If you don’t follow a game particularly closely, then the storms that occur within its communities can seem very bizarre. Take Final Fantasy XVI—obviously a game with a huge fanbase and a lot of people very excited for next month’s release—but one where you might have missed the furore over its UI. Or indeed the fuss made over Final Fantasy XIV’s grapes. Both issues have been addressed in a recent wave of publicity for the game, but in the case of the former, with the surprise move of reversing the changes previously made in response to fan fury.
Final Fantasy fansite, Final Fantasy Union (via VGC) put up a video in which they asked producer Naoki Yoshida about the fan reaction to the game’s UI. After the first trailer was released, viewers were deeply upset that the game’s UI looked like something from a fighting game. Which is true. Neon-glowy italic text would sproing up next to the combat, stating the moves played. But, it was argued, this didn’t match the fantasy setting, and in response to the uproar, Square Enix put in something fans might find more appropriate. But guess what? It’s gone! They’ve put it back how it was.
“We definitely heard the feedback when we released that first trailer and people saw the UI and then gave a lot of feedback about how maybe it looked too much like a fighting game,” said Naoki Yoshida in response to FFU’s question. “It was too sci-fi, didn’t fit the style of the game. We heard that and went back and we redid the UI and made it into something that fits the style a little bit better.”
However, despite this sounding like a fairy tale ending for loud internet people, in recent months they changed their minds again. “But we found that it blended too much with what was going on,” continued Naoki. “It became difficult to see because in the end, Final Fantasy XVI is an action RPG, and the action is very fast and things are moving. And so you need those numbers and those graphics to pop out or you’re going to miss them in the heat of the action.”
He accepted that at first “it takes you out,” but argues that “the more you get used to it and the more you realize that it actually fits with what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, in an interview session that rather excellently seemed to allow a lot of non-traditional sites and YouTubers in, rather than the usual media, Primalliquid asked the all-important question, “Will Final Fantasy XVI have grapes?” (Thanks, ThisIsXel.)
The response explained that there will be a region in the game that makes a lot of wine, so there will be vineyards. And then comes the immortal quote,
“The first thing we did is, we went in and checked the grape quality in Final Fantasy XVI and made sure it was perfect.”
Art director Hiroshi Minagawa went on to add (translated by colleague Michael Christopher Koji-Fox), “I looked at it and [said], yeah, this is not going to be good enough. We need to raise the polygons in those grapes.” Minagawa-San then adds, in English, “Next-gen grapes.”
Final Fantasy XVI comes out June 22, and if you’d like something a bit more coherent, here’s the latest trailer: