Back in March, Square Enix released their demo for ‘Final Fantasy XV’ with the first edition copies of ‘Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Remastered’. The demo wasn’t just a way to get fans excited for the long anticipated title – it was also a chance for the ‘FFXV’ development team to get feedback directly from players. Hajime Tabata, the game’s director, has now responded to this feedback.
Tabata, alongside marketing manager Akio Ofuji, gave a hour and half report on the feedback; if you’d like to watch the whole thing (with English subtitles provided, thankfully) you can check out the video below, but Eurogamer has conveniently compiled the top 15 complaints from ‘FFXV’s’ demo.
Most of the complaints have to do with gameplay: problems with lock-on, camera angles and movement, unhelpful AI, slow mobility, canceling attacks, and overall bugs are all issues that Tabata’s team is aware of and currently fixing. He says that they will also be adding a compass and a mini-map to help with navigation, as well as including difficulty options.
Some of the problems were inherent to the demo itself. Some fans complained that the gameplay was “all about hiding behind rocks and replenishing MP,” which Tabata says was a result of the balancing of MP recovery for the demo, and shouldn’t be as much of a problem in the finished game when players will have magic, combo-ing, and other features that will shorten both the battle length and MP recovery time. Tabata expects that this lack of features also lead fans to say that the gameplay was “monotonous,” so addressing the former issue should hopefully fix this one as well.
Many fans enjoyed Noctis’s warping ability, but were disappointed that it couldn’t be used as a means of moving around the map. Unfortunately, unless ‘FFXV’s’ team comes up with a breakthrough, Tabata said, “I can’t say with absolute confidence that we’ll be able to manage it in the final release.”
Two of the complaints that Tabata addressed came from specifics regions – one from North America, the other from Europe.
Many North American players disliked Noctis’s voice, saying he “sounds like Batman.” Tabata attributed this to rushing the voice work so it could be included in the demo. Tabata explained, “we’ve actually already done more takes that feels a bit younger, while also bringing out Noct’s sense of ennui, and I think we’ve found the right direction.”
European player’s complaints allude to an issue that has been surrounding “FFXV” for a while now – Cindy’s (the game’s blonde-haired, Southern-speaking mechanic) revealing outfit, and the game’s lack of playable female characters.
For the first part of the complaint, Tabata was initially defensive: he argued that Cindy is an energetic, outgoing character, and so her outfit reflects her personality. When Ofuji suggested that the problem was more tied to how much skin Cindy’s outfit reveals, Tabata still said he doesn’t want to change her current concept, but will be careful to control how Cindy is presented. “Her character is not about sex. She is not supposed to be too sexy, but the male members on the dev team did their best to create her. As a result, perhaps too much of their heart and soul went into her . . .” Tabata assured that they will aim to have players completely comfortable with seeing Cindy in their living room, even if your parents walked into the room.
As far as playable female characters, Tabata doesn’t want to break up the foursome’s dynamic but sounded more excited about exploring how guest characters (female or otherwise) could change their behavior, so we might see at least a temporary playable female character when ‘FFXV’ is released.
Tabata discussed his hope to bring a patch to the demo to show off some of the improvements his team has already implemented, but isn’t sure if it’s feasible yet. If it is, he said you could expect the patch sometime in “mid-to-late May,” otherwise they’ll bring the updated features to upcoming events.
” . . . since we’re working towards releasing the game simultaneously worldwide, instead of releasing first in Japan and then to the rest of the world, we do feel there is a sense of obligation to fulfill lots of needs,” Tabata explained.
“Final Fantasy XV” will be released on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. There is no release date yet.