Final Fantasy XVI director wants to shake up the series with epic monster battles

The thing Naoki Yoshida is most excited about in Final Fantasy XVI is the eikon battles.

By talking to The edgeYoshida, the game’s director, explained how earth-shattering, jaw-dropping, and extended battles between some of the franchise’s biggest and most popular monsters featured heavily in this latest non-remake single-player entry in 35 years. -old JRPG series.

Summons – aka espers, alias eons, alias eidolons, alias GFs (lol) and now eikons – have been an integral part of the Final Fantasy series, representing a sort of “break glass in an emergency” option in combat. Over the years players have had varying levels of control over them with the power to call them in for a single big shot like in Final Fantasy VII and IXsend them commands directly as in Final Fantasy X, or to summon them as NPC battle allies like in FFXII. But Final Fantasy XVI seems to offer more to summon the fight than just having a big dude show up to beat other dudes for you.

Image from Final Fantasy XVI with ice summon Shiva battling a Final Fantasy cat monster

Image: Square Enix

“We have these epic summon versus summon battles,” Yoshida said, speaking through a translator. “And it won’t just be in cutscenes. Players will be able to actually participate in these battles and control their own eikon and experience the excitement from within, not just from an outside view type.

The Eikons are at the heart of every trailer, media and lore we’ve seen Final Fantasy XVI so far, and focusing the game on these creatures with immense and awesome power is key to Yoshida’s vision.

” We are considering Final Fantasy XVI like a giant high-speed roller coaster that will take players on an exciting adventure in both story and gameplay.

Final Fantasy is in the midst of a “Garuda hot summer” period. Final Fantasy XIV continues to enjoy worldwide popularity as fans eagerly await the arrival of not only a crisis core remake but the launch of the second opus of the Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy. Doesn’t matter if you are a single player or an MMO Final Fantasy Fan, you eat well. But the arrival of XVI rekindles concerns about Square Enix’s ability to create a successful and original single-player Final Fantasy title.

Image of Final Fantasy XVI protagonist Clive Rosefield standing in front of a flame backdrop

Image: Square Enix

The boring title Stranger from Heaven: Final Fantasy Origin made waves for being a weird “cringe but make it camp” game outside of the traditional action RPG format, but it didn’t see widespread success. In addition, Final Fantasy XV was a commercial success but a critical failure plagued by delays, scope changes, platform changes and leadership changes creating a messy hodgepodge of a game (albeit sprinkled with some truly brilliant moments defining the series) with a back half that is almost completely indefensible.

Go in XVIYoshida and his team were aware of the lingering issues FFXVthe production.

“One of the first things we did at the start of Final Fantasy XVI development, when we were still a very small team, focused first on what kind of game system we had,” Yoshida said. “And then once we had that, we finalized the meat of the script and the narrative.”

The result, Yoshida says, is a game that’s currently fully playable from start to finish, hopefully without the hassle of needing DLC ​​or books to fill in the gaps or better express the game’s story after the fact.

Fans are thrilled to XVI in a way that they may not have been for others Final Fantasy games because of Yoshida. There’s a big reason Square Enix was able to save Final Fantasy XIV from a barely playable mess to the critically acclaimed game that was so popular last year sales and free trials had to be put on hold to alleviate server congestion. I wanted to know what, if anything, of her secret FFXIV the sauce made it FFXVI.

But Yoshida said that working on Final Fantasy XVI did not make too much use of his experience with Final Fantasy XIV because they are two very different games for players who want very different things.

“Working on a main title and learning who the fans of Final Fantasy are and what those fans expect from the series is what has proven most valuable,” Yoshida said.

Yoshida explained that the experience of developing these games is like the difference between a marathon and a 100-meter sprint. He’s a marathon runner, used to stretching out a story in order to keep fans interested and constantly playing, and he needed to train, so to speak, to run much faster over a much shorter distance.

“Compared to an MMO, single-player games are more about providing instant gratification,” he said. “It’s short bursts of extreme excitement and then, when you get to the finish, end with a bang that makes people think ‘Wow, that was a great game.'”

Yoshida is not the only person in the FFXIV team working on FFXVI. Fans are equally thrilled to see XIVMasayoshi Soken’s composer working on XVIis the music. I asked if Yoshida had any idea how Soken was handling the new mission.

Image of a smiling monstrous Titan eikon from Final Fantasy XVI

Image: Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIV has always been considered a Final Fantasy theme park, and it allowed for many different kinds of musical styles,” Yoshida said. “Final Fantasy XVI, however, is a more focused experience firmly rooted in Clive Rosefield and his journey. As such, I envisioned a more focused experience when it comes to music as well.

Yoshida shared that Soken confided in him that he was actually having a hard time adjusting to working on a single-player game.

“Focusing on a theme was actually very difficult for him,” Yoshida said. “It’s been a long time since he had to do this and not be able to do what he wants.”

Yoshida thinks that Final Fantasy XVI is a kind of majority for him. He talked about his time playing the first Final Fantasy as a child and how his imagination made him feel like he was playing a movie. Now, with all the advancements in technology, he no longer needs to rely on his imagination.

“I’m watching the final Fantasy XVI like taking the best part of a movie and the best part of a game and putting them together to make a really interactive type of game/movie,” he said. “The most exciting part of developing this game was the eikons with the size and scale of their battles. When I was a kid I played Final Fantasy Iwith its pixel graphics, it’s how I imagined it would look and being able to see it now has been really exciting.

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