AMA: Duscae Demo

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APZonerunner

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#1
So, I went and played this with the folks at Square last week. I can't talk about story - they've asked that we not spoil that aspect - but I'm free to talk about the world, how the game handles, combat mechanics, all that.

I've got impressions coming on the site very soon, but for now -- Hit me!
 
Mar 7, 2015
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#4
How would you describe the feeling of the combat controls? Is it too easy to do parries or any of the timing mechanics like LR?
 

APZonerunner

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#5
@Lucina I think my biggest surprising take-away was actually that combat has a good challenging edge to it and isn't just hammering on an attack button repeatedly. The smaller enemies are easy and don't require much concentration, but you really do need to think about when you attack and when to wait (and block) against the bigger enemies. Counter-attacking is key.

@Noctis Strife I think the interactions on a story level are really great; there's a fun sense of comradeship and a nice dynamic in the group. The way the AI works outside of combat to point things out to you in the environment works brilliantly. In combat I find them to be flashy but not really distracting in a problematic or an exciting way... they're just sort of there. The one time they really matter is when you get a counter attack and whoever is nearest joins you for a combo attack. Otherwise they handle themselves and are just not a concern at all, at least when I played.

Slight niggling complaint: repeating voice clips in battle.

More on all this in a podcast I've done with @Kagari, too, coming soon. Will get to more question soon...
 

Solid Sora

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Feb 11, 2015
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#6
Was there any music during exploring Duscae?
Did you try any boss fights? Was there "gimmicks" and special ways to fight them or just HP Tanks?
Who was your favorite character (based on interactions)?
Did Noctis seemed like a real defined character or a player avatar?
 

Noctis Strife

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Feb 22, 2015
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#7
@Lucina I think my biggest surprising take-away was actually that combat has a good challenging edge to it and isn't just hammering on an attack button repeatedly. The smaller enemies are easy and don't require much concentration, but you really do need to think about when you attack and when to wait (and block) against the bigger enemies. Counter-attacking is key.

@Noctis Strife I think the interactions on a story level are really great; there's a fun sense of comradeship and a nice dynamic in the group. The way the AI works outside of combat to point things out to you in the environment works brilliantly. In combat I find them to be flashy but not really distracting in a problematic or an exciting way... they're just sort of there. The one time they really matter is when you get a counter attack and whoever is nearest joins you for a combo attack. Otherwise they handle themselves and are just not a concern at all, at least when I played.

Slight niggling complaint: repeating voice clips in battle.

More on all this in a podcast I've done with @Kagari, too, coming soon. Will get to more question soon...
Good to hear! Thanks for the response APZ!
 

APZonerunner

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#9
@Lumina Here's me on VG247 giving impressions - Podcast coming shortly: http://www.vg247.com/2015/03/07/hands-on-with-final-fantasy-15-episode-duscae/

@alpaca It's a very different game to LR purely because it is an absolute action game, and in that respect has more in common with KH or even a more typical Western RPG like The Witcher or something. The big difference is that in what is likely a concession for players not used to other controls, you can attack by just holding down Square and that does the combo work. he challenge comes in knowing when to stop attacking, knowing when to block, etc. I absolutely recommend you read the preview linked just above, it has a really in-depth explanation. The controls feel good, though there's definitely some work to be done with balancing out animation priority, the gravity behind jumping, and so on.

@Solid Sora It's actually surprisingly chilled and there isn't much music while you're walking around. It's context sensitive though; as you approach the Chocobo ranch, for instance, the music fades up and has the Chocobo theme. Mostly it's silent but for the sound of nature around you until you hit a battle, though. The music there is - it's bloody amazing, simple as.

Can't really talk about bosses/story stuff, but larger enemies have big counter-attacks that are heavily signalled for you to dodge and hit them on the rebound with. It's actually pretty key to defeating them. This is when the three 'swords' appear above a monster's head, basically.

Gladiolus is probably my favourite - he's sort of deadpan and basic, and I like that. Noctis seems to be a pretty typical FF protagonist, really - in battles he has that same sort of chirpy, confident tone that Tidus and Vaan did, but then he has the streak of being a little lazy too, it appears. Really too early to judge.
 

APZonerunner

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#12
Likes: Infest

Solid Sora

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Feb 11, 2015
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#13
the combat on display wouldn't support 30 or 40 hours, IMO.
Even with the plans of adding magic, summons and gambits-like system in the full game? I know you're talking about the ver. provided in the demo, but do you think those systems will fix it to hold 40 hours when they're added?
 

Wazi the pa

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#17
I'm gonna hold off any questions of mine related to the demo. It's only a week away. I'll find out everything once I get my hands on it.
 

APZonerunner

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#18
@Starlord I think every main-line numbered FF is destined to be remembered for a variety of reasons just on the strength of the name alone, but I'm far more optimistic now that FF15 has a strong chance of being positively remembered for the right reasons. Even if the game ends up stumbling on some of the blocks that I outlined might be difficulties for it, I think the way the combat works is smart and a very strong first step towards FFs that are more action oriented than RPG oriented. :)

@Infest If you enjoy it, I'm not on too often, but you can hear Zack & Erren every month on the Tetracast, so be sure to subscribe on itunes. You can find a link to that in the article: http://www.rpgsite.net/feature/4170-we-ve-played-final-fantasy-xv-here-s-what-you-need-to-know

@Wazi the pa I can't blame you. Keep in mind both my written preview at VG247 and the Podcast are both story-spoiler free and are just focused on the mechanics, so feel free to read/listen if you're worried about that aspect. :)