You’ve played Final Fantasy XIII, read reviews, maybe even user reviews from Amazon Japan. Before those came out, Square Enix had focus groups (you know, the opinions Square Enix listens to while the game is in development) rate Final Fantasy XIII’s story, characters, and game balance. This is what they thought.
This slide came from the Director of Final Fantasy XIII’s, , GDC presentation. From left to right Motomu Toriyamathe ratings are: story, character, game balance, battle, field, movies, and sound. Opinions from Japan’s focus group are in blue and US focus group data is in yellow.
The Japanese group enjoyed the story and characters more than the US focus group. Perhaps, this may be due to the story design, which was has an undercurrent of elements from Japanese culture. Toriyama compared the theme to Japanese society where if you drop out it’s almost impossible to come back. However, there is hope to recover. Lighting and the fal’cie share a similar trail where they need to fight against how people percieve them. In the USA, the focus group rated the battle and field elements higher.
Check back next week for a detailed interview with Motomu Toriyama where he answered (most) of your questions.