We interview Kitase and Dissidia senior director Takeshi Arakawa on all things Final Fantasy.
VideoGamer.com: How do you feel about digital downloads for the PSP?
TA: Regarding Dissidia, as you know one good and one bad character has been picked from each numbered title in the past. So if there is a big need for seeing a larger number of characters in Dissidia, if digital downloading is available that would be very handy. But obviously at the moment we have UMDs so not a great degree of expansion is possible. But in that sense a download digital service would be very convenient.
VideoGamer.com: Dissida marks the 20th anniversary of the Final Fantasy series, and Kitase-san has worked on many Final Fantasy games down the years. Why do you feel it's remained so popular when so many other Japanese role-playing games have fallen by the wayside?
YK: In the space of 20 years, since the birth of the series, we have experienced platform changes at a few points. Each time I think we've managed to evolve the graphics and other aspects of the game to keep up with the evolution of the actual hardware. And we've always pursued cutting edge graphics and sound, to the extent that most of the users are quite satisfied. That was one of the reasons.
VideoGamer.com: There's a feeling among some fans that Japanese role-playing games have not evolved to keep up with modern global tastes. Is that something you agree with? If so what is being done to help Final Fantasy keep up with modern tastes?
YK: For example, regarding XIII, obviously it's going to be another RPG product, but also we're going to release Versus, which is more action based. We're going to set up different concepts and combine different types of genre. If we were to suddenly just turn to FPS and action games, that would leave all the RPG fans behind. So obviously we would like to take up what we have been doing with all the RPG titles we have released in the past, but then all these elements would have to be combined with some other types of games, like action games. So we do not believe we haven't moved on, or evolved. We have moved on, but then we need new concepts.
VideoGamer.com: You've worked on many Final Fantasy games down the years. What is your proudest achievement and why?
YK: I've been involved with the FF series since FF5. In those days Final Fantasy had not recorded such remarkable success yet abroad, outside Japan. Probably after VII, maybe it became a really strong title globally, and that situation hasn't changed up to now. Now other FF games are widely played globally by lots of people. OK sometimes we receive quite critical comments from players, as well as nice comments! But that kind of situation, how widely it is played across the world, would have been completely unimaginable. That is something I am very proud of.
VideoGamer.com: What is your favourite Final Fantasy game and why?
YK: I would single out FFVII, partly because that was the first FF title that was really widely played by global players. Also I have been involved with some FFVII-related titles as well.
VideoGamer.com: What is your favourite Final Fantasy character and why?
YK: I would like to stick to VII, and I'd like to appoint Cloud as my favourite character.
VideoGamer.com: What is the most requested Final Fantasy game from the fans?
YK: Lots of fans would like to see FFVII and FFVII-related titles, such as Crisis Core.
VideoGamer.com: Are you referring to a Final Fantasy VII remake?
YK: Yes. I would like to work on it one day. Some day!
VideoGamer.com: I think you've probably been asked that question many times before...
YK: Yeah, similar questions have been asked! Even when I came to Europe last year.
VideoGamer.com: I imagine it will be asked every year until the game is made...
YK: And the answer will be the same every year!