Friday, January 27, 2017

How FFXV destroyed my feels

Holy shit did this game destroy me. And I mean that in an emotional way. People will probably think this is hilarious but I was seriously in a catatonic state after completing this game for maybe... a week? I know I was depressed about it for at least 2 weeks.. I finished FFXV on Christmas so uhm.. I was in a sorry state that day. Thanks Tabata you sick bastard! I shall now remember you as the director that kills my dreams of a happy ending.

Final Fantasy XV holds a special place in my heart, mostly because of how it's kind of symbolic for me. When I first saw previews of this game, I was just recently out of high school and starting college. When I finally got to play this, I had just graduated from nursing school after a long journey of figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life. Somehow I just happened to obtain this game merely a week after graduating.

I'm so obsessed with FFXV! I've been playing it almost everyday (after I got over my depression from it). I had to turn off my PS4 just now or else I'll never get anything done. (-__-)

Okay, so from this point on, I'll be in SPOILER city so if you're playing/planning to play this game and haven't finished yet, STOP READING!!!


I've played about 152 hrs of this and I'm still not finished with all the post-game content. For the record, I'm a slow player. I spend time just standing around and appreciating the gorgeous graphics; I'll take a good few minutes just admiring the grass and shrubs, lol. I really appreciate the attention to detail with the character's facial expressions being in a constant state of animation. If you've ever played the first two Kingdom Hearts games, you may have noticed the 'painted on' facial expressions of the characters. You know, that blank stared look when they're not in cutscenes?

This is the best example I can find.
You can see they've (hopefully) improved this for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. But I know the hair animation will not look nearly as amazing as FFXV's, unfortunately for design purposes.

In-game facial animation example. Goddamnit, everything in this game so f*cking beautiful!

I think I was so emotionally drained from this game after it ended because of how attached I got to the characters. I spent a lot of time with side quests, hunts, and camping before continuing on with the story. During that time, I got to see a lot more of the 'bros' and was granted some special scenes, depending on if I got a good location. I could feel their pain, frustrations, and happiness. You could say I was living vicariously through them (especially Noctis). I don't think I've ever cared so much since.. Harry Potter.

When shit hit the fan in Altissia I was absolutely devastated because everything happy about the story went downhill from there without ANY respite. Noctis' fiance dies, there was an emotional rift between the 'bros', one of them got separated, Tenebrae was left in a fiery state of ruin, the horrendous chapter 13, and so on. The situation just gets worse and worse. I don't know if that was really necessary and just forcing sad emotions upon us. The only break we had was toward the end and it's short lived; Noctis then goes through his 10 year crystal slumber, wtf.... Vital things that could have added so much more to characters were not explained either. There was a serious lack of exposition in the story.

I didn't think the 10 year time skip was necessary and I got some extreme whiplash from it. Older Noctis looks badass but he could be a completely different person if you ask me.

LOL
The time skip just makes things more sad for Noctis because he couldn't spend more time with the bros. I was also sad from Luna's death not necessarily because of Luna, but because I was sad for Noctis. When I reflect on his entire story from the time he left Insomnia, he loses everything he ever loves or cares about in his life; He loses his father, Luna, the happy times with his bros, Prompto (before he's found again), 10 years of time, and finally his life. I just feel sorry for him in the end because he was set up like a sacrifical lamb and unlike FFXIII where they fought to change their fate, Noctis didn't have much of a choice but to accept his.

I know there's a 'sort of' happy ending post credits but I really wish they didn't finish FFXV with "everyone dies" (Note: I like to think the bros died with him). I know the dramatic effect wouldn't be there without some sort of sacrifice but I think a happy ending can have impact as well and it would have been refreshing since Final Fantasy isn't exactly known for happy endings. It would have been even more surprising as FFXV was marketed as a darker Final Fantasy.

The tragic ending worked with Crisis Core because (most fans) knew that Zack was destined to die and it was a good way to tell the prequel to FFVII. It worked with FFX because it slowly worked up to it with happy and uplifting moments mixed throughout the sad undertone of the story. FFXV's tragedy was not executed well (not even close to its full potential) and ended up feeling forced, especially since it was presented as one giant emo train wreck toward the end with little to no exposition. It was like, happy road trip! Oh no... Luna dies. Everything goes to shit.

Don't get me wrong, I still love this game. I think it's gorgeous, engaging, and I like the story. I can forgive the lack of those special CGI animated cutscenes that are so exclusive to Final Fantasy games because the in-game animation is so spectacular. I just wish it had more cutscenes of characters (especially Ardyn, Revus, and Luna) minus the ridiculously drawn out emo ending. Should I even mention the awkwardly placed revelation of Prompto? (=_=)

Another thing I don't appreciate is Square Enix creating exposition DLC to SELL after the game has been completed instead including it in the game to begin with. There's no way I'm purchasing exposition DLC for this game. In my opinion, if they create that, they should just put it out for free especially since they seriously skimped on this Final Fantasy story. They can stick to selling things like additional outfits. It's not our fault that they f*cked up with cutting out story content. Why should we have to pay for exposition that should have been included in the first place? Okay, ending rant here.


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