Thanks to Nutteralex for the inspiration!
While Final Fantasy XV wasn’t a bad game, it left a lot of people wondering: what if? Final Fantasy XV had a lot of great ideas that ultimately didn’t cohere well. While we can’t go back, we can look forward to Final Fantasy XVI. What, then, can Square Enix implement to make Final Fantasy XVI the greatest game of all time? Nutteralex suggests:
I think the open world in 15 was an honest attempt at trying to have an open world alongside a linear story, but in the end, it just didn’t work out. It felt so lifeless, we only really got one city. I think the way to do it is how the 7-9 FFs did it. The world is open but zones are unlocked by going through a dungeonesque part I.E. The coral mountain/railroad part in 7. In this game, the dungeons were just places you go to get royal arms, and then you can warp to the beginning. I loved walking into a dungeon to leave out the other side and have a new area to explore. Just before the last dungeon/whatever you unlock an airship or something and can explore the game/unlock the side quests for weapons/op gear/owning a villa.
This is similar to the game design of Grand Theft Auto. Perhaps this is what Final Fantasy XV tried to accomplish in a limited sense. Taking Nutteralex’s suggestion could take the new game back to its root, in terms of game design. While Nutteralex mentions a few, Final Fantasy VII, VIII or IX weren’t the first Final Fantasy games to do this. In fact, Final Fantasy I was first. The story is fairly linear up until our characters acquire the airship. Then, we’re free to explore much of the world.
In this sense, the original Final Fantasy was truly an open world game with a linear story, done right. Only the first few dungeons, and then the Chaos Shrine at the end, needed unlocking. Afterward, you could progress in any order you wanted. Final Fantasy XV’s story was even a bit more restricted in this sense. Perhaps Final Fantasy XVI could be the needed change?
Second. FF15 was way too easy, and I get that it’s their first ARPG for the series but I didn’t die once. I also only had to use a Phoenix down once or twice. The game was simply way too easy. Combat, while I keep going back to this game, is easy and therefore boring. So an improvement on difficulty/combat would be much needed. I think if you nerf damage of the monsters but not hugely and when a character died, they die would be fine instead of that awful “danger” bullshit.
Most people say to win Final Fantasy XV, all you really need to do is press square. Seriously. This is a gross simplification though. It can get harder during the later games. It’s technically an ARPG; still, you can simply get by most early battles keeping your thumb pressed firmly on the square button. Since we can defeat most enemies this way, the variety, strategy, and, most importantly, challenge disappears. Nutteralex’s suggestion should make it much more challenging.
I want to go back to medieval fantasy. I would really like the next one to be the style of FFIX. I think if they did an open world where exploration on Chocobos was heavily ingrained into the game it would make them fill out the world more.
Final Fantasy XV follows the new trend of non-medieval titles. Nutteralex wants the style to mimic Final Fantasy IX, a story book setting with a lot of medieval designs. This could work, but why not also incorporate places like Cornelia, Baron and Figaro?
Make combat less open. Choose 1 or 2 weapons that the main character uses and make a legitimate combat system around it, not hold l2 while you also hold r2 lol.
This might take away diversity, but it also could force a challenge. How can we control our characters and their limited use of weapons? Since the main series games don’t turn away new players, expect some tricks to the combat. Plus, it would be self-defeating to include a challenge, only for their to be an easier fix down the line.
Make an actual story that make the theory nerds have a field day! Why must we tell square in 2017 that story is the reason many people started on this series!? No the real reason is we love borderline cross-dressing characters and stand in a line combat /s. We want story!
I want a story! Some people don’t love this, but theories can add to a narrative if you’re looking for something to think about. Just steer clear of obvious data-dumping (ala Final Fantasy XIII) and flesh out the narrative a bot more. You’ll be fine.
Aaaaand that’s it. Honestly, while I do like 15, I see the flaws in it, I’m hoping that they take what they learned from their experiment and make an actual good game next because I haven’t been really interested in a FF since XI. While I haven’t hated the series,
We’ll see how Final Fantasy XVI fares in the future. Who knows, some of his suggestions may coincidentally pop up in Final Fantasy VII’s remake.