The Quarterly JRPG Club - Q3 2017 - Final Fantasy XV! (Starting July 1)

Unopened on the pile for a little while. Soon as am done with Dishonored will give this a go.

SquareEnix really put no effort in their sidequest design, did they? Nothing but fetch quests so far

bobbywatson wrote:

SquareEnix really put no effort in their sidequest design, did they? Nothing but fetch quests so far :(

Eventually, you get quests to take a picture of something. That's...something, right?

walterqchocobo wrote:
bobbywatson wrote:

SquareEnix really put no effort in their sidequest design, did they? Nothing but fetch quests so far :(

Eventually, you get quests to take a picture of something. That's...something, right?

Yep, I got a few of those already. And they're better than the super annoying "go to this area and find five of those random McGuffins" quests!

Maybe it's time for me to set side-quests aside and go back to the main story for an hour or two.

I think the fishing is worse than the fishing in the first Nier game.

I finally got the game in the mail, and I've played for about an hour. Now I can say I've played a JRG, hahaha! In any case, the game is visually stunning, and I'm sure I haven't seen anything yet. I've done the combat tutorial, so now I have a feeble grasp on how to attack and defend myself, and I've done a couple of quests for Cindy (get rid of the pests and check out a couple of cabins). I left it right when I'm supposed to go find a somewhat larger opponent, so we'll see what happens. So far, very enjoyable

Going back to the visuals, I have a tiny 32'' TV, and even then the game looks beautiful. The only problem is something I've already experienced in the past, and truly the main reason I would upgrade to a bigger TV: the text is almost impossible for me to read (and I have good eyesight!). I have to lean forward like an old person, and squint a little to figure out what it's saying. Scrolling through the different ascension planes and reading how I could spend my first 10 APs was truly difficult. Clearly, game developers assume we all have bigger screens than my modest 32''... and I think I might just need to fall in line and get a new one. We'll see...

Bottom line: very excited to be playing this game. Now I just need my puppy to behave while I play, so that I can actually play for longer than 20 minutes at a time!

To anyone playing this: This week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (USGamer's RPG podcast) spoils the villain of the game.

I got the trophy for doing 40 sidequests this morning. Only 40 more to go for the next trophy and then I can stop

I'm all in on this. I played a couple hours last night and got to Galdin Quay before I had to force myself to go to bed.

My first experience with FFXV was not good. I bought Type-0 HD just for the XV demo and I didn't connect with it at all. I didn't get the combat, I didn't like the characters, I was even put off by the modern fantasy setting. After the positive reviews hit and my wallet had forgotten about the ridiculous purchase I had made just for a demo I put the game on my Christmas wishlist and lo and behold a copy appeared under the tree.

Now quite opposite to the demo and after just a couple hours I'm loving the characters and setting, and while the battles are fast and frenetic I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Wait mode seems to be the way to go for myself, though it is a little jarring having the battle stop and start and I can't figure out how to get to warp points as easily as the tutorial showed.

Can't wait to sink in a couple more hours tonight. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time in menus studying character upgrades before going hunting for sweet loots.

I have a feeling a lot of classic/older fans had a similar response to the Duscae demo's combat. I feel that prototype of the combat system heavily emphasized swapping out weapons on the fly depending on the situation, whereas the current combat system... doesn't. So they took it from more of an Action Game mindset to a more RPG mindset where the Wait Mode worked better, prioritizing enemy weaknesses over situational awareness and behaviors (as in: don't use the slow and lumbering big sword on quick and agile dog things).

malking, re: the warp-point thing, holding Triangle usually does it for me. I was confused by that too.

After a bit more than 40 hours running around with fetch quests and hunts, I decided to push forward and have reached chapter 9 (with my characters at around level 50).

And holy crap, Altissa is kind of an amazing sight when I first saw it! This game has issues (bad side-quests being the biggest one I have with it so far), but it's certainly the best looking game I've ever played.

I think that I'm just going to push through the story for now and just wait for the post-game to go back to the open area and get the remaining trophies.

For those who have played it to completion, is Kingsglaive worth watching? I assume I can rent it on PSN for a few bucks? Will it help flesh out the story which, so far, as been... anemic at best?

I just made it to Galdin Quay (I'm almost four hours in), and went fishing for the first time! The funny thing is, I've never gone fishing in my life, and I can't recall a game in which I've gone fishing before, so this might very well be the first time I've done fishing of any kind. It was... interesting.

If you find Oracle Ascension Coins, keep them, do not sell them, you'll need a good number of them to get a

Spoiler:

ribbon

later.

What about the tusks, scraps of metal, etc? Will I need those for something, or should I be selling them?

Mario_Alba wrote:

What about the tusks, scraps of metal, etc? Will I need those for something, or should I be selling them?

Don't know. I think some of them can be used for magic mixing? I haven't looked into the Elemancy much, I will admit.

I got to chapter 10 today. That sequence at the end of chapter 9 was.... something. Can't say I liked it.

Also: Dear scriptwriter, don't do things like this to my husbando Ignis. Thanks.

A lot of the stuff can be used for Elemancy, yes. Different items allow for different special effects, such as added experience in combat or poison effects.

Thanks! All I've done in Elemancy so far has been putting lightning and ice in two flasks to make blizzard and thunder spells. Pretty simple, but I loved it. I definitely want to look into it some more.

Wow, that game really turns into Xenogears Disc 2 after chapter 8... And the chapters are pretty short, too. I'm about to hit the infamous chapter 13...

Woke up early this morning, so I figured I should just go ahead and finish the game, which I did! And what a hot mess it is! Not a bad hot mess, but not a great hot mess either. Seriously, that game is probably about 70% complete.

I will post my more detailed thoughts later this week.

Up next: Trophy hunting.

Amazon just had a lightning deal for the XBOX One version and I grabbed a copy. (I would have posted it here but it went fully claimed in less than 5 minutes.)

I hope to join in the fun!

Just rode my first chocobo ever. Both the experience and the music were fun .

Game came yesterday. I installed it, then had to run an update, which took quite some time. I hope to start tonight!

I made a little time last night to work through the combat tutorials. I must say, this is quite a bit different than the Final Fantasy IV, which is the last game in the series I've played.

I enjoyed the combat quite a bit. It looks like a rich, elaborate system. Spirit-Throw seemed a bit OP for a Level 1 character, but we'll see how everything plays out. I'm guessing that it'll take me some time to get anywhere good at fighting. I'm hopeful that the game is gentle as it plays out.

I don't have long stretches to play much anymore, so I'm likely to need all three months to get through this.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I must say, this is quite a bit different than the Final Fantasy IV, which is the last game in the series I've played.

Wow, that's quite the jump. You haven't played any of the games between IV and XV?

shoptroll wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I must say, this is quite a bit different than the Final Fantasy IV, which is the last game in the series I've played.

Wow, that's quite the jump. You haven't played any of the games between IV and XV?

Yeah, I had this crazy idea about 15 years ago, right after our first child was born, to try and play all the Final Fantasy games in Japanese in order, and blog about the experience. It worked really well through Final Fantasy IV. Then our second child was born and well, that was that. At some point the WordPress database got corrupted and that's always been a hurdle to any attempt at resuming.

Finally took some time today to put together some of my thoughts on the game. I don't really go into spoilers, but I will spoiler the whole thing anyway, just in case.

Spoiler:

So, I finished this almost two weeks ago now. And yet I'm still playing it. But I'm enjoying less and less, so I think this affair that FF XV and I have been having for the past few weeks is about to end. I still have three trophies to obtain, and I'm not sure I'm willing to spend more time trying to get them.

Like all affairs, it started quite nicely, and I was enjoying it. Eventually, things continued to move on, but the joy was not as present as it was initially. Things got boring and repetitive. FF XV would continue to present me with nicely rendered and modeled locations, give me great music to listen to, and make me like the boys more and more (Ignis is my favorite, I don't think I could resist a guy that cooks like that in real life), and yet… The story is barely present between chapters 1 and 8, and then it becomes so fragmented that it doesn't really make sense (maybe I wasn't paying attention very much at this point). FF XV is really a concatenation of two very different games. The first section is more GTA, the second part is FF XIII (which I was not a big fan of).

SquareEnix needs to hire writers that can actually put a story together in a coherent manner.

I get the feeling that they were planning to have a second continent at some point in development, but then had to scrap that plan due to time and budget constraints, and that is the reason why the second part is kind of a mess. That's a bummer. Also: Altissia may be big, but it's mostly empty.

The combat system never really clicked for me. To be fair, my usual method of playing action RPGs is to mash buttons, I rarely dig too deeply in combat systems. So, I fully acknowledge that I might be the problem, no the game. But I found crowd control to be very hard. There is a dungeon (Costlemark Tower) where a huge number of bombs shows up, and I was obliterated pretty quickly, despite the fact that I was about 20 levels above the recommended level to complete it, mostly because I could not get the characters to prioritize the big ones (that summon three small ones when they go off).

Lots of sidequests, but they're usually one of three types: fetch quests, kill quests, photo quests. None of them are particularly interesting. They got me more XP and cash, that's about it. They did not really provide more lore, or help add more flesh to the story in any way. They're there, and that's all I can say about them.

Some more random thoughts:

  • Chapter 13 is 30 minutes too long. I did not play the 'easy' version that came out with a patch after release, I was curious to see if it was really as bad as I had heard. It's not, but it's not great either.
  • Some of the nodes in the Ascension board require an insane number of APs. Seriously, am I going to grind enough to get the 999 AP nodes? f*ck no. Also, all characters being on the same trees is somewhat confusing. (To be fair, they sorta each have their own branches.)
  • I did not use magic at all (other than to get the magic-related trophies). I probably should have, I'm thinking it would have made a difference when fighting big groups.
  • For some reason, I was fighting a flying boss at some point, and the game would go in and out of combat mode ,and the boss's HPs were reset each time. That was frustrating.
  • Monster Arena was super boring.

In short: 3*/5, was reasonably fun, probably won't play again. Total playtime at the time of writing is 78 hours.

Side note: I have not watched the Kingsglaive movie. I did not see it available for rent on the iTunes store, and I don't think it's available for rent on PSN either. No way I'm paying $20 for it.

bobbywatson wrote:

The combat system never really clicked for me.

I feel ya there. I haven't had any hard battles yet but all I feel I'm doing is switching to a weapon that's effective and then holding a button down until I get smacked by an enemy. My finesse rating is almost always D. I should go back to the tutorial but I'm having enough fun getting by at the moment. I haven't spent any AP yet either, should look into what's available.

Just wrapped up chapter 2 and I'm headed to the Chocobo Forest.

What I'm getting out of this is that combat is what you make of it. I spend a lot of time evading and switching enemies, then jumping from enemy to enemy with the R1 + Triangle combo, and also using the L1 talents as I need them. You can get by every battle just smacking away but I think doing these things is actually helpful in both making battle go by more quickly, but also improving your Finesse rating, which I would assume grants more experience / AP.

malking wrote:

[My finesse rating is almost always D. I should go back to the tutorial but I'm having enough fun getting by at the moment. I haven't spent any AP yet either, should look into what's available.

You really should spend some AP if you want to get better at the combat.

Damnable Bear wrote:

but also improving your Finesse rating, which I would assume grants more experience / AP.

I don't think it does anything actually. If you want more AP from combat you're better off playing more technically and doing things like using warpstrikes as a finisher. Also, I think one of the free DLC packs has an accessory which grants additional 1 AP per combat which adds up over time.

As for what it measures, it's just a yardstick for how many skills you're using (ie. how flashy your style is). So if you're just going in and mashing/holding the attack button you're going to bottom out your finesse rank.

Source 1
Source 2

AP generation certainly speeds up if you choose the abilities that give AP boosts upon certain attacks (Warp Strikes, Link Strikes, Back Attacks, etc.), as well as riding a chocobo for X amount of time, driving your car X amount of time, and I think there's one more. It's still a meager quantity, but compared to what you're normally obtaining it's a major boost.

As for combat, honestly? It's a lot like the original Assassin's Creed in that there's a lot of "advanced" techniques that you can learn, and should you learn it you'll enjoy the versatility of the combat. The problem is you don't need to learn all that much. Sure, battles will take longer and either be tedious or frustrating, but you can succeed without knowing what you're doing, and if you never have to learn what you're doing then odds are you'll take the path of least resistance.

That is, unless you're more used to action games or action RPG's and thus experiment with the abilities available just because they're there.