Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Final Fantasy XV Has The Old School Vibe Going

Since the new Final Fantasy XV trailer was released, there have been mixed reactions especially coming from long time fans. Some of these fans (myself included) go for an optimistic approach, looking forward to this game bringing back the lost feeling that Final Fantasy games used to have for us while on the other hand there are those who state that the game looks like it will be something too far off what a Final Fantasy game is supposed to be. When Final Fantasy XIII was released it was not a bad game, but we quickly spotted how different it was from the original Final Fantasy style and far off from turn based combat or leveling systems the real difference was in the game's atmosphere itself. Today we are going to see why Final Fantasy XV looks like it will give the late 90's early 00's fans some loving in its own way.

Final Fantasy XV Characters

Combining both the 2013 trailer and the recent one, we can begin to see some of the old school vibe piling up with this game. We have to take into account that Square Enix has been little by little giving us classic Final Fantasy material since they released Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn and the trend isn't showing any signs of stopping. Based on this fact let's see some aspects that support this point of view.

Final Fantasy XV City

  • Many fans are complaining about the game world looking "too modern" for a Final Fantasy game, but if you take a moment to remember some places in Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, IX, X and XII, it basically looks the same with a modern setting that features an architectonic style that crosses between modern and medieval with places taking shapes that range from cathedrals and temples to contemporary buildings you could see in any city on the world. The same thing happens with the strange characters with heavy pieces of armor that appear on the 2013 trailer. They look like knights and not robots as the "ultra-modern" approach may suggest.
  • There is a nice and interesting contrast in clothing between several characters. Some of them are wearing ceremonial robes while others go for the modern style. This is very noticeable in the 2013 trailer where a faction of "priests" are confronted by a group of agents wearing modern business suits who kind of look like the Turks in Final Fantasy VII. It is also worth noting with the characters that appear on the recent trailer as they are all dressed in modern attires except the main character who has the over the top clothing that is classic on any Final Fantasy main character. The clothing in this game seems similar to the fans but fresh at the same time which is a good thing.

Final Fantasy XV Swords

  • Another aspect that shows that the game hasn't gone all the way into a modern environment are the weapons we see on both trailers. We have the classic big sword, smaller blades, fist weapons with the occasional use of guns. In fact the big sword that the main character uses looks like a cross between Cloud's buster sword and Squall's gun blade, so this character was most probably made with those two guys in mind so there's some nostalgia points right there.
  • Giant creatures in both trailers gives the same vibe that we had on Final Fantasy IX when the summons took the center stage in the game. After that entry in the series, summons began to get smaller, but with XV it seems like  the giant being approach is back in style so who knows what we will see when the game is finally released. This time even normal fauna and flora in the game can look huge depending on the place you are in.

Final Fantasy XV Car

  • The use of the car is something that has been talked about in both negative and positive ways. The curious aspect of this feature in the game is that if you look at it from a practical perspective it is the same as using a car on Final Fantasy VIII, only that this time you will really drive it around while in the classic game it was just used to move around the world map. This means that the open world structure that the new game will have is kind of a modern version of the giant world maps we used to have on classic Final Fantasy games.
  • The Final Fantasy arpeggio at the end of the trailer says a lot to the fans. It is sort of a reassurance that all the classic nooks and crannies of the old games will make a comeback on this one. It shouldn't surprise you if the final game includes the classic fan fare (which was absent in XIII) and even some of the menu sounds effects that accompanied the classic games.
  • This may not be something that is cast in stone, but the purpose the characters show in the second trailer, and the impression that is going to be a long trip in order to do what they plan to do is quite similar to the pilgrimage that Yuna takes in Final Fantasy X. The only difference between the two journeys is that on FFX it was a linear path, while in XV it will be an open world approach which will give players the freedom to explore the world at their own pace. 

Final Fantasy XV Heroes

Wrapping it up
The long awaited Final Fantasy game is the best bet we have at having a current generation Final Fantasy game that still caters to the fans of the series. The game is not the classic style turn based Final Fantasy game that some fans want, but if we open our minds a little and embrace some of the modern aspects that this game will feature there is a great chance that we will enjoy this game as much as we did with the classics and later on with Crisis Core. Let's just hope that the final product lives to our expectations and it becomes the success that Square Enix needs in order to feel confident enough to keep up with the jrpg effort.

Bonus Stage
In case you haven't seen the trailers, here you have both of them so you can get a sense of how the game will be.
E3 2013 Trailer

2014 TGS Trailer

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