10 December 2016

FFXV (mild spoilers)

Final Fantasy Boy Band came out last week, and I racked up 50-60 hours of gameplay and now it is done.

Another very pretty game, and gameplay-wise it was pretty solid Final Fantasy, with endless side quests and open world stuff that you could meander through at your own speed - at least until you hit the end game railroad.

Like many Final Fantasy fans, I was a bit dubious about the 'boy band' aspect.  No female playable characters at all is disappointing - though not irredeemable to me - there has been at least one all-female FF game, and all male playable characters aren't necessarily a gamebreaker for me.

'Cindy the mechanic' nearly was.  Cindy's outfit was a painful piece of fan service, and boy did they love posing her for viewing pleasure.  The windscreen washing was particularly egregious.  She was also the female character we spent the most time with.  Still, at least she was competent.  Aranea and Lunafreya were both better dressed, and we even got to do a dungeon-crawl with Aranea, who has a nice line of snark and some hilarious dragon cosplay going on.

Unfortunately, FFXV has a massive plot problem.  For one thing, most of the plot isn't in the game, it's in an entirely separate movie called Kingsglaive (which I haven't watched).  And what started as a reasonably enjoyable game dissolved into a shemozzle of epic proportions during the end-game, with most of the characters you met during the first forty hours of the game getting a brief mention rather than satisfactory final scenes, and even the primary 'brotherhood' theme coming off pretty weak since we needed more of the _beginning_ of these four's friendship to really appreciate that friendship being under stress, and then finally enduring.

So, for those trying to decide on whether to play the game - the first two-thirds are great classic FF, if lacking in playable female characters and backstory.  The last third isn't particularly fun to play, and reads more like cliff notes or dot points of a plot rather than a satisfying story.

But it's very pretty, and I play quite a few of these games for the pretty.


  1. Off topic: what, what, is a shendy? Doing a reread of Towers of the Moon, and it is making me very curious.

    1. It's a general term for skirts worn by men and women in Prytennia, named after the Egyptian kilt, which is called a shendyt. When Prytennia allowed Egyptians to build pyramids (during the Roman transitional period - Pyramids allow the vampires to do weather magic against Roman lightning armies) a lot of Egyptian influence came in.

      There's three types of shendies - wrap, long pleat, and panelled. Long pleat is used for formal occasions. Panelled is mostly seen in school uniforms. Wrap is fairly informal.

      Shendy only refers to these unisex skirts, not to all skirts.

  2. I haven't played any FF since I think VII - unless we count Kingdom Hearts as part of the FF-canon (which I don't think anyone does), but I was interested in this one. Then I watched a Live play-through and saw Cindy and was NOPE. I don't ask for my characters to be fully clothed, but when the graphics are that hyper realistic it makes me super uncomfortable to watch her constantly bending over.

  3. It's also just ridiculous--nobody would wear an outfit like that because mechanic is a greasy job. Workers wear clothes they expect to get dirty.

  4. As I wait for my bass player to chauffeur my boy band between frog catching gigs, I spend a lot of time wondering how one creates such a visually stunning game and then forgets to hire any writers.

  5. Totally off topic, but have you played Night in the Woods? It's vaguely a 2D platformer, but really it's more interactive fiction where you wander around to find and read speech bubbles. But the writing is actually quite good.


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