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First Impressions: Final Fantasy XV

Instead of writing a standard video game review, I thought I’d change the formula and give a First Impressions review of Final Fantasy XV. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to get hers early, but I was still insanely excited for this game ten years in the making. As a lifelong fan of the Final Fantasy series, I had high hopes for this game and it delivered.

A few disclaimers before I get started. I play on an Xbox One. I have a full time job that I do bring home with me a lot, so, my gaming time is limited. That being said, I was still able to get a good idea of the fantastical game and am really happy to share my thoughts with all you readers!

Installation time was pretty fast with 51.82GB. There weren’t any updates when I loaded the game so that’s a great sign right there. Once that was one, this game was ready to play!

We start off with an option for a tutorial which I highly recommend for fans and new players. The gameplay is different from the turn-based style we’re used to from games past. This new style is very similar to action games with a hint of stealth mode. Noctis, our hero, has the ability to “warp” to an enemy and strike immediately. The damage differs between striking an enemy from behind or in front as well as what type of weapon they use. Damage Resistance buffs in this game include weapon style as well as elemental magic. In the early levels, this doesn’t matter. However, I’m curious to see what this will mean in terms of strategy against boss fights. If you finish the tutorial and still feel lost, that’s okay. There will be plenty of time to practice in game.

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Once the game starts, we get a lovely introduction to the main cast and the initial premise of the story. Noctis, the crown prince, leaves his home of Crown City in the kingdom of Insomnia with his friends to marry his childhood sweetheart from another kingdom. Their lands are experiencing a level of peace as a warring empire agreed to a ceasefire to allow this marriage to take place. That still doesn’t mean he’s going to be unarmed on the road.

However, they need to get their car moving first.

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Yes, the first thing you do in the game is help to push your broken down car. So much for being royalty. Fortunately, Florence + The Machine serenades the game’s theme song as you’re introduced to the beautiful friendship between these bros.

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You’ll finally get the car to the closest garage, run by your father’s old friend. He also happens to be the Cid of this game.

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Cid also happens to have an inappropriately dressed daughter, Cindy, who has a heavy Southern drawl.

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Cindy will also be your go to for car needs. While I haven’t gotten to that level yet, she’ll be able to upgrade the car’s engine, change paint, etc. Thanks to Reddit, I know you’ll be able to fly this car at some point too.

This game has a very Westernized setting with it’s adorable 50s-style diners

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To the Coleman tent used for camping.

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The leveling process seems straightforward: You fight a bit, you rest up, and you gain AP to build your team’s abilities.

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The Main Menu is simple enough to follow. To give your characters the best fighting chance, you will need to level up their Skills, Ascension (aka Abilities), Gear, and Elemancy (Spells). When you pull up the menu the first time, there’s a pop up that explains each option. This game tries its hardest to clarify everything at the beginning so you can spend more time enjoying the game as you will.

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The Skills you need to develop for each character provide an extra depth to the gameplay. Each character has their specialty in either Fishing, Survival, Cooking and Photography. Their skills increase as you explore the world further. I’m jealous of the Cooking skill and graphics. They eat like royalty when camping!

I think this game has a lot of promise. The graphics are gorgeous, gameplay is fluid, and the storyline seems promising. Fans of the series will find this a refreshing addition while new players will find this a great entry point, 15 games in the making. Final Fantasy XV is a love letter to SquareEnix’s fans with fun Easter Eggs and recurring themes. Gamers of any age will not be disappointed.

5 Fancy Cars out of 5

Finally, I had to throw this screenshot in that even princes pump their own gas:

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About Virginia (24 Articles)
A proud fangirl who somehow found a job getting paid to read and nerd out about books. She love all things sci-fi/fantasy. She read voraciously and friends find themselves hard-pressed to talk to her when her nose is in a book. She is also a gamer (FPS and RPGs mostly), cosplayer, tv/film lover, and budding comic book enthusiast. She lives in Westminster, MD with a room full of books. She has made guest appearances on the "410wned Gaming" and "From the Front Porch" podcast and is a regular on "Three Writers Make a Left" podcast.
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