When it launched last year, Final Fantasy XIII immediately became a divisive game, to say the least. While it was generally received positively by critics – though nowhere near the virtually universal acclaim the series’ main entries were used to – fan reaction was an entirely different story, and criticisms of the game’s shortcomings quickly began to rise.
According to an interview on Gamasutra with the game’s producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama, it is these criticisms their team hopes to address with their upcoming direct sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2.
In the interview, Toriyama boils down the fan reception to three primary criticisms that have received the most focus in the development of the sequel, which he lists as “one, it was too story-driven and therefore was quite linear, and, two, that there weren’t that many towns and cities to explore, and also that there was no matching interaction between the player and the gameplay.” He refers to FFXIII-2 as much more “player-driven,” allowing for more exploration and less focus on having the narrative drive the game forward.
Another problem with FFXIII’s development was the complexity the team faced in the actual creation of the project. It was reportedly difficult for individual team members to communicate the ultimate vision of the project to one another. Toriyama addressed this as well, saying that they “have changed a lot of things in terms of the process.”
It’s rather interesting to see developers being so open about previous mistakes. Can Final Fantasy XIII-2 can adequately address the faults of its predecessor, or do FFXIII’s failings signal the end of the juggernaut franchise’s RPG dominance? Let us know what you think in the comments.