Never one to let a name get in the way of a good game, Square Enix, by way of the Tokyo Game Show, have released a brand new trailer for the upcoming gigantic Japanese role playing game, Final Fantasy XV. The fifteenth "Final" Fantasy, the game appears to be a big departure from the series norms, with the largest change being the move to a more action oriented, button mashing battle system, as demoed in the trailer below. This is the first time the game's been seen in action since it was revealed at American games show E3 in 2013, marking a lengthy break out of the spotlight.
But enough talking - you probably want to see the trailer for yourself.
Technically set in the same universe as the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, but sharing nothing in the way of characters or settings (Final Fantasy games have become confusing things in recent years), the game tells the story of an as-yet unnamed world, where a war has raged for years over the possession of a number of crystals, which presumably grant some sort of power. While the rest of the world slumps slowly into a depression as the consequence of decades of war, one nation, Lucis, keeps their distance, and slowly ends up becoming a technological monster. With the other nations engaged in an arms race and rapidly turning into decrepit cesspits, Lucis, a nation ran by a mafia-like family that keep order with an iron fist, takes their place as the world leader.
Of course, it doesn't take long before the other states grow jealous of the power Lucis wields, and on the day a peace treaty's due to be signed between Lucis and Niflheim, the latter decide to use it as an excuse to invade, pinching the crystal and making off into the sunset. As the nation's prince, a guy called Noctis, it's up to you to head off and get it back.
And as the trailer above shows, Square Enix haven't lost their flare for the spectacular - or the slightly camp. With some incredible scenery, gorgeous special effects, and the obligatory screen filling dragon, Final Fantasy XV looks set to offer its fair share of jaw dropping moments, but we remain sceptical about the game's all new battle system. While previous games (bar XII) had a turn-based, or at the very least, a take on a turn-based system, FFXV throws all that out the window in favour of a combat system that looks like it could have been stolen from any button masher over the past decade. While it may have fancier animations tying everything together, we're a bit concerned this'll be going the way of the reaction based button masher, losing the gentle pace of the previous games, and replacing it with a system that rewards you based on how quickly you can dodge, rather than how well you think things through. We'll reserve judgement 'til we've played it, but still - as amazing as the rest of the game looks, it's the battles that hold everything together, so it's essential the game gets it right. Especially when it comes to boss fights.
The other big announcement to come out of the Tokyo Game Show is that of Final Fantasy Type 0, an HD remake of an old PSP game that, once again, is set in the same universe as the FFXIII trilogy, but otherwise has no connection. Far more of a visual upgrade than other similar releases like the Disney themed Kingdom Hearts, this is a complete remaster of a game that was never released outside of Japan. Promising, another "action-packed" battle system, the game also mentions a "gritty world view", something the trailer seemingly doesn't share with its factions of girls in tartan skirts with giant swords. Still, as a Final Fantasy spin-off, this should serve as a nice appetiser for Final Fantasy XV - especially as it's set to come with a demo of the latter.
Called FINAL FANTASY XV -EPISODE DUSCAE-, the download will offer a playable sneak peak at the upcoming blockbuster, with a different storyline to play through, meaning the first time you pick up and play FFXV will still be a fresh experience. It's not the first time Square have bundled a demo of a big Final Fantasy game with one they're not expecting to sell as well - but it'll probably provide the excuse many people need to take the plunge.
Final Fantasy Type 0 launches on the 20th March 2015, while a release date for its bigger brother, XV, remains to be seen. Either way, for fans of the series, and role playing aficionados alike, there's not too long to wait before the next big Final Fantasy fix.