Of all video game series, the Final Fantasy range must be among the most beloved and revered in the history of the medium. The Japanese RPG has run for fifteen titles already, and considering the relish that fans of the series feel for a new title, it seems entirely possible that it will continue for another fifteen.
Final Fantasy XV – Massive delay
Thus, the devoted Final Fantasy community has been eagerly awaiting the latest release, Final Fantasy XV. It has perhaps been a little alarming for those who love this ultimate example of RPG gaming that Final Fantasy XV has been a decade in development. This has obviously been an extremely torturous process for the studio, and has left many video game critics and gamers alike wondering whether the project would ultimately be shelved completely.
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This would be extremely disappointing for those who have enjoyed Final Fantasy titles in the past, but it is the anticipation for Final Fantasy XV which suggests that the series has many years to run yet. And finally it appears that there is good news on the horizon, as publisher Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XV will land on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30.
‘Platinum Demo’ announced
And if this isn’t exciting enough for Final Fantasy headaches, the news that the developer will also make a so-called Platinum Demo available to download on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One immediately must catalyse excitement further. In addition, Square Enix has announced a five-part anime series called Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV for release on YouTube, with the first episode already available.
There will also be a fully fledged CGI movie which is entitled Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and a Final Fantasy XV-themed pinball game for Android and iOS called Justice Monsters Five. Square Enix has also revealed that there will be two separate collectors editions of the game, with the Ultimate Edition sounding almost unimaginably exclusive. This title will sell for $269.99 in the United States, and will be limited to just 30,000 units worldwide.
Finally, the producers have announced that the esteemed British recording artist Florence and the Machine will produce the title track for the game, with a cover of the classic Ben E. King “Stand By Me” imminent.
If Final Fantasy fans have been rather starved of news for sometime, this is certainly a feast of information to gorge themselves on! This is quite simply one of the biggest announcements in the video games industry for 2016, and the anticipation which will now have been built for this RPG title in the last 24 hours alone must be pretty unrivalled in the gaming year.
Avid Final Fantasy players will certainly want to know how to get their hands on the Platinum Demo and what it entails above all else. Well, the demo is not taken from the main game at all, and is effectively a standalone experience that even features its own unique narrative. Nothing is done by half with Final Fantasy XV game seemingly.
We do know that the main protagonists of the Final Fantasy XV game, Noctis, is part of the demo, but the character features as a young child, encountering recurring guardian / summon Carbuncle. This name will be recognisable to fans of the series as a fox-like creature only capable of communication via smartphone.
According to information released by Square Enix, the demo will give players the opportunity to shrink down and drive cars, collect gems, and ultimately transform into an adult version of the character to battle a final level boss. Crystals collected will enable players to unlock panels offering weapons and items, it is also possible to change the time of day, and various weather effects will be available in order for the developers to showcase the incredible engine on which the final game is built.
So it is clear from this information that this is no ordinary demo; it is apparent that the developers want to showcase the capabilities and quality of one of the most anticipated video games of recent years. However, it is also notable that the consensus of opinion is that few of these gaming mechanics will actually feature in the final game. This is more a showcase for what the developers will be capable of with Final Fantasy XV, and in many ways the makers do not want to spoil the experience of sitting down with the finished title for the first time.
Battle system debuts
But gamers will get the opportunity to test out the battle system that will be included in the final game, although the developers have limited players to utilizing but a single character. Again, this is perhaps understandable, as obviously Square Enix do not want to provide too much of the final experience in a free, downloadable demonstration.
It seems that the battle system is effectively a hybrid of the menu-based systems utilized in previous iterations of the series, and the action-based system found in the Kingdom Hearts range. Square Enix has also indicated that players who complete the Platinum Demo will receive Carbuncle to use in the main game as a free DLC character.
While the release of such a unique and innovative demo coupled with a date for the Final Fantasy XV title will be exciting enough for RPG gamers in itself, the arrival of a full-length CGI feature film which will be available both on Blu-ray and digital download just seals the deal. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV stars Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) as King Regis, Lena Headey (300, Game of Thrones) as Princess Luna, and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Kingsglaive soldier Nyx.
Fans will be hoping that this movie features a rather better script than Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which was a rather mediocre outing for the Final Fantasy series back in 2001. But with full game, Platinum Demo and feature film all on the horizon, suddenly it is a great time to be a Final Fantasy fan once more.