In a recent interview, Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida explained his thoughts behind returning to more “classic fantasy” in the game’s setting. He also goes on to explain his thoughts and decisions behind the new battle system.
It’s become a trend in recent years for Final Fantasy games to stray more sci-fi than fantasy, but who can blame them? Final Fantasy VII cemented the franchise’s place in mainstream consciousness, and with its industrial aesthetic and blending of sci-fi and magic, it only makes sense other games would try to recapture that feeling.
Producer Naoki Yoshida wants to see a return to more traditional fantasy, similar to early Final Fantasy titles, or for that fact Final Fantasy XIV, a game he’s been the producer and director on for over 10 years.
Final Fantasy XVI will also feature a more action-oriented combat style. This is something that Square Enix has been trying to do for a long time, whether that’s the “Active Time Battle” system from Final Fantasy IV or the “Active Dimension Battle” system from Final Fantasy XII. Square has always been trying to make combat more dynamic, and the latest game in the franchise seems to take things a bit further. Here’s what Yoshida had to say:
Each new entry in the FINAL FANTASY series brings with it a new world, new characters, and a new battle system.
We get a lot of different suggestions from fans about what they want to see in future games, and unfortunately it isn’t possible for us to satisfy every one of them. There are also a lot of younger gamers out there who might never have played a FINAL FANTASY game before.
With FINAL FANTASY XVI, we wanted to appeal to as wide a range of gamers as possible by setting the story in a classic fantasy world that’s reminiscent of the early FINAL FANTASY games, but combining that with fast-paced, real-time action.
We have a comprehensive support system in place for players who aren’t too confident with action games, so even if action isn’t your thing, I hope you’ll give it a try.
One other reason we went with an action-based battle system this time round is to push the boundaries of what a FINAL FANTASY game can be and expand the range of possibilities for the developers who pick up the reins of the series after us.Naoki Yoshida (Square Enix)
It might seem ironic, but a return to classic fantasy almost feels subversive in the context of recent games. Yoshida hopes that this will make the game more approachable to a wider variety of fans. Whether that’s true or not, there’s no denying the buzz around Final Fantasy XVI despite its release being a year away.