Devil May Fantasy (State of play)

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Broshmosh

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#1  Edited By Broshmosh

So the FF16 State of Play happened last week. From the Youtube comments, it seems most people are stoked, that this doubling-down on Stranger of Paradise action-focused combat is what everybody has wanted for a long time.

I'm not into hard games, I've bounced off every Souls game I've played and only persevered with hard games when I've loved the setting they're presenting (Blasphemous, Hollow Knight). I don't play hard modes, and never really touch New Game + if it comes with increased difficulty.

Pattern recognition seems to be the order of the day with this title; You can really see that the producer's been producing MMO content for a very long time. I don't personally think pattern recognition and action timing are suitable substitutes for really learning, developing and honing your characters' abilities and skillsets beyond "number go up".

So one would think that the story-focused mode 16 offers would be suitable, but they never specified in the trailer whether this mode would equip all the assist rings.

I'm also really not sure about there being no consistent party. Not every FF game has been an ensemble, but many of them have, and the ones which weren't were often relegated to side-entries, or sequels to existing mainline ensemble stories.

Eikon battles look great, but I really don't know if they were worth sacrificing a party for. The Eikon moments were the standout parts of FF15 (aside from any scene with Ardyn), so I get why they doubled down on this.

That said, the opening shots of the trailer felt like the closest modern Final Fantasy has come to the feeling of an older title. I was genuinely reminded of FF4's opening when the in-game gameplay footage started. I so badly want to get on board with this, truly I do.

Still not altogether sure I care for Yoshi P's "black people is inauthentic to medievil Europe", it stinks of wilful ignorance as black people were frequently present in Europe as traders/slavers throughout history, and makes the game look VERY homogenous. Also, why does every speaking character sound like they're from the same tiny corner of England?

Here's the trailer.

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TheRealTurk

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I am both highly skeptical and very unenthused. As someone who has played a lot of action games like Nioh while also playing a ton of turn-based RPGs, this feels like they've managed to capture only the worst aspects of each genre.

On the action side, the combat looks an awful lot like "mash square and occasionally use an ability," which is not particularly engaging. It also seems like rather than conceptualizing difficultly as giving players a lot of abilities to learn and master, they went the "enemies are spongy as fuck and take a thousand hits to kill" route instead, which is a type of design I find particularly obnoxious and tedious.

Based on the presentation, they also seemingly have this idea stuck in their head that the average Final Fantasy fan has literally never played an action game and would literally be completely incapable of playing the game if they weren't given so much assistance that the game basically plays itself. While I can appreciate wanting to make a game accessible to "non-action" people, I personally find their attitude more than a little patronizing. If their level of faith in their own player-base to learn and appreciate something new is so low then why even make an action game in the first place? On the flip side, if you're making an action game, then make an actual action game, even if that means it's a little tough and you lose some of the dedicated RPG audience. As it is, they seem to want to have their cake and eat it, too, which rarely works out well.

On the story side, I really don't like the series' continued march towards moving farther and farther away from party-based combat. The best games in the series have always been ensembles. This makes it seem like party members will barely be more than glorified assists. If you're gonna do that, fine, it can work. But then you better have a really compelling main character, and nothing I have seen from the previews has convinced me of that. The guy is yet another FF protagonist in black leather and lots of straps with characterization that seems limited to "angry man is angry."

Like I said, very unengaged with what they've shown. I'd love to be surprised, but Square's recent track record has left me with absolutely zero faith.

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KainHighwind09

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I am both highly skeptical and very unenthused. As someone who has played a lot of action games like Nioh while also playing a ton of turn-based RPGs, this feels like they've managed to capture only the worst aspects of each genre.

On the action side, the combat looks an awful lot like "mash square and occasionally use an ability," which is not particularly engaging. It also seems like rather than conceptualizing difficultly as giving players a lot of abilities to learn and master, they went the "enemies are spongy as fuck and take a thousand hits to kill" route instead, which is a type of design I find particularly obnoxious and tedious.

Based on the presentation, they also seemingly have this idea stuck in their head that the average Final Fantasy fan has literally never played an action game and would literally be completely incapable of playing the game if they weren't given so much assistance that the game basically plays itself. While I can appreciate wanting to make a game accessible to "non-action" people, I personally find their attitude more than a little patronizing. If their level of faith in their own player-base to learn and appreciate something new is so low then why even make an action game in the first place? On the flip side, if you're making an action game, then make an actual action game, even if that means it's a little tough and you lose some of the dedicated RPG audience. As it is, they seem to want to have their cake and eat it, too, which rarely works out well.

On the story side, I really don't like the series' continued march towards moving farther and farther away from party-based combat. The best games in the series have always been ensembles. This makes it seem like party members will barely be more than glorified assists. If you're gonna do that, fine, it can work. But then you better have a really compelling main character, and nothing I have seen from the previews has convinced me of that. The guy is yet another FF protagonist in black leather and lots of straps with characterization that seems limited to "angry man is angry."

Like I said, very unengaged with what they've shown. I'd love to be surprised, but Square's recent track record has left me with absolutely zero faith.

Its not supposed to be like Nioh

Its following more the DMC/Bayo style to the point where the combat designer of DMC5 is the main battle designer of 16

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Broshmosh

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#4  Edited By Broshmosh

To be fair, I've played action games before, I'm just not at all a fan these days of punishing games. I'd hope there's enough substance to this game's world and themes that this would be one of the challenging games that I would finish, were I to play it. This trailer's focus on gameplay first made that hard to determine, so I'm still keeping an open mind on that one; Personally I have no scruples using the assist rings if doing so makes me more likely to play the game - who knows, I might start with some on and take them off as I get more confident with the game. I don't know if I agree with the suggestion that support rings are for people who don't play action games, I think they're for people who want to experience the game without having to "git gud", which is not an unreasonable inclusion.

That said, I also don't get much compelling vibes from Clive, and again I think that's partially down to the angle all trailers have so far taken. I think they'd do well to have a story-focused trailer that lets the characters shine, and maybe put a spotlight on how often, and for how long, Clive will have company. It's not like Yoshi P is unaware of the strength of parties to carry a game, given how the FF14 group have only gotten better over time.

As with 13 and 15, I have some tentative, leaning negative opinions on this game now prior to release, and as with those titles I desperately want to be proven wrong. I also have some positive opinions: It looks absolutely gorgeous. For the first time in an (non-remaster) HD Final Fantasy, the environments look detailed and designed in a way that will inform the story of the world itself rather than simply affect the tone of the current area, and I think that alone is a wonderful aspect of the game's design. I truly want this game to be an outrageous success, and I want to enjyo playing it when I eventually get my hands on it. With how those titles went (admittedly I enjoyed 15 a lot more than I thought I would), I don't think speticism is uncalled for.

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ThePanzini

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#5  Edited By ThePanzini

I very much doubt FF16 with be anything like Nioh difficulty wise outside optional bosses or some sort of end game content.

The combat will likely be relatively simple, given FF roots many fans won't be into the DMC style. As evident by all the assist accessories they're keen to show off.

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vortextk

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One person isn't making this game, and this one person didn't make all of these other games but the combat designer here has credits on DmC 4/5, Monster Hunter World + Iceborne, Dragon's Dogma and a lot of capcom fighting games. Forgive me if that leads me to hope at how fun this will be to play.

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AV_Gamer

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#7  Edited By AV_Gamer

I personally liked what I saw and I'm looking forward to playing it. As far as difficulty, the guy presenting the game made it very clear during the presentation that you can choose an easier mode out the gate, or equip assist items that will make the game easier if you find the combat too overwhelming. I like the fact Square-Enix is going all in on the action aspect of the game instead of the half stepping they were doing with the other games like FF15. Yes, a traditional turn-based FF game would be nice, but its about business, and western style RPGs sell more than the Japanese style which is more a niche thing than a mainstream thing with a cult following. There are exceptions of course like the Persona games, but that's all they are. So they are trying to reach the mass market and make Final Fantasy 16 a huge international hit. And if they are able to pull it off with great combat and an engaging story, good for them. I've stuck with the series this far, so I'll see what happens.

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yyninja

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Personally I'm excited. FFXVI needs to have a new direction because the franchise hasn't had a bona fide single-player game hit since FFX, and that game was released over 20 years ago. (Btw. FFVII Remake doesn't really count because the original has a legion of fans that will buy anything FFVII related.)

Yoshi P stated in multiple interviews that he wants the Final Fantasy games to return to being "must-buy" games. And like it or not, action games are more appealing than turn-based games to an international audience.

Of course, Yoshi P has made a couple goofs. That comment about having no black characters in the game speaks of ignorance. And the tirade of a game labeled as "JRPG" as a derogatory term is a bit confusing... maybe he took the comments from Phil Fish and the like a bit too close to the heart. But FFXVI is more than one person, and I think the game overall looks amazingly polished.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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I hope it's great, and I'll say that in the same breath that I sure do hope we someday see a traditional turn-based Final Fantasy game with the scope of VI-X.

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#10  Edited By AV_Gamer
@yyninja said:

Personally I'm excited. FFXVI needs to have a new direction because the franchise hasn't had a bona fide single-player game hit since FFX, and that game was released over 20 years ago. (Btw. FFVII Remake doesn't really count because the original has a legion of fans that will buy anything FFVII related.)

Yoshi P stated in multiple interviews that he wants the Final Fantasy games to return to being "must-buy" games. And like it or not, action games are more appealing than turn-based games to an international audience.

Of course, Yoshi P has made a couple goofs. That comment about having no black characters in the game speaks of ignorance. And the tirade of a game labeled as "JRPG" as a derogatory term is a bit confusing... maybe he took the comments from Phil Fish and the like a bit too close to the heart. But FFXVI is more than one person, and I think the game overall looks amazingly polished.

I didn't know about them intentionally not including people of color in the game. And his answer about it not reflecting medieval Europe is not out of ignorance at all, based on all the other nonsense excuses he makes. It's clear by the reasons he gives that Yoshi P was afraid to piss off the "go woke, go broke" bigots. Too bad. I was looking forward to this game, now I might skip it. Or at least wait until it goes on sale many months later at half the price.

Which is cool. There is SF6, Diablo IV, and many other games where this isn't an issue.

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GiantRobot24

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I'm happy they've stopped straddling the line between action rpg and turn-based rpg and finally just chose a direction (from what I could glean from the trailer, at least). I'll play a character action game like DMC or Bayonetta here and there if the word of mouth is positive enough and what they've shown of the combat here looks promising. I really struggled getting a good feel for the combat in FF7 Remake on normal difficulty and when I knocked it down to easy the game basically played itself, so I think the assist items are a great addition.

Of course the "no Black people in medieval Europe" is a shitty copout by Yoshi P, as @av_gamer pointed out. If he was really setting out to create a fantasy medieval Europe where the only part of the game that was accurate to history was it's racial demographics (very believable) you would think someone would have done a google search, or even better, read a bit of the mountain of academic work that's been done on the subject, checkout some of the artifacts that have been preserved from that time frame, etc. I find it very hard to believe that in the process of creating this fantasy Europe not a single person on this gigantic team came across the fact that people from across Africa and Asia came through Europe for one reason or another and some stayed.

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KainHighwind09

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@av_gamer said:
@yyninja said:

Personally I'm excited. FFXVI needs to have a new direction because the franchise hasn't had a bona fide single-player game hit since FFX, and that game was released over 20 years ago. (Btw. FFVII Remake doesn't really count because the original has a legion of fans that will buy anything FFVII related.)

Yoshi P stated in multiple interviews that he wants the Final Fantasy games to return to being "must-buy" games. And like it or not, action games are more appealing than turn-based games to an international audience.

Of course, Yoshi P has made a couple goofs. That comment about having no black characters in the game speaks of ignorance. And the tirade of a game labeled as "JRPG" as a derogatory term is a bit confusing... maybe he took the comments from Phil Fish and the like a bit too close to the heart. But FFXVI is more than one person, and I think the game overall looks amazingly polished.

I didn't know about them intentionally not including people of color in the game. And his answer about it not reflecting medieval Europe is not out of ignorance at all, based on all the other nonsense excuses he makes. It's clear by the reasons he gives that Yoshi P was afraid to piss off the "go woke, go broke" bigots. Too bad. I was looking forward to this game, now I might skip it. Or at least wait until it goes on sale many months later at half the price.

Which is cool. There is SF6, Diablo IV, and many other games where this isn't an issue.

His other game is a fantasy setting with plenty of PoC and is very un "go woke go broke" people friendly

Considering that the rest of the interview was about how the main/starting nation in the game is a small, isolated area from the rest of the world, it was very likely something lost in translation

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theonewhoplays

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#13  Edited By theonewhoplays

Yosho P's comments definitely left me with a poor taste in my mouth which is only worsened by the fact that you have a dog in your party. Only whites and dogs are realistic choices for you fantasy party, it seems. That said, considering FFXIV I'm willing to not cast final judgment before the game is out, but it's not a very good look. My other problem so far is that Clive is so 'hard' he's just lame. Everything we've seen of him so far is very uninteresting and unlikable. But again, FF has a history if main characters being off-putting at the start and becoming more likable as the game goes on, so we'll just have to wait and see.

The fighting looks a bit too mashy for my taste but I'm hoping there's some hidden depth to it.

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yyninja

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@av_gamer said:

@yyninja said:

Personally I'm excited. FFXVI needs to have a new direction because the franchise hasn't had a bona fide single-player game hit since FFX, and that game was released over 20 years ago. (Btw. FFVII Remake doesn't really count because the original has a legion of fans that will buy anything FFVII related.)

Yoshi P stated in multiple interviews that he wants the Final Fantasy games to return to being "must-buy" games. And like it or not, action games are more appealing than turn-based games to an international audience.

Of course, Yoshi P has made a couple goofs. That comment about having no black characters in the game speaks of ignorance. And the tirade of a game labeled as "JRPG" as a derogatory term is a bit confusing... maybe he took the comments from Phil Fish and the like a bit too close to the heart. But FFXVI is more than one person, and I think the game overall looks amazingly polished.

I didn't know about them intentionally not including people of color in the game. And his answer about it not reflecting medieval Europe is not out of ignorance at all, based on all the other nonsense excuses he makes. It's clear by the reasons he gives that Yoshi P was afraid to piss off the "go woke, go broke" bigots. Too bad. I was looking forward to this game, now I might skip it. Or at least wait until it goes on sale many months later at half the price.

It's tough to say, I'm not a mind reader so I don't know if the decision to exclude black characters was intentional. Japan is a homogeneous country so the people there have limited interactions with other ethnicities.

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Broshmosh

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#15  Edited By Broshmosh
@yyninja said:

Japan is a homogeneous country so the people there have limited interactions with other ethnicities.

In attempting to form a teardown of this statement, it has occurred to me that I can only name four people of colour in the entire FF franchise (Barrett, Sazh, Reddas, Al-Cid), one of which is entirely non-playable and another is a half-playable guest character that some would argue barely counts as a character of colour. There are unnamed black NPCs present in the world of FF15, whether that counts or not is up for debate.

As indefensible as this position is, the franchise itself does not put its best foot forward, the above fact positing some... worrying implications about the relevance of people of colour in society. Reddas is a goddamn pirate, ffs.

Whether it's cultural or outright ignorance, either way it isn't great. Even taking the "isolated from the rest of the world" reasoning on good faith, people have always moved, historically and now. In fact, the movements of people over time is a detailed area of study.

If a nation is big enough to have multiple centres of power, enough centres that war can break out, you can guarantee they will have trade links that extend outside their own boundaries. Japan certainly closed its borders for a very long time (yet still traded internationally [Sakoku was also put in place to curtail very specific problems Japan faced at the time]), and this period has a high chance of influencing the way they want to build a world, but they aren't designing fantasy Japan; they're designing fantasy Europe.

If the story of the world is going to posit that Valisthea have actively prevented people moving to the region, it better be justified in-text, because that's a really hard position to take without solid lore.

In attempting to keep world-building elegant to match a specific vision, the team remains open to criticism on this line. I'm fortunate enough to be able to say it's not worth boycotting over, but others who feel more strongly on this may disagree.

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wollywoo

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This game is pretty, but somehow the tone is... uninteresting. It's like The Witcher but with occasional kaiju battles for some reason. I dunno. I like my Final Fantasy games more colorful, goofy and weird.

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#17  Edited By Dan_CiTi

I don't understand the attention towards the skin color of the characters. As great as diversity and representation can be, not everything needs to be turbo diverse and all that - if creators want to do that it is nice if not, I don't pay it any mind either. I'm not playing through RE4 Remake and being like "damn, why is everyone white?" every 30 minutes. As diverse as major metropolitan cities like NYC, LA, SF, and London are, there's also massive parts of the world that aren't and that's just as valid of a way to depict a realistic or fantastical world. And honestly, diversity and representation is and should be much more complex than race.

As for the game itself, I've only see a few videos but it does look good. Aside from the FF7 Remake, the most recent Final Fantasy game I've liked is XII so I really want this to be a winner. It already looks more fun to play than 15, which I struggled to enjoy. That game had a kind of fun world with the whole road trip motif and all that, but the combat was just sort of stilted and not fun to me and the story really didn't hook me after a dozen or so hours I spent with the game.

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Broshmosh

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#18  Edited By Broshmosh

@dan_citi: For me it's less about representation and more that it's a part of the overall production that sticks out based on what's been said in inteviews. It's not the only thing I'm thinking about, it just happens to intersect with a lot of other current discussions in media, so it probably sticks out a lot more than the other stuff I've mentioned here. This sort of thing is wrapped up in so much nuance, so there's a lot to dig into provided it's not being weaponised. I had hoped contextualising it around historical cultural relevance, discussion of in-game world-building, and awareness of things like trade during civil wars, might have made it clearer I'm coming from a point of context rather than direct representation. Can't speak for others though.

I'd really appreciate a world/character/lore promo deep dive at this point. I think it'd help settle a lot of things for me. The gameplay looks more than decent enough, especially the eikon battles.