There was a time when I would have pulled this exercise in mangled Anime cliches to pieces.

I'll admit I might have been overly critical about FF in the past. I do like Anime but Final Fantasy always seemed like a poorly scripted excuse to throw scantily clad, obscenely large-chested women together with razor-haired, impossibly legged, tiresomely brooding gents.

To be frank, not much has changed.

But FF15 is so over the top that it's clear there are great gobbets of irony at play. This might have been the case previously and I've probably been too stupid to spot it, but I've finally seen the light: Final Fantasy XV is absolutely hilarious and I want more.

The first act plays out like a preposterous stag do as Prince Noctis and his stupidly dressed three mates drive open-world-style down to a ferry. After the crossing he'll hope to meet up with his fiancee whom he hasn't seen since they were nippers, thereby unifying two irritated but ceasefire-bound regions, bringing peace, prosperity and little badly dressed babies into the world.

There are beasts to hunt, powers and weapons to upgrade and bits and pieces to find which is pretty standard sandbox fare. But Noctis and his ludicrous chums Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto are bound so tightly in Anime cliche throughout the cut-scenes and intermittent chatter that it's a pleasure to watch. Pick up enough ingredients and Ignis (with his starch-spotless upper class English accent) snaps his fingers and exclaims: "That's it! I've come up with a new recipe!"

Setting up camp in a wilderness where 10-storey-high beasts could end you in a moment's notice is a shockingly jolly affair as the startling-of-mullet Gladiolus merrily erects a tent pulled out of who-knows-where while Prompto takes some gurning snaps and the gamer is regaled with elevator music from the Devil's apartment store.

It's wall-to-wall cheese as far as the eye can see but never dull.

There's even a brutal helping of Anime exasperations:




Suffice to say the story is far more involving than what that experienced in act one. There's some fatal betrayal and matters get very serious. But not serious enough that four horrifically dressed, hilariously scripted Anime tropes won't do their damnedest to keep you amused over the 30-hour-plus gaming time on offer.