For me, Final Fantasy XV is, for me, the last stand of the Final Fantasy franchise. I don’t do MMORPGs so XI and XIV were out; XII was so bad that I couldn’t even finish it (you need a license to wear hats; that’s the game you’re playing); and XIII was met with a massive shrug as the series couldn’t figure out an identity. XV has been in development for so long that it was originally a spinoff of XIII, but now it’s been remade and rebranded into the 15th entry into the series’ mainline of titles, and Square-Enix is going all out. In addition to the upcoming game (which was recently delayed to November 29th; it’s been ten years, so what’s another two months?), Square-Enix is also releasing an anime series as well as the prequel film, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, and now the first twelve minutes of that movie are online.
Watching these first twelve minutes, I couldn’t help but flashback to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, one of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen because the only thing about it that relates to Final Fantasy is the title. Cut forward fifteen years and while the quality of the animation has improved (we’re almost out of the uncanny valley), when it comes to the tone of the film, it’s unmistakably Final Fantasy. If anything, it’s Final Fantasy on steroids. There’s magic, magitek, gigantic monsters (Cerberus!), convoluted wars between kingdoms, ridiculous production design—it’s all here. I’m not sure if it makes the film better or worse, but they’re certainly not repeating the mistake of The Spirits Within.
Check out the first twelve minutes from Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV below. The film opens in theaters on Friday, hits VOD on August 30th, and will be released on Blu-ray on October 4th. It features the voices of Aaron Paul, Sean Bean, and Lena Headey.
Here’s the official synopsis for Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV:
The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the sacred Crystal, and the menacing empire of Niflheim is determined to steal it. King Regis of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kingsglaive. Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the overwhelming military might of the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum – to marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (Lena Headey), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire’s rule. Although the king concedes, it becomes clear that the empire will stop at nothing to achieve their devious goals, with only the Kingsglaive standing between them and world domination.