5 super-satisfying moments in Square Enix games

We celebrate those parts of games that exist purely to make us feel happy
By Duncan Heaney
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The little things matter.

Amid all the epic stories and high-flying action of Square Enix games, it’s worth taking a few seconds to appreciate the simple things that exist to just make us feel… good.

From fulfilling fanfares to memorable mechanics, games are full of moments that we find super-satisfying - here are just a few examples:

SaGa Scarlet Grace AMBITIONS - Unison Attacks

The most recent entry in the acclaimed SaGa series features one of the most tactically rich and enjoyable battle systems of any RPG.

But one mechanic in particular proves to be consistently rewarding - the unison attack.

Here’s how it works: during battles, a line of character portraits at the bottom of the screen indicates the turn order for both allies and enemies. If you eliminate a foe whose portrait is sandwiched between party members’, those allies will pile on the next enemy at the same time, in a brutal assault.

Unison attacks aren’t always easy to pull off - you’ll need to watch out for opportunities and think strategically to take full advantage of them.

But it’s worth doing because watching your whole party body a baddie is always… always satisfying.

Just Cause 4 - toggling tethers for total destruction

Just Cause 4 game Rico Rodriguez some fantastic new toys to play with, from rocket boosters to explosive balloons. But for my money, nothing beats the chaotic glee of the manual tethers.

As in previous games, Rico is able to connect two objects with a cable, affording all kinds of opportunities for physics fun. Just Cause 4 adds new functionality though - the ability to connect more tethers than ever, and manually contract them with a simple button press.

If you’re after a burst of pure, undiluted satisfaction, try wing suiting into an enemy stronghold and tethering destructible objects together. Connect a fuel tank to a radio tower, a satellite dish to a generator, and an explosive barrels to… well, other explosive barrels.

Next, get a bit of distance, hold the button to retract the tethers and let the fireworks begin. Within seconds, multiple objects will fly towards each other, in a frenzy of fire, sparks and crunching metal.

And as you watch the enemy stronghold crumble into chaos in mere seconds, make sure you allow yourself a self-satisfied smirk before you fly off to cause some more property damage.

Get Just Cause 4 Complete Edition

FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers - A Fanfare Reborn

Who doesn’t love the famous FINAL FANTASY victory fanfare? However it’s used across the series - be it to mark the end of a difficult fight or simply celebrate success in a chocobo race - it’s a welcome reward for all your hard work.

But A Victory Fanfare Reborn - the version from FINAL FANTASY XIV Online… that one is particularly satisfying. I mean, just listen to it:

Imagine this: you’ve undertaken a raid (let’s say the new The Epic of Alexander Ultimate). After a strong start, your plans are now in tatters and your party scattered thanks to your foe’s relentless assault.

All seems lost, but then… a chance! Somehow you and your allies pull it together - strategies are made, plans enacted, and your battered, bruised band of adventurers scrape out a victory over their overpowered opponent.

After such a feat, you already feel great… and then the choir kicks in with this rousing fanfare - the cherry on top of this gratification sundae.

It’s just awesome.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution / Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - notifications of success

The Deus Ex series is all about giving the player choice in how they approach tasks - there’s no ‘correct’ way to play the game.

For example, some people may love to grab a shotgun and brute force their way to their objectives. Others might prefer to act as a silent predator, dispatching their enemies from the shadows as they explore a zone.

Personally, I like to become a ghost - sneaking through an area with no trace I was ever there. Well, if you don’t count all the stolen candy bars.

The point is, all are valid, and all are viable. But whichever you pick, you’ll be consistently rewarded with XP, and notifications that reveal what you’ve done to earn it.

In other words, the game explicitly rewards you for playing it in your own way - and that’s one heck of an incentive.

FINAL FANTASY XV - Gaining multiple levels at once

FINAL FANTASY XV handles leveling a little differently to most games in the series.

As you’d expect, Noctis and his chums will gain experience as they defeat enemies and complete quests, but to actually level up, they need to first take a break.

When the group hits a hotel or a campsite, all their hard-earned experience is distributed, and the characters grow stronger.

What’s great about this system is that it means that characters can gain multiple levels at once - particularly if you stay in a high-end hotel such as The Leville in Altissia or The Quayside Cradle in Galdin Quay.

These classy (and exorbitantly expensive) establishments can double or even triple your accumulated experience, almost guaranteeing a big power boost for the team.

It is supremely satisfying to watch each character’s progression bar fill over and over, and their levels shoot up dramatically, helped by some fantastically chunky sound effects that give it a sense of drama and ceremony.

In short, gaining multiple levels in FINAL FANTASY XV just feels really good. And the presence of that familiar FINAL FANTASY fanfare doesn’t hurt either!


So those were our picks, but what about you? What do you think are the most satisfying moments in games? Let us know in the comments or on social media:

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