I am playing the intense Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition expansion on the PlayStation 4 with the new first player perspective and dramatic storyline changes. Mixed feelings abound.

Judging this game as if I were a new RPG gamer or a Final Fantasy fangirl from VII on remains the question. I’ll put it this way – if I had just started playing the Final Fantasy series with XV, I would be blown away. The new features in the Royal Edition fill in all of the holes for the modern gamer.

The First-Person Visual Experience of Final Fantasy XV

First of all, you finally get first player perspective for Prince Noctis, a long overdue feature that Square Enix should have seen fit to add ever since Call of Duty made it a staple for games aimed at anyone under the age of 35. It works here by bringing you deeper into the magic of the landscape that is Insomnia City. If you are lucky enough to have a multiple screen setup with the lights off, you will be in for an incredible visual experience.


Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition. Image copyright Square Enix.

The new fight mechanics and bosses are insane as well. You get a new level of challenges that will grip you even if you have been grinding through the main game. Armiger Unleashed juiced-up combat adds new sparks to what is already a good battle engine.

I really wanted to try out the Comrades multiplayer add-on. After checking my Internet speed connection stats with bandwidthplace.com and receiving a good connection, I focused on the strategy during the game:

Ping – 207 ms
DL Speed – 1.27 Mbps
UL Speed – 0.41 Mbps

Multiplayer Final Fantasy XV Gameplay

There was no lag on my side, revealing the good programming, much to Square Enix’s credit. I fully expected that Comrades would not receive the attention that it deserved. Final Fantasy is not exactly known as a multiplayer game, but Comrades turned out to be a truly exciting experience – one that I could finally share with my recluse friends who were looking for something more in depth than the aforementioned Call of Duty.

All of this is well and good until I think about reviewing Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition as a whole, over its whole lifespan, against itself. When I think of the game like this, I can’t help but look at XV as one of the more mediocre efforts in series history. It took a long time, about 12 months, before we had what we could call a complete game from Square Enix. And although the Royal Edition add-ons were fun, I could not help but think they were pretty last minute additions that could have used a bit more polish.

The story barely managed to keep from feeling completely tacked on for the sake of milking the diehard fan’s money. Square Enix is still planning to release content for FF XV throughout 2018, which means they seem to know there is still something missing. This edition of Final Fantasy is adequate for the long term fan, but there was definitely some pandering going on that took away from the core beauty of what we all know Final Fantasy can be.