Final Fantasy XV Trailer is Pretty, But I Just Don't Care

Pretty pictures only go so far; for loyal long-time fans, they're still seeing an action game and not a role-playing game.

Let me clear something up right off the bat: Just because veteran Final Fantasy fans hate the direction the series has taken does not mean they all want turn-based mechanics back. I love turn-based and I see no reason why it couldn't be an updated modern system, but that's beside the point.

The point is that the fans are upset simply because the games don't feel like role-playing anymore. They feel like hybrids and worse, watered-down hybrids that don't really excel in any one particular category. The storytelling has declined, for instance, and there's nothing special about those quasi-real-time combat mechanics.

Therefore, when I saw the new Final Fantasy XV TGS trailer, I wasn't even remotely excited. I was impressed with the visual achievement but beyond that, it looks like Devil May Cry with visible stats.

Square Enix keeps calling it an "action game" and THAT'S why so many fans hate it

As I said, it's not the real-time element that's getting everyone all riled up. It's the simple fact that aside from a few points of interest, FFXV appears to be more action than RPG. I suppose at best we could call it an open-world action/RPG and while one could argue that Final Fantasy XII was similar, that's really not the case. The combat in FFXII was a blend of turn-based and real-time elements, and the License Grid and Gambits turned the game into a full-fledged role-playing experience.

Maybe they'll have similar gameplay structures in place for FFXV, but I doubt it. Every single time Square Enix talks about the game, they put a heavy emphasis on the fact that it has far more action than any previous series entry. They have yet to figure out that their fans don't want a flashy action game; they want a deep, compelling RPG. We're currently hearing whispers of various features in FFXV that hint at a deep background, but I'll have to see it to believe it.

Final Fantasy has always had great graphics, so why are we surprised?

With the possible exception of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, this franchise has always been a high watermark for visual excellence. That's not in dispute. To assume that FFXV would look anything less than spectacular would go against all historical evidence. I'm not denying that it'll be a technical tour de force; I'm addressing the gameplay itself. As any avid gamer knows, graphics only go so far, especially as this remains an interactive entertainment medium. You can't sway me with your pretty visuals, Square Enix. I wanna see what's underneath.

Thus far, it doesn't look like there's much to be impressed about in the gameplay category. If you want to make an action game with RPG elements, great. Fine. Just don't call it Final Fantasy.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Sep. 18th 2014
  • Quayshawn
    Everyone has their own set of criteria for what makes or breaks a Final Fantasy game, however it is rather disconcerting that a series which is labeled Role Playing finds itself with all traditional role playing elements siphoned off in favor of strict action mechanics. In this case, it's pseudo action mechanics, because of auto-attacks.

    Regardless of any changes to core gameplay mechanics, Final Fantasy's biggest downfall has been in the writing, pacing, and storytelling. The stories are not dynamic anymore, they don't feature varied elements anymore. There was a time when a Final Fantasy story delivered action, romance, comedy, drama, and a sense of the storylines and writing fall flat. Maybe it's the translation?

    But yeah, my interest in Final Fantasy XV becomes less and less as more information is released. Unlike 15 year old Otaku, I sometimes tire of black leather clad emo boys running around Fake Tokyo and flying through the air slashing at everything.
  • Ethan L
    I have no idea what the people who are hating on this game are so upset about. Who cares if it's turn-based or not, does it tell a compelling story that can't be beat in 6 hours? Does it look and sound like a game released in the mid-20teens (in other words, does it have good graphics, sound effects and musical score)? MOST of all, is it FUN? If it's yes, yes and yes - then the game is probably a good game.

    As a long-time PC gamer who absolutely loathes console games and the console-gamer mentality, this is the first console game I've seen a trailer for that actually has me considering purchasing a PS4.
  • victoralkaiser
    Ugh how the hell did I get signed up to this site. You people keep spamming my inbox with the same link to the same article over and over. And every time I look at one, all I see is opinionated nonsense steeped in instigation without any form of fact or truth to the matter.

    There's no news. No actual facts. Just dirty laundry, crying, and the desire to have your OPINIONS be validated by random people on the internet. I'm outta here. Where's the unsubscribe button.
  • zk.kenpachii
    I totally agree with comment by Fathoms_4209, i will paste here what i write on fbook, also i dont use these social pages, i think i must write something, after all i waited 9 years for this game...

    Final Fantasy XV and the possible dark future of JRPG era

    First of all i will make the following statements based only on trailers and what is know about game by this day, 21 september 2014.
    And for those who ask what right i have to make some complains, i played all Ff from 7 to 13 (4-5 times each), 20 years experience in gaming, i think i deserve the right to point some things.

    I also predicted lower score of Lightning Returns 1 year before launch, i told my friends, look at that game - only 1 hero ? and is jumping like in Assassin Creed games ? no way i will play that, and the worst thing was TIME LIMIT of the game, battle was too quick and flashy, maybe im getting old, maybe my standards are higher then most players.

    Beside graphics and presentation overall, i must say this one - GAMEPLAY is non present, the game follows Kingdom Hearts style, what will become of JRPG era ? Witcher era ? if i want to play hack and slash i have Diablo, we have other options.

    Also many users are young and dont ask some important features, they are ''blinded'' by fancy car and nice weather effects, so here are a few points

    - how the summon will work in caves ? you cant call Bahamut in some corner or little space, lets be reasonable. (we dont see a summon use by party, but i PRESUME will be some in game).

    - we dont know the advancement grid or what they will put in for this is the core of Rpg games, lv 1-100-1000 anyone ? i dont care about hand shake betwenn party members, etc.

    - combo in FFXV ? there were combo by the era of Chrono Trigger, maybe sooner, i was little then, nothing new.

    - the only magic we seen in 9 years is some fire or ice? nice one.

    - dodging is good in battle, BUT WHAT if 5 or more enemies attacks very quick, how the hero can attack or counter them ? rest of party is out of question here.

    - 1 or 2 years ago Stella was the enemy of Noctis and his group, now they are lovers ? bad move again.

    - in the trailers i dont see lv of mobs, not a red, yellow or some other symbols who can give me a glimpse of what enemy i have to go on battle.

    - also from what i see we dont know nothing about loot from mobs, weapons upgrade, accesories slots, will shields be used or not ?

    I write Square on Twitter about 2 ideas of the combat core – first was by implementing something like in Chrono Trigger, the worst case scenario was a FF XII, Xenoblade or Rogue Galaxy.
    I admit that im not a dev in making games, but let be honest, are all the staff from there play at least some good JRPG ? i dont think so.

    I can also suggest next things in FF XV, beside nice effects of weather and frogs on the street, i THE GAMER, will like (and maybe other GAMERS) some tweaks like

    - people are often bored of too much backtracking, make TELEPORT betwenn main areas, like in FF XII or Xenoblade.

    - about battle multiple weaker mobs later in game, take the idea from Blue Dragon with shield on the party (optional of course), by example mobs will die instantly and party receive half exp points, people will be happy i assure that.

    - make the main quest visible on MAP or MINIMAP nice and clear, but also the sidequests to be visible and let the users decide when to take them.

    - dont make the same mistake from FF XII with only 1 slot for acc.

    Final words are like that, when i look at the last trailers from TGS 2014, i have the next revelation – FF XV risk to overthrow all tradition of good JRPG era back for the good of some new tech, if WE WANT TECH will buy pc rigs, 9xxx nvidia and so on.

    If the gameplay mechanic remains like in the trailers, i think the game to be fast forgotten, only played for some fancy textures and colors or AA.
    Maybe is time for Kingdom Hearts or Devil May Cry to be made turn based combat ? how about that ? cause with this major changes, people will expect that also.

    Again, this is only my personal opinion, i apologize for possible mistakes here or there, sorry for my EG, is not my first i hope im wrong and the game will be a major hit.
  • Vampirate_1026
    Final Fantasy story good? Mmm getting nap attack.
  • Chai Chien Liang
    I liked Crisis Core and the director is the same as that game, let's give the poor game a chance after so many years in development and play it before coming to any conclusions based on a trailer (it should have much more depth in character development compared to Devil May Cry, which only has upgrades for health/devil trigger/new moves/weapon upgrades)
  • Loki_5801
    Just a thought... Is it truly impossible to make a 'flashy action' game that also has truly deep rpg mechanics and a story to match?
    No. It's not. Difficult maybe, sure, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility for a developer like Square Enix. Honestly, it's more than likely that we have at least a year to wait and there is still very little known about the game other than what can be gleaned from trailers and the sparse information given out at press events. It's too early to discount the game this heavily given what limited information we do have.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Firstly, we have plenty of information.

    Secondly, the reason a flashy action game with deep RPG mechanics doesn't exist - and probably never will exist - is because there's no intended audience. The publisher has no idea who to market it to. You don't add too much depth to an action game, or you lose your action fan audience, and the reversal is also true.

    Square Enix went action for this. Plain and simple.
  • what_4632
    and.... a waste of internet space is this web thought.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    As opposed to this comment, which is a kernel of unblemished wisdom.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    That's probably their best bet, just stop calling it Final Fantasy hahaha. Good call!

    *Just in case it came off that way, that was not sarcastic, that really should be what they do. Stop ruining the name Final Fantasy.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah, I never would have a problem with it if it was called ANYTHING else.
  • drunkenspy
    The game looks like it's fun and that is all that matters. But enjoy being a hater.

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