The utterly epic Final Fantasy XIII is out on March 9 - the final result of over four years of hard work from producer Yoshinori Kitase and his team of ninjas.
We caught up with the man himself for a chat about all things Final Fantasy, including why we have to listen to Leona in our Japanese RPG, and when we're actually going to see anything of the illusive FF Versus XIII.
CVG: Are you aware of a fan backlash over the use of the Leona Lewis track in the western version of the game? We've seen that many people prefer the Japanese theme...
Kitase: We'd like western audiences to think of Final Fantasy as an international game, so that they feel closer to the stories and characters. By replacing the Japanese theme song, we believe that many players will feel a much closer connection to FINAL FANTASY XIII. Leona Lewis is also a great example of a strong female role model, much like Lightning, the main character of the game.
Will the Japanese theme be included as an option in the western version of FFXIII?
No, only the theme song by Leona Lewis will be included in the western version.
Tech people will put the PS3 and 360 versions side-by-side and analyse them meticulously for differences. Other than the compressed audio of the 360 version, are there any other technical or content differences?
The 360 version comes on 3 dual-layer DVD's while the PS3 version is on one blu ray disc. 360 owners will only have to change the disc twice during the entire game. You won't have to keep swapping discs over and over while playing. Aside from the different platforms, there are no other differences.
What do you think of the motion controllers coming this year from MS and Sony? Any chance of an FF spin-off using the new controls?
These new type of controllers are very interesting, but we're not sure that people would like to spend up to 100 hours playing a conventional Final Fantasy title with these type of controllers, as it could be too exhausting if you were always swinging a sword around for battles. So we will have to see what the future holds.
A FFXII spin-off (Final Fantasy Fortress in development at Grin?) was leaked recently. The footage looked nice. Is it still in development, or has it been canned?
Sorry, but we don't comment on rumour or speculation.
How's FF Versus XIII coming along? How far off is it?
Now that Final Fantasy XIII is completed, many staff that worked on the game will be able to support the development of Versus XIII. Our main goals right now are completing Final Fantasy Agito XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, so please look forward to these future titles.