Final Fantasy XV (2016) - Luna
Final Fantasy XV Memories
January 9, 2018
Super Eos Bros.

It's more-or-less impossible to divorce Final Fantasy XV from its inordinately long development. I was in seventh grade when this game was first announced as Versus XIII, and by the time the game was in my hands, I had graduated from college. Following all those years of anticipation, XV was never going to live up to everybody's expectations, but even though it wasn't quite the epic I had hoped for, it still ended up being one of my favorite games of last year.

Where XV succeeds is in fostering a sense of camaraderie between its main heroes. The game is a personal journey for Noctis, where he learns to accept the destiny placed upon his shoulders as a member of the royal family, but helping him along the way are Prompto, Ignis, and Gladiolus. Ever by your side, players will get to know Noctis' friends: sitting around a campfire, sampling one of Iggy's new "re-shup-ays," exchanging quips as they fight alongside one another, or just basking in the scenery on a leisurely drive through the Eos countryside. XV excels in the mundane, delivering an RPG experience that is as much about enjoying a trip with friends as it is about saving the world. There's a reason that the game's final scenes, where Noctis tries to express his feelings towards his friends as they prepare for his ascension, resonate more than any of the game's other malnourished story beats might.

Although, it must be said: I got chills upon finally hearing "Somnus" in-game after waiting a decade.


There are parts of Final Fantasy XV that remind us that it shares some development staff with the Kingdom Hearts series. No, not an incomprehensible plot, I can hear you in the back shouting. I refer to both a late-game battle, and the battle with Leviathan. In XV's world of Eos, these "summons" are called Astrals, as they aren't simply a monster the size of a truck that swoops in and damages your foes, but they're large, epic creatures, worthy of their position as gods within the XV universe.

Leaving all else aside — because I really want to leave aside the story development in the surrounding chapters — the path to Leviathan and ensuing battle is one of the defining moments in Final Fantasy XV. It's in fact one of the earlier things shown in the game, back when "Versus XIII" became assumed vaporware. Noctis running through a city in the midst of being destroyed, and a larger-than-life Leviathan made for a fun CG trailer, but nothing could have prepared me for the real game delivering on that wild cinematic experience.

It's a little removed from the rest of the game, as one of those "you have crazy powers, but only for right now" moments, but you know what? Who cares. Epic boss battles don't get much bigger or more extravagant, and I could not have been more impressed.

< Return to Feature Hub

Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, August 19
TBC • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Star Ocean: Second Evolution • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Persona 3 (CYOA) • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Persona 3 (CYOA) • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Kingdom Hearts - Re:Chain of Memories • 2:30pm PDT/5:30pm EDT
Persona 3 (CYOA) • 5:30pm PDT/8:30pm EDT

Final Fantasy IX • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Speedrun) • 6pm PDT/9pm EDT

Persona 3 (CYOA) • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Retro Encounter Wants Your Emails!

Retro Encounter Mailbag Special

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition Review

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

State of Mind Review

State of Mind

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Beast of Winter Review

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - Beast of Winter

Retro Encounter 148

Retro Encounter 148