Final Fantasy XV Director Admits Series was in a “Tough Spot”

Hajime Tabata, the director of the forthcoming Final Fantasy XV, has admitted that the series has failed to deliver a truly successful game during the HD era – a “tough spot,” as he puts it – and that the latest entry in the franchise has been forced to take a more “modern” approach in order to be a “challenger again”.

“After a fresh start as Final Fantasy XV, the part that we felt was most necessary was “to modernize Final Fantasy”,” Tabata told Siliconera. “Basically, to make a Final Fantasy that works in today’s era. In order to do this, we thought that “Final Fantasy will become the challenger again” and we decided to do everything we can to make this possible.”

Tabata blamed the trappings of HD game development for the oft-criticised linear nature of Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix’s previous single-player RPG entry (since Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG), saying, “I understand that Final Fantasy XIII also had some rough criticism, but that is not what was aimed for, and I’m sure the objective for it was much higher than that. In the end, it became a title known for being linear.”

“That was not something that was aimed for,” he said, “but considering the way things were being done, they were not able to break the walls of HD production, and I believe that the truth of the matter is that they simply weren’t able to make a proper landing.”

He also acknowledged that the burden of the Final Fantasy name weighed heavily on the shoulders of FFXIII’s development team, adding, “If anything, how to break through such a reality was what made it heavy, in that sense. The heaviness of “the Final Fantasy IP is in a tough spot” was at its peak there.”

Final Fantasy XV is due out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year.

Final Fantasy XV Will Not Be Arriving on the PC Just Yet

Final Fantasy XV is scheduled for a release on September 30, and even though quite a lot of PC gamers were hoping to be able to get their hands on this game, the sad news is that this title will only come out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as a PC version is not currently in development. That being said, director Hajime Tabata has stated that Square Enix is well aware that gamers want to see a PC port of Final Fantasy XV, but since the company is currently focusing on optimizing the game for consoles, a PC port will just have to wait for now.

Tabata did not rule out a PC version completely, which means that there is still hope. Final Fantasy 13 eventually arrived on the PC four years after its original release, and even though it was a welcomed addition, it’s true that it got ported a bit too late. Square Enix will most likely consider porting FF XV once the console versions are as polished as possible, but even so, there could still be a considerable waiting time before we will receive any sort of confirmation.

Were you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy XV on the PC?

Square Enix Considering “Higher Spec” Version of Final Fantasy XV for PC

While Square Enix has not yet confirmed that its forthcoming JRPG epic Final Fantasy XV will arrive on PC, it seems that, if it does, it will be a “higher spec” version running on DirectX 12. The current version of the game, due out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 later this year, was built using DirectX 11 “generation tech.”

“The DX11 generation tech used for #FFXV is for console only,” a Tweet from the official Final Fantasy XV Twitter account reads. “Once FFXV is out on console we may look at a higher spec version for PC.”

Whether this “higher spec” PC version of the game actually see the light of day is yet to be decided, though, despite admissions from Square Enix that it is “aware of the big call for a PC version.”

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to do simultaneous development on a PC and console version for XV,” FFXV Director Hajime Tabata told Engadget. “We had to focus on the console version and our goal was to maximize, optimize everything for the HD consoles. Once that’s done, then we will definitely take a good, hard look at PC and what we need to do, and consider all our options. But right now we aren’t decided, we’re still considering a lot of things.”

The free Platinum Demo of Final Fantasy XV is available for download on PS4 and Xbox One now.

Director Confirms Final Fantasy XV Release

Square Enix’s forthcoming epic action RPG, Final Fantasy XV, has been confirmed for a 2016 release. In a blog post entitled “Happy New Year!”, FFXV director Hajime Tabata announced that the game will hit Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this year.

Tabata wrote:

“We will finally release FFXV this year, in 2016! In development, previous phases required wisdom and strength. However, moving forward the final phase will focus on effort and willpower.

I vow to you all that every member in the team will do their best to the very last possible moment taking responsibility and pride in their craft.

We will do everything we can do to finish FFXV to create an experience we are incredibly proud of and one that you will enjoy and treasure.

The whole FFXV team appreciates all of the support from each and everyone one of you this past year. I cannot tell you how much it means to all of us.

We’d like to celebrate a wonderful New Year and as we approach the release of FFXV, I’d like to enjoy that moment with you all.”

Tabata, joined by global marketing manager Akio Ofuji, will be revealing further details of FFXV in the next Active Time Report video, expected at the end of this month.

Final Fantasy XV is yet to be confirmed for a PC release.

Final Fantasy XV Pre-Beta Already Runs Fully on PC

Square Enix seem to be making a habit of porting games from their Final Fantasy RPG series to the PC. The more recent Final Fantasy XIII series of games are already available on Steam, and PC ports of many of the older games from their console homes mean that almost all of the epic franchise is now open to PC gamers. PC owning Final Fantasy fans will be pleased to hear that Final Fantasy XV programmer Satoshi Kitade announced on the official Square Enix forums that the pre-beta build of Final Fantasy XV runs on the PC and is fully playable in its entirety.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Final Fantasy XV has been confirmed for a PC release yet, it certainly puts it on the cards for the future, if Square Enix is already putting in the effort to make such an early version of the game run well on PC. It will hardly be surprising if we see a PC release of XV announced following its console release.

The real question then, is time. It took them 5 years to bring the original FFXIII to the PC (albeit poorly optimized), but only 2 for its sequels, XIII-2 and Lightning Returns.With XV already running on PC before its console release, it could be as short as months after console release that XV is available for PC. Who knows, maybe FFXVI, whenever it happens, will have a simultaneous release across all platforms.

Final Fantasy XV Director Addresses Top 15 Demo Complaints

Despite much excitement, Episode Duscae, the demo version of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV released last month, was a disappointment to some, with criticisms aimed at the game’s lock-on targeting, poor camera controls, and AI faults. Now, the game’s director, Hajime Tabata has, unexpectedly, complied the most common complaints and addressed them, point-by-point, on the latest Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report video podcast.

Here’s the list of complaints taken from the video, followed by Tabata’s responses:

  1. “The lock-on was useless.”

“Honestly, there were many instances where we also felt the targeting system wasn’t behaving as we had envisioned.”

“We’ve already begun addressing it.”

  1. “The camera is too close. I can’t tell what’s going on.”

“We may consider allowing the player to choose from different camera distances.”

  1. “Camera felt heavy or sluggish.”

“We’ll make sure the camera is smoother. Simple as that.”

  1. “The AI is dumb. Allies get in the way.”

“We will probably properly address it from the programming end…”

  1. “The jaggies. But the drop in frame-rate is even more concerning.”

“We consider [frame-rate] a high priority issue. The only option is to persistently optimise.”

“We are working towards full HD. But frame-rate is more important than resolution.”

  1. “So I get that motion is realistic. But because of that, it feels slow.”

“If you’re using a heavy weapon, then the movement is consequently going to feel sluggish.”

“We are working on trying to increase the dynamic range of the action by differentiating the sense of speed when using a light weapon and the sense of weight when using a heavy weapon.”

  1. “Can you at least add a minimap or a compass?”

“Ah yes, we will.”

  1. “I want a dodge action that doesn’t rely on MP.”

“You’re talking about something like a dodge roll, right? So, there actually is a dodge roll. I think it was in the E3 trailer, too. That’s the default dodge, and the warp-dodge that was in the demo is a higher level dodge action.”

  1. “A game that’s all about hiding behind rocks and replenishing MP.”

“The amount of MP that recovers, and the time needed to recover is something we balanced within the context of this demo, so I think what you’re seeing is a result of that. For the final release, before even worrying about MP use, there are other features that will be included. There will be various features to shorten the time or each battle. Whether it be magic, or combo-ing with joint attacks, there will be a lot of tactics at the player’s disposal, so the amount of time spent recovering MP will probably go down in proportion to that.”

  1. “Battles are too difficult or too easy.”

“There’s no difficulty option currently in the works for the final release. But 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. And as one of those needs, we understand that difficulty options may be important.”

“So I think we’ll include it. We will.”

  1. “It’s too monotonous.”

“One thing we were thinking about is allowing players to remap the button configuration to their liking. But there is probably more to it, so I would like to dive deeper into this and get the full picture.”

“The monotony is probably due to battles feeling long. (Like the hiding behind rocks?) Yes. That probably also contributed to making the battles feel long. And also, for players who are seasoned action gamers, the demo didn’t include a lot of situations to take advantage of your skills, so you probably couldn’t carry out battles the way you wanted to, thus making it feel too monotonous overall.”

“As I said earlier, resolving the issue of battles being too long will also resolve the issue of battles feeling too monotonous, so I think it’ll change things a lot. Especially because you’ll have the tools to shorten battles so that’ll have a great effect on the experience. In that sense, I feel like it will become less of a problem.”

“And then, if we were to add the difficulty settings, maybe it can bring out the more technical skills.”

“Currently perfectly timed evades even use MP, but it will make it easier to do things like making the gameplay significantly difficult, but eliminating the need for MP.”

“I think we should allow the option of players choosing an easy mode.”

  1. “The stamina needed for dashing is annoying. You can’t even run that fast.”

“In terms of dashing distance and speed, well… Improving both by eating certain foods, I think that would be a neat feature for Final Fantasy 15.”

“So if you procure the right ingredients to strengthen your boost for the next day, then you can make that meal. If people were stressed out by the dash in the demo, I think this will take care of it.”

“So if you’re planning to travel far the next day, then you can boost your dash if you know which meal will give you that status effect. In Episode Duscae, there are two states, I think they were Fresh and Prime. You get buffs from the meals. The dash distance was actually lengthened under these states, but the speed wasn’t affected.”

“In the final release, it’s perfectly possible to have meals that can boost both speed and distance, and I think that’s the way it should be. So hopefully we can meet players’ expectations in that direction.”

  1. “Many players enjoyed warping, but would like to see it usable as a regular means of moving around.”

“I can’t say with absolute confidence that we’ll be able to manage it in the final release. If a breakthrough happens, I’m sure we’d implement it so you could use warping as a means of getting around, but there’s a good chance it will be left as is.”

  1. “Please let me cancel attacks by evading.”

“Now that we have delivered the demo, we’re already able to cancel attacks. It’s already in that for sure.”

“You can’t cancel out every single attack. So this is going to require some strategy and technique. I’m not fully aware of all the details at the moment, so I’ll go over this once we’ve locked in the final features.”

  1. “Lots of bugs.”

“As we work on the final release, bugs like the aforementioned ones caused by warping in the field, our know-how isn’t quite affluent yet when it comes to action in an open-world environment, so we are honestly faced with many unforeseen bugs. So we’ll be very thorough as we head towards the final release. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”

Tabata also pays lip-service to the complaint that the cast is all-male, saying that he and his team will not be adding a female party member to the four protagonists, but that women will be well represented in the supporting cast.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Summons in Final Fantasy XV are More Absurd and Brilliant Than Ever

The Final Fantasy XV demo Episode Duscae, released today, has given us our first glimpse of this game’s version of the series’ famous summons attack, in which a humongous beast or god launches a devastating attack on an opponent. The particular summon on display here is Ramuh, veteran of 10 of the main series games and based on the Hindu god Rama.

The gameplay video shows player Alex “Arrekz” Noon summoning Ramuh – a towering figure the size of a skyscraper – who then launches his familiar Judgement Bolt attack.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae is available now, bundled with Final Fantasy Type-O HD for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Source: Polygon

Final Fantasy XV Gets Three English Gameplay Videos

Thanks to the latest Active Time Report, we have three new videos showcasing gameplay in Final Fantasy XV, and this time they’re in English.

The videos, introduced by Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata, show the approach to a dungeon, played on Xbox One, and inside the dungeon, taken from the PS4 version. Finally, we have a BBC-esque “World of Wonder” documentary, which shows off some of the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit the game’s milieu.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ExfN-qTW-d8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=liW836zMys8

Source: DualShockers

New Final Fantasy XV Trailer Shows Gameplay on Xbox One

Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata revealed the gameplay for Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae (the demo release of the game), and it looks pretty spectacular. The video was showcased during the Active Time Report Page 4.0 broadcast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PIzYCg91WHc

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae will be made available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 one hour after the release of Final Fantasy Type-O HD. Tabata says that the full game is around 60% complete at this point.

Source: DualShockers

Square Enix Releases Gorgeous Screenshots of Final Fantasy XV

Square Enix has released some luscious screenshots of the latest game in its successful Final Fantasy RPG series. The images of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae come just one month before its first demo for PS4 and Xbox One is set to be released, which will be bundled with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD on 17th March.

The screenshots look stunning. Let’s hope that this time the gameplay can match the visuals.

Source: DualShockers