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What’s in Your Box: Boyz II Men

/ Dec 17th, 2016 No Comments

Final Fantasy XV

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

It should come as no surprise what’s in my box this week. It’s stayed there since I broke the plastic wrap. Alas the time has come to call it an end for Final Fantasy XV. I have beaten the main story, and am very close to gaining that sweet Platinum trophy. Don’t cry for me because I do not despair my misfortune. There is always the coming DLC in January and tons of other games to play.

It’s the End of the Road

There is always a huge fear with any video game that the journey will be more exciting than the conclusion. Anticlimactic or unsatisfying endings are very common in the medium. This is mostly due to video games being interactive resulting in a great level of immersion. You feel like you’re these characters reveling in their victories and commiserating in their failures. Even good endings are a letdown because you don’t want the adventure to end. Yet all things must end to have any meaning.

Final Fantasy XV is a brilliant game with a touching and compelling story thanks to the close bonds of the four main characters. While they start out as the closest of buds, they do go through an emotional gamut as they try to reclaim their homeland. Even in the hard times though, you feel that bond of friendship. By the end they aren’t just bros in lip service alone, they have truly formed a brotherhood.

How to Deal with Salt

There is a transcendent moment in chapter 10 following the Trial of Leviathan the fellas explore Fodina Caestino, an abandoned mine, while trying to pick up the pieces from that harrowing battle in Altissa. It broke real bad in Altissa leaving the morale of the group and physical well-being of the brothers in a precarious position.
Prior to heading to the mine, some heated words were exchanged further souring attitudes. One party member in particular is in a real bad way to the point where you have to question whether to take him down into the mine or not. Once in the mine, your pace is slowed considerably due to your injured teammate.

If you get too far ahead, you are called out and stopped. Your other teammates stay close by to help the injured member get around. Not only is there emotional distance between you and your party, but the injury often creates a physical representation of the distance.

Final Fantasy XV

That reunion tour is real rough. It’s like they didn’t want to be there.

Making camp is a huge part of the game and the story because it allows the guys to get some rest, eat, and decompress from their journey. It is also where we see the fellas bond. In Fodina Caestino, you do make camp and it is a markedly different tone than normal. Obviously, there is animosity and tension in the air.

Camping is not a respite, but perfunctory. The gorgeous and delicious dishes are replaced by a sad, lonesome can of beans. It is one of the most sublime story leading mechanics moments in a long time. The entirety of chapter 10 might be one of the best story moments in the game, primarily because it signals the moment where the depth of these four men’s friendship is tested.

Pacing & Flow

From the moment you leave Altissa to the final climatic battle of the game, the game turns from an immersive open-world experience to a more linear one. Ironically, it doesn’t hinder the experience at all. The open-world flow of the story works really well when you’re exploring Leide, Duscae, and Celigne trying to find a way to Altissa and eventually the empire.

Final Fantasy XV

Remember that bird you see in the beginning of the game? You can kill it, eventually.

The linear flow from chapter 9 to chapter 14 helps with the pacing and tension of the final hours of the game. If you were still doing hunts, other side quests, and killing empire drop squads while trying to reclaim the throne finally, it would seriously hurt the impact of those final story beats. While you can use Umbra eventually to go back to level and complete side quests, you are best served playing those chapters in one go.

Even though the last few chapters are linear, it doesn’t feel as constricting as Final Fantasy XIII was. The level design is very strong. It is one of the reason exploring the dungeons in the game are so satisfying. Plus finishing the story doesn’t mean the game is over. Final Fantasy XV has a ton of post-game content to explore.

Final Fantasy XV

That Jabberwock fight and dungeon is pretty killer.

While the final battles in the game are satisfying, there are so many cool boss fights to tackle in the form of optional dungeons, high level and legendary hunts, and sealed dungeons. If you’re diligent and smart about banking experience then using Galdin Quay to double it then you’ll be in a good position to take on these tough fights. The post-game stuff is rough, especially the sealed dungeons. They are grueling gauntlets of fights that will test your skills, patience and item management. The dungeons also yield some boss ass weapons.

Slice it on the Mountain

Oh, there is the whole Adamantoise boss battle too, which is optional, but necessary to Platinum the game. While there are more exciting fights like the Jabberwock, Jormungand, Bennu among others, the Admantoise is a pure exercise in endurance. Boasting an insane 5.2 million HP, high defense and devastating attacks, you will need to be smart and patient to best the mountainous beast.

If you’re not at a high enough level, the fight can last an insanely long time. My buddy at level 70 took three hours and four in game days to beat it, while I bested it in two days and an hour and a half at level 80. Some key pointers are to have a lot of potent magic because they’ll hit for 9999 damage. Your best bet is to fuse some quintmagic casts to do more damage.

Final Fantasy XV

Congratulations, you’re a maniac.

Also tinker around with weapons until you find something that does a decent amount of damage in one swing. I found the Thunderbolt great sword to be effective. Use Armiger as much as possible, it’ll fill up easily as you wail on the Adamantoise so long as you’ve been filling out your Ascension board dutifully.

Don’t try to attack the head straight on, it’ll leave you super exposed and is not that effective. Your best bet is to attack one of the fins and tuck in for the long haul. If you’re able to endure the grueling long battle, you’ll down the mountain: get a gold trophy, 50,000 gil, and a killer accessory in the Adamantite Bangle.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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