Forever a franchise that sees its fans looking to the past - or rather, its mainstream fans, anyway - Final Fantasy hasn't been the game industry-shaking behemoth its name implies since around the time of its tenth instalment. FF XV is aiming to change all of that.
The game even opens with a tribute message to "newcomers and fans alike", and as the release of World of Final Fantasy placated the turn-based old school crowd, it was over to this numbered instalment to carry the main series into the modern era.
Thing is, FF XV has been in development for around 10 years, starting life as a sub-series spin-off, then part of FF XIII named 'Versus XIII', then nothing whatsoever for quite some time, only remerging after FF XIV took things into MMO territory, to reign in the mainstream once again.
The reviews are out, and as Square have spent so much money on XV, they need it to be hit - but is Final Fantasy XV the next 'big' entry in the series?
10. The Story Can Be Hard To Follow Without Additional Media
"To properly understand [FF XV's story] you’ll need to watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV - a full-length CGI film, and a six-part anime respectively. In-game, there’s a good deal of exposition via cut-scenes, and a fair amount of detail tucked away in conversations between characters, but the Final Fantasy XV narrative is huge and delivery fractured across many parts, so you’ll often find yourself lost. Certain key events are explained in loading screens after they happen, instead of as they happen. Some key moments aren’t even shown onscreen." - NDTV
On the core Noctis/Luna relationship: "They REALLLLLY wanted to sell this Luna/Noctis romance. Yet guess how many dialogues did the two share in-game? ZERO. Only two dialogues as kids. Their relationship feels illusionary. We [don't] get to know Luna at all." - Craios125, Reddit.
It's as we feared when Square Enix began plugging additional funds into the supplementary media of a six-part anime and full-length movie - you're going to need them if you really want the full story here, and that's a problem, as many fans and consumers simply aren't prepared to 'do the homework' just to grasp a game's core story before playing.
Think of this as Destiny asking you to head to Bungie's website to read the Grimoire cards, or if CD Projekt RED didn't nail The Witcher 3's world, asking you to go read five of Andrzej Sapkowski's books before playing. For those wanting to deep-dive on FF XV's world, no harm done, but for the rest of us who'd like the full picture from the game alone, it's a pretty poignant negative.