Zero Punctuation: Final Fantasy XV

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Final Fantasy XV

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Final Fantasy XV.

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Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

Wait, the carrot farming in a near four hour sidequest?! That's absurd!

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

I'd argue "it gets better near the end" is an issue in itself.

Xenoblade X not having freedom of movement? Yeah it takes several FF15 playthroughs to get the Skell to fly but afterwards it's basically "go everywhere you fucking want" THE GAME.

I was kind of hoping that FFXV was going to be good, but the thought of trying to sludge through a game where busy work is the game's idea of "fun" makes we me not even want to fart in the game's generaly direction. Maybe if the combat was any good but, as it seems to me, it's not. The jist I'm getting is that it's more of a visual clusterfuck than controlled chaos which, again, seems to just be more busy work than fun.

I just can't believe the single-killquest side mission loop is still an issue.

I thought Xenoblade Chronicles fixed that back on the Wii: you roll into a town, spend about 5-10 minutes gathering up all the "collect 10 bear asses" and "find 4 chrysanthemums" generic-style quests. Then you go about your business, occasionally getting a popup saying "Quest complete! Your rewards have been transferred to your account and/or pockets."

Johnny Novgorod:

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

I'd argue "it gets better near the end" is an issue in itself.

It very much is, though it's still a noticeable improvement over 13's "It gets better after 20 hours of running down a hallway." Maybe for 16 they'll manage to pare it down to 3 hours before things stop being boring :P

Now if only FF could go back to starting it off with something exciting or mysterious instead of a load of bullshit trying to mask nothing:

-FFIV: You're clearly the go to hatchet guy in a world-conquering empire and have been thrown away after burning down an entire village.

-FFVI: Same thing, except now you have these weird Esper things that are coveted by the Empire.

-FFVII: You are a FUCKING TERRORIST. What the HELL happened to the world to bring you to this?

Seriously, that at least gets the player involved because they want to find out what happens next. FF's since VIII onward have struggled to even do that.

Aiddon:
Now if only FF could go back to starting it off with something exciting or mysterious instead of a load of bullshit trying to mask nothing:

-FFIV: You're clearly the go to hatchet guy in a world-conquering empire and have been thrown away after burning down an entire village.

-FFVI: Same thing, except now you have these weird Esper things that are coveted by the Empire.

-FFVII: You are a FUCKING TERRORIST. What the HELL happened to the world to bring you to this?

Seriously, that at least gets the player involved because they want to find out what happens next. FF's since VIII onward have struggled to even do that.

I dont know.

FFVIII you start as a teenager enrolled at the big mercenary training school.

In FFIX you start as a princess trying to escape her life of leisure then meet the most charismatic ff main character ever.

Worgen:

FFVIII you start as a teenager enrolled at the big mercenary training school.

In FFIX you start as a princess trying to escape her life of leisure then meet the most charismatic ff main character ever.

FF8 SPOILERS *Child conscript, out of several thousands world wide, who are tasked with inevitably killing a possessed victim of a evil time traveling sorceress, victim who also happens to be the closest thing the protagonist had to a mother figure,

FF9 SPOILERS *Bio & magically created super soldier adopted by an abusive but loving pirate furry father to kidnapped a princess for her insect uncle because her adoptive Queen Mother has been brainwashed by an inter-gendered bio&magically created super soldier from another dimension who is motivated by the whims of a old sorcerer & then the end-boss was pulled from Squares' nether regions without rhyme or reason.

It's timely to hear the characters and plot are just as shallow as previous installments, I was on the cusp of considering this title after holidays. I mean, it's great that there's a big budget fantasy game catering towards titillation for teenage girls at last. That is something to appreciate. But am not even keen on playing those sorts catered towards my type either. The whole being angsty for looks while having everything handed to you would very much rustle my rainbags quickly, something mayhaps a Bill Bailey would briefly sing about;

*Sigh* kinda makes me sad though, as the only game to allow a flying airship and free exploration only mere steps away from that steampunk airship AAA experience i so dearly crave. It's mocking me with sex puppets on cursed fingers.

Leonardo Huizar:

Worgen:

FFVIII you start as a teenager enrolled at the big mercenary training school.

In FFIX you start as a princess trying to escape her life of leisure then meet the most charismatic ff main character ever.

FF8 SPOILERS *Child conscript, out of several thousands world wide, who are tasked with inevitably killing a possessed victim of a evil time traveling sorceress, victim who also happens to be the closest thing the protagonist had to a mother figure,

FF9 SPOILERS *Bio & magically created super soldier adopted by an abusive but loving pirate furry father to kidnapped a princess for her insect uncle because her adoptive Queen Mother has been brainwashed by an inter-gendered bio&magically created super soldier from another dimension who is motivated by the whims of a old sorcerer & then the end-boss was pulled from Squares' nether regions without rhyme or reason.

Well duh, but thats not the point, they don't start out that way. Pretty much every ff game goes somewhat loopy by the end.

This game has pretty much the same strengths and weaknesses as Xenoblade X - they sacrificed a significant amount on the alter of the open world gods. It's tons of fun running all over the place on your chocobo exploring and fighting and doing the bazillion side quests, but it comes at the cost of any pacing whatsoever on the main story (which sucks), all characterization and backstory of your party members and NPCs, and sliding difficulty scales when you do finally get back to the main story after 30 hours of doing everything but.

When they're like "Ok Noctis, see you tomorrow in this town for this super important mission" and then Noctis disappears into the wilderness for 6 months and they act like nothing has happened it hurts the narrative quite a bit.

Noctis is probably the most realistic FF main character though, it's like he realizes he's stuck in a JRPG and wants nothing to do with it. Every time an NPC accosts you for another side quest he's sarcastic and dismissive, aggravated that he knows the quest is going to end up in the menu anyways and he can't do anything to stop it.

But... But.... Prompto isn't a girl!!

*walks around humming "I want to ride my chocobo all day!"

So it seems to me the difference between Western and Japanese styles of open world is that the Japanese open worlds are not sandboxes. Ever since GTA every Western open world games have felt the need to allow you to mow down pedestrians and do jumps, even if it has nothing to do with the gameplay style of the rest of the game, while the Japanese worlds are more consistent with the rest of the game.
Sounds good to me. In the West game designers haven't been able to separate the ideas of open worlds and sandboxes, which are NOT THE SAME THING. Sndboxes are designed as spaces for players to invent ways of dealing with/ fucking about with the world. Open worlds are just one big connected area. If you're going for a sincere story, this Japanese style seems to make much more sense.

Damn, I missed the mark when I wrote I looked forward to your review of the first hour of FF 15 this week!

Playing LONGER this time... America must be really agreeing with you, or the planets aligned again, in an even better way than before (see Oblivion review)!!! :O

I expected Yahtzee to completely savage this game, but he's marginally nicer to it than he was with XIII.

Worgen:

Leonardo Huizar:

Worgen:

FFVIII you start as a teenager enrolled at the big mercenary training school.

In FFIX you start as a princess trying to escape her life of leisure then meet the most charismatic ff main character ever.

FF8 SPOILERS *Child conscript, out of several thousands world wide, who are tasked with inevitably killing a possessed victim of a evil time traveling sorceress, victim who also happens to be the closest thing the protagonist had to a mother figure,

FF9 SPOILERS *Bio & magically created super soldier adopted by an abusive but loving pirate furry father to kidnapped a princess for her insect uncle because her adoptive Queen Mother has been brainwashed by an inter-gendered bio&magically created super soldier from another dimension who is motivated by the whims of a old sorcerer & then the end-boss was pulled from Squares' nether regions without rhyme or reason.

Well duh, but thats not the point, they don't start out that way. Pretty much every ff game goes somewhat loopy by the end.

Ouch. My brain.

Kenjitsuka:
Damn, I missed the mark when I wrote I looked forward to your review of the first hour of FF 15 this week!

Playing LONGER this time... America must be really agreeing with you, or the planets aligned again, in an even better way than before (see Oblivion review)!!! :O

He said he gets into Western RPG's when the planets align; and JRPG's due to the "Infinite power of Christ".

I had high hopes that you would have completed this installment, as it is relatively short for a FFXV title (i.e. 40 hours is still 40 hours, but still considerably short by RPG standards). I was hoping to hear your opinion as the game transformed from "Happy road tripy side-quests w/ mates" to "Everything you love is dead and gone, and now here's some survival horror you probably never expected or wanted."

The groupiness of the first half serves primarily as contrast when your rent-a-friends are like "You spoiled little shit", leave you, which, in turn, makes you feel REALLY alone. The open-worldliness of the first half - again - serves as contrast to the long, narrow, lonely corridors of the second half. Yes, those boring fetch-quests are childish and repetitive, but that's the joy of being a child, isn't it? Childhood is watching the same episode of "The Wiggles" and over again until your parents force you to like something else - In this case that something is survival-horror your-friends-are-dead. It's poetry, damnit. It takes that JRPG model, lets you play with it a bit until you're feeling comfortable, flays it alive, then hangs it up on the wall next to the corpses of your dead dad and dead girlfriend.

tl;dr: Shit gets dark, shoulda stuck with it.

Johnny Novgorod:

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

I'd argue "it gets better near the end" is an issue in itself.

It's not so much that "it gets better near the end" as much as a case of "towards the end you see what it is they were doing". It's true that stuffing quarters in your nose isn't, in itself, magic - but you gotta stick around if you're hoping to see those quarters turn into pigeons and crawl out someone's bum.

Ryan Brill:

Johnny Novgorod:

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

I'd argue "it gets better near the end" is an issue in itself.

It's not so much that "it gets better near the end" as much as a case of "towards the end you see what it is they were doing". It's true that stuffing quarters in your nose isn't, in itself, magic - but you gotta stick around if you're hoping to see those quarters turn into pigeons and crawl out someone's bum.

That assumes that the quarters will actually 'do' such a thing. If the game hasn't convinced me that some magic's gonna happen, why should I stick around?

Hang on a sec, the main quest involves making your way to your arranged wedding and yet they still introduce a love interest? ...what?

I mostly agree with what Yahtzee has to say here and would add that this might be one of the weaker stories in the franchise. The open world element, cool as it is, kills the urgency and pacing of the game's story and when the game's story does start moving along, it becomes very linear.

I call XV the 'reverse XIII' in which the open world is unlocked at the beginning and it becomes linear towards the end.

As for the rest of the story...

I'd say rent it.

Silentpony:

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

Wait, the carrot farming in a near four hour sidequest?! That's absurd!

Johnny Novgorod:

Not what I meant, the carrot farming comes at the point the game stops being free roaming for the main story (you can still go back but it it obviously expects you to rush through the last few chapters at this point)

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

I'd argue "it gets better near the end" is an issue in itself.

Not really sure it's better its just te story becomes the main focus at that point as the game rushes to it's conclusion, if you didn't like it before then you still probably won't like it. My main point was the that the story problems Yahtzee mentioned do actually get sort of addressed quite quickly after the point he stopped. (Although it is in the usual JRPG way so it's not a game changer, for example there's one character that shows up in 3/4 cut scenes then we're supposed to care he gets killed.)

I'll only play it if I can mod it to play as NSYNC

Evil Smurf:
I'll only play it if I can mod it to play as NSYNC

Well given the ports of 13.X to PC and them making a newer version of 14 that doesn't run like total dogshit, there's a chance that'll be an option in about 18 months' time.

Honestly, given the clusterfuck that was this game's development process, it's surprising that a serviceable JRPG got churned out at all. The conclusion is seriously rushed and there are tons of missed opportunities, though. But it's still a JRPG, so there were still definitely times where I rolled my eyes and took things for what they were.

And combat does get pretty hectic... that works well for Kingdom Hearts because the enemies are usually of a single pallet or easily identifiable colors, while your characters are splashed with bright, contrasting colors with makes them easy to spot. Final Fantasy XV's character's lack a surprising amount of color given the series' history, so combine all those dark tones with dreary monster colors and shit gets tough to decipher quickly in frantic situations.

I'll be interested in seeing how the series evolves from here now that Final Fantasy has gone full on Action-RPG.

This review is a waste of potential rant...
Had Yatzhee continued further, he would have gone full rage, with the obvious game-is-half-finished-but-we-have-no-money-or-time-left-so-lets-wrap-it-up-as-clusterfuckly-as-possible. Inacceptable plotholes, nonsensic story, forgotten characters, incredibly linear corridor, no interesting dungeons, openworld is a joke, car is useless, no likeable hero, less than 30 hours to complete.

The only good thing from FF15: his engine will be reskinned for FF7 remake, with, this time, a better focused project management. I mean, they already have the story, characters, world and overall game mechanics from the original. They now have a workable combat engine, acceptable IA, 4-characters team, realtime physics ans all the dev tool to build the world. How could they fail?

I see that Zero Punctuation's reviews are still biased as all fuck about JRPGs in general.

He did a poor job reviewing FF13 and I see he still continues the trend with FF15. Jeez Yahtzee, you suck at reviewing big time. If you actually played the games fully, you would have seen that FF13 is decent and FF15 seems to do a good job.

Seriously, if those games were Western RPGs, Yahtzee would be doing more 'praising' than criticizing because they would be western made.

Worgen:

I dont know.

FFVIII you start as a teenager enrolled at the big mercenary training school.

In FFIX you start as a princess trying to escape her life of leisure then meet the most charismatic ff main character ever.

Sounds like what you do is play Monster Hunter on Wii U while pouring Trix (or Fruit Loops) on your head while eating peanut butter (crunchy may help) and you'll have about as much fun. Argh. I'm disappointed. I loved FF1 and 10 and have wanted something on that level ever since. There's always Zelda.

This game was unbelievably bad. I think the main issue is the incoherent story that the writers never take time to explain to you. It's completely all over the place. And the combats as messy as the plot. I can't say I would recommend this to anyone.

Spacewolf:
Surprisingly the Carrot farming is entirely pointless apart from one side quest and after that the game basically kicks into high gear and the last 5 or so chapters can all be done in less than four hours if you. Noctis also gets called out on getting everything handed to him.

So the game introduces a farming mechanic five hours before the end of the game? Just... why?

Detective Cosmic McBeardyface:
So it seems to me the difference between Western and Japanese styles of open world is that the Japanese open worlds are not sandboxes. Ever since GTA every Western open world games have felt the need to allow you to mow down pedestrians and do jumps, even if it has nothing to do with the gameplay style of the rest of the game, while the Japanese worlds are more consistent with the rest of the game.
Sounds good to me. In the West game designers haven't been able to separate the ideas of open worlds and sandboxes, which are NOT THE SAME THING. Sndboxes are designed as spaces for players to invent ways of dealing with/ fucking about with the world. Open worlds are just one big connected area. If you're going for a sincere story, this Japanese style seems to make much more sense.

It makes sense for the main characters to go on vacation after their friends and family were destroyed? Their entire way of life is in danger, and they're supposed to be fugitives, but they spend the whole game sight seeing in their sports car. I find it hard to take the imperial threat seriously when I'm driving through scenic vistas, sleeping in swanky hotels, taking photos in Italian cities, and visiting resorts. The average person doesn't even seem to care, and we never get to see the attack at the beginning of the game. I'm hours in, and so far the invasion of their nation just seems like a minor annoyance. The only time I ever even heard an NPC mention the invasion was when a married couple complained about having to stay at their fancy beach resort another day because the invasion of their capital set back the cruise ship that was supposed to pick them up that morning.

I kind of want the Imperials to win at this point.

In all of my life I have not played a single second of a Final Fantasy game. I've literally never even picked up a controller while someone else was playing it. I've only seen trailers and footage of those games online. These games look fuckin' ridiculous, in a bad way. And this doesn't seem like something that would get me started.

Fox12:

It makes sense for the main characters to go on vacation after their friends and family were destroyed? Their entire way of life is in danger, and they're supposed to be fugitives, but they spend the whole game sight seeing in their sports car. I find it hard to take the imperial threat seriously when I'm driving through scenic vistas, sleeping in swanky hotels, taking photos in Italian cities, and visiting resorts. The average person doesn't even seem to care, and we never get to see the attack at the beginning of the game. I'm hours in, and so far the invasion of their nation just seems like a minor annoyance. The only time I ever even heard an NPC mention the invasion was when a married couple complained about having to stay at their fancy beach resort another day because the invasion of their capital set back the cruise ship that was supposed to pick them up that morning.

I kind of want the Imperials to win at this point.

First of all, they were never going on a vacation. Noct's father sent him away because he knew what was going to happen. He was ensuring the survival of his family's legacy.

The rest of the game can go one of two ways.

You can follow the story line through without side quests and your "sight seeing" complaint becomes moot. It's Noct's story about regaining his birthright.

Or you can play it like an MMO and complete everything you can. This will probably throw your sense of realism out the window... but guess what? It's a friggin video game.

Burnouts3s3:

As for the rest of the story...

KingdomFantasyXIII:
I see that Zero Punctuation's reviews are still biased as all fuck about JRPGs in general.

He did a poor job reviewing FF13 and I see he still continues the trend with FF15. Jeez Yahtzee, you suck at reviewing big time. If you actually played the games fully, you would have seen that FF13 is decent and FF15 seems to do a good job.

Seriously, if those games were Western RPGs, Yahtzee would be doing more 'praising' than criticizing because they would be western made.

He's a reviewer in a sense Brian is the a messiah in Life of Brian.

People still keep referring to him as one, but if you know a game well enough you can see how much he misses, or just plain wrong (like his Borderlands 2 review). That's why he is an "internet comic", or whatever his actual job description is.

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