Well, it's finally here! #Final_Fantasy_XVI finally hit home and I'm well into my few hours of gameplay! Now there might be some SMALL spoilers, but for the most part, it's just a mission or so away from the DEMO that came out a couple of weeks ago. Nothing too deep. With that said, I'm just going to talk about it for a bit and highlight some of the things I'm enjoying so far. With that said, going right into it!
Valisthea is still very new to me and I haven't even touched on any Crystals just yet but it is definitely going to be a classic FF feel.
First let me mention the sprites! The sprites calling back to the early days! They appear in the save points and the menu and whoever is in the party will reflect the sprites. It also shows young Clive and Jill as well as their adult versions.
I still miss the idea of a 'party'... like the feeling of having a new member join and I jump into the menu and scrutinize the characters equipment, stats, and study their portrait.... that feeling is missing. Been missing since FFXIII and even then, it didn't feel like recruiting new characters like FFX and the games before. It's only Clive and the are others who joins Clive controlled by AIs (at least, from where I am. Might change?). No gambit system, no switchable party member, etc. However, there seems to be something here within the few hours that makes me.... not miss it as much as I think I would? Don't get me wrong, I still crave it but I'm still too early to really say if it's detrimental for me.
Speaking of party though, there's Cid. T.G Cid! Yeah, Ramuh Cid. Can't say much but yeah, Cid is front and center.
Then there's Torgal. You can give him small commands to consider him a 'classic' party member, though very small and slightly irrelevant at the moment. He's going viral with how cute he is and I can't blame them.
Can you blame the internet for not taking kindly towards the cute 'hound'?
Speaking of Jill, she's the Dominant for Shiva herself! Now, at the moment, I have yet to interact with her as much other than a small portion. Shiva, on the other hand, she's definitely let herself known through the first cutscene.
I'm very interested to actually have her in my party members and get more interaction time with her. The internet seems to really want to put Clive and Jill as reflections of Cloud and Tifa. With Clive and Jill's mocap actors being the same ones as Cloud and Tifa's, one can really make that connection. I'm not far enough in the game to say what their relationship is about but Ifrit and Shiva are always considered to be opposites that attract. I'm all for that ship, that's for sure.
Speaking of Clive, this protagonist is definitely a Final Fantasy main. He has the look, the badassery, and definitely a bit of that brooding but caring archetype. He's also got an agenda that keeps him going for sure.
I like the fact that he has alternate looks throughout the years. Very reminiscent of Ramza Beoulve from Final Fantasy Tactics; one of my favorite protagonist and definitely a top tier Final Fantasy in my book--even if it was a spinoff. But since this is early hours of the game, it's mostly on 20s Clive in terms of screen capture. Young Clive didn't nearly get enough screen time for me to get and later Clive, well, still haven't gotten to that. Still really early despite how many days it had been out. I know, I'm slow.
Now what is Final Fantasy without some baddies, right? We've got Goblins, beasts, and the likes--staple FF monsters like Morlboro are present. Then we have Dragoons (one of them voiced by the same VA as Estinien's) and other dastardly humanoid characters. Ones with ambitions and intent to do harm.
And then there's Garuda's Dominant. Benedikta Harman. The femme fatale of FFXVI and FFXIV's returning Eikon. As of starting this post, I'm just now getting into fighting her in her pre Eikon form and let me tell you, she's something else.
Let's talk about Benedikta. She's definitely FFXVI's local hottie. After encountering and fighting her, she's definitely one to turn heads. She's got the look, the sass, the walk, and she's pretty competent with the blade. And she's also broken... and that leads to her being highly unstable.
Her arc... well, can't spoil it as of this moment but it's definitely got a potency to it. So far, she's the main "baddie" that I had come across and seeing how I'm still early in the game, I'm sure there will be more characters that I will encounter.
The game looks great. As a PS5 exclusive, I think it looks pretty darn good--there are no complaints from me. The gameplay is a subject of debate since it's too 'action based' and 'not Final Fantasy' enough. I honestly think it's just fine as it is and I'm still gauging where it stands compared to my top three (FFVI, FFX/X2, and FFXIV). There's so much more to talk about and here's to hoping I'll get the time and the proper mood to really write it. But I'm definitely going to judge this game on my its own merit. So much discombobulation and 'supposed-to-be-this-way' arguments online that it's kind of flabbergasting that people would divide, side, and flame just because. I'm enjoying the game. It's definitely the first Final Fantasy that I've been excited for that is matching the hype (promotions, prerelease videos, demos, etc) since Final Fantasy X. It's good. I'm loving it. I'm playing it and having a good time. And once again, if I get the chance to review it, I will base it off my enjoyment before putting it next to another Final Fantasy. That's all for now.
Until Next Time!