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Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV Impression - PAX West


Final Fantasy XV

I had a chance to meet with Square Enix and check out the new Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV on Playstation VR. I haven't really done VR before, so this was a whole new experience. It was a bit awkward with glasses, but it still looked great. 

As the game begins, I am met by Prompto who wants to take some pictures while I fish. He alludes that Noctis is the king of fishing, but I am a good muse for him anyway. In my left hand is the sonar, and the right hand is the fishing pole. I hit a button with my thumb to use the sonar equipment, finding the circles where the fish are — similar to how fishing works in Final Fantasy XV. Casting took a bit of practice. It shows you on screen how to cast the line, and when to let go of the button. I tried to cast off to my circles, but initially it ended up only going a few feet in front of me. After a few tries, I finally got it cast into the right spot. Unfortunately, I didn't catch anything, so had to retry. The on-screen instructions show up again to tell you what to push to pull the line in.

Once I finally got a bite, I had to grab the pole with my left hand to start reeling in the fish. I didn't get any on-screen instructions this time, but I looked down at my pole and realized I needed to actually grab onto the reel first. After I found the right button to do so, blue arrows appeared telling me to circle around to start reeling it in, which I did so slowly. Looking up, I had the usual fishing arrows from FFXV telling me to pull to the left or the right. I then tried to reel in faster, however my hands in the game didn't appear to be keeping up with my physical movements. I was told later that you really have to move your hands fast to get it to react in the game. Once I catch my first fish, I raised my hand to look at it. Pretty nice fish I had there. Then I put it in the bucket. Prompto was in my ear making usual quips and suggestions.

I caught a few more fish before I came across a boss fish. I was then surprisingly armed with a crossbow. Due to its unexpected apperance and the lack of on-screen instructions, I didn't know how to shoot it. I ended up just aiming as best I could and hitting whatever button I thought would make it fire. I think I hit it, but it happened so fast I’m not sure if I did or not. I am sure the ensuing battle would've been much shorter if I was able to reel in the boss fish faster, but, being unused to this particular exertion, my arms were getting tired. I ended up catching the boss fish and, in his usual fashion, Prompto wanted a photo. There I was, in my VR gear, looking at myself on the screen. I just had to hold up my fish, and the picture was taken. 

After the demo was over, the game loaded up to a campfire scene of me sitting with the rest of the boys. This was my favorite part of the game, oddly. I really felt like I was there. I would look to my left, to see Noctis there before spotting Gladio and Ignis around the fire. I looked down, and saw my empty plate with silverware on it; Ignis must've cooked a good meal. To my right, Prompto was standing there handing me a photo of me with my fish, so I reached out to grab it from him and look at it. The boys were really endearing and warm to me being there, and I felt like I was a good friend to them out on a fishing trip.  

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV will be released on September 21, 2017. 

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