Platinum Demo: A Tiny Slice of XV

Ever had something to eat, say an apple, only to discover the hunger hasn’t diminished but amplified further? Platinum Demo is the hunger-inducing apple in this scenario.

The only way to truly quell this appetite is with a Final Fantasy XV full course meal. Still, I managed to appreciate what Platinum Demo brought to the table. Traveling through young Noctis’s dream world serves to showcase the features and mechanics, which will be included in the actual game. The demo itself takes little more than 30 minutes to complete if players choose to explore their surroundings. Otherwise, I’d say Platinum Demo could be complete under 30 minutes easily.

Stepping into the shoes of young Noctis, players will travel across three different types of environments before his dream is over. A forest area, an interior environment that takes cues from Alice in Wonderland and two separate city settings. Along for the dreamy journey is adorable fox/rabbit hybrid creature known as Carbuncle. This adorable little fellow guides Noctis through his dream land, offering tips and suggestions.

Each area is used to show a portion of the technical features put in place. In addition to the environments unique settings, weather changes and day/night cycles can be experimented with — further showing off what’s in store for Final Fantasy XV.

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Traveling through the forest demonstrates a few things such as how water ripples when Noctis comes in contact with it and branches swaying as he runs through them. From what I experienced, the reactions to nature seemed life-like and believable.

When I reached the interior area as a shrunken Noctis, I was able to test drive vehicles on a basic level. Handling for the two types of vehicles available felt about right with no issues about them whatsoever.  As for the city portion of Platinum Demo, Noctis is able to transform into various creatures, which makes me wonder if the actual game will have transform abilities. Could also be that the transforming is exclusive to the demo.

Other than progressing towards the end of the dream, players will engage in combat and collect golden crystals, a lá Sonic The Hedgehog to obtain items. The combat system feels very similar to recent Kingdom Hearts titles where battles take place in real time. Young Noctis is given some toy weapons and a few spells to use against the nightmare foes he comes across whilst in his dream.

While the battles in this demo were uninspiring, I found the basics of combat easy to comprehend. Thankfully Square Enix added a lock-on option because the camera can go out of focus, especially in close quarters. During a boss fight at the end of the demo, I was able to utilize the warp function to teleport to around the map. Warping can be used for a number of reasons, including to quickly close the distance on foes and lead in with a combo.

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And as I figured, players won’t be able to button mash wildly or else risk getting destroyed often. I learned quickly how to read enemy movements and when to dodge away from oncoming attacks; both timing and strategy is required to fully appreciate the combat system.

I only experienced a fraction of what battles could be like but I feel confident in saying Final Fantasy XV will have an enjoyable combat system for players to experience.

Controlling Noctis felt good, both in and out of combat scenarios. I have no outstanding complaints in that regard. I’m sure Platinum Demo isn’t the final product as more development might still be going on. With that said though, I am pretty comfortable with the overall feeling of how the game is turning out. Final Fantasy XV could come out tomorrow feeling like Platinum Demo and I would be just fine with that.

Is Platinum Demo worth playing? Does it tie-in with Final Fantasy XV or the anime/movie? I believe the demo is worth playing for the folks who want to get accustomed to the feeling. Anyone expecting some grand experience will surely come away from this disappointed. As for its tie-in level, I cannot possibly answer at the moment. There are tiny hints to the dangers Noctis will face when he is grown but the story here is minuscule at best.

Only way to know for certain is when Final Fantasy XV launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 30th later this year.

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