Final Fantasy 10 + 7 + 8 + 13 = 15

FF15 is not just one more RPG from Square and not just another Final Fantasy Title. It is a fresh start in the right direction and goes to show that even long ongoing franchises like Final Fantasy can still compete with other fresh and new games within its genre.

Platform

I have only used this section title twice, because most of the time explaining the platform of a game means explaining why 1 + 1 equals 2. However, this is the first time Final Fantasy (a part from the online version) is given a new platform; open world. The open world-ness (if that’s a thing) of FF15 is very well put together and feels very apart of the world you explore. From the aspect of the story the platform fits and puts the world in the eyes of someone who was isolated for most of his life. You know share that same outlook, both you and the protagonist see the world almost for the first time. With the many activities (fishing, hunting, cooking and mining) it almost seem that they spliced in some MMO into this version of Final Fantasy which also means that the multiplayer add-on will be coming soon and probably online play as well.

Characters


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Very much like other FF titles the cast is good but not great, however still well above most other RPGs lately. Audio sync is somewhat of an issue at times put other than that the seamless conversations, topics, relatable dialog all seem to fit most of the cast from FF15. A very well rounded supporting cast makes you want to know more about the history of each character. Even the basic NPCs are better than most other FF titles.

Graphics


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Not Uncharted 4 amazing but my well done and on par with ps4 capabilities. The light and shadows are good, the absence of collision (for the most part), almost no texture pops or collation means they spent probably the better part of the 10 years to make sure it runs good. In battle, the effects and Noctis’s warping, doesn’t show that much of a hurdle even when the number of enemies stack up.

Battle System


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Speaking of battling the battle system has been demoed for a while and playing it first-hand just seems different, not in a bad way. The biggest complaint is the camera. Enemies are quick to move out of the camera making you twist and turn in order to get a good strike in. The magic attacks are good and powerful however very limited. The teamwork and team based attacks are a very welcomed addition but not necessarily new to the franchise, it’s just that FF15 finally got it right.

Ascension


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The upgrading system is very similar to FFX. However the biggest difference is that instead of being character based organized its skill based organized and some skills have a “party” effect making decisions on some skills very hard to choose. Luckily AP is gain by pretty much doing anything. With a plethora of AP you can expand your stats very quickly but don’t expect the monsters or demons to go down lightly.

Location, Location, Location


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Going from one place to another is a task that almost every game has and it’s either by vehicle or by foot and FF15 approach is different and actually seems to be the best way to go. It offers the satisfaction of just looking around as your strategist drives or driving yourself and the controls are so that you still can take in the sights, stop and do what you want without having to worry about driving off the cliff. The same goes for flying as well.

Story

So far within my very short play time, the story seems to be well written and fits the setting and does capture some critical areas when trying to suck the audience into the world of Noctis. Seems to be in a straight line and I don’t think there will be many (if any) plot twist or shifts reminiscing of Final Fantasy 8, surprise endings like Final Fantasy 10, or shockers like the famous Final Fantasy 7. However, I do believe that the plot will still hold up to the rest of the game and support the gameplay that is very well presented already.

Best Final Fantasy Ever?

Many aspects of FF15 are very good and some are even excellent but I don’t think this will surpass the awesomeness of some other Final Fantasy titles. With that said it does play, feel and look likes one of the best RPGs this year and one of the best this decade. As far as game of the year I still hold Uncharted 4 in that spot; however if Uncharted didn’t come out this year then yes I would grant game of the year to FF15. It is well rounded, beautiful and for the most part feels “complete” just how I felt at the end of Uncharted 4. Thinking on it, I have to give FF15 a B+.

Watch Dogs 2 | Everything Is Rooted

Smoother and more fluid than its predecessor, Watch Dogs 2 ups the ante improves the story and gives us a better protagonist to rally behind.


/Gameplay

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A subtle but no too demanding initiation starts your journey. The menu and controls seem too condensed as if it would be better playing with a keyboard. With so many approaches to how to handle a situation it sometimes feels like you don’t have enough buttons on the PS4 to make things just a tad bit simple.
The cover system is not bad but not good either. It makes since to me to take from The Division or Farcry to enhance the cover system, either way it’s not terrible. At times you may find yourself floating over objects and edges, it could be a source of entertainment until your being fired at and it quickly transforms into frustration.

The driving physics are poor. It seems every car has super-soft tires making overly normal turns look like it’s on a slot car race track. I do enjoy the near realistic crash and damage, too many rear-ends and your car will not be speeding anytime soon. Vehicle controls are bit cumbersome with the whole touch to control the media or using L1 as you drive. Luckily in a chase against the 1-time quick L1 hacks still prove to work smoothly, I hope that you don’t have to take your eyes off to hold down L1 to see a mini-menu for more select options, figure out which one and then pass the object you was going to hack right before selecting it; that would make me mad.

Sneaking and using the toys at your disposal are very fun and enjoyable, while full on combat could be improved; however this isn’t terrible but does take some getting used to. Like the cover system, the combat should have picked up some tips from other games. It seems like they just tried to improve over the initial installment.

Hacking is at its best and give a very open-ended-like play through as you can choose and/or combine different approaches to getting the job done. Growing the hacking abilities also proves to be something to strive for and can easily be done by completing side missions and discovering research points. When it comes to figuring out what to do next choosing a mission, finding a clothing store on the map, car retrieval, scouting and other tasks all come from your phone; mirroring how we basically are today. I find it a bit of a play on our reality and it was well implemented into this game.

/Graphics

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While many would say that the first Watch Dogs came very short of their E3 demo; Watch Dogs 2 is a slight improvement. Not amazing but defiantly better than Watch Dogs. Not that many pop-in textures and very little faults here and there. There are still a lot of clipping, collision errors and flicker. Lighting is decent and character detail is ok as well.

/Sound

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Effects and speech are improvements from the first installment. Acting is pretty good and the sync could be better from other NPCs but for the main story ones the sound sync is great. Sound effects are crisp and music blends are nice and not too loud definitely a plus if you have a very good sound system. Ambient sound is randomized and does bring more detail into the game, almost as well as GTA.

.Connected

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Right out the gate, not including the online experience (which they didn’t have ready at day 1) not including a PS4 Pro play through, Watch Dogs 2 deserves a solid B. If you are a Final Fantasy fan, wait until that drops before picking up Watch Dogs 2. If you just got Dishonored 2 then you can wait for a bit before checking this out. If you haven’t bought a game since CoD or BF1 then this can be your next purchase. If you didn’t like the first Watch Dogs then don’t buy this one, I would heavily suggest renting or borrowing it first. For this to be the second came it almost plays as if this is the 3rd or 4th game, I had to remind myself that this is only the second title.

I’m impressed with this year, not too many flops and a few surprises here and there. With that said, I very much hope that FF15 will knock it out the park.