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Lets get this out of the way before anything else.  Preorder DLC shouldn’t be this good.  When I heard that the Gamestop exclusive (EB games for all you non patriots out there) preorder bonus was going to be its own separate game, I was skeptical.  It would be fair to assume that A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV  would be just another tacked on and otherwise forgettable bonus to try to get preorder numbers up and give me something to do while I wait for my PS4 to slowly download a day one patch.  I was wrong.

In the video above I mentioned that it plays more like a Dark Souls game than your typical Final Fantasy action RPG.  Since the game is short, there are no level progression elements or power ups and like most great beat em up games, your health doesn’t automatically regenerate, and this is what makes the game so fun and interesting.  The developers could have easily made this into a playable cinematic where you blast through some stupid monsters and fight a story relevant boss, but instead with A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV we’re given a highly stylized throwback to an era of games that were more about skill and timing than power ups and EXP.  You’re going to have to get good at dodging and using the multiple button combos to make sure you can keep that power up bar full to summon a friend and help clear out mobs.  Each enemy type takes a different strategy to defeat, and the game loves to throw everything at you at once; because of this there are some pretty hectic battles that might take a few tries.  While it’s not a difficult game, it definitely requires the player to have at least some bit of mastery of the game’s mechanics to get through the story.

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Trophies are always nice

There really isn’t much in the way of plot.  King Regis is reading a story to his son Noctis and they occasionally break the 4th wall to remind the player that this is all a highly exaggerated bedtime story.  Like all things Final Fantasy XV, I still have no idea who half the people on screen were (besides the secret end boss) and unlike Kingsglave, it doesn’t seem too integral to the overall story.

After the conclusion of the main story, King Regis tells Noctis to go to bed and have sweet dreams.  That’s where “Dream Battles” opens up and the game goes from a fun diversion to a totally unexpected surprise.  Dream Battles consist of 25 different challenges with their own win states, conditions, and even a trophy or two.  Once again, I found myself playing this mode more than I had ever expected to.  The challenges all required me to play the game in different ways than I had up until that point and I found myself having a ton of fun doing this.

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The only real negative I can think of with this game is that its not actually available to everyone at the moment.  So unless you preordered Final Fantasy XV from a specific store, you’re SOL. But if you did and you’re a fan of classic arcade beat em ups like X-Men and love stellar chiptune music, A Kings Tale: Final Fantasy XV is going to be a great time … if you can actually get ahold of it.

More About This Game

Nick Maillet

Video Lead

I used to be that band guy with super cool hair who lived and breathed breakdowns, now I work on TV shows as an colorist/editor. You can find me on twitter talking about my ever expanding collection of NES games and my love hate relationship with Tinder.