While Final Fantasy has been a staple of video gaming since the original hit the NES in 1987, recent years have seen the success and influence of the series slowly wane. Blame this on the rising costs of creating expansive digital worlds, the explosion of competing western developers, or the inability of Square Enix's creators to recapture that same old magic. But many fans of the classic JRPG series have been holding out hope that Final Fantasy XV, now a whopping 10 years in development (starting its life as Final Fantasy Versus), will be the chapter that finally clicks with modern gamers and old time fans alike. With early critics already suggesting that the first hours of the game feel good to great, it's possible that this may finally be the case.
With Final Fantasy XV only a week away from its official release, Square Enix has dropped an all new 101 Trailer (see above) detailing the characters, plot, and gameplay that make this new chapter both familiar and unique.
Like most games today, Final Fantasy XV is also set to include a day one update, extravagantly titled the "Crown Update." These tweaks are set to provide a more stable and streamlined experience than folks might have experienced in early builds of the game. Square Enix has detailed the fixes in the update as follows:
- Improvements to the camera with new options to better assist and track the action in tight space and to improve visibility during battles
- New event scenes and scenes from KINGSGLAIVE: FINAL FANTASY XV and the “Omen” trailer have also been added to the game to make the story and timeline of events easier to follow for newcomers
- The addition of an ability tree for the “Wait Mode” function which improves the strategic element of this feature
- Players can obtain the “Beast Whistle” which can be used to call monsters to battle
- A wider variety of recipes and fish with an addition of a gallery for completionist players who enjoy collecting items
- Implementation of social media support, allowing the photos Prompto takes along your journey to be uploaded to Facebook and Twitter
As is often the case with major, multi-region releases, copies of Final Fantasy XV have already leaked into the wild. Game director Hajime Tabata recently spoke out about the suboptimal situation.
"One of the major goals of Final Fantasy XV is for everyone to enjoy the story and to discover the surprises together through the simultaneous worldwide release. Due to these recent events, videos with unexpected spoilers could potentially be posted online, so we would like to warn everyone who has been waiting in anticipation for this game.
"We will also do everything in our capacity to prevent unauthorized footage from appearing online. We would also like to ask anybody that has obtained an early copy of the game to be respectful to those that are looking forward to the official release and to not spoil the surprises for everyone... Your understanding and cooperation would be much appreciated so we can celebrate the best possible release together.”
With any luck, Final Fantasy XV's release will go off without any major spoilers leaking wide. With any more luck, this will be the modern Final Fantasy chapter that finally takes its place among the greats.
Final Fantasy XV will be available November 29, 2016, for Xbox One and PS4. A Season Pass will be available for $24.99, unlocking future DLC for each console.