Shinji Hashimoto, Executive Producer on the Final Fantasy series, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about all things Final Fantasy. It has been revealed that Square Enix actually brings back the original development team that worked on a Final Fantasy title whenever they remaster that particular game, to ensure that it still delivers on fans’ expectations when compared to the original.
Hashimoto talked about Square Enix’s approach to remastering games. He even offered insight into the differences between developing a remaster, in comparison to a remade game. He said he always wants to treat the original version of a remastered or remade game with the respect that it deserves, because he is aware of all of the hard work and dedication that went into making the original games. He said things like outdated controls and visuals are naturally some of the things that need to be changed in order to make the newer versions of these titles accessible to everyone:
I always want to treat the original versions with a lot of respect, due in part to the great amount of thought and passion that the original team members dedicated to them. And I don’t mean in respect to the hardware, but more things like all the thought that went into the original pixel art. Things that were created back then specifically for the old tube television screens, the controls, issues that couldn’t be fixed at the time—these are the things that we want to revise and provide in our remasters, making adjustments to fit with current times and definitely so that the younger generation can play too.
Regarding differences between a remaster and a remake—in a remake, you rethink the original version all the way from the ground up. It’s actually quite an arduous task, and isn’t something that can be done for multiple games at the same time. I want to approach our future plans, which of course include the Final Fantasy VII Remake, in hopes that the players who love the originals will love the remakes as well.
The original Final Fantasy games development teams are brought to consult on remasters. They will then go over which elements need to be revised in order to match up with the modern gaming world. He cited things like the original 4:3 screen ratio needing to be updated to the modern 16:9 ratio or cultural references that needed to be revised as they were no longer relevant.
When asked why he thinks remastered games are so popular, Hashimoto said that he feels the main reason is because games are made much differently now, compared to the way things used to be done. He said that there was a certain drive from game developers to really make the game they wanted to make.
The original Final Fantasy games have definitely stuck with the people who played them in their teens or early twenties, becoming timeless classics over the years. Now that most of these people are older, they want to reminisce on simpler times. What better way to do that than by playing a remastered or remade version of a game that belongs to one of your favorite series?
Hashimoto had this to say:
People’s memories of each of the mainline Final Fantasy titles attest to how deeply this avenue of entertainment has impacted the lives of each of the players from back then. Though I’d love to introduce a brand new title once again for them to play in this generation, I still think that for people in their thirties or forties today, the mainline Final Fantasy titles they experienced as teens or in their twenties will always be unforgettable. With this significance in mind, we consider these past titles as treasures.”
Final Fantasy has been running for over 30 years, following its debut in 1987. There have been many different games in the series’ long running history, including 15 games in its mainline continuity. The series’ popularity even resulted in multiple films based off of the games, like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which stars Alec Baldwin and Steve Buscemi.
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[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]