A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV Review

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At long last I played Final Fantasy XV… A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV that is! The slave drivers at work decreed that I should suffer seven successive night shifts, so I haven’t had time to play a lengthy RPG. I did however have the opportunity to complete this ninety-minute freebie, which was originally a Game Stop pre-order bonus. Now available to download off PSN, A King’s Tale is a retro styled 2D brawler chronicling how a young King Regis protected the land from a monster invasion. The game’s narrative is presented as a bedtime story told by Caucasian Regis to his Asian looking son Prince Noctis. There’s something suspicious about that. Is the Queen’s postman Japanese by any chance?

OVERVIEW

This pre-slumber tale begins ironically enough in the capital city of Insomnia, where monarch Regis Lucis Caelum uses his magical powers and swordsmanship to fend off a daemon assault. From there he ventures out to the plains of Duscae where he scraps with hostile flora and fauna, which include dancing cacti. Finally our hero ventures into a nearby cave to vanquish the final boss, who happens to be a hentai tentacle monster. All the stages I have described are brought to life via gorgeous pixel art, a graphic style that seems to be all the rage these days. Doesn’t it feel great to spend hundreds of pounds on a state of the art console just to play stuff that looks like something from the Super Nintendo era?

Combat in A King’s Tale is simplistic, but never dull due to its fast paced nature. Enemies swarm Regis from all sides so you’ll have to quickly decide who to target and what attack to use. Every foe you encounter has a specific weakness that needs to be exploited. Light attacks can reflect projectiles back at creatures for example, whilst heavy swipes are required to breach the defences of Samurai. Those pesky skeletons from Golden Axe are back and if you wish to crack their skulls you’ll first need to stun them with a shield bash, or else they will block your melee combos. Regis can also cast elemental magic to melt the Flans that are resistant to physical damage. Eat fireballs you evil desserts!

VERDICT

My rating for A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV is three and a half stars. When compared to other old school looking beat-em-ups I have to say that A King’s Tale was more fun to complete than the recently released Double Dragon 4. The game rewards skilful play by allowing Regis to call upon the aid of allies, should he manage to evade damage long enough to perform an uninterrupted combo. Compare that to Double Dragon 4 were players simply spam hurricane kicks to counter the obnoxiously cheap AI. Thank goodness that Double Dragon 4 isn’t VR compatible, because all that aerial spinning would have caused me to hurl faster than a US president dining at a Japanese banquet.

If you enjoy fighting games from the 16 bit era A King’s Tale is worth a go. You have nothing to lose as the game is gratis and it isn’t a big time investment either, as the story can be cleared in just over an hour. Anyone left wanting more will be happy to learn that besting the main campaign unlocks a new mode, which contains additional stages/challenges to tackle. Overall I had a grand time with A King’s Tale and am happy that it no longer is a Game Stop exclusive. That company doesn’t deserve my patronage, as they are guilty of underhanded practices (such as removing coupons from their Deus Ex stock.) Don’t tamper with the contents of a game without the buyer’s consent! In the words of Adam Jensen – “I never asked for that.”

15 thoughts on “A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV Review

  1. Well, to take the high road — maybe the Queen was an “Oriental”, and the boy is the product of the best, most life-affirming union possible. Oh, God you started the porno movie in my head again …

  2. I wasn’t even aware this game existed. Square Enix valiantly keeps trying to create ecospheres for their games… CGI movies, animated Youtube shorts, now this… I guess it’s great if you’re invested in the characters. I played through FFXV and didn’t really find any of the guys to be more than broad archetypes.

    Interesting about the Gamestop thing though… I didn’t know they did that!

    • I have heard that Final Fantasy XV doesn’t do a great job with fleshing out its characters so perhaps the plan was focus on gameplay in the PS4 title and leave the world building for the animations and stuff like this. To be honest I prefer to get the full experience in the game. People didn’t like for example researching Destiny’s lore outside of the game.

      Gamestop are pretty vile. Until recently they would punish staff if a certain percentage of the stuff they sold wasn’t used games. Workers would pretty much have to lie about a game being in stock so they could peddle second hand copies instead.

      • Yeah, I didn’t watch the movie but the Yahoo shorts did actually add some valuable depth to the characters. But I agree, it should be an element in the actual game. I couldn’t believe that Destiny didn’t have their lore in-game either. Such a weird decision.

        Wow, those are some pretty ruthless tactics. I already wasn’t a fan of Gamestop after they offered buying back one of a still pretty-new game for about $0.17.

  3. It’s pretty nice that Square-Enix is getting into stuff like this. A break from the massive epic RPG, but that takes place in the same universe. I think it shows just how much the “retro-indie” thing is affecting the whole game market, even at the level of huge developers like Square.

    • I would be okay with Square making more Final Fantasy spin-offs in this style. Given how financially risky a triple A title can be if it flops I could see more developers making smaller scale games like this one.

  4. Needless to say i pretty much dumped FFXV and enjoying tales of berseria on the ps4. So if FFXV didn’t do it for me, then unlikely that this game will appeal to me. Have you played Star Ocean 5 Judge?. Even though I find it cliched as hell, even to the point of it being medicore it has value.

    • I haven’t played Star Ocean 5 because all the reviews I read seemed to range from average to poor. Years ago I owned Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for PS2, but I never finished it. Maybe that’s a good thing as I hear the ending wasn’t great.

  5. I had heard some suspect things about this, but I am totally behind companies experimenting and going outside their comfort zone, and Squares one of the few who still does that consistently. Particularly if this one’s free, sounds like it’s worth a solid check.

  6. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award | The Tiny World of an Anime Amateur
  7. What an interesting title! I’ll have to look into it. I didn’t expect a game set in FFXV to play like a retro 2D brawler. Interesting.

    P.S. Great point about Regis and Noctis’ seemingly mismatched ethnicities… hmm…

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