So, there I was, at Walmart, refilling my prescription for anti-anxiety pills, and low and behold, I saw, sitting atop the $10 bin of crap movies and video games that no one wants: Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition. I've avoided Final Fantasy XV until now for a few reasons. First, the trailers and the playable demo that I got with another game, just didn't interest me. I don't really care about dudebros on road trips, and that's what the game was made out to be in literally ALL of the advertising. I could practically smell the toxic fumes of axe body spray coming off of the ads. Second, I had the misfortune to spend money on, and play, Final Fantasy XII and XIII. Both of which were kind of crap in comparison to what the series used to be. Of the two, I preferred XIII, but that's like saying, "of two hot pokers in the eye, one of them burned a little less." Third, I didn't like the whole season pass thing. They released an unfinished game, and then expected me to pay more to fill in what should have already been part of the game at release. And last, I don't really care for action RPGs. I'm kind of more old-school. I prefer the old turned based RPGs to the new stuff that's more about graphics and fast paced action, than it is about story or thoughtful game play.
But there it was, for 10 bucks, the edition that included all of the season pass stuff. I figured I might as well. So, let me first say, that the royal edition is very, VERY lazy. It's just the base game with a download code for all of the extras and updates that were part of the season pass. This was a 50GB download. That shows you how unfinished the game was at launch. I was annoyed that I had to wait overnight for the updates to download and install before I could play it. But the next day I sat down after work and tried it out. The story of the game isn't really all that central to playing it. It seems like it's more vaguely happening in the background, rather than being an active part of the game. I play games for the story. It is literally the only thing I will play a game for. I don't care about difficulty. I don't care about playing dress up. I don't care about the challenge. I don't care ab out pointless side content, or multiplayer online battles. I do have preferences on game play, but if the story is good, I don't really care if the game play is crap. All I really care about is the story. And, well, the story of this game might as well be non-existent.
And yet, I find myself oddly still playing it. It's weird. The game really does not fit what I like in a game, and yet, here I am, still running side quests that I would normally skip completely in any other game, and running out to do monster hunt quests. I even found myself getting annoyed when I was pulled into story sections of the game. The combat is kind of mind-numbing. All you do is hold down R1+Triangle, and your guy will warp around and murder every enemy. You don't even have to look at the screen. The characters are either boring, douchey, or annoying. And god forbid one of them actually be a girl, or anything. I don't get it. I should hate this game, but I don't. It is weirdly addictive, and I don't know why. I just keep scouring the map for new side quest markers, or new diners to pick up more kill quests. I'm like lvl 65 just off of all of the side quests I've done and I haven't even finished chapter 3 of the story. Maybe it's my history with MMOs that's pulling me in, because all the running around, side-questing, and hunting down specific monsters feels like a single-player version of a MMO. They tried doing that with Final Fantasy XII, and it didn't really work for me, but here, it kind of is.
I dunno, I only spent $10 on it, and it's kept me entertained for a couple of weeks. It's definitely not the best game ever. It's not especially well made or written. The characters are kind of unlikable. But for what it is, it's weirdly engrossing. If you can find it as cheap as I did, maybe give it a try.