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FFXV EDGE Preview 300th issue (Nov' 2016)

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by Lulcielid, Nov 9, 2016.

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  1. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    he played a 40 hour long build; id say he ignored a lot of content so he could go trought the main story in time.
     
  2. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    I personally don't think playing the critical path of a game should be defining of 'rushing', frankly. The critical path is the stuff the developer wants you to see at all costs. The critical path is the important part of the game. Tabata himself has said FF15 is a 30-40 hour game on that critical path.

    My main point is this: A truly good game is good both ways. I'm currently reviewing an RPG that I think is potentially the best RPG of the year (and no, it's not FF15) that I can't talk about for another couple of days, and that game is rich with around 30 hours of critical path content but then there's some truly broad and different side-content as well that offers so much to so many different types of players. That side content elevates the game, to be sure, but that critical path content alone is enough to make it one of the best games of the year.

    I can use other examples: Mass Effect 2 is a 25 hour game if you follow the critical path simply and don't shoot for the best ending. It's one of the best Action RPGs ever made, imo. There's another 20-30 hours of content beyond that. It enhances the experience, but in a preview state or for players who do play the critical path, it's still a 10/10 game, I think. Plainly.

    Games mean different things to different people, but saying "they didn't play it long enough!!" if you saw your way to the damn credits is to my mind is even more ignorant than choosing to not engage with the side content. It's up to the developer to decide how much content should be compulsory and critical - that's part of game design. That content is a bar by which your average consumer can judge the game. The extra stuff is just that -- it's extra.

    Your critical path, if designed well, should put you in touch with every major element of the game. Then there's side content for if you want to dive deeper. Let's take classic FF - FF7, 8, 9 and 10 all introduce you to their most significant side content such as mini-games and card games as part of the story. You're forced to experience this stuff, but the game then leaves it up to you if you want to dive deeper. You can judge. What this means is this, though: if you play a game and experience that side content in the main path and don't feel compelled to see it in its deeper context, that is a statement about the game in itself. If you do, likewise -- this is what's compelling about something like Blitzball or Triple Triad. The point is - you don't have to spend ages doing those things to get a feel for what the game is trying to accomplish if it's designed well.

    Metal Gear Solid 5 is a great example of this, incidentally, and also genuinely I think will become a very helpful touchstone for FF15 in comparative terms. I expect the two to have a lot in common.

    Let me take a quick tangeant...

    The fact, the sad truth is -- a lot of players don't engage with this content. Fact is, a lot of players don't even complete the games. If we use online data for FF13, we can see that only around 7% of players who saw the first chapter through to its close actually completed the game. This isn't just about FF13 being 'bad' (not that it is imo) for the record, either - this is data that also pans out similarly for classic FFs. If we'd had internet data, I think we'd have been stunned how few people reached the second or even third discs of classic FF games. (There's an interesting lesson/challenge for FF7 Remake here, but we'll save this for another time). Modern games now have data reporting, too - so for The Witcher 3, for instance, CD Projekt were getting data fed back direct from players via the internet about how they played. Deus Ex basically spies on you - every quest you undertake, every shot fired, every jump, the works. This data is used carefully and interestingly.

    This leads to interesting scenarios. The Witcher 3 is a ludicrous 60-hour game even for its critical path, but CD Projekt found that one side quest in particular was so in-depth and exhausting that after it a lot of players simply stopped; for them, that quest was all the conclusion they'd needed, and they'd seen enough. In an interview with me, some of the lead quest designers on the game talked a little about how next time they want to make a shorter game that can be played in more wildly different ways.

    Incidentally, I think this is the future fpr RPGs that FF will be forced to embrace: Skyrim has a very high completion rate because its main story is only 15 hours, but there's 200 hours of content in the game. It's the best selling RPG ever made. You can start again and play in a hugely different way, or ignore the story entirely. Bioware's Mass Effect & Dragon Age games take a similar-but-different approach - they have 25-hour main stories but pack in double that in side content, then supplement that with how the same mission can be seen in different ways and play out very differently depending on your past actions.

    In this sense I actually think these games are the ones that can't be reviewed based on the critical path so easily. They need another play-through. They need more time. A game like FF15, though, from what I know of it... it's a relatively simple A to B to C. The side stuff might elevate or lower it in minor degrees, but it's not going to turn the whole thing on its head. FF13 has some really intense side stuff once you reach Pulse, but once you've seen one of those hunt quests you've also seen them all - they're all ultimately the bloody same.

    Anyway... Is a 40 hour opinion of FF15 valid? Absolutely. It's how the vast majority of the game's audience will experience the game. I for one could not squeeze 40 hours out of this bloody area. I was done after three -- it's too barren and fighting random creatures without any real direction doesn't really interest me -- but different strokes for different folks. The game was previewed in very specific circumstances and he powered through the main story... but, honestly, many people will play that way, if not most of them.
     
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  3. ChingleeTribal

    ChingleeTribal Chocobo Knight

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    Like I said I have not read the preview so I don't fully get the idea of the previewers style and taste in games and full context of the previews content and yeah it's definitely valid I'm not questioning that.

    I have gone back to read his reviews for others games(specifically rpgs)and my tastes do clash with his as I don't agree on many of the points he makes in those reviews. The points I agree on I like for different reasons to his xD
    But this seems to be the case for me from most reviews of known magazines/websites.
     
  4. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    It's worth keeping in mind he's had an inside track on Square/FF15 stuff more than most. He was the only press of his kind trusted to visit the development studio directly: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-11-02-finishing-final-fantasy

    He gave glowing reviews to Setsuna, Dragon Quest Builders and WOFF, did one of the most in-depth FF14 features ever, etc... and all this just on one website, one of many he writes for.
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-07-19-i-am-setsuna-review
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-10-10-dragon-quest-builders-review
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-10-26-world-of-final-fantasy-review
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-04-18-naoki-yoshida-final-fantasys-world-saviour

    I realize people are desperate to poke holes in it, but the idea that he doesn't know what he's talking about is mad. It's a valid opinion piece.
     
  5. Slaintimez

    Slaintimez Chocobo Knight

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    "Sidney" the daughter of "Sid" is enough for me to see that he is not really invested in the project in the first place. Its just his opinion after all.
     
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  6. ChingleeTribal

    ChingleeTribal Chocobo Knight

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    I don't see anyone "desperate to poke holes" within this board. I don't know how the article faired outside of it though.

    I don't see anyone one here saying or alluding to him not knowing what he's talking about. But I think it's fair to point out that certain aspects of what he says within the article can be given that criticism if the individual believe that that is the case. That that is what they're getting from parts of the content and how it's written.

    Yes it is a valid opinion piece. No one is saying otherwise.
    Some people on here are saying that it is a poorly written opinion piece which is a fair option to have.

    But I can't really say too much since I've not read the content.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  7. Ikkin

    Ikkin ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Given what he said about money being a constant issue for him, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of players took a less focused approach.

    I mean, I'm the type who tends to heavily focus on the critical path (I beat XIII without doing a single hunt, which made the penultimate fight... interesting. xD And the reason I quit XII last time was because ignoring hunts had made progress all but impossible), but even I don't expect to ignore all the hunts in XV. Playing around with different weapon types seems like a good part of the fun.

    Plus, one of the other previews - Jeremy Parish's, I think - said that there would usually be unique party conversations about the places you would visit over the course of the hunts, which fixes the "nothing interesting is happening with the characters/story" problem I had with hunts in the earlier games.

    There's less of a reason than ever to ignore the game's obvious suggestion that the path is meant to be strayed from and more to lose from ignoring everything outside the critical path, so I'm not sure that many people will attempt to plow through the game ASAP as one might think.
     
  8. llazy77

    llazy77 Sphere Hunter

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    Why did he speak like he saw the ending if he only saw 14 chapters.
     
  9. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I'm not sure he saw the ending with the credits rolling since he didn't specify.

    On his Twitter account he did acknowledge that there was cut content with the build he played though... so he most likely didn't get the full experience...
     
  10. llazy77

    llazy77 Sphere Hunter

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    He said final boss yet he only played 14 chapters and even that he wasent sure about.
     
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  11. Jubileus

    Jubileus AVALANCHE Warrior

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    I don't know what to say here buddy *scratches head* I'm as lost as you are.

    I read his article and his comments on his Twitter account.

    Very inconsistent.

    Played and experienced the full game one second, unsure and says it had cut content the next.

    I acknowledge he played the game for 40 hours and all but all these inconsistencies just makes it confusing and makes people question the validity of his article... which they are doing.
     
  12. Storm

    Storm AVALANCHE Warrior

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    great post, my only gripe about that preview is that he said many mechanics don't matter later on, but since he played the main story mostly (FFXV supposedly have 100 or 200 hours of total playtime), i think it would be necessary to play more to see if these same mechanics matter or not on the rest of the game.
     
  13. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    This is an interesting one, but I just want to ponder -- will people take a less focused approach due to money? Or will people just surface the same complaint that money is too scarce? History tends to suggest the latter; players don't tend to change habits when incentivized that way, if it's a problem in the final build at all. Money shortages are easily tweaked or patched with a few lines of code, so.

    As somebody who has done this job a fair amount: He can't remember the exact chapter count, but the count he gave is within one of the actual game length (It is, I understand, fifteen) so he either saw most of the game or, more likely, he saw the whole thing critical path wise and has simply miscounted the number of chapters because he played it in a high-pressure situation, probably in their offices, probably in Japan, probably with PR hanging about. It's not always easy to keep track of the granular details when you sit there for 40 hours across the course of a couple of days. It's stressful. It's intense. If you take the time to take notes all the time, you risk getting less play in. This, I have done. He will have played this with PR hovering around though, so it's very hard to, you know, not know if that was really the final boss or not even if they let him reach it and then flicked it off and said "you can't see the actual ending!" -- he wouldn't have said he got up to the final boss if he wasn't sure it was the final boss.

    I came out of my five-hour hands-on with the game in August having forgotten if the new villain character was called Thor or Loki. I knew it was one of the two, I just couldn't remember. As it happened I didn't print that, or answer questions about it on Twitter, but the fact I couldn't remember that detail wouldn't, I hope, void my overall thoughts about the five hours I played where I squeezed as much broad detail and feeling out of the game as I could.

    What I'm saying is: People act like this job is piss easy, but it really often isn't.

    My solid belief based on the conversations I've had is he likely played the game start to finish in a build that bug-fixes and tidying up and missing some side content but otherwise intact. People can take that as they please, though I like to think my track record on that sort of thing might be worth something.

    That shit's semantics, honestly. And depending on when & where he became a fan, in some territories Cid was translated with an S anyway, and was most recently translated with an S in 2001 (TSW) and later still by Sakaguchi himself in Lost Odyssey (to dodge SE lawyers, but I digress): so he got a bloody name wrong. So what, really? He's clearly a man invested in the project: He wrote about it in 2013 for The Guardian, interviewing Shinji Hashimoto. He wrote about its music performance at Abbey Road likewise. He's reviewed literally every major FF or Dragon Quest release, and even several major Persona releases for some publication or another for the last 5-10 years. He wrote about the importance of FF15 to Japanese development in an op-ed about Kojima's depature from Konami; he's a man who was full of praise even for Lightning Returns -- "perhaps the best and certainly most flexible version [of ATB] yet" -- it's frustrating to me because I've followed his writing for years and this is a man who knows Final Fantasy. Intimately. He knows his JRPGs likewise. This is why I speak in his defense. The preview isn't perfect, obviously, but these things rarely are.
     
  14. Guitar (pseudo)God

    Guitar (pseudo)God Red Wings Commander

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    I did not know that. Thanks for sharing. I think we all thought that since SE was shipping preview discs out (without PR intrusion), Simon's experience was roughly the same.

    I considered the entire discussion and confusion about the Edge preview was heightened as is was the same day as the US election. Reading it again, he was full of praise for BD2's ability to make something wholly original and ambitious out of the remnants of a failed (and I don't use that word lightly) project. Some of his criticisms:
    • Battle system almost fell apart during large-scale boss fights. To me, it sounded like a camera issue more than anything. There were some large and extended fights in the recent demo, and I was having fun! In fact, the combat -- like 80% of the damn game -- was far more enjoyable than anything else from the series.
    • No female characters as party members. Well -- perhaps it's because most of us have been following this game since it was a gleam in Nomura's (or his Nobody's) eye, we know this aspect hasn't changed in 10 years.
    • Costumes - That seems a rather strange criticism for the JRPG genre, i.e. how Tidus, Wakka, and Rikku didn't freeze to death on Gagazet is beyond me.
    • The story parts - I get the feeling, from the demos, previews, etc., that a lot of the exposition is conversation between the characters as they wander around - taking a page from TLOU. He may not have been able to do so in the environment you describe. But we'll see. People in the know have said that the original concepts haven't changed much and Nojima's story is largely intact. Guess we'll soon find out if it was any good or not.
     
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  15. llazy77

    llazy77 Sphere Hunter

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    Iris was confirmed to be a party member in a recent scan, so this part is downright wrong.
     
  16. Guitar (pseudo)God

    Guitar (pseudo)God Red Wings Commander

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    Guest party member, not main. The game has always revolved around Noctis and his friends ever since the Versus days.
     
  17. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    She's not a party member any more than Beatrix is though. So she joins your party for a bit, fine -- but no skill tree, no customisation, etc etc. So, er... no, it's not wrong. I do think there's a distinction to be drawn between a guest character and a party member, because you can do a whole lot more and exert a whole lot more control over a party member.
     
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