Well, well, well. It certainly has been a trip hasn’t it? Ten years,a decade, since that little Versus XIII announcement that sparked one of the longest running pre-release windows since Duke Nukem Forever. But those days are very slighlty behind, and just a little in front, of us my friends as Square Enix has finally delivered us some definitive information regarding the oh so elusive Final Fantasy XV. I know, cray right? Nevertheless, it is the truth and it’s coming at you like a speeding train. Let the uncovering commence!
From the purple lit Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Square Enix let loose the most information about the FFXV universe to date. Fans cheered, creators bowed and co-host Greg Miller swooned over the car so heavily featured in promotional material. From the onset, the showcase promised fourteen brand new reveals, though it was not too hard to determine even then that one final showing would be added to that list, bringing the final count to fifteen. Get it? Because of the number? Anywho, why don’t we cut to the chase and run through the veritable bounty of information that now rolls through cyberspace? But don’t, like, go looking across cyberspace, I mean, you can read it here…I’d really appreciate it.
Reveal I: Hironobu Sakaguchi in the House
This one is pretty self explanatory. In order to celebrate the info dump of Uncovered, creator of the Final Fantasy series took to the stage in order to thank the six thousand attendees and countless stream viewers for their support. He noted that the franchise is like a child to him and, as most parents can attest, he sometimes wonders about the direction his child his moving through the world. However, he remained stalwart in his love of the franchise, the choices made in creating XV and the people who both create the games and enjoy them. Real sweet stuff.
Reveal II: Stand By Noctis
This reveal centred on something fairly well known to XV fans by this point; a trailer. Starting off with the standard fare of plains, monsters and bromance, the trailer diverts when Stand By Me kicks in. Sung by Florence + the Machine, this rendition helps play up the more emotional side of XV. Music will do that to you…what? I didn’t cry…you did.
Reveal III: Yoshitaka Amano Artwork
Yoshitaka Amano+Art=Final Fantasy. You cant argue, it’s maths. That stuff is, like, numbers and stuff. Are you gonna argue with numbers? Didn’t think so. Another thing you can’t argue with is how cool the artwork titled “Big Bang” looked, especially when it was given the CGI treatment. Watch out aquarium screensaver, you’ve got some new competition…people still use that screensaver right?
Reveal IV: Florence Fantasy
Hot of the heels of the musically bolstered trailer mentioned earlier, this little documentary aside featured Florence, of the eponymous + the Machine, discussing her inclusion in the Final Fantasy franchise. Noting the impact and renown of “Stand By Me” itself, she expressed how pleased she was to be able to add a part of herself to both such a well known song and the Final Fantasy series. Additionally, enjoy having “Stand By Me” stuck in your head for a while, because it will be.
Reveal V: Final Fantasy: Chocobo Drift
You can drift Chocobos people. Do I really need to say anything else? Yes, but still, how cool is that? Very. Is it also rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things? Yes, but I don’t care because it’s still cool. But I digress, slightly, so I can talk about the car. You know the one, that shiny black beast that sees Noctis and Co cross country in their journey to do stuff. Anyway, now it has a radio, one that plays tunes from the collective repertoire of the FF franchise. Drives just got a whole lot better, if you like music that is, if you don’t however, why not just fight your way through the environment, like the colossal Titan. Not that one, but an equally frightening monster who made his grand appearance by grabbing Noctis in the palm of his hand…then shattering a fair portion of the ground with a single punch. As awesome as it is devastating.
Reveal VI: The World of FFXV
For all of you who love to take the scenic route. This video showed off the multitude of set pieces that make up FFXV, with sweeping shots and aerial views. So remember to take some time and look at the roses, a whole lotta people spend a whole lotta time making them.
Reveal VII: Brother, My Brother
What’s that? You like Final Fantasy XV and anime? Well I don’t know, that’s a pretty narrow venn diagram you exist in. But it sure is your lucky day, because a five episode anime prequel now exists for Noctis and the bros. Pretty neat right? Set to release before the game itself, this series reveals more about the main characters of XV, as discernible from the title Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV. Can’t you just feel the love? I hope so. If not, why not check out the first episode, which is totally out now (with the rest to follow on the Final Fantasy XV Youtube channel), and let the sun shine into your heart? Also the action, don’t forget the action.
Reveal VIII: For the Glory of the Royalty
I get it, Noctis is the main character. He’s got the backstory, the power, the hair, all the things we’ll enjoy as we make our way through XV. But what about everyone else? What about the home Noctis left behind? Do you want to know? Do you really want to know? Then why don’t you check out the feature length, CGI film set to release online sometime in the foreseeable future? I know I will. Presented in that style that makes you second guess whether you’re watching animation or live action, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy centres on Nyx, a member of King Regis’ elite task force, the titular Kingsglaive.
Reveal IX: G-R8 Partnerships in Videogame History
Banking on how awesome Kingsglaive looks, and the fact that yet another car feature prominently in the promotional material, Final Fantasy is hitting the showrooms as a single production model Audi R8 received its reveal. Themed around the ornate detail of the movie, this particular vehicle just looks nice. Like really nice.
Reveal X: A Game of Thrones
As if the animation wasn’t enough, it was also revealed that Kingsglaive will feature an all star voice cast in the forms of Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Aaron Paul (playing King Regis, Luna Freya and Nyx respectively). Not much else to say about this one, it kinda speaks for itself.
Reveal XI: Pinball Madness
In the grand tradition of Triple Triad, Blitzball and Chocobo Racing, FFXV brings a brand new minigame to the table; Justice Monsters V. Styled after the mechanics of pinball, this game features plenty of snazzy art, some explosions and a ball. It’s better than I’m making it sound. but, you can learn more for yourself when it hits iOS, Android and Windows 10. That’s right, all that minigame fun, outside of the game proper. It’s a brave new gaming world people, enjoy it.
Reveal XII: As Good as Platinum
Episode Duscae gave us our first real taste of FFXV in, well, ever. We got to play as Noctis, kick some monster tail and call forth the tallest old guy anyone has ever seen. I think lightning was also involved. But that was then, and this is now. A new demo is upon us friends and this time around it features no content from the actual game. Sounds weird I know, but this gameplay tease, dubbed the Platinum Demo, focuses on young Noctis as he explores a dreamworld. What this basically means is that a whole lot of weird stuff is going to happen, like embarking on aperilous journey across a dinner table, or briefly transforming into some kind of giraffe/deer hybrid. what this demo will provide however, where the main game is concerned, is the ability to unlock a Carbuncle companion, which you can name whatever you want…within reason. Oh, the demo is also out right now. Have fun.
Reveal XIII: A Little Something Extra
We all knew this was coming. We both feared and hoped for it. Wallets across the world trembled. The Collector’s Edition, promising a steelbook case, in-game DLC and Kingsglaive on disc. This is all well and good, but 30,000 other fans will be smug as a bug in a rug when they receive their Ultimate collector’s Edition. Limited to the aforementioned 30,000 units worldwide, this release includes all the Deluxe gear in addition to a 192 page artbook, a soundtrack featuring tunes from the extend XV universe, even more DLC and a Playarts Noctis figure (that’s the real kicker). Of course pre-orders are already live so…I’d get on that sooner rather than later. Order here, go, go, go! I believe in you.
Reveal XIV: RELEASE DATE! (YES, THE CAPS ARE NECESSARY!)
30th September 2016.
Reveal XV: Plains, Yachts and the Noctismobile
Finally, one extra trailer was showcased. Revealing a little more about the story, the world and all things in between…I completely forgot because your car can fly. Like, with wings and stuff. Seriously, it’s a transforming, valmorphanising bundle of awesome that takes Noctis, Gladio, Ignis and Prompto into the sky because I don’t know why but boy am I excited. It may even be cooler than Chocobo drifting…may.
Well there you have it folks. One heck of a reveal cavalcade for what will hopefully be one heck of a game. I mean, I have faith in it, but boy has the hype train been chugging along for a while now. Let’s all just cross our fingers and hope that when it finally slows to a halt, that we all come off dancing…or on Chocobos…or in wicked cool future cars. Honestly, I sometimes forget there’s fighting in this game. Regardless, let the waiting game begin anew, for now we have a goal in sight and it draws ever closer…