If you were among the lucky folks that picked up a launch copy of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you no doubt got the chance to sample the limited-run demo of the highly anticipated mainline series sequel, Final Fantasy XV. While the bulk of reception to the game’s small early demo was positive, there were some recurring complaints about it, and Square Enix has announced that it has collected feedback from a survey it recently offered to the demo players.
Most interesting is that players from different regions seemed to react more poorly to certain things over others. Apparently, North American players were most bothered by the gravely English voice of lead character, Noctis, stating he sounded far too much like Batman, while European players were instead irked by the seemingly sexualized portrayal of Cindy, the series’ first female incarnation of recurring engineer character, Cid. All regions however expressed distaste of the finicky controls and unreliable camera during combat sections as well.
Fortunately, Square Enix plans to address all of these complaints, and thensome, before the final product is eventually released. Sadly, they were mum about exactly when that is, with Final Fantasy XV still having no release window whatsoever, despite spending over a decade in development, since it was initially announced as a Final Fantasy XIII spin-off, Final Fantasy Versus XIII for PlayStation 3.
Apparently, Square Enix was already dissatisfied with their initial direction with the English voice of Noctis, which was apparently rushed and last-minute for the demo, but they claimed that they didn’t have time to re-record it before Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was set to ship to Western retailers, so they weren’t surprised that this was a sticking point in North America especially. Apparently, Noctis’ English voice has already been redone to make him sound younger.
Square Enix seemed less inclined to address the complaints about Cindy however, claiming that she isn’t meant to be a sexualized character, and if she’s taken that way, it’s no doubt because most of Final Fantasy XV’s developers are men. Go figure. Despite that however, they said they’d look at Cindy’s character again, possibly rein in her personality a bit, and reminded fans that female characters will sometimes take guest roles in your party, with the game’s male leads changing their dialogue accordingly when this happens. They also stated that they want Final Fantasy XV to be played without embarrassment at the characters if parents, spouses or roommates happened to see you playing it in passing.
As for the controls and camera, Square Enix candidly admitted that these received the biggest complaints of all worldwide, and that both would definitely be extensively re-tooled before the final product ships. Not only that, but the final product of Final Fantasy XV will also get an A.I. upgrade for your party members compared to their behaviour in the demo. The final game will also be getting adjustable difficulty, after some expressed intimidation at Final Fantasy XV’s seemingly enormous learning curve.
Square Enix largely dismissed complaints about some of the performance chugs in both versions however, stating that framerate jitters in the demo are simply due to it being an unfinished build, and the final product will have any framerate issues completely cleaned up. They did however also state that performance was more important than resolution to players apparently, so it doesn’t look like Final Fantasy XV can promise native 1080p resolution in its final product on either console, though the developers will certainly strive for it if they can. Fortunately, the graphics of the demo were universally praised as being breathtaking, so the final product likely won’t be wanting for visual beauty regardless.
So, if you had some issues with Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, Square Enix has heard you. Hopefully at Square Enix’s brand new E3 conference in June, we can hear about when exactly to expect Final Fantasy XV to finally release in a completed form to the public.
Regardless, keep questing to Eggplante for all news and updates on the Final Fantasy series.