I’ll freely admit that the phrase "It’s been a long time coming" is overused. However; I find it hard to argue that isn’t the case with last week’s information dump surrounding Final Fantasy XV. For the longest time I would have bet that this was the Final Fantasy that would never see the light of day, especially after the disaster that was Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. That said this looks to be one of the strongest entries so far. Let’s recap the items that Square Enix uncovered.
1. Mr. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of the Final Fantasy series, showed up and shared some inspirational words. He then took his seat in the audience and watched the show with everyone else.
2. Square Enix released a new trailer, Reclaim your Throne, with a haunting rendition of Stand Bye Me from Florence + The Machine. If after watching this trailer for the game you aren’t excited to play I doubt there's anything Square Enix can do that will raise your pulse.
3. Square Enix revealed the new art originally designed in 2D and recreated in 3D. It is titled the Big Bang and was created by Yoshitaka Amano. Mr. Amano was a character designer on the 1985 Vampire Hunter D anime. After that he went to work for Square Enix and has been working on the Final Fantasy franchise ever since the first game.
4. This was supposed to be the reveal that Florence + The Machine performed Stand Bye Me. Guess I spoiled that in two.
5. All new gameplay videos were on display. We got our first glimpse of the Chocobo as a mount and their iconic theme is alive and present. Apparently Chocobos are also drift racers. We get to see a few summons as well in the videos. Primarily Leviathan and Titan. While we have seen Leviathan before I think this was the first glimpse of Titan for FFXV.
6. Next Square Enix showed off some screenshots of the different areas in the game.
7. There is a new anime series that serves as a prequel to FFXV. You can catch the first of five episodes online now. Even if you don’t like anime but are interested in FFXV it is worth the watch. Also if you have played FFXIV episode Duscae it fills in the gaps on why Noctis and his friends are on the road. Brotherhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjM2Nl7ct1o
8. If you thought that Final Fantasy the Spirits Within was going to be the last full length cinematic movie from Square Enix you are not alone. But as it turns out you are also wrong. Kingsglaive will show the fall of the kingdom of Lucis. Kingsglaive will not be in theaters but instead will be available for download or streamed ahead of the release of FFXV. Brotherhood and Kingsglaive work to establish a full on multimedia push by Square Enix to create an entire universe around the release of FFXV.
9. Audi made a one of a kind R8 that is in the movie Kingsglaive. It is beautiful. I want it. Now. Anyone have a ton of money I can borrow?
10. Turns out the Sean Bean and Lena Heady can get along on film! Final Fantasy XV Kingsglaive features the voices of Sean Bean, Aaron Paul, and Lena Headey. While they will voice characters in the movie they will not have voices in FFXV the game. Aaron Paul and Lena were both on hand to talk about the movie.
11. This should come as no surprise. Final Fantasy XV is going to have a minigame. I was hoping we would get to see a new card game but it appears that this will be a variation of pinball. Justice Monsters V will also be a mobile app so in addition to playing it in game you can let it consume you when you are supposed to be at work. Don’t worry, I won’t tell your boss.
12. This may have been the biggest surprise of the night. Platinum Demo Final Fantasy XV. This is the second demo for the game. It allows you to play as a young Noctis and explore some different environments that are part of Noctis’ dream. In this adventure you are guided by your pet Carbuncle. You’ll get to experience small burst of combat and magic but the real focus here feels on showing off the controls of the game and how you can interact with the environment. When you complete the adventure you will get to name your carbuncle and it will carry over into the game. This adventure should take you around 30 minutes to complete so it isn’t very extensive. It is however different than Episode Duscae that has already been released. You will also get your first exposure to the magic system that is present in FFXV.
13. There was a $270 collector’s edition of FFXV that contained a statue of Noctis. That’s just too much for me. However there is a Deluxe edition that comes with a steelbook, Kingsglaive on Blu-ray, Royal Raiment DLC costumes for Noctis, Leviathan Regalia Skin for your car, and the Masamune DLC weapon. This one isn’t too bad for $89.99.
14. And finally, we officially learned that the release date is 9/30/2016. I know what I’ll be doing in October!