The Director Wants To Make Final Fantasy XV More Accessible

Just another interview with Hajime Tabata has been released, and this time the director was discussing about making Final Fantasy XV a more accessible title, while still carrying the legacy of core-centric games in the best possible form. He also dropped the word “casual” and everything was set right for a new drama. But what did he really mean with that word and is there any reason to overreact? We think not.

During the interview, Tabata explained he is eager to make the Final Fantasy XV experience more “casual”. This wording often tends to have a negative tone for the “hardcore” gamers, but in this case, Tabata didn’t mean to turn Final Fantasy XV into a social or mobile game or anything like that. He simply wants to make a game that is more accessible and easier to get into for everyone. This is made possible by providing features such as an auto mode and a manual mode for driving, for example. You can choose which one you want to use: For some, it could be easier to set the car destination and just enjoy the ride, but others may want to explore the world by themselves. You are free to do whatever you want.

Tabata also has a vision of a new-generation battle system, where everything could be done with a single button or the combination of a few. There wouldn’t be many complicated menus anymore or unnecessary button mashing, since they are utilizing the intelligence of the new hardware to create a smoother and more satisfying gameplay experience. This doesn’t mean they are dumbing down the battle system or making it less skill-demanding, but creating a system that’s easier to use and understand, and that is still core and challenging enough. It will be taking time to finally master it.

If it’s still hard to understand what he means with the more casual experience, we could compare the battle system to to a smartphone operating system. All phone companies are constantly trying to improve their interfaces and make the software better and smoother to use. This is what the Final Fantasy XV team is trying to do, but with the battle system. After realizing this, it may be easier to understand the basic idea, which is to build the battles upon a continuous flow of movements; this continuous flow is based on the combination of buttons you press and each action is chained into another in a seamless way.

This analysis is based on multiples interviews with Tabata, including the one with Eurogamer.

5 replies »

  1. my main issue besides wanting to know more about the combat in this game after these one-button, casual news, is character switching. I’m sorry but not being able to control your characters is ridiculous, even when every single FF lets you do that even if its only during battles

    i want to be able to take control of these characters myself and not giing AI orders in some menu

  2. Hmm, the battle system sounds similar to xiii in that you can just use a single button. Sure, for the hardest fights you had to use more tactics, but it wasn’t greatly engaging. I are concern.

  3. I’m still not convinced. This new vision of a next generation combat system seems pretty dumbed down to me. Single button combat? Auto dodge? Auto Attack? Auto driving? Is everything automated in this game? I hope not. I hope this game doesn’t play itself with minimal player input. There’s a difference between making things accessible and insulting our intelligence. What if I like complex menus, RPG elements, character customization and things of such nature? I have yet to see any of those things. Granted the game is only 60% complete so I’m guessing they haven’t gotten around to show those things yet.

    • They have confirmed there will be RPG elements and character customization and such things. As stated on the article, the automation is optional and for people who want to use them. The game won’t forcing you to use auto modes if you don’t want to. Tabata has stressed that you are free to do what ever you want in Final Fantasy XV, and it is a very important aspect. In FFs, the actions have always been executed by pressing one button and sometimes canceling with another. This is not a dramatic change or a change at all.

      Like you mentioned, we don’t know enough about the battle system to jump to any conclusions yet. More details will be revealed later. One thing is sure though: they won’t be pleasing all fans with their designing choices and that’s okay. It has been a thing with every FF title. Let’s see how things turn out with FFXV! In my opinion the TGS trailer looked very promising. :)

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