Square Enix Heeds Fan Criticism with Duscae 2.0 Patch
Feeling disappointed with the quality of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo? Well, it would seem that Square Enix has us covered by way of a forthcoming patch. That is right, demos are receiving patches now. It seems a tad unnecessary, yet if used correctly an attentive Square Enix may be able to utilise customer feedback from this update in order to further fine-tune the Final Fantasy XV experience. There is every reason to think that this will be the case, as the forthcoming patch is based on addressing complaints that fans had about the demo. This soundly demonstrates the importance of fans voicing their concerns rather than simply brown-nosing the company, as it is only through such reasoned criticism that the developers are able to adjust the experience to make it more palatable to the gaming public. Square Enix crowd-sourcing criticism directly from the public seems vastly preferable to their doing the same with focus groups, so one hopes that this attentive approach to development remains in place going forward.
The patch is intended to drop in mid-to-late May, and is set to provide fixes to the camera and enemy targeting, along with the ability to dodge-roll and cancel out of attack animations. The team is also working to smooth out the frame rate, but that is unlikely to make its way into the 2.0 patch. This may not quite remedy all of the problems with Final Fantasy XV‘s combat, but at least it shows that Square Enix is listening, and demonstrates the importance of voicing any criticisms that we may have following the release of the version 2.0 patch later this month.
Tabata Addresses the Criticisms
In terms of specific Duscae feedback, there are some interesting similarities and differences between Japanese gamers and their Western counterparts – though it must be stated that this is a self-selecting sample, and not representative of consumers as a whole. 80% of Japanese gamers who played the demo bought Final Fantasy Type-0 HD solely to get their hands on Duscae, and 74% of Japanese gamers who played the demo indicated that they would definitely purchase Final Fantasy XV when it is released. By contrast 57.2% of North Americans and 49.3% of Europeans bought Type-0 HD in order to play the demo, and 81.9% of North Americans and 82.1% of Europeans will definitely buy Final Fantasy XV on release. When asked why they stopped playing the game, 20% of Japanese gamers said that it was because they did not like the characters [compared to 5.4% of North Americans and 5.1% of Europeans], 20% did not understand the objectives, and 14% found the game to be too difficult. By contrast 1% of Westerners failed to understand the game’s objectives, and 2% found the game to be too difficult.
It would appear that the Japanese audience felt that Noctis sounded too old, and Square Enix have already moved to start re-recording his lines to make him sound more juvenile and petulant, like a Squall-type character:
“So we’ve actually already done more takes that feels a bit younger, while also bringing out Noct’s sense of ennui, and I think we’ve found the right direction.”
One definitely hopes that Hajime Tabata is merely talking about the Japanese voice acting here, as Noct’s English voice acting is fine, and a good measure better than a sulky teenager. Unfortunately, in terms of the English presentation, one of the characters that Square Enix is looking to change is their depiction of Cindy, thanks to the complaints of predominantly European social justice warriors throwing a fit because she is too sexy [a flaw which presumably none of them could be said to share]. In the same breath these bleating bores also demanded a playable female character, which has become par for the course with SJWs.When addressing this complaint Tabata initially sounded bemused:
“So do these go together? ‘Put Cindy in the party.’ ‘But she’s too sexy.’ I don’t get it.
So a lot of feedback from Europe was that Cindy is too sexy, but a lot of people also want a female party member. It does feel a bit contradictory.”
Before calling in ‘Nakaaki-san’, the character’s modeller, to give account:
“She is not supposed to be too sexy, but the male members on the dev team did their best to create her. As a result, perhaps too much of their heart and soul went into her… So if we put too much into her, then we should remove the excess heart and soul, and make sure she’s a character you’d be completely comfortable seeing while in the living room. That’s where our line will be, so please be assured.”
Great. The development team are stripping out the heart and soul from a female character because the professional umbrage-takers have determined her to be too attractive. And to think that people scoffed when they were initially warned of the chilling effect that this culture of hyper-offense would have on creativity.
In terms of open world design Hajime Tabata is at least willing to accede that:
“our know-how isn’t quite affluent yet when it comes to action in an open-world environment”
To this end players should not expect the Final Fantasy XV team to remedy the pathetic amount of stamina afforded to Noct’s ability to sprint, as Tabata has heard our complaints loud and clear, and has subsequently elected to ignore them. So look forward to the tedium of running across Final Fantasy XV‘s barren open world when it releases next year.
Ouya Is Throughya!
When the Ouya raised 8.5 million dollars it quickly became one of Kickstarters shining lights, however it would seem that everyone who wanted an Ouya bought one then, and none of them were interested in buying their
games apps from the Ouya storefront, and why would they? Most Android apps are designed for the touch interface of mobile phones. The one area of utility that Ouya had was with running console emulators – an ability which did not stand to make the company any money.
The reality of the Ouya’s market position never seemed to phase the people behind it though, as they had their heads in the clouds [or in their arses], dreaming that they were going to launch a console which was to serve as the bastion of indy development. Happily, indy development was already very well catered for on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and has been subsequently snaffled up by the PS4. This left the Ouya with a lot of Android ports – over a thousand to be precise – at which point why even bother with an Ouya when most Android phones allow their owners to synchronise a wireless controller and output gameplay to their televisions via HDMI.
This has led to the company taking on ever increasing burdens of debt, as the Ouya has been on the market for years, yet has failed to ever take off. Eventually the company was able to raise an initial fifteen million dollars from investors, and then a further ten million dollars from TriplePoint Capital, a venture debt company. Now it appears as if the company’s investors finally realise the Ouya for the stinker that it is, and are looking to cut and run. The company is now frantically searching for a white knight investor willing to take on their debts, with a view to recovering the initial investor funding. Julie Uhrman’s comments on the matter may as well serve as the company’s epitaph:
“Given our debtholder’s timeline, the process will be quick. We are looking for expressions of interest by the end of this month,”
Our focus now is trying to recover as much investor capital as possible.
We believe we’ve built something real and valuable”
Put a fork in it – it is done!