What Do You Think Of Final Fantasy XV So Far?

What Do You Think Of Final Fantasy XV So Far?

By now, you’ve had 24 hours to play Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, one of the most fascinating video game demos in recent memory. (How many other demos actually let you save your progress?)

And those of you who read Kotaku regularly might recall that during an interview in January, FFXV director Hajime Tabata told me that he looks to all sorts of places for feedback on his work, including our comments.

So, hey, let’s take advantage of that. Post your thoughts on the demo — both positive and negative — in the comments below.


  • Hopefully picking up a copy of Type-0 tonight

    Will be playing the hell out of this demo over the weekend for sure though!

  • Hoping to pick up my copy from EB…not sure if I’m meant to receive a notification since I preordered it?

    Regardless, it is coming, and I’m so excited to get my hands on a game that I’ve been waiting for for so long.

  • Haha, what have we turned into as a society, buying a game just so we can play a demo of a different game…

    • Well unfortunately no other way to get a demo of a game that a lot of us have been waiting near 10 years for 🙂

    • Although the interesting thing is that it’s essentially the same situation as Ground Zeroes. The size, depth and length of the two is comparable, yet one is a demo, the other is a full game.

  • Don’t think I’ll get to play the demo anytime soon, but even though I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game, this one looks pretty amazing. Shaping up to be the first FF game I get!

  • From what I saw of it from a livestream, it looks better than the FF13 games and I guess that’s all that matters?

  • Apparently I missed the postman who was delivering the game. I do wish they’d try to knock the door…

  • I’m liking it so far. The combat is taking some getting used to but it’s new so that’s to be expected. I think it’s still tied too much to the classic input based FF combat for a game that is action based, but unlike FFXIII it seems to have cleared that frustrating worst of both worlds zone. It’s a little slow and clumsy but I’m hoping that’s just my inexperience. With any luck a layer of polish between now and release will take off any of the rough edges on combat. So far it’s pretty close to being a combat system that I’ll enjoy playing with.
    What I’m really liking is how open the demo has been so far. I’m sure there will be plenty of areas that run you down a corridor but it seems like they’ve really taken on board the critism of FFXIII’s twelve extremely linear chapters and one mid-sized field full of side quests. They’ve got big open areas to progress through with side quests that encourage exploration and fit into the world a lot more naturally. The best way I can describe it is that you’re out in the world on a journey and the story tries to take place in that world on that journey, rather than having you go to closed off locations like towns, caves and buildings for the narrative moments.

    • So is there any sort of battle strategy whilst in combat? I’ve seen videos and it looks like while you can change weapons outside of combat, you can’t really do much outside of hide/fight/block and the occasional technique in it. And considering two of those are just holding the buttons, it just looks really boring. Do enemies have weaknesses/strengths against techniques/weapons/warp strike?

      (Sorry for the barrage)

      • There is and there isn’t. It gets deeper with summons and special modes, and in theory there’s a lot of strategy in when/how you attack your targets, when you use the special attacks like Dragoon Jump and Tempest, what order you choose to take the enemies on in, when you choose to take breaks to recover, how you move around the fight, when you should bait a counter instead of attacking directly, but as of the demo it’s all sort of clumsy enough that you just hold Defensive Stance and then spit out Attacks when you get the chance.
        As NegativeZero mentions the camera sucks, so it’s easier to just use brute force whatever is in front of you than it is to wrestle the game into doing things properly. I don’t think it’ll be an effective strategy in FFXV outside of junk fights in the open world. The few boss type events in the demo are annoying specifically because fighting that way gets you killed.

        It’s not as boring or as simple as just holding the buttons, even though that’s effectively what you’re doing. It’s sort of like saying Monster Hunter is just running up to enemies and mashing attack. There’s a lot of movement and target swapping to come along with defending and attacking. Although once again the demo is clumsy enough that you’re forced to play in a way that’s just getting as many stabs in as you can. I would have preferred button combos like X, X, Y or X, X, X, X for the various things, rather than just holding X, but I think if they can get everything working that won’t be a problem.

        There are status effects like poison and I’m pretty sure enemies will have weaknesses. The weapons can be swapped in battle via a menu and it looks like you’ll be able to do more on that menu in the full version, but since you’re only fighting a handful of monster types and the leveling rates are super fast there’s no need to do anything more than setup which weapons feel comfortable and go with that for every fight.

        • Thanks for that! It sounds like the camera is the big issue then, hopefully if they solve that they’ll add some challenge out of the boss fights and make it fun

      • If a paid demo means they get enough feedback pre-release that they’re forced to fix that one issue I think it’ll be worth it.

        • I really hope they listen to feedback and aren’t too far in to change things.

    • I like that they’re experimental and trying to find their own combat system, and I love that they’ve moved away from instanced turn based battles, and I still think they might be onto something here, but the more I play this the more I think they need to just swallow their pride and rip off Arkham Asylum. It’s almost exactly what they’ve set out to create here. They’ve created something that feels like uncharted waters because of how they arrived there but there is actually a game that has refined these concepts to what is at the very least an extremely solid base to start from.
      I’m not suggesting outright copying the combat system, it’s a different game with a different tone, not to mention multiple party members to worry about, but all the rough edges on the combat that need to be taken care of have solutions in the Arkham games. The camera, the inability to handle the fast moving enemies, the precise camera based targeting, the countering, the dodging, they’ve all got obvious solutions that are really clear when you play FFXV next to one of the Arkham games.

  • Good old ozgameshop popped mine in the post on Monday, so hopefully should see it early next week…

  • Using a US account as primary wins again. I grabbed it last night and played for a couple of hours. It’s very rough.

    In short: I don’t like it much.

    The biggest issue I think is that it’s a demo. The game’s clearly a long way from being finished and I believe (or at least hope) that what we have here is not representative of what we’re going to get in the finished product. There’s a lot of missing systems, and it doesn’t really explain how any of its systems that are actually implemented work like you’d expect. Just kind of throws you in. The most egregious issues are around the automated targeting and the

    The biggest issue is that the combat controls are terrible. The bulk of the problem is the camera – it doesn’t follow the way you think it should and has to constantly be moved around. It’s stuck in so close that you have no situational awareness, so stuff can be going on nearby and you have no idea. This extends to the fact that your fellow boy band members can get reduced to 0 HP and need a reassuring pat on the back to get back up, but half the time you’ve got no idea where they are due to the lack of any markers and the way-too-close camera.

    There’s also the issue that enemies like to attack you from all sides, and aren’t selective in doing so. You’re expected to hold down L1 to dodge their attacks and maybe get a parry in, but your insanely slow attack animations have priority, so most of the time you’re going to try and block, but you’ll still be at the tail end of an attack so the block won’t come off. There’s a parry system that’s really quite important as it does a lot more damage, but it’s extremely hard to land unless you basically stand nearby and block, like playing the worst part of Assassin’s Creed’s combat. And half the time because your attack animations are so slow, enemies have moved out of range of the counter-attack after your parry. Enemies tend not to have particularly good tells and there’s so much going on in group fights (the game likes to randomly spawn soldiers from a roving spaceship thing while you’re in the middle of another fight, which sucks on a lot of levels) that actually knowing what to block and whether you’re even safe to throw an attack in is difficult to tell.

    The actual attacking is pretty boring. Hold square and press a direction and stuff happens. There’s probably some depth to selecting the weapons that are summoned but I couldn’t make sense of the system. Regardless, the attacks generally don’t do much damage and the combats can be a slog as a result. You’re either chipping away at enemies with weak attacks or standing holding block and hoping for a parry chance. There’s some abilities you can use, but they take a chunk of MP that you need for blocking. The attacks all feel very slow, but lack a sense of weight and impact to them so it feels a bit floaty, unresponsive and not really like you’re fully in control.

    The MP regens tremendously slowly in combat. You’re supposed to be able to warp up to platforms etc. to regen for a bit, but a lot of the time you don’t actually have any such points to warp to. Additionally the controls for actually doing it are janky. It feels like it locks onto the first thing it sees and it gives you no chance to actually select anything. There’s no pausing or even slowing down the game while you’re trying to wrestle the camera and targeting system into doing what you need to do, which becomes immensely frustrating when you’re fighting the boss as targeting the right things is incredibly hard with a huge monster right on your ass that can kill you in a couple of hits. Targeting enemies is related to the camera and it’s also just as janky. Moving the camera around tends to change what’s being targeted, but in really unpredictable ways, leading to the feeling that you’re targeting what the game wants you to target. Very annoying in fights against lots of small, fast enemies.

    The boss itself I found impossible. He hits extremely hard and I was finding the dodges simply didn’t work correctly, or you’d dodge into another hit and be hit anyway. Dodging requires MP, and can’t be done when you’ve been hit below 0 health. All you can do in that case is stagger around and hope that someone can cheer you up with a pat on the back before the boss hits you into a corner you can’t escape from and then wails on you until game over. At multiple points during the fight you can be engaged with Behemoth but your party will be doing something else and not assist you at all, including not reviving you if you fall, and tying back to the lack of situational awareness thing it’s often not obvious what they’re doing or where they are. The worst thing about this is that when you’re baled up in a corner and murdered by a boss, or knocked down by a guy you didn’t see, or you dodge and it doesn’t work or any of these issues, it doesn’t feel like it’s your fault. It feels like the game’s in your way, not doing what it’s meant to.

    I’m not sold on the open world. I generally don’t like open world games as I find them to be quite dull. This might be just a fault of the demo, but the area you’re in feels quite large but also extremely empty. It lacks even the vomit of sidequests that a game like Dragon Age Inquisition throws at you. I’m also not sold on Noctis and his Boy Band, but the story side of things are pretty difficult to get a handle on in a demo like this so reserving judgement on that for the real release. It’ll need to pick it up a few notches to keep me interested though.

    Leveling up and saving your game are also kind of odd. You need to go to a campsite (read: save point) and spend the night, where it will randomly select a meal to cook that will give you a buff next day, and also banks all your experience, levels everyone up and saves your progress. Right out of Dark Souls. It does have some checkpointing as well, but I only encountered one and it was put right before an unskippable cutscene and in-game bit you have to go through before actually fighting the boss.

    I gave up on it after 2 hours and being ruined by the Behemoth boss for the fourth time.

    Overall I came away having gotten largely what I expected. I’ve felt like these games have been moving further and further away from what I liked about the franchise. I’m not sure who the games are actually for any more. Not me, apparently. As more and more news of the game has trickled out I’ve been feeling less and less engaged. Kind of a shame, really. I play lots of JRPGs and FF7 was my entry point. What I really want is a current-gen tribute to the Playstation-era games, but that’s definitely not what this is. This is almost like some odd hybrid of Dark Souls, Skyrim and Monster Hunter with some Too Human thrown in for flavor. It doesn’t feel like a JRPG at all to me, it feels more like a Japanese take on a western RPG. I like WRPGs, but I don’t want all my games – especially my cornerstone JRPG franchises – to be WRPGs.

    It’s salvageable but I think the demo’s been put out way too early. It feels like a tech demo, a vertical slice you might play at a trade show or something. It’s not just that it feels like it’s missing a bit of spit and polish, there’s parts of it (especially the combat camera and the targeting) that are incredibly broken and need a complete overhaul. The core seed of the combat might be okay and I’ve seen some videos of higher-level play with better weapons equipped etc. that look quite a bit more exciting, so it’s certainly possible the game could play much better. It’s an okay demo for what it is but if I had paid for it specifically instead of getting it with Type-0 I’d have been really upset. It’s also taken the game off my list as a day-1 purchase. Going to wait for reviews and see if they’ve fixed any of the issues.

    • Yeah, attacks not landing because they’re so slow is super frustrating. Dragoon Jump is basically a one in ten chance of hitting the target since they can just casually walk away. It feels like the more logical approach would be to have it blast you into the air and then have you manually aim at a position on the ground to land. As it stands I’m better off using my normal attacks for more damage, more reliably, in the same amount of time, then saving Dragoon Jump for when I want to dodge. Crazy.

        • Assuming he’s actually intentionally targeting anything in that clip. He’s using the infinite MP ability thing, I just call it Super Saiyan because I’ve been playing DB Xenoverse a lot and it’s pretty much the same thing, so I’m assuming he’s just spamming the crap out of one move, firing it at whatever the game automatically targets when he holds the target button.

          One thing about the part where you got stuck, did you go back in to it’s lair after everyone runs away during the first big encounter with it? When I was at that bit I went back in there twice before realising the game wanted me to continue with the quest without killing it.
          You’re not meant to kill it the way you’re meant to kill big things like it. They’ve got this whole Monster Hunter thing going on where you attack weak points on big targets, knock them down, then damage the body with something like a stagger from FFXIII, but in this specific fight the boss has an insane health pool so you’re meant to leave, do some more questing, then come back after the story progression has unlocked something that just nukes it.
          Do the plan, attack it a little and try not to die, your group will run away (which you may or may not notice), and then you follow out a little hole near the part it was sleeping at when you baited it. I get the impression you’re meant to fight it to a stalemate, then everyone runs away, but this is like the worst enemy for showcasing everything that’s wrong with the combat so the stalemate is just it constantly knocking you down.
          It’s the size of a bus, turns quickly and in a way that often results in your target area moving out of range, it has a huge swipe range and does tons of damage. Meanwhile you have to commit to at least three seconds of vulnerability to do even your basic attacks, and press block when it telegraphs things you can’t see because it’s body is in the way. It’s like a Ninja Hulk fighting a blind guy on a Segway.

          I would love to sit down with one of the devs and watch them play through it. Specifically I’d like to see them do the sparring match at the camp. It really barrages you with things that don’t quite work and shows you just how much of the UI is missing. It took me like eight instant deaths before I figured out that blocking didn’t just randomly fail against his opening attack, I was just starting to hold the button when the guy starts moving for his attack, which is technically still outside of combat so pressing and holding the button does nothing (which looks pretty much the same as blocking).

          I’m remaining optimistic, I think they can tweak this into something that works well, but I can’t help but feel like with the same amount of time they could scrap combat entirely, then quickly implement a very basic, uninspired, Fable 2 knock-off combat system, and the finished product would be better as a result.

          • I never made it past that first encounter. First time I died doing the initial plan because the targeting crapped out, sucked me back into him and then I managed to run around the side but everyone just stood and let me die and I couldn’t get him up to the warp point because of the godawful camera.

            Second time, I pulled off the initial bit, engaged him in combat and it seemed to be going okay and then suddenly everyone disappeared without saying a word and I was like “where is everyone?”

            Third time, I pulled it off, actually got the ‘screw this let’s go’ message and attempted to bug out, but the guys just stood at the end and watched me get flattened by the boss as they all ran away. At least I got to see where they went that time.

            Fourth time, I pre-emptively ignored the thing and then ran to the other end. Couldn’t get through the hole because it started pounding me in the back, knocked me down into a corner and once you’re on 0 HP you’re unable to dodge or block or anything and you move slow as hell, so I was flattened again while everyone once again stood there and waited for me to die.

            Then I gave up because seriously, screw that.

  • I raced – RACED! – home from work to play this. I hadn’t been this giddy-excited to play a game in so long!
    Then the stupid PSN won’t accept my download code. Tried it again. IT DOESN’T WORK!! Rumour has it that Australians have to wait until the demo is available on the European store tomorrow before we can play it.

  • Picked up a local copy (PS4) from BigW for $68 this afternoon (Target have it for that in their catalogue, other places will price match), code won’t work though.

    Initial region was US and got the following error code: E-82000134
    Msg: “Product voucher region does not match the account’s region”

    Created a new AU PSN account and tried again, got: E-8200012F
    Msg: “Invalid voucher code” – Which seems to mean that because we’re lumped in with the EU and their go-live is still pending, we have to wait.

    Ah well, I guess a day won’t kill me – but info re. error codes above for anyone trying to validate/install on PS4 but is having difficulty.

  • As others have mentioned, can’t even download it yet. What a load of shit.

    Sort it out you Sony sackboys.

    Type 0 on the other hand is quite fun.

    • This is Squenix being stupid, not Sony. For some reason Square thinks Australia is in Europe and treats us as if we’re part of the EU.

  • Wait, nobody in Australia can download it, yet here I am playing it? Um, alright…

    Well, I really like it so far, nonetheless. It definitely takes getting used to, as the combat is a little slow, and hits take off massive chucks to your health bar, plus the demo is very prone to frame rate drops. But it plays pretty well overall, and of course, it looks fantastic.

    I’m not so sure I’m enjoying Type-0, though.

    • You’re playing it how? Aussie system / game / login? I just tried it again a minute ago and it’s still coming up as an error.

      • I brought my copy of Final Fantasy Type-0 digitally on the XBOX One. It treated it like any other bundle, allowed me to pre-install both FF Type-0 and the FFXV demo when I brought paid for it last week, and then launch the games at midnight last night.
        People who brought physical releases, and I think this goes for both XBOX One and PS4, can’t redeem their code because the code is technically for the EU version which isn’t out yet. On the PS4 I think there’s the added hurdle of the store updating on Thursdays North American time, so technically it’s not even on there even though it’s past the release date.

        It’s crazy stuff given how straight forward all this is. You get a code in the box and you can download the content. Not exactly a new concept.

        [Edit: Sorry if that last line sounded like a jab at people who can’t get their code to work. I meant that it’s not hard for Square-Enix to make this work right, not that you guys are somehow screwing up entering a 25 digit code into a box.]

      • Yep. Aussie system, hard copy (steelbook edition) from Australia, Aussie account. I don’t get it.

  • Well since it clicked over to midnight, the code works. It’s gonna take 2 hours to download though so Ill just let it go overnight & check it out tomorrow.

  • Can I just check, is it working in NZ/Aus now? I’m still getting the error code… if it’s not, any idea what time it will be?

      • Finally got it working! My thought so far, though, are kinda of “meh”. It doesn’t look all that much better over a PS3 game (not suprising I guess) and the combat is pretty boring. At the same time, though, I’m cautiously optimistic for the final version of the game when it comes out.

        I’m hoping they address things like the awkward camera, the stupid 2-button targeting system which doesn’t work (just use Zelda’s L-targetting, no one will think badly of you), and things like holding dodge but getting hit (yes I still had MP)/parrying but getting interrupted during. Warping to high places to get out of harms way just seems like a gimmick that hasn’t properly been utilized too, outside of scripted events. So far outside of the tutorial and the Behemoth fight I’ve not had the option to do this.

  • Keep Japanese language track – way better than English.
    Blue ring around Gladolius during combat looks cheap.
    Aside from that, great.

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