Final Fantasy. It is synonymous with diverse party members. So why is it that XV’s main playable party is all men?
As much as it might seem at first, I don’t think this is any nefarious plan by Square Enix to disenfranchise women in games. Has there ever been a main series game that is just men?
“The party is men only. That hasn’t changed since Final Fantasy Versus XIII.”
Final Fantasy, Square’s first foray into the series does not count, as the Heroes of light are pixelated blocks and are neither male nor female. You are simply “the Warriors of Light.” You can interpret any class as any gender as the player sees fit. In the second game, players are introduced to a gendered cast. The hero is clearly male, but there is also Maria, a female protagonist.
Originally XV was part of the XIII franchised universe and was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Square Enix wanted to distance the game from XIII as much as possible, since, let’s be honest XIII-2 and Lightning Returns are not the best games to have had the Final Fantasy logo slapped on them. Lightning Returns currently sits at a 66% Critic review on Metacritic. Not a good place to be for a Final Fantasy, even Final Fantasy XII has a higher rating, and that game suffered the loss of it’s director halfway through production.
There are females in the game. They suffer from Same Face Syndrome, but they are there, and they exist in the advertising for the game.
There are at least two females. I don’t have high hopes that the game will pass a Bechdel Test because of this. Having only two women in the game does not automatically mean the game will be horrible, that the women will be only background decoration to flaunt their “assets”, or that they will be terrible gendered stereotypes.
There are a lot of assumptions about the role of women in this game, and not much has been seen. Square Enix seems to be trying their best in not making it an issue, by avoiding it completely.
This is Square Enix making a game that is generally popular with female gamers in Japan. Female gamers. love. this.
This may just be the game that brings more females into the fold of Final Fantasy Fandom.
I will give the game a shot, and the demos have been fun to play. Lets wait and see what the complete game is like.