Here’s What You Need to Know about an Hour of Final Fantasy XV

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After announcing a delay for the hotly-anticipated Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix released a full hour of footage showing off a bit of what we can expect from the “Master Version” of the massive role-playing game. While it was clearly a move to keep rabid fans interested despite having to wait a little longer, it also has implications for the game that you’ll definitely take into account if you’re planning on picking it up on November 29th. Here are some important things to know about what you’ll see throughout the footage below.

Wait Mode lets you pause the action

Wait Mode is a new style of battle that’s a lot different than what you may be used to in terms of the Active Time Battle system or turn-based affairs from previous Final Fantasy games. You can turn it on or off at any time in the Options menu, and it will pause the action on the battlefield for just a moment so players have time to mull over their next move while a Wait Gauge slowly decreases. Players can target enemies, choose teammate abilities, aim magic spells, and a choose from a variety of other actions. While it’s meant to make combat more accessible to casual audiences, it also adds an important layer of strategy that completely changes up how battles will play out.

Magic synthesis imbues regular spells with elemental damage

The new footage shows off magic synthesis, which allows you to take magical energy you’ve collected and transform it into various iterations of regular spells. Fire spell can be turned into electricity or vice versa, or you can add healing effects to others. Additional electricity magic enhanced fireballs damage enemies across the battlefield, rather than just your intended target.

Yes, there are chocobo races

What would a Final Fantasy be if you couldn’t hop onto one of those big, adorable birds and hit the race track? It’s been a staple of the genre since Final Fantasy VII, and when you’re not engaged in combat or a big, juicy chunk of plot, you’ll be able to take a load off and race against Prompto in a time attack or in head-to-head mode at least at some point within the first three chapters of the game. The chocobos themselves are adorable as ever, too. Kweh!

Draw points make an important return

Remember Final Fantasy VIII’s draw point system where you could happen upon “stores” of magic while traversing the overworld? It’s back in a new form in Final Fantasy XV, only this time, its roots are based in a skill called Elemancy. When you find spells out in the world, you can absorb them and hold onto them for later. They’re are actually stored physically in special containers and are kept within your inventory, from which you can perform magic synthesis, as explained above. It’s an interesting way to hearken back to a classic system from an earlier game, and fans will likely appreciate the callback, even if it’s been improved and tweaked since then.

Leveling up is a whole new ballgame

Rather than a license board or dresspheres, you’ll use the Astralsphere to spend AP and activate “nexuses” when you’ve gotten enough AP. It looks similar to the Crystarium from Final Fantasy XIII, but there are likely several alterations hiding in plain sight which aren’t immediately discernible from the video. It’ll be interesting deciphering the Astralsphere, which looks minimalistic and muted like the rest of the menus in the game.

Which parts of the new hour of footage get you excited for more of Final Fantasy XV? 

Featured image credit: Square Enix

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