Wii U Controller Will Push JRPG Strategizing, Says The Last Story Lead Designer

By Ishaan . August 3, 2012 . 2:32pm

Back in June, The Last Story’s lead designer, Takuya Matsumoto, revealed that Mistwalker were interested in the idea of developing role-playing games for the Wii U. Matsumoto, who works at Marvelous AQL, collaborated with Hironobu Sakaguchi and Mistwalker on the game.


Recently, we asked Matsumoto what he’d like to do with the Wii U, to push JRPGs forward. He replied that he feels the Wii U’s new controller with a screen built into it is useful for organizing information, and that he was interested in taking advantage of this.


“I feel that the Wii U’s interface, as with other tablet devices, works best for browsing and arranging information,” Matsumoto told Siliconera.


“One merit is the ability to use a touch screen to directly manipulate information, such as looking up a monster’s weak point or, like with a car’s GPS, as a tool to understand battlefield conditions on a sub screen. This special feature will likely bring about opportunities for deep research into JRPG strategy.”


He added: “Also, I think that things like saving information gathered during gameplay, adding to your own character’s memories and experiences, and sharing with other players via Wi-Fi and the Miiverse will become an experience typical to the Wii U.”


The Last Story is being published by Xseed in North America.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • MrRobbyM

    I remember everyone speculating what a new Wii-U Zelda game would be like when the Zelda Wii-U demonstration was first shown. People were saying things like the menu can be on the tablet with only vital information shown on the TV screen and stuff like that. So I’d imagine the same would work for a JRPG

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Yup. I believe here they will try to use the pad more like maps or weapon screen there to allow quick inventory there or even providing boss data there.^_^

  • Godmars

    Prove, don’t say.

    More than done with devs and industry celebrities taking something up only to either never make a game for it or release a poor one. One that only emphasizes the thing’s weaknesses or issues. 

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      While I undrstand what you mean there, I think it is kinda unfair there considering the machine is not even launched yet. At least, it is better having an interest to the machine rather than nothing there.

      • Godmars

         Between a dozen other things – the Eyetoy, Sixaxis, Blu-ray, the Cell processor, the Wiimote and Kinect – too many things have been “given a chance” to simply take the WiiU at face value. More so when Nintendo has yet to present the WiiU’s face proper, while planning to release it within months. 

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Well nintendo latest wiimote is used sucessfully for many games there even to the main zelda game there so I am kinda sure here nintendo will be able to ask the third party to intergrate more feature with the pad there like the p1000 there.

          For kinect, they did try to utilize them….. But mostly it ended up with disaster as the kinect wont work at all just like the steel batalion there. Thats not the fault for developers, it is the machine fault lol.

  • Vampiric

    Actions speak louder than words. 

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Lol, the machine havent even come out there. Patient there lol. Maybe after a year or two, you can said that to them lol.

  • $30632660

    As long as you make a better game than the disappointing Last Story, then I’m game for whatever you do Mistwalker.

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      ? I thought it is considered to be one good jrpg there?

      • Paradox me

        Depends on who you ask. Personally, I loved it.

        • Me too, but I guess for some it wasn’t quite what they were expecting, which might warrant the response.  It’s very atypical of a JRPG, which is partly why I liked it a lot. :)  VARIABLE EPIC parties need to happen in more RPGs. :)

      • Anime10121

         I was also disappointed in the Last Story, I was expecting much more, (especially based on the names attached to it) than what was given in the end.  I wouldn’t even call it a “good” jrpg, it had an incredibly bland story, and the battle system, while seemingly good at the beginning, never evolved or got “better” to me.  Hopefully his next big Jrpg will be more in line with Lost Odyseey, Final Fantasy IV, or even Blue dragon (it had more heart than TLS).

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          Hmmm each of their own taste then.^_^ I like TLS there much more than the blue dragon lol. As I thought blue dragon story is predictable and the gameplay is just okay there.^_^

          • Anime10121

             True Blue Dragon wasn’t that great either, but I still found it much more enjoyable than TLS.  TLS had a lot of promise, but it didnt fulfill any of it IMO, and that grey color filter didnt do much to help either, I know the Wii’s not a powerhouse, but they could have added SOME color variation to the palette.

          • RPGamer

            I love the way TLS looks.  I think it’s pretty appropriate considering the game’s medieval setting.  The darker colors and the amount of color saturation it utilizes makes it less cartoonish and adds a more realistic touch.  Not every JRPG has to be bright and colorful.  For whatever reason, many who are in love with Xenoblade will say TLS disappointed them.  I don’t know if they go into TLS expecting it to play like Xenoblade or what but I, for one, didn’t really enjoy what I could bring myself to play of Xenoblade(the MMO-style battle system didn’t appeal to me at all and the game felt tedious) so I’m glad TLS is bringing something completely different.  

          • Anime10121

             @google-091f257b7c642b42e65c417d799d5d5f:disqus I like the way the characters themselves look, I just hate the color filter the game has.  Real life is NOT that saturated and monotone.  Sure colors may not be as bright as they are in say KH or Tales, but reality has its own brightness and color and I never understand how people can say that games with a VERY small color palette are “realistic” in any way.

            While I did LOVE Xenoblade, I actually went into those two expecting the opposite to occur.  I thought I would love TLS and think Xenoblade was mediocre, especially considering it played like FFXII and I didnt care much for XII’s gameplay, but Xenoblade did what FFXII didnt, it made that playstyle fun.

            The Last Story was a decent game to me (although I cant seem to actually complete it, because again, the plot is boring to me), but I was expecting more from the Gooch, especially after LO.

        • That’s funny. I felt the same way about Tales of Graces.

          I can’t comment on TLS, though, due to the whole “no Wii” deal.

          • Anime10121

             Well Graces’ story was crap, the saving grace of that game to me was its gameplay.  While it did largely “stay the same”, once you got enough CC to start pulling off lengthy combos, it became a lot more fun to me.  Though I’m hoping Xillia will be more like Abyss/Vesperia than like Graces.

            Trust me when I say you’re not missing much when it comes to not having a Wii though.  Im not really the biggest fan of Nintendo’s properties anymore (besides Kirby) so the main reason I have my Wii is for Xenoblade (fantastic game) Chocobos Dungeon, and to a lesser extent Tales of Symphonia DotnW (and to play my old Gamecube games).

          • That’s exactly the main problem I had with Graces. While I applaud Bamco for changing things around for the game, the fact that it took two-thirds of the main game in order to get enough CC for the game to actually become “fun” was a major turn-off. Don’t get me wrong; I did plug through the entire main game, but overall, I felt like I paid $30 more than I should’ve for Graces. That’ll teach me to solely trust random Joe Schmoes on the Internet.

            At the very least, I can say that Graces’ story felt more consistent than Vesperia’s, in that Graces’ plot simply stayed mediocre throughout the entire game, rather than building up to a crescendo before ending in a five-plot point pileup.

          • LightZero

            I felt that Graces did a much better job than Vesperia. I like Vesperia better in themes but Graces did a better job with being consistent. They are both average in the story department IMO. Abyss, Phantasia, and Symphonia are the only Tales I would say have strong stories of the localize titles otherwise people are playing the wrong series if they want a groundbreaking story. Tales always been average in the story department. Gameplay and characters always come first in Tales. Story is just something to play through and be entertained by.

          • Anime10121

             @LightZero:disqus Yeah Vesperia’s plot was all over the place, but it at least had likable characters like Yuri, Raven, Don Whitehorse, and Rita, it also had a few memorable music tracks.  Graces had Pascal and Malik, which were good characters, but not enough to carry the entire game, the rest were extremely dry and almost annoying (I’ll hardly ever say that about characters in a Jrpg). Yes I agree that both plots were mediocre and on the one side Graces did at least keep its story going consistently instead of Vesperias 3 random stories thrown together, but the characters of Vesperia were spectactular (and so were their interactions/skits).

            True the Tales series has never had truly “strong” stories, besides the aforementioned Abyss, Symphonia, and I’d swap out Phantasia for Destiny,  but the characters usually more than make up for the lacking story.  To me (other than Pascal and Malik) they didnt.  I liked their personalities much more as children than who they all grew up to be.  But the gameplay was ace though, best battle system I’ve played in a Tales yet, and a nice change of a pace from the Team Symphonia titles.

        • Gatchaman2

          It had some of the best character interactions ever in an RPG. Serene was a cool ass chick

          • Anime10121

            I liked the characters (and their animations), most of them were fun and entertaining, ESPECIALLY that drunkard Serene.  But the plot and world (town) that drove them, not so much.

    • Gatchaman2

      That game was awesome don’t know what planet you’re from…

      • Ricewarrior

        He’s from earth. The planet where people have different opinions.

      • badmoogle

        I think it was neither awesome or disappointing.
        It was good and enjoyable but it definitely had its share of flaws.

  • AzuNo17

    I’d like to be able to fully control the position of AI Partners in an action-rpg. That is all.

  • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

    One can hope that JRPG games stop to fade, since this genre was the one that got me hooked up on video-games and made me learn a little bit of english.

  • SirRichard

    Thing is, I’m not sure what they could do beyond moving menus and health bars and enemy data to the bottom screen. I guess with something like Persona, it’d be cool to have you see the support scanning character’s perspective down there or something similar, but what could you do beyond that?

    In an action RPG, I suppose you could see the positions of enemies, but the game should already being doing that to some degree with the camera.

  • sd28

    last story two confirmned

  • Hmm. I never looked at it in this light. Very insightful. Hopefully this means we’ll get some more gems like The Last Story on the Wii U?

  • I sure hope this guy’s working on something, because those sound like the makings of some pretty awesome game mechanics.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    last story two :3

  • keithmaxx

    Come on Mistwalker, we’re counting on you for another hit! :)

  • Lazulis

    I hope the interfaces will make me feel like Tony Stark! Though I still am a bit iffy about games being divided into two totally different screens. The submenu thing should work though…

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      DS did that for The World Ends With You.^_^ So i am not worried here.^_^

      • Lazulis

        Well, yeah, but the DS has the two screens closer. 

        I’m a bit iffy about how it’d work with a tv screen and a tablet controller, if we had to actually look at the tablet. If I had to actually look at the tablet  to see what I was doing, instead of like with a drawing tablet, I don’t think it’d be as awesome as TWEWY (and my neck would ache, XO).

        • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

          …..That means, time to prepare your body then.^_^

  • Solomon_Kano

    I honestly can’t think of too many applications for the Wii U’s gamepad in a JRPG. Well, actually Final Fantasy XIII would’ve benefited from it MASSIVELY what with the tons of information they stored away in menus. Would’ve been nice to be able to read it on the fly.

    Oh well, I’m interested to see what they come up with. Maybe I’m just not thinking big enough.

    • Anime10121

      I know of one series that could use the touch screen nicely (hint: my avatar)!  The reality shifts in 3D were implemented nicely for each world and those couldnt have been done as well without the touch screen.  Even if I’d prefer the next console KH to be on PS3, I can see it also benefiting from being on WiiU.  TWEWY is also the type of game I can see benefiting from the pad.

      While I dont see traditional turn based JRPG’s using it for anything other than maps and accessories/menu screens, action RPG’s could use it for so much more!  I’m excited about the possibilities of WiiU (and I HATED the Wii before the addition of the Classic controller) even though I dont care much for Nintendo’s games anymore, besides Kirby and Smash Bros, simply because of the possibilities WiiU could bring (also the fact that it will help JRPG’s by extending the development period of current PS360 like consoles).

      • Solomon_Kano

        Yea, KH could definitely benefit. I didn’t even consider it since it’s already had several DS games and a 3DS game. I figure it’ll work the same on Wii U if they send the series over there.

        You’re right, it seems like action-RPGs will probably benefit more from the gamepad. I’m interested to see what the likes of Squenix come up with for it. If they make any exclusive Wii U games at all. Unlikely since they did practically nothing on the Wii, but we’ll see.

        You also made a point that I hadn’t thought of at all. With the Wii U’s power said to be comparable to the PS360, it being the first “next-gen” console actually lengthens this gen by extension since companies will still put out multiplatform titles if it’s not leaps and bounds ahead of our current systems.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Off the top of my head, here are a few uses I would look forward to:

      Fire Emblem:  whenever you hover your cursor over a unit, put full stats and everything for him/her on the controller screen.  Same as they did with the DS second screen (which benefited Fire Emblem DS hugely in my opinion)

      Golden Sun:  When you’re in a puzzle room, use the controller screen as a zoomed out map view so you can see the whole area.

      Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles:  Let two people play their own characters on their own screen.

      Dragon Quest X:  Hotkeys!  Just rows and rows of wonderful delicious hotkeys you can set for yourself :)

      Xenosaga/FF XIII/any other game with a huge in-game encyclopedia:  Put the encyclopedia on the controller screen and then as things happen in the game pull up the relevant entries automatically so any time you want background into the lore/are confused you can just look down and read a little.

      • Solomon_Kano

        DQX in particular, that would be nice. In fact, I think it would be for the best if Squenix did it that way. I dunno how it’s being handled on the Wii, but that would be an excellent use of the gamepad for the Wii U version.

  • badmoogle

    I hope this time we get more than one WiiU RPG from Mistwalker!
    (same goes with Monolith Soft)

    And hopefully,now that Japanese developers are more used with HD technology, we may see them embracing the WiiU with more RPGs than the first years of PS3.

    • ForteWily

       Monolith Soft is confirmed to be working on… Something… for the Wii U.

      It’s kind of a shame that I haven’t heard something similar with Mistwalker.

  • Heartless ㅤ

    As long as they don’t make something silly like The Last Story, I’m all for it. Don’t need a freaken Dungeon Crawler with cliche characters and bland storyline.

    • RPGamer

      Each to his/her own really.  I know plenty who love TLS, especially its characters.  I haven’t played the game yet but it doesn’t look like a dungean crawler to me.  Yes, some battles take place in caves but that doesn’t make it a dungean crawler.  And, for me, it’s not so much the storyline as it is how the story is presented and told.  Granted, Mistwalker/SquareSoft have developed many games using cliche storylines but they’ve never been disappointing because of how brilliantly and excellently those stories were presented.  Lost Odyssey is my favorite game so far this gen so if TLS is even half that good, I’ll be completely happy.  What I’ve seen so far of the battle system looks to be entirely fun and engaging.

      • badmoogle

        Regardless of the actual story itself there is always a certain something in Sakaguchi’s games that adds a strange feeling of daydreaming and nostalgia in his games…it’s hard to pinpoint what that certain “something” is or where it comes from.In Squaresoft’s FF’s i thought it was the combination of Sakaguchi’s and Amano’s vision,as well as Uematsu’s music that produced that certain atmosphere and wonderlust.I know i may sound stupid but whenever i look at the clouds in a late afternoon sky i’m immediately being reminded of FFVII-FFX as well as the much more recent PSP and DS versions of FFI-IV.

        Unfortunatelly i haven’t felt that feeling in a Square game since DQVIII but it’s somehow still there in Mistwalker’s games.Even though The Last Story’s story was indeed very cliche this particular atmosphere once again elevated the game for me and reminded me of the feeling i felt when i was playing the old FFs.It also made me care more for the story and characters than i would have cared otherwise.

        I hope i made some sense lol.

  • WEL

    I really don’t think this will be of much help. The DS has a dual screen and the JRPG’s on it have been the same as on the PsP and consoles….

    • Ethan_Twain

      Some games can make better use of a second screen than others.  Sure, it’s rare that a game actually uses both screens constantly like TWEWY or Bowser’s Inside Story, but I think a lot of games have been made more user friendly by the bonus screen just showing information.  Fire Emblem, for example, I would never want to play without my always visible top screen of info again.

  • tha_Chiller

    Want to see how something like Fire Emblem use the Wii U controller

  • Göran Isacson

    Have commands on the touchscreen, only fill the actual screen with flashy graphics? Use it to display unit-movement range in SRPG’s? Making one screen that you can put all the “clutter” in, and free the main screen to simply display gorgeous models and environments could be a really nice thing for JRPG’s, I must admit.

    Also, having a Kingdom hearts game where you have constant access to all commands with a single touch so you don’t have to scroll around so much would be REAL nice.

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