FFXV Demo Review

What do you think of the demo for FF15? When rolling, you don’t get invincibility at the very start which seems really strange. Here’s a video detailing some of the other things in the combat.

I don’t think it’s that strange. The dodge in Smash Bros works the same way. I think the dark souls dodge might too.

I’m not fond of holding down the attack button to attack. That says to me that they don’t care about their attack animations, and from a game feel perspective it’s always felt weird to me when attacks with a low repeat rate (like pistols in most shooters) allow you to hold the button to continuously fire instead of pressing the button manually. Faster repeat actions (like a machine gun, or extremely rapid punches) make more sense with the button held, because they’re closer to a continuous state than individual hits.

The dodge system is weird. It works and the tradeoffs all check out, but it’s weird. Manual dodge that might be tricky, but costs nothing, and autododge that costs more the longer you hold it. Never heard of anything like this.

And at this point, I realized I could just download the demo and try this stuff for myself. I’ll get back to this after I play it on my own.

What are your impressions on the FFXV demo?

Combat is pretty lame still. Jumping feels so lame I don’t know why it’s in the game. You get stuck with these long startup and landing animations, and you can’t move during the landing animation. Also doesn’t go very high. I don’t really know why it’s there, except to transition into air attacks from the ground that have their own moveset.

Attacks let you autododge really soon out of them, suggesting a generous cancel window. Autododge costs barely any MP, you regenerate it faster than you lose it. He also didn’t note that the manual dodge pauses your MP regen briefly.

Hitboxes are accurate to the weapon, and I’ve seen weapons miss, but the animations are made such that it’s rare. When you’re close to an enemy, you can hold down the attack button and there is a type of magnetism of the character towards enemies. He’ll run into range and start swinging. Really lame feeling. Mashing swing has a stronger magnetism than merely holding it, taking effect at a further range and moving you faster.

The delay swing feature appears to be purely there so people don’t simply hold the button. Takes a really long time to actually activate after a normal swing, and longer to charge it. It’s not like the delay inputs in DMC or Bayonetta in terms of timing, so it doesn’t feel nearly as snappy either.

Also holy shit you move slow, and the sprint isn’t much faster. I actually had trouble noticing it was a sprint at all, or that the pace of movement had changed, what the fuck was up with that?

And I can’t get the air flip thing to work consistently with the sky step sword and cross shuriken, especially the shuriken. No idea what’s up with that.

You can also turn into an alligator thing in the demo, and it moves really awkwardly, and has a slow double bite attack that one shots enemies and feels absolutely awful because you temporarily lose all control over the character and it lasts a long time. Dark Souls had IASA frames and let you pivot as you swung to help avoid this feeling.

I mean, all the appropriate tradeoffs are there and detailed by the video, it’s just a really boring way to design a combat system. Hold down the button to attack, hold down the button to defend. Throw in a few wrinkles for more powerful attacks and stun. I admit I’m giving it a cursory examination, but I don’t feel the same level of deliberation in the combat as I see in other third person combat games.

Also as predicted, that fancy sword clashing animation in the early trailer is scripted, you get a gigantic button prompt beforehand and it turns into a QTE sequence. That’s exactly what I don’t want in my games.

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