Preview: Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae (PS4)

Final Fantasy XV was introduced back when Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito were introduced. Back then it was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII and the three games were supposed to release around the same time since all three games exist in the same universe. Final Fantasy XIII released on time, while Agito was renamed Type-0 and released on the PSP in 2011 and only in Japan. To give you an idea on how far behind Final Fantasy XV is, Final Fantasy XIII has had two sequels released already.
Finally, we get to play Final Fantasy XV. Well, only a demo called Episode Duscae, but that is very promising. However, the only way to get the demo is to buy the Day One Edition of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. So how good is the demo?

 

Story

Not much is revealed about the main story of the game. You play as Noctis the Prince of Lucis. Episode Duscae starts with your car broken down so Noctis and his three friends/protectors are tasked with coming up with the 25,000 gil needed to fix the car. To do this they decide to take on a bounty to slay a behemoth called Deadeye.
So far, the story is pretty standard fare, as far as Final Fantasy games go.

 

Content Warning

Final Fantasy XV does not have an ESRB rating yet, but if it falls in line with Final Fantasy games that are not spin-offs (major numbered releases as in I, II, III, IV, V, etc.) it will be rated T for Teen.
The only things of note in the demo is you do some killing of opposing troops and there is a character with scanty clothing. There is no blood shown during the fighting in this demo, but the demo may not be representative of the content of the final game.

 

Gameplay

Final Fantasy XV 2

As with all Final Fantasy games, the gameplay is fairly complex. You move around the environment like in any other recent Final fantasy game and combat is similar to that of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core or Final Fantasy Type-0. You lock onto a target and then issue commands to attack. Everything happens in real time. You don’t issue a few commands and then watch as your character carries them out. Each command is carried out the moment you issue it.
In the demo, Noctis has five sword slots, but does not carry them around. He conjures them out of thin air. And he attacks differently depending on how far away from the target you are.
You can also hold a defend button to defend against attacks. When holding this down, you have a few options. You can just hold the button and he will dodge light attacks. Pressing the evade button with make Noctis dash out of the way. The last thing he can do is parry and counter a strong attack. You will be given a warning of red lines on the screen when an enemy is making a parry-able attack. If you hit the correct prompt at the right time, you will block the attack and open up a chance at a counter attack.
Different swords will give Noctis different special attacks. These can be unleashed by pressing the special attack button. You can cycle through the special attacks with the d-pad. Specials take MP to use as does using your dash ability. The dash ability works in two ways. One is just dashing a short distance by pressing the dash button and Noctis will teleport that short distance.
The other is to scan the environment for blue indicators. When you find a blue indicator, you press the dash button. Noctis will then hurl his sword to that indicator and will proceed to teleport there. This also helps Noctis heal and regain MP during battle (another way to do this is to hide behind something). This dash ability can be used when locked onto a target. Noctis will throw his sword at the target and then teleport to it. This is a great way to get back into the heat of the battle. Also, it is a handy to stop enemies from getting too much distance from you.
The leveling system is a bit different in the fact that you have to rest to level up.  All the experience you get during battles does not apply until you make camp and rest. So it is a good idea to camp often and before big battles. Camping can be done free at any time at designated camp sites.
So far, I am loving the combat in Final Fantasy XV. I hope it is kept the same for the final release.

FINAL FANTASY XV EPISODE DUSCAE_20150316205521

Presentation

This game looks amazing and it is only the demo. I would imagine they haven’t fine-tuned this game yet. It is basically is a playable Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It looks that good and is all done in game. Cut scenes do not look different than gameplay. They are definitely going for the punk emo look with the character designs which kind of reminds me of Final Fantasy VII.
The English voice acting is fairly good. That’s a good thing. Usually the English voice acting sucks in Final Fantasy games, but this is the demo, so there is not a lot of dialog to go on here.

FINAL FANTASY XV EPISODE DUSCAE_20150317235419

Conclusion

In my view, if you are a Final Fantasy fan, you definitely need to play this demo. I haven’t been this fired up about Final Fantasy since Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. The big reason for that is the combat system. There is just so much freedom in it. No more issuing commands only to have them rendered useless while you are waiting for them to be carried out. The demo will take you around four hours to beat, if you blast through it.
The only downfall is in order to get this game you must buy a new copy of Final Fantasy Type-0. Of what I played so far, Type-0 is a great game also so this is not such a bad thing. The demo is not on the disc. You get a download code. So, that is why I said you have to buy Type-0 new, but I have heard that people are selling the codes online.
Okay, stop reading now. Go pick up Final Fantasy Type-0, play this demo, and then go play Type-0. You will not regret it.
[amazon template=thumbnail&asin=B00DBF829C]

The Bottom Line

Buy Final Fantasy Type-0 to get this demo! Go now!

 

Jonathan Klassen

Just a small city, Christian boy from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Go Riders Go! I have a wife (Andrea), a son (Ethan) and another one on the way.

3 Comments

  1. jetpackpaul on March 24, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I picked up Type-0 per your suggestion this weekend! (Which, thank you, as I’m so far enjoying it…) I also played a bit of the demo! XV looks beautiful, though I think the character designs are a bit underwhelming. I also had some trouble targeting enemies in battle. One time I warped to a beast which was in line with an enemy troop I was trying to attack. I warped some distance away out of battle which made it kind of hilarious actually!

    But I’m really looking forward to XV! It makes me nervous that I was also excited about XIII though, haha.
    Now to play some Type-0 for the time being!

  2. Jinx on March 24, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Thanks for the overview!! Would you recommend this game to people (aka me) who have never played a Final Fantasy game before? I only have a Wii and a PS4 so I would not be able to play many of the previous games. Most of the game I know about come from word of mouth or gameplay I watch online.

    • Jonathan Klassen on March 24, 2015 at 5:42 am

      You may be able to download the very early Fanal Fantasy games on the Wii. On the PS4 I would recommend getting Final Fantasy X HD. It comes out in May. It has the easiest battle system. My second favourite FF game (behind FFVII). FFVII is getting a remaster for the PS4. FFXV demo has been great. I would recommend it to anyone. The game it comes with (FF Type-0) has been a lot of fun so far. It is the only mature rated FF. You can pick any of these games up and play as the stories are not connected. So long story short, yes I would recommend all the games I mentioned above. Hope that helps.

Leave a Reply