"It’s only thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5 system that we can make Final Fantasy XVI the roller-coaster ride that it is," says Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida in a new interview with the official PlayStation Blog.
Indeed, it sounds like Yoshida's a big fan of Sony's latest system, his favourite feature being the console's lightning quick load times. "With the boost in processing power, we can obviously make the graphics even richer than we could before, but it’s the super-fast loading times that really impress me," he says.
Yoshida continues: "In Final Fantasy XVI, you jump straight from story cutscenes into real-time battles and back again without any loading times, making the gameplay flow at a breakneck pace."
We don't yet know how long it'll take to beat Final Fantasy XVI, but there's clearly going to be a heavy focus on storytelling and combat. Hopefully the pacing pans out in the finished product, set to release in the summer of 2023.
Do you agree with Yoshida? Are you a big fan of the PS5's speed? Prepare yourself for Final Fantasy XVI in the comments section below.
Nice. If there’s one thing I loved about FF9 it was the “breakneck pace”.
Big Fan of Yoshida. But yes, also big fan of PS5 speed. Can't wait for this one.
I just wish they’d drop last gen already. Once they can design games around the ridiculously fast IO throughput everything will improve to a ridiculous degree.
@kyleforrester87 I know you're being a vile little troll here Kyle, but I always thought one of the best things about FF9 was its pacing — which is actually really fast from story beat to story beat. Almost no padding outside of optional gameplay stuff.
If FF16 can find a similar pace, I'm in!
I have my PS5 for almost a year and I'm still impressed on how fast it loads. It makes even PS4 games more enjoyable due to that speed.
Square enix is basically second party at this point Sony should just buy them.
@kyleforrester87 Sure but remember how it took about 20 seconds from being randomly attacked to the battle actually starting as it had to load? And one of the groundbreaking things at the time with FF7-9 was how it could instantly play a prerendered cutscene whenever it needed to rather than loading it, even merging normal gameplay into cutscenes instantly (like the lift in Junon). So this is just the modern version of that.
is it an open world? can't remember reading anything about it. hope it's not. I'd like something like XII's world design.
@4kgk2 No chance of Sony doing that since it's actually a good idea.
@Matroska maybe Sony waiting until the Bungie deal to go through before they buy square enix.
The PS5 is the console ever made
@CthulhuFhtagn They confirmed it's not open world but it might have some large open areas.
@CthulhuFhtagn It's not an open world. It has been confirmed today. I'm really glad too, there is too many unnecessary open worlds nowadays.
@ShogunRok ouch 😂😂
@ShogunRok actually started my first ever playthrough of FF9 last night and was surprised how fast I got to actually take control. Usually it takes 30 minutes to take control and battle in a RPG.
@tameshiyaku Yeah I think if there's one thing a lot of old (PS1 era) JRPGs got right, it's pacing. FF7 is a great example alongside FF9.
I love modern JRPGs like Persona and the Trails series, but they can take so long to get going.
lol loading screens these kids today dont know loading screens 😂 check out the commodore 64. wont complain after that 😂
It's all promo talk. It will load just as fast on a PC and only a second slower on an XBOX if that port even gets made.
@Bismarck I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have a PS5, a Series X, and a 3080 Ti gaming rig with PCIe 4 SSDs and the ps5 blows the other two out of the water. The difference is definitely noticeable.
@AgentGuapo The difference in what?
Who doesn't enjoy the words "Now Loading" on a black screen between the screen wipe and start of the battle?
@NeThZOR I'd argue it's one of the consoles ever made actually
Near instant load times are easily one of the best features of the current gen. Another one would be how quiet the PS5 & Series X are, especially compared to the PS4 Pro (One X was also quiet)
I'm also impressed by how much power you get out of a $500 console with up to 120fps, Ray Tracing, ect. Backward-compatibility is also great.(especially on Series X) all of that combined with a nice TV, (in my case the LG C1 OLED) makes this gen amazing so far!
"Breakneck pace", "roller coaster ride". Ugh, the more I hear about XVI the less I really care that it exists at all. Every time they speak about it I gain negative hype. I'm a huge FF fan, but with this game I've gone from "Wooo! New FF, but I'm kind of worried about the grimdark tone" to "Oh, yeah, I guess that game exists. I guess I'll go play XIII and XV again."
It always sounds like they're talking about Stranger of Paradise, which is sounding less like a spinoff and more like a full price prototype of 16. Or is he just comparing to the endless crawling through narrow spaces of FF7R?
@ShogunRok I'll gladly join @kyleforrester87 in the "vile little troll" camp. FFIX is my favorite by a mile, but..."well paced strolling story" and "breakneck pace roller coaster ride" switching from cutscene to real-time combat are not the same thing. It sounds more and more like they're making a narrative driven DMC and calling it FF and people are praising it without seeing it because the director of the well liked MMO is on it. Every Miyamoto has their Sticker Star. Every Spielberg has their Ready Player One.
Yoishi-P is almost entirely an MMO director, plus Dissidia NT. Why everyone thinks by default that means he'll make a great single player RPG director, I'll never know. Maybe it's going to be great, but every time they talk about it, it sounds less great and I'm already down to mostly ignoring it as yet another spinoff than a new actual FF game. At least there's 7R2 to numb the pain.
@AgentGuapo I don't know how you are testing. But only true first party have there been any noticeable difference. 3rd party titles test have shown that the PS5 isn't faster than a PC, or even the Series X.
Even my testing, using a 3070ti with a i9-12900 and a generic samsung base Gen 4 nvme and a WB Black SN850. Have shown no differences. But a PS5 definitely isn't gonna be faster than a PC with PCIe 5.0 SSD being released this year.
@NEStalgia What I gathered from the article is that Yoshida is producing - Hiroshi Takai is directing. Something said in the article got me thinking:
“In the 35-year history of the Final Fantasy series, it’s always been the guiding policy that each new installment has to be the very best game that the director at the time can put together, no matter how the game world, the characters, or the battle system might change. Because of this, gamers and Final Fantasy fans around the world have very different ideas of what a Final Fantasy game should be…”
What exactly does Final Fantasy mean to me? What specifically makes it Final Fantasy? To Yoshida, it’s “deep story, deep gameplay, cutting-edge graphics and cutting-edge sound” all contributing to the feeling of “playing the leading role in a motion picture.”
I suppose Final Fantasy can mean many different things to many different people. For me, I’m rather excited to see Final Fantasy take a more cinematic, action oriented approach, as I do look back fondly on these moments in past entries, from Sin infiltrating during the blitzball game at the beginning of X to the epic Balamb/Galbadia garden battle in VIII.
@AverageGamer if you watch any digital foundry video where they compare SSD loading, PS5 has a clear advantage even over PC and Xbox. If developers don’t support direct storage in Windows, the SSD advantage will not be realized, even with PCIe 5.0.
@ShogunRok With me its Final Fantasy 7 and 8 are my favorites i loved the over the top FMV it felt like a reward after i won a big fight. But who can complain about fast loading after bombastic FMV.
@AgentGuapo It actually weird that you're reference DF as usually they test with load time has bought PS5 SSD tech into question on several occasions with Xbox even out performing PS5. But a couple seconds difference is not a clear advantage especially when Sony continues to talk up their SSD tech that barely does better than Xbox that has a significantly slower SSD.
Hopefully this will all apply to Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth too since that's PS5 only.
@AverageGamer I can cite elden ring and resident evil village off the top of my head where the ps5 was significantly faster. But not going to continue getting into a console war with you.
@AgentGuapo Resident Evil Village and Elden Ring are basically the only two outliers where the PS5 was significantly faster than other platforms. No other games has even remotely come to close to that massive jump in load times. Both Xbox and PS5 easily trade blows in load times.
Yeah it’s usually just a one or two second difference.
PS5 is faster on average. But it’s only 1 or 2 seconds at the most for 90% of optimized games.
On most next Gen optimized games it’s only a one or two second difference on average.
The Series X SSD punches above its weight class. Significantly so. If anything, the PS5 should be taking dumps on it in most games since its drive has nearly twice the read speed. 5.5GB per second versus 2.4GB per second. But in most cases it doesn’t. It’s only slightly faster most of the time.
PS5 makes even PS4 games play 100x better IMO. I’ve played a huge mix of PS4 & PS5 games on the 5 and the performance is fantastic. So worthwhile of a purchase
No loading screens is always a bonus to me imo!
I just love how yoshida defines final fantasy with 4 completely generic descriptors. And the more and more you hear the corporate brass describe what it is the more and more it's just whatever they want it to be to slap the name on.
Even square enix doesn't know what makes a final fantasy anymore.
@AverageGamer Elden Rings loading speed is now massively improved on SX since a patch a few weeks ago as it was painfully slow.
@Jimmer-jammer That's an interesting point you have about FF. Although, I'd also argue it's a bizarre view they have and is exactly why FF has been struggling with its identity for 2 generations now, and has become polarizing, and realistically, how big a disconnect square has.
Specifically, what most FF fans consider FF kind of died after 12. Which happens to be the last one Sakuguchi worked on. What most FF fans consider FF to be is basically "a Sakaguchi RPG." Now, each of his own FFs was radically different in theme, and with changes to systems, but they also had common design elements.
Since his time it seems like there's been a parade of "true artistes" in the full Kojima sense, handed the reigns, each with their own definition of what FF is, none of which has anything to do with what the FF series is. And I'm guessing Square management created that monster by denying creatives the ability to work on anything they wanted if it wasn't FF (which is why Takahashi and friends left and founded Monolith.) So the "rockstar" directors decided to just use the brand and make something totally different.
But FF has no identity now. Who changes genres of a known brand. FF was an RPG. Now it's....what is it? The 13 crew said they weren't trying to make an RPG but a new type of game. It was basically an FPS with a turn based battle system instead of FPS-ing. 15 wanted to be an open world sandbox but with RPG stats (like....every other open world sanbox today.) 16 now wants to be a Platinum style action game. And now the characteristic serious but light art style is traded for grimdark western serious motif.
So then the question is what is FF? If you ask most players, it's a classic RPG franchise. If you ask the devs....it's not even an RPG, it's a giant tech demo? Yoshida's answer is weird to me. 15 was anything but a graphics and sound showcase, it ran like trash on everything. 14 MMO, his baby, is....I mean it looks like a PC MMO from the early 00's. Which is fine, that's more or less what it is. But that's not a showcase of graphics and sound.
The fact that it seems like internal policy is that FF is simply a brand to slap on the company's latest tech demo with the biggest budget narrative production is probably the most revealing detail as to what's been wrong with FF since the PS3. It also makes me wonder why I still think I care about the series.
Insert Square-relevant: "I never asked for this" meme.
Who decides that a series doesn't have a particular genre, it just rotates to whatever genre a given director feels like making? FF is now a Platinum style action game? Should Uncharted 5 be an SRPG? GoT2 can be a MOBA. Really, who changes genres for a series instead of inventing a new series?
Shame Sakaguchi is trapped on iOS now. But I might find more on offer from Apple right now than Square as a result.
I don't need FF to remain menu-driven, I don't mind it borrowing from WRPGs and becoming an ARPG for example. But in an era where even the bulwark of Western action games Assassin's Creed decides to become a full-on RPG, it's bizarre for Square to take one of the most classic JRPG franchises and decide that being an RPG isn't really it's core, it's about graphics and story, but can be any genre.
It wasn't your intention, really, but I think you really explained exactly what's been missing from FF since the mid '00s. And part of that answer is "Sakaguchi", the other part of that answer is, nobody left that understands what he actually was making, what his design philosophy is, or what ties FF together. FF isn't really a series anymore. It's a brand logo. It's not always bad, but it's almost never FF.
@NEStalgia you make a lot of interesting points. It’s tough cause we don’t really know enough about XVI to speak in definite terms exactly what it’s bringing to the table, but it does seem to be furthering the real-time action based trajectory started around X.
I’m not sure I’ve ever really viewed FF as a full blown RPG. I guess it is, in the way that you can choose which member of your party you want to be a healer or a caster etc. but narratively it has always been an on rails roller coaster ride. Maybe we’ll retain some agency over party members in XVI, we don’t really know yet.
My only real concern right now is that there will be no sense of exploration. XIII leaned far too hard into linear action game territory for my liking (which does signal that there is something specific about about FF that I felt was lost in this case) and I’d be disappointed to retread that ground.
The only certainty for me at this point is that a huge amount is riding on the strength of XVI’s narrative and, well, that can really go either way. What I’m truly excited about is that this feels like a game that’s had a clear idea of what it wants to be from the get go and a solid team committed to executing it. Time will tell how it all plays out.
@Jimmer-jammer Through IX, it was definitely not just an RPG but it was pretty much the standard by which other JRPGs were judged, not just to fans, but to JPRG creators as well. At least with an eye to the west, in Japan DQ was, and remains that benchmark. X, still Sakaguchi, definitely veered hard toward the linear rollercoaster you speak of. And, it was controversial for doing so at the time. But it also really retained a lot of the RPG core, just in linear fashion. XII went hard back into being a traditional RPG. And then Sakuguchi quit and we got XIII. The devs specifically said it wasn't an RPG. (which is odd, when the 13th installment of the biggest name in RPGs says they don't intend it to be an RPG..... )
Although when I mention other big series changing genres, I did neglect that Jak 4 became a racing game. So there's precedent......albeit precedent that doing so is a bad plan.
Pacing is a huge part. An RPG has a grind aspect. Even if grind isn't mandatory there's an aspect of grind, or if not grind, a matter of questing by locale with a hub associated with it, including, in the old days, save points, and that aspect of grind, level gating or material gathering tends to keep you in a given place for a period of time and forces you to become familiar with that place and make it "home". The terrain, stores available, materials, crafting, the enemies. You're required to settle in and become familiar with it all. It becomes a real place. That's a huge difference in the feel of playing an RPG vs an action adventure even if both have action combat. The design forces you to move from base to base, between points of transition. Both W and JRPGs do that. Whether it's TES, Fallout, FF (old), SMT/Persona (the latter using a single base all game), Diablo, Wizardry, or DQ, I think it's an unspoken part of the feel of what makes an RPG. That's where XIII fell totally flat, and I fear XVI will fall flat. XV for all its criticisms actually got that RPG pacing right. When you're in Listallum, you're in Listallum for the duration. When in Hammerhead, you're in Hammerhead. It becomes familiar territory and home turf. But it's unbalanced and too many places you just blast through them without spending time familiarizing with the area and its monsters. I think that's what the FF producers have forgotten about (while, ironically, the DQ producers have not, and despite being in the same building, Enix and Square seem remarkably isolated.)
@NEStalgia That last paragraph makes a lot of sense to me. Familiarizing myself with a location and having to operate out of it is a huge part of what I enjoy in a FF. Usually a major story beat will then impact everything you’ve come to know to that point, forcing you to press on to new horizons in your adventure…I’m not sure it’s RPG specific though, as this is very much also a part of, say, Red Dead Redemption’s DNA, and I’m not sure I would classify that as an RPG. With that said, and now that I’m thinking about it, something like RDR2 actually does have a lot of RPG aspects to it - minus the grind of course. To this point, I look at something like the recent Disco Elysium, which I’d say is one of the better RPG’s I’ve played of late, and is completely bereft of a ‘grind’. I guess this all makes me wonder, is JRPG, a genre I’m not overly familiar with, made up specifically of the things you’re mentioning here? I’m not being cheeky, by the way. It’s an honest question.
The best playing FF for me is XII, and I would love to see the gambit system or something like it return, but I’m open to seeing what XVI is all about. It might surprise us yet.
@Jimmer-jammer Yeah, I'd say RDR2, while not an RPG itself, primary due to a lack of character ability progression, borrows extremely heavily from WRPG design to the point it plays much like an RPG but without stats/trees/ability progression. If you compare to big WRPGS like Witcher 3, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, KotOR, you see a lot of that design template applied. Or maybe more closely Mass Effect (since 2 and 3 focused more on a linear action aspect while still remaining a WRPG), or Assassin's Creed (Odyssey and Valhalla specifically are officially WRPGs with stats and trees, the older games were sandbox action games, and Origins was kind of a bridge of both without the XP/trees/stats leaning of the latter games, and compares nicely to RDR2 as sort of one-foot-into-RPG territory.)
The main difference between WRPGs and JRPGs is less about how it plays. They generally play pretty similarly with the same overarching template. Location to location (or a single location that opens/evolves over time) journeys with that design of operating out of a location and becoming familiar with it. Diablo, FF, DQ, AC Valhalla, Cyberpunk, Witcher, Mass Effect, Jade Empire, Fallout, Xenoblade, Disco Elysium, TWEWY, Ys, TES, Baldur's Gate, WoW, Everquest, SMT, even Pokemon, it's the building block upon which the gameplay is built and defines the player's relationship with the world. RDR2 does this as well. It doesn't have character ability progression, preventing it from really being able to be considered an RPG, your're playing for different reasons, and encountering enemies for different purposes, but ultimately it follows the RPG approach, and the missions are more or less "quests." It has an economy, with stores, and to a point, gear/equipment. You don't buy stronger armor, but you do upgrade weapons. So it's an RPG in all things except the (admittedly genre-important) ability progression.
Going back to FFXIII, they admitted they weren't trying to make an RPG and were trying to make a "new sort of genre" (cynically many of us said at the time they were trying to replicate the success of Western FPS of the brown PS360 generation and made FF into a turn-based corridor shooter. And realistically, knowing Square, that's exactly what they were probably trying to do.) It featured forward momentum only, it featured character progression that was essentially fixed. You really couldn't avoid battles or find extra battles for the most part, you were simply presented a pre-determined amount of battles with pre-determined XP totals by each major boss. Side stories were mostly missing, towns were basically a row of purchase menus you pass on your way and never return to, no sense of place or familiarity or returning to a living location. You just proceeded from corridor A to corridor Z via B, C, D, etc. Occasionally with a choice of E-1 or E-2, that were both mostly the same. It stripped out anything that makes it an RPG. The developer response to fan feedback (read as: hatemail), was that they realized people missed having more minigames in FF. They missed the point entirely. As though nobody on the team knows much about RPGs. Or about FF. Or more likely just didn't care because they didn't really want to make an FF RPG, but were told they have to work on FF, which was a thing at Square back then and probably still is, and is how Monolith happened.)
Now, to be fair, I loathed XIII when it came out. I started replaying it when it returned to availability with XB BC, and found I like it a lot more than I used to, knowing what to expect. I don't think of it as FF, but as it's own thing it is decent. It never should have been called FF though.
And to the credit of XV, I'm one of the rare people that likes XV. But XV returned to those RPG design roots, borrowing some of the MMO-style quests of Xenoblade, which aren't the best, but at least it remembered FF was to be an RPG, and generally, felt like one, though it's rough in places, stumbles heavily, often, and the release of it will never be less than a disaster (you shouldn't have to read a Wiki to know when to save and quit and play a DLC instead, for the story to make sense.) But after FFXIII was something not-RPG, it was refreshing to have a poorly released FF RPG again.
Everything we've seen about XVI so far though looks like a return to that XIII philosophy. Hopefully they're just presenting it badly and there's more to it. That would be nice. But, if it's consistent with modern Square thinking, it seems like an attempt to cash in on the linear action success of Souls, GoW, etc, by making a game "appealing to Western mainstream audiences." It may, like XIII actually be a good game either way, but would be much better served in all but marketing having been a new IP or spinoff, not mainline FF if it's really so linear. I'm hoping they're just presenting it poorly. So far every time they reveal more I find myself more worried about it.
XII is definitely underrated. It didn't have flashy, memorable characters. But it was an incredibly well designed RPG. It was almost more like a WRPG in a lot of ways, but it was an extremely Sakaguchi sendoff for his part of the series. The one good thing about XVI is that it at times gives me XII vibes. But, XVI had that excellent gambit system, and didn't want to be DMC.
Aside, Nier is another Square IP that they could be channeling with this. That's a true JRPG that follows a lot of the form that also focuses on action. But the one thing about Nier is the locations never really feel central enough to truly make them a real place the way the best RPGs do. It's one thing I prefer classic FF, DQ, etc for. We all KNOW Nibelheim, Golden Saucer, Balamb, etc. Nier Automata jut kind of has "that town with the vending machines. That town with the tree" They're just hubs to buy things in without a real sense of life or personality. They're functional and not narrative or world building, I suppose.
@NEStalgia Interesting! I enjoyed XV quite a bit up until about half way through and just completely fell off of it. I really should get back to it one day and at least complete it, especially now that all of the DLC has been released for it. Maybe the story will make more sense.
I did okay through Nier Automata and thought it was absolutely brilliant. I get what you mean about the hubs feeling somewhat pedestrian though. I’ve never tried a Dragon Quest but have been fairly interested by XI. That and the recent Tales of Arise, another series I’ve never tried. I do like the formula.
Back to FF, I’m hoping Rebirth can improve on Remake. I’m not as bothered as most about the narrative going completely off the rails but I can understand how the bait and switch would be irritating. Hopefully we get more of a return to the series’ roots as far as structure goes. There is something really special about FF as a series and I could really go for some of that magic!
Idk your exact tastes regarding JRPGs, but I'd definitely recommend Arise highly. Tales is a great series overall, bit Arise is definitely one if the best of it. Gets a little drawn out at the end, but otherwise it's very worth it.
Also highly recommend dq. All dq. It's as traditionally jrpg turn based as you get, the stories are never super complex, and it's intentionally dated in ways. But xi is just a fantastic experience all the same. I have to get back and finish it. I stopped because I didn't want it to ever end. Then someone told me I still have another whole act from where I am! It seemed like it's winding down bit apparently isn't.
FFXIV. Yeah the dlc fills in the weird missing story gaps. Awkwardly. But the game doesn't place it in the main game, you actually have to have an Internet guide to tell you where to quit and load the dlcs instead. I do agree about losing momentum part way through. I think if you're grinding diner hunt quests and trying to finish listallum quests, by the time you get back to the story you're just kind of ready for it to be done. At least it's an rpg though!
I'm guessing rebirth either stays very corridor based, or goes open world like xv. The later would be more true to the roots, but I also fear they'll make to too big and empty if they do that, too. The old games had just the right balance of breadth and compactness.
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