The fanfare (no pun intended) was on full display outside of the Shrine Auditorium. I don’t know why I was surprised that six thousand people showed up, but I was happy. I was amongst people who shared a passion for orchestral battle-themes, melodramatic teenagers entrusted with way too much responsibility, and chocobos. Even though I had to wait in line for about 45 minutes I enjoyed seeing the cosplay and deep cut Kingdom Hearts t-shirts. As I approached the opening doors I had a grin from ear to ear when I saw the gigantic Final Fantasy XV Uncovered poster adorning the Shrine Auditorium. I felt electricity as I passed the cosplayers and stepped into the theater that was playing the Final Fantasy Prelude.
The show began with the new trailer, that you can check out here, and the crowd went wild. Personally my biggest take away from the new trailer was the use of Florence + The Machine on the new theme, a cover of “Stand by Me”. I went through a flurry of emotions that began with excitement, confusion, disappointment, understanding, and then epiphany. I was excited that I recognized the artist, confused as to why Square-Enix would choose her for something like this, disappointed that they were trying to sell out and start using more western vocalists for their themes, I then understood that that isn’t the worst thing in the world, and then I had the epiphany. More than love or saving the world, this is a story about brotherhood. They are using the song to convey that, no matter what, the in game party is a unit that can never be broken. Hence “Stand By Me”.
After that the show began which you can watch here. I thought the hosts Greg Miller and Tim Gettys were rather scripted, which isn’t bad considering it’s a timed event of a video game release. I’m just a huge Kinda Funny(their youtube channel) fan so it was weird, almost like I was watching them play characters of themselves. The crowd erupted whenever any of the OG Final Fantasy staff appeared. I, personally, love how the show was structured. Telling us that they have 14 surprises for us and then unveiling them to us one at a time. It took the anxiety out of thinking that show might end at any given time and only left excitement for the next announcement ( of course there was a 15th in the form of an extended trailer featuring a flying car)
I felt that this event, for better or worse, was Square- Enix understanding what their fans deserve. We have been waiting on this game for 10 years and we've earned every ounce of excitement, enjoyment, and entertainment out of this title. From the way the trailers were cut it seems as if Square is very confident that players will become intimately involved with every aspect of this game. Focusing on so much of the playable downtime proves this, shots of driving on an open road, sweeping shots of the environments, and even the inclusion of a Final Fantasy Classics radio station. After a decade of waiting Square-Enix may just “Take the Throne”.