Hard to believe that I've waited for this game since 2006.
Honestly, the story is somewhat polarizing to me but overall I thought it was ehhh... alright. It was interesting how the game started out somewhat light-hearted and then towards end it got real dark and tragic if you will.
So what I know from the story/ending:
-Ardyn is an immortal Caelum who was used as a daemon storage many years past and decided to get revenge against the Caelum bloodline
-Ardyn manipulated Noctis by having him believe that the Crystal will purge the daemons but really have him merge with it thus took a decade for Noctis to acquire the Crystal's power
-Luna and Noctis are legitimately dead. Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis are (presumably) dead as well. Noctis killed himself (the blood price to be paid) to send himself to the afterlife to finally purge Ardyn with the power of the Crystal and Lucian kings. I say that the gang are dead as well because we see Luna, Regis and the three guys in the afterlife helping Noctis defeat Ardyn.
-From my understand late king Regis knew that Noctis would have to sacrifice himself to save the world. His arranged marriage to Luna was in reality grooming him to be sacrifice.
-The scene where Noctis tearfully confesses his brotherly love to the gang takes place before their return to the Crown City.
-Luna's and Noctis's marriage takes place in the afterlife
-Just like FFXIII, the logo of XV is the ending of XV. Haha so the ending was staring at my face the entire time like it did with XIII.
So.... lot's of death in this game. Kinda sad but nowhere near tragic like Aerith's death. I think what SquareEnix was trying to do in this game was to have you invest a lot of time in the gang's interactions. Emphasizing themes of camaraderie, brotherhood, family, love and sacrifice. And then when the end comes you get emotional about it.
I'm still trying to piece things together with the story and the ending. Let's discuss about it people.
I guess it's a matter of preference. I discussed this with a group but we talked about this game didn't really take ten years to make. The current build took probably about three years or so. I think another year would've fleshed out the story but maybe an expansion and the dlc may help it out. In any case I really did enjoy the light hearted aspects, the bantering, the whole road trip and characters. That being said I was pretty sad about the ending and I feel a bit mixed about it since death endings are somewhat odd for me at the moment.
On the other hand, I didn't find aeriths death all that tragic or sad really but it's because I didn't really like her all that much as a character so it's subjective.
Whether Noctis's friends are dead or not is up for debate but I could go with either one. I liked Noctis especially at least in comparison to what he was orignally meant to be in versus. I think the change in premise of his character is very enjoyable.
I guess the thing that gets me and maybe it's just me was about Noctis and his fate. As stated his father was aware of it and felt incredibally sad every time he entered the room with the prophecy about Noctis. I feel the road trip and bonding with best friends for the trip was a nice way to appreciate the world and life itself as long and much as he can at such a young age before he ascends the throne. I mean I guess it's obvious as much. Still Noctis is only twenty really.
The story may be mixed and awkward but I do think there's something nice and sweet about it. At least for me, the road trip I found was a very nice experience.
＼（゜∀゜ ） tsukame puraido ! ＼（ ｀ー´）tsukame success !