Hello my dears you’ve got Glamour and I’ve been running around everywhere with my three new favorite men Noctis, Prompto, Gladio, and Ignis. Trying to make it in time to give Noctis away to his betrothed but trouble strikes and it’s not just light hearted campfire jokes and awkward pictures by Prompto the boys have to figure out how to take back the kingdom…. But first… they have to push the car, bribe a jack ahh… jeweler, kill monsters, retrieve ingredients, and feed a cat all before it gets dark each day. Hm? Why each day? Well because if you’re not rocking anywhere near level thirty and you run around at night there might be daemons that spring from the earth itself to serve up a high dosage of metal poisoning. Now granted you do have the option of waiting til daytime or …running but I just find it preferable to stop for camp for the night but now I’m just getting ahead of myself.
His royal highness, Noctis’ father, the king however you want to spin it from atop his throne (after some weird out of order cut scenes) royally decreed and approved of his son’s journey to go get married!! Granted it’s an arranged marriage and one for necessary alliances to fall into place but nevertheless Noctis and his bride to be Lunafreya are not adverse to the arrangement…until everything falls through when the Crown City is attacked and they pronounce the royal family dead…even though as the player we are obviously looking at him! But I digress. Anyways as the story goes on you watch the different personalities and camaraderie between the leading men. Hell the first thing you do after you shove off from home is push the car and yes you read that correctly. PUSH THE CAR. As soon as that your start hearing the quips and puns start rolling from ‘He Noct them out’ in a fight to ‘He might just stay Furever’ after Noctis gains a new feline admirer. It has all the serious and light hearted moments you expect from the Final Fantasy series…but what threw me was the bloody battle system.
When you overuse your magic you go into a state known as stasis, which you can recover from by warping to higher ground (kind of bass ackwards to me to warp when you have no MP but not my call I guess.) you also have to make sure to hold triangle to point warp (versus tapping triangle to warp and hit an enemy). Now warping is pretty fun however the lock on is not…… when you have to hold down R1 to keep locked on but everything is running everywhere so you lose your target…which pretty much makes for clusterfuck. Another cluster was taking on too many things or something too strong then you hit the danger point too often luckily the game is great when it comes to team dynamics for survival in and out of battle.
Gladios uses a skyscraper he calls a great sword, manages training, and is a bonafide wilderness smee. Ignis is a master tactician, wields dual daggers, sometimes long arms, and a budding chef learning new recipes while traveling. Prompto the youngest is a bit of sunshine that loves shooting monsters with guns and his camera. Can’t tell you how many times I get to the picture review and it turns out Prompto had enough time to get a really great shot of something that could eat all of them in one chomp. Which brings to mind the quality of graphics sharp, crisp, realistic without being creepy. I kind of wish the icons on the map for resources were a bit bigger or more pronounced and maybe a better way of comparing equipment in shops (what you can get vs what you have) but that’s just me I suppose. Although I do admit there were a couple of places not as detailed as others like Dave’s dog. The dog looked too smooth but on Noctis’ little dark pooch you could begin to couch the hairs of his coat so all in I’m just going to chalk it all up to dog breed and go on.
The battle system is explained early on with an optional tutorial. It was easy to pick up even though the reasoning for some of the mechanics still confuses me such as warping to a high place using MP you don’t have to gain back all your MP? Sounds a bit off to me kind of like the whole stasis thing, you use up all your MP and you end up weakened for it. Sure people watch their MP but not in that fast paced of a battle since there is no turn sequence in place so punishing someone for something that is kind of unavoidable in battle (especially if you love using skills like I do) is kind of bullshit. I find a lot of you if you do buy this game will probably do as I did… even through the stasis keep smashing those bastards the pieces! Or shoot them! Which reminds me of a very important thing ‘friendly fire’ is possible in this game you can get hit by your teammates’ abilities and they can get hit by yours. Early on you notice you can bump into them by accident or they can get in your way but during battle… You can accidentally hit your allies with magic and bullets at this time I have not seen any instances with close combat weapons injuring your party. Now it’s not a hard game to learn however the challenge is dealing with various situations and also discovering intel for things that don’t really seem important but can really make or break the experience for you. What am I going on about? One word dears. Tippers. Mostly restaurant owners but Tippers are people that tell you about the lay of the land where to pick up stuff for cooking, upgrading your car, safe places to camp, and most importantly jobs you can take on to make some cash and toughen up.
Now with that in mind I have to mention one very important thing. You do not gain experience when you fight…I know what you’re thinking. “WHAT THE FUCK!?” how do I know? Because that is exactly what I said when I was playing the demo. So now that that is out of the way I can tell you the EXP gets stored while you go about your day, eat (which also affects stats), and Prompto takes his snapshots. If it’s dark and you try to jump into the car usually Ignis will advise against it (which you can completely ignore at your own risk since you would be the one driving). So in lieu of that you tend to opt to take a rest in one of the many caravans and or camping areas you happen upon (thank you tippers!) this is where all that XP comes into play…along with your wallet. The more fancy the place you stay at with the boys the higher the EXP modifier is when everything is calculated…and you decide which shots Prompto takes that you want to keep or not (or share). So stack your pennies boys and girls!…However camping out in the great outdoors does have its perks you have the opportunity to train with Gladios while you guys are out there enjoying all the wide open space.
So as far as replayability and playtime go there is plenty to do throughout this game no end in sight for side quests, crazy enemies, weapons, car mods, weapon mods, puns, character dialogue everywhere, etc… I could go on but I won’t since I’m looking forward to finding more myself! ….And with that this game is Hatter Approved and this Hatter is off to save the kingdom! Goodnight my dears!!
Note of Grand Importance!!!!! After taking off for Altissa you can’t go back until much later when side quests are no longer available!!!! The constant side quests people are complaining about are to take the monotony out of level grinding!! Also much to the dismay of my broken heart there is no new game + D:!!
Big amend!!!! After you beat the game there is still no new game plus however!!!! If you go to bed anywhere (not compatible with camping) with a bed while Umbra’s ability to travel through time is able to be used you may return to the mainland!!!! …. my husband found this out due to a bit of reading and we couldn’t figure out how it would have worked until I remembered Umbra’s ability. Anyways after you beat the game there should be a nearby door that goes to a shitty set of spartan style bunk beds from there you can summon your canine buddy to take you to a time less dreary.