In 23 days, Final Fantasy XV will official release. Despite all the changes, drama and over all annoyances that it took to get there, it will be released on November 29. Of course, provided that a second delay doesn't happen, which considering this years track record wouldn't be too surprising. And I feel like sharing my own thoughts and feelings on the journey, as it were. From it's early inception as Versus XIII, I was hooked on the game's concept of a prince defending his kingdom from attackers. When the first trailer played and that lovely song ballad started over a quote from Shakespeare, I couldn't take my eyes off the trailer. Then the extended trailer showed the protagonists fight with the soldiers and I knew immediately that no matter how long it took, I was gonna get this game. When the female lead was revealed to not only be someone who had the same powers as the protagonist, but was forced to fight him, I fell even more in love with the idea. That kind of dynamic is not something the Final Fantasy series has done before. Sure, sometimes the lead characters wouldn't agree on certain things, but they were primarily on the same side. That the story would focus on pitting two leads who didn't want to fight each other, but did because of their own reasons, was interesting. It's somewhat Romeo and Juliet, but why not, the game was intended to be a Shakespearean tragedy. It fit the idea and Nomura had stated that it wouldn't be a traditional romance story or even a romance at all. And then this scene came along and I was even more stoked by the over all concept. Why, because it was interesting. Noctis and Stella aren't discussing a romantic attraction with each other, they aren't trying to dance with each other, they having an actual discussion as two individuals. They were talking about a shared legend and what they thought about it. There wasn't any sense of urgency about it, no reason to think of it as anything more than a legend. They have great chemistry and their initial personalities really shine through. It was genuine and heart that these two made such a quick connection with each other and rather sad to know that they were destined to fight other despite their mutual fondness. And most of all, it was just fun to watch. I didn't think it would be exactly like that in the game, but as long as the staging and music and interaction were in line with it, I was hoping to have an amazing experience regardless. And the subsequent gameplay trailers, I was wishing this was a main game if only because it had the epic scale for it. And I was excited that it was officially turned into a main game and that the story I had become interested in seeing unfold was not changed! And then a year of silence for the most part, with bits of new information, but the same old trailer, it was a bit worrying. And then it was revealed that Nomura would leave the project. I was a little put off, but at the same time Tabata had proven a good director, if not an incredible one. He had his strengths and his weaknesses as a director and storyteller. But on the whole I was fine with him being the director and hoped that it would just mean the game would be better for it since the guy did seem to understand what Nomura was going for with the story. And in a way he did... but then he cut out the parts he didn't want in it, the parts that had truly interested me, because it wasn't the game he wanted it to be. Stella, the escape from Insomnia, the darkness and tragedy, primarily stripped away for what felt like just another road trip story.... And to constantly hear Tabata talk about how all of those things don't matter anymore because this was essentially a different game... broke my heart. But at the same time, I did want to give it a chance. I wanted to be blown away by the game, especially since it looked like it would be the greatest Final Fantasy and still does! But to constantly hear it said that a game I had invested a lot in just tossed aside and then cut off from me seemingly forever as if me and people who wanted to see it no longer mattered. And in way... we don't matter to Tabata and a good amount of fans of the game. To be quite honest... I grew to really dread the game. I didn't want to invest any more excitement into it because I was afraid of being disappointed. I didn't want to get overhyped for the game and be crushed that it didn't live up to what I wished it would be. And I especially grew to despise fans of the new direction or in general. Not because they liked it, but because of how they reacted to it any feedpack with such vicious vitriol for anything that isn't extremely positive or at the least, lacks any criticism. To be told you're deluded by someone who ignores all your own points and calls you a strawman. To have people disregard your own concerns because "oh well, you just can't deal with change". But that's not the reason, it's not change that concerns me, games go through changes. It's the utter lack of care or interest in what those who do not agree have to say. When I tried pointing out why I didn't like Luna on here, I got harassed by someone who didn't care for the fact that I missed Stella. Or that I just wasn't giving Luna a chance, even though my initials thoughts were just first impressions and I admitted that and I wanted a civil conversation concerning her portrayal during Kingsglaive. But no one wanted that. No, instead they wanted to talk about how "How can you like a shell?" or "Geez, you're getting butthert because no one agrees with you". And it's incredibly frustrating, toxic even, to be constantly put down because you point out something and someone doesn't like it. To be hounded by said person when all you want to do when you do see something you like and want to throw that out there. And then to be told because I don't particularly appreciate or like how I've been treated that I'm being a baby about it. Really, who does like being treated like that? What gives one a right to do that. But that's all I'm gonna say on that, because although in the last year alone I've had more unpleasant conversations with people than ever, particularly on this forum, I'm not someone who will just name names for the shake of shaming someone. I admit I could have taken things better, but that isn't my point and once I finish saying, I will never speak of it again. I will ignore any attempt to try keep me from remembering it and even after I finish this thread, I don't plan to look back at it to see what others responded with, if anything. Because I don't want to remember that as part of my experience for Final Fantasy XV. I want to go into Final Fantasy XV with a clear head and a desire to see it through no matter what outside change, incident or otherwise has gotten in the way. Whether or not I like Luna or the story itself. And that's because, despite everything, I want to see even an altered version of Noctis and his world play on my screen. That world is beautiful to look at and to listen to. I do want to just cruise around it and take it just the details that were added in, whatever they may be. I didn't sign up for a road trip, but that doesn't change anything. I want to experience this game. Because it's everything I wanted in a Final Fantasy game when it comes down to the gameplay. And aside from that annoying Stand by Me cover, the music of the game has kept me wishing to hear more and I'll gladly pay tons for it if I have to. Above all, I want to end my own personal journey towards Final Fantasy XV and its long and difficult development with a smile on my face and hope that everything I was worried about was wrong and that maybe even I'll one day see the story I wanted to see. And that is why I'm writing all of this down, because no matter what, Final Fantasy XV has had an effect on my life and for good or ill, sharing even a bit off how it has was something I needed to stop and really think about. I don't particularly care if anyone agrees with me, or if I get hate, because I needed to say it. I've wanted to come back and say this for awhile, but couldn't for various reasons. Well, that's the end of it. I hope the rest of you also get the same amount of satisfaction out of the finished game that I hope to. I've waited a long time for this game and hopefully when all is said and done, I will be content with it.