With the release of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII we can now bid farewell to the Final Fantasy XIII series. Now we can finally get on with our lives, or move on to the next Final Fantasy series. Or should we?
We managed to wrangle some time out of Motomu Toriyama, the director of the whole series and get his thoughts about it now that it’s all finally done.
So, it’s finally over. The Final Fantasy XIII saga’s done! What’s the one thing you’re going to miss about it?
My team and I have been working on Lightning for the past seven years, so I’ll definitely miss her creation and character the most.
Wow seven years. That’s pretty long. And what did you learn throughout those years?
Fan feedback. From creating the Crystal Engine for the game for about five years and prepping the first games for the PS3, I learnt that it’s always important to listen to fan feedback. That’s why we made improvements to Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns.
Wait a minute, there’s been some criticism and mixed to negative reviews about the game, how do you respond to that?
Well, we had one-and-a-half years to finish up Lightning Returns. That amount of time was relatively short, especially since we needed to bring in new game systems like the Schema and time limit. That, we could have done without.
I haven’t read all of the reviews, but I do believe that critics feel that the time management system can be hard to grasp and limits a player’s freedom. But the system is dependent on how players use it; by doing it right you can increase the days and time limit. I’ll admit, it does take some time getting used to.
That being said, after the game was out in Japan for a while, the criticisms for the game got better over time. So I’d say it’s a matter of time until players and critics can appreciate it.
We did fear that the players wouldn’t understand the time limit and management system that was implemented and wished we could have found more in-game ways to inform players how to manage the system in a more efficient manner.