Why Character Swapping Is A Huge Deal For Final Fantasy XV

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Final Fantasy XV has been a work in progress for little over a decade. Even after its initial launch a year ago, it still had ways to go before it would be a finished product. There have been numerous reports and think pieces about this game’s retail release. I’ve been very vocal about my grievances about the game. No need to rehash old conversations that have been beaten into the ground. The horse had been dead for over eight months. I see no reason to keep repeating and echoing the same ol’ complaints about the game being unfinished, blah blah, etc. It’s unproductive. It’s a waste of my time. And it’s a waste of your time to read it. I think that SquareEnix has finally come to a place where they can add content to the game as it seems to have reached its intended complete state, at least in my opinion. Episode Ignis will be the final character chapter released for this year. Now, a highly requested feature will be integrated into the game (finally). Character switching was something I felt was very needed and necessary for this game.
During the Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Extended Talk Show back in 2014 this came up:

Q: Can you change the operational character?
A: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.

It was taken out the game’s final build and was thought to never be implemented. Thankfully things have changed a lot since then. Behold the Character Switch trailer: I’m sure you’re not understanding why such a small change is so important? Well, many of the features, gameplay mechanics and story elements have been butchered and neutered from the original gameplay trailer that was present in 2006’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The above character switch trailer reminds me of the 2006 trailer very much. It may be a small beacon of hope that more elements of the original game build gets implemented into the game. But that’s a long shot. What remains is a great and incredible feature that changes the way you approach boss fights and enemy encounters in general. Playing the game singularly as Noctis  is very subpar and down right boring. Especially since the party members are interesting and provide variety to the combat. Even if we don’t get Magitek mechs and a better magic system, this small change will make a world of difference. We’re finally getting closer to Etro’s light.

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