Friday, April 22, 2016

—Demo Review— Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo

Demos don't typically warrant a review all their own. They're often little more than the first chapter/mission of a game, or a timed portion. Buying the game unlocks the full version which has already more or less been downloaded to your system because you downloaded the demo.

Final Fantasy XV, however, is different. It got two demos, neither of which are parts of the final product, but are more like additional chapters to the game's storyline.

I've gotten my hands on both demos and each deserves its own review.

***Final Fantasy XV***
Platinum Demo

Published and developed by Square Enix | Released 2016
Available for PS4 and Xbox One | Review: PS4

HGG Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 4/10

You are a young Prince Noctis, caught in your dreams, and you must find the way out in order to wake up.

Fennec fox
By Kkonstan (Own work)
[GFDL or CC BY 3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
First impressions? 
Cute. My goodness, the little dream guide is freakin' adorable! Like a little fennec fox.

Fun. Like splashing in a pool. Or chasing your kids around the yard. Or watching a bunch of tiny tots at a dance recital, all smiles and sweetness.

Requires nothing more than your participation for a little while, to relax and just enjoy the cuteness. (Yes, this was my first impression. It's a lot to realize in a few minutes of gameplay. lol)

Graphics and voices? 
Pretty typical of Squeenix: good and OK. There really wasn't much actual dialogue in this, but what it had was OK.

Slightly awkward at first, but only because I'd gotten quite used to how the Episode Duscae demo works. In this one, the attack button was opposite. Once I got used to that, however, it wasn't a big deal.

This isn't turn-based anymore. Final Fantasy has officially joined the ranks of action RPGs. This demo doesn't really employ the RPG element, however. There's no leveling up at all.

There is a lot of running around and exploring you can do in each dream section, and sometimes it's fun to drive around in a little car or truck and smash into things, knocking blocks over and sending balls rolling across the floor. 

And sometimes, as illustrated in the video above, you can be a booty-biting badass beastie. I really enjoyed that, though controlling the wee beastie was a bit awkward. 

Funny thing, the kids told me, "Daddy was a mammoth!" I turned into this croc/dino thing every time I stepped onto the transforming plates, but when hubby played, he became some sort of mammoth thing. It seems the animal is random, but consistent within a single game save, or maybe per gaming session. I'll have to play the demo one more time to test this theory.

The first playthrough only took me 45 minutes and that was with a good bit of exploration. It took hubby less than an hour as well, and he doesn't normally play this type of game. 

Cute. It is what it is, really. You are the game's main character, guided by a little creature, and collecting glowing gold dots while searching for a way out of your dream. Nothing too strenuous or thought-provoking. There is a lot of cuteness happening here.

Bottom line, the kid misses his dad, who is super busy running the world...or something. It's supposed to set the stage for the full game, but honestly, I didn't care. Normally, I love these little glimpses into the inner workings of a character's mind, or pieces of their past, but in this case, the overall effect was cuteness overload.

Super cute. I'll let my kids (ages 9 & 12) play this with no qualms whatsoever...not really a complaint. It was an OK little gameplay/graphics/deeper look into what drives the main character to be the type of person he is in the final game, but all of these things are so lacking in any true depth as to be almost pointless.

Young Noctis becomes grown Noctis to fight the final boss in the demo.

It doesn't suck, but it's not great, either. The graphics are good, my kids like it, but I wasn't even tempted to stick around and explore more 'cause it just wasn't interesting enough. I do not know how Squeenix thinks this will help sell a game they consider darker than the typical Final Fantasy game.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for this short, overly cute Final Fantasy mini game that my kids are excited to try out, but otherwise...meh.

Hubby is not a FF fan. He played this demo to see if he'd like a Final Fantasy that isn't turn-based. He thought it was OK, but it didn't make him want to play FFXV. Considering the purpose of a demo is to get people interested/excited about the full game, this particular demo falls short of that. 

My rating? 
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 4/10 life hearts. I found it to be a somewhat poor taste of what Squeenix is promising for the full version of FFXV. But it is fun, so by all means, give it a try. I'm really hoping Episode Duscae is a better example of the final game.

Where to buy?
You can download this FREE from the Xbox Live Marketplace or the PlayStation Store. Only playable on Xbox One or PS4.

*Unless otherwise noted, images/videos posted here are © Square Enix; this company does not in any way endorse this fan blog.

Until next time... 

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