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SummaryA better road trip that the ones I've taken IRL
The GoodGaming is always about escapism. A good game, regardless of genre, should make you feel like you are part of that world and fill the role that you are supposed to fill. Final Fantasy XV made me feel like an exiled prince, on a road trip with my three best friends, so it succeeded in that goal. One of my bigger complaints about JRPGs in general, is a lack of feeling that people actually live in the world I'm playing in. In FFXV, there are pipelines and abandoned buildings in the wilderness and the towns actually look like people live and work there. It's fleshed out and helps greatly with immersion. The story is really very good, but a bit of a slow burn. It takes a minute to pick up steam, but by the time it does, you have already developed an emotional attachment to the characters. Noctis starts off as a whiny prince, but by end game, has turned into a man and a king. And the sweet, sweet power you have at the end is sooooooo satisfying. Finally, I can't mention the positives without mentioning the music. The score, composed by the wonderful Yoko Shimomura, is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard, right up there with FFVII.
The BadSo, the game isn't perfect. The first several chapters kinda go by without much happening, as far as plot goes. And you're busy doing lots of fetchquests and hunting monster side missions to level up. Also leveling up is weird, as the exp you earn is only applied when you camp, stay at a hotel, or the end of the chapter. Not a huge deal, but I would rather it apply immediately. So chapters 1-8 are on the slower side, but 1-9 are when the story really picks up, but then it forces you down a mostly linear path towards the end. And it does so quickly. You could go through those chapters in a day, if you put your mind to it. I did it in two days. Speaking of the ending... the game introduces many side characters that you develop an emotional attachment to. And while you find out what happens to them in the end... it's just via a text box. You don't actually see what happened to them, or interact with them, which I can say wouldn't have been too difficult to do. Chapter 13 is annoyingly long, in the bad kind of way. Lastly, the game will occasionally introduce cool new mechanics (like negotiations with foreign counties, as the king) and you do them once, and then never again. I was disappoint.