What to make of Final Fantasy XV

I’ve never been a particular fan of the Final Fantasy games.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried to be.  I once collected pretty much all of the Final Fantasy games from I up to VIII with the intention of playing through them all. But I never did it.

I played through about half of IV and quite enjoyed it, but I couldn’t get more than an hour or two in to Final Fantasy VII before giving up. The same happened for Final Fantasy X. The bum-numbingly long cut scenes killed a lot of the enjoyment for me – the same reason that I drifted away from Metal Gear Solid (another game I really wanted to like). I ended up giving the games to my sister in the end.


Now, a decade since its inception, Final Fantasy XV is finally on shop shelves. And from the viewpoint of an outsider looking in, it’s really bizarre. The cover depicts what looks like a Japanese boy band, who appear to be sponsored by Brylcreem. They clutch what surely must be foam swords, judging by the way they’re flinging them about. Of course, massive swords are a hallmark of the series, but they just look so odd in the hands of the members of SMAP.

The cast of Final Fantasy XV, a.k.a. SMAP.
The cast of Final Fantasy XV, a.k.a. SMAP.

Even more bizarrely, according to the trailer, they seem to be using swords against enemies with guns. What’s that old adage about bringing a knife to a gun fight? And they seem to be in a modern setting, but there’s dragons.

What the fuck is going on in this game?

Still, it does look pretty.