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Why did people hate FFXV so much?



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Zetta slow

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I literally just finished the game, and it was fucking beautiful. The characters were amazing, every single one of them, story was great, I enjoyed the combat system very much, visuals were amazing, pacing was nice and fast when it needed to be, and didn’t drag on for too long. I think it’s biggest issue would be communication, since it wasn’t always clear to me why I was doing what I was doing, but that was pretty much it. Why did people hate this game so much?
 

bambii

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I love FFXV too. FWIW I haven’t seen so much hate directed toward the game as much as mixed feelings (esp. in more recent years), but I think what it boils down to is an unfortunate nexus between seriously troubled development cycle and massive hype and expectations over a long period of time ultimately resulting in a fragmented product that simply couldn’t deliver on cohesion, let alone the huge promise it left in peoples’ minds stretching all the way back to 2006 with FFvsXIII. The most legitimate criticism (and by far the most common) I see of the game these days—post-DLC—is that the game had a solid story, solid premise, and solid design, but that it was released as an incomplete package, and continues to suffer for that reason. Kingsglaive, Brotherhood, Episode Ardyn Prologue, all 4 DLC expansions, and the expanded Royal ending were without exception essential story content that should have been integrated into the base game. There were multiple issues with characters and locales that were very clearly underdeveloped and a casualty of development hell, especially Aranea and Luna and places like Tenebrae and Insomnia (and even Altissia, which—just looking at the map—was clearly left in an incomplete state), in addition more broadly to the whole open world which was mostly bare with the exception of occasional fetch quests. Not to mention the most (IMO) unfortunate loss, which was the final set of planned DLC for Aranea, Luna, and Noct which would have delivered on a whole additional chapter/finale to the story, which tragically only lives on in the Dawn of the Future novel and scarce official concept art.

The tl;dr here is that the ambitions for this game were huge and multiple misfortunes and constraints resulted in it under-delivering, including on basic story cohesion. The experience is drastically improved by watching all the multimedia content and playing the DLCs, but even then it remains fractured and incomplete.

Seriously though, I love it for the broken, beautiful mess that it is.
 

Elysium

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As said, I think there were high expectations built up by people who followed the development very closely. When characters started getting cut, changed, storylines altered, etc., I suppose it irked those people. I think there were many who couldn't appreciate the game on its merits because of that. Thankfully, I don't follow the development of individual FF games that closely beyond watching trailers once or twice, skimming over images, and so on. I don't really think about FF games until the games themselves come out and I'm playing them for the first time. I'm able to disengage during development for the FF series thanks to the installments being disconnected from one another, whereas a series like KH, the story follows from one to another and I'm more interested in wondering what direction it might going as information comes out.

I personally loved XV. I'd really only put it behind IX, X, and XII as far as my personal enjoyment. Well, tbh, I actually enjoy playing it more than XII (gameplay), but I prefer some of XII's characters a little more.
 

Rydgea

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I think for the most part I've experienced positivity from the community about the final product, especially when you consider the DLC and updates (and by extension the movie, anime, and books extending the history and lore) as the definitive experience. Like @Elysium and others have stated, because expectations were what they were, whether that was from SE releasing information much too early in a long development, to becoming attached to those early designs and concepts, there was heavy criticism on its tortured construction. In the end, XV similar to (pre-PS4) KH in that it was spread out everywhere, yet unlike KH it all happened at once, was across different mediums and was perhaps a little overwhelming for the fans to manage.

XV is a solid FF with much to enjoy. It feels like a classic despite its modernity. It may not be my favorite or what I'd consider S-tier, but it's nearly up there.
 

PrettyGuard

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I did hate Final Fantasy XV, but I feel like it's my fault. I've jumped onto the hype train... because of the hype around the game... mostly. I really wanted to see the shift between Turn-Based RPG (mostly) and A-RPG. But I knew it. Since the first time I've played the Duscae Episode, I knew I would not like it. I did enjoy the Platinum Demo... maybe because it showed a nice environment and creatures rather than gameplay. Even with the final demo of the first chapter, I KNEW IT, I would not like this game. But... I thought to myself: "Huh, I just don't know how to handle the gameplay properly." and bought the game anyway.
 

the red monster

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I started FFXV 3 days ago and i'm already 20 hours in. game is really fun and i only didn't play it till now because my friends told me it was "trash" and not worth my time. listeninng to people really is a mistake.
there's so much stuff to do, and the world is really pretty and combat is decent enough with great monsters design.
i don't really know what people expected, but for me it's a solid game.
i do think they focused a bit too much on the side quests (like there's too many of them) which makes the main quest feel kinda rushed/short? only at chapter 8 so it might get better.
overall i'm having good time with it.
 

AegisXIII

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I am not sure it is as hated now as it was back then when it got released. This title got a lot of attention to fix its more problematic issues and I am quite confident in saying that it is a pretty good title. Only complaint is the disjoint stories under the form of multiple dlc, but all the pieces are there in the end.
 

Max

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I've been a big fan of FFXV from the beginning, and that's coming from someone who was also on the huge hype train for Versus XIII.

I thought Versus XIII was going to be the be-all-end-all best Final Fantasy game we'd ever see, period. A part of me still believes it may have had that potential, Nomura's vision and desired scope of the game were more than grand, but also I think what he wanted to achieve with the game just became too much. In an ideal world it could have happened, but we're talking he wanted Versus to happen on the PS3, and that game seemed like it would have been a behemoth (no pun intended).

When development shifted and it became FFXV and entered the hands of Hajime Tabata, I had mixed feelings. This game had been in development for so long and was Nomura's baby, it seemed so wrong to take it away from him. That's like taking Metal Gear away from Kojima (which, well, ended up having a similar if not more unfortunate ending than this story). But on the plus side, I enjoyed Tabata's previous works, enjoyed his development transparency, and appreciated the fact that Versus had been in development for so long and was going to continue to be so, and Square made the tough and divisive decision to make the game change hands in hope of giving it focus, direction, and a timeline for completion.

To this day I still wish to know what Nomura had in store for us with Versus. But I stayed hopeful for XV, followed development, and ate everything up about it that they'd give to me. I played the demo, watched the movie, watched Brotherhood, analyzed it's amazing and cryptic CG Story trailer, and even played A King's Tale on release day before the game itself while I let the game get it's day 1 update.

I think this was a big thing. Committing to every form of FFXV media as it came out really enhanced the experience in a way I never expected. It was reminiscent of watching the .hack anime on tv and then grabbing the games, reading the manga and books inbetween releases, it made it feel like an experience. Not everyone is about all of that, which is fine, but FFXV may not be the game for you if you don't want to have to commit your time to all of the multiple mediums it's tackled in order to truly appreciate it's world, lore, and characters.

Each subsequent update and DLC enhanced the game even more and tackled problems the fanbase was local about. Until his departure, I believe Tabata was doing everything in his power to make the project he was given the best it could be. While the multiplayer aspect ended up being a bit of a slog and a grindfest, the bit of story it added even ended up being a small appreciated and initially unseen part of the story and lore.

I do love FFXV. My buddy and I party chatted for 13 days while we both played through and went on different parts of our journey, which felt like it further pushed the theme of friendships and brotherhood that the game already presented. We finished at nearly the same time, we continued to follow the updates and play the new DLCs, and while we really enjoyed the experience initially, I can honestly say its only gotten better as the years went on.
 

Xickin

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I liked FFXV as well, but it was an unfinished game. Act 1: Superb, then 2 and 3 were just railroads to the end. If it got the time and effort it deserved, it probably would've been on my GOAT list. But the development was interrupted and yada yada yada we got an incomplete game. If it went the way the DLC & Dawn of the Future wanted it to, then it would've been a masterpiece.
 

Face My Fears

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I bought it years ago and it's still in the plastic. I was very excited to play it, then I heard there were no female characters that can be on your team, so that really turned me off from playing it ASAP. I don't need female characters to play a game, it's just that Final Fantasy has always been a great series with a wide range of characters that you can swap around in your party. I hate the idea of being stuck with only 3 people, especially because normally in most Final Fantasy games I get rid of the "main character" in my party and prefer others.
 

kirabook

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I also bought it, but haven't played it yet. My brother played a few hours but didn't finish. Note, this is coming from me, someone who literally has yet to actually play any other FF games other than X and X-2 of which I still haven't finished even though I like them quite a lot (I'm just that kind of gal for some reason)

ANYWAY, once again from second hand experience, I think the hatred/indifference/dislike comes from multiple points of view.

On one hand, there were people who waited what, a decade for this game. Not only did it continuously get pushed back, ignored, and forgotten, there was also a major employee shake up which rubbed people the wrong way (inside and out apparently)

Another aspect, the game released to the public was rushed/incomplete. I'm sure the new director did whatever he could to tie up loose ends and release something that worked, and it probably did for a lot of people. But I think even the most optimistic person knows a lot must've been missing based on the DLC train that started afterwards. This game was caught between a rock and a hard place, between the "too long in the oven" and "it's finished when it's finished" ideologies. If the new director had more time, maybe the game could've flowed a bit better.

I have heard whispers of being really annoyed with the role of female characters in the story. I don't really know jack squat about that except the lady whose name I think is Luna died at some point or something.

And lastly, the devil of many games that take too long to release. Too much hype build up over time. People do it to themselves and there's no stopping it once it's started. The unfortunate thing about hype trains are many people who reach the destination end up not even liking it.

It seems like there is a lot to love about FF15, especially if you have absolutely no knowledge of how it got to where it was upon release. Going in blind and enjoying what's there is a lot easier I imagine. But for the people who know of FF15's troubled history, whether they were hype about it or not, it's a lot easier to pick up on the flaws and be harsher about them.
 

Elysium

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I bought it years ago and it's still in the plastic. I was very excited to play it, then I heard there were no female characters that can be on your team, so that really turned me off from playing it ASAP. I don't need female characters to play a game, it's just that Final Fantasy has always been a great series with a wide range of characters that you can swap around in your party. I hate the idea of being stuck with only 3 people, especially because normally in most Final Fantasy games I get rid of the "main character" in my party and prefer others.
Although it's not much, I did like a few female characters in this--Shiva and Leviathan, Sania Yeagre (a scientist who follows you around the world with missions to give you), and most notably Aranea.

But the overall lack of important female characters in XV doesn't bother me too much since not every entry will follow its lead. I can take a sausagefest occasionally. I just wish the Final Fantasy series would finally have its Raya and the Last Dragon moment comparatively--as far as nearly every relevant character in the story from the villain to the protagonist to the vast majority of the party being female for once. And do it seriously and effortlessly, without being overly sexualized (and somewhat of a joke) the way FFX-2 was.
 

Face My Fears

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Although it's not much, I did like a few female characters in this--Shiva and Leviathan, Sania Yeagre (a scientist who follows you around the world with missions to give you), and most notably Aranea.

But the overall lack of important female characters in XV doesn't bother me too much since not every entry will follow its lead. I can take a sausagefest occasionally. I just wish the Final Fantasy series would finally have its Raya and the Last Dragon moment comparatively--as far as nearly every relevant character in the story from the villain to the protagonist to the vast majority of the party being female for once. And do it seriously and effortlessly, without being overly sexualized (and somewhat of a joke) the way FFX-2 was.
I didn't see FFX-2 as overly sexualized or a joke. It was just the trio having an adventure together as friends. It wasn't even Yuna dancing in the intro video, it was LeBlanc.

FFXII did a pretty good job, I think. Vaan was - somehow - considered the "main character" of that game, yet I felt it was more Ashe's game. Not only that, but you could also have your entire team be all male or all female.

FFXIII also was pretty good with Lightning as the actual protagonist. On top of that, it was the love of two female lovers - Fang and Vanille - that saved the day.
 

Elysium

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UO for me, but I'm glad Vaan was the main character of XII. I honestly never liked Ashe as much as I wanted to. And Penelo is even worse; she's in the same category as Aerith and Kairi to me, as far as being a female character whose entire existence revolves around chasing after a male character who is largely oblivious to them. Fran is the only good female character in that game, imo, but for me the best part of XII has always been Vaan, Fran, and Balthier as a trio. Basch's storyline is really nice, too, though, and I also liked Larsa even if the villain was pretty meh.
 

AdrianXXII

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Although it's not much, I did like a few female characters in this--Shiva and Leviathan, Sania Yeagre (a scientist who follows you around the world with missions to give you), and most notably Aranea.

But the overall lack of important female characters in XV doesn't bother me too much since not every entry will follow its lead. I can take a sausagefest occasionally. I just wish the Final Fantasy series would finally have its Raya and the Last Dragon moment comparatively--as far as nearly every relevant character in the story from the villain to the protagonist to the vast majority of the party being female for once. And do it seriously and effortlessly, without being overly sexualized (and somewhat of a joke) the way FFX-2 was.
I would love a Raya and the Last Dragon kind of FF game. Where most of the major roles are Female leads, but in a way that feels logical and natural. It'd also give us a great opportunity to have a larger variety of female characters again.
 

Face My Fears

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UO for me, but I'm glad Vaan was the main character of XII. I honestly never liked Ashe as much as I wanted to. And Penelo is even worse; she's in the same category as Aerith and Kairi to me, as far as being a female character whose entire existence revolves around chasing after a male character who is largely oblivious to them. Fran is the only good female character in that game, imo, but for me the best part of XII has always been Vaan, Fran, and Balthier as a trio. Basch's storyline is really nice, too, though, and I also liked Larsa even if the villain was pretty meh.
It's been a long time since I played it, but I barely remember Vaan really doing anything of importance after the introductory portion of the game. I did like him interacting with Fran and Balthier (they are definitely the best characters from this game), but he didn't seem interesting to me and inactive as a protagonist. He just felt like he was along for the ride. Again, I need to replay the game to judge, I might feel different now that I'm older.
 
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