Today’s London Active Time Report went above and beyond expectations highlighting not only Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but once again veering off into a show largely about Final Fantasy XV and its upcoming demo. Hajime Tabata took point along with UK Community Manager Dan Set to answer a few fan questions along with a few surprises as part of the team’s European promotional tour. We’ve included a summary of everything shown following the video.
- Is it possible to disable the automatic weapon change and make sure not to use one?
Not in the demo. The purpose of this is to present the basic operation of the combat system, so it will not be as advanced as in the final version. This means that each attack will be associated with a specific weapon. The idea is that players can give their opinion after playing the demo – the developers will listen and want to know if you would like to have the opportunity to combine all the attacks to a single weapon.
- Will there be equipment parts and accessories?
Again, not in the demo, but in the final version.
- Can I drive the car on certain roads?
It will not be possible to drive off the roads. To explore the rest of the environment you have to go out on foot or, for example, ride a chocobo. FFXV will include other means of transportation as well like the train we’ve already seen before. There will be no subways, however.
- Can you give more details about dodge system?
Again, keeping the dodge button to avoid all attacks is not possible because it consumes MP. It is therefore not an easy solution. The more experienced players will even attempt to press a button at a very precise moment when an enemy strikes to counter an attack, which has also the effect of reducing the amount of MP consumed by dodging. The most cautious players will gain the greatest possible levels of MP and will have enough of it for more dodging. Those more adventurous will use their reflexes.
- Can you customize the commands?
Not in the demo, but it is planned for the final version. As this is an action game, the developers want to know what type of customization players want to see. The control scheme will be the same worldwide, except the usual inversion validation and cancellation keys for Japan (X swapped with Circle). The offices of Square Enix in Japan, the US and Europe have already given their feedback and Tabata indicates that they are all very different!
- Will there be a limit on levels in Episode Duscae?
The maximum level will be 99! Nothing in the demo will force the player to reach it, but some members of the team wanted to offer this freedom.
- Of the four heroes, which one does Tabata like the most?
Ignis, it seems. As they are in London, Tabata specifies that in the English version of the game, he speaks with a British accent – unlike his friends who have an American accent. This is explained by the fact that he is from another region of the world. Ignis a character who belongs to a more or less “elite” class of people which is also very skilled at cooking.
Into the dungeons
Moving on, Tabata booted up the game to show off a quick but of gameplay running on the Xbox One, localized with English text and voice acting. To avoid spoilers, things like cutscenes and the map were deliberately hidden as Noctis and friends made their way to one of the cave entrance areas in the Duscae region. When they arrived at the entrance Tabata cut the demo to show a pre-recorded video with footage of inside that specific cave. He noted that this footage is running on the most current build of the game, and based on visual prompts it comes from the PlayStation 4 version.
In Fina Fantasy XV, the concept behind the dungeons is to create a sense of fear and unknowing that was present in the older titles in the series. In the video we see the goblins who are present in the dungeons during the day, but at night they come out and can be quite dangerous.
The hitstun debate
As with most ATR’s Square Enix Japan marketing director Akio Ofuji stepped up to answer some last minute questions along with Tabata. Since the previous broadcast many players reacted negatively to the combat slowdown known as hitstun or hitstop. The inclusion of this feature is meant to convey a sense of weight and forcefulness to each attack. Tabata admitted that the effect was probably exaggerated at the time and confirmed the team has already adjusted it. The video with the dungeon combat shows this change in action. The developers were still working out the right balance.
Ofuji also commented on the game’s current dodge system to which Tabata explained the team has struggled to find balance. He noted that the game will not be too easy because you won’t be able to evade all the time due to MP cost. Tabata revealed there will, however, be a special dodge ability that does not consume MP tied to the Phantom Swords. It’ll be up to you to gather all of those swords to discover this hidden ability.
World of Wonder
One of the surprises present in today’s ATR was a new tech video showcasing the wildlife found in Episode Duscae. Prepared similar to that of a BBC or Discovery Channel documentary, the team debuted the first volume of video titled “World of Wonder.” The visuals are entirely in the game’s own engine and include creatures never before seen. Among them we can see black chocobos, behemoths, garula, lizards, frogs and even an eagle.
Just how big is Final Fantasy XV?
To follow up his comments from last week, Tabata also clarified the size of the world in Final Fantasy XV, to which he previously stated it was around 10-20 times the size of Duscae. The demo itself is just a small part of the entire Duscae region and the current estimate by the team is that region represents about 1/10th of the overall world map. It is, however, difficult to give a precise approximation.
The demo won’t contain any towns – though the full game will, of course – but instead you’ll be able to meet up with NPCs in little isolated places. Tabata teased an amusing encounter with a certain pair of characters, though he would not elaborate further. The other element absent in the demo is chocobo riding. Again, the ability to do so will be present in the final game but the team was unable to get it ready in time for the demo release. You will, however, still be able to see them roaming about the land.