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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (A J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 24, 2016 by  



“Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” is a gorgeous, exciting and well-performed CG animated film that serves as a small introduction to the upcoming “Final Fantasy XV” videogame. Some may find it complex with the many characters introduced and the problems existing within kingdoms, and I do recommend watching this film more than once for a better understanding of its storyline.  But this film made me even more excited about the upcoming video game release and if you are a fan of “Final Fantasy” and are planning to purchase “Final Fantasy XV”, I definitely recommend watching this film!

Image courtesy of © 2016 Square Enix Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

YEAR: 2016

DURATION: 115 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio), English, Portuguese, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Japanese, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese (Simplified), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (Fantasy Violence and Action Throughout)

Release Date: October 4, 2016


Directed by Takeshi Nozue

Written by Takashi Hasegawa

Produced by Hajime Tabata

Associate Producer: Robert A. Dobbins

Production Executive as Juck Somsaman

Music by John R. Graham

Casting by Rui Kawada, Gabriel Moszkowski


Featuring the following voice talent:

Aaron Paul as Nyx Ulric

Sean Bean as Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII

Lena Headey as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret

David Gant as Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt

Darin De Paul as Ardyn Izunia

Trevor Devall as Ravus Nox Fleuret

Adrian Bouchet as Titus Drautos

Liam Mulvey as Libertus Ostium

John DeMita as clarus Amicitia

Andrea Tivadar as Crowe Altius

Todd Haberkorn as Luche Lazarus

Max Mittelman as Tredd Furia

Ray Chase as Noctis Lucis Caelum

Adam Croasdell as Ignis Scientia

Christopher L. Parson as Gladiolus Amicitia

Robbie Daymond as Prompto Argentum

Bo Bragason as Young Luna

David Chun Cheung as Sonitus Belum


The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the sacred Crystal, and the menacing empire of Niflheim is determined to steal it. King Regis of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kingsglaive. Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the overwhelming military might of the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum – to marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (Lena Headey), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire’s rule. Although the king concedes, it becomes clear that the empire will stop at nothing to achieve their devious goals, with only the Kingsglaive standing between them and world domination.


On November 26th, many gamers are highly anticipating the release of the Square Enix PS4/XBOX Onevideo game “Final Fantasy XV”.

But before the release of the video game, the animated film “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” was released theatrically in Japan in July 2016 and had a limited theatrical run in North America in August.

The film takes place in parallel to the events that are presented in the “Final Fantasy XV” video game and revolves around Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, the father of the game’s protagonist, Noctis.  The film focsues on the Kingsglaive, an elite guard sharing Regis’ magical powers that defend the kingdom of Lucis and its crystal from the invading empire of Niflheim.

The film is directed by Takeshi Nozue and written by Takashi Hasegawa.  The talented voice cast includes Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings” films, “The Martian”), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”, “Need for Speed”, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones” “300” films), David Gant (“Braveheart”, “Gandhi”), Darin De Paul (“Julie & Julia”, “Overwatch”, “Doom”), Trevor Devall (“Johnny Test”, “Kid vs. Kat”, “Batman vs. Robin”), Adrian Bouchet (“Clash of the Titans”, “The Monuments Men”, “Predator Dark Ages”), Lian Mulvey (“The Box”, “616”), John DeMita (“Princess Mononoke”, “Castle in the Sky”), Andrea Tivadar (“Inside”), Todd Haberkorn (“Soul Eater”, “D. Grayman”, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”), Max Mittelman (“One Punch Man”, “Fallout 4”), Ray Chase (“Final Fantasy XV”, “Xenoblade Chronicles X”, “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided”), David Chun Cheung (“The Real Target”, “Out of Control”) and Amanda Piery (“The Underwater Realm”, “City of Dreamers”).

And now, the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” will be available in October 2016.

The setting is in the planet Eos, where each nation once were in possession of magical crystals.  Now only one kingdom, Lucis, it the only nation to possess a crystal and how the ruling Caelum dynasty has used it to create a magical barrier to prevent invaders from destroying their city. Because the magic barrier is huge, it accelerates the age of King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII (voiced by Sean Bean).

And the Royal Citadel has possession of it and only accessible through the  Ring of the Lucci, a ring passed down from the line of Lucis kings.

But the nations that no longer possess a magical crystal were all conquered by the Niflheim, a military and technologically advanced empire that is now wanting to take control of Lucis.

Niflheim is ran by the emperor, Iedolas Aldercapt (voiced by David Gant).  But most of the duties are ran by Niflheim chancellor, Ardyn Izunia (voiced by Darin De Paul), who is responsible for the empires use of Magitek technology.

To also protect Lucis, an elite unit known as Kingslaive that wields the royal family’s magical power in order to fight against the powerful monsters that try to get into the city, including attacks from Niflheim and Tenebrae.

The film focuses on Kingslaive soldier, Nyx Ulric (voiced by Aaron Paul).  When Nyx was younger, he was saved by King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII and indebted for saving him, he is tasked to protect Lunafreya Nox Fleuret (voiced by Lena Headey).

Lunafreya was the former princess of Tenebrae, but when her land was attacked by Niflheim, she was captured by the Niflheim empire.  Her older brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret (voiced by Trevor Devall) is a man full of hatred.

His mother was killed by Niflheim’s imperial general, Glauca and during the invasion, while trying to plea for help, King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII could only rescue so many people.  He tried grabbed his young son Noctis Lucis Caelum (the heir of Lucis) and Lunafreya, but as they tried to escape, Lunafreya decides to stay back for her older brother and was captured.  But in the process, knew he was unable to help Ravus’ mother and Ravus.

Fastforward 12 years later, as the land of Tenebrae becomes a province of Niflheim, Ravus has grown up to become a commanding officer of the Niflheim army and wants nothing more than to destroy Lucis and its king.

As Niflheim chancellor threatens Kings Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, he offers him a peace treaty, that Regis must cede the territories around Lucis, including the crown city of Insomnia to Niflheim and allow his son Prince Noctics to marry Luna Fraey Nox Fleuret.  King Regis accepts the terms to the peace treaty.

But at the night of the treaty-singing ceremony, the Niflheim delegation begins a surprise attack inside Lucis in order to kill the ruling council and destroy the magical barrier that King Regis had put up.

Can Kingslaive soldier Nyx Ulric protect Lunafreya and the King?


VIDEO:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). An all CG film, the animation is absolutely gorgeous and the technology has come a long way since “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” and the realistic details have come much farther along since “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children”.

The characters look quite realistic (especially at the beginning of the film with female character Crowe and how close she looks to model Andrea Tivadar, who voiced the character).

The detail on the characters, the monsters, the cities, the vehicles and everything about the film looks magnificent in HD!  If anything, the gorgeous CG made me even more excited for the video game release of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy VI”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” is presented in English, Portuguese, French DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Japanese, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.  The lossless soundtrack for this film is absolutely immersive.  With the number of action sequences, my surround channels and use of LFE through my subwoofer was used quite frequently.  Great use of ambiance when it comes to the monsters, destruction of cities, the revving of a car and more.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” comes with the following special features:

  • A Way with Words: Epic and Intimate Vocals – (4:51) Featuring the talent who voiced the characters in “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV”.
  • To Capture the Kingslaive: The Process – (6:01) Featuring the crew and mocap actors at audiomotion studios creating the movement and the challenges of 3D scanning and more.
  • Fit for the Kingslaive: Building the World – (5:29) Featuring the concept art and the imaginative and creative world featured in “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” and interviews with the cast and crew.
  • Emotive Music: Scoring the Kingslaive – (6:04) A behind-the-scenes look at the music of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” with composer John Graham and his musicians.

EXTRAS:

“Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” comes with a slipcover and Ultraviolet HD code.


Before I get into my review for “”Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV”, I must first say how much I love the “Final Fantasy” series.

I have purchased nearly every game that has been available for the consoles, including portable consoles and PC versions and while I’m not a hardcore gamer, I always try to fit in time for me to play a “Final Fantasy” game, most often right before I go to bed.

So, I admit that I am biased to the series, but also have been critical as I have been more of a fan from “Final Fantasy X-2” and games released before.  While newer games, I have been more critical of how there is more dedication to visuals than gameplay and story.

But with the upcoming worldwide release of “Final Fantasy XV” and the sneak peeks that have been released in the past few years of this highly anticipated video game, I was quite pleased that Square Enix has chosen to release a film that runs parallel to the video game.  Call it a taste before delving into the video game but establishing the world and some of its characters.

What the film does focus on is how the kingdom of Lucis is the last nation to possess a magical crystal and currently, it’s king, Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII has protected it using the royal family’s magical power to erect a magical barrier around the city for over a decade.

The big bad military/advanced technology empire of Niflheim has been wanting in and wanting to control this nation and its cities.  And Niflheim is offering a peace/treaty, which is like having Darth Vader’s Empire offering the rebels a peace treaty and you know how well that is going to work.  It’s not going to happen.  If anything, it’s a way to introduce a trojan horse into the city that will leave the king and his kingdom vulnerable to attacks.

But everything hinges on the marriage of the king Regis’s son Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya Nox Fleuret of Tenebrae, who had been captured by Niflheim.

But to make sure they are not being deceived, the king has his trustworthy Kingslaive soldier, Nyx UIric to retrieve and protect the princess and making sure that Niflheim does not have possession of her.

While Nix Ulric is the primary protagonist of the film, if anything, the film is primarily a primer to the kingdom of Lucis and how it’s the last kingdom with a magical crystal and how Niflheim are the protagonist country led by an emperor and his ruthless chancellor, Ardyn Izunia.

The film introduces us to the spunky princess who takes far too many risks and can easily end up dead for her rash decisions and while the video game’s protagonist, Noctis is shown as a young child, he does show up at the end of the credits, so remember to keep watching after the ending credits are completed.

The voice acting by Aaron Paul, Sean Bean and Lena Headey are fantastic!  Actually, the entire film features wonderful voice acting but there is no doubt that the gorgeous visual effects are what captivates viewers of the film.  From its characters, the smoothness of the characters in a fighting sequence, the amazing detail of costumes, detail of character closeups and its vast scenery which are visually impressive.

The film looks absolute incredible in HD and there is no doubt that videophiles and fans of the “Final Fantasy” series will by in awe of how wonderful this film looks, but audiophiles will no doubt love the immersiveness of the film’s lossless soundtrack.  If you have a 7.1 setup, you can expect to see your surround channels and subwoofer being well-utilized throughout the film.  And you also get a few special features as well, that go into the motion capture and the voice acting of the film and more!

With that being said, I discussed the many positives of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” but are there any negatives?  Quite frankly, with the complex story of the cities and the many characters introduced, I can see some viewers being lost. To be truthful, everything started to kick-in for me by the second viewing of the film, learning about character motivations but most importantly, King Regis, his kingdom and of course, the big bad empire, Niflheim.  So, with this release on Blu-ray and DVD, one may need to watch this film several times in order to understand things thoroughly and how it correlates to the upcoming video game, is something I look forward to.

Last, one hoping to get a glimpse of some closure or finality with the characters or storyline are probably going to be disappointed as the film is more of a primer to the world of Eos and the political struggles between nations and a few characters leading up to the video game release.  And will no doubt add fuel to the fire for those who dislike films that are based on a popular video game series.

But I love “Final Fantasy” games and perhaps my bias to the series has led me to enjoy the film than most people.  Because I absolutely enjoyed the visuals of the film and its acting.

Overall, “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” is a gorgeous, exciting and well-performed CG animated film that serves as a small introduction to the upcoming “Final Fantasy XV” videogame. Some may find it complex with the many characters introduced and the problems existing within kingdoms, and I do recommend watching this film more than once for a better understanding of its storyline.  But this film made me even more excited about the upcoming video game release and if you are a fan of “Final Fantasy” and are planning to purchase “Final Fantasy XV”, I definitely recommend watching this film!






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