Xbox One S Support FFXV HDR Mode

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Last month it is confirmed that Final Fantasy XV is going to support HDR mode with a better graphic in the newest Player Station Pro. This time, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox team, stated that their newest console, Xbox One S, can also run FFXV in HD as well.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

xbox one s

Xbox One S, the latest Xbox version from Microsoft

Why Does It Matter?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a new technology that brings a significant improvement on the gaming experience. It enhances the quality of an image by giving more dynamic to details, color, and lighting. With this technology, video games are realistic and create a better authentic feeling to players.

For example, the dark scene will be pretty dark and the white scenes will be really white. However, details in these two scenes can still be seen clearly. This sort of technology can even further enhance gaming experience to the game with high graphic details like Final Fantasy XV.

One thing to remember is that HDR TV is required to run in HDR since a normal television cannot display this high dynamic range.

Betty / October 24, 2016 / Gameplay

A Chance of FFXV to Release on PC

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It’s now only a month left before the launch of Final Fantasy XV on PS4 and Xbox One. Meanwhile, computer players are still keeping their finger crossed for the chance of the game to release on PC.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.


Although Final Fantasy series are very well-known on a console market, lately it has been starting to hit the PC market as well. From the famous MMOs Final Fantasy XIV to the recent-to-port-to-PC, Final Fantasy XIII in December 2015 as well as other popular FF series that are already available on Stream. It is a good signal that FFXV has a high chance to release in this market as well.

ffxv cover on ps4 and xbox one s

However, the hope is destroyed when the game director, Hajime Tabata, stated that Final Fantasy XV might not be available on PC at all. If that happens, it is going to take a while as considered by Square Enix.

Hajime Tabata also mentioned that presently the developer team only focuses on finishing the console versions coming with even better graphics. In addition, if Square Enix decides to release the game in PC version, it’s going to take another year of development.

In our opinion, the PC version will be only available if it does well on console markets and at least achieve the internal goal at 10 million sales. We will definitely hear more about that a few months after the official game release on November 29, 2016.

Betty / October 24, 2016 / Gameplay

Final Fantasy XV Guide to Ascension and AP System

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After the announce of the delay back in August, Final Fantasy developer team has been releasing new video footages to fans continuously showing game development, stories, combat system, and more. This time in Pax West, a new video was released talking about one of prominent features we want to know the most, the skill progression.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

Final Fantasy fans actually have a glimpse of “Ascension” system before from the 50-minute gameplay but still have no idea much about it. This time Hajime Tabata and his team explained further what it is about. Weapon, magic, and battle styles were discussed here as well.

Character Progression through AP

Skills system in Final Fantasy XV can be progressed under “Ascension” in the main menu. It is pretty similar to “Sphere Grid” system in Final Fantasy X. Each skill node is unlocked with AP point which can be earned by levelling up, conversation and complete specific objectives during combat.

Gaining AP through levelling is pretty straightforward. For a conversation, sometimes if a player answers something during conversation, either with other NPCs or buddies, AP will be rewarded. For completing objectives, some combat have additional adjectives such as performing something 3 times. AP is given if a player succeeds it.

AP points are shared to all 4 characters. If a player currently has 59 AP points, it does not mean that he has 59 points for Noctis, 59 for Gladiolus, and so on. These points need to be spent between all four characters.

If one player invests too much in Noctis’ skill, it can result in other members not being skilful enough in tern of what they have equipped. This might create a further problem later in the game.

A freedom in FFXV character progression is one of the charms in this game.

ffxv skill nodes

Active and Passive Skills

Since Final Fantasy XV is an action game, there are both active and passive abilities. For example, passive ability can be about spending 24 AP to equip two accessories which active skill is about dodging in midair by pressing “X” or performing an airstep. There’s even a skill node to do an airstep unlimitedly in battle with the cost of MP.

Libra, locking on to an enemy while in cover and scan for weaknesses, is another example. Some enemies, a player need to use an advanced level of Libra called “Enhanced Libra” to scan for weaknesses. Damage can be boosted based on enemy weaknesses as well. This creates more depth to gameplay combat.

In addition, each person in the four party members has their own specific skill tree. Gladiolus, for example, is a shield of the party. He can activate “Equip Shield” allowing him to equip a shield for his secondary weapon. Without this skill, Gladiolus is unable to wear a shield.

Ignis, on the other hand, has a skill to analyse enemies’ weaknesses called “Libra”.

The skill system displayed in the Pax West 2016 is still under development. The final stage might be different.

Skill Nodes

There are several categories of these skill nodes that a player can activate making that character to be good at different thing. Some character can be a heavy hitter, another might be good at magic, some is a hybrid, and more. The developer team is improving the skill system to make it easier for a player to predict what kind of characters they are building.

Character progression can be done in anyway a player want. Some might want to play strategically by planning everything up ahead. Some might want to only focus on action. Because of this, they are many way to play Final Fantasy XV. It is recommended to activate skills that will support each player playstyle the most. Each style has pros and cons.

gladiolus using tempest

Weapon and Upgrade Options

Equipment is another important part of combat gameplay in Final Fantasy XV. It is under “Gear” menu. As mentioned earlier, some secondary weapon requires a certain skill. If a player wants to equip a shield for Gladious, the skill to equip shield need to be activated first.

Noctis can be an exception since he can equip almost all of the available weapons in the game.

Weapons in Final Fantasy can be upgraded as well. It indicates by a “yellow plus sign”. If any weapon has it, it is upgradeable. Machinery weapons such as a “Bio Blaster” or an “Auto Crossbow” can be upgraded as well.

Throughout the main story, a player needs to collect royal arms, a powerful weapon only available to the king of Lucis bloodline. It consumes MP when attacks.

Since a lot of weapons will be available later in the game, royal arms included, there is no need to stick only a single weapon. It is better to collect all of them and try to equip the one that suit to a player’s battle style the most.

weapon menu sample

Warp Strike

Warp Strike is a core part in FFXV combat allowing Noctis to freely warp instantly to various locations with amount of MP consumption. To execute, a player need to simply press a “Y” button (in XBox) and warp there to attack an enemy. Warp out can be performed in a similar manner. This makes the combat in Final Fantasy XV really fun.

One thing to keep in mind is a player cannot keep warp striking continuously without stop. It causes a player to quickly run out of MP and in a “Statis” mode.

Warp strike attack will be different based on a weapon that is currently equipped.

Battle Styles and Magic

There are many battle styles Final Fantasy. This includes “showing off”. A player can invest skill nodes having multiple visual effects. For example, one skill allows a player to creating a character shade when dodge successfully making it very flashy.

There’s a caster style as well by focusing on magic. Magic can be crafted through “Magic” in a main menu by combining elemental energies: fire, ice, and lightning together can create a hybrid magic. Moreover, a player can fuse elemental energies with an item to create an addition effect. For example, mixing magic with a potion is resulted in a heal cast. Some effect includes a “Tri-Cast” by casting magic three times.

Each magic has different effects based on environment and it should be equipped in a weapon slot the same way as other weapons.

The full interview can be seen below:

Betty / October 3, 2016 / Gameplay

Story, Gameplay, and Development You Should Know Before Playing FFXV

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Final Fantasy XV has been one of the most anticipating games so far in 2016. As the game release is coming in two months, we are going to take a look at 3 things you must know before playing the game related to story, gameplay, and development
Let’s take a look.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

Story

Settings

Final Fantasy XV takes place in the world called EOS which is similar to the modern day earth. The game was created with the idea of “a fantasy based on reality”in mind. All of the countries in this world except the kingdom of Lucis are under dominion of Nifhelm. Noctis, heir to the Lucis, is being on a quest to retake his homeland and its magical crystal after they had been recently seized by Nifhelm during the peace treaty agreement between two kingdoms.

Characters

There are 4 main people in Noctis’ party: Noctis, Ignis, who was raised alongside Noctis to be his adviser, Prompto, who is more carefree and from a lower class family, and Gladiolus, Noctis’ personal bodyguard.

Lady Lunafreya, the princess and an oracle of Tenebrae, is also one of the main characters in Final Fantasy XV even though not being a core member of the party. Guest characters such as Cor and Lunafreya, also join and leave the party temporary throughout the game similar to Final Fantasy XII.

The relationship between these Noctis and Lunafreya is a key story of the game. They are childhood friend that are set to marry as a part of peace treaty agreement between Lucis and Niflheim.

Luna character is expected to have a lot of depth, dynamic, and complex. Her relationship with Noctis is actually more complicated than a typical love story.

ffxv main characters

Game Scale

In terms of scale, Final Fantasy XV will be one of the biggest JRPG ever. The game support over 200 hours of gameplay across the main story and side quests The main story itself should take around 40-50 hours if you only focus on the main story and ignore all side contents.

Gameplay

Active Cross Battle

Combat in Final Fantasy XV has a significant change from previous generations. Instead of a traditional turn-based, the battle system in FFXV is called the Active Cross Battle. It is a seamless combat system that takes place in real time environment with all locations from a plain field, to forest, building, and even on a street.

Battle against bosses is carried out in the same fashion as a standard battle but requires more party cooperation.

Warping

Noctis can warp around the field by throwing his sword and warp to a specific location. He can warp to any location having a glowing icon telling that it is a warping spot. There’s no limitation in distance as long as the warping spot is seen.

Warping along with special moves and dodging requires MP to perform.

noctis-using-warp-strike

Magic

Magic, on the other hand, does not cost any MP. It works more like an item by gathering elemental magic from different sources and combine together to create a magic item called magic flask.

Different magic types also have different effects. Fire catches glass on fire, wind will blow out fire, blizzard will freeze water and so on.

Critical State

A party member is in a critical state when their HP reach zero. During the state, they are unable to attack or use abilities with a depleting HP gauge. A character in a critical state must be rescued by other characters before the gauge reach zero. If it happens, that character will be in a knock out stage. In case Noctis is knocked out, the game will be instantly over.

Summons

Summons is a major part of Final Fantasy series without a doubt. In FFXV, they work differently by having specific summon requirements as well as different attacks based on environment.

7 summons are known in the game and can be obtained in a various way from beating them in battle, discovering them, complete specific objectives, and so on. There are also minor summons but details are yet to be revealed.

Wait Mode

The game also has a wait mode which is an option to make the game easier especially in a critical state or those who are not used to a real-time combat system. When it is activated, everything will be stopped allowing a player can freely target an enemy, cast magic spell, select teammate abilities and techniques, and more
Wait mode can be switched on and off at any point of the game.

wait mode

Everything turns grey when wait mode is being activated

Technique

All party members have their own skill trees and can learn new techniques for a powerful move. For example, Ignis’ skill “Mark” creating a warp point for Noctis. Prompto “Piercer” can stun enemies while dealing damage at the same time.

Quest Types

Final Fantasy XV quest types can be separated into 4 main categories: main quests, hunting quests, regional quests, and only for fun. Main quests are purely about the main story progression while hunting quests are for hunting a specific monster for rewards.

Regional quests are different between each regions and the only for fun quest are something like a minigame, fishing, chocobo racing, and so on.

Camping

Camping is a main part of Final Fantasy XV gameplay. It can be set up at any camping haven and at any time of the day. Camping will give player levels up from experience acquired throughout the day as well as food buff from Ignis’ cooking.

While camping, you can also see different personalities between each character.

level up while camping

Regalia

Regalia is a prominent transportation of Final Fantasy XV. The car can be driven manually by Noctis or automatically by Ignis. However, it cannot drive off road and can only park at a specific parking spot.

On the second half of the game, Regalia can be upgraded into an airship giving you more option to fly across the world map. A player can fly anywhere they want but need to find a road to land on.

To get around, a player still need to walk by themselves or rent a chocobo from chocobo farm. Train is also available at some point of the game with an exploration option while riding it.

Day and Night Cycle

Because of the game theme “A fantasy based on reality”, Final Fantasy XV comes with a day and night cycle. At night people will light up their home like in the real world. Strong monster will emerge during the night because of the “Plague of the Star”

One day in the game is a 24 minutes in an episode Duscae. However, it’s not confirmed whether or not that will be the case in the final game.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality will be included in Final Fantasy XV but not during the official release date. Square Enix stated that VR experience will be released post launch. When the VR mode is activated with VR headset, a player can play as Prompto, and the game will turn into a shooting style.

prompto-with-vr-headset

Development

Final Fantasy XV had ten years of development. The project started in 2006 when it was still called Final Fantasy XIII Versus back then. A few years later, it was rumoured to be cancelled because of the slow development process.

In 2012, the project was changed into Final Fantasy XV and had been fully developed 4 years after that. Final Fantasy is going to launch globally on November 26, 2016 in PS4 and Xbox One.
If the game does great after launch, there’s a high possibility that it will be released on PC as well.

Betty / September 21, 2016 / Gameplay, Lore

FFXV: What Lies in Stores

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Final Fantasy XV has stores that actually look like stores. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like a very groundbreaking statement, but the truth is, the portrayal of shops in video games, particularly in RPGs, have been suffering from a massive lack of progress when compared to the advancements that can be seen in other areas of game development.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

With games approaching near photo-realistic landscapes and character faces, constantly having to purchase items from tiny little stands or counters can really start to shatter the immersion. Even the more laudable efforts have been, at best, generic storefronts that look like prop sets, and more often than not, various different shops locations in the game are all virtually identical clones to each other. With what’s been shown so far of Final Fantasy XV, the dark ages appear to be over.

Because of its gorgeous graphic, shops are to scale with the real world, and layouts actually look like they’re supposed to. A clerk mans an actual realistic looking checkout counter, and items are displayed on shelves in brightly colored boxes, plastic packages, bottles, and cans, as one would expect them to be in real life. Only a few locations have been shown thus far, but they all seem unique from each other with different styles, layouts, and sizes.

Gas Station

The Episode Duscae demo provided the first glimpse, featuring the now famous gas station. It bears a striking resemblance to an actual gas station that one would find in real life, not just a miniature video game version. The attention to detail is absolutely astounding from the appropriately sized parking lot and gas pumps, the RV’s camped out back, all the way to the interior design of the inside of the shop.

If this much attention went into a gas station in the middle of nowhere, imagine what can be found in the cities later on in the game. Functionally, the gas station serves pretty much exactly what you would expect from one in reality: selling fuel for automobiles as well as general purpose items, cooking materials in the convenience store, and even a weapon dealer.

ffxv gas station

Chocobo Outpost

The Duscae demo also featured a Chocobo Outpost. Since chocobos are a staple in the Final Fantasy universe, outposts like this should be expected to be scattered throughout the game. While chocobos were not available in the demo, they will be in the final game, and it’s fairly safe to assume that these outposts will have something to do with their acquisition. Interestingly, the items sold at the outpost consists of food ingredients for the in-game cooking recipes rather than anything actually chocobo related.

Considering this is all just from a demo build, who knows if it will remain that way for the final release. As with the gas station, the amount of effort put into the design of the outpost is impressive. The location is large enough that multiple NPCs frequent the area, so perhaps in addition to its most basic function as a transportation hub, there may be other story and quest related reasons to pay it another visit.

Outside of the demo, screenshots have been released revealing a weapon shop set up in the back of a blue armored truck. Considering the number of weapons equipped at a time in Final Fantasy XV’s battle system, weapon shops appear primed to be a regular pitstop for players to check in on.

ffxv chocobo outpost

Diner

Another key shop type that has been shown often in trailers and screenshots is the Diner. In addition to selling items, Diners appear to be primary hubs for quests, mob hunts, and information. They also seem to be the location of arcade machines, which is where players can find this iteration of Final Fantasy’s latest in-game mini-game, Justice Monsters 5.

item purchase

Potential Shop Styles

The Altissia Walkthrough trailer also revealed a number of potential shop styles and types, ranging from kiosks, traditional market stands, street artists, to even a fancy waterside bar. While not a lot of information is known about the in-game function of these shops, it is remarkable how the design for each one oozes with its own unique personality.

Final Fantasy XV is upping the shop game. Everything that’s been discussed in this piece has come from a mere gameplay demo, a couple minutes of trailer footage, and few screenshots. Given the massive scope, open world in nature, and size of this highly anticipated title, one can only imagine what lies in store for the final release.

Betty / August 30, 2016 / Gameplay