Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII marked the end of the XIII series, and with Final Fantasy XIV being an MMO it means the re-purposed Versus XIII is next on the agenda as Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV is based in the Fabula Nova Crystallis world, which means it shares some form of continuity with the FFXIII series. However, It is confirmed to play completely different to the XIII series as well as adopting an entirely new cast of characters.
It’s clear that Final Fantasy XIII left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, becoming the most hated Final Fantasy series by both fans and newcomers. Final Fantasy XV has the opportunity to boost the series’ appeal back to popularity, and with the footage already released it looks like Square Enix are on the right track. But what exactly do we want from the game? I decided to come up with this list, aided in part by the fabulous Final Fantasy fans of Reddit.
Enjoyable Side Quests
Although I enjoyed the XIII games much more than most people, I can’t deny that the side quests were incredibly lacking. Yes they were there, but they were reduced to monster slaying and fetching tasks, which gets boring eventually. In Final Fantasy XV we need side quests that will truly effect the landscape of the world, we want to feel like we’re making a difference outside of just the main plot line.
This can be a tough challenge given that it’s not easy to deliver such world altering side quests in a story driven game But it’s not like we haven’t seen quality sub plots in previous iterations of the game. Just think Wutai in Final Fantasy VII, which was completely optional but an awesome distraction from the main plot. If Final Fantasy XV can give us this it will be one step closer to being the best Final Fantasy game ever.
A Character Driven Plot
Many gamers found XIII’s plot convoluted and difficult to string together. I was able to follow it by reading the data logs, but asking gamers to read is sometimes asking too much. What we need is a strong character driven experience that makes it easy for everyone to relate to. A complaint I had about the XIII series is that many of the characters were emotionless until select moments when the writers figured “Oh yea, Hope needs to get really angry and cry here.”
The reason people always chose Final Fantasy VII, IX and X (and a list of others) as their favorite game in the series is because they include characters we can relate to, and although it’s clear the main protagonists are fighting their opposition for greater good, you get to see how these characters came to be the way they are.
Even villains have been a big driving force in previous stories, and a good villain was missing from the XIII series until Caius came along, but by then it was much too late for most gamers to care.
A Tactical Battle System
We’ve already seen the Final Fantasy XV battle system in motion, and it’s clear that Square are going with a fully real-time system. Although this will attract those who have been previously reluctant to try a Final Fantasy game, I feel like it could be a huge turn off for more traditional Final Fantasy fans like myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for Square Enix to change from real-time to turn based, but all we want is for there to be some level of tactical decision making when approaching combat.
I enjoy learning enemy attack patterns and forming strategies to outsmart them. Just tapping an attack and dodge button would be such a let down for a Final Fantasy battle system. But fear not, the video above suggests that the system will indeed be more complex than it looks on the surface.
A Complex Leveling System
A Final Fantasy game just wouldn’t be a Final Fantasy game without some form of leveling. It’s developing your characters skills that makes completing side quests and bonus bosses worth it. A true Final Fantasy fan enjoys grinding to make their characters that much better. I believe Final Fantasy XIII had a satisfying leveling system, but the XIII games after that were a big let down in terms of how leveling worked.
The perfect leveling system for me would be a mash up of the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X and the License board from Final Fantasy XII. This would strike a nice balance between character and weapon development, and would urge Square Enix to add vast amounts of gear to come across in game.
Yes I know this seems like a contradiction after earlier stating that I wanted less side quests aimed at taking down bosses. But I actually like having them in the game, as long as they’re not actually considered side quests. Bonus bosses and monster slaying in general should be something that gives dedicated players more to do after finishing all 80 hours (we hope) of the story itself.
After beating Final Fantasy XIII I went right back to Grand Pulse to grind and defeat many of the bonus bosses and even the Titan trails, simply because it provided a nice way to enjoy the battle system and leveling without the pressure of progressing through a story. Furthermore, I believe the Requiem of the Goddess DLC in Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be one of the best extras in the game period, and it was simply one long boss fight. We want to keep the fight alive long after saving the world, so lets hope Square Enix understands.
What did I miss? Did I even miss anything? Does my list even make sense to you? Be sure to have your say below and let us all know what you want from Final Fantasy XV. You never know, Square Enix themselves might even get a Google alert from this article and decide to act upon something you said.. It’s a long shot, but unless you have your say you’ll never know. Go ahead, we don’t bite.