I got my Deluxe Edition of Final Fantasy XV in the mail yesterday, which comes in a Steelbook case with the Final Fantasy XV movie, Kingsglaive on Blu-ray, and some DLC. While I was waiting for my 9 gigabyte update, I wondered if you were supposed to watch the Movie before the game or vice versa, so I did some research. As it turns out, there’s a 5 episode anime (you can watch all five compiled together by clicking this link here) that explains the backstory of the 4 main characters prior to the game. I highly recommend this for anyone wanting to play FFXV. After finishing Brotherhood, it’s recommended you watch the movie, Kingsglaive, so I did just that.

Wow. Kingsglaive on Blu-ray was amazing. The (cg) animation quality was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before; absolutely beautiful, and at times I had a hard time remebering I wasn’t watching real actors on a real set. The story of Kingsglaive begins right around when the game begins, but I too, would highly recommend watching Kingsglaive before starting the game, as it explains a LOT, and does so much better than the game does. Essentially, Niflheim has an advanced technology and is conquering and sweeping up nations in the land of Eos. The last bastion against Niflheim is a city in Lucia, Insomnia, protected by a magical crystal that creates a magical barrier by the king’s control. Niflheim obviously is looking at world domination and will stop at nothing to do so, but I’ll stop there to prevent spoiling any of the movie or game. Kingsglaive follows a member of the king’s elite unit, the Kingsglaive, who is an elite tactical strike team with magic gifted from the King himself. Nyx (voiced by Aaron Paul) is your typical serious hero character, but his character does some decent development throughout the story. The action is balls-to-the-wall amazing and the spectacular animation quality only enhances every moment. It is truly eye candy. Honestly, if you want to play Final Fantasy XV, this is pretty much a requirement, and if you like action or just want to see a beautiful cg movie in general, go watch Kingsglaive. I personally loved it and am very glad I have it on Blu-ray. It does a great job of exciting the viewer to play FFXV.

When you boot up FFXV, you’re met with a message that personally worried me a bit: “A Final Fantasy for Fans and First-Timers”. After the over-the-top crazy awesome action and ending of Kingsglaive, I was pumped to start FFXV, but, of course, that same kind of enthusiasm was quickly replaced with a boring, but important tutorial. After the tutorial was a slow start, but not in a bad way. My action-packed expectations from Kingsglaive were not met, but my enthusiasm was replaced with a different one: an excitement to explore the world outside of Insomnia. Crafted together in a sort of “highway gas station” style in the mid-west, the world is charming, full of character, and just begs you to explore it. And you absolutely can. The overworld area is a sandbox, where you can go more-or-less where ever you want, and they use the breaking down of your princely vehicle, the Regalia, as a tutorial to explore around a bit before getting back on the open road.

Taking place before the climax of Kingsglaive, we join the main character and his 3 buddies pushing the broken down Regalia to the nearest gas station. You have your angsty hero, a FF staple, Noctis, Prince of Insomnia and heir to the throne, on his way to marry Princess Lunafreya of Taenbaum(sp?), a childhood friend, as a peace marriage between the two warring nations. Then there’s the prince’s personal guard, Gladiolus, the prince’s caretaker (sort of) Ignis, and the prince’s friend from school, Prompto. Each has their own personality, and their playful banter with one another really makes you feel like part of the group. Their chemistry together is really nice, and it’s cool to have a group of friends as the main characters of an FF instead of heroes coming together to save the world. Again, see Brotherhood for more backstory on this.

I’ll talk more about game mechanics tomorrow, this is more of a story/setting/first impression post. And honestly, I’m impressed. I’m enjoying the game, the setting, and the characters quite a bit, but there’s one thing that irks me in the back of my mind… Would I be enjoying it as much if I didn’t watch Brotherhood and Kingsglaive? I sincerely doubt it, as those two things really bring you into the world and familiarize you with the characters. Not only that, but FFXV itself has a very weak opening, and does not explain things itself, in fact, it practically assumes you’ve seen the movie, as at the point in the game when the climax of Kingsglaive is happening, they show you some broken up, semi-incoherent clips of the movie sort of as a “if you’ve seen this, you know what’s going on”.

All of that said, I’m enjoying FFXV so far. I’ll give you more details on the mechanics and stuff tomorrow. Those of you who have seen the anime, watched the movie, or started the game, what do you feel about what I’ve said so far? I’d love to hear our opinions.