunt. Like find rare locales with monsters there. And if you can snap a shot of them you get gil.

  • Y’all know that this mean people will be doing fan art of Noctis vs Nero from DMC4 since they both have “engine” swords.

  • Justice V

    That’d be cool. Some MMO’s do similar things where you have a bestiary and finding/killing new animals fills it in and gives you xp bonuses.

  • Justice V

    Yeah. When they showed it and it had the engine sound I was like “what the hell? Ok well that’s new I guess?” Then Nero stole it, and I think maybe a couple anime’s have had the motorcycle handle sword thing too. But an engine block on a sword always just looked kinda weird. Though I guess if you look at squall and siefer’s gunblades they also look really weird, but now it just look kinda right heh.

  • One in Yeshua

    I really do hope square enix does add color scheme to all costume in final fantasy xv, that would definitely add to the replay value in the game that the player’s can choose from when journing threw the vast world of final fantasy xv. I also hope square enix will continue on with the story of noctis like they did with yuna and tidus in final fantasy x & x2, because i really like all the character’s they have shown to us in this game.

  • At least we get DLC extra quests for after the game ends. and at least we get alternate clothes.

  • I think swords have been around for so long it’s time to add some imagination and do new stuff with them. Instead of just a sword, why not a sword made of pure elements. Why not have all the weapons in a game made on pure elements and the form up based on where you are. Or why not have your armor change based on the essence of what you last killed? You see what I mean? Do more than just a generic metal weapon that looks like every other knight’s sword.

  • I just don’t what else you could do with Prompto’s camera stats if not a mini-game about taking rare pictures like in Dark Cloud 2.

  • Justice V

    Think its more for the social sharing aspect of ps4. Read reviews talking about how comically crappy his photos were in the beginning, but you get to pick and choose from them for a photoalbum kinda thing. Probably see them again during end credits or something.

  • One in Yeshua

    Yeah l know right, i’m glade tabata and square enix was able add that on to the game as fan serves, it totally does pays off to be a fan of a game series that has been running over 25 years huh, hehehehehe. I also heard in the DLC you can play as promto, gladieo and igns in the edition version, tabata also mention that they will add on exestend DLC to contiue the story of noctis after the game. If this happen to be all truth then i will be on cloud 9,000 like a licklying lizard smoking on some bad cabbage.

  • D.3ND

    Mostly likely yes, and I won’t complain about it.

  • Paul

    Apparently, when Noctis uses it, there’s still a small engine revving sound like in the first Versus trailer.

  • One in Yeshua

    Me neither brother in fact i’m right with ya on that note, that’s why i don’t mind square enix delaying final fantay xv for another two months. Which why i don’t understand some of bashing they’re getting from fan’s and cretics alike, if they have been waiting ten long year’s for this game like i have then two more month’s shouldn’t kill them. People who’re bashing square enix for making this choice are not true fans of the series, and are self serving ass holes who need a mother very very badly.(i borror that from the Pan movie,RIP Rob.W) Square enix are trying their hardest to get back to who they originaling where in 90’s, they’re trying to regain that connection they’ve lost with their fans, by taking their time and making sure final fantasy xv is a crystal cut edge game that all fans and none fans alike will remember for years to come.

  • Good to know. I like that it’s still around.
    Thanks for the analysis.

  • I hope so too. It beats a sequel. Just add to the existing game. There’s a good reason to hit level 99 with that.

  • One in Yeshua

    Lol, yeah i know right it would be a compelet waist for square enix to spend ten year’s creating this huge vast world for final fantasy xv, and let it all end on note.

  • 4FFAN

    When the GIFs have higher res. than the actual footage lol

  • How can you tell?

  • Justice V

    Surprised there isn’t already a plethora of that considering dmc4 came out like 7 years ago, and Nocts Engine Sword was there from the first trailer.

  • Justice V

    Hope so. Cause Iris to fall even deeper in love with Noctis.

  • It’d be sweet if after the main story if you bonded with her she joins as a spear using party member with healing magic. And she’s in post game dlc getting stronger.

  • NoctisStrife87

    I will try to go on with those ones too.

  • NoctisStrife87

    Anyone else saw Iris’s hp bar???????

  • Justice V

    Considering the time jump, or progression or whatever I wonder if she’ll show up again during that being more grown and more of a fighter.

  • 4FFAN

    It was sarcasm, it doesn’t actually have higher resolution it’s just that since it’s on a smaller scale and not a full screen like the 50 minute footage, it’s not as blurry.

  • Oh. Sorry. It’s just that so many people seem to know from a glance if a game is in it’s best quality resolutions and what-not. To me games looks fine as long as they are all chalky and washed out or overly bright.

  • I vote for it.

  • Since I’m more into being fast with lots of Defense over slow with high ATK I’ll be using any fast and acrobatic weapons to always be in motion as I fight. The slowest I’ll be will likely be with the sword and shield weapon.

  • Teresagwallace2

    <<hp.. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il767r:….,…….

  • Mina-P

    He just needs a hat with a weed leaf and gold chain on it for that 420 yolo swagger