Character Switching Isn’t in Final Fantasy XV Because of the Battle System (Update)
Square Enix released the full talk show with English subtitles:
During the Q&A portion, Tabata was asked if you could change the operational character (Noctis) in FFXV:
Not in its current specifications. Everyone on the development team thoroughly looked into an Active Cross Battle system that made free use of attack, guard, and co-op functions, but as a result they arrived at the conclusion that changing characters would be too difficult. In order to create a new and interesting battle system, we ended up not being able to put in the character switching.
Next up, Tabata responded to someone who asked “so after all, the E3 2013 trailer was a lie? You can’t actually play like that?”
You can fight like that. I think in the recent play demonstration we showed several techniques and functions, but at E3 last year the game was running on a prototype environment (Ebony). At TGS 2014 we showed the game running in the actual environment (Luminous). Right now we are in the process of migrating functions from the prototype into it. It will take time to migrate it all. I wanted to show footage in the actual environment as soon as possible, so I ended up showing something that is in the midst of migrating. The video shows actual footage, not an idealized version. It will become more and more advanced from here on out.
When the topic of free running was brought up, Tabata confirmed “it’s there” and, “except for the character switching, everything that was in the E3 2013 trailer is still there.”
Tabata then responded to claims that you could just “hold the button down:”
It’s not that simple! (Laughs.) Yes, when you continue to hold down the guard button, you can basically auto-guard and evade, but it consumes MP. You can’t infinitely evade. You have to think about timing, when it’s a good idea to attack or evade. Also, you aren’t invincible. There are attacks you can’t avoid. In those cases, there are also essential technical evasion methods.
He continued by talking about attacks:
When you push the attack button, you invoke the standard combo. You can change the actions by using it in coordination with the directional buttons. The actions change depending on your circumstances—things like whether you’re guarding and whether the timing is right, (imagine in this circumstance: when you’re guarding, you might get a chance to counterattack or something), or if your companions are nearby.
After confirming there’s an independent jump button, he revealed that you can set weapons yourself before battle:
You set each weapon considering what actions you can use with which weapons. You can only determine one weapon from the ones equipped to be your main one, but that weapon will come with techniques which can be invoked at your discretion in battle. Besides the basic assault button (attack), you can invoke techniques with the technique button.
Elaborating on his previous comments about Final Fantasy XV being more casual, Tabata said, “The game as a whole is not casual. Because it’s a core game, we have casual controls. If you obtain good weapons and level up, you won’t have to worry about clearing the main scenarios.”