Monday Update – Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo


Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo – So, I finally got around to this demo they released in May. It’s Bloodborne’s fault, I assure you, but I did want to take a quick look at the way they intended to entice consumers to purchase Final Fantasy XV.

And wow, they did a terrible job of that!

I certainly get the purpose of this demo – add a little story to your introduction to Final Fantasy XV, right? But the execution’s all wrong. First, you play in a dreamworld, a vague and uninteresting dreamworld with zero context. I’ve seen plenty of Final Fantasy XV trailers, but I can’t say I understand this new universe any better via playing this demo. Second, you play as a kid version of the protagonist, Noctis, which means he can’t fight with real weapons; rather, he gets toy swords and hammer, which I guess is cute if you like that sort of thing. You can transform into animals and stuff too! And then, you collect little yellow crystals for some reason, mostly for unlockables? Collectathons are the new “content”!

Honestly, I don’t know who this demo appeals to, or for what purpose it exists. All it highlights is everything I feared Final Fantasy XV would feel like: Kingdom Hearts with a Final Fantasy overlay. Yes, we get some combat sequence but they are pretty boring, all said. You hit enemies a lot, and then they die. You can do timed blocks, but enemies don’t hit for enough damage in this demo to make it necessary (what I would give for difficulty levels in some games, for serious). Foes can hit you from off screen with zero tells in a third person action game, which frustrates me to no end in a situation like this. But, then again, these problems all existed in Type-0 as well, so why should I expected something substantially different from Tabata’s newer title?

Man, it’s tiring talking about Final Fantasy games in such a negative light…but I honestly don’t know what this demo means, other than a glorified tech exploration of cool visuals in a video game. But I can watch a CG film for that purpose – I don’t play video games just to look at pretty things. That would be immensely un-engaging, to say the least. Give me a neat looking world with some interesting mechanics to play with, or a battle system that requires my attention, and I’ll roll with it. But this demo doesn’t give me a good feel for the game at all. Am I even playing something vaguely representative of the final (ha ha) product, or am I just going to have to take a leap of faith on this one?

I guess the final conclusion is “would this convince you to play Final Fantasy XV?” For the vast majority of people, that answer will probably be “no”. And that’s sort of a shame, because they had an opportunity to release a (free, not Episode Duscae) demo, but chose this…thing instead. Disappointing, bad marketing is never a good thing!

About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.