Ok, I got the platinum trophy after 100 hours. Did most of the hard dungeons too
On the trophy side of things I think they should've added more difficulty (like a trophy for rank 8 in hunts, completing post game dungeons, more fishing ones, etc...). I think that the game has at least 70 hours more in content for me to tap but I feel like I don't get much of a reward for the hard times I could get lol
Technically the game is awesome. I have to say that for me it looks better than most open world games I've played on PS4 (I can only think of Infamous Second son looking better but the world was much smaller) and I didn't have any noticable problems with frame rate or bugs in the game. Animations were very good too, and the world just seemed beautiful.
Now, I can get why people have been calling this an "unfinished masterpiece". I got inside the game after watching the 5 episode anime and Kingsglaive (Both are very good and entertaining) so I had an introduction to the political situation and some characters inside the movie so I cannot say how lost I would've been without them. But it's true, I think Kingsglaive should have been a part of the game serving as a 2 hour tutorial/demo/intro much like it has been done in Final Fantasy XII with Reks or Kingdom Hearts 2 with Roxas. The first part of the story would have been much more meaningful and clear also.
I felt like the first chapters of the game give you so much potential story content that was simply left out. A lot of Niffelheim characters are introduced with their names and all and you don't ever get to see them again: The emperor just dissapears and you can just see his body hanging in the throne room(Shocking scene I have to say, that was really well done); Ravus comes and gives you a headache and you can't even fight him in his normal state. What happened with the empire for example? How did Ardyn take over everything?
Not only that, you just lack so much info on your own party. What did Gladio do when he goes out of the party for an entire chapter? Ignis sight loss could have been done better, and Prompto...yeah, Prompto's situation was handled in just a 5 minute dialogue.
Ardyn's story and how he was the accursed one had so much possible content too that it really bothered me that you only get to read about it in a few papers in chapter 13 (that you can obviously miss) and a small talk with Bahamut. Also, the last chapter felt a bit rushed, you sleep for 10 years, come back and just go to the final boss (I really liked the idea of the timeskip though, that's why it pains me to see it didn't have as much content as I expected).
But even with all that I think this game is awesome
I really had the feeling I was going to hate Prompto like I hated Vanille, but I felt like crap when in chapter 13 Ardyn shows you fake images of him suffering. It really pained me when I saw Ignis blind and needing help, and Gladio felt like a strong guy you could rely on on those hard moments. This is all because IMO the game does such a good job with this male friendship thing. I really get why they showed these refferences to stuff like "Stand by me" (movie and song) or some commercials that felt like "Stranger things". I would have enjoyed having a female character in the party but maybe this "Malebond" would have suffered.
I really enjoyed the roadtrip setting, gave me a feeling I hadn't felt in other RPGs. The camping, fishing, cooking, pictures, etc... were a great addition. Towns and outposts felt really nice. I liked the sensation that it was a roadtrip I can do on vacations but with the fantasy elements the game has. Riding the Regalia , Chocobos, gondolas and the boat was really fun and relaxing too. I also felt the urgency to get to a camp or outpost at night to avoid daemons, gave nightime a completely different feeling as something you have to avoid in early stages of the game.
Ardyn was another good thing for me. At first I hated him, but after time goes on you see how evil and tragic he can be. But in the end, I have the feeling he just wanted to be released from the curse, which is why he helps you so much at the begining of the game. All of this got me wanting more.
The final moments of Noctis talking to his friends in what seems to be the afterlife were heartbreaking for me, and even though it felt like a secondary thing, the final scene with Luna and Noctis getting married seems like nostalgic end to a very sad story. The ending was good for me, I like these sort of tragic endings that aren't as common in videogames even though I felt they could've put more content into it. Music really helped, Yoko Shimomura did a great job IMO.
I got the same feeling I had with a great 12 or 24 episode anime, I wanted more (For example Tokyo Ghoul or Kurosuka). I wanted to get in and read an hipothetical manga or book or something that could explain all of those loose ends the game had. I hope SE patches something later, and that's when I expect to get in the new game + option. But in the end, I loved the game, I think I will keep playing it to discover places I didn't go.
I get the criticism the game has gotten, you can clearly see development was a mess but I feel that they ended up giving us a very good game nevertheless. That's why I have good hopes for XVI, I think this is the game that SE needed to get out to let go of this ps3 era of promises and development hell. First making something good out of XIV and now giving us a solid, yet lacking, conclusion to the fabula nova crystallis that started with XIII. For me it also delivered something I was waiting since my teenage years, and I felt good.
I think that if the game fixed those stuff it would deserve a metacritic of 95-96. I personally would give it a 9 and it's my favorite game this year, but I feel like it deserves something like an 85-86
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