December’s Game of the Month is ten years in the making: of course it’s Final Fantasy XV.
FFXV began it’s life way back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. This was the same year Rockstar was sued over hot coffee, the Sims 2 was still getting expansion packs, we had just been introduced to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, and the iPhone didn’t exist. A decade is a long time. In that time, the game changed names, directors, engine, and platform, as well as having its original concept altered to keep up with everything. The fact that the game made it to release at all is impressive on its own, but the consensus appears to be overall pretty positive overall. The game has gone open world, with a new battle system that is more active faster than it’s turn based legacy.
That’s not to say the game is without its troubles. While the game has the high polish look of a modern video game (and some of best looking digital food you’ve ever seen), its visuals and presentation can sometimes reveal the bones of outdated design choices and tech limitations. The plot is also occaisionally a victim of time, with character motivations not making sense, and some parts of the story feeling incomplete. Which, as it turns out, may exactly be the case, as Square Enix, publisher of Final Fantasy, has announced plans for numerous major updates to the game in the months to come, specifically addressing these very issues. While we would not encourage developers to release games with incomplete stories, in this case, Square Enix’s commitment to improving this title is encouraging.
I have not played a single second of this game, and I have played precious little Final Fantasy at all. But this game, partly because of it’s long development and partly because it just looks cool, has my interested. There’s something to be said for perseverance, and in the game industry, titles that are baking this long tend to come out more than a little burnt. Final Fantasy XV may not be perfect, but it seems deserving of its place in the series, and is set to only get better.