We didn't have high hopes for Final Fantasy XV's first real slice of additional content, and to be brutally honest, it feels like we've wasted an hour of our life just giving it a try. The Moogle Chocobo Carnival, which is only available for a limited amount of time, redecorates the city of Altissia with colourful flags, balloons, and non-playable characters dressed in comical costumes. Minigames and egg hunts are the order of the day as Noctis tries to gather enough carnival currency to see an apparently amazing fireworks display. It's a good job that this is part of a free update.
Despite its flaws, we really like Final Fantasy XV - it's just a shame that the carnival doesn't actually focus on any of the game's best features. For starters, Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto are nowhere to be seen. Their presence and snarky comments could have at least made things a little more engaging, but as it stands, you'll just have to make do with the carnival staff, who love nothing more than to shout the same two lines of dialogue whenever you step within ten feet of them.
There's no combat, either, so what little action you do experience comes in the form of a minigame in which you man a turret and shoot paint balls at an assortment of cardboard targets. It's fun for a few minutes, as is the timed chocobo racing, but ultimately it's just not worth the effort - not when the prizes are so underwhelming. Crafting materials, healing items, and stickers for the Regalia are up for grabs, but only if you can stomach the tedium of gathering enough medals. You need 50 of them to see the fireworks, by the way - which is probably going to take most players a good couple of hours. Depends how eager you are to see a virtual fireworks display, we suppose.
Now look, this carnival business comes as part of a free update, so we know that it's ultimately hard to complain, but we just can't stop questioning why this exists to begin with. Final Fantasy XV is not Destiny. Timed events aren't really going to tempt us back into a single-player release that we've already completed - especially ones that offer no real reward and are set in what has to be one of the most frustrating locations to navigate in the entire game. We just don't get it, and in truth, we'd much rather go back to playing Yakuza 0.
If you happen to have fun at the Moogle Chocobo Carnival, that's great and we're happy for you. Go watch Noctis pull that creepy smile at every photo booth and chase fluffy little chocobo chicks until you hear their squawks in your sleep - just remember to give us a nudge when Final Fantasy XV gets content that actually adds something meaningful to the game.
What do you think of the carnival? Is it worth a shot? Can you really complain about free content? Don't let our misery rub off on you in the comments section below.