Square Enix is finally fulfilling a promise 10 years in the making. With Final Fantasy XV set for release on September 30th, Square is appropriately making a huge deal out of the game’s release. While recent non-MMO entries in the series have been met with mixed feelings from fans, Final Fantasy XV has been very open both about its content and to fan feedback. Last year’s demo was even patched to reflect feedback from fans, showing the Square really want to get this right, a sign of the confidence they have in the game as a whole. Now they have a new demo (available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) that will show the final games visual fidelity and combat system, both concerns of fans in the original demo (check back for more on this as we take the time to play through it). It’s refreshing to see a developer as big as Square Enix working with a chip on their shoulder, like they have something to prove, and they do.
Not only are they hyping the release with a new demo, they have already released the first episode of an anime prequel to the game and are finalizing a CG movie set to release before the game. The anime is free to watch on YouTube and will be releasing over time, so far with only English subtitles. The film, which will be available for streaming or download or as part of the game’s collector’s edition, will feature some big star power from the likes of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. Square appears to be supremely confident in Final Fantasy XV, so much so that they are investing so many additional resources into making this launch special.
One could argue that the investment into such frivolities could be better put to use in the game, but for all intents and purposes the game is complete as evident by the relatively brief time until release. Frankly, I believe that Square is doing the right thing building up what is arguably the most important game they have released in years. It shows excitement on their part in wanting to get the game and its world into the hands of players as quickly as possible. It is also a pleasant change of pace from the previous radio silence from the days of Versus XIII. Obviously we can’t judge the game quite yet, but Square should be praised for their commitment to ultimately deliver the best game possible, even if it took 10 years and a few platform changes to do it.
At this point, September 30th can’t come soon enough. Final Fantasy XV is shaping up to be this year’s premier release, and I’m sure the Final Fantasy VII fans out there (myself included) will breathe a bit easier if this game turns out to be everything we hope it does. A return to form of the biggest name in JRPGs is good for everyone, and to see Final Fantasy back on top of the world would certainly make this old fan proud.