Even though the Final Fantasy series has largely remained both a commercial and critical success during its long tenure (the first installment being released all the way back in 1987), Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida thinks that the storied franchise can do even better — and cites Final Fantasy 16‘s new combat system as a necessary proponent of that improvement process.
“We want the world, especially the younger generation, to play the game,” Yoshida said in an interview with Japanese site Comic Days, claiming that players in their teens and twenties may not have played the series, despite knowing about it, on account of the turn-based combat system being an impediment on account of being something that was more prevalent in the past.
“The mainstream games nowadays are intuitive games where you press a button and the character shoots a gun or wields a sword,” Yoshida continued, “and the traditional RPG style of turn-based command fighting is no longer familiar to them.”
“It is also a fact that people are becoming less familiar with the old-fashioned style of RPGs, where you fight by selecting turn commands,” Yoshida added. “That’s why the battles in Final Fantasy 16 are very action-based. We want to make people all over the world think that Final Fantasy is a great game.”
Yoshida added that although Final Fantasy 16‘s new combat system would make that element of the series more au courant, the change wouldn’t likely please everyone.
“Of course, I don’t think we’ll be able to satisfy everyone’s demands, so I’ve told everyone on the team that the first thing we need to do is to make something we think is fun, and make sure it reaches the people who like it.”
In addition, Yoshida clarified that Final Fantasy 16‘s new combat system wasn’t necessarily better than the more antiquated, turn-based style, but a matter of preference.
“This is not an argument of what is good or bad, but there is a difference based on the player’s preferences and age,” he said in an issue of Famitsu from early July. “Furthermore, there is a big difference between a command system and a turn-based system, and these are often conflated, but are two different concepts.
That being said, Final Fantasy 16‘s new combat system is something that had to be looked at in regards to keeping up with the times, industry trends, interjecting new life into the gameplay and appealing to a new generation whose individuals have yet to play through a Final Fantasy game.
“In terms of whether Final Fantasy is successfully adapting to industry trends, I believe the series is currently struggling. We’re now at a point where we receive a wide variety of requests regarding the direction of our game design,” Yoshida said in a previous sit-down with Inverse. “[When implementing Final Fantasy 16“s new combat system], I thought about the expected sales of Final Fantasy 16 and the impact we had to deliver.”
What do you think about the changes being introduced in Final Fantasy 16‘s new combat system? Are they for the better? Did Yoshida need to switch up the battling in Final Fantasy 16 to keep the game fresh? Sound off in the comments.