Late-night talk-show host Conan O’Brien admits he knows nothing about video games, but publishers still often pay him money to play their products on his show because they consider it great exposure. That might’ve backfired a bit when it comes to Final Fantasy XV.
Conan played Final Fantasy XV early as part of his Clueless Gamer segment last night, and the result is one of the funniest and harshest entries in the history of the long-running bit. The sci-fi fantasy role-playing game debuts November 29 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Actor Elijah Wood joined Conan for the segment, and the two found themselves confused and bored almost immediately after booting the sci-fi fantasy role-playing game, and things never get back on track. That all culminates in an incredible finale where Conan realizes that representatives from Square Enix have been watching him demolish the game and the only way he can leave is by going out and facing them. The segment has some Final Fantasy fans upset.
“Is there anything we can do to stop this,” Wolfhowwl wrote in a post on the NeoGAF message board, a community of passionate gamers. “FFXV is too important to be sabotaged by the ill informed rants of an uncultured Western talk show host. I felt sickened just seeing all the hard work of [game director Hajime] Tabata-san and others being insulted like this.”
Watch and decide for yourself if it is insulting. You can find the video above. Was it overly mean to call Final Fantasy XV an “aggressive waste of time”? Well, that’s kinda the point of Conan’s Clueless Gamer persona. He doesn’t thoroughly trash every game he plays, but he definitely calls out the silly aspects in all of them — especially elements that many gamers might not notice because we are so accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of the medium. But Final Fantasy XV looks like Square Enix unleashed a strategic reserve of idiosyncrasies, and while I actually find that appealing in a way it makes sense that Conan would jump on that as an opportunity for comedy.
And it turns out that Square Enix shares that sense of humor.
— Final Fantasy XV (@FFXVEN) November 15, 2016
Those aforementioned fans, however, aren’t quite as confident as Square Enix. Long-time Final Fantasy lovers on NeoGAF and Reddit are arguing whether this is bad for the game or not. Some are arguing this could tank the RPG’s sales.
“It’s bad publicity, though,” Omegaxlol wrote on the Final Fantasy message boards on Reddit. “The general public who doesn’t know a thing about JRPGs or Final Fantasy who look at this will most likely not be interested in it at all — not even to the point of looking up footage with actual gameplay in it. That’s bad for Square Enix, considering they want to target both new and old audiences of the FF franchise with this.”
Others are taking this as proof that the game is probably as bad as Conan makes it look.
“Conan is actually pretty good at pointing out when games are up their own ass full of nonsense,” NeoGAF poster Stumpokapow wrote. “He hasn’t been desensitized into needing to pretend that anime is good like most video game players. Final Fantasy XV looks like one of the most indulgently stupid and poorly written games ever released, so this is not a surprise.”
But a lot of fans argue that Conan is simply a comedian and not worth getting worked up over.
“Only on NeoGAF will you see people taking Clueless Gamer reviews seriously and ignore the positive 15 hour long previews FFXV has been getting recently,” wrote poster Nya.
Whatever people think of Final Fantasy XV or of Conan’s segment, Square Enix definitely got people talking about the game. And maybe that’s exactly what it wanted. Now that we are past the release of all the big shooter games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and other big holiday releases like Dishonored 2, and Watch Dogs 2, maybe getting fans riled up over a comedy bit is exactly what Final Fantasy XV needed.
And now I can’t wait to see Conan try to make sense of Kingdom Hearts 3 if that game ever comes out.