Discussing Final Fantasy games can be divisive at times, especially amongst the most dedicated fans. Each game is different, featuring its own combat mechanics, systems and story. Everyone has their favourite, which usually just so happens to be the first they played, often during the latter years of high school.
It's for that reason that we maintain that Final Fantasy VIII is the best one, and it's for that opinion that we have been cruelly ridiculed at times, but we digress.
Naoki Yoshida knows this and is getting out in front of it in the case of the next mainline entry in the series, Final Fantasy XVI, a project on which he serves as producer. In an interview with the Japanese site Comic Days, which comes to us via VGC, Yoshida speaks to the concerns some more old-school fans might feel about the series' shift to more action-based combat:
“We want the world, especially the younger generation, to play the game. Also, the mainstream games nowadays are intuitive games where you press a button and the character shoots a gun or wields a sword, and the traditional RPG style of turn-based command fighting is no longer familiar to them."
“It is also a fact that people are becoming less familiar with the old-fashioned style of RPGs, where you fight by selecting turn commands. That’s why the battles in Final Fantasy 16 are very action-based. We want to make people all over the world think that Final Fantasy is a great game.
This speaks to the sentiment that some have felt, with entries like Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VII Remake ditching the turn-based roots of the franchise in favour of a more modern style of combat.
“Of course, I don’t think we’ll be able to satisfy everyone’s demands, so I’ve told everyone on the team that the first thing we need to do is to make something we think is fun, and make sure it reaches the people who like it.”
“This is not an argument of what is good or bad, but there is a difference based on the player’s preferences and age,” he said at the time. “Furthermore, there is a big difference between a command system and a turn-based system, and these are often conflated, but are two different concepts.
“RPGs originated with tabletop RPGs, and I think that gaming RPGs were invented by replacing the tabletop discussions with commands in video games. As I said, I believe I know the fun of command system RPGs, and I want to continue developing them, but I thought about the expected sales of Final Fantasy XVI and the impact that we have to deliver.”
What do you think about Yoshida's comments? Are you excited about the change towards action-based combat, or do you miss the turn-based days of the series roots? Wait for your ATB gauge to fill before venturing into the comments section below.