I’ve been playing Final Fantasy 16 for the last couple of weeks and feel really let down by the hype and reviews of this game.

While I enjoy the deviation of the combat the rest of the game feels very incomplete. The vocal animations are frequently off. The travel from area to area is just an overworld map to select travel from one small area to another. There are like 2 or 3 side quests at a time and a whole vendor that will send you to side quests in different areas, but his menu is always empty.

In general, the graphics are roughly the same as FFXIV. The animations and music seem ripped right out of 14 as well. And the combat and akin to the main series Kingdom Hearts games.

Overall I’m enjoying it, but these 7-9 out of 10 reviews that are calling it some massive achievement seem really undeserved.

  • Stepos Venzny@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago

    It’s a part of my most hated trend in the video game industry: video games that are ashamed to be video games so they try to fool you into thinking they’re a more “respectable” art form like TV shows or movies. The mainstream hype we’re seeing is probably that it’s popular with Naughty Dog fans rather than Final Fantasy fans.

    I wish these types of games would at least consistently ape more interesting TV shows and movies. Alan Wake seems like the only one that didn’t aspire to be something forgettable. I don’t even like Twin Peaks but at least it’s an identity.

    This game is okay enough that I’m probably going to eventually finish it but I don’t think I’d ever feel tempted to start it again even if somehow every other option available to me were objectively worse because at least some of what’s left would be memorable enough to care about.

    In general, the graphics are roughly the same as FFXIV.

    The graphics are apparently deceptively good. Not immediately jaw-dropping for us lay people like the series is known for but more of a technical quality. I thought it was underwhelming on first glance but I admit I enjoy the things that video brings up now that I’ve started paying attention to them.

    • Coelacanth@feddit.nu
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      1 year ago

      I haven’t had a chance to play it yet since I don’t own a PS5, but your comments sound a lot like what Yahtzee brought up in his review.

      I too have been sceptical since I first heard about the idea of a “serious, mature mainline FF game”, since to me that sounds almost antithetical to what the series represents (it’s even got Fantasy in the name!).

      I also have to say, knowing it was made by the same team as FFXIV dampened my interest in it a little. I played that game for a while (and enjoyed it quite a bit initially), but as time went on and I moved onto later expansions I started to lose interest in not only the story and the way it was told but also the direction the game was evolving in mechanically for the various classes.

      I’m not saying it’s objectively bad, but it started to feel like my tastes for story and gameplay no longer align with Sony Creative Business Unit 3.

  • EeeDawg101@lemm.ee
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    1 year ago

    Ff16 is the first final fantasy game I’ve played (so I can’t compare to the others like you can) and at first I felt like this but now that I’m 17 hours in, I get it. It’s just how this game is, it’s not open world. Each area is it’s own thing that you take in.

    Games are like an interactive movie and there’s a ratio of moviness to gaminess and this one leans heavier on the moviness side.

    Idk just thinking out loud.

    • ursakhiin@beehaw.orgOP
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      1 year ago

      Yeah. I get it. I’m not really even thinking about it as a Final Fantasy game with a lot of this. My callbacks to FFXIV are because that’s an MMO and we expect the concessions in MMOs to repetitive animations and lower tier graphics to allow for the content churn. For a new game to just look and feel like a 10 year old MMO with graphics is kinda rough.

      This game feels like they meant to have a ton more and just didn’t in the end. Not every game needs an open world but if I do compare it to other FF games, it definitely feels the least open.

      I have felt some of the boss fights were really good. I guess I would have just given it a 5 or 6.

      I think I’m mostly upset by how much acclaim it’s been getting.

      • EeeDawg101@lemm.ee
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        1 year ago

        I def get what you mean, it isn’t very fleshed out compared to other games that are in the same (apparent) league that the reviews are putting it in. I was just playing a little bit ago and did another of the side quests where you deliver food to people and it’s just so simple seeming (and repetitive since it happens more than once). But in a way I also like the simpleness of it. Maybe it’s appeasing to a certain part of the brain in people where it either clicks or it doesn’t and that is what is responsible for the reviews.

    • VoxAdActa@beehaw.org
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      1 year ago

      Games are like an interactive movie and there’s a ratio of moviness to gaminess and this one leans heavier on the moviness side.

      The last Final Fantasy game I played was 8, and it was exactly because of this. They stripped out almost all the “game” bits (although they did give us a really cool card game minigame) and turned it into basically a movie you could occasionally interact with. The battles were mindless (there was no reason not to use your strongest summon every round, because it was both more effective than anything else and because it was totally free to do so), the “equipment” system was entirely optional (which was good, because interacting with it required mega-grind), and overland travel was a total afterthought. It was more of a “game” than anything Tell Tale put out, but that’s a low bar, since Tell Tale only produces movies that sometimes throw in an attention check in the form of a quicktime event.

      It was a real shame, because I had entirely switched system allegiance from Nintendo to Playstation just for FF7. Then the followed it up with 8, and it was obvious where they were taking the franchise. So I’m not surprised to see, all these years later, that the newest FF game is even more of that.

  • Turmbaumeister
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    1 year ago

    I disagree. This is the first game I’m rating over 9/10 since divinity original sin 2.

    I specifically like the map style over contemporary, pseudo big(copy pasted), generic open world.

    The story is the best I can think of in epic RPGS, maybe throne of Baal or kotor were similarly interesting for me but they are very old so there’s some nostalgia.

    Only 2 complaints I have are difficulty, there’s no reason to hide the hard mode, action is too easy. And side quest design, almost all involving combat.

  • thepiggz@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago

    This. The reviews never seem to add up for the FF series. I thought the same thing about 15. Not sure who all these mega fans are nowadays, but it’s not those of us were playing FF2 on snes back in the day and whatnot. I’ve wondered about review manipulation on Square Enix’s part though I could just be majorly out of touch. It is possible that people genuinely are seeing something there that I’m not.

    • catfishman@lemm.ee
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      1 year ago

      I don’t know if I count as a mega fan, but I’ve been playing the FF series since FF1 on the NES. I loved FF1-FF9, but then I sort of lost interest in the series. I kept trying each new game, but they never really clicked for me.

      Then I tried FFXV when it came out, and while it was a big departure from what the series was before, I loved it. It wasn’t perfect, but it finally clicked again for me. Same with FF7 Remake. I haven’t played FF16 yet, and I won’t until it comes out on PC, but I have a feeling I’ll like it.

      I guess my point is, there are plenty of long time fans that are into the new games. And plenty that aren’t! I think the new direction is pretty polarizing.

      • thepiggz@beehaw.org
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        1 year ago

        I wrote a longer reply on someone else’s comment. Mostly, I’ve been a fan since I was a kid and I’m less thrilled with the creativity, heart, innovation and originality in the series as of late. Tho, as you get older I suppose lots of things start seeming less exciting haha

      • thingsiplay@kbin.social
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        1 year ago

        @catfishman I’m a long time fan (6 & 7 my favorites, I know not very unique opinion) and have no interested into the newer games. From the reviews, looks like 16 is not for me (as 15 wasn’t). Did you play 12? That is a very traditional Final Fantasy.

        • catfishman@lemm.ee
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          1 year ago

          I played it a little bit of FF12, but I may not have given it enough of a chance. I remember losing interest when I had to set up all of the gambits for my party.

    • Addfwyn@lemmy.ml
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      1 year ago

      It’s kind of a long standing quality of the series, since they are always trying new stuff that will resonate with different people. Outside of like actual FF2 (I assume you are talking about IV since you mention the SNES) I think I have heard people make a case for every FF being their favourite. Which is great, I am glad they try to shake it up every time.

      Both of the projects Yoshida has been involved with I have been pretty lukewarm on though, so I am just a bit concerned if he is going to be the proverbial face of the series moving forward.

      • Coelacanth@feddit.nu
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        1 year ago

        The thing with Yoshida is interesting because I feel exactly the same way, but I also changed opinion on his works over time.

        I don’t know what changed, but Heavensward era FFXIV was pretty cool in both gameplay and story, and Stormblood too has some great moments (primarily in the 4.X patch quests) while being even better, gameplay wise.

        Since then the gameplay has been going in a direction I really don’t care for, and the same goes for story (though Shadowbringers had some great moments). I couldn’t make myself finish Endwalker.

        I’m curious if you experienced this shift as well or you just didn’t care for FFXIV from the outset.

        • Addfwyn@lemmy.ml
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          1 year ago

          I wasn’t a massive XIV fan at the outset, but there has definitely been a trend in the game design I didn’t like as it moved towards later expansions. They continually moved away from any kind of player agency/customization, so everything is super homogenized now (or at least when I last played). I stopped around the end of Shadowbringers, never actually got into Endwalker content.

          They used to have cross-class skills and things like that, so it really felt like a FF job system where you would play different classes to unlock skills for your main. I think any FF player should be pretty comfortable with that. They have since simplified that, which I am sure is great for newer players but I don’t really like it. Now, if I am a level 80 warrior I am exactly the same as every other level 80 warrior, except for the number next to my item level. That kind of customization is a big part of both MMOs and FFs for me, usually.

          Killer soundtrack though, Soken does good work.

          • Coelacanth@feddit.nu
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            1 year ago

            They have definitely gone further down the path of homogenisation and simplification. I don’t actually mind customisation being sacrificed for better encounter balance, but many classes started to lose their identities as features and mechanics got scaled back, Dark Knight and Astrologian being two examples. And of course what they did to healers in general. Personally the removal of Hissatsu: Kaiten from Samurai was the last straw.

            Killer soundtrack though, Soken does good work.

            He does produce some bangers, but I’m such an unabashed Uematsu fanboy. I actually felt Soken did some of his best work remixing, building on and riffing off of Uematu’s themes and melodies, which is another reason I enjoyed the earlier expansions.

      • thepiggz@beehaw.org
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        1 year ago

        Yes, that was a ref to the weird choice to brand 4 as two in the US. Which I as a kid only later learned was what has happened

        I can believe it. I’ve kinda figured I might just be settling into old person syndrome and thinking everything from my younger days was somehow better. I loved the series changing styles, vibes, characters, stories, worlds, etc., while some themes and elements remained the same. Nowadays tho, little changes and the stories and characters seems less and less compelling.

  • breakfastburrito@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago

    I haven’t gotten too far (a bit after you unlock your second element abilities) but I agree the reviews seem odd. I think the story so far is decent. The new combat style is not what I’d expect from ff (I miss turn based) but I still enjoyed it. However I think the combat has some depth the game just doesn’t incentivize because encounters are so easy. I read people mention you could do different strategies and playstyles and rack up combos to enemies, but i never found myself using any of that because the combat is so simple you can just do your regular basic attack over and over for every fight and there’s no reward/incentive for not doing that. There’s no items or paths for making a build or strategizing fights. The gameplay feels linear and kind of filler between cutscenes of story. Leveling and gear increases stats but it doesn’t really make a noticeable difference because the game is linear and scales with you.

    I wouldn’t say it’s a bad game, but I’m also confused by the super high scores. Also, allegedly they fixed this, but I found myself awkwardly trying to navigate while never using the right analog stick because the camera blur was so bad. Like maybe the graphics are good but I never saw them because every time I moved it was a watercolor painting.

  • sub_o@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago
    • Yeah, vocal animations for side quests are off, some are saying this is the aftereffect of the pandemic. They also didn’t lipsync for Japanese dub, so you might want to stick with that
    • As per overworld map, it’s similar to FFX
    • Side quests are very sparse around the beginning of the game, by the end of the game I was complaining at how unevenly distributed they are that they just drop large number of them before endgame. They are there to flesh out the side characters
    • Not sure about graphics, but the music is by same composer Masayoshi Soken
    • Is it really Kingdom Heart’s combat? I played 90% of KH games and DMC games, and I’d definitely say that it’s more DMC combat than KH, considering they hired Ryota Suzuki who designed the combat system for DMCV and Dragon’s Dogma as the combat director

    If you’ve played FFX, XIII, 7Remake, Crisis Core, then you’d be less shocked by how linear it is.

  • Addfwyn@lemmy.ml
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    1 year ago

    I love FF, played them all and generally liked every one to varying degrees. I am about there with you overall on XVI. I liked my time with FFXVI well enough, but in my overall series hierarchy it is basically smack dab in the middle. I thought it was good but it didn’t blow me away like a lot of people are raving about. I certainly don’t regret playing it, but I also wouldn’t want to see this be the direction they take the series from now on.

    I liked the characters a lot more than I expected. Story had pacing issues but overall it was good. Music was more atmospheric but generally quite well done, though thinking back to it now I can’t really recall any of the music.

    Gameplay-wise though, it felt like it was lacking a lot of RPG elements. I don’t mind action combat at all, I am not a turn-based purist and I loved FF7R, but the combat in FFXVI seemed like a big step back. There really wasn’t any itemization, levels didn’t feel that impactful, and even unlocking nodes on the skilltree felt very low impact. About halfway through the game I had unlocked everything I would use until the end of the game, so skill points really ceased to matter. There were no resistances or elements, so even though the game makes a big deal about learning different magic-types (which are all 100% the same as each other), you can approach every single fight exactly the same. The big bombastic kaiju fights people loved were actually my least favourite part though. You were basically given a simplified version of the character you normally play, and they were all about 30% too long. They were a spectacle but weren’t actually all that fun or interesting to play.

  • WarmSoda@lemm.ee
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    1 year ago

    Welcome to AAA game reviews. Where every major studios games must receive a high score, or they won’t get review copies for the next game from that studio. With rare exceptions.

    • woodnote@lemm.ee
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      1 year ago

      Exactly. I consider it basically payola these days. Every big-name review is gushing, falling over itself to expound on the innumerable virtues of every AAA release, and then once normal folks have played for a few weeks, the real story comes out. My partner played the demo and was shocked to be playing the same game as the one that was reviewed. Unless I’m so excited to play a game that I don’t care if it’s mediocre, I wait to buy until actual the real user reviews trickle out post-release.

      • WarmSoda@lemm.ee
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        1 year ago

        Wait till Starfield comes out. I guarantee it’ll get 9 and 10s no matter what. Six months later will come the actual reviews.

        Sometimes I look specifically for the 5-7 review scored games. That’s were the fun games hide.

  • arsenics@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    1 year ago

    this is my first Lemmy post and I’m still not sure if there are spoiler tags and such, so I’ll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible.

    anyway, I don’t like this game.

    I initially found the combat very fun but mostly flashy. Later on as I got more eikons and I slowly found something that was efficient for me towards the end, I had very little reason to go back and switch up but I appreciated the flexibility. The problem was that all fights essentially went the same way, and it ended up feeling like the combat system wasn’t deep enough. I really liked the hunts, however. And there was a particular boss battle that I think was truly executed perfectly.

    Outside of combat, gameplay is dire. It’s not really worth exploring outside of the critical path - the loot is worthless. Way too many “talk to this person”-style sub quests with, more often than not, little payoff.

    The plot is, I think, abysmal. The whole slave story is handled extremely poorly, and seeing how dumb the approach to this theme is, it’s not surprising that they flat out refused to include any black people. The outrage would’ve been too much. Fortunately (?) this whole slave stuff is forgotten halfway through, so you won’t really see more of it unless you focus on the side quests. Which… yikes. Some of the worst writing in the game can be found on the side quests. I initially was excited when Vivian was introduced, as I love me a good Map with Floating Heads of Key Players Where I Learn about the State of the World Sequence… but my god it all amounts to nothing but very convoluted ways of saying stuff like “the army moved to this location”. Incredibly tedious, and disappointing. As much of a bummer as this whole world is imo.

    And speaking of bad writing, all the female characters of the main cast were done a disservice here. Jill during the Iron Kingdom boss fight was especially done dirty.

    I have played every single FF from IV till XV (excluding the XIII series), and I don’t think this series will be for me anymore if it continues on this direction. I wish this game hadn’t disappointed me as much as it did. Spectacle isn’t enough to carry a game for me, and while I was not expecting something extraordinary I did expect something more thoughtful than this.

    Oh well at least there is still Xenoblade.

  • Aspect of Fate@beehaw.org
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    1 year ago

    I mostly liked it but ended up giving up 2/3rds of the way through.

    Combat wasn’t really changing other than new flashy skills occasionally. I was fighting the same way in hour 5 that I was in hour 50. No new weapons in a game trying to be a bit of DmC meets Final Fantasy was a miss for me. Gear was basically useless as well.

    I get this is personal opinion, but Clive and Jill were immensely boring to me as leads. The story was good, but had pacing issues where it was obvious they padded for time and designed it the same way they do FFXIV expansions.

  • Telos@lemmy.ca
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    1 year ago

    I’ve been really enjoying it so far, but there are certain aspects that could use more polish. Like some textures in scenes that could use more love, or when the end of a quest boots you to the overworld map but you only have one location you can choose. In that instance it should just load you into the next area rather than put you on a map with a bunch of crossed out areas. That being said, I don’t mind the overworld map as a mechanic at all.

    Past that, the combat is fun and the world feels very “Final Fantasy” which I haven’t felt in a while (other than FFXIV). I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts but I’ve played most of the FF games and I don’t mind that they chose to go full action in this one. It feels like it fits the game well, at least in my opinion. There are definitely periods with less/no side quests but in those instances, just play through the story. It’s not going to compare to the amount of quests FFXIV had, and that’s okay.

    The graphics are certainly similar to FFXIV, but for the most part I think they look better. Same with the music, I haven’t examined each track and compared it to FFXIV but while playing it felt familiar but new. I didn’t notice any similarities with animations, but that could just be me.

    I have not finished the game yet, but am looking forward to playing through it. Furthermore, I plan to play through New Game + as well, which is rare for me personally.

    When the first trailer for this game came out I basically went media blackout on it until the game demo was released. I find I’ve been doing this more and more with games and movies lately, it makes the whole experience better. No overhype, no pre-orders, no spoilers, less disappointment.

    It may not be 10/10 but in my opinion it’s damn close.

  • Thebazilly@pathfinder.social
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    1 year ago

    I love FFXVI, and I understand the pacing and sidequest criticisms. I’m nearing the final boss battle, and let me tell you, the pacing gets worse as the game goes on.

    The sidequests feel like all the budget was funneled towards the huge setpiece moments (which are cool), and then everything else was tacked on as an afterthought. They’re just so flat and boring. I do recognize the need for quiet moments in between the huge bombastic scenes, and sidequests sort of do that in the beginning, but they just drag. On. So. Long.

    It’s hard to understand when there’s 5 high-octane boss battles in a row in between two 4-hour fetch quest sessions.

    I do really enjoy the story and characters overall, though I have some criticisms here, too. (Like Jill being relegated to “useless damsel”.) I enjoy the reflection of the slavery themes in both the beginning and end of the game, the fact that the characters want to overthrow oppressive systems for the good of all (and are allowed to! Refreshing!), the dark tone, the political focus. I find Clive an incredibly endearing protagonist. I think the deciding factor for if you enjoy the game is whether or not you like the story, since it’s what holds everything together.

  • Eggyhead@kbin.social
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    1 year ago

    I really like XVI, but could do with a different combat system. I’m really not great with super fast-paced, twitchy button mashers, so combat in XVI has been kind of frustrating for me. I might need to step back and revisit XII for a breather when I finish this game.

    • Omegamanthethird@beehaw.org
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      1 year ago

      I’m liking XVI. But IMO, XII should have been the future direction of the series. The next evolution of the ATB system instead of a one-off.

      • Eggyhead@kbin.social
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        1 year ago

        Playing the pixel remasters with auto battles inspired an oh yeah moment for me with regards to how cool gambits are.

    • JCPhoenix@beehaw.org
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      1 year ago

      I’m still playing through it, but am nearing the end. I like the combat system. At least for bosses and mobs that can be staggered, it’s not just button mashing. I’ve been playing with the various Eikonic abilities to find combinations and “rotations” that I like or are appropriate.

      I will say, I think FF7R’s combat system is better. FF7R actually keep a vestige of the old turn-based system – which I’m a fan of – where you can at least pseudo-pause and think about what spell or ability to use, or whether to switch to another character, or just think about what the next move should be.

      That said, right away, I thought FFXVI is middle of the road as well as others are saying. Is it my favorite entry in the series? Absolutely not. But is it my least favorite (FFXV)? No way.