March 30th, 2015

quote - flamethrower

That FFXV interview.

So unless you've been living under a rock (and if so, please tell me where this rock is and let me crawl beneath it with you), and if you're interested in the Final Fantasy series at all, you've probably seen people talking about this interview with Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV. Among other things, he discusses his decision to publish the first Final Fantasy title with an all-male team since 1990 -- yep, that's confirmed now, five dudes and no women in the player party -- in terms that are, shall we say controversial?

"Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way," Tabata said....

For Tabata, the journey will have the cast adopting what he dubs a "boys will be boys" type demeanor. "It was the story we wanted to tell and what we wanted to show players," he explained.

"The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren't around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper."

Ugh. So much ugh, I don't even know where to start.

Maybe I'll start by saying that, for me at least, the all-male player cast of FFXV wasn't a deal-breaker. Given Square Enix’s past track record with providing gender-balanced casts with interesting male and female characters in the Final Fantasy series, I was hoping for better, and the decision to break with that tradition disappointed me. But I had still planned to buy and play the game, to give the story and the characters a chance.

Tabata's interview has pretty much killed that desire for me, and if I'm reading reactions correctly, there's a lot of people who agree with me.

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If SE wants to break with their traditions and make a Final Fantasy game with an all-male cast, that’s their right. It’s their game, their company, their choice. No one is claiming otherwise. And who knows, maybe Final Fantasy XV will break free of the expectations that Tabata is setting up for us here and be an awesome game. But given his commentary, I have serious doubts. As it stands now, I expect I'm going to have to give this one a pass.

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