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Final Fantasy XVI (PS5) (1 Viewer)

Steve Y

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
995
Final Fantasy XVI (out for PS5 this week) is designed for me. I'm a casual gamer, but dip my toes into the RPG world sometimes to see what the fuss is about. I enjoy the occasional FFXII gambit system and have trekked twenty hours through The Lands Between in Elden Ring. I loved the opening cutscenes of FFXV so much that I explored its vast world for 30 hours. But I always fall off these games when their systems (spells and combat) get too complex for my pea-brain to exploit with better loadouts or strategies. So I twiddle around grinding out side quests while the main story stays locked behind frustrating boss encounters. Then I give up.

FFXVI is not a game that requires a lot of thinking or strategy. It's a timing-based action game with a fair amount of button-mashing. And it's VERY INTENT on propelling you through its ridiculous, compelling story, which cribs a lot from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.

Side quests reveal world and character details instead of valuable gear. You barely change costumes or weapons. Chapters are made up of unique, mostly linear sequences punctuated with action scenes and lots of cinematics. Enemy encounters have you swapping abilities and dodging like Dante from Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, and boss fights have simple (and numerous) QTEs. On the easiest difficulty, which of course I picked, it's NOT a super challenging game.

But I can't wait to get back to it. Serious FF fans are expressing varying degrees of disappointment about the trajectory of this franchise, and this game in particular, but this is the first mainline FF game I'm pretty sure I'll see all the way through to its conclusion. And I feel like this was a very considered decision to bring in more casual folks, like me. If you're on the fence about FFXVI and love action-adventure games, I highly recommend it.
 

Morgan Jolley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2000
Messages
9,722
I have this sitting on my shelf, ready to go when I finish Zelda. I'm fine with the series going in this direction because Square Enix is also making games like Octopath Traveler to give fans the old-school RPG experience.
 

Jeff Cooper

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Joined
Mar 6, 2000
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3,035
Location
Little Elm, TX
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Jeff Cooper
I also have it, but have not started it. Looking forward to it. I haven't played a mainline FF since X and X-2, but this one pulled me in. Of course I did play 7 Remake and thought that one was absolutely fantastic. Can't wait for Rebirth later this year.
 

Morgan Jolley

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2000
Messages
9,722
Started FFXVI last week. Didn't get much time to play, the game has ~50 chapters and I'm at 12 or 13. I'm enjoying it but it's a LOT of cutscenes and story followed by maybe 10ish minutes of running pretty much in a straight line while fighting enemies every other minute or so. The combat is fine but...simple, so far. It's a very different game structure compared to most FF games and I don't have any problem with that. It's just taking a while to open up. It reminds me of FFXIII except with more cutscenes and less fighting. I'm also playing it on story mode (read: easy) because banging my head against a wall doesn't seem appealing, even though I'm probably going to replay it on a harder difficulty when I finish it.

There's some really neat things that they did to modernize the game and make it more accessible. The handful of charms you get in the easy mode are nice and help a bit without basically making the game TOO easy. There's a training mode of sorts that you unlock after a few hours and it later turns into both an arcade-style challenge mode and a way to grind levels without aimlessly wandering the game world (plus you can pick up missed items from earlier parts of the game and get extra potions/etc.). The control scheme works well but it's hard going from Zelda (which is extremely open-world, has the paraglider, press ZL to put camera behind Link, etc) to FFXVI. Not bad, just different.

As for the Final Fantasy-ness of it all, the story is very much Square Enix trying to merge the FFI-VI style of medieval knights, dragons, magic, crystals, etc with a more modern take on medieval stories (Game of Thrones, basically). It's not really too cliche but it does feel like they wrote a GoT fanfic with FF trappings in the beginning. The Eikon battles are massive spectacles with fantastic visuals and tons of drama, but so far I've only played one and it was basically an on-rails shooter-style battle. The opening story also feels weird, starting with a dramatic battle, then forward in time, then backward in time, then forward again...which clearly was done to open with something dramatic before giving you the relevant backstory but feels unnecessary in how it played out. That said, this was basically the content of the demo which sold so many people on the game so I guess SquEnix knows what they're doing.
 

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