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Looking forward to Final Fantasy XIII all this time thinking it's an RPG? Think again, friend. According to the game's producer, it's not.
Besides that, 1UP has some exclusive and yummy screenies, the best of which are here for your perusal.
According to producer Yoshinori Kitase, though, that's absolutely what the FFXIII team was aiming for. As far as Kitase is concerned, FFXIII isn't even really a role-playing game. "We didn't really intend to work within with the RPG template," he says. "We wanted to create a new game, even a new genre. The way we look at it, there's isn't a certain format that we have to keep to and build a game around. Rather, it goes the other way around. We create a game and, depending on what works or doesn't work within that game, it ends up reflecting different staple elements."
"Now, the Dragon Quest series has stuck to the classical RPG format, and it's still greatly loved by fans," he notes. "The audience craves more of it! But that's because [Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii] is making a fun game that just happens to fit within that template. As creators, we have to think about how to combine many different elements and concepts into something that gamers will enjoy. After that, others can judge what genre it belongs to. With FFXIII, we've first and foremost pursued a gameplay style in which different situations and dramatic occurrences will be presented to players one after the other."
In other words, FFXIII has taken yet another step closer to becoming the "interactive movie" detractors have waggishly derided the series as being ever since 1997's dazzlingly cinematic Final Fantasy VII -- and the creators are perfectly happy with that step.
"Because players are presented with multiple different situations on the field, in a lot of senses FFXIII is more like an FPS than an RPG," says director Motomu Toriyama. And it's true: The game consists almost entirely of dungeons, with enemies placed about the field to force players to consider their options as they attempt to advance along the path the game presents them with. Towns and villages are waypoints rather than destinations. And while battles still cut to a separate screen in the traditional RPG style, both the layout of the quest and the way players interact with enemies on the field give FFXIII a hybrid feel, as if Final Fantasy had collided with a modern action game like God of War or Bayonetta.