Final Fantasy XIII director/scenario writer Motomu Toriyama has an idea why many western journalists/importers have disliked Final Fantasy XIII thus far.
“We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view,” says Toriyama in a recent issue of Xbox World 360. “When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world, and let you do whatever you like…” Toriyama adds that it “becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you’re given that much freedom”.
The truth is that we are in an age where the modern japanese RPG has become a bit stagnant, while the western style RPG is ever on the rise. Titles like Infinte Undiscovery, The Last Rebellion, and Star Ocean: The Last Hope have been critically panned, whereas domestic titles like Dragon Age, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls have been hailed as brillianat.
Western role-players might have gotten used to having quite a large amount of freedom in their titles, but there is nothing wrong with focusing on a narrative experience. Some developers truly want you to experience a story and it’s nuances exactly as they intended. Many would just write this off as being “linear”. Maybe there wright. Whats so wrong about that?
A game doesn’t need to be the antithesis of a film just for the sake of being a game. A good developer comes up with ways to keep a player entertained. Whether that’s too a linear end or not is irrelevant in the long run.
Source: Square-Enix attempt to explain low western reviews (Kotaku)
Final Fantasy XIII’s North American/European launch is only a matter of weeks away!