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Review February 2017.indd

Final Fantasy XV REVIEWS game reviews mantics, so you’ll need to keep an eye on their health bars as well as your own. While you earn XP by killing nasties and completing quests, the XP isn’t actually applied to your characters until you rest. There are specific spots where you can make camp, and have Ignis cook up a meal for the party that applies temporary buffs. For a price, however, there are various lodgings that will apply a multiplier to your current XP totals. Dungeons are sprinkled around the map, but their design is uniformly dingy. As for the absolutely huge dungeon in chapter thirteen… uuurrrggghhh, we don’t want to talk about it. Our biggest frustration that the game this perhaps should have been is visible only in brief glimpses; in certain cutscenes, and on rare occasions when you come up close to huge, intricately designed beasts. The epitome of this is perhaps the Venice style city you initially come to when leaving the open world. It looks absolutely superb; but there’s not much you can actually do there, and the story takes you away almost as soon as you’ve arrived. There’s plenty to do, and chances are you’ll enjoy doing most of it – especially if you’re already a Final Fantasy fan. The simple fact is though that there are a lot of much better RPGs out there. written by Critical Gamer’s Luke Kemp You play as prince Noctis, accompanied by his three close buddies Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto. It’s obvious from the off that they all share a very close bond, possibly because they all have very silly names. Noctis is off to a distant land to marry his childhood friend in order to formally unite their two kingdoms. Naturally things are never going to go smoothly, and things go wrong enough to necessitate lots of fi ghting and dungeon-exploring. We won’t go into further detail. Partly to avoid spoilers, but partly because it’s hard to explain a poorly-told story. With a few exceptions, we found it extremely diffi cult to care about what happened to individual characters or the lands that they live in. Although the story now and again dictates that you’re temporarily separated from one or more of your friends, you’ll spend most of your time exploring and fi ghting alongside all three of them. Each has a special ability that draws on a shared gauge you can command them to use, but other than that the AI acts entirely independently. Friendly AI is perhaps the game’s greatest achievement, working so well that you don’t even think about it. Their pathfi nding is (99% of the time) fl awless, and they work excellently in combat. Your HP and MP regenerate, and you can even be ‘rescued’ at 0 HP multiple times. This comes at a price, though; once it hits 0, your maximum HP slowly goes down until somebody comes to your aid (or it disappears, and you die). Your maximum won’t go back to normal until you use an elixir or rest your party. The same applies to your new brois * Format: Xbox One (version reviewed), PS4 * Publisher: Square Enix * Developer: Square Enix * Players: 1 Read full reviews, gaming news, and articles: www.criticalgamer.co.uk WEST COAST REVIEW | 45


Review February 2017.indd
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