Final Fantasy IV introduced deep plots, and so did everyone else. Final Fantasy VII introduced crazy 3D polygons and extensive scope, and so did everyone else. Final Fantasy X introduced voice acting, and so did everyone else.
The series has been a pillar of the JRPG since the early days on the NES, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen other companies making Final Fantasy clones. Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII proved to not be trend setters, so one has to wonder how much influence Final Fantasy XV is going to have on the genre considering it might not even be an RPG at all!
New Japanese sites for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One builds of the game state that Final Fantasy XV has been “created as an action game,” an unsurprising revelation given the fast-paced trailer we saw at E3 last year.
The battles featured in Final Fantasy XV have evolved greatly from the previous games of the series, as it’s created as an action game. The game switches seamlessly from the field to battle and the combat situation evolves rapidly. It goes on quickly with a sense of full realism.
Also, it’s possible to fight not only with the hero Noctis, but also to switch with other characters. Furthermore, it’s also possible to perform a combination attack with a companion while enjoying the dynamic effect.
“Noctis can fight by making use of a variety of weapons and can move quickly within the areas by attacking enemies with stylish action,” it goes on to add. “You can fight monsters by cooperating with an ally. The ability to fight in collaboration with unique companions is an important feature of this game.”
Final Fantasy becoming an action game might sound like a death sentence for the JRPG genre, but there is a silver lining to all of this. Director Tetsuya Nomura is best known for creating the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and he received a lot of praise for blending staples of the RPG genre into a fast paced hack ‘n slash game. Kingdom Hearts’ gameplay rightfully has a lot of fans, and you can expect Final Fantasy XV to play more like it than Ninja Gaiden, God of War, or Bayonetta.
Fans of classic Final Fantasy games still have plenty of options to more classic themes of the series, most notably in Square Enix’s blooming new series Bravely Default and the booming PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS market. How we’ll see those themes appear in a major console release has yet to be explored or exploited by any other Japanese companies, though.
Atlus and its anime-inspired Persona series are the dominant forces on consoles these days, meaning that the handheld market might just be the only place to get your classic JRPG fix from here on out.