Final Fantasy XV Gets a Day-1 Patch
After years of coverage we are finally in the home stretch of Final Fantasy XV‘s production cycle, as, for good or ill, we will all have the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about in less than two weeks. In fact some people have already explored what the game has to offer, with many retailers breaking the game’s street date. One thing that many early owners have passed comment on is the fact that there is a huge 7.2 gigabyte patch waiting for owners on the day of release. This is kind of hilarious given that the game was delayed by two months in order to avoid having a massive day-1 patch, which would have been less than ideal for anyone without internet access. Now there is a massive day-1 patch regardless, and the reason for this is no great surprise given the recent spate of glitch videos that have popped up showcasing the wide assortment of visual glitches on display in the game’s Japanese demo, which was released last week. Square Enix have stated that they will further discuss the content of this patch on Monday, but it seems fairly safe to assume that much of it will be focused on eliminating bugs. At least one could not accuse the game’s director of not being responsive to criticism, as Hajime Tabata has already passed comment on the state of the game:
“Thank you for playing the demo. On the subject of bugs, we are already fixing them and plan to offer an update to users able to apply patches. Please rest assured that we will identify the frequency of the bugs and make fixes as needed.
I will now answer regarding the delay and patch. We took two months to completely get rid of bugs as not to obstruct everyone who purchases the game from playing it and reaching the ending. The fact that we are getting high praise for the demo can be said to be the fruit of our labor.
Even so, while it is difficult to fix everything down to the smallest bugs, we will deal with it via an amendment patch. Since it is impossible to get rid of the bugs in an open-world game in short time with our current technology, please understand that we will fix them at a steady pace.
The freedom-of-play gameplay style offers huge variation. And while there are sets of rules as to how you play, the combination of the things you can do in the open-world is too great for our own understanding. However, development is evolving every day. Please stick with us for a long time!”
In all fairness this kind of thing is pretty much just incumbent to open world game design, and is the price that Square Enix pays for chasing this trend. Rockstar are certainly no slouches when it comes to technical polish, and yet their games frequently devolve into horror shows, perhaps best typified by Red Dead Redemption‘s horse lady. It is a good thing that Square Enix plans to support their game over the long term by ironing out any bugs that are brought to their attention, yet there is only so much they can do. The absence of Square Enix’s usual technical polish is simply the price they pay for adopting open world game design.
Rumour Confirmed: The Second Half of XV Is Linear
In other Final Fantasy XV news the persistent rumour that the second half of the game is linear has been confirmed by early owners of the game. Apparently after the thirty hour mark the game design makes a transition to more linearly structured maps for the remaining twenty hours – though gamers can apparently be transported back to the open world portion at will in order to mop up any remaining sidequests. The amusing part about all of this is that when Edge magazine commented on the linear second half after playing the game through to conclusion, Square Enix responded to upset fans by saying that Edge played an an old and incomplete version of the game – making the insinuation that Edge’s claims were inaccurate, without actually firmly stating as much, which would be an obvious lie. This is how weasels speak.
“They didn’t play the compete game or finish the game for their preview. All clear?
to clear up any confusion. To celebrate their 300th issue we let Edge have a longer preview.”
A longer preview which extended all the way to the game’s final battle, yet apparently all of the open world sections in the second half of the game were mysteriously omitted! What makes this all the more confusing is the fact that Hajime Tabata has previously suggested during interviews that the second half of the game would have more of a linear design, so it is hard to discern just what they were thinking here. Square Enix frequently insults the intelligence of their fans with the quality of their excuses, but even so this is a new low for them. That being said, given the intellect of the average Final Fantasy fanboy, one can easily see why Square Enix might harbour a certain degree of contempt for their faculties.
In a bizarre piece of promotion, Square Enix is partnering with Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’ restaurant in London in order to provide a set menu based on the food of Final Fantasy XV. The restaurant’s name is ‘Fifteen’ – do you get it? Very clever, Square Enix! Really, something like this should come as no surprise, given that Square Enix’s idea of PR appears to be name-dropping famous celebrities. Yes, this is a cute little stunt which is somewhat apt given the game’s preoccupation with food – but in terms of marketing the money probably would have been better spent on conventional advertising. The game is already unlikely to ever make back its budget, and celebrity tie-ins are unlikely to help matters.
In other news, Final Fantasy XV concept artist Yuki Matsuzawa was this week featured in a video where he matter of factly states that he deliberately designed the game’s moogles to be unappealing. Apparently he did this because moogles are used as decoys in the game, so if the moogles were super cute then it would be difficult for players to see them taking a beating:
“I was responsible for the moogle’s design. Our moogle had a mission like no other moogle before: to serve as a decoy. That meant it was going to take some serious punishment. If we made it all cutesy like other moogles, it would be too hard for players to watch it get pummeled. So we designed the moogle to look a little off-putting, like you don’t know what it’s thinking. The long arms and legs also set Final Fantasy XV’s moogle apart. As decoys, the moogles will be chewed on, ripped away, and flung around, and this design makes those movements look really dynamic.”
It sounds as though the Final Fantasy XV team fundamentally missed the point of why they are including moogles in the first place. Moogles are being included in Final Fantasy XV because of the overwhelming demand from series fans for their inclusion, and the reason for this demand is because they are super adorable. Therefore Square Enix decides to implement them in the least adorable way possible, to the extent that they have deliberately made them unpleasant to look at. Square Enix may as well not have bothered to include moogles at all.