With Tetsuya Nomura now focusing on Kingdom Hearts III and Hajime Tabata taking over directing, there has been a ton of new Final Fantasy XV news this week.
However, there’s nothing to worry about with the change in director, as Hajime Tabata has said he spent many a long meeting talking with Tetsuya Nomura to completely understand his vision.
Now onto in-game news:
The weather will change realistically throughout the days and nights in game and we can watch the world and characters respond to it. It also affects Noctis’s magic. On sunny says, his fire magic is strongest and may cause burning damage to the environment. However, lightning magic is not recommended when it’s raining, otherwise Noctis will be hurt by his own magic attack if used in the wrong conditions.
Day and Night Cycle:
A day in game equals 30 minutes in real life, and the lighting and world will react accordingly to the cycles, such as city lights going on and NPCs returning to their homes when it gets dark.
Also, as shown in the previously posted trailer, Hajime Tabata said that it would take up to 15 in game days to beat the Adamantoise featured. Apparently a good tip is to not get stepped on.
Camping is extremely important in the game, and after a rough day of fighting monsters, getting some rest is essential, as without sleep, the characters will become weaker and wont preform as well during battles. You can either camp outside if you’re on the road, or stop by a nice hotel if you’re in the city.
Some of the more powerful monsters come out at night as well, and you won’t be able to beat them unless your characters are strong enough.
The development team wants FFXV to feel like a road trip movie, an experience gamers only get from the best open world games. It will be a seamless journey of the boys driving their car around the world. But, it will still be a Final Fantasy game to the core.
The world is completely explorable, but gamers will not be simply thrown into the unknown and be expected to wander around for quests to proceed with the main storyline.
Instead of that, the development team are creating clear objectives to drive the story forward and make it a satisfying experience for those who are looking for a traditional Final Fantasy story. At the same time, they are letting the players feel the freedom and do and explore as much as they want.
Optional Dungeons will also be present, hosting the games most powerful monsters, and the best loot. The demo coming out with the release of Final Fantasy Type-0, Episode Duscae, will feature one of these.
According to Hajime Tabata, the car won’t be just “a car”. Players can consider it more as a party member than a transportation vehicle. He also joked that it will be the airship of Final Fantasy XV. The car is also a symbol that represents the open world and freedom in game.
The driving itself is designed to be enjoyable and fun, yet realistic, but not too realistic. The car can be set to a manual drive or auto drive, and while the player is driving, he can listen to the characters’ conversations. Since the world will be huge, Hajime Tabata recommends the players to travel by car. The objectives may be far away from each other, and if the player chooses to walk to the destinations, it will take a very long time. Walking is primary for getting to places where you can’t get with the car.
There’s still much unknown about Final Fantasy XV’s battle system, but here’s everything Hajime Tabata revealed during the interviews. First and foremost, he wants the gameplay to be fun and feel great. The basic idea is to build the battles upon a continuous flow of movements; this continuous flow is based on the combination of buttons you press and each action is chained into another in a seamless way.
There will be two stances: defensive and offensive. During the defensive stance, Noctis evades and guards most of the enemies’ attacks. The fighting itself happens during the offensive stance.
Unlike in any other mainline Final Fantasy game, there won’t be a separated menu for the commands. You will be controlling other characters by adjusting their battle style and strategies from the menu. Cooperation between the characters is an important element in Final Fantasy XV. It will be executed automatically, but certain abilities, equipment and weapons may encourage the characters to cooperate when the circumstances are right. Cooperation will take many forms during gameplay.
Noctis is a weapon summoner and he has an ability to teleport to a new place by throwing one of his swords there. The player can only teleport to certain locations and depending on the circumstances, you will see a glowing icon indicating where you can teleport.
During the interview, Hajime Tabata was proud to reveal that everything in the Tokyo Game Show trailer was the in-game engine, except the part with airships. The director said he wanted to create a seamless experience where transitions between the gameplay and the cutscenes are fluent. The graphics are currently at around 70% of their goal, and he hopes to improve the graphical quality when the demo is released next year.
Old Final Fantasy Elements:
Hajime Tabata also answered a question about bringing old Final Fantasy elements to Final Fantasy XV. He feels that adding some features and elements to just please the fans is a very shallow action, and necessarily won’t make the game any better. Final Fantasy XV will contain traditional elements such as chocobos as long as they fit to the overall vision and have some meaning in the game.
Though, he did promise that there will be a surprise for the fans at the end of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae.
The game will support the new-generation consoles’ features such as sharing, but the remote play function on PlayStation 4 is undecided. With the remote play, the players can play their PlayStation 4 games on PSVita anywhere they want as long as their internet connection is fast enough.
The feature won’t be in the demo, but it might be added to the final version of the game.
Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae:
Hajime Tabata is well aware of the risks that come with the demo release, but he is ready to take them in order to make Final Fantasy XV the best experience as possible. They also want to avoid releasing two Final Fantasy games (FFXV & FFTYPE-0) as standalone titles since they will damage each others’ sales. This is why they decided to release them in a single package and make the games live in a symbiosis together.
Episode Duscae will be included in every Final Fantasy Type-0 HD copy and is named after one of the areas in Final Fantasy XV. The demo will focus on the battle system and exploring the areas such as the dungeon and a city.
It will still provide an hour-long experience for the players who only want to experience the story, but it may take up to three or four hours to explore everything.
The Tokyo Game Show trailer was also the demo trailer and all the locations shown in it will be featured in the demo.
Hajime Tabata has said that Final Fantasy XV will most likely be at the Jump Festa 2015, because the development team wants to make a big impression with Final Fantasy XV.
Earlier Hajime Tabata also stated that he wants Final Fantasy XV to be the title that makes everyone want to buy a new-generation console.
Jump Festa begings on December 21st 2014 in Japan, with even more news on the horizon.
Hajime Tabata’s Regards for the Fans:
Now that all problems have been overcome and the development has truly started, Final Fantasy XV seems to be on the right track. Hajime Tabata hopes the fans would restart counting the development time from the time when he joined in the team in July, 2012.
In terms of development, Final Fantasy XV is 55% complete now and it’s not after eight years, it’s only two years worth of work. Let’s hope everything goes well, and that we will be playing the full version of the game within a year or two!