Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been in development for over seven years, making it one of the longest Final Fantasy games to ever be stuck in a development cycle as we've previously noted on PS4 Experts. As the PlayStation 3 era ended, rumors swirled that the game would transition from the PS3 to the PS4. The rumors were only half right, however, as the game did appear on the PlayStation 4 at E3 2013 but under a new name: Final Fantasy XV.
The Name Change
At E3 2013, Tetsuya Nomura explained the development problems that Final Fantasy Versus XIII faced in it's seven year development cycle: "Several times, there were changes in engines that we used. To make what I imagined in my mind on the current generation of consoles was very challenging. What you saw yesterday in the trailer was very difficult to create in the current generation of consoles."
In other words, Nomura was struggling to create the game he wanted on the PlayStation 3 and kept remaking the game in an attempt to capture his vision. With the power of the PlayStation 4, he finally found what he was looking for and, since the Final Fantasy XIII series is ending with XIII-3, now was a good time to completely rebrand the game and spin it off into its own Final Fantasy series.
Don't expect Final Fantasy XV to differ much from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, as Nomura claimed at E3 that "The story and the characters have not changed from the onset."
To recap the story, for those of you that don't know, you will primarily play as Noctis, the guardian of the crystals. When wage overs the crystals, Noctis, the prince of his country, must defend both his country and his crystal from the empires that want to make the crystal their own. Along the way, Noctis meets both friends and foes and will unravel the story behind the crystal and why it's so important.
Not a lot of details have been revealed just yet in terms of the story, but we do know the game is set in a modern era that uses magic, similar to Final Fantasy VII and XIII. It's unclear if certain elements from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, such as the L'Cie and Etro, will remain in XV.
First English Trailer
Check out the TGS trailer, dubbed in English dialogue. This is our first look (or listen) at the English voice actors for Final Fantasy XV!
While we don't know a lot about the gameplay, what we do know is that Final Fantasy XV abandons the previous turn-based battle system of nearly every Final Fantasy game before it. As seen in the trailer, the gameplay is similar to games such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.
Final Fantasy producer Shinji Hashimoto explained at E3 2013 why he felt this gameplay change was appropriate:
"As you are aware, the Final Fantasy series has different game system for every new title. While Final Fantasy XV is an action-packed title, that doesn't mean next game will follow a similar path. And I can't comment on future titles. But I do believe it's possible to make a multimillion-yen project in either style."
Despite the change in battle style, many classic enemies, such as the Behemoth, can be seen in the trailer so while the battle system is new, many classic Final Fantasy elements will remain in play.
Nomura has already discussed sequel possibilities before Final Fantasy XV has even arrived, stating at E3 "That's why, I'm thinking in my mind of completing a successive work."
However, first he needs to make sure Final Fantasy XV is a success. Many fans aren't sure what to make of the new battle system and dividing them clearly down the middle. Some love the change and can't wait for the game while stalwart purists lament the death of the turn-based battle system.
Tokyo Game Show 2014 Bombshells!
Tokyo Game Show 2014 brought us quite a few bombshells about Final Fantasy XV! The first is that Nomura has left the game to focus on other projects within Square Enix, such as Kingdom Hearts 3.
Don't get too sad, because Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will release on the PlayStation 4 on March 17, 2015 in the United States, Japan on March 19 and for European players, March 20th. All versions of the game will come with an exclusive voucher entitling you to the Final Fantasy XV demo!
Square Enix also released this two minute long trailer for the game:
It has been revealed that the demo will be roughly three to four hours long. The story elements will take up an hour, while players who explore all gameplay elements of the demo will wring roughly three to four hours of gameplay out of it. As mentioned previously, your only way to get the demo is to purchase Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.
It's now been revealed that the demo will only be available to "Day One" copies, otherwise known as first run printings of Type-0 HD. Square Enix has made it clear that the demo will never be released as a standalone product.
Here's some additional details about the demo:
- It will take place in the same area seen in the trailers, i.e. the grassy fields.
- The Camp game feature will be featured, letting you cook meals, level up your characters and change your equipment.
- The game will let you take on a Behemoth, if you are brave enough.
Check out about two hours of demo here:
This was taken from a Japanese live stream of the game!
Currently, Final Fantasy XV is roughly 55% complete, according to Square Enix. The company is currently shooting for a 2015 release date. However, that date looks unlikely, as during a live stream of the demo the game's director has stated the game has next to no chance of seeing release in 2015 -- looks like this one has slipped back to 2016.
Let us know in the comments how you feel about this exciting next chapter of Final Fantasy!
Game Category: Role Playing
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 6/12/2013