In an interview with Eurogamer, Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura shed some more light on the highly anticipated title Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the Playstation 3. In this interview, Nomura talks not only about the nature of Final Fantasy Versus XIII but also a dramatic shift in the way Final Fantasy can be portrayed. To quote Nomura from the interview;
What I want to do is to examine the humanity of the characters in this game. This is not going to be a fantasy world in the traditional Final Fantasy sense. Rather it’s based in the world today with all of this world’s ugly issues. There’s this mainstream tradition of Final Fantasy games and, in Versus I’m trying to propose new vision of how a Final Fantasy game can be. The game’s going to be more human than the science-fiction caricature we so often see. It will focus around current world events – in that sense it’s darker.
If the trailer wasn’t any indication of Versus XIII’s dark thematic nature, surely do his words prove confirm it. It’s interesting to see that Nomura wants to take Final Fantasy to the next level by introducing themes that revolve around current world events, hence taking the fabled franchise from its fantasy-science fiction nature to that of realism (re: human). Realism can be good at times, but its when realism has become a norm of a video game that it may pose a challenge in this entertaining medium. Nomura admits this as well;
This kind of theme is traditionally unappealing to a mainstream audience who want to role-play in generally happy and safe worlds. It’s a challenge.
To be fair, neither Shadow Hearts, Shin Megami Tensei, Digital Devil Saga, nor more recently Persona 3 have this "happy and safe world" and are widely accepted among RPG enthusiasts. It’ll be interesting to see how Versus XIII turns out in the end; and should Final Fantasy itself take this route of realism with its later titles, do you think it’d fare out well?