September 30 marks the day that we all get to see what the latest Final Fantasy has in store for us after 10 years of development. There’s a lot we’ve seen over the last few weeks, but there’s still a lot we haven’t. The series has a lot of staples as well as some unique features per entry that sparked some fandom. From Tonberry one-hit-kills to Chocobo breeding for that one with the coolest abilities, here’s a list of things I hope XV revamps in that shiny new system.
1. Card Games
Final Fantasy 8 and 9 showcased a minigame that became games of their own for collectors and for people with mobile gaming on the brain just this past year. The card game for 8, Triple Triad, involved cards with enemies’ and allies’ portraits on them that everyone in every town all over the world had. Some places even have their own set of rules for the same game, often unfair (damn you Cid!), and it made the universe feel connected and more fleshed out. On top of that, cards collected could be refined into items that could upgrade everything in the game
If FFXV implements a card game minigame that everyone all over the globe knows about and plays, then it would help to connect the vast world they’ve created. It would also give us a reason to roam the beautiful landscapes in search of other people so we can beat them up and take their cards. Make those cards useful in the game mechanics and make the cards appealing to the eye and you’ve got collectors and casuals involved in a deeper element of the game. And come on, can’t you see these guys sitting around a table, poker-style, playing a game of cards with a few drinks?
Yes, they are goofy and crazy looking in a realistic world, but tell me you wouldn’t be delighted to see a giant Cactuar hopping around fully rendered and causing havoc. These little guys are not only a symbol for the series, but they are a unique enemy that can be anything from a silly joke to a serious threat. These dancin’ fools are nothing to take lightly and some of the most intense and stressful moments in FF history has been fighting with a Cactaur or even a Jumbo Cactuar that’s bigger than a Behemoth! It would be a shame to not include these prickly opponents now that they can move in real time in a fully rendered environment. Watching some of the more serious characters deal with this kind of silliness would be both amusing and fun. Imagine those guys struggling against a Cactuar after taking on something like an Iron Giant—priceless. Let’s see what 10,000 needles looks like on the prettiest setting!
3. A Sport
One of the coolest parts of FF 10 was Blitzball, which was an underwater Soccer-like sport that had you recruiting people all over the world to play on your team. It had seasons and tournaments and its own game mechanics that made it feel like you were playing something completely different from the main story. It was a minigame with more depth than any of the others and it made the world feel just as big as the shared cardgames of FF8 and FF9. If FFXV could create its own unique sport that could take up that much depth, then it could keep people coming back to the world for more than just battles. Also, it would look damn pretty. I’d personally like to see a recruiting system like FF10 so that I care about all these beautifully rendered people in the world and I have reason to interact with them in every town. Not to mention it would make extra use of their character models if they get to move about in a sport instead of just standing around NPC style. Also how badass would Gladiolus look playing something like Football or Lacrosse?
Some of the best storytelling in FF games comes in the form of rivalries with the main character that are either serious or funny. Having a rival can bring laughs or frustration, but it always pushes the main character to be and do more than they currently are. Rivalries like Seifer and Squall in FF8 or Zidane and Amarant in FF9 push the story in a more natural way that develops their personalities and hones their prowesses in ways that make the depth and believability of the plot a bit lighter. Much like real life, we are prodded by our rivals into doing better at things and Noctis seems like the kind of guy who could use an over-the-top person to challenge his skills. He’s not the kind to take it seriously, but having a bit of levity in what looks like an overly serious story could be exactly what it needs.
FF X-2 didn’t make strong waves like its predecessor, but it did introduce the Dress-Sphere system that allowed you to customize the look of your characters. FF13 took it further and it was so popular that the main character is now a real world model for Louis Vuitton. And you know what Noctis and his crew of dark-clad, badass males needs? Some swag. Probably the biggest feature of RPGs in the last few years has been the ability to make your character wear and look the way you want. Yeah, we are all playing as Noctis, but maybe your Noctis wears a flashy pink suit and fights with a Moogle sword while mine is wearing Sephiroth’s outfit with a sword taller than him. Giving players the ability to customize to their liking makes them more invested in the characters and provides an extra layer of gameplay that doesn’t involve as much risk. If anything, all those guys in black look cool as maybe an album cover for a rock band, but I’d wager they could look a lot better with some colored suits or some classic fantasy gear.
So there you have it, my 5 things I’d like to see. Thanks for reading and let me know what you guys think and what you’d like to see in Final Fantasy XV. You can comment here or catch me on Twitter @RAT_FOX .