My background with the Final Fantasy franchise is sever attempts to play Final Fantasy 13, and I could never do, I kept losing interest in the game.
Visually 13 has beautiful looking cut scenes.
I know it is linear and some people no longer like linear games but I quite enjoy them still as I often find they have good stories.
So I attributed my dislike to the fact that it still uses the old Japanese style combat where you jump in hit jump back one character after the other. I hated that in my hand held gave devices like game boy and Pokemon. yet I gave Final Fantasy 10 a go and loved that even though it has that jump in hit jump back rinse and repeat mechanic, so I don’t know.
Thankfully Final Fantasy 15 uses a movement based combat. Which I much prefer. It’s a little funny in that it sort of still retains some of that turn based feel to it, it’s still tucked away there in the DNA but it adds to the game instead of over ruling the game.
Visually 15 is modern and beautiful, you still get that sense of spectacular larger than life creatures and environments. The world still had that uniquely Japanese blend of mystical and technological.
Something I particularly enjoyed about this game was the felling of traveling with a small group of your friends on a road trip. This feeling is captured very well. So much so that I was happy to purchase the DLC mostly because I wanted to see more of the characters. the last DLC even gives you a chance to explore one of the more interesting villains in the game which I think is a cool idea.
Now pacing is interesting. The game opens out into what I would describe as a gated regional open world experience. It feels like the physical barriers between regions match the difficulty level gates which I appreciated. While the open world aspect let you really enjoy a slower paced development of comradely, friendship with the characters in game.
But the game can’t truly be called an open world game in the traditional sense. Yet even this worked well with the game design because at any point when you get bored of the slow paced open world you can push on through the main story line missions and it quickly becomes a traditional corridor style linear game to the end. This shift is something I appreciated and the fact that I was able to decide when to continue on with the main game was good.
At the time I played the game in full it had just been released and I found the end felt like it missed a few beats, but I notice there has been updates that apparent change the last part of the story line so it may be better now.
The game does have a separate multiplayer mode which was a truly shared full game, it did let you enjoy running short missions in the world with your friends, and that was fun.
All in all I recommend this game. It was enjoyable, not to hard to master the mechanics, and a visual amazing place to explore.