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Square Enix: Still working on the Switch version


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https://www.polygon.com/e3/2018/6/19/17466624/dragon-quest-11-nintendo-switch-version-e3-2018

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"We're making it," said Okamoto. "We're still making it. I can't say anything more."

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"When we first announced [Dragon Quest 11], the Switch hadn't come out yet, and the development kit also wasn't finalized," he [Okamoto] said. "The hardware specs weren't out yet, but we were like, 'We can manage this. We can put this out on the Switch.'"

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There's no telling when Okamoto and crew will be done "taking care of all those many things" that need adjustments before the Switch version launches. In fact, Okamoto, through a translator, kindly asked me to stop asking about when Dragon Quest 11 would come to Switch as I [Allegra Frank] continued to press for answers.

I think Square Enix, just like with Kingdom Hearts III, announced bringing Dragon Quest XI to the Nintendo Switch way too early. But it still doesn't excuse Allegra Frank for being annoying.

Edited by Dakhil
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Yeah, pretty much.

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Not really "too" early as 8 months ago Horii stated in an interview that the Switch would be the PS4 version.  They were already 3~5 months into development at that point.

The original plan was definitely for February-March of this year in Japan.  The Horii interview indicated Switch was going well.  Something happened around October where a change was made, and the Switch was postponed.  With that, the October info dump about the versions of DQ11 International was postponed as well.

They are OBVIOUSLY using the narrative that somehow the Switch port was only recently started, however using very clever language where they're not lying about the start date, only allowing the audience to believe it's only newly begun, and they're just not ready due to technical difficulties.  All a bunch of a hokey language, and all open-ended language intended to keep things quiet.  As per Allegra...yes, she should show some respect.  If they're not willing to discuss it, and they've made this known over the last 12 interviews when asked, maybe it would be good to leave it at a single question and response until SE is ready to allow disclosure.

Cat was already out of the bag, and they couldn't put it back in.

There are only two likely reasons they don't want to talk about the Switch version at this point, where we SHOULD be able to see how the game has progressed:

1) They don't want to harm PS4/Steam sales.  They want to maximize the current sales for the US and EU markets by focusing on the two current releases.  This is likely the main reason.
2) They want the Switch to be more than a simple PS4 port, and want it to be something memorable for us to make up for the lack of the 3DS.  Case in point: they actually acknowledge the 3DS version exists.  Remember how over the years, until they started teasing DQ's 7, 8, and 10, when they wouldn't even acknowledge DQ games existed that weren't released in the West?  They are well aware the fanbase and gamers in general are aware of what is and isn't released in Japan.  They are aware we use social media.

My personal guess is the Switch will have some 3DS content in some form.  Either the extra bits, or maybe the 2D (the sprites take up literally no space).  Could be they're just aiming for a totally different look.  PS4/Steam use a more shiny metallic looking Cell-Shading, and maybe the Switch will use the more paint-style approach Ni No Kuni 2 uses.  That could take some time to rebuild, but it would allow them to assure maximum graphical fidelity with a LOT of reduction of poly's and textures, while still looking like the PS4 version and having a very unique flair.  Clearly there's likely to be new content of some form.

In anycase, it is funny how often they try to brush off what they don't want to discuss.  At least it's not as insulting as the BS diatribe they spew about US audiences, and how DQ8 is the only successful DQ.  As much as I downplayed it in the other discussion, it does bother me a lot.  It is VERY disingenuous, and it CAN cause some problems when DQ9's remake comes out in 2~4 years (oh, you know they're working on it), I guess for them it's a matter of the time gap in between releases and no one will care much by that point, especially if DQ11 becomes the major hit I believe it will be.

 

In anycase, interesting read.

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8 hours ago, ignasia said:
Not really "too" early as 8 months ago Horii stated in an interview that the Switch would be the PS4 version.  They were already 3~5 months into development at that point. The original plan was definitely for February-March of this year in Japan.  The Horii interview indicated Switch was going well.  Something happened around October where a change was made, and the Switch was postponed.  With that, the October info dump about the versions of DQ11 International was postponed as well. They are OBVIOUSLY using the narrative that somehow the Switch port was only recently started, however using very clever language where they're not lying about the start date, only allowing the audience to believe it's only newly begun, and they're just not ready due to technical difficulties.  All a bunch of a hokey language, and all open-ended language intended to keep things quiet.  As per Allegra...yes, she should show some respect.  If they're not willing to discuss it, and they've made this known over the last 12 interviews when asked, maybe it would be good to leave it at a single question and response until SE is ready to allow disclosure. Cat was already out of the bag, and they couldn't put it back in. There are only two likely reasons they don't want to talk about the Switch version at this point, where we SHOULD be able to see how the game has progressed: 1) They don't want to harm PS4/Steam sales.  They want to maximize the current sales for the US and EU markets by focusing on the two current releases.  This is likely the main reason.

2) They want the Switch to be more than a simple PS4 port, and want it to be something memorable for us to make up for the lack of the 3DS.  Case in point: they actually acknowledge the 3DS version exists.  Remember how over the years, until they started teasing DQ's 7, 8, and 10, when they wouldn't even acknowledge DQ games existed that weren't released in the West?  They are well aware the fanbase and gamers in general are aware of what is and isn't released in Japan.  They are aware we use social media.

My personal guess is the Switch will have some 3DS content in some form.  Either the extra bits, or maybe the 2D (the sprites take up literally no space).  Could be they're just aiming for a totally different look.  PS4/Steam use a more shiny metallic looking Cell-Shading, and maybe the Switch will use the more paint-style approach Ni No Kuni 2 uses.  That could take some time to rebuild, but it would allow them to assure maximum graphical fidelity with a LOT of reduction of poly's and textures, while still looking like the PS4 version and having a very unique flair.  Clearly there's likely to be new content of some form.

In anycase, it is funny how often they try to brush off what they don't want to discuss.  At least it's not as insulting as the BS diatribe they spew about US audiences, and how DQ8 is the only successful DQ.  As much as I downplayed it in the other discussion, it does bother me a lot.  It is VERY disingenuous, and it CAN cause some problems when DQ9's remake comes out in 2~4 years (oh, you know they're working on it), I guess for them it's a matter of the time gap in between releases and no one will care much by that point, especially if DQ11 becomes the major hit I believe it will be.

 

In anycase, interesting read.

 

 

 

I believe Square Enix announced Dragon Quest XI was coming to the Nintendo Switch (and the Nintendo 3DS, which I'm admittedly still salty about) on 28 July 2015 when the Nintendo Switch was known only as the Nintendo NX, which I still think is too early to announce the Nintendo Switch version, given the admission that Square Enix has no information on the Nintendo Switch's specifications. 

Saying that, I do hope the Nintendo 3DS exclusive features will make its way to the Nintendo Switch version. I would love to alternate between 3D mode and 2D mode.

 

 

Edited by Dakhil
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Yeah, they shouldn't have said anything about it during the NX days, it was waaay to early. I read this as they want to make it the same experience as on PS4 but they encountered more bugs and issues than expected and ironing that out is gonna take some time. Afaik, besides DQ2 and the mobile ports (they seem to work perfectly or be a bugfest depending on the phone), there is not unpolished mainline game, no?

That said, i hope this version will include new features to make up for the long wait + for being a PS4 downgrade. Hoping for some of the 3DS-only stuff (namely the DQ1-10 worlds), dual audio (they're likely to add  tracks for the Switch version anyway, but dual audio might be difficult due to the lip-sync), and orchestral music (they convinced Sugiyama for VII and VIII on 3DS, they sure can convince him again for another "deluxe" release like those) and maybe some extra features like fast battle mode like in VIII-3DS and redistribution of the skill points (afaik in the jp versions you ended short of skill points and needed to farm seeds in order to max everyone). I don't think we'll ever see the 2D or chibi 3D modes in the west, so i don't expect either in the NSW version.

It would be cool if they went the Pokémon route and offered two different versions: a 3DS upscaled version with both 2d and 3d modes without any of the upgrades the western ps4/pc versions are getting, and a PS4 downgraded version with all the western upgrades and more. But waiting for that is just delusional and will never happen.

Edited by Awesomeinblue
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If it did get symphonic music, it would probably be Japan only.

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1 hour ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

If it did get symphonic music, it would probably be Japan only.

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case considering Koichi Sugiyama doesn't exactly have the greatest perception towards Westerners.

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3 hours ago, Dakhil said:

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case considering Koichi Sugiyama doesn't exactly have the greatest perception towards Westerners.

I can't find anything indicating he has any particular issue with Westerners.  The only thing we can potentially point to is DQ's 7 and 8 3DS not coming here with a Symphonic Suite, but then SE was able to convince him to allow DQ8 PS2 to do so, and DQ11 is synth for all releases.

I don't think so this time at all.  This isn't SE being pushed to release a game in the West due to fan demands.  This is SE making it very clear that the Switch release, like with the PS4, was explicitly done with Westerners in mind.  This singular element of the diatribe surrounding DQ11 IS consistent since the initial interviews over the Japanese release, and the subsequent statements SE made that DQ11 was definitely Western bound, despite some fans fearing it wasn't (probably because of the DQ10 promise way back), even though since Dragon Quest Heroes, the company has been adamant and singularly consistent that the PS4 side games were produced specifically with Westerners in mind as a lead-in for DQ11 and the resurgence of DQ over here.  All the other crap they're spouting now is just that, crap to flesh out the narrative and pretend DQ8 was the only successful DQ and the only DQ that matters (this is new though, and only since April...which further cements my thoughts that the 3DS was initially intended to see a release here).

No, in this case, SE has been fully intending for the Switch version to be released worldwide.  They've made it clear they know we pay attention, so they have to know that fans aren't exactly happy at the utter BS narrative concerning DQ8, given how many interviews have acknowledged openly, the 3DS version's existence and that it's not coming and the PS4 is the focus.  So in lieu of all that, whatever version they release in terms of score, will be identical in both Japan and International.  Anything less would be too obviously spotlit, because they themselves are spotlighting DQ11, and would play VERY badly alongside the lines that the Switch is being developed with Westerners in mind.  It would KILL sales, and they know it.  So either both have Midi, or both have Symphonic.  They make stupid mistakes, but they're not suicidal.  They are aware enough to know that really would spread fast and they would lose sales fast, or see returns from pissed off players.

 

5 hours ago, Awesomeinblue said:

Yeah, they shouldn't have said anything about it during the NX days, it was waaay to early. I read this as they want to make it the same experience as on PS4 but they encountered more bugs and issues than expected and ironing that out is gonna take some time. Afaik, besides DQ2 and the mobile ports (they seem to work perfectly or be a bugfest depending on the phone), there is not unpolished mainline game, no?

That said, i hope this version will include new features to make up for the long wait + for being a PS4 downgrade. Hoping for some of the 3DS-only stuff (namely the DQ1-10 worlds), dual audio (they're likely to add  tracks for the Switch version anyway, but dual audio might be difficult due to the lip-sync), and orchestral music (they convinced Sugiyama for VII and VIII on 3DS, they sure can convince him again for another "deluxe" release like those) and maybe some extra features like fast battle mode like in VIII-3DS and redistribution of the skill points (afaik in the jp versions you ended short of skill points and needed to farm seeds in order to max everyone). I don't think we'll ever see the 2D or chibi 3D modes in the west, so i don't expect either in the NSW version.

It would be cool if they went the Pokémon route and offered two different versions: a 3DS upscaled version with both 2d and 3d modes without any of the upgrades the western ps4/pc versions are getting, and a PS4 downgraded version with all the western upgrades and more. But waiting for that is just delusional and will never happen.

At the time though they weren't aware of how difficult it would be, and given the hype, and that the Switch was clearly being panned as a replacement for both the 3DS and WiiU, where the WiiU would be phased out early and the 3DS left to fend for itself being a handheld and having some level of success so while it may seem that way to us now, had the game been released in February it wouldn't be much of an issue.

As per buggy mainline game?  Only the 3DS remake of DQ7.  There are some bugs that are inherent to the original Japanese release, and quite a few new ones distinct to the international, though that was to be expected.  There is an incredible lack of polish in some areas for this version as a whole though.  There are too many aspects that indicate while they took their time on some things, others were rushed:

1) Stats not entered incorrectly at times.  0's where there should be 10's for the base-stat.

2) Some equipment specials don't work correctly and it's more likely an oversight due to changes in the code than it is an intention.  For instance Double-Edged Slash sometimes dealing 1/6 damage based on non-buffed damage output, even when the attack was Oomphed and/or boosted by Focus/Muster Strength.  Similarly with Miracle Sword.  Sometimes it will trigger for the full damage, but usually it ignores both buffs and the damage from a skill.

3) Trailing damage is severely bugged.  Let's say you have the Fire Blade.  You hit an enemy.  If that enemy survives the first hit, but dies to the trailing damage, you will always get the item/tame/heart drop, but you MAY or MAY NOT get the kill count in your book (about 50/50).  However, if you killed that enemy on the first hit, and the trailing damage is the only thing to both hit and kill the next enemy that enemy may not register as being killed at all (it's a 50/50 chance your book will register it, not 100% no, or 100% yes, and the best odds I can figure is about 50/50).  Even worse, if that enemy is the last to die, you will not roll a drop, a heart, or a tame even if the tame chance is 100% due to using Animal Magnetism 5x in a row (or more).

4) Summons are bugged.  Sometimes they carry over the previous Health if they survived the previous battle that particular summon was brought in, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes a summon, when they kill something, that creature won't register in your book.  It seems rare though, but it DOES happen, and it can be annoying if it's a boss with a 0 count for kills instead of 1.  Note this was tested and verified without Trailing damage being a factor.  That Special Summon has also lost its ability to summon again if the creature dies, which was possible in the original.

5) Of the 3 special quest DLC tablets, Mervyn's backstory is clearly incomplete.  The text implies you're supposed to witness him become the man he is to become, but instead it ends abruptly with a paltry item that at the time you get it (literally the end-game), has NO value, and you've learned very little about the man.  Kiefer's also feels very rushed.  Almost like they initially wanted it to be multi-quest or lead into his rejoining the party.

6) Of the 56 normal DLC tablets, quite a few make no sense at all.  For instance, Tin Pot you get from Putrick Stinkenhiemer in "A Poisonous Party."  He's the ONLY normal game NPC/Boss that you fight again.  The map itself requires about level 20 for most players, with at least 2 classes mastered, and just starting on intermediate.  The boss requires about level 12 to finish off, with no classes or at least 1 class mastered.  The map recommended level is 18, which is about right overall.  The item itself is only worthwhile if you can obtain it at L'Arca.  After L'Arca, you're already into superior headgear from stores.  It has no special features/attributes, and it doesn't change your appearance.

The same is repeated with items like Slime Shield, Slime Stick, Slime Crown (is the WORST offender), Frying Pan, Joker's Soaker, and the other new gear with no properties, super hard bosses or super hard maps, and not even a custom element to them.  Essentially you can only obtain them well past the point they're useful.  The gear with special properties are appropriate, and what's hilarious is Slime Crown #1 requires a boss that's almost on par for the defense it gives, so it's fair (Hammer), but #2 forces one of the five most difficult Tablet bosses and for most players, will require level 70 as a minimum, just to survive the HP reductions per normal hit (doable at 30 though, but really really rough) and the Eye of Rubiss or Night Light/Fishy Fog or kiss your sweet ass goodbye.  It's half-baked, not well thought through.  Rushed to fill in the gaps.

7) The tablet chest reward system, tablet boss behaviour and upgrades, lack of summoning skills for nearly all tablet bosses but 1:8 Slime and Metal Slime S, and the overuse of certain maps (caves...Rainbow Mines in particular) are all indicative of the complexity of that system and the limited time they had to complete it...so rushing through things.

8 ) The lack of indicators for page numbers.  The Bag, the Tablet lists for made and given being the most obvious.

9) The obvious map size differential between Start to Alltrades and Alltrades to end-game.  Clearly the plan was normal random spawns, and they developed each section as they went.  By the time they get to Alltrades, the decision was made for map spawning enemies.  The hallway sizes for earlier game maps weren't expanded to account for this.  Or it's possible this was done just after Alltrades, they expanded a few leading into Alltrades, then decided it wasn't worth the time and work crunch.

10) Kiefer.  More significantly both is equipment lists, but also his special stat boost, and how that was handled.  Unlike the original game, which had fixed stats, this uses a VERY complex series of algorithms (don't know what they are exactly, but I have used data for estimated guesses).  When Kiefer turns 50, he ends up with exactly 660 Resilience.  This doesn't replace his original stat gain either, which is likely still in the code.  Rather they overrode loading that stat algorithm for that particular level, for that particular stat from the normal to 660 - CurrentResilience.  After that, all stat gains are normal.  However because of the changes to the system from fixed to random growth, and due to the uber high value, instead of 2/3/4's per level up, he gets 0 or 1, 50/50 chance each level up.  So you can get +49 to his Resilience if you take him to 99.

He can also gear up with almost all of the new equipment.  This was clearly indicative that they meant for him to return, but couldn't work it in (likely due to time), and decided to put in this little surprise for those who love Kiefer and wanted to keep him going for a bit longer as an easter egg.  They could easily have removed his equipment allowances for later game equipment.  They even altered the Lucky Panel lists to reduce the number of uber gear you could obtain in the first casino, as it's possible to unlock that same casino in The Haven immediately following Regenstein's completion, and before doing L'Arca.  The other casino Lucky Panel rewards are virtually untouched as there is no way for Kiefer to gain access.

11) Incomplete spell and skill lists due to certain skills being removed like Padfoot, which would be a requirement for fun in this particular version, as there is NO way to reduce the encounter rates except to overlevel by 10~20 above what the map requires, then use Holy Protection or Holy Water.

For that matter, the way enemy spawns work is completely unpolished, and even if there's room to run around an enemy it's still difficult to do so and avoid battles:

 - They spawn in and 90% of the time notice you immediately.
 - They can see 180 degrees (I think more, but let's say 180), and unless you hit a certain level, can spot you from far away (sight reduction seems to be tied to the level required for both Holy Protection and 100% guaranteed running away in battle...so 10~20 levels above where you should be at).
 - While there is a range of movement speed, most enemies move at the same speed as the party, and the shoes that increase speed do not work in dungeons).

12) Overly simplistic world map.  Given DQ8, they could have crafted more hills and rolling fields, not just endless plains, trees, and dirty dunes.  The world map design is almost beta looking.  This is highly suggestive they didn't have time to really work out details in map layout.

13) Certain dungeon map designs are cut short and simplified, and a few are actually increased in size and scope (same floor layout though, like parts of Alltrades and Malign Shrine are MUCH larger).  Most remain almost carbon copies with most having a bit of expansion to account for the spawn system.

=======

It's unpolished, incomplete, unfinished in a lot of areas.  It IS polished where it matters.  The character models, the enemy models, the animations, the shortcuts to remove/curb some content early on, the dungeon graphics.  The spell/skill graphics, the Monster classes.  The way many cutscenes were handled and actually shortened in this version by combining what used to be 3~6 different cutscenes you had to walk and talk to the next person to trigger the next phase, and in this it just goes over the whole shebang.

For us, the localization work is tremendous.  It was really grand and well handled.

 

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Wow, i was only aware of the bugs introduced in the western release. Thats quite a lot, very interesting read. I wouldn't call the dlc tablets buggy though, they're unfinished and rushed, but not buggy imo.

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1 hour ago, ignasia said:

I can't find anything indicating he has any particular issue with Westerners.  The only thing we can potentially point to is DQ's 7 and 8 3DS not coming here with a Symphonic Suite, but then SE was able to convince him to allow DQ8 PS2 to do so, and DQ11 is synth for all releases.

I don't think so this time at all.  This isn't SE being pushed to release a game in the West due to fan demands.  This is SE making it very clear that the Switch release, like with the PS4, was explicitly done with Westerners in mind.  This singular element of the diatribe surrounding DQ11 IS consistent since the initial interviews over the Japanese release, and the subsequent statements SE made that DQ11 was definitely Western bound, despite some fans fearing it wasn't (probably because of the DQ10 promise way back), even though since Dragon Quest Heroes, the company has been adamant and singularly consistent that the PS4 side games were produced specifically with Westerners in mind as a lead-in for DQ11 and the resurgence of DQ over here.  All the other crap they're spouting now is just that, crap to flesh out the narrative and pretend DQ8 was the only successful DQ and the only DQ that matters (this is new though, and only since April...which further cements my thoughts that the 3DS was initially intended to see a release here).

No, in this case, SE has been fully intending for the Switch version to be released worldwide.  They've made it clear they know we pay attention, so they have to know that fans aren't exactly happy at the utter BS narrative concerning DQ8, given how many interviews have acknowledged openly, the 3DS version's existence and that it's not coming and the PS4 is the focus.  So in lieu of all that, whatever version they release in terms of score, will be identical in both Japan and International.  Anything less would be too obviously spotlit, because they themselves are spotlighting DQ11, and would play VERY badly alongside the lines that the Switch is being developed with Westerners in mind.  It would KILL sales, and they know it.  So either both have Midi, or both have Symphonic.  They make stupid mistakes, but they're not suicidal.  They are aware enough to know that really would spread fast and they would lose sales fast, or see returns from pissed off players.

I think one thing that might indicate that Koichi Sugiyama might not have the greatest perception towards Westerners is his controversial political views (I'm not going to divulge any more due to how controversial it is, but feel free to send me a private message if you wish to discuss it with me).

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Sugiyama can call me a greasy, gun-toting, cracker with a pasty complexion for all I care. He’s just putting music in a game I play in my off hours. He’ll get a paycheck as fat as he probably thinks Americans are regardless of the Western market.

I’d consider changing my stance if he was getting royalties from us for his work and he was using it to actively damage society like Watsuki was.

The man is 87. Let him be the living embodiment of “Old Man Yells at Cloud.”

Edited by eal
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Where the hell is this Sugiyama hates the west schtick coming from? We most likely lost the symphonic music for DQ7 & 8 3DS because Nintendo/SE didn’t want to pay the royalties for them since they wouldn’t have had as much of a money return as they would in Japan. I sincerely doubt Sugiyama was like, “Eh, the West doesn’t need it, force ‘em to have the synth!”

I’m not interested in the guy’s personal views or life: all I care about is his music. Without the classical styled music Sugiyama writes Dragon Quest would feel empty; it’s easily my favorite collection of game soundtracks I own. Same thing applies with people behind shows and movies: their personal lives/believes are their business, all I hope for is that I’ll enjoy their next product/show/movie/whatever.

 

On another note, Japan has only gotten the symphonic music treatment a few times in their releases: Dragon Quest V PS2, Dragon Quest VII and VIII 3DS, and Dragon Quest X (which was added later on but didn’t entirely replace the original synth).

Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit
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3 hours ago, Awesomeinblue said:

Wow, i was only aware of the bugs introduced in the western release. Thats quite a lot, very interesting read. I wouldn't call the dlc tablets buggy though, they're unfinished and rushed, but not buggy imo.

Oops, I didn't mean to imply a list of bugs, but bugs AND unfinished/unpolished elements.

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