Final Fantasy XV: A Journey of Trepidation
It's almost time.
For me, and perhaps millions of long-time Final Fantasy fans worldwide, the air has seemingly ceased to move as one of the largest, storied franchises is only two weeks away from releasing its newest entry, Final Fantasy XV.
Square Enix has set a challenging goal for sales at an optimistic 10 million copies. Only Final Fantasy VII has been able to achieve that mark for the franchise, but for whatever reason, that title was exceptionally legendary within the gaming community.
But as far as I can tell, there's very little at play to suggest that number will be achieved. Lightning Returns barely eclipsed 1 million, and even the highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII, across multiple platforms, came a couple million short of the mark.
On the other hand, this is the Final Fantasy many fans have been waiting for since its days of production as "Final Fantasy Versus XIII". Perhaps a new, near-sandboxy presentation is what the franchise needs. Perhaps the release of the excellent Brotherhood anime series or the underwhelmingly reviewed "Kingsglaive" CG animated movie helped inspire new hope in its lore. Speculation from each "pro" or "nay" camp continues to fly back and forth, even now with copious amounts of information at our disposal.
The playable demos weren't exactly something to write home about, although even that statement is one of contention. Fans seemed to be split down the middle on whether or not it was a "good"demo.
Then again, fan feedback isn't always very reliable for predicting outcomes, anyways. Call of Duty fans have been very vocal against their space-warrior direction and the necessity of purchasing it in order to play the Modern Warfare remake. But does that really stop them from making huge numbers of sales? It doesn't seem to matter all that much.
Really, since there's no real way of knowing yet, all these arguments about its future success stem from our own personal desire for its level of success, and not from any real objective evidence. As for me, I'm hoping it's a knockout success, which for those of you that know me from the comments section, is a bit of a turn around from my bitter rants trudging up my (admittedly) unfair desire for its failure. I was, and still am, not a fan of either of the demos. I found them to be empty, cumbersome, and annoying. I don't understand where all their camping gear magically comes from, why they wear full leather getups in a desert, or why Audi would want to sponsor their brand all over a vehicle that is seemingly only good for a good break down and severely inconvenient problems.
I mean honestly... Audi basically forces us to fight a behemoth due to their failed engineering. If Noct et al don't, at the very least, submit a complaint to Audi's facebook page, I'll be disappointed. I mean, is he even fit to govern as future king if he can't be responsible enough to deal with such a major concern as that?
But again, lets be fair. FFVII was the highest sold game in the franchise. We held onto copious amounts of items, weapons, and gear and even seemingly carried our party members around in our pockets. Tifa had to climb the North Crater in a tank-top and mini skirt literally right after a guy in full winter gear tells us his partner committed suicide because death was better than that blistring cold. And the buggy Dio gives us breaks down almost immediately! So maybe that lunacy is a recipe for success.... I dunno.
What I do know is that the lore from Brotherhood and Kingsglaive, along with the above super-sweet Omen trailer has me sold. While Kingsglaived really rushed their character development (it barely existed), I saw enough pieces there to suggest they COULD have become extremely interesting people given time, as is such with the amount of time we'd realistically spend on this game. I don't know if the gameplay will hold me or not based on the demos, but as a long time FF fan who is now genuintely interested in the story, I've got my pre-order down, and I'm hoping for the best. I'm not convinced it wasn't a mistake to get it full price, but I'm ready to give it an honest shot. And I really want to like it.
How about you? Any predictions on that sales target? What about average review scores? I'd love to hear it in the comments!
11/16/2016 Chris Howlett