The Final Fantasy series has never followed suit with the conventions of its peers. Each new game in the series introduces players to a new world, updated mechanics, and different characters. Knowing this, it dumbfounds me that so many players are unwilling to accept any change within the franchise.

I have a dirty secret…I liked Final Fantasy XIII. There, I said it. XIII is not without fault. It has several to be honest. Nevertheless, I found it to be very entertaining.  When VII released, fans had comparable grievances. A large portion of the fan base thought VII strayed too far from the original vision of the series. To that I say, "Who cares?”

During my time with Final Fantasy XV: Duscae I can tell that the final game will stray far from traditional (i.e. outdated) JRPG trappings. I would almost describe XV as a Japanese equivalent of Dragon Age: Inquisition. That is high praise considering the number of hours I've spent playing EA's fantasy behemoth.

There is an expansive bit of terrain to explore within the demo. Most all of which is forest and grasslands. Albeit a bit sparse, the landscape is unquestionably gorgeous. Combat is action packed, full of flashy effects, and occurs in real time. Regrettably the visuals come at the expense of an inconsistent frame-rate. This is most evident once the fighting begins. Despite this I’m not too worried just yet. I'm actually shocked the demo plays so well given that Tabata indicated Final Fantasy XV is roughly 60 percent complete.

Prior to playing the demo, I had not idea what to expect from Final Fantasy XV. Gameplay systems, directors, and platforms have all changed since its original unveiling as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. In spite of being rough around the edges, it has provided some much needed clarification on the direction of the game.

The fact that you have to purchase Final Fantasy Type-0 HD to even access the demo is a bummer. Conversely, if you're interested in playing XV, it's likely you were considering that purchase to begin with. Personally, I really enjoyed my time with the demo, and look forward to playing the final game once released.