Long-awaited games make their debut

By: Jason Smith ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of gamespot.com | Developed by Sqare Enix, Final Fantasy XV was released on Tuesday, Nov. 29 after being in development since 2006.

It collectively took both Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian roughly 20 years to be finished. Final Fantasy was developed by Square-Enix, and The Last Guardian was developed by Sony’s Japan Studio. However, the industry has changed greatly during this long development period.

With each new delay, gamers’ tastes adapted to what the market dictated. There was the Call of Duty period, the Tony Hawk skateboarding game period, the Pokémon Go phenomenon and then there are the other AAA titles that came and went during this time. Not to mention Nintendo’s success, failure and success again.

Final Fantasy XV is a big game. It follows the adventures of Prince Noctis and his friends as they navigate the kingdom in their car, “the Regalia,” while trying to reclaim his throne. The main characters seem more like a boy band on a tour break than the typical heroes Square-Enix has used in the past.

At the start screen, Final Fantasy announces that it is “for fans and first-timers” — perhaps that is what delayed development. Another idea is that they want to expand the RPG player umbrella and not intimidate those sitting on the sidelines. I’ve played, and I do enjoy it.

My only real complaint is probably having to drive everywhere, and many of my fetch quests have been for shops in the game. There are monster hunts that can be undertaken, yet I have only experienced one. In short, this game is worth the wait.

The Last Guardian originally was slated for a PlayStation 3 release and then kept getting delayed and delayed until finally development shifted to PlayStation 4. It tells the story of a boy and a mysterious hybrid creature named Trico as they work their way out of a castle. Graphically it is one of the PS4’s most beautiful games. However, the camera leaves much to be desired.

Fumito Ueda, the creator of The Last Guardian, has a pedigree including the classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Much like the previous titles, The Last Guardian is a mystery for the player to discover.

I would recommend playing the previous titles before playing this one since they are all connected. Ueda specializes in surprises and twists, and The Last Guardian contains plenty I wouldn’t want to spoil.

The game industry is a strange creature. Sometimes a long-awaited title hits and bombs immediately, and other times it fails while gamers wait for a discounted price.

While Final Fantasy XV has already met some success, The Last Guardian may have a tougher road. Final Fantasy XV is available on all consoles, but The Last Guardian is only available on PlayStation 4. Both games’ strengths and weakness will be debated for some time to come.

If you’re looking for a respite from the stress-filled weeks ahead, I highly recommend you check out one or both. Sometimes the wait is worth it.