Watch: Yooka-Laylee is a blast of nostalgia in Xbox One gameplay

Welcome to your weekly round-up of the video goings-on over at Outside Xbox, where this week we enjoyed a sandboxy nostalgia trip through Yooka-Laylee.

Yooka-Laylee is a spiritual successor to the classic N64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie by Playtonic, a studio made up of former Rare employees, and the best way to revisit 1998 that doesn’t involve a flux capacitor. Watch us play the game’s Toybox demo on Xbox One in this new gameplay and marvel at how little our precision platforming skills have atrophied.

Also this week, we’ve been playing Final Fantasy 15, out now on Xbox One and PS4. Final Fantasy 15 tells the story of Prince Noctis, who sets out into the world to reclaim his kingdom, accompanied by his three bros, Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto.

Final Fantasy 15 is getting a free update that bolsters one of the game’s best features

Final Fantasy 15! It’s either one of the best Final Fantasy games since the series’ heyday, or a travesty that doesn’t deserve to bear the Final Fantasy name. Well, it’s so divisive that it must be a Final Fantasy game, given how fans have never really found a consensus on what the best game in the series could possibly be.

Still, one thing we can surely all agree on is the fact that Prompto’s photographs that prop up the end of each day in Final Fantasy 15 are the best thing about the game. Heck, they may even be my favourite thing in any game in 2016, so perfectly distilling the knockabout theme of friendship that’s at Final Fantasy 15’s core. Well, now they’re being improved, with a new update that’s going live on December 22nd adding photo frames for you when sharing images online. I’d say that’s worth picking a season pass up for, but this update’s entirely free.

Also free is a New Game Plus mode and new items that come as part of a free holiday pack that include a band your party can equip that stops them from accruing XP. If that’s your kind of thing.

Watch: We made Pig Oat Mash from Dragon Age

Somewhat improbably, my culinary adventure through the realm of video games has been allowed to continue – turns out people quite like watching me blunder about in a tiny, rubbish kitchen. No accounting for taste, I suppose.

Spurred on by recent experiments such as the from Final Fantasy 15 and from Fallout 4, this week I decided to attempt pig oat mash from Dragon Age. If that doesn’t sound appetising, just wait and see how it turned out…

Yeah, not sure I’ll be trying that one again. If you feel like you could do it better, however, feel free to have a look at the original recipe .

Watch: We made mirelurk cakes from Fallout

The food you stumble across in the Fallout universe tends to fall into two camps; surviving products from before the bombs fell (three cheers for preservatives) and dodgy looking cuisine made from whatever’s lying around – or trying to tear your face off.

One such dish is mirelurk cakes, a recipe for which can be found in Fallout 3. I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking up video game food recently – you may have caught the recipe for Final Fantasy 15’s or from Dishonored 2 – so I decided to grab a frying pan and give it a go myself. True to the franchise they turned out a bit, well, S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

If you fancy making mirelurk cakes for yourself, I’ve added my recipe (such as it is) below.

Final Fantasy 15’s story is being patched

Final Fantasy 15’s director Hajime Tabata , and its story – which has come in for some criticism – is set to be tweaked at an unspecified date.

Be warned – some minor spoilers follow. The first beneficiary of the free updates will be Chapter 13 – the point at which the game sheds its open world and becomes more linear, and a level with stealth elements that’s been cited as being overlong and frustrating as it limits the player’s abilities. “Our early plans are to enrich certain aspects of the game, adding gameplay enhancements for Chapter 13, buffing ring magic, etc,” said Tabata in the update. “We’ll have the specifics of what and when for you at a later date.”

Perhaps more controversially, Final Fantasy 15’s story is to be tweaked with new cut-scenes that aim to clear up a muddied plot. “We’re hoping to delve deeper into the story, adding scenes that will give you new insight into character motivations, such as why Ravus walked the path he did,” said Tabata of what’s to come after the updates to Chapter 13. “We will need a little time with these, as they’ll need to be localised and voiced in other languages, but we’ll let you know the details once everything is set.”

Watch: We made a hoorntooth pie from Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy 15 is crammed with beautifully rendered foodstuffs, from hearty bean soups and croque madames to simpler fare like cup noodles and flame grilled toast.

Spurred on by my (mis)adventures in the kitchen with the from Dishonored 2, I decided to tackle the delicious sounding horntooth meat pie from Final Fantasy 15. I’m pleased to say it went fairly well, leaky pastry aside. You can see the video for yourself below and, if you fancy giving the pie a go for yourself, you can find the recipe under that. Enjoy!

Horntooth meat pie recipe

Final Fantasy 15 worldwide launch makes it series’ fastest-selling game

Boy band RPG Final Fantasy 15 sold more than 5m copies on its launch day.

Square Enix trumpeted its sales success with word the game also qualified as the long-lived franchise’s fastest-selling instalment – although this is largely due to it also being the series’ first simultaneous global release.

FF15 also wins the crown for the most digital downloads of any game on day of release in Japan, and the biggest release ever in Asia outside Japan.

Performance Analysis: Final Fantasy 15

For a while there, Final Fantasy 15 performance was looking a touch dodgy. Seemingly prioritising visual accomplishments over a stable frame-rate, each of the title’s early previews exhibited profound issues – and even the more recent Platinum demo, which introduced dynamic resolution scaling, still disappointed. The good news is that the release code’s finishing touches include the required raft of optimisations required to sustain 30fps. The bad news is that a key issue remains unresolved on PlayStation 4 hardware – one that Square-Enix really needs to address.

We’re referring to incorrect frame-pacing. At the risk of turning this into a lecture, there’s a reason why visually complex games lock to 30fps instead of matching your typical display’s standard 60Hz – developers have twice the amount of render time available, and by presenting a new frame on every other refresh, you still get a smooth, consistent experience. Bad console frame-pacing typically sees developers put the required 30fps cap in place, but do not update the new frame on every other display update.

The end result is that you get a jittery presentation that actually looks like a lower frame-rate presentation. Frames should arrive paced at clean 33ms intervals, but instead they persist for 16ms, 33ms or even 50ms. In a third person title like Final Fantasy 15, which has a lot of sweeping camera movement, the perceived judder is difficult to ignore. However, here’s the thing – Xbox One is completely unaffected, and there is a mode unique to the PS4 Pro version that also seems to mostly address the problem.

Square Enix president is a secret boss in Final Fantasy 15 promo livestream

Square Enix implemented its president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda as a special lvl.99 boss for its Final Fantasy 15 promotional livestream.

While not in the actual retail game, a recent presentation of Final Fantasy 15 included the publisher’s executive as part of a “mystery disc” uniquely made for the livestream. (Thanks, .)

Beginning at the 3.02.37 mark you can watch the businessman descend from the sky and produce a magical sword out of thin air. He later manifests a tommygun and emits lasers from his eyes, because of course he does.

Final Fantasy 15 review

Final Fantasy has always been at its best in its more personal moments. Apocalyptic meteors, time-travelling sorceresses and fishy floating physical manifestations of your sins are all well and good, but they mean little if the story doesn’t give you something a bit closer to home to relate to. Finding out it’s who you are rather than where you came from that matters, learning to trust other people no matter their background, navigating tricky love triangles and attempting to get the girl even when she’s busy conjuring monsters out of living statues – those are the story beats to remember. Stopping the bad guy and saving the world are rarely the most memorable moments from a Final Fantasy game. Characters like Vivi, Nanaki, Cyan and Galuf are the beating heart of these fables, characters in whom we see a nugget of truth or a moment of kinship, whether they’re a talking, tattooed wolf-lion thing or not.

Final Fantasy 15, in many crucial ways, understands this. Central to every smaller story it wants to tell is friendship; the kind of coming-of-age friendship that feels like, and often is, the most important thing in the world to those bound by it. It was a brilliantly underrated stroke to frame this Final Fantasy so decisively as a road trip – of course that’s what Final Fantasy games always have been – but it proves to be a compelling device that fits this more modernised take on a Final Fantasy universe particularly well. It provides a moreish loop during the open-world sections; roll up to a new outpost, chat to a local tipster to uncover nearby side quests and monster hunts, and then turning in a couple of bounties before settling down for the evening, cooking up some stat-boosting meals with your boys at camp and cashing in the day’s EXP.

The open world section, where you’re tooling around in your car with your best buds and taking on assorted tasks at your leisure, is where Final Fantasy 15 is at its best. The world, while perhaps smaller than some fans may be expecting, crams an impressive number of activities into its imposing peaks and murky depths. Seek out hidden dungeons in the far-reaches and you’ll take on unique bosses to unlock Noct’s 13 ancestral Armiger weapons, and in your downtime you can spend some quality one-on-one time with your friends, getting up early in the morning to help Prompto with an impromptu modelling session, or assisting Ignis in stealing his specs back from a naughty black Chocobo hoarder. Different locales come with their own ecology and weather forecasts, and though you’ll soon tire of driving the car (GTA this isn’t – you have such little control it’s often just simpler to have Ignis drive for you), cruising from town to town, spotting nostalgic series references and watching the wildlife pass by with an early Final Fantasy soundtrack twinkling over the car stereo is a cathartic experience for old-school fans.