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Found 14 results

  1. Review: Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto

    I'm back in Final Fantasy XV for the fourth time. The first two forays into its world were playthroughs of the main story with the third being the bitterly disappointing Episode Gladio. This time I've returned for Episode Prompto, which presents an opportunity for Square Enix to redeem Final Fantasy XV's downloadable expansions. Episode Prompto released June 27 as the latest installment in the FFXV extended universe. As the name implies, it is all about the lighthearted goofball of the group, Prompto Argentum. Before going any further I should note that there will be no spoilers for the DLC here, but there are MAJOR spoilers if you have not yet beaten the main game. You have been warned! The events of the DLC take place with Prompto in a bit of an emotional limbo. Noctis has seemingly tried to kill him, and left him behind. Of course the player, and eventually Noctis, know that this is actually the work of colossal baddy Ardyn Izunia. The player is reunited with a devastated and confused Prompto (in a new outfit, for some reason…) in the snowy terrain of Niflheim. The bulk of the story centers around a Magitek production plant, significant due to the major plot bomb that Prompto dropped in Chapter 13. He is a Magitek Trooper (MT), a genetically engineered warrior. Square kept with the trend of differentiating the character’s playstyles, a decision that I certainly appreciate. In Episode Gladio we got to play with the character's brute force, at one point even wielding freaking pillars as weapons. From the very start, Prompto's time to shine feels profoundly different from Episode Gladio. Instead of sheer power, the expansion plays as a third-person shooter with a surprising variety of weapons. While Episode Prompto's combat holds a peppering of frustrating moments and quirks, the overall experience manages to be good fun (simple descriptor intentional). Prompto storms into battle equipped with an infinite ammo pistol, melee weapon, and grenades. He can also scavenge a veritable arsenal of weapons found throughout the world. These include the Rapidus SMG, the Alea Bazooka, and a sniper called the Sagitta Rifle. Cool right? But instead of, oh, you know, reloading your guns - you will ditch these weapons when they run empty. A little annoying, but there are strangely plenty of them around to pick up, an almost a ridiculous amount. These minor annoyances don't really detract from the combat itself, they're more just odd design choices. Square Enix divided Prompto's gameplay between the shooter sequences in the facility and an "open world." I was initially super excited to learn about the inclusion of said open world, but upon closer inspection it was underwhelming. We were treated to snowmobile sequences - something that certainly seems thrilling on paper - but they were rough and seemed like they needed more time in development. Side quests appear within the DLC, too, which seem like another awesome opportunity. Unfortunately the lackluster execution of these quests from a technical perspective leave them severely lacking. Most were glitchy with AI problems galore. Umm hi, why aren't the MTs moving? Enjoyable combat aside, Episode Prompto's greatest strength can be found in its storytelling. Square took opportunities to use gameplay mechanics to unveil the story, something sorely missing in Gladio. As an example, one section has the player running as an MT in simple, but effective gameplay. Though this episode wasn’t radically longer than it’s predecessor, its pacing and tone were more appropriate and compelling. Prompto’s big revelation was kind of thrown into the main game and glossed over. Granted, I didn’t expect the guys to toss him aside, but I wanted more of an explanation. With this DLC, Square created a great opportunity to expand on his story organically versus what we saw with Gladio. These DLC releases habe many purposes for Square, but the main one is storytelling. There were many storytelling devices, flashbacks, audio logs etc., used to pack in as much exposition as possible. They exist to expand on the backstories for Noctis' support system. We saw plenty of Noctis in the core game, which makes sense, but so much of what made FFXV a great experience was getting to see the bond between the four characters. Though at times their in-game interactions were dry and unconvincing, the expanded universe was the chance to build these relationships further in a way that players could finally become fully invested. That’s what made Episode Gladio so disappointing. Instead of getting the chance to understand Gladio more we got a rinse and repeat stereotype with some generic metal music in the background. Episode Gladio devolved his character rather than the other way around. OK, enough rant, it's time for Aranea. Aranea and Prompto stumble upon each other in the facility during an intense moment. The gray-haired warrior helps Prompto out through combat assistance and some tough love, but she never lets him forget that he needs to pull his own weight. Essentially, the two form the team that the world never thought it needed. While players don't get to play as Aranea, she makes appearances and becomes a handy ally in combos and boss battles. Her powerful special attacks were pretty much a godsend for me and supplied an added a unique dynamic to combat. She also helps Prompto navigate through his funk, with full on Aranea attitude of course. As skeptical as I was, their chemistry strangely worked. I would love to see more Prompto-nea in the future (hint hint Square). Since release, a fan base has steadily grown around Aranea in the Final Fantasy XV community, so giving her more screen time in this expansion was a smart move on Square's part. And while I'll still argue that she needs her own DLC, including her in Episode Prompto was at least progress. There were so many characters underutilized in both the core game and the Kingsglaive film - using them here shows that Square is listening to its fans. Conclusion During the entirety of my playthrough of Episode Prompto, I had Episode Gladio on my mind. I'm sure that might have been obvious in reading this review, but it makes me wonder, did I enjoy Prompto's story because it was better than Gladio's? My standards going in were pretty low, actually, something to the effect of "this better be longer than Gladio." Overall, yes, this installment was way better in pretty much every respect, but of course, it could be better. It's my hope that going forward Square will only try to improve upon the experience and create a more complete story rather than rushing out content for content's sake, which unfortunately seems to be the trend for the extended universe. Episode Prompto was a step in the right direction. Fans of Final Fantasy XV looking for additional canonical story for Prompto should absolutely play this episode. Though it had some bugs and camera issues, combat stands out as enjoyable and a refreshing change of pace within the Final Fantasy universe. It shows how these expansions can be done right, and it sets my hopes high for the upcoming Episode Ignis. Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto was reviewed on Xbox One and is now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  2. I'm back in Final Fantasy XV for the fourth time. The first two forays into its world were playthroughs of the main story with the third being the bitterly disappointing Episode Gladio. This time I've returned for Episode Prompto, which presents an opportunity for Square Enix to redeem Final Fantasy XV's downloadable expansions. Episode Prompto released June 27 as the latest installment in the FFXV extended universe. As the name implies, it is all about the lighthearted goofball of the group, Prompto Argentum. Before going any further I should note that there will be no spoilers for the DLC here, but there are MAJOR spoilers if you have not yet beaten the main game. You have been warned! The events of the DLC take place with Prompto in a bit of an emotional limbo. Noctis has seemingly tried to kill him, and left him behind. Of course the player, and eventually Noctis, know that this is actually the work of colossal baddy Ardyn Izunia. The player is reunited with a devastated and confused Prompto (in a new outfit, for some reason…) in the snowy terrain of Niflheim. The bulk of the story centers around a Magitek production plant, significant due to the major plot bomb that Prompto dropped in Chapter 13. He is a Magitek Trooper (MT), a genetically engineered warrior. Square kept with the trend of differentiating the character’s playstyles, a decision that I certainly appreciate. In Episode Gladio we got to play with the character's brute force, at one point even wielding freaking pillars as weapons. From the very start, Prompto's time to shine feels profoundly different from Episode Gladio. Instead of sheer power, the expansion plays as a third-person shooter with a surprising variety of weapons. While Episode Prompto's combat holds a peppering of frustrating moments and quirks, the overall experience manages to be good fun (simple descriptor intentional). Prompto storms into battle equipped with an infinite ammo pistol, melee weapon, and grenades. He can also scavenge a veritable arsenal of weapons found throughout the world. These include the Rapidus SMG, the Alea Bazooka, and a sniper called the Sagitta Rifle. Cool right? But instead of, oh, you know, reloading your guns - you will ditch these weapons when they run empty. A little annoying, but there are strangely plenty of them around to pick up, an almost a ridiculous amount. These minor annoyances don't really detract from the combat itself, they're more just odd design choices. Square Enix divided Prompto's gameplay between the shooter sequences in the facility and an "open world." I was initially super excited to learn about the inclusion of said open world, but upon closer inspection it was underwhelming. We were treated to snowmobile sequences - something that certainly seems thrilling on paper - but they were rough and seemed like they needed more time in development. Side quests appear within the DLC, too, which seem like another awesome opportunity. Unfortunately the lackluster execution of these quests from a technical perspective leave them severely lacking. Most were glitchy with AI problems galore. Umm hi, why aren't the MTs moving? Enjoyable combat aside, Episode Prompto's greatest strength can be found in its storytelling. Square took opportunities to use gameplay mechanics to unveil the story, something sorely missing in Gladio. As an example, one section has the player running as an MT in simple, but effective gameplay. Though this episode wasn’t radically longer than it’s predecessor, its pacing and tone were more appropriate and compelling. Prompto’s big revelation was kind of thrown into the main game and glossed over. Granted, I didn’t expect the guys to toss him aside, but I wanted more of an explanation. With this DLC, Square created a great opportunity to expand on his story organically versus what we saw with Gladio. These DLC releases habe many purposes for Square, but the main one is storytelling. There were many storytelling devices, flashbacks, audio logs etc., used to pack in as much exposition as possible. They exist to expand on the backstories for Noctis' support system. We saw plenty of Noctis in the core game, which makes sense, but so much of what made FFXV a great experience was getting to see the bond between the four characters. Though at times their in-game interactions were dry and unconvincing, the expanded universe was the chance to build these relationships further in a way that players could finally become fully invested. That’s what made Episode Gladio so disappointing. Instead of getting the chance to understand Gladio more we got a rinse and repeat stereotype with some generic metal music in the background. Episode Gladio devolved his character rather than the other way around. OK, enough rant, it's time for Aranea. Aranea and Prompto stumble upon each other in the facility during an intense moment. The gray-haired warrior helps Prompto out through combat assistance and some tough love, but she never lets him forget that he needs to pull his own weight. Essentially, the two form the team that the world never thought it needed. While players don't get to play as Aranea, she makes appearances and becomes a handy ally in combos and boss battles. Her powerful special attacks were pretty much a godsend for me and supplied an added a unique dynamic to combat. She also helps Prompto navigate through his funk, with full on Aranea attitude of course. As skeptical as I was, their chemistry strangely worked. I would love to see more Prompto-nea in the future (hint hint Square). Since release, a fan base has steadily grown around Aranea in the Final Fantasy XV community, so giving her more screen time in this expansion was a smart move on Square's part. And while I'll still argue that she needs her own DLC, including her in Episode Prompto was at least progress. There were so many characters underutilized in both the core game and the Kingsglaive film - using them here shows that Square is listening to its fans. Conclusion During the entirety of my playthrough of Episode Prompto, I had Episode Gladio on my mind. I'm sure that might have been obvious in reading this review, but it makes me wonder, did I enjoy Prompto's story because it was better than Gladio's? My standards going in were pretty low, actually, something to the effect of "this better be longer than Gladio." Overall, yes, this installment was way better in pretty much every respect, but of course, it could be better. It's my hope that going forward Square will only try to improve upon the experience and create a more complete story rather than rushing out content for content's sake, which unfortunately seems to be the trend for the extended universe. Episode Prompto was a step in the right direction. Fans of Final Fantasy XV looking for additional canonical story for Prompto should absolutely play this episode. Though it had some bugs and camera issues, combat stands out as enjoyable and a refreshing change of pace within the Final Fantasy universe. It shows how these expansions can be done right, and it sets my hopes high for the upcoming Episode Ignis. Final Fantasy XV - Episode Prompto was reviewed on Xbox One and is now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One View full article
  3. On the eve of the release of the latest story DLC, Episode Prompto, Final Fantasy XV received its June update. Among other things, the update includes the addition of a new vehicle customization the off-roading Regalia Type-D. To get the upgrade for the ol' girl all you'll have to do is take her to Cindy who will propose a "doozy of an idea." The new Regalia stands taller than even Gladio and apparently is a gas guzzler. With the update, all of the guys have new ridiculous things to say and noises as they are jostled around of course. The Type-D was made for off-roading and takes the in-game driving from on-rails to fully manual. There's also a "big jump" function with jumps scored based on distance, landing stability and midair impact. Be warned though, too big of a jump can lead to a game over. Oh, and you're not immune to trees or rocks... The update itself was pretty massive and included compatibility for Episode Prompto. View full article
  4. On the eve of the release of the latest story DLC, Episode Prompto, Final Fantasy XV received its June update. Among other things, the update includes the addition of a new vehicle customization the off-roading Regalia Type-D. To get the upgrade for the ol' girl all you'll have to do is take her to Cindy who will propose a "doozy of an idea." The new Regalia stands taller than even Gladio and apparently is a gas guzzler. With the update, all of the guys have new ridiculous things to say and noises as they are jostled around of course. The Type-D was made for off-roading and takes the in-game driving from on-rails to fully manual. There's also a "big jump" function with jumps scored based on distance, landing stability and midair impact. Be warned though, too big of a jump can lead to a game over. Oh, and you're not immune to trees or rocks... The update itself was pretty massive and included compatibility for Episode Prompto.
  5. Back in November of last year there were murmurs of a partnership between Square Enix and Machine Zone Inc. (now MZ) to create an MMO mobile game within the Final Fantasy XV universe. In March, there was a soft launch for players in New Zealand. At that point, we learned the title of the game: Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. Without clear guidance from Square, fans were left a little confused about the game. For one thing, it looks like another team (possibly within the MZ family), Epic Action LLC, is working on the empire building game. Epic Action only has A New Empire in their Google Play and App Store catalog and it at least appears that a trademark for the company was filed for on March 31. And then there's that timeframe. March 31 and shortly after isn't really the prime time to announce new video games. All of that being said, the game appears to be legit with pre-registration open now. There does appear to be at least two official links to pre-register though... To cement the legitimacy of the game, a tweet from the Final Fantasy XV Twitter page was sent out on today. The "introduction" tweet is below and is accompanied by a link to the Twitter page for the game, and the official webpage for the game which is in Japanese. Square Enix did indeed retweet the message in question. Speaking of the game itself, its description in the mobile stores describes it as the "largest open-world MMO in the series." Also, "Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire is a mobile adventure that lets you rewrite a favorite classic to fulfill your unique destiny." What do you think of A New Empire? How do you think Square Enix is handling its expansion of the FFXV universe? View full article
  6. Back in November of last year there were murmurs of a partnership between Square Enix and Machine Zone Inc. (now MZ) to create an MMO mobile game within the Final Fantasy XV universe. In March, there was a soft launch for players in New Zealand. At that point, we learned the title of the game: Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. Without clear guidance from Square, fans were left a little confused about the game. For one thing, it looks like another team (possibly within the MZ family), Epic Action LLC, is working on the empire building game. Epic Action only has A New Empire in their Google Play and App Store catalog and it at least appears that a trademark for the company was filed for on March 31. And then there's that timeframe. March 31 and shortly after isn't really the prime time to announce new video games. All of that being said, the game appears to be legit with pre-registration open now. There does appear to be at least two official links to pre-register though... To cement the legitimacy of the game, a tweet from the Final Fantasy XV Twitter page was sent out on today. The "introduction" tweet is below and is accompanied by a link to the Twitter page for the game, and the official webpage for the game which is in Japanese. Square Enix did indeed retweet the message in question. Speaking of the game itself, its description in the mobile stores describes it as the "largest open-world MMO in the series." Also, "Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire is a mobile adventure that lets you rewrite a favorite classic to fulfill your unique destiny." What do you think of A New Empire? How do you think Square Enix is handling its expansion of the FFXV universe?
  7. One of the main focuses of the Sony E3 2017 press conference was showcasing support for its VR headset. Keep reading below to see all of the upcoming games coming to PSVR. Sure to please a slew of Elder Scrolls fans, Sony started out its VR showcase with Skyrim in VR. In the trailer, we got to see various combat systems including the title's signature dragon shouts. Next up was Star Child, a third-person new IP with a sci-fi setting appropriate for its name. Final Fantasy XV Monster of the Deep focuses on the fishing mini-game from the main game. The game has a release date of September 2017. The Inpatient explores a vintage mental asylum and teases "discover who you are before it’s too late." The setting is familiar to those who have played Until Dawn. Players will be in Blackwood Sanatorium 60 years before the events of Until Dawn. Bravo Team is a first person shooter set in a "fictional " modern day Eastern European city. The last of the VR games of the 2017 conference was a title called Moss that focused on a mouse. The adorable little critter roams around in a fantastical natural world. Which games are you excited for in VR? What titles do you want to see? View full article
  8. One of the main focuses of the Sony E3 2017 press conference was showcasing support for its VR headset. Keep reading below to see all of the upcoming games coming to PSVR. Sure to please a slew of Elder Scrolls fans, Sony started out its VR showcase with Skyrim in VR. In the trailer, we got to see various combat systems including the title's signature dragon shouts. Next up was Star Child, a third-person new IP with a sci-fi setting appropriate for its name. Final Fantasy XV Monster of the Deep focuses on the fishing mini-game from the main game. The game has a release date of September 2017. The Inpatient explores a vintage mental asylum and teases "discover who you are before it’s too late." The setting is familiar to those who have played Until Dawn. Players will be in Blackwood Sanatorium 60 years before the events of Until Dawn. Bravo Team is a first person shooter set in a "fictional " modern day Eastern European city. The last of the VR games of the 2017 conference was a title called Moss that focused on a mouse. The adorable little critter roams around in a fantastical natural world. Which games are you excited for in VR? What titles do you want to see?
  9. Prepare your eyes for more Final Fantasy XV footage. We see big empires invading, magic swords, comically large weapons, and the first female incarnation of Cid the mechanic. What's not to love? While the trailer is composed of material still undergoing development, it looks very impressive. I know I'm excited to see what Final Fantasy can do when it dedicates itself completely to the current gen systems. Perhaps the most important bit of information in the trailer is that a demo for Final Fantasy XV, titled Episode Duscae, will be included as a bonus for those who pre-order Final Fantasy Type-0 HD before its March 17, 2015. The trailer for Final Fantasy XV launched alongside a trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but YouTube's automated copyright system has since muted the sound in the North American teaser. You can view the UK version below.
  10. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1. View full article
  11. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1.
  12. Square Enix seems to be trying to pull off all the tie-ins it can manage with Final Fantasy XV. They prominently touted an ongoing anime mini-series composed of six episodes had a positive reception on the internet (or rather five episodes and a sixth exclusive to the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XV). Apps that connect to the in-game world of XV like the mobile pinball title Justice Monsters Five are slated for release alongside the full game. Plus, we've had a number of playable demos packaged with other titles. Now the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is on the horizon. In the announcement accompanying the release of the global story trailer, director Takeshi Nozue explains that, "Kingsglaive stands on its own and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the previous games. But if you play Final Fantasy XV there are many references in the game that you wouldn’t necessarily understand without watching the film." He goes on to explain that the themes of Kingsglaive relate to leadership and what it means to be a just king. Whereas people working on Final Fantasy XV have stated that the game examines the bond between men and brotherhood, Kingsglaive delves into the bond between father and son. The plot to Kingsglaive follows the events leading up to the events of Final Fantasy XV. Noctis' father, King Regis, and his elite guard fight against the encroaching Empire to save his kingdom and family after a peace deal goes horribly wrong. A star-studded cast has been assembled to tell the animated tale of Kingsglaive. Sean Bean plays King Regis; Lena Headey portrays princess Luna; and Aaron Paul makes sure villains are breaking bad as Nyx, a member of the titular Kingsglaive knights. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV explodes into select theaters on August 19. Those who can't manage to make it to the theater to see it can watch the film on PlayStation Video beginning on August 30. Final Fantasy XV itself releases on September 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. View full article
  13. Square Enix seems to be trying to pull off all the tie-ins it can manage with Final Fantasy XV. They prominently touted an ongoing anime mini-series composed of six episodes had a positive reception on the internet (or rather five episodes and a sixth exclusive to the Ultimate Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XV). Apps that connect to the in-game world of XV like the mobile pinball title Justice Monsters Five are slated for release alongside the full game. Plus, we've had a number of playable demos packaged with other titles. Now the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is on the horizon. In the announcement accompanying the release of the global story trailer, director Takeshi Nozue explains that, "Kingsglaive stands on its own and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the previous games. But if you play Final Fantasy XV there are many references in the game that you wouldn’t necessarily understand without watching the film." He goes on to explain that the themes of Kingsglaive relate to leadership and what it means to be a just king. Whereas people working on Final Fantasy XV have stated that the game examines the bond between men and brotherhood, Kingsglaive delves into the bond between father and son. The plot to Kingsglaive follows the events leading up to the events of Final Fantasy XV. Noctis' father, King Regis, and his elite guard fight against the encroaching Empire to save his kingdom and family after a peace deal goes horribly wrong. A star-studded cast has been assembled to tell the animated tale of Kingsglaive. Sean Bean plays King Regis; Lena Headey portrays princess Luna; and Aaron Paul makes sure villains are breaking bad as Nyx, a member of the titular Kingsglaive knights. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV explodes into select theaters on August 19. Those who can't manage to make it to the theater to see it can watch the film on PlayStation Video beginning on August 30. Final Fantasy XV itself releases on September 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
  14. Prepare your eyes for more Final Fantasy XV footage. We see big empires invading, magic swords, comically large weapons, and the first female incarnation of Cid the mechanic. What's not to love? While the trailer is composed of material still undergoing development, it looks very impressive. I know I'm excited to see what Final Fantasy can do when it dedicates itself completely to the current gen systems. Perhaps the most important bit of information in the trailer is that a demo for Final Fantasy XV, titled Episode Duscae, will be included as a bonus for those who pre-order Final Fantasy Type-0 HD before its March 17, 2015. The trailer for Final Fantasy XV launched alongside a trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but YouTube's automated copyright system has since muted the sound in the North American teaser. You can view the UK version below. View full article