After a decade of waiting, FINAL FANTASY XV launched as a financial and critical success worldwide on November 29 of last year. Almost all reviewers believe that the games strengths, particularly the bond between its four bro-tagonists and its combat, outshine the games many flaws, particularly its story and the little time spent on side characters. Shortly after, SQUARE ENIX promised content upgrades throughout 2017, some of which will improve the story by adding additional scenes and others that improve the gameplay. In fact 70% of Director Hajime Tabata’s Business Division 2 development team is still working on the game! While the morality of releasing FFXV as a “Game as a Platform” type game (see: Destiny, Street Fighter V, No Man’s Sky) is a hot topic of discussion, I want to leave that conversation for another time.
Fans of the core essence of the game such as myself were excited that developer was looking to take a FFXIV type MMO approach into improving the game throughout 2017. For the record, I really enjoyed FFXV but after finishing the bare bones story and platinuming the game in 70 hours I was left hungry for more content and optimistic about SQUARE’s future roadmap. Fast forward to February 2017 however and I’ve become fatigued waiting for content that actually matters. Since launch we have seen a breadth of useless updates such as the now bygone Moogle-Chocobo Carnival and under-powered DLC items, along with a few actually meaningful updates like the increased level cap and photo capacity. The coming off-road Regalia is nice, but don’t we already level up and use Chocobos off-road anyway? In short, I think that SQUARE ENIX has wasted a lot of time on updates that are nice gestures in premise but not what the game truly needs right now. More than anything FFXV needs story improvements, but those understandably take time to produce and I’ll be discussing them further in another piece. Instead, below you’ll find improvements listed that I highly recommend Business Division 2 make to the core gameplay of FFXV while we patiently wait for story content.
Interface & Controls
- Change interact button to triangle or Square so that players are not accidentally jumping all the time.
- Item Selection Switched to touch pad/Select like in Lightning Returns: FFXIII
- R2/RT switches to a second weapon wheel. Thus all 8 weapon types can be accommodated without going back into the menu to switch.
- Magic Can now be Assigned to 4 shortcuts like in the Kingdom Hearts Series.
- Holding L2/LT and a face button triggers whatever magic the player has assigned to the face button.
- Separating magic into shortcuts assigned to L2?LT+face buttons and weapons into the D-Pad effectively removes clutter and keeps the action combat going. No constant fiddling with the menus every time a battle a starts!
- Summon’s are still a long hold on L2/LT.
- Hunts given own Menu outside of Quests. Multiple can be accepted at once.
- More than one Quest/Hunt Visible on Map at once
Gameplay & Summons
- Camera Improvements when in close combat with large enemies and areas with much foliage.
- Ability to set what time the party wants to wake up from Camp w/respective sun + moon signs next to the numbers already used in the game. It’s very inconvenient needing to do a night hunt or side mission with no food buffs!
- Sun and Moon Signs next to wake up times are important because the dawn and dusk times change throughout the game.
- Chocobo drift given more turning speed. They’re really stiff!
- Ability to hire Aranea during certain times after chapter 8 in the open world. Charges extra for overnight since she usually doesn’t get paid for overnight.
- Ability to take Iris or Cor on missions in the post game.
- Revamped Summoning Criteria for existing summons. We’re tired of always getting Ramuh and barely ever seeing Titan anymore!
- Being able to summon more than one Summon in certain high level fights.
- Ifrit and Bahamut Summonable in post game.
- Leviathan Summon possible in heavy rain..
- Carbuncle Summonable after one death only on Normal.
- DIFFICULTY: Items lose potency the more you use them until the next time you camp. Thus adding an actual layer of difficulty to the game. Maybe 5 uses of a pheonix down before they don’t work anymore.
- I would also recommend that upgrades to the car such as off-road Regalia or even new weapons are tied to new quests. Make us for work them, don’t just give the items to us in a download!
PSN Trophies/XBL Achievements
I can’t stress how big of a deal this actually is. For “Game as Platform” games, a constant flow of new trophies keeps people coming back and serves as a great way of maintaining relevance in 2017, especially with RPGs like Persona 5 and Mass Effect coming out. DriveClub added trophies almost monthly and Rocket League adds new trophies for FREE when they patch in new gameplay modes or even stages. As it stands, FINAL FANTASY XV’s trophy list is a disservice to the game. It is incredibly easy to obtain the platinum without having partaken in a large portion of what the game offers, unlike FINAL FANTASY X. I don’t think it should be as hard as FFX’s platinum; in fact I commend XV’s list for how accessible it is but hate it for how EASY it is.
I therefore recommend that SQUARE ENIX add in the following trophies/achievements, most of which should be Gold, based on the content currently available at the time of this post ASAP:
- Complete all dungeons (I missed one completely and got the platinum)
- Complete all Menace Dungeons
- Complete ALL Side Quests. (Not that many more than 80 in the game actually)
- Max Out The Ascension Grid. (The recent timed hunts give you 333AP monthly. This will keep people around and prevent a grind.)
- Reach lvl 99. (Not hard at all if you use the Hotels. No trophy for 120)
- Reach Maximum Hunter level.
- Obtain All Recipes (I only have 50/150 I think?). Most of these are tied to ingredients from hunts anyway.
- Catch all Fish
- Complete Pitious Secret Dungeon/Obtain the Black Hood Accessory.
I really love FFXV despite its faults and I want it to become as awesome and as most complete of a growing experience I know it can be. What do you all think of my suggestions and what improvements would you like to see? Leave a comment below!