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A Perspective of FFXV's Impact on Me

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by NemesisSP, Nov 5, 2016.

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  1. NemesisSP

    NemesisSP Yevonite

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    In 23 days, Final Fantasy XV will official release. Despite all the changes, drama and over all annoyances that it took to get there, it will be released on November 29. Of course, provided that a second delay doesn't happen, which considering this years track record wouldn't be too surprising. And I feel like sharing my own thoughts and feelings on the journey, as it were.

    From it's early inception as Versus XIII, I was hooked on the game's concept of a prince defending his kingdom from attackers. When the first trailer played and that lovely song ballad started over a quote from Shakespeare, I couldn't take my eyes off the trailer. Then the extended trailer showed the protagonists fight with the soldiers and I knew immediately that no matter how long it took, I was gonna get this game. When the female lead was revealed to not only be someone who had the same powers as the protagonist, but was forced to fight him, I fell even more in love with the idea. That kind of dynamic is not something the Final Fantasy series has done before. Sure, sometimes the lead characters wouldn't agree on certain things, but they were primarily on the same side. That the story would focus on pitting two leads who didn't want to fight each other, but did because of their own reasons, was interesting. It's somewhat Romeo and Juliet, but why not, the game was intended to be a Shakespearean tragedy. It fit the idea and Nomura had stated that it wouldn't be a traditional romance story or even a romance at all.

    And then this scene came along and I was even more stoked by the over all concept.



    Why, because it was interesting. Noctis and Stella aren't discussing a romantic attraction with each other, they aren't trying to dance with each other, they having an actual discussion as two individuals. They were talking about a shared legend and what they thought about it. There wasn't any sense of urgency about it, no reason to think of it as anything more than a legend. They have great chemistry and their initial personalities really shine through. It was genuine and heart that these two made such a quick connection with each other and rather sad to know that they were destined to fight other despite their mutual fondness. And most of all, it was just fun to watch. I didn't think it would be exactly like that in the game, but as long as the staging and music and interaction were in line with it, I was hoping to have an amazing experience regardless. And the subsequent gameplay trailers, I was wishing this was a main game if only because it had the epic scale for it.

    And I was excited that it was officially turned into a main game and that the story I had become interested in seeing unfold was not changed! And then a year of silence for the most part, with bits of new information, but the same old trailer, it was a bit worrying. And then it was revealed that Nomura would leave the project. I was a little put off, but at the same time Tabata had proven a good director, if not an incredible one. He had his strengths and his weaknesses as a director and storyteller. But on the whole I was fine with him being the director and hoped that it would just mean the game would be better for it since the guy did seem to understand what Nomura was going for with the story. And in a way he did... but then he cut out the parts he didn't want in it, the parts that had truly interested me, because it wasn't the game he wanted it to be. Stella, the escape from Insomnia, the darkness and tragedy, primarily stripped away for what felt like just another road trip story.... And to constantly hear Tabata talk about how all of those things don't matter anymore because this was essentially a different game... broke my heart. But at the same time, I did want to give it a chance. I wanted to be blown away by the game, especially since it looked like it would be the greatest Final Fantasy and still does! But to constantly hear it said that a game I had invested a lot in just tossed aside and then cut off from me seemingly forever as if me and people who wanted to see it no longer mattered.

    And in way... we don't matter to Tabata and a good amount of fans of the game.

    To be quite honest... I grew to really dread the game. I didn't want to invest any more excitement into it because I was afraid of being disappointed. I didn't want to get overhyped for the game and be crushed that it didn't live up to what I wished it would be.

    And I especially grew to despise fans of the new direction or in general. Not because they liked it, but because of how they reacted to it any feedpack with such vicious vitriol for anything that isn't extremely positive or at the least, lacks any criticism. To be told you're deluded by someone who ignores all your own points and calls you a strawman. To have people disregard your own concerns because "oh well, you just can't deal with change". But that's not the reason, it's not change that concerns me, games go through changes. It's the utter lack of care or interest in what those who do not agree have to say.

    When I tried pointing out why I didn't like Luna on here, I got harassed by someone who didn't care for the fact that I missed Stella. Or that I just wasn't giving Luna a chance, even though my initials thoughts were just first impressions and I admitted that and I wanted a civil conversation concerning her portrayal during Kingsglaive. But no one wanted that. No, instead they wanted to talk about how "How can you like a shell?" or "Geez, you're getting butthert because no one agrees with you". And it's incredibly frustrating, toxic even, to be constantly put down because you point out something and someone doesn't like it. To be hounded by said person when all you want to do when you do see something you like and want to throw that out there. And then to be told because I don't particularly appreciate or like how I've been treated that I'm being a baby about it. Really, who does like being treated like that? What gives one a right to do that.

    But that's all I'm gonna say on that, because although in the last year alone I've had more unpleasant conversations with people than ever, particularly on this forum, I'm not someone who will just name names for the shake of shaming someone. I admit I could have taken things better, but that isn't my point and once I finish saying, I will never speak of it again. I will ignore any attempt to try keep me from remembering it and even after I finish this thread, I don't plan to look back at it to see what others responded with, if anything.

    Because I don't want to remember that as part of my experience for Final Fantasy XV. I want to go into Final Fantasy XV with a clear head and a desire to see it through no matter what outside change, incident or otherwise has gotten in the way. Whether or not I like Luna or the story itself. And that's because, despite everything, I want to see even an altered version of Noctis and his world play on my screen. That world is beautiful to look at and to listen to. I do want to just cruise around it and take it just the details that were added in, whatever they may be. I didn't sign up for a road trip, but that doesn't change anything. I want to experience this game. Because it's everything I wanted in a Final Fantasy game when it comes down to the gameplay. And aside from that annoying Stand by Me cover, the music of the game has kept me wishing to hear more and I'll gladly pay tons for it if I have to.

    Above all, I want to end my own personal journey towards Final Fantasy XV and its long and difficult development with a smile on my face and hope that everything I was worried about was wrong and that maybe even I'll one day see the story I wanted to see.

    And that is why I'm writing all of this down, because no matter what, Final Fantasy XV has had an effect on my life and for good or ill, sharing even a bit off how it has was something I needed to stop and really think about. I don't particularly care if anyone agrees with me, or if I get hate, because I needed to say it. I've wanted to come back and say this for awhile, but couldn't for various reasons.

    Well, that's the end of it. I hope the rest of you also get the same amount of satisfaction out of the finished game that I hope to. I've waited a long time for this game and hopefully when all is said and done, I will be content with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  2. LeonBlade

    LeonBlade Forest Owl Staff Member Moderator Site Staff

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    I just want to point out that Nomura wanted XV to be a road trip style game from the very beginning, and that the game wasn't going to be dark the whole time, it was just the setting for the beginning of the game.

    That being said, I'm glad that you are trying to look at XV from a new perspective and taking it for what it is. Regardless of what you thought Versus was going to be (or any of us), we can all look forward to what we have and enjoy it for what it is. I hope that for you, myself and everyone else, that this game will be a great experience for us to enjoy.
     
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  3. NemesisSP

    NemesisSP Yevonite

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    I know it was, but my point was that the stuff I ultimately was interested in was cut and now it wasn't as interesting to me. The road trip aspect was fine, but that wasn't what interested me about the game.

    And honestly, I don't think it's gonna change much, but I wanted to just bury the hatchet and express both my grievances, my frustrations and my positive thoughts. Ultimately, I think it would personally be better for me and the forum that after this point, we do go our separate ways. I just didn't want to leave it on that whole drammatic episode.

    Either way, I do hope that you can enjoy it regardless of everything that has transpired between us in the past few months. I wish to leave on a professional note and wish you all well.
     
    LeonBlade likes this.
  4. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Is it fair to take Tabata's actions to imply that he doesn't care about Versus fans? If there's any accusation that can't be made about him, it's that he doesn't care what fans think. Practically every time an article is written about him, it's mentioned that he's very interested in what both the writer and fans in general think. And whenever he did make changes to what we'd already seen from Nomura's take on the game, he always offered an entirely pragmatic reason for doing so -- the Insomnia invasion was cut because it would have extended the project another two years; Stella was changed because her role apparently wouldn't have been big enough after condensing the "Versus epic" into a single game.

    It's also starting to seem like Tabata's choice to publicly sever his version of XV from Versus XIII might have been intended to reset the hype cycle so that the Versus XIII elements that he did retain could make people excited instead of just serving as baseline expectations. We're getting stuff like the Omen trailer now, where Luna takes on many of Stella's most compelling elements (being an equal to Noct, potentially being doomed to fight him to a tragic end) and the dark tone and sense of tragedy from Versus is brought back full force; meanwhile, people like Yoko Shimomura are saying that XV is essentially the same game. And if that's the case, then it'd imply that the old Versus fans matter very much to Tabata, because our expectations are the ones he'd most need to manage.
     
  5. Edda

    Edda Yevonite

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    Versus XIII would have spanned multiple games, like Kingdom Hearts. Final Fantasy XV will be just the one game. I liked how Versus XIII looked, but I can't quite say I knew what it was about apart from the premise. Stella gave better impressions than Luna, but again, I never really knew Versus XIII.

    Whatever that happened to the project is complicated, and we'll all have to agree on this if we're going to find some common ground in our discussions. What we have now is Final Fantasy XV, a game which, as Tabata respectfully stated, is no longer Versus XIII due to the changes made. The team still brought some elements of Versus XIII they considered important into this new game, making them key themes of XV. Perhaps it was a way for them to keep with the past promises made to Versus XIII fans, which I think is fine considering the circumstances that transpired.

    But this is not Versus XIII. It was never going to take off because the company's work culture was troubled and needed a change, which meant switching leaders out to revamp the structural hierarchy in the team. This is not a jab at Nomura; it's just something that happens when a company is suffering. Plus, it worked with XIV, so why stop?

    Versus XIII would have been too costly to continue after these changes, not to mention the risks they'd be undergoing trying to live up to a decade's worth of expectations. So the team decided to start from scratch, which just makes sense, unfortunate or no.
     
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  6. Rogue-Tomato

    Rogue-Tomato Yevonite

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    Interesting read.

    I think a lot of us are heavily invested in this game, on an emotional level. I mean, I'll be 31 years old on November 30th - I'm 6 months away from saying hello to my first child (who I really want to call Vivi but the Wife said no lol). That's just nuts - We've been waiting for this game for a very long time now, so it's understandable that everyone for the most part is just hoping they won't be let down.

    Final Fantasy has been a massive part of my life - I remember practically running home from school to carry on with training my Chocobo so I could eventually get a gold in order to obtain Knights of the Round. I remember times in Maths class thinking about how annoying it's going to be fighting another few dozen Tonberry's to have another crack at Tonberry King. I actually have a Tonberry plush on my desk at work!! (fortunately I'm an in house designer so I can get away with having odd looking toys on my desk without people thinking I'm totally batshit crazy!!).

    Point is, for one reason or another we are all invested in this game, whether it be because we loved the dark Versus XIII concept of 2006, or we've just grown up with it generally and can't wait for this seemingly masterful next title to grace our consoles.

    I can tell you that the sheer joy of finally getting my hands on this game can only be bested by the birth of my first child - From what we have all seen so far I don't think we're going to be disappointed, whether you're beholden to the Versus XIII style or not.
     
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  7. Sgtsarge

    Sgtsarge Yevonite

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    Like many others, i've also followed the games development since 2006, with my interest stemming from the involvement of the Kingdom Hearts developers and Tetsuya Nomura. That initial trailer with Somnus had me hooked and i've followed it ever since.

    I've been watching Yongyea's countdown retrospective on youtube, which for the past month has been telling the story of the development and where it all started with Versus XIII. Looking back with hindsight and reading recent interviews, it seemed like versus XIII was a collection of excellent ideas and had a grand and epic scale, but there was difficulty in turning this into one cohesive game. I think what was also telling were the difficulties Square Enix had as an organisation during the games development. The mixed reception for Final Fantasy XIII, the XIII trilogy and the first release of Final Fantasy XIV all seemed to have an effect. After all these difficulties, there seemed to be a massive shift in the management of the company and i'd like to think it's been for the better. A realm reborn seemed to be the turning point, followed by the decision to transition from Versus XIII to XV and to develop Kingdom Hearts 3.

    I'll be honest, i was sad and disappointed to hear Nomura was stepping down as director initially. I think Nomura is an great visionary and i'll always be thankful to him for coming up with the idea of Versus XIII and also creating the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Having read a recent interview about Tabata, i think a lot can be learnt from his style of management. Working together as a collective team to achieve excellence.

    I think being older myself and having worked for a number of years, i now have as much respect for Tabata as i do for Nomura. Tabata has had to make some difficult decisions (cutting the insomnia invasion and Stella for example), but i think it will benefit the project as a whole. We're still getting some magnificent set pieces with the astral trials and the Omen trailer i think went some way to prove that the essence of versus XIII is still there. I think getting the project over the line in what will hopefully be a fantastic game is a remarkable achievement.

    Come the 29th November, i think i'll get a sense of closure, as it's been a part of my life for the past 10 years like many others. If it turns out as well as i hope, i will be thankful to all the developers, Nomura and especially Tabata for getting us to this point.
     
    LeonBlade likes this.
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