Previously only available as a pre-order promotion, A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV is now available to everyone for free.
Available to download via Xbox Games Store, A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV takes place 30 years before FINAL FANTASY XV, featuring retro-style graphics and a fast-paced combat system. The action centres around King Regis and his faithful companions (Weskham, Cid and Clarus) defending the royal capital from raiding monsters.
This retro RPG is set to feature:
•Deep Combat System – Combos, counters, and Regis’ signature “Warp Strike” combine for lightning fast real-time combat that rewards fast reflexes and smart tactics.
•Companions – Three distinct companions offer unique and new ways to attack as well as tailored super moves that deal massive damage.
•Magic – Ignite the battlefield, freeze your enemies, or electrify your foes with Fire, Ice, and Lightning magic.
•Summons – Call upon epic Astral entities to decimate your foes in jaw-dropping ways.
Whilst we wait for the Season Pass DLC to start releasing, we have plenty of other content to enjoy thank to the limited time Moogle Chocobo Carnival which starts January 24th.
The carnival will take place in Altissia and includes a bunch of mini-games to indulge in, including: chocobo racing, skilled shooting challenges, and photo with mascots. It looks silly and fun, we’ll definitely be there for whatever digital treats the carnival may provide.
Square Enix’s latest in the Final Fantasy series has been out for just over month now, treating us all to an excellent slice of action RPG adventure – learn more in our review. However, the experience wasn’t quite complete, and Square Enix are keen to remedy that.
The Season Pass will, of course, add additional elements to the game over the course of the year, including extra story content based on protagonist Noctis’ party of battle-brothers: Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis, as well as a multiplayer mode of some sorts. But, whether you have the Season Pass or not, there will also be additional, free tweaks, extra content and events to flesh out the story, making it more coherent and fun.
Back in December, FFXV Director Hajime Tabata released a press statement covering the short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for adding additional content to the game on the Square Enix blog.
In the short-term the plan is to make enhancements to Chapter 13, such as increasing the strength of the Ring of Lucii. But Tabata has hinted there’ll be more to it than that, and yesterday’s tweet announcing an upcoming New Year broadcast – apparently, thanks to Nova Crystallis for translating – will hopefully fill in some more details very soon.
The mid-term plan is to apparently enhance the overall story, such as adding scene to better inform us of character’s motivations. But with voice-over work in multiple languages required, this may well be some time off.
The long-term plan is to add additional playable characters, or more specifically, more characters that can join your party. This may even include the avatar you’ll be able to create in the Season Passes multiplayer element, according to the press release. Additionally, other features, tweaks and additions are also on the table, such as limited time hunts and boss encounters with special rewards or achievements.
A couple of patches, and the Holiday Bonus Pack, have already been released, adding a New Game Plus that allows you to carry over your stats, a level limiting item that allows you to attempt a level 1 run-through of the game, items to help gain more AP, and multiple other items that can aid you in the adventure. However, the most intriguing items are the carnival passes, which comes in two flavours: a free pass from the patch and a paid pass from the Holiday Bonus Pack. These are prepping you for a limited time carnival event that’s due to kick off in Altissia on January 24th.
And if that’s not already enough Final Fantasy XV goodies to look forward to, there’s still more to come. At GDC in San Francisco late next month, there’ll be a panel featuring Dan Inoue, Lead Writer and Localization Director of FFXV. The panel will be called “Bringing Fantasy to Life in Final Fantasy XV” and will talk about the challenges of maintaining a cohesive narrative across companion projects and promotions, and strategies for turning the universe to your advantage.
Indeed, Square Enix are throwing a lot of support at Final Fantasy XV, and we here at TiX Towers are stoked to see how the already great game grows over time.
Final Fantasy Type-0 originally saw release solely in Japan on PSP but it quickly gained a following in the west, thanks to its real-time, fast paced combat, intriguing characters and narrative, plus its overall different take on the Final Fantasy formula. Finally we see the title hit our shores, along with an HD polish and a surprising leap to home console, but can this unique Final Fantasy meet the high expectations of series’ fans?
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD focuses on Class Zero, a band of 12 teenagers, highly trained in combat and magic so to counter any attack on their nation. A surprise invasion thrusts the group into action and an intriguing tale unfolds about nations going to war, and just how far people are willing to go to achieve victory. It’s a more grounded story than many of its Final Fantasy predecessors and a good one at that, and despite the presence of magic, crystals, and L’cie due to its tie-in with the Fabula Nova Crysallis series, it’s a more relatable drama overall.
However, it certainly isn’t the best structured and delivered tale. Awkward dialogue fails to inform and serves to unnecessarily lengthen what little coherent explanation there is. Meanwhile, poor voice work and odd scene switching and cuts in cut scenes makes the narrative hard to follow. It’s also structured in a way that requires two playthroughs to fully grasp what’s going on, and with an average completion time of 25 hours, it asks a lot from its audience. It is worth the slog in the end, if you’re at all invested in the narrative, and the characters are deeper and more interesting than they first seem, it’s just a shame there’s so many barriers to break through before you see Type-0’s more impressive story aspects.
It’s a similar story with the rest of the experience. Type-0 boasts a unique, fast paced, real-time combat system that wonderfully balances tactics and strength to achieve a very different style of combat to what series’ fans are used to. It’s far less about grinding levels and a lot more about analysing your enemy’s style of combat, looking for opportunities to attack, and exploiting weaknesses. Furthermore, it’s not only about the strength of your magic and attacks but also about moving around the battlefield swiftly and taking your time, choosing which character best suits the enemy, which attack or spell to use, then which angle. It’s brilliantly strategic. However, as refreshing as the combat is, camera and lock-on problems get in the way a bit.
The camera is very sensitive, whether moving your character around in the world or in combat it spins at a blistering speed at the slightest nudge of the analogue stick. If objects or walls get in the way it’ll dash around to try and avoid them, and as it does so a nauseating motion blur effect kicks in. It’s intractable and frustrating, and the omission of any options to reduce sensitivity is baffling. Meanwhile, the lock-on mechanic has a tendency to get stuck on enemies, and whilst another mechanic which has you draw energy from fallen foes is no doubt the reason for this, it’s still frustrating when you mean to switch to a different target.
Type-0’s presentation is also a mixed bag. Whilst main characters look great, the rest of the cast look wooden and featureless. There’s a noticeable difference between the 12 Class Zero cadets and other NPC, and when they’re in the same cut scene together the comparison is shocking. Environments and enemies also run the gamut from detailed to bland, the new musical arrangements, however, are stunning, with several catchy pieces that burrow away into your brain. Certainly there’s a lot of visual let downs but there’s a clever aesthetic consistency with it all that helps hide the worst of it, such as filters during cut scenes. Even the aforementioned motion blur serves to hide some of the rough edges. Fortunately, the overall experience fairs a great deal better.
Type-0 is separated into eight chapters that progress the story, however, in-between chapters you can explore other avenues. You can to talk to NPCs and your fellow cadets, learning more about the world, the war, and your comrades. You can also conduct side missions, raise chocobos, or train your characters. Each activity takes up a chunk of time, of which you have a limited amount of between each story missions, so you have to be selective over what you choose to do. And if you don’t fancy doing any of the side activities you can talk to your commander and carry on with the main story. It’s a varied set of options to keep you busy, and with several secrets hidden away it’s worth exploring them. However, thanks to the tactical combat style, grinding isn’t as necessary so you’re free to push on with the story if that’s what you’d prefer.
The majority of the chapters place you in linear locations where you travel between fights on foot. Up to 3 characters from the set of 12 can be chosen to form your party and you can switch control between them as you fight. Each character sports a different style of combat, abilities, and magic and whilst certain skills will prove more effective against particular enemies, you’re pretty much free to pick your preferred characters. During chapters Special Orders crop up that challenge you to complete an objective or your party leader dies. It’s a risk to accept them but the reward in buffs and bonuses is almost always worth it. In addition to the on-foot combat, RTS style missions task you with commanding troops on the world map, offering a very different experience.
The original’s multiplayer isn’t present isn’t this HD port, however, replacing it is the option to have special AI controlled party members with the names of the development team join up with you instead. It’s a neat replacement but still a shame the original multiplayer component couldn’t make the transition.
It’s visually rough around the edges and the lock-on can prove a nuisance, but the tactical combat is superb and the depth of its large cast of 12 main characters is impressive. The story is also intriguing just hidden a bit behind bad structure and storytelling techniques. Certainly it’s one of the most refreshing Final Fantasy titles in quite some time, and builds oodles of excitement for what might be with Final Fantasy XV. Don’t let the flaws put you off, this is a great action RPG.
Thanks to Xbox & Square Enix for supplying TiX with a download code