BY LUCA D’ANGELO: Square Enix (and subsidiary Luminous Productions) bid their farewell to one of the pillars of their development team, Hajime Tabata on 8th November. Hajime was the director for the latest main instalment in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XV.
Long story short, FFXV’s death had just been announced.
On release, Final Fantasy XV was met with differing opinions by gamers, so some will say that they won’t miss the game or that Square Enix is putting an end to its agony. Others, who still supported the game even with its flaws will be bitterly disappointed.
I, being one of the latter, patiently waited for news of any kind after the game was first announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and anticipated its release after its rebirth as XV. The prospect of having DLC to expand the experience was mouthwatering.
Yes, there are several things that could have been improved with Final Fantasy XV, primarily the disappointing linearity of the story in the later stages of the game, considering the freedom given to players in the opening hours.
Still, what differentiated FFXV from many other games of this era is the atmosphere that characterized it. From the very beginning, Noct’s and his friends’ incessant interactions managed to attract players into the game. Before the game got oppressively linear, I felt like I was hanging around with the group of protagonists rather than using them to play a game. Even after the game became more restrictive, the switch in tone and the oppressive linearity felt natural – like they had been somewhat intentionally created to give a darker meaning to the story.
Putting it into a sentence, “We’ve had fun up to now, but now it’s time to man up and face real life.” Or something.
And moreover, there was a scene in the final chapter that really gave me goosebumps – I’m talking about what happens right after the final boss battle, in front of the door (no spoilers).
For those who have yet to play Final Fantasy XV but have been put off by what they’ve heard on social media and forums, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. It’s a wonderful game and the story is strong enough to draw you in.
In closing, I’d like to thank Mr Tabata. Final Fantasy XV may not be perfect but you created a memorable experience that I will treasure forever.