Mon­ster Of The Deep: Fi­nal Fan­tasy XV


With ev­ery other genre in ex­is­tence ex­ploited, only fish­ing re­mains. While there’s at least some­thing worth ad­mir­ing about Square Enix’s on­go­ing mis­sion to spin FFXV out into seem­ingly ev­ery game type in ex­is­tence – ex­pan­sions to the base game have added third­per­son shooter, driv­ing and mul­ti­player dun­geon-crawl­ing modes – Mon­ster Of The Deep shows that some­times you should just stick to what you know best.

For a start, this is one of the ugli­est games on PSVR. It’s not for want of try­ing; rather, the prob­lem is that Square Enix seems to have ig­nored the need to lower your am­bi­tions when mak­ing games for a tech­nol­ogy that has to ren­der each scene twice, once for each eye. While some en­vi­ron­ments look OK, others are blocky in the ex­treme, and the screen-door ef­fect is worse here than we’ve seen any­where else on PSVR.

The fish­ing it­self works well enough – flicks of one Move con­troller fling the line in your right hand, while your left works the reel. At first, you must catch fish to fill a me­ter; the big­ger the catch, the greater the pay­off. Once it’s full, a huge dae­mon fish emerges, and the rod in your right hand is re­placed by a cross­bow. Learn its at­tacks (some charge you; others fire

While there’s lit­tle drama to the process of reel­ing in a dae­mon – you’ve done the hard work, they’re stunned, and don’t fight back – you can lose a smaller catch if you don’t pay at­ten­tion to UI prompts while you work pro­jec­tiles; one clones it­self, and only a shot at the ‘cor­rect’ one will dam­age it), whit­tle down its health bar then, at the end, reel it in.

Those are the ba­sics, and are en­joy­able enough, but noth­ing more. Square Enix expands – well, pads out – the core action with free-mode and tour­na­ment an­gling, a home base with ac­cess to a shop that lets you buy stronger rods and lures for spe­cific catches, and cameos aplently from Noc­tis and the gang. The prince him­self is a keen an­gler and Prompto’s there for the pho­tos, while Gla­di­o­lus in­sists he’s all about com­muning with na­ture, man. While ex­tra fish­ing modes are meant to drive re­play value, the rest of it is pure fan-ser­vice set dress­ing – some­thing that’s made un­com­fort­ably clear when an­other fa­mil­iar face turns up (see ‘Tac­tics ogle’).

It’s all a lit­tle rote – some­thing we cer­tainly don’t as­so­ciate with Fi­nal Fan­tasy. And it’s a glitchy old thing too, with per­sis­tent track­ing is­sues even when you’re seated. You’ll sud­denly find your­self sat four feet be­hind your head­less in-game torso, arms flail­ing around at hor­ror-movie an­gles. The UI fre­quently gets in the way of the action, while if you play with sub­ti­tles, they’ll of­ten ap­pear so close to you that you have to move back in or­der to read them – once again exposing your head­less ca­daver. Af­ter this was an­nounced at E3, we re-chris­tened it Fi­nal Fan­tasy Bat­shit Fish­ing. It turns out that was one syl­la­ble too many.

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