After dragging it for 3 months I finally finished it + the Prompto DLC. This post will contain spoilers so please jump to my final thoughts if you intend to play the game.
The game starts off with you saying goodbye to dad as you go on an adventure with your bros, ultimately to go to your childhood friend Luna who you’re now supposed to marry. You are Noctis Lucis Caelum (which apparently means night light) and you’re traveling from the Kingdom of Lucis to Altissia. But yea suddenly shit hits the fan because it turns out some buttmad great great great great great (x525) uncle of yours wants the throne and the only way to defeat him is to put an end to his soul in the afterlife. Oh yea if you don’t defeat him this dude is a demon container so he walks around and demons spawn and eventually the entire place becomes 24/7 night mode. But anyway let’s talk about the general game play!
It’s an open world game, the best way to enjoy it is you have to enjoy the characters. For me the enjoyment wasn’t battles or the story. It was driving in the car, playing my favorite bgms from FF14, going camping and picking out what food Ignis will cook (and also then helping him cook.) I looked forward to all the random photos Prompto would take during our adventures, some being so weird and funny like the ones below:
I also enjoyed all the idle chatter between the guys, the times when they’d randomly ask you to come do a quest with them (like taking pics of a monster 20 levels above you with Prompto 😂).
I had fun doing Vyv’s entire quest chain where all I had to do was go around taking photos. Even if I had to go into a dungeon, the ultimate photo goal was my motivation. Hell even the funny cup noodle quest was great (and good timing too because I got a chance to throw the cup noodle hat on Noctis’ head)
Even stuff like doing all the mini stories with Iris and giving her flowers and having her give you battle moogles (that I never really did use because I’d forget about them) was a joy for me. Basically what made the game for me were all the side quests and random side cut scenes. Meanwhile the main story just set me up for disappointment, and when I finished it, I wasn’t crying because I was actually extremely confused. Maybe it’s because I played the game in bits and pieces over a 3 month period I forgot a lot of things…but I ended up having to read an entire review of the game that actually explained what happened. Nevermind the fact that I go spoiled about Luna’s death while browsing youtube one day looking for quest and dungeon guides for this game. -_-
The other thing I really enjoyed, and also why I took a long time to get on with the game, were the moogle/chocobo carnival and assassin’s creed festival. Who knew that AC was Noctis’ favorite game!? 😂 When I was having a bit of a downer in my life, the chocobo moogle carnival is ultimately what made me feel better and helped me really get into FFXV. I think without it, I might have dropped the game and ignored it for a while.
In July, when I was taking a break from this game due to the FF14 expansion, they added a patch which 1. buffed the ring you get from Luna and 2. added these Magitek invincible suits where you are basically invincible for 30 minutes a day. Seeing how I pretty much button mashed my way on easy mode through the whole game I wasn’t about to fight Ifrit on Normal the legit way. So yea, not only did I bootleg Ifrit with the Magitek suit, (and call Shiva to freeze his ass) I also then was able to skip Noctis crawl through the research lab ….because lo & behold they added a Gladio & Ignis adventures mode where you basically controlled Gladio and whacked the living shit out of everything in sight with your 2 handed sword. So yea if you suck at controller fighting like I do but still wanna complete the trophies, the Magitek suit is your friend 😂👌
Sadly my button mashing days came to an end because all bets were off during episod Prompto. No magitek suit, no warp strikes, low HP/Defense, lots of ranged enemies. On top of this, you couldn’t cheese your way through easy mode (although tbh I didn’t find it to be that much easier), you had to complete it on Normal in order to get the trophy. Needless to say I tossed my controller aside and forced my husband to do this – although he claimed that while he played FPS on a PC, it was a lot clunkier on a controller. I don’t know much about FPS, aside that I really hate them, but it was such a jarring change from the regular game it was almost a shock to me? You often had many Magitek soldiers shooting at you non stop to the point where you’d be stunned and couldn’t move until you were near dead. You also could not shoot from behind blockades like boxes or poles, you had to come out in the open, eat like 50 bullets while trying to aim a rifle at the soldiers. On top of this you then had to pilot some awkward snowmobile and you also then have to do some stupid snowmobile races for yet another trophy. All the trophies on PSN are listed as very rare, so you can imagine it’s not easy, and very frustrating that most people can’t be assed. There’s no platinum for episode Prompto but it left me with a huge sense of disappointment. I mean it’s cool to see what happened when we split up with him, and I really enjoyed finding out about his past and seeing all the cut scenes….but the battles were just a complete turn off for me – a casual who facerolled their way through the original game. I get it, SE wants to try to attract an audience of hardcore gamers, but what good does it do to put off the audience that enjoyed the first game?? ಠ_ಠ Needless to say I don’t think I’ll be going back to get the remaining trophies, all the shooting style combat is too frustrating to bother with.
The good part is, I did actually enjoy the time we spent with Aranea. Not only did she basically kick ass (aka I wish I had her the ENTIRE episode to kill all the idiots for me) but I really liked how she helped Prompto get out of his depression and come to terms with his past. In fact I was really sad to see him part with her, but obviously he had to in order to once again meet up with Noctis & friends. So once again, it goes back to the point that I love the cut scenes, but hate the battles, is it obvious I’m a visual novel gamer? 😂
So while I did get the platinum for the original game, the Prompto episode really made me reconsider my investment into FF15. I’m still curious on what happened to Ignis after the Leviathan battle, so I’m likely to get that one and hope that it’s more cut scenes and less FPS gunplay. I’m unlikely to get Gladio’s episode after that Prompto DLC because that’s yet again more trophies that are probably too frustrating to obtain. I’m not really interested in the MMO version of FF15 because I just really hate doing any battle contents with a controller, I’m a keyboard & mouse person so I think I’ll stick to FF14 for my MMO kick. At this point I’m hoping they will release a patch or DLC one day that will redact that terrible story ending ( I can dream can’t I?)
One last thing I wanted to mention is the heroine, who rarely makes an appearance, Lunafreya. She’s barely in the game. We see her more in Noctis’ flashbacks than we do in the present time. His only present interaction with Luna is right before her death and when he sees her from the crowd and they casually nod and smile at each other. Most FF games from my understanding do a lot better as far as hero x heroine interaction is concerned so it was almost shocking to me as far as that goes. It’s like she was completely irrelevant in the game, like a throw away side character/plot device…so of course when I see the ~blissful wedding~ in the after life, I sit there like really? Were they even actually in love? 🤔 I feel she should have gotten way more screen time and the devs should have put more focus on adding more of her into being part of the story…rather than adding random annoying dungeons that make you want to jump out the window once you beat the game.
Is this game for you? If you love the guys, and you love to casually explore stuff, the character interactions and random side stuff like chocobos, photos, fishing etc. then definitely pick this up. If you’re looking for a well written story with a happy ending, avoid like the black plague.
Edit: If you’ve finished the game, this is the funniest parody video I’ve seen