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What’s in Your Box: We Dem Boyz

/ Dec 3rd, 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 Greg’s Box

Welcome welcome boxsters! We’re officially in the holiday spirit, which means patience for sales is key. Unless, of course, if Final Fantasy XV just came out, in which case: Do not resist.

I’ve spent the bulk of my week enjoying every inch of this boy-band simulator/demon hunting bonanza, and I have to say it’s amazing.

Just to get it out of the way, the only real downside is in most of the quests being of the fetch variety, but when gameplay is this good, I don’t even care.

Final Fantasy XV

Even in some of the more fetch based quests, there exist some finesse and danger.

The real-time action-RPG combat means less time fiddling in menus and more time just kicking straight ass. A variety of weapons and magics allows me to mix it up in a multitude of ways, and overcome any enemy that gets in my way.

The story is great, the road-trip mechanic is insanely immersive and the principal four characters have all endured me with their unique charms. FFXV really is a game for longtime fans as well as newcomers. I can cheers to that.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Let’s get one thing straight before we get into this week’s box, I have played more than one game, but only one matters. Truthfully, I knew everything I played this week was going to be superfluous and simply a placeholder for the main event. It has been ten agonizing years waiting for it, but the wait for Final Fantasy XV was completely worth it.

The Boys are Back in Town

I wrote about the opening hour of Final Fantasy XV after PAX West. It ****ing blew me away. The demo only covered killing a pesky Dualhorn and getting the Regalia back. Needless to say that hour didn’t even scratch the surface of what Final Fantasy XV has to offer.

Final Fantasy XV is a huge game. I’ve dumped sixteen hours into it and only just gotten into the third chapter. There is a huge open world to explore and plenty to do. The hunts are challenging that really put your combat skills through the paces.

Final Fantasy XV

The relationships between Noctis and his retinue define the game.

Man, the combat is absolutely remarkable. It is so much more engaging than the traditional turn-based combat the series is known for. The combat is the logical evolution of the changes the series has been doing since Final Fantasy XII. Combat has also gotten more refined and smoother since the Episode Duscae demo.

It is such a beautifully accessible system but still offers plenty of depth. Parrying is more reliable now, which makes battles more dynamic. The teamwork with your road dawgs is totally cool. Link attacks and special skills add an exciting visual flair to battles, and help dispose of difficult enemies much quicker. The combat is a triumph.

Final Fantasy XV

All the boys have their own unique skills that level up over the course of the game. None is as equal parts relaxing and thrilling as Noctis’ skill though.

Over the course of its development, Final Fantasy XV had many iterations and looks. Only in the past few years did we get any closer looks at the game, mainly in the form of demos. The Episode Duscae demo was the first substantial look at what Final Fantasy XV would ultimately become. It certainly wasn’t the final product. There was still plenty to change and fix, but it put forth an exciting prospect of what was to come.

The Episode Duscae demo primarily dealt with hunting a grizzled behemoth named Deadeye. It was also narratively where you would find Cindy and get back the Regalia, which obviously is changed in the final game. As well, in the final game hunting Deadeye is merely a hunting quest, which by the time you reach a Duscae you are more than able to take out without the need of summoning Ramuh. What does remain is the tension and taut scripting of the quest. This all goes to say the final product expands and exceeds all that was put before it.

Final Fantasy XV

The night is dark and full of terrors, or something.

Final Fantasy XV is an absolutely stunning game. In a generation full of absolutely gorgeous games, Final Fantasy XV is up there. The gorgeous views, how the characters’ clothing moves as they run around is mesmerizing, the way bushes rustle as you brush past them, the visual flair in battles and the battle animations, and the way the sun sets and weather effects are stunning. It is amazing to look at.

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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