During the Japan Expo, RPGSite managed to speak to game director, Tetsuya Nomura. He is currently working on two major upcoming next-gen titles: Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV.
Nomura-san is a very important individual when it comes to the Japanese gaming industry and is a pivotal part of Square Enix. Some would argue that Nomura is the only person at Square Enix who understands how Final Fantasy works and what appeals to the players. After the unsatisfactory Final Fantasy XIII and the reveal of Versus XIII (i.e: Final Fantasy XV), this point has been reinforced many times. Quite frankly, Final Fantasy, to many, is a sinking ship. Tetsuya Nomura is currently Poseidon and has it within his hands to either let the ship sink or raise it above the waters.
RPGSite asked Nomura-san what he could have done differently in the previous games he has worked in, to which he replied, “Well, as a creator I always create something new – I keep challenging myself to create something new. Looking back on my old games and everything I was involved in, I often think to myself ‘I could have done this’ or ‘I could have added that,’ and stuff like that. It’s part of the process.
“Right now, though, for Kingdom Hearts specifically – the original game was released more than ten years ago now, but looking back, the original Kingdom Hearts Final Mix… I don’t feel like I should add this or that, or any more. Back then, it was perfect as it is.
“Even though I’ve played this HD version of the game knowing its age, I don’t feel that it’s very old when I play it. I can still feel the passion I had back then in this original game – so, yeah. If we remake a game, maybe we then go and think about adding new elements and sequences and stuff like that, or making large changes – but I think a HD remaster, with the visual upgrade, is the right thing for this particular game.”
Although we knew this already, this reinforces the fact that there will be nothing ‘new’ in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMIX, and nor should we expect anything to be different in the eventual 2.5 ReMIX. The games are only getting a visual upgrade, nothing more and nothing less.
Nomura-san is known for his love of movies. He has admitted to being a movie junkie and watches two or three films every night. Sometimes, gamers fear that the line between movies and games may fade away. This would be tragic of course, since the two forms of entertainment will feel greatly similar and lose their unique attributes. It’s not difficult to assume that Nomura-san might incorporate one too many movie elements in his games. Heck, at one point, Nomura-san thought of turning Final Fantasy XV into a musical after watching Les Miserables.
Fortunately, Nomura-san understands the word ‘balance’ and knows how to maintain it too. He was asked if there’s a parallel between movie and game creation.
“To an extent, but of course there’s a massive difference between balance in films and balance creating a game,” he answered “Especially creating some games for next-gen consoles – because the next gen consoles have a high spec and a lot of new functionality and everything – there’s a kind of gap between the film-making and game creating at the moment.
“Especially at the moment for game-making, there’s just loads of staff involved… as a director, I can’t do anything by myself! A director on a film can control things more, but I can’t instruct all the people by myself. If the game is triple-A, a big, big project… the way I can use my power, and how to direct people… it’s very difficult!”
Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV will be coming to the PS4 and the Xbox One in the future. Will Tetsuya Nomura meet our expectations? Only time will tell.