Content of the article: "Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition : The power of a good ending"
I'm a big FF fan, like so many VII was my first and X was the last really good one with XII and XIII too flawed to be up there with the best.
I bought royal edition and was willing to watch Kingsglaive (gorgeous nonsense) but apart from that I went into XV knowing its reputation and trying to keep an open mind.
I got to about 30 hours and 12 chapters in and was pretty much ready to be done with the game. I broadly agree with all the established; few, highs (music, graphics, bro interactions) and many more lows (way too easy, shallow combat, story just thrown at you, insufferable side quests), I was not enjoying it and it was clearly a rushed and deeply flawed game.
And then that ending
I'm a sucker for sad or bittersweet endings and I especially love characters knowingly going to their destruction (The Wild Bunch is the best western ever made for this reason), a sense of duty and bravery I admire and kinda wish I could emulate.
That ending changed everything, I was emotional, touched, suddenly everything that was wrong with the game stopped being infuriating and become wistful.
I stopped hating the game I had played and wished for the game it could have been, better combat, better telling of the story, fleshed out backstories, more interaction for our doomed lovers, more interesting side quests, harder difficulty, I think it could have been truly brilliant.
Noct was something I don't think we've seen in a FF game, not a mercenary or thief or something low, but a prince who becomes a King, who has responsibilities and is actually getting married, not at the end of the game as a happy ever after but meant to be during the game. By the end of it he's even actually a man instead of the typical jrpg boy hero.
I loved Ardyn by the end even though he still suffered from the same issues as the rest of the plot.
I've always known how powerful an affect an ending you like can have but this really showed it, I now actually have a positive feeling towards the game, I don't know if I would call it a good game or even recommend it but my memory will be positive.
I started the Ardyn DLC but haven't completed it and don't intend to touch it or the Ignis one because I literary don't trust Square-Enix to go 'aha here's a twist or retcon that changes everything, or piece of backstory that corrects this persons motivations etc' and ruin everything.
I'm not going to watch any YouTube video's explaining the story in full or read the lore on a wiki page, I'm never going to touch the game again.
Just remember how moved I felt at the end of the game and be content with that.
- Spoilers I just finished Final Fantasy XV. It is a game that tries way too hard to tell an emotional story, but ultimately fails.
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