PaigeFTW: Post-mortem of a King
An adequate amount of time has passed for us to discuss Final Fantasy XV with spoilers — it’s been two months, so yes, the window has closed. Proceed with caution.
FFXV’s biggest flaw was, of course, its story and world building. Previous games took care to explain to players the world through long, frequent cutscenes. Think Wakka and Lulu patiently detailing all of Spira’s obscure rituals to Tidus in FFX. It could be dull, but you really got to know the world and its occupants.
It’s strange because Prompto, the obvious outsider in the group, would’ve been an ideal conduit/excuse to clarify really important things, like “why is the Ring of the Lucii so important” or “what exactly do the six gods govern.” You know, the things that explain the plot and its progression.
Combine that with a strange indifference towards anyone outside the main party — Lunafreya, Regis or Ravus, for example — and the whirlwind events of the game’s second half pass by in a bewildering blur.
The developers made a beautiful, wonderful world and then gave us access to only a third of it. We can see it, but we don’t know a thing about it. And no game should require you to watch a movie (Kingsglaive) to understand the story, particularly if said movie isn’t bundled with every copy of the game.
The game should have ended quietly, with the last campfire scene, because that captured the spirit of the game’s best parts — your friends, your brothers, there for you in the end when no one else is.
I’m ragging on the game because the rest of it is just so good. It’s a joy to play at every moment until the story butts back in. How much of this is due to its troubled development will never be known. We can only hope Final Fantasy XVI can learn from its predecessor’s mistakes.