After putting it off for quite some time, I finally got around to playing A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV. It’s a nifty little 2D beat ’em up side scroller which is set 30 years prior to the main game. Even though it’s only been a day or so since I started playing, it’s a nice break from the open world of Final Fantasy XV and brings a sense of nostalgia for me playing in 2D again.
We follow along as King Regis tells a young Prince Noctis a (“true”) story from his youth in an effort to put him to bed. While it doesn’t provide any deep development about the King and his companions, it’s enough to give a glimpse into Regis’ (eerily similar) relationships with his retinue. We finally get to meet Gladiolus’ father as well as the younger versions of Cid and Weskham. Allusions to Noctis’ future adventures with his friends are a nice touch however, a favourite detail in the story mode is the dialogue when you die. It’s innocent and playful between the King and his son, showing a sweeter side to their relationship.
The story mode is short and sweet but the replay value lies in the “Dream Battle” mode. Dream Battle mode essentially has the same stages however with the higher difficulty and added challenges (e.g. finish under a certain time, finish without using magic, use these specific combos X amount of times). Even if the game seems repetitive, Dream Battle mode livens it up a little since it changes your strategy to cater to the challenge.
The controls are easy to manage and features similar abilities as Noctis in the main game. The difference is the graphics and music which make the game a breath of fresh air from the wondrous spectacle that is Final Fantasy XV. The pixelated artwork adds to the charm of the game and music creates a fantastical, dreamlike world that Regis conjures up for young Noctis.
For those who want to get all the trophies, it’s possible to dedicate a day and knock them all out at once – that is, if you’re great at mastering the game. Me personally, I still have one remaining (I knocked it out in three days so I could publish this post saying I did). The most frustrating is probably Combo King which I got without even knowing after a good two hours of trying (and another one without realising I got the trophy already). But other than that, you’ll have no problem getting 100%.
So if you’re wondering if A King’s Tale is worth it, I’d say if you’re a fan of the games and want a refreshing break from the main title: go for it. It’s something anyone can play but people might get bored with too quickly. In the end, you’re not missing out if you don’t have the game but it’s worth a play if you get the chance.
Also it’s free so why not?