What a way to end the month of March! The much ballyhooed Square Enix livestream event, Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV, has come and gone and these are the 14 announcements that they were so excited to share! The hosts of the night were IGN alumni and Kinda Funny founders Greg Miller and Tim Gettys. Greg knew of Final Fantasy (FF) in passing while Tim was a full-fledged lifelong fan. I am somewhere in between. I’ve mostly avoided the media and news surrounding Final Fantasy XV in order to avoid succumbing to the strange beast known as, “hype.” Thus, I watched livestream with very little knowledge about the current status of the game.
Here’s the Teaser Trailer for Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV!
#1 – Sakaguchi Hironobu
The venerable creator of the much-loved FF series, Hironobu Sakaguchi took the stage to declare his love for the series. It is after all his brainchild. Although he is not involved with the development of the series anymore, he does share that he has high hopes for the future of the franchise
Square Enix never failed to present amazing CG trailers and Reclaim Your Throne didn’t disappoint. In a sci-fi flavored, high fantasy setting, the trailer touched upon the overall plot of the game. The trailer featured Noctis as the son and heir of a king whose nation is besieged by their enemies. Noctis is joined by his companions and a childhood blonde friend. It also showed gameplay very reminiscent of the Kingdom Heart series, with its targeting reticle and overall battle screen UI. Map travel was enabled by both cars and Chocobos. There were also lots of classic FF summons and monsters from Ramuh and Leviathan to an Iron Giant and a Behemoth. The trailer ended with a beautiful rendition of Stand By Me.
Yoshitaka Amano helped the visual design of FF for years and it seemed that he wouldn’t allow himself to be left out of the party. They showcased a fantastic trailer creating a 3D art version of the Final Fantasy XV (FFXV) art logo. Viewers “flew” through the inner workings of the logo, featuring monsters and summons locked in combat. Composer Nobuo Uematsu joined in briefly and gave his best wishes, even though he wasn’t involved in any music.
I loved Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine’s rendition of Stand By Me. It was very cool and relaxing, especially the harp. I’m a sucker for a good harp. However, I can’t help but miss the old Japanese theme songs from the older FF games.
#5 – New Gameplay Videos
There are plenty of new cool stuff. You can travel with Chocobos that race, glide, and drift in a vast open world. The car even has a radio channel that plays FF music. As you explore the highways of the world, you can choose to help the random people you see along the way. I know I would because I love extra experience points. The similarity of the combat to Kingdom Hearts gives it a more dynamic and familiar feel. Noctis’s Warp Strike allows him to teleport to various places on the battlefield – from the face of a behemoth to a tall water tower to a distant flying transport ship. There are plenty of things to look forward too!
This is a glorified tech demo. But, damn, it’s a really nice one. This is the kind of effects that make a graphics enthusiast cry. Here’s to hoping the PC gamers out there will have a rig good enough to run all this in ultra and that PS4 players won’t get shafted too much. The trailer featured beautiful cityscapes, fantastic water effects, and stunning natural environments. This is definitely where a lot of development money went into.
A five-episode OVA that features Noctis and his companions as they grow from childhood to adulthood. Noctis was the chosen heir and hero. Ignis was the learned one and looks like Egon from Ghostbusters. Gladio was the the young muscled, bodyguard. Prompto was the crowd favorite everyman. Clean animation and great action direction gives more hope for the future of this series. They also fight a multi-armed Lamia like monster. Episode 1 will be available TODAY and the rest will be released before FFXV.
Kingsglaive looked like what the Square Enix wanted to do with the Luminous Engine. They featured Agni’s Philosophy in previous events but this really seemed like step above that. This movie stars King Regis, Noctis’s father and Lunafreya, his childhood friend. This movie occurs in parallel with the events of FFXV. King Regis, Lunafreya and others must protect their walled kingdom against evil threats, including a very angry looking purple-tinted knight.
#9 – Square Enix Audi R8
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the Kingsglaive trailer. The featured car in that trailer will be made in the real world, as part of the partnership between Audi and Square Enix. Still no disclosure on when and how this one-of-a-kind car will be available.
Kingsglaive is an impressive trailer for what I hope to be a good movie. My hopes for it improved when they featured the heavyweight voice actors. Lena Heady of Game of Thrones (GoT) fame, plays Lunafreya, childhood friend and betrothed of Noctis. Genre veteran and also GoT alumnus Sean Bean takes the role of King Regis. This also probably means that King Regis will die either in Kingsglaive or during FFXV. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul takes the role of Nyx, a member of the king’s elite troops – the Kingsglaive. They will try to stop their enemies from access to the last Blue Crystal housed in their city.
Minigames, in-game or otherwise, have always been part of the FF package. This one seems to be a very FF-themed pinball game. I’m not impressed, but I do like pinball, so I’ll give it a try. It’s also available on mobile devices for iOS, Android, and Windows 10. I wonder if you’ll be able to transfer progress between the games and your devices.
Platinum Demo was presented by Mat Kishimoto of Square Enix America. It’s a completely free demo available today. It allows players to taste a larger part of the full game, as Platinum Demo will not be part of FFXV. Players can test out magic as well as summon and control monsters. Crystals can be collected to activate panels that change the environment. A cute carbuncle accompanies Noctis and it can be transferred to the main game as DLC, if the Carbcuncle survives the demo. This makes me afraid if they will insert a possible tear-jerking scene where Carbuncle dies. You can traverse dreamscapes in a toy car and use a squeaky hammer…because reasons.
#13 – Collector’s Edition
The FFXV Collector’s Edition comes in two versions. The Deluxe Edition features a steelbook case, blu-rays of Kingslglaive movie and the FFXV game. There’s also the Ultimate Collector’s Edition that will only have 30,000 units available exclusively through the Square Enix store. It contains the game, an artbook, the Brotherhood OVA blu-ray, the Kingsglaive blu-ray, a soundtrack, and a fantastic Noctis statue. Both editions are available for pre-order now.
#14 – Release Date!
Hajime Tabata, the director of FFXV, joined Greg Miller and Tim Gettys to press the giant red button that will show the game’s release date. Since the release date was leaked prior to the event, there was speculation if they were going to change it. For a moment, I though they did! The counter stopped at November 30, 2016 then reversed back into the true release date – Sept. 30, 2016!
#15 – “Uncovered Extended” Trailerr
This trailer goes deeper into the lore a little bit, fleshing out the relationship between Young Noctis and Lunafreya. There’s also a mysterious, shady looking red-head. There was plenty of gameplay also featuring more of the warp strike. The most WTF moment for me involves the car. You have to watch until the end.
In case you missed the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV, you can watch the entire show here below!