After 10 years of waiting, it should come as no surprise that Final Fantasy XV is gearing up to be one of the biggest gaming releases of the year. It's not just the long-awaited follow-up to the disappointing Final Fantasy XIII, but a return to form for the franchise as a whole.
Final Fantasy games have strayed more and more from the formula that made them successful in the first place — and from what fans have seen, Final Fantasy XV is looking to get the series back on track while simultaneously innovating on that classic formula.
Thankfully, there are plenty of different side projects to keep fans happy while work on the core game comes to a close. A full CG movie is on the way later this year, and an anime series and a slew of mobile games have already hit the market ... though there's one tie-in that manages to stand out from the rest.
Dubbed A King's Tale, the latest Final Fantasy XV tie-in is unlike any other: the game features a younger version of King Regis as he defends his kingdom from both monsters and villains alike. Not only that, but the game is basically a return to the classic, 16-bit beat-'em-ups of the '90s: anyone who fondly remembers playing classic beat-'em-ups like Final Fight or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time should definitely be excited:
Alright, let's get it out of the way: yes, the commentary featured in the trailer is terrible. It sounds like those bad video game ads that dominated the '90s — but if you can make it past the terrible voice-over, the teaser is actually pretty great.
First and foremost, the graphics are gorgeous. The game's visuals are both stylized and exaggerated, giving A King's Tale its own distinct look without completely eschewing the art styles of the core Final Fantasy XV game or the other tie-in projects. It's different, sure, but it's hard not to gawk when the different monster designs and particle effects start filling the screen.
Also, while there wasn't much in the way of story presented in the trailer, the idea of playing through one of King Regis' old war stories is an interesting hook. The CG Kingsglaive movie is set to focus on the modern-day Regis, so getting a chance to peek into the character's past is something that fans haven't seen just yet. There's a lot we still don't know about the king — but that could change once A King's Tale launches.
Finally, there's the gameplay. On top of playing like an old-school side-scroller, it looks like Square Enix is adding a few additional mechanics to keep things interesting. If everything comes together, A King's Tale could prove to be Square Enix's unique take on classic beat-'em-ups.
Quality beat-'em-ups are few and far between these days. That being said, A King's Tale looks extremely promising — with any luck, it'll look just as good as it plays.
A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV is set to launch alongside the main game on Sept. 30.