Final Fantasy 16 is an action game; producer Naoki Yoshida explains why

The Last Illusion 16the next entry in Square Enix’s 35-year-old role-playing game franchise, Bringing action-based gameplay to the forefront. The game’s real-time action will at best likely be an adjustment for some longtime Final Fantasy fans, even if the series has evolved to this point across multiple mainline games.

But The Last Fantasy 16 Producer Naoki Yoshida has his reasons to go all out and invite former Capcom designer Ryota Suzuki (Demons can cry 5, Dragon dogma) to Square Enix to realize the game’s vision. Clive Rosfield is basically FF16‘s Dante, armed with the swords, spells, and magical powers of classic Final Fantasy summons, known as Eikons.

Talk to Yoshida, Suzuki, and The Last Fantasy 16 Game director Hiroshi Takai at a The Last Fantasy 16 previewed in New York recently, I asked the game’s creators why they chose action.

“That’s me, and I want to talk about why I made that decision,” Yoshida said through an interpreter. “In the years I worked on The Last Fantasy 14before I start working on The Last Fantasy 16I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and speak to fans, players and media from all over the world and get their perspective on not only FF14, but Final Fantasy is a series. From the feedback I’ve received, it turns out that people’s views on Final Fantasy, as a series, have begun to solidify.”

Yoshida says that solid image is that “all Final Fantasy will be a JRPG, they will have anime-style characters, it will always be about teenagers saving the world, [and] it will always be turn-based.”

“Not that these are bad things,” continued Yoshida. “We grew up with games like this. And we love games like this. And we understand that there are a lot of players out there who enjoy games like this. But there are a lot of players who use that as an excuse not to participate in the series.

Clive Rosfield slashes enemies in screenshots from Final Fantasy 16

Image: Square Enix

Yoshida says there is a younger generation, raised by first-person shooter games and Grand Theft Auto games, who enjoy the instant gratification of action games and believe that Final Fantasy games don’t. for them. It is “appropriate.”

“With The Last Fantasy 16, we want to attract as many players as possible,” said Yoshida. “We wanted to bring back not only fans of the series but also players who had left the series.[…] And one thing that we think is going to be a great way to get more of those gamers back is going the action route.”

Yoshida and Takai say they’ve been developing Final Fantasy’s action-focused first for two years, building a prototype where players will battle two boss-type characters. The prototype also includes a spectacular early version of the Eikon clash — a colorful summoner versus summoner battle that looks like a 3D fighting game.

“We submitted that to the board of directors and they approved our project,” says Takai. “But then there is a problem: Now we have this one, we have to create more Eikon vs Eikon battles and we also have to create Clive vs enemy battles. It can’t just be hardcoded, we need to have a system that will work throughout the game.” Looking at the existing staff at the time, Takai says, they realized they didn’t have anyone with outstanding action game expertise.

Eikon Ifrit turns to throw a fireball at the flying Garuda during the Eikon Clash battle from Final Fantasy 16

Image: Square Enix

Enter Ryota Suzuki, The Last Fantasy 16 combat director.

“I just finished it now Devil Can Cry 5Suzuki recalled. “As of this point, I’ve been at Capcom for almost 20 years, so I’m starting to think about my future career. During those 20 years, I only made action games [and] fighting game. My skill set is very, very limited. I started to think, Well, I have this skill set that I’ve spent my life building. Does anyone need it? Is this going to translate for another company? Do people need me?

Takai and Suzuki recall meeting through a mutual friend, and the latter asked if Square Enix was looking for someone with his special talent. Takai was quietly excited about the opportunity, but couldn’t tell Suzuki at that meeting that they were planning to build an action-focused version of Final Fantasy that would focus on Devil May Cry.

“We ended up hiring him,” Yoshida said. “It was just the perfect timing in so many ways that could not have been anything other than the fate that he came to at the time he did it, the fate that he had 20 years of experience in, that’s exactly what we do. I need. We can tell you right now that he doesn’t need his help on [Final Fantasy 16]If he wasn’t on the project, we wouldn’t be here talking because we’re still in development for at least two more years.


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