Gaming News, Game Reviews, Game Trailers, Tech News

dtoid   |   japanator   |   flixist   |   tomopop   |   store



Sakaguchi: High-quality graphics have become excessive

2012-02-08 16:30:00·  3 minute read   ·  Tony Ponce@megaStryke

Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi, who oversaw the Final Fantasy series up through X-2, has been around the role-playing block enough times to know what he likes about the genre and what issues could stand to be addressed. Having worked on Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, he's come to the conclusion that the increased focus on visuals often results in too much attention being diverted from the game's core.

During an Iwata Asks roundtable originally held in 2010 but only recently translated into English, the Gooch described to the Nintendo CEO his process during the development of The Last Story. In regards to moving from HD consoles down to the Wii: "We had to consider how we should convey the story to the players under such restrictions. Now that high-quality graphics rule supreme, you can reproduce what you want to communicate visually, but at the same time, I don’t know how to put this, but there's an element that's slightly excessive about it all..."

Instead, the Gooch welcomed the opportunity to return to the building blocks and craft a stronger, richer experience because of the shift in focus. He wanted to make sure the game itself was structurally sound, so his team spent a year and a half on a prototype that consisted of just square blocks for characters, a process that he last used on Final Fantasy VII. Since he didn't have to worry as much about the hardware's graphical pipeline, he was free to experiment more than he would have otherwise.

The article continues below. Login to skip ads, get faster mobile, and dibs on betas

None of this, of course, is to say that visuals aren't important: "I was really averse to allowing the quality of the graphics to drop just because we were working on Wii, which doesn't have HD graphics. I do really think that, in the end, what we've created can hold its own against other hardware." Merely, the team was able to approach The Last Story from an angle that they wouldn't have been able to had this been another project for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

He continues, "There's a tendency for developers to allow all their energy to be diverted into maintaining the high quality of the graphics." His sentiments are similar to some that Jim Sterling has mentioned before and which I share as well. While working with high-end consoles can provide ample opportunities, it's very easy to get lost in the details. Final Fantasy XIII, for instance, was criticized for limiting the scale and scope typical of the Final Fantasy name in exchange for fantastic visuals. It's a simple matter of economics -- if money is being funneled in one direction, it's not going elsewhere. A fine balance needs to be struck, and sometimes, working with "less capable" hardware might be the ticket to help a team refocus its priorities.

The Last Story launches in Europe on February 24. At that point, English-speaking gamers will be able to find out for themselves if Sakaguchi and Mistwalker succeeded in their experiment. If the extremely warm reception of Xenoblade Chronicles is any indication, The Last Story might just pull it off yet.

Also, make sure to read the full interview. Iwata Asks is always good for some juicy tidbits.

Iwata Asks: The Last Story [Nintendo via BeefJack]


Tony PonceFormer Contributor // Profile & Disclosures
Fronts2049Blogs 62Following0Followers130

(Decommissioned) Super Fighting Robot more


On Destructoid: The Last Story   (10)   From our game database:

  • Review: The Last Story - Jim Sterling
  • The Last Story comes to North America August 14 - Jim Sterling
  • XSEED shows off The Last Story Limited Edition - Kyle MacGregor
  • Preview: The Last Story - Steven Hansen
  • The Last Story: New screens that you don't need - Dale North
  • The Last Story will have a limited run in the US - Jonathan Holmes
  • UK retailer cancels all pre-orders for The Last Story - Jim Sterling
  • The Last Story CONFIRMED for North America in 2012! - Jim Sterling
  • The Last Story has a new European trailer, looks amazing - Brett Zeidler
  • More related stories
    #Europe #Localization #Nintendo #Role-Playing Games #video #Wii


    Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
    to view and post comments.

     Login with Twitter

     Login with Dtoid

    Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

    Sorry for the extra step!