Final Fantasy XV will be launching in just a few short hours! Luckily, I've been able to get my hands on an early copy, so here are some tips to help you get started in the quest to reclaim your throne.
1. Make Sure You Have Enough Memory
#FF15 is a massive game, so before you start your journey, ensure you have enough space on your hard drive. The #XboxOne version has been reported to be 50.94GB. As for the #PlayStation4 version, I can confirm the game has already taken up a total of 52.88GB on my hard drive. This total includes the patches that brought my game to Version 1.02, the Crown Update, which I was already able to download, despite it not yet being November 29. So it's safe to say you may want to have additional memory available for future patches and the upcoming season pass content.
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2. Get Up To Speed On The Story
There is not much time left until the release, and Final Fantasy XV has a pretty significant amount of backstory that's not in the game. And while the Crown Update does include some bits from the movie Kingsglaive, it is not the full story. Thankfully, if you're yet to see the movie, you may still be able the get your hands on the Deluxe Edition that comes with both the main game and film.
The other way to get familiar with the backstory is with Brotherhood, a five-part anime series you can watch for free on #YouTube. This series shows how protagonist Noctis met each of his three friends, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, all of whom will be accompanying the player in their journey through #Eos.
Watch Episode 1 of Brotherhood, titled "Before the Storm," below.
Then there is the Platinum Demo, available for free on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The demo has little in the way of story content, but the little content it does have is unique to the demo and will not be found within the game. Either way, it is worth playing, as upon completion of the demo, players unlock the summon Carbuncle for use in the main game.
3. Tutorial And Open Combat
Whether you've played Episode Duscae or the #FFPlatinumDemo, combat has changed quite a bit. The tutorial will be selectable immediately upon choosing New Game. While Platinum Demo features gameplay closer to the final build, it is with a high recommendation that you play the tutorial available before starting the main game. The tutorial will teach you the basics of combat as well as some of the newer mechanics, such as crafting and using spells as well as team techniques not featured in either of the demos.
In addition to the tutorial, there is also a Lore Guide, which is a quick and easy way to familiarize yourself with some of the game's important terminology and world history.
Also, when I started the game, my system still had to further install game data. This took approximately 24 minutes on my PS4. During that time I adjusted the settings to my liking and tried out Open Combat from the main menu. This is a feature that allows you to enjoy the game's combat for an infinite amount of time and is a great way to get used to the action-oriented combat system while you wait.
4. Pay Attention: These Tips May Save Your Life
- Keep an eye on your remaining MP! When MP falls to zero, #Noctis enters stasis where he cannot attack, but he can still warp away from enemies to recover MP.
- Analyze is an ability you can easily acquire from the Ascension grid (the way characters learn new abilities) and is the #FFXV version of Libra/Scan from previous entries. #Ignis can learn the ability from the get-go, which will allow you to view enemy weaknesses. These villains are not only weak against elemental magic, but also an array of weaponry. Enemies are also immune to different types of weapons and magic, making Analyze an extremely useful ability!
- Sometimes, before engaging an enemy, one of your party members will come up with a strategy for defeating said enemy. If you execute the strategy, you will be rewarded with additional AP.
- At a campsite you will be able to rest and restore your party to full health, look at the photos #Prompto has taken throughout your journey, and choose a stat-boosting meal for Ignis to cook. Not only that, but you can train with #Gladio and upon victory you will receive AP. Resting at campsites, hotels, and other locations is the only way to level up!
- Be careful with magic! In Final Fantasy XV magic is very different. To represent "reality," your companions can be hit and take damage from magic, so make sure when you're spell casting that all allies are a good distance away from the blast radius.
- Talk to bartenders and shop owners. Most of the time they will give you hints of what is in the surrounding area. Anything new will then be added to your map.
- Saving is done via auto save and you can manually save anytime outside of battle using the pause menu. You are limited to 10 save slots, two of which are dedicated to auto saves.
- Sell your loot! The best way to make gil (the currency of the #FinalFantasy series) in the early parts of the game is to sell loot dropped from defeated enemies as you will not receive gil upon their defeat as with many of the previous titles.
- Adjust the settings to your liking. This goes for nearly every game you play, but Final Fantasy XV has an above average number of settings to adjust. One in particular is the stamina bar. In the default setting it is set to off, but when turned on a small bar will appear over Noctis's head when he is sprinting. Upon the bar's depletion, Noctis will come to a standstill to catch his breathe; this will happen whether the setting is turned on or not, so it may be in your best interest to turn this setting on so you can monitor Noctis's stamina. The HUD can also be turned on and off from the setting, should you want to enjoy just the scenery.
Not so much a tip as a suggestion. In the Regalia you can listen to tracks from previous Final Fantasy games. So when you get the Regalia back, the first track I recommend playing is "Opening — Bombing Mission" from the Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack. There is just something about listening to the opening music of Final Fantasy VII that really makes you feel like the journey is beginning.
Final Fantasy XV releases globally November 29! Check out the extended cut trailer below and tell me what you hope FF15 will bring to the table.