Final Fantasy XV getting demo update, mostly skipping E3

Demo gets camera, combat and targeting tweaks, main game gets difficulty settings

Ok. Final Fantasy XV isn’t skipping E3. It’ll only pay lip service, though.

The above Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report, which is helpfully subtitled in English, sees director Hajime Tabata and marketing manager Akio Ofuji summing up the results of surveys given to those who completed the Final Fantasy XV demo. There’s a lot of interesting stuff there, including a lot more suspicion about FFXV among the Japanese audience. Way more of them (nearly 80%) bought Type-0 specifically for this demo, yet only 74% will definitely buy XV (compared to 82% in both North America and Europe) and only 3% found the demo gave a “very close impression” of what to expect from the final product (compared to 18% in North America, 20.6% in Europe).

More interestingly, when asked why respondees stopped playing, 20% of Japanese players “didn’t like the characters” (5.4% in North America, 5.1% in Europe). Similarly, 20% of Japanese players “didn’t understand goals” and 14% “found it too difficult.” Only 1% of North American and European players failed to understand the goals, while roughly 2% found it too difficult. Almost 80% of North American players stopped because, “I have played all of the content and am fully satisfied” (5% in Japan).

Tabata explained that “Episode Duscae” is something of a milestone for the team and it is getting a version 2.0 update in “mid to late May” that features camera/targeting fixes, basic dodge rolls and other combat improvements. The team is working on addressing the framerate issues, but that probably won’t make it into the May update (same, likely, with the jaggies caused by the temporary lack of anti-aliasing).

The two also talked new features that will make it in Final Fantasy XV, including difficulty options. The more action-oriented style seems to have fans clamoring for an easier setting. Voice acting will be improved, too, as the demo’s acting represents non-final dialogue (Noctis will sound less like Batman). The sexy mechanic Cid, however, will stay sexy. “She’s actually not meant to be an erotic character,” Tabata said, explaining that her cleavage represents her “energetic…cheerful, and active character.” He was also perplexed by the “too sexy” complaints, which mostly came from Europe, combined with the desire for a female party member, again hitting up the “bro-trip, men can’t be themselves around women” excuse that sort of flies in the face of series history.

Other little changes are already promised or underway. A mini-map will be added with enemy radar now being considered additionally. You’ll be able to evade and cancel out of most attacks. You were meant to be able to warp outside of battle, but the team hasn’t been able to implement it without bugs (and might not be able to).

So, if it wasn’t obvious, Final Fantasy XV is still a work in progress. This is where we loop back to the headline and note that the game will have a short trailer at E3, but “the promotion for the main title will officially begin at Gamescom in August, a month ahead of the Tokyo Game Show.

Final Fantasy XV feedback live stream full report: Episode Duscae 2.0 coming mid-May [Gematsu]

Steven Hansen