FFXVI, The Thread: “It’s Like Game of Thrones”

So it’s the next big game, I’ve been enormously excited for it. But also I have to wait another few hours because the download size is 95 gigabytes, which is enormous. Maybe it’ll be done when I get back from work. Didn’t play the demo because the game was out in a week anyway.

Gita Jackson’s review on Polygon was great, btw, their mention of certain story decisions has me slightly concerned: Final Fantasy 16 review: excellent action wrapped in an awful story - Polygon

Any one managed to play it yet?

Edit: fixed pronouns.


Played the demo, was super impressed and ended up pre-ordering once the mostly positive reviews hit. Really looking forward to playing the full game tonight, especially since demo progress carries over. Will have my thoughts on it later.


FFXVI had unironically made me bite the bullet on a Ps5, I didn’t realise it would be exclusive until now. (that also includes the remaining FFVII:Remake parts so it’s not just all for one game).

I hope the story is for me, it’s what I come to the ones I’ve played thus far for, and the fact a lot of the FFXIV team carries over is intriguing to me, but if not it could always be a fun character action game like I felt with Wo Long.
Not having a Ps5 is also why I haven’t played the demo so honestly IDK!

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Gita uses they/them nowadays.

I played the demo. It looks like one of the most expensive games ever made but I feel like it’s missing some of the speed I tend to associate with Platinum proper.


The combat designer here worked on Dragon’s Dogma and DMC5! And while it’s not 1:1 in terms of character action game feel when weighed against those, I think it still feels really good.

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I wasn’t feeling FFVIIR’s combat and I agree that it’s totally playable; I just miss being able to hit people with a motorcycle and a shotgun in the same combo lol. Or reading emo poetry at people.

I’m enjoying it enough at the moment. The combat is fun in a way that XV and VIIR were close to nailing but couldn’t quite. The voice acting is mostly grating (is this the Celt in me?) but I am well into Finchy from The Office UK being a companion. Such a great gravelly voice which is made for this type of fantasy.

Thanks, fixed 15 characters.

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Okay first mission finished and first boss cleared. I like this a lot so far. The combat feels snappy, I love the pair of himbos they hand you for assistance, the game looks impressive in a way basically nothing on PS5 has so far. I wish dodge and teleport were switched as buttons but otherwise this the game feels great, so much bette than Zelda (sorry). The story so far is exciting to me, seems like real shit is happening with all the characters.

Puppy is cute.

EDIT: oh my for, second big boss fight, I’m in love with this game now. This is good good stuff.


Some thoughts from 4-5 hours of play:

  1. Combat is just a delight, especially the dodge and parry system. Feels so good to get the timings down and punish enemies. Also, I just got my second set of Eikon powers, and the mixing and matching of different abilities (all on separate cooldowns to boot) is incredibly satisfying.
  2. I think we can all agree that Cid is the canonical hottie of this game.
  3. I get Clive not realizing that he’s the Dominant for Ifrit. He was a child at the time and the trauma certainly could have altered his memories to manage his guilt, but the section with Garuda before he comes to that realization is just way too long. You fight Benedicta/Garuda like what, five or six separate times? There’s escalation each time, sure, but by the fourth battle the stakes started to feel a little small.
  4. I think with the amount of crevices you need to shimmy through, it’s clear that this is was originally a last gen game that got quietly moved to current gen due to commercial or technical considerations. Yes, I read that thing about devs using shimmies to frame your view entering a new area, but most of the time in FF16 you’re just shimmying to another section of nondescript cave or something. That’s not to say this isn’t a good looking game, but given what the likes of Capcom or Insomniac are able to do on the PS5, this game does feel like a slight letdown visually.
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I’ve made it up to the first gigantic cinematic boss fight that wasn’t in the demo, and still think this game has a lot of promise. There is a drawback though since I’m getting very tired during a long session and being on my A-game for regular encounters is getting dull, at least most enemies without stagger meters are basically trivial.

I like that your doggie can help in combat but I wish I could give him more general orders like “watch my back” or “ravage constantly”.

Still seems like the combat needs one other mechanic, like a limit break or something. Or you know, a proper party system, even if Clive was the only playable one.

Story is cool Brandon Sanderson stuff so far. A lot of Way of Kings. Also, gratuitous Clive nude scene if that’s what you’re into.

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Still enjoying FFXVI, the story is going to interesting places for sure. But I can’t help but feel that the combat can get a little rote at times. Like, a lot of miniboss style enemies have just way too much hp. You work to get their stagger bar down, whale on them with all you got, and you still have half a health bar left for all your effort. And by then I’ve internalized their move set and so it’s trivial to dodge through everything and whale on them again. This happens over and over, with little in the way of stakes. Even death, ostensibly supposed to be a punishment for playing badly, is actually more of a reward. The game’s potion economy is so weird in that the drops are relatively uncommon, so you’re incentivized to save them for when you really need them. But if you die, no worries, the game completely fills your potions and sometimes even gives you a partial boss health bar to finish the fight. I feel like an estus style refillable system, or even just more generous potion drops would be more consistent at least.

That’s not to say the combat system isn’t good to play, it absolutely is. But like, the game has two modes, combat and cut scene. The latter is fantastic, but the former feels slightly underbaked for the load it’s being asked to carry. It also makes this feel like a smaller experience than FFXV, which had an open world and (relatively) varied activities to de-emphasize that game’s shallow combat.

Anyway, these are ultimately nitpicks. I am enthralled by Clive’s journey and will keep trucking along.

Started playing FFXVI on Thursday and I’m really enjoying it so far. I completed the demo section of the game on Story Mode to get used to the combat. I don’t usually play action games so I was worried about not being able to keep up. However, the story mode battles ended so quickly I felt like I wasn’t getting a chance to learn how the combat actually worked. I switched to Action Mode and that’s been working well for me so far. I’m not a combo master by any means but I feel challenged enough by the fights to stay engaged.

And what fights they are! That section of the game leading up to the big garuda fight, huh? That whole sequence whipped. I haven’t played a AAA game in a long time but the spectacle had me going “WOAH! Videogames!!!”

I’m glad I went into this game knowing very little. I only saw one early trailer and avoided all dev interviews. I was worried the kaiju summon battles and darker tone wouldn’t hit for me but honestly, I’m just happy to play a Final Fantasy game with a story that is comprehensible to me. Every game should have an Active Time Lore feature.


I’m about 4 hours in. Enjoying it so far. I kept away from spoilers and videos and to say I’m shocked by the story and gameplay is an understatement. They’re really going for a big swing here!

Definitely got me with the ‘one more battle’ and then a 30 min cutscene the other night though. Can’t stay up till midnight then go to work on a Tuesday like I used to.

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Plus: there’s a Moogle in this game and Clive can speak Moogle. That’s very cute. Love it.

Negative: You can ride Chocobos but the classic Chocobo Theme going back 30 years doesn’t play!! The game’s composer has apparently said “it would break the tone too much”. First off, this game needs more fun little guys, seriously lacking in comedy. And also, play it in a minor key then! It would be hilarious! Come on, coward.


Remember Austin? He’s back! In Abnormal Mapping mode!

Big FFXVI review and it’s… brutal. I also don’t think they’re wrong. Feeling a way listening to this, tbh. Abnormal Mapping 147: Final Fantasy XVI — Abnormal Mapping


I’m going to need to listen to this one once I finish the game. There have been moments in this game where I was excited about what it might be saying, but then those moments would be undercut… and I want to know if anyone else felt that way.

Not finished with it yet though!


This episode was good! Austin’s “discourse grenade” about misogyny was absolutely on point. It’s legitimately disorienting that that hasn’t been a bigger through line in criticism of FFXVI.

I really enjoyed the opening few hours of the game, but beyond a few really excellent boss fights it never really reaches those heights again for me. Which is a bummer! At the start I expected this to be one of my favorite games of the year, but now I don’t know if I’d include it on a year end list at all.


When I recorded my podcast I said that Benedickta was sexist in a thousand ways and that was still better than the total disinterest with which this game treats Jill. And I guess I’m recording again soon, so I’ll have more very unkind things to say about how this game feels about women. It’s an all-time low for this franchise.

The only woman in this game it doesn’t seem to loath is Mid.

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You’re absolutely correct about Jill! The point at which the game’s complete disintrest towards her really sunk in for me was when they set up an entire motivation for why she fights, spend an entire level setting up a big confrontation for her, and then sideline her as soon as it’s time for the big fight. The scene later when she gives up her Eikon was pretty weird too. She’s finally afforded some agency, and she uses it to be removed from the story from then on. It’s bad! (Also, doing the shonen anime thing of having them sit back to back nude because their clothes were wet was hilariously out of place for two people in their 30s who have been together for like 5 years. WTF was that??)

The misogyny in this game is weirder still because it’s not really a problem I associate with the FF series. I’ve only played 7, 7R and X, but all of those games have great women characters who are afforded plenty of humanity and agency.

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