In-Depth Analysis of the Final Fantasy XV Gameplay Trailer

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Square Enix released a new gameplay video of Final Fantasy XV (formerly Final Fantasy XIII Versus) following Sony’s E3 conference this past Monday. Final Fantasy’s ever-evolving battle system proves that as time goes on, the lines between Japanese role playing games and western gaming blur. This isn’t another Dirge of Cerberus. It’s a seamless execution of real-time combat and storytelling that could only be told through next-generation technology.

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Remember the Behemoth in Final Fantasy IX’s Festival of the Hunt? It made its debut as a boss in Final Fantasy II.

The video starts out with the main character, crown prince Noctis, fighting a Behemoth nearby friends Gladiolus and Prompto. On the left side of the screen is the battle menu while the right displays party member statistics. Noctis’ three attacks are Warp, Attack and Link Form. Warp allows him to throw his sword then teleport to it. Attack is self-explanatory. Link Form allows Noctis to interact with enemies in real-time, similar to reaction commands in Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XIII-2. There are also options to use magic and items at certain times.

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Noctis’ name has a blue line with four circles underneath it which leads me to believe the ability meter is for Warping.

Noctis tumbles over wreckage then stumbles to find his ground while the Behemoth flips over a 4×4 truck. This is truly the maturation of active time battles. Afterwards, the scene turns over to the modernized city of Lucis, Noctis’ Kingdom. A division of guards from Niflheim shoot machine guns at our protagonist, who carelessly walks from his throne to meet the attack. A magical force field shrouds him, blocking the bullets. They bounce off  like glass shattering. Upon closeup, the shield is actually a group of floating crystals.

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Noctis is shielded by crystals, possibly the same ones his kingdom of Lucis protects. Symbiosis?

Noctis jumps to an impossible height via Warp then goes from building to building, slashing at guards with an attack reminiscent of Cloud’s Omnislash. The crystal barrier continues to shield him as he runs through Lucis. Tiny damage numbers fly about with each hit, just inconspicuous enough too preserve our suspension of disbelief. His weapon now resembles a steampunk Buster Sword.

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The trio against an Iron Giant, another enemy that made its appearance in the second Final Fantasy.

After the team meets up, they fight several Iron Giants. Noctis proves that he is fluent in Martial Arts in the next scene as he bounces over a guard’s head, quickly slashes him then warps past in an instant. Gladiolus shows his a equally large buster sword and a tattoo sleeve. He brushes Noctis aside then stands sentinel against a Behemoth. The extra party members definitely do their own thing while the player controls Noctis, similar to Kingdom Hearts. Noctis ends up defeating the Behemoth with fire magic.

A series of fast scenes occur: Noctis utilizes Link Form by punching a cop in the face and shoving him through a car window, Prompto shows his dexterity with a gun and Noctis swims near Leviathan (!!!).

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Another beautiful logo by Yoshitaka Amano

It’s not a Final Fantasy without an Amano logo. This one depicts the goddess Etro sleeping, a reference to FFXV’s theme song, Somnus. It is worth noting that she appears to be a one-winged angel with hers on the opposite side of Sephiroth’s. We also see Leviathan crawling up her side.

The last screen depicts both the PS4 and Xbox One logos. It isn’t console exclusive. Since the Xbox One comes with a built in blu-ray player, FFXV’s gameplay should be seamless unlike the porting issues with FFXIII. It’s finally the end of multiple disc Final Fantasies.

Expect to see more of FFXV at the Tokyo Game Show in September but don’t intend to have your hands on a copy of it within the next year. According to Square Enix, the game will not be released within its current fiscal year which ends on March 31 2014.

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