Restless before bed young Noctis asks his father, King Regis, to tell a fairy tale full of fantasy and adventure instead of just another generic bedtime story. Regis begins with a peaceful day being disrupted when monsters raid the royal capital, Insomnia. Young Regis, joined by Weskham, starts his adventure from the royal capital. Eventually they are joined by friends Cid and Clarus, where they travel to the plains of Duscae only to discover a mysterious cave where their enemy resides. Throughout the tall tale, King Regis and Noctis interject their own commentary, adding depth and perspective to the story itself.
This game is free for PS4 and Xbox One
Before we begin, let me just say Happy Birthday to Noctis Lucis Caelum! Today is August 30th and it’s Noctis birthday!
Now back to the review, If you preordered Final Fantasy XV on GameStop way back in 2016, players were given a free code to download this indie like game. The game was developed by Empty Clip Studios and published by Square Enix.
Story: A father story for his son
The game story begins with little Noctis having trouble falling asleep. His father King Regis comes in and tries to tell him a bedtime story but Noctis gets tired of hearing the same story he has heard before and asks his father if he tell him a new story. Regis instead tells Noctis a story about his younger life and how he saved Insomnia from a monster attack and retrieving the Crystal. In the story, he mentions that his friends Weskham, Cid (Cindy’s grandpa) and Clarus (Gladiolus and Iris father) joined him and fought the monsters. This is a story of a Young Regis and his friends on a quest to save the kingdom.
The story is very simple and easy to follow: you got to save your kingdom, fight monsters and retrieve an important item. It’s that simple compared to the story to the main FFXV story. I like the tidbit father-son moments when Noctis interrupts the story and Regis explains it. I got a sense of a loving warmth when Noctis get’s excited to hear Regis tell the story. For example, when Regis fights the flan monsters, Noctis makes a funny comment saying why is flan is there in story and Regis was thinking about the food flan (I don’t remember he actually say that so feel free to correct me). Another example is when if Regis dies, Noctis gets surprised and asked if that is the end of the story but Regis makes an excuse for the player by saying he wants to make sure Noctis was paying attention or say “it’s a flesh wound”. In the game story, besides the conversation with Noctis and Regis, the story is pretty straight forward and we do see some interaction with Regis group for a bit. The group does talk for a bit but not too in depth. I won’t spoil the ending but after beating the story, it’s nice to see something touching and sweet with Noctis and Regis.
Gameplay: more than a beat’em up
This is the meat of the review: the gameplay! The game plays like one of those classic side-scrolling fighter games you used to play in the arcades or NES/SNES consoles. If you ever played the games Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, or Final Fight, you can already tell what the game will feel. When you play as Regis, it feels like you are playing as a simple version of Noctis because Regis can teleport short distance for close encounter combat. He can perform fast, weak attacks and even do slow, but heavy damage by using his variety of blades. He also has a shield weapon which allows him to stun foes and deflect projectile attacks like needles. If players can fill up the Armiger bar without taking damage, Regis can summon all his weapons and attack one monster. The game also allows players to use his friends to fight as well and each fight differently. Weskham can shoot magic from his guns, Clarus can use weapons to attack surrounding monsters, and Cid can perform an attack that can attack in across the stage in a line. If player can call all the partners, they will join in when you do the Armiger attack which is helpful when you need to kill more enemies. The game also enables the ability to use magic. You are given the power of fire, blizzard and thunder and if you charge up either one, you can devastating attacks but it takes up a lot of magic.
As a kid, I enjoy just smashing the buttons in the arcades and fighting under pressure against surrounded enemies. Now as an adult, this brings pleasure to my gaming experience. It was nice to play as Regis and fight monsters. I quickly learned that the combat is more than just beating up your enemies and it actually requires technique and strategy. For example, I came across a green Cactuar and these guys were annoying, whenever I tried to slice one, they would run and try to attack from behind. The best strategy to fight them is to use your shield and deflect the needles they shoot. Another enemy that gave me a headache was the Tonberry monsters, a little monster with a lantern and kitchen knife. They look puny but one hit from these guys can kill you and not to mention, they can slow down movement when you step into their light lanterns. So, before you even think about killing your enemies, you need to think about how to approach these monsters and what is the best way to survive. With all the weapons and power I had, I had to think of crazy combos in order to take on more than one monster. Some required timing and some needed to be stunned. I like how you can use magic in water areas. While playing the game, whenever you approach a bond or small body of water, you can cast lighting or blizzard and it will either electrocute your enemies or freeze them. This doesn’t work with fire but if there is a dead patch of grass, fire will definitely burn it and enemies can get seriously hurt.
Modes: Challenge yourself
After you beat the story, players will be awarded to Dream Battles, a mode where where players can take on challenges with restricted rules. Some rules will ask you to fight a wave of enemies without performing magic, and some may ask you to use only fire and kill as many as possible. This makes the game more challenging if you felt like the story didn’t satisfy you enough. Some of the missions can be very easy while others make you want to shout at the game. Still, it’s pretty fun and the AI does like to get in the way and make sure you fail. Unfortunately, this is the only mode you can unlock in this game and there is not much content in the game. Once you unlock this, you can either replay the story again, replay the final boss in the story, play Dream Battle and hopefully complete all challenges or do what I do and do both for trophies/achievements.
Flaws: Single Mode really?
When I first heard about this game, I had this idea that this game will enable a co-op feature where you can play with friends whether it’s local couch play or just online play. If it was local play, player one would be Regis and the second player could choose Cid, Clarus or Weskham. If it was online, it would be cool to see a game where four players can work together and fight along side with each other to complete the story. Unfortunately, this dream didn’t come true. This game is only single players; you can’t play in 2P or 4P at all. If this ever gets updated, I hope Square Enix will allow the ability to play up to 4 players and fight together.
How good is this free game? I say it’s pretty good. It’s different than playing the main Final Fantasy XV game but it’s a great past time. It’ nice to see some bonding with kid Noctis and it was fun to play as King Regis. Even if this game wasn’t like the main FFXV, I did feel like as if I was playing as Noctis when I was able to use the Armiger and call upon my allies. The combat was fun and it really challenged my thinking skills because this game requires more than button mashing. The Dream Battle mode did make me play more of this game. The music in this game was nice as well as it felt like playing old school game in the 90s or 80s. However, this game could have been better if included a co-op feature or a mode where players can work together online. It would have made the game feel more fun if everyone could play as the four heroes. Like I mentioned before, this game is free for PS4 and Xbox One so no need to worry to pay for this game.
What do you think of this game? Comment down below your thoughts.