Ultimate Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida innovates collection in new entry

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The Ultimate Fantasy collection is a staple in RPG tradition that helped standardize tropes which have outlined the style for many years. Although narratively unconnected, every recreation’s turn-based fight, fantastical worlds and colourful, quirky characters struck comparable chords. You would at all times inform once you had been enjoying a Ultimate Fantasy recreation.

This brings us to “Ultimate Fantasy XVI.” Whereas the Sony State of Play recreation trailer confirmed acquainted summons which have develop into icons within the franchise, it confirmed little else that felt like gamers had been about to enter a Ultimate Fantasy recreation. The slower, extra methodical turned-based fight system is gone in favor of one thing that appears ripped straight from Satan Could Cry. The fantastical setting is gone too, in favor of a extra practical medieval setting with darkish undertones akin to a Souls recreation.

Engaged on the mission is Naoki Yoshida, a producer first introduced on to salvage developer Sq. Enix’s critically panned enterprise into the MMORPG style, “Ultimate Fantasy XIV,” and who is commonly cited as saving not simply “FFXIV,” however doubtlessly the complete franchise . With this newest collection entry, he mentioned he is needed to steadiness fan expectations with innovation.

“Once you’re fascinated about the way forward for the Ultimate Fantasy franchise, it’s important to goal at that technology of gamers which have by no means touched a Ultimate Fantasy earlier than,” Yoshida mentioned in an interview with The Washington Submit. “Possibly they assume the collection is just too outdated, too basic. [So you] create one thing that exhibits them that this might be an thrilling recreation.

“However I do not need you to assume that I am abandoning these veteran gamers and followers of the collection, as a result of we’re undoubtedly not. We wish to create one thing that everybody feels is epic. ”

Creator of ‘Ultimate Fantasy’ displays on his final recreation, his profession and the puppetry of his works

Sq. Enix has been fighting an id disaster with the collection for greater than a decade. A tumultuous manufacturing cycle plagued 2006′s “Ultimate Fantasy XII,” “Ultimate Fantasy XIII’s” pivot to a extra action-based fight system polarized followers, and “Ultimate Fantasy XV,” which strayed even farther from turn-based fight, featured a convoluted narrative that unfolded throughout a number of DLCs, a spinoff beat-em-up fashion recreationan anime miniseries to go film.

When “FFXIV” was initially launched in 2010, it was closely criticized for its lack of content material, quite a few bugs and server failures. Yoshida, an avid MMORPG fan himself, was introduced on to steer a workforce that may basically rebuild the sport totally. The end result was “FFXIV: A Realm Reborn” in 2013, a way more streamlined expertise that mounted bugs and offered wealthy content material that not solely spoke to newcomers however longtime followers desperately in search of indicators of the franchise they as soon as knew.

Yoshida, now the producer of “FFXVI,” which is ready to launch in 2023, is incorporating the teachings he’s taken away from “FFXIV” into “FFXVI’s” design philosophy. The fight system of “FFXVI” is a primary instance of this: It’s action-oriented, emphasizing flashy combos and read-and-react fight that the Ultimate Fantasy collection has been trending towards since “FFXII,” however makes an attempt to include components longtime followers will acknowledge.

Preventing gained’t be a solo expertise, opposite to the way it seems within the trailer. The principle character, Clive, shall be accompanied by a number of AI-controlled social gathering members who will banter and join all through the sport, much like previous Ultimate Fantasy video games. Yoshida additionally teases that there shall be a “devoted buddy” that Clive can provide particular instructions to through the fight, regardless of nearly all of participant management specializing in Clive.

Whereas particular particulars of the fight shall be revealed at a later date, Yoshida is assured within the course the system is taking. He believes that Sq. Enix, now with titles like “Ultimate Fantasy XV,” “Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake” and the Kingdom Hearts collection beneath its belt, lastly has the experience to create a compelling motion fight system that gamers, no matter their familiarity with the collection, will get pleasure from.

“The Kingdom Hearts workforce at Sq. Enix has been particularly useful in contributing to these real-time fight and boss battles,” Yoshida mentioned. “It may be mentioned that the battles in ‘FFXVI’ are in some methods a fruits of the corporate’s previous experiences.”

The workforce, led by Battle Director Ryota Suzuki, previously of Capcom, who helped design “Marvel vs. Capcom 2, ”“ Satan Could Cry 5 ”and“ Dragon’s Dogma, ”feels equally assured, in keeping with Yoshida. Points that plagued earlier video games within the franchise – round battle animations, fight fluidity and messy UIs – have all been streamlined due to Suzuki’s steerage.

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Yoshida additionally believes that the sport’s story – which he says is just not going to be a contented story, and features a setting, Valisthea, that’s a lot darker than earlier entries – could have overarching themes harking back to what followers of the collection have come to count on .

“One of many essential themes that is explored in ‘Ultimate Fantasy XVI’s’ narrative offers with a conflict of beliefs. What is true and mistaken? Ought to the individuals stay the life that was chosen for them, or ought to they’ve the fitting to decide on the trail that they stroll? ” Yoshida mentioned.

Sq. Enix made certain that one of many first screens that hundreds up when enjoying “Ultimate Fantasy XV” was a message that mentioned the sport was “A Ultimate Fantasy for Followers and First-Timers.” Yoshida believes that “Ultimate Fantasy XVI” may also capitalize on that message.

“Personally, I feel all video games ought to be like that,” he mentioned. “You may see the identical factor in ‘Ultimate Fantasy XIV.’ So our basis [for ‘Final Fantasy XVI’] is to construct one thing that is going to be fulfilling for veteran followers in addition to new gamers. ”

Gene Park contributed to this report.

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