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Review: Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep

Final Fantasy XV took a different approach and launched the franchise into the modern days of gaming. With more freedom and a faster combat, fans worldwide liked this new direction. One of the most popular mini-games in the main game became the fishing. It’s even so popular it received a special DLC called Monster of the Deep which enables you to catch some fantastic fishes using Virtual Reality. Is this a spin-off worthy of the Final Fantasy name? Let’s find out!

Back to Eos

Right from the start, this DLC feels like it’s a true fanservice, bringing you back to the land of EOS, the first task you need to complete is the creation of your new character. This character creator goes surprisingly deep and it’s clear from the start that Square Enix wants fans to enjoy this spin-off and they really went all out to deliver this. After creating your character, you travel lakeside for some relaxation. Needless to say, things don’t always go as planned and your boat gets attacked by a monster of the deep (hence the title of this game). It’s all because of Cindy’s calm reaction that you manage to make it out alive. She takes you to a cabin hut that soon becomes your base of operation.

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The game is way more than just a mini-game and offers a rather robust story that will keep you busy for a couple of hours. It’s your task to take down the daemonic sea life that has been troubling the gorgeous world of Eos. You do so by hunting them down and eventually fighting the bigger ones, considered as the bosses amongst fish. The fun part of the adventure is the fact that you’ll run into some familiar faces from time to time. The story is packed with famous characters found in Final Fantasy XV, so I’m sure fans of that game will enjoy seeing them return to the screen. The original voice actors even took the time to give these heroes their iconic voice once more, truly amazing!

Not so deep after all

The first minutes of the game proved to be very impressive but after a while, it seemed like the gameplay itself isn’t as deep as hoped. First of all, let’s start with the positive notes. The environments and different fishing spots all look amazing in Virtual Reality. Square Enix added enough details to make it all feel real. Too bad traveling from one place to another isn’t as easy as it should, but then again, the focus is on fishing here.

The actual fishing has its ups and downs. Flicking your line into the water with precision is a hard task to master since you’ll never truly understand the way the motion controls work here. Lucky enough, everything becomes extremely intuitive once you’re trying to reel in the fish. Fishing is fun but it really lacks the depth and solid controls one might hope for in a game like this.

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To make things a little more exciting, you’ll fight some bigger fish after you filled a meter by catching regular fish. This ‘boss battle’ offers a combination of an on-rails shooter and reeling in the fish. It’s nothing too complex but it does offer some spectacle compared to the otherwise rather peaceful fishing sessions. It’s good to have this variation but it doesn’t really lift the game to higher levels.

The game also comes with some extra modes like a free mode where you can just fish and enjoy the environment. Thanks to the gorgeous graphics, I really enjoyed this mode. There’s something about standing in front of the virtual water, looking for fish, that’s so relaxing. The other mode is an online championship where you can try to win the reward in a couple of timed events, a fun idea but in reality, it doesn’t really add a lot to the game.

Conclusion:

Monster of the Deep is a nice little spin-off game that enables you to enjoy some Final Fantasy XV in Virtual Reality. The game looks gorgeous and looking around while fishing is extremely relaxing. Too bad the gameplay itself isn’t that deep and the controls aren’t always on point. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy XV and own a PSVR, it’s certainly worth getting. If not, understand that this is mostly a product made for the fans of the game.

7/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.