There’s a new FINAL FANTASY XV anime prequel series here to tide us over until the release of the game proper! Even better, you can watch the first episode of the short anime right here, followed by the the review! Can you believe the amount of FFXV promotional material that was uncovered today? Thoughts on the game’s release date and new demo for PS4/XB1 can be found below as well.
They hype is real here. Square-Enix is going all out in their promotion of this game, it must be a total sink or swim for them! And as of right now, they’re swimming towards an ocean of money. This five episode series of approximately 10-minute shorts is being released as a prequel to the story we’ll be seeing in game. Time for some character building!
And character building it does! After a brief flashback to a time when our protagonist, Noctis, is hurt in battle against a giant monster (and saved by his badass dad), we join up with the ‘brotherhood’ on their road trip. Noctis Lucis Caulum is joined by Ignis Stupeo Scientia, Gladiolus Amacitia, and Prompto Argentum. They really went all in on the Latin/Italian naming scheme here, although the main character name still ties in to the historical weather/nature scheme of Final Fantasy at large. The moments of peace and small-talk resonate really well so far with these characters. It’s actually quite nice to see that they’re just a group of guys out on a trip, despite the large circumstances looming over them. The Nilfheim Empire, recent invader of Prince Noctis’ homeland Lucis, are hot on their heels. It did start as a simple road trip though – to take Noct to his wedding with the rather stunning Lunafreya Noc Fleuret. The episode deserves praise for how well it sets up the world in such a clear fashion, even for those who may have no prior knowledge coming in to this show.
The battle scene highlighted a lot of the animations and mechanics that will be present in the game – they’re pretty recognizable already from the demos and trailers. All of the little team-ups, dual strikes, and congratulatory motions are at play between the characters. It makes it feel less like a mechanical show-off in a trailer and more like something these characters just genuinely do in battle. As a group of imperial soldiers, clearly robots in this case, block the road forward, the team has to form a strategy and execute it in turn. Plan it just like you would in game. The first group goes down as planned, but it’s never that easy. The monster from Noct’s past appears as a tool of the Nilfheim empire, ready for a rematch!
This short series looks like it has a lot of promise so far. The characters have already been teased to us so much over the past few years (10+ at least), and it’s exciting to finally see them interacting. The four of them might add up to equal almost every trope in the book, but they definitely do have character. Noctis doesn’t even seem all that angst ridden – much more like a Cloud-clone, being someone who is generally serious but can have their moments of oddity and lightness.
I’m unsure of the release schedule for this as of yet, but considering there’s six months until the game’s release, I would expect one of these per month – with one final month between the final episode and the release of the game. Production values are looking good too, with animation quality being decent yet occasionally janky, great fight scenes, and the art and details are fantastic. Looking forward to the next episode!
There’s actually a day to look forward to for this title, finally! For all of those who expect to be a month in to a new semester of school – expect to fail some midterms! This is shaping up to be the kind of game that eats lives, and I like it.
Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV (PS4/XB1)
The short, approximately one-hour, demo released following Square Enix’s FFXV Uncovered event is quite a trip. You play as a young Noctis, exploring a dream world with your adorable Carbuncle guide. As a complete stand-alone, and not merely a section of the larger game release, it’s totally worth being checked out by fans and skeptics alike. The graphical capabilities are on full display as you use pressure plates to shift day to night, change weather effects, and summon various events. The magical abilities given to young Noctis are quite the eyeful – fireworks, lightning, water droplets, and meteor rain highlight some impressive particle effects. Don’t worry though, if you’ve yet to experience the adult Noctis and his warp abilities during battle, you’ll get a taste of that as well.
Participating in and completing the demo will grant you access to Carbuncle (a summon) in the full release of the game when it is released. It’s a free experience available now, and definitely worth the time!