yup, then when you need them you’re like…”ooooh….crap….. I need to level up this character stat! where can I level them so they don’t get creamed?…”
The only one bone that I have to pick with SE in regards to Final Fantasy XII -.- . But other than that, its gameplay style is quite a strong difference than the other titles that I find it most enjoyable and fun to play with.
Yoshinori Kitase was the producer for both Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, and currently the head of Square Enix’s 1st Production Department and co-director for Final Fantasy Versus XIII. His past work for the series include field planner for Final Fantasy V, co-director for Final Fantasy VI, director for Final Fantasy VII and VIII, producer for Final Fantasy X and X-2, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Dissidia Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy Type-0.
Would you ever remake some of the earlier games in the series simply because you like the setting?
In the transition between XIII to XIII-2, it was quite easy because obviously we kept all the data and the engine - we had just finished using them so it was almost like they hadn’t gone cold. The technology was already warm and ready to use, so it was quite good. Also within the team, we still had a feel for the game, it was still new to us, still lingering with us, so we were ready to move on to the sequel.
But if we were to take one of the past Final Fantasy titles and make a sequel to it, I think that would be a lot more challenging because when they were on PlayStation and PlayStation 2 their actual game volume was a lot bigger, kind of. Graphically they weren’t as advanced as they are now, but there were lots of towns and worlds and cities and whatever. So if we were to recreate the same kind of game - sequel or not - with the same volume, but give it a much higher level of graphical quality, it would take us three times, four times, even ten times longer to make such a game. So making a sequel for an old game would be a lot more challenging.
I imagine that must be especially true with games like Final Fantasy VII which had pre-rendered 2D backdrops. Turning those beautiful static shots into 3D environments would be difficult. Is that the main thing that’s holding you back?
We have experimented - Advent Children is a film sequel to Final Fantasy VII, if you like - and we know that the hundreds of fans would like to see a hi-def version of Final Fantasy VII. But if we were to achieve the modern graphical quality at the same time putting in exactly the same world and everything, I think it would take ten times longer as compared to the time we took to produce XIII, for example.
So if we were to pursue the same graphical quality, somehow we would have to make adjustments about game volume in the world, we’d have to cut down certain areas, but if we did that our fans would probably be not very happy, so we have to achieve both goals so that if we ever decide to either remake VII or make a sequel for hi-def consoles, we’re going to have to be very, very careful.
Do you think that fans sometimes don’t appreciate that their memories of the game may be more precious than a sequel or remake could ever be?
If I may speak as a game creator, if we were to produce a remake of VII, for example, I would be really tempted to delete things and add new elements, new systems or whatever because if we were to make exactly the same thing now, it’d be like a repeat. It’d be an issue of repetition and not as much fun to make such a game. So I’d be really interested in rearranging games or reshaping games into something slightly different even though it’s supposed to be the same game. But if we did that, the fans might be disappointed or “this is not what I was expecting” so in that sense maybe some might say that it’s better to let memory be memory.
When we play the games we made years ago, sometimes we think “oh, that is not really cool” or “that probably should have been a bit better than that” and that sort of thing. But on the other hand, those slightly negative features and bits, some of the fans - really enthusiastic fans of these titles - that gives them an extra flavour or personality or whatever, so maybe they would rather we didn’t do anything about it and we just leave it in as it is, so it’s very difficult to decide what we should we keep in and what we should take out.