I was happy to discover that Square Enix has a survey to gather feedback about their Final Fantasy XV demo, because I have a lot of opinions about it. So I’m really glad Squeenix allowed me to share the following with them:
“This did not feel like a Final Fantasy game. It plays like Skyrim meets Kingdom Hearts II.
Now, I’m not certain that’s necessarily a bad thing, as I enjoy both of those games, but it’s not really what I’m looking for in my numbered Final Fantasy games. The battle system was almost fun once I started to get used to it, and with a bit more practice, I think I might actually enjoy it. I will say, though, if there are unskippable quicktime events at the start of every boss battle, then this game will tire my patience quickly. Navigation was difficult, and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find the entrance to the Behemoth’s canyon every time I wanted to head back there after camping, but after I figured out how to set destination markers on the map, I was able to navigate a little better. A word of advice: if you’re going to have an open world design ala Skyrim, copy one more thing from Skyrim, the quick travel. Being able to teleport to already-visited locations makes an open world fun to explore instead of a boring chore across which to journey.
I might have forgiven many of these issues if the demo contained a compelling story, or even a story at all; alas, Episode Duscae is largely free of context, making it difficult for me to determine how I felt about any of the characters. I know I feel slightly irritated that the entire party is male.
One of the most compelling things about Final Fantasy as a series is the typical inclusion of strong, interesting men AND women as playable characters. Yuna, Terra, Celes, Fran, Tifa – the list goes on. Your frankly baffling decision to make the party all one sex, thereby guaranteeing that at least half of your potential audience remains unrepresented was unfortunate, but forgivable – I’ve played men in great games before, and I’ll do it again. However, I was in fact more dismayed after finishing the demo.
In the demo, only one female character has a name or interacts with the party, and that is Cindy, the ridiculously and almost offensively sexualised Cindy. When you arrive at your party’s broken car, all you see is Cindy’s butt.
Seriously, her NPC model is bent over, frozen, with her ass in the air, and she remains that way until your quest is achieved and the garage reopens. Her model just stands there, thrusting her ass into Noctis’ face. It’s utterly ridiculous, and it made me laugh when I saw it, but in disbelief rather than delight. This is my gender representation?
A pin-up girl mechanic in daisy dukes?
Sure, you dressed Fran in lingerie, but at least I got to have her shoot bitches in the face with arrows and intone cryptic warnings about the Mist.
This was a pretty big disappointment, SquareEnix. I’m glad Final Fantasy Type-0 HD turned out to be so amazing. You can keep ogling Cindy’s butt. I’ll be over here, stabbing bad guys with a longsword as Queen, one of those awesome female characters that you’re usually so good at.”