After an unprecedented ten-year wait, Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XV will be available for all Americans to play tomorrow. Usually when fans have to wait this long for a product, the end result is a letdown because nothing can match up to the overhyped anticipation. We’ll know what the public consensus is in a few days, but for now, the critics have had their say — and they love it.
Polygon’s Philip Kollar felt the game was flawed, but its strengths far outshone those imperfections. “Final Fantasy XV can be baffling in some of its questionable choices, but across the board, it hits more than it misses. It hums with an energy and compassion that I loved, a sense of camaraderie, friendship and adventure that fills an old and struggling formula with new relevance.”
Peter Brown at Gamespot awarded it an 8 out of 10 and said, “It would be hard for anyone to deny that Final Fantasy XV is a fascinating game after giving it a chance. Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy XV’s beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day.”
Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner liked it so much he actually HOPES for an unnecessary FFXV-2. “Just days after playing it, I find myself reflecting on it fondly. The thoughts of that damn car are recessed and blanketed by Noctis’ journey and some of the stunning moments that unfolded within it. I wasn’t a fan of Final Fantasy XIII’s sequels, but I hope Square returns with another XV or a similarly designed sequel to iron out the rough spots.”
The most impressive statement of praise came out of Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, who wrote a novel-length overview of his time with the game, peppered with theoretic flashbacks from the average Final Fantasy fan. It may be one of the best reviews I’ve ever read. “I don’t know how Final Fantasy XV will be remembered when held up to the rest of the Final Fantasy pantheon. But I do know that it’s got everything I want from a Final Fantasy game.”
The only person this game couldn’t please was Conan O’Brien — other than that, no score dips below an 8. Unfortunately the one problem every critic seemed to agree on is that this game’s story is rather limp. Strong RPG stories, the likes of which we got with regularity on the SNES and Playstation One, are what I miss the most from today’s JRPGs. The graphics are better, the gameplay is more involved, but the kind of gripping storyline with twists and turns that made it impossible to set down the controller seems to be a lost art. What a pity.
Final Fantasy XV goes on sale November 29 for Playstation 4 and XBox One.