After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the Final Fantasy XV announcements to finish, we were greeted with some in game footage of Noctis and a showcase of some of his moves that have not been previously seen. There were a few important takeaways from the latest trailer, some of these including stage design, music as well as actual moveset and playstyle. We also received the very important official confirmation of the addition of Noctis into the Tekken roster.
Stage Design and Soundtrack
One of the first things introduced in the showcase is the new stage called Hammerhead. A fairly small rectangular stage with walls and what appears to be no potential for wall breaks, balcony breaks or floor breaks. You might have also noticed the transition between different times of day depending on how many rounds have gone by. This is not evident in the trailer but was shown in the live stream. There are 3 significant transitions, the first being day time, the second being dusk and the last being at night. The second and third transitions are triggered by two rounds being completed (from what was shown in the gameplay). This means final rounds will always be played at night inside the Hammerhead stage.
Final Fantasy XV is also reputable for its iconic soundtrack, it appears that BANDAI NAMCO and SQUARE ENIX have teamed up to create a unique sound that fits well with both genres. The original soundtrack is called ‘Apocalypsis Noctis’, we have yet to have an official name for the remixed version.
It will always be a struggle when two major companies come together to collaborate on a single project. Some Tekken enthusiasts were wondering how Noctis would fit into the game and whether he would be forced in or whether time and consideration would be taken into his character design. From the showcase of his moveset it looks as if Noctis can use a wide range of different weapons which is not so far from his Final Fantasy XV self. Although he does not play like a traditional Tekken character he does feel at home in the Tekken roster.
There was a big emphasis on the number of different customisation options available for Noctis, there are 6 costumes in total for this character. These include his default costume, ‘Casual Outfit’, ‘Royal Raiment’, ‘Choco-Mog Style’, ‘Fighting King’s Raiment’ and ‘Kingly Raiment’. Normal Tekken rules still apply for Noctis, meaning you are more than able to add shower heads, oversized pizzas and sushi to your favourite character.
Keeping Up The Pressure
For more competitive players or for those with a trained eye, you will notice that Noctis has some in-built post S! (Screw) options that allow him to stay next to the opponent. This is not a setup but rather a particular move that has been designed to keep him next to the opponent. This could be an indication as to how the TEKKEN team want Noctis to be played.
A Glimpse Into His Moveset
Noctis will certainly be a flashy character with a great aesthetic but for some players he needs to be effective too. Let’s take a look into some of the key moves that were shown to us. His RD (Rage Drive) seems to double as a long range punisher and takes inspiration from his warp strike in Final Fantasy XV. He also appears to have a warp strike that does not require rage and acts as a fast near full screen whiff punisher. This move is not showcased in the trailer but was shown in the live stream.
Another move that is not normal for Tekken is what appears to be 1,2 into a side teleport (not the technical or proper name). Perhaps once Noctis commits to the teleport opponents can juggle him out of the air much like Devil Jin’s U4. This would be an even scarier string if it could be hit confirmed or if Noctis has some options out of the teleport. Only time will tell.
In the trailer we also see a forward roll which appears to high crush, we only see two options from this roll in the trailer. One being a low slide which looks like it guarantees a follow up from the resulting OKI (Okizeme - moves centered around hitting, resetting or mixing up grounded opponents). The second being a WS! (Wall Splat). Noctis could have a plethora of other options from this roll, when he is released in less than a week we will see what other tricks he has up his sleeve.
Using an overhead swing, Noctis seems to be at a massive advantage putting the opponent in a block stun animation. Towards the end of the trailer Noctis uses a long range low poke, judging from the range it appears that some block punishment options would whiff at max range. Could this move be safe at some range or angles?
How Does He Play?
From the trailer, Noctis looks like he excels at long range combat. With excellent range control tools and a very fast, almost full screen whiff punisher Noctis will definitely be a problem for characters that struggle to get in without having to take risks. Some of his options as well as guaranteed damage from the looks of the trailer lead us to the conclusion that Noctis will be an extremely versatile character. He will be able to play defensively at long range with excellent range control tools and a mix-up heavy demon that is comfortable staying in your face and barraging you with a plethora of strings and guesses. For now, all we can do is wait until Noctis is playable.
Right at the very end of the trailer you can see Noctis use his RA (Rage Art) and win pose. Both of these two seem very similar to Yoshimitsu’s RA and win pose. There are some arguable differences in the RA animation but the win pose is almost identical. This begs the question, did the TEKKEN team run out of time and decide to copy and paste or is this just a complete coincidence?