Welcome back to the Square Interviews. Here is Part 2, where Famitsu Magazine talks to Hironobu Sakaguchi, but this time, they discuss Vagrant Story, which should be in stores by May. However, unlike Part 1, there are no spoilers. So read on!
Famitsu: You are playing "Vagrant Story" (hereon, Vagrant), at the moment? As a creator like him, how is Matsuno-san's work?
Sakaguchi: When I saw it for the first time, before the game came out, I was very excited, and tears nearly came to me. "Thank you, Mattsuu"(Matsuno's nickname), I thought. (laughs)
Sakaguchi: I'm sure it was hard, because the drama couldn't lose tension until the end.
Famitsu: What was it like playing it when the world was talking about the PS2?
Sakaguchi: What I felt amazing about it was not just the excellence of the graphics, but the excitement that came from the drama. That's why I think, in that sense, the way to make the game wouldn't have changed even with the PS2. The time it was released didn't matter, as Vagrant would have been good on PS2, and of course on the PS...
Famitsu: What's important is the enjoyment.
Sakaguchi: That's right. That's the difficult part: to make a game enjoyable. It's become a bad word nowadays, but it was with Vagrant that for the first time, we said we wanted to make a "cinematic" game...
Famitsu: I see.
Sakaguchi: It really has the feeling of a game that took 3 or 4 years to complete.
Famitsu: I can see that. At other companies, they use cliched patterns of presenting the drama, and there were a lot of games that were like puppetplays.
Famitsu: In the case of Vagrant, the presentation of the drama had a lot of freedom, and you could do anything, it seemed. With a mentality of a player, what did you feel?
Sakaguchi: Let's see...You have to think when and how you will present the drama, because all the production of the game is divided. Since the person in charge of dramatic presentation only see the emotional or mood change in a certain scene, they lack the feelings of excitement that the player feels in the interactive parts before and after the scene. If that is so, you cannot make a truly cinematic game.
Famitsu: That's true.
Sakaguchi: It's the opposite with Vagrant: I think it succeeded because it didn't take the style of FMV consistently, but used realtime polygons for the dramatic presentations.
Famitsu: I see. I know what you mean. Games recently have been overwhelmed by technology, but Vagrant is different.
Sakaguchi: I see.
Famitsu: Of course, there are amazing parts, but the excellence of visuals of a PS has been seen in the CG quality of FF7 and 8; I felt that it (Vagrant) attracted the players in a different way. As a gamer, I feel that I must watch out for his work.
Sakaguchi: As a director, I too am a fan of him. (laughs)
Famitsu: (laughs) That's right, in next week's issue (of Famitsu) we are having a talk with Matsuno-san and Konami's Director Kojima (Metal Gear Solid).
Sakaguchi: Wow, that's going to be exciting. I'd like to participate too. (laughs)
Famitsu: (laughs) Lastly, I want to ask: is FF10 and 11 really going to be release next year?
Sakaguchi: As planned, we will release both. We are working really hard.
Famitsu: Good luck. I'm looking forward to it.
And that was the end of Part 2 of the Square Interviews. Hope you enjoyed it. Part 3, as explained before, will be the interview with Hiroyuki Ito, who directed the eagerly awaited Final Fantasy 9. Look forward to it!