If you’re looking to get your Final Fantasy XV on, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy XV is being pushed back from it’s planned September 30th release date to November 29th. And, on the heels of that announcement (and perhaps in an attempt to calm down fans) they’ve released two large chunks of FF XV related video. The first is a 53-minute behemoth exploring the gameplay of FF XV, and the second is the first 12 minutes of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the all-CG companion movie to the game. And it’s that second video that we’ll be talking about here.
Square and CG Movies
Square is no stranger to CG movies. Back in 2001, after four years of work, they released the world’s first photorealistic completely computer-generated feature film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. And despite strong marketing, including promoting the lead character Aki Ross (voiced by actress Ming-Na Wen) as the world’s first photo-realistic CG actress (whom they planned on featuring in multiple films in different roles), the film tanked. It pulled down a dismal $32 million domestically, and an equally dismal additional $53 million worldwide. This was well short of even just the production budget which had ballooned far beyond the original budget to a sizable $137 million.
The upshot was that Square took it on the chin, and ended up closing Square Pictures, their planned motion picture arm, after just one movie and a short film for the Animatrix collection (Flight of the Osiris).
But Square, never one to shy from a challenge, decided to try again, and in 2005, came back with another feature length CG movie, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. I haven’t been able to find an actual budget figure for Advent Children ($100 million is one figure floating around, but according to the film’s IMDB page, that figure is a rumor), but I imagine it was a good deal less that The Spirits Within, and if it didn’t end up making Square money, it at least didn’t lose them nearly as much.
And now, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. What’s that old saying about the third time being a charm?
The Good and the Awkward of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Now, I was a fan of both The Spirits Within and Advent Children. They were uneven, granted, and packed with a little too much detail (Square loves exposition). But they were also ambitious, visually creative and appealing, and a lot of fun to watch. And it looks like Kingsglaive is continuing that tradition.
- Impressive art direction / character design / creature design / costuming
- Interesting set up of the Glaive’s teleporting ability, and solid use in the action
- Epic scale
- Solid all around CG work
- Repeated use of full names and titles, especially in casual conversation
- Nyx’s half mullet, half mohawk (a mul-hawk?)
- Occasionally overly chaotic action
- Very obvious exposition
Yeah, after 12 minutes, this is definitely a spirit brother/sister to The Spirits Within and Advent Children. And, if you’re interested in seeing more, unlike the game, you won’t have to wait too long. Square Enix and Sony are giving it a limited theatrical release this weekend (the 19th), before giving it a digital release on August 30th, and a DVD / Blu-Ray release on October 4th.
So, is Kingsglaive a must see, necessary see due to its tie-in nature with the game or a solid miss?
Oh, and for those who are interested, here’s that massive gameplay video as well.
Featured Image: Square Enix / Sony