Q & A with Crisis Core Director Hajime Tabata
kula shakerz    2008-03-28, 18:25 pm.

Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, talks about developing the long awaited PSP prequel to the PlayStation classic, Final Fantasy VII.

Q. Why did you decide to make the game harder for the Western markets?

Tabata: It has been our experience that games released in Western markets are generally of higher difficulty than those released in Japan, so the harder difficulty level was added to make sure that hardcore players are satisfied with the game experience.

Q. What was the toughest obstacle that you overcame during the development of this game?

Tabata: At the time this project began, the PSP market in Japan had not quite expanded to what it is now. As a consequence, the project budget was extremely limited, which I would say created the most difficulty for us during development.

Q. Is there anything in the game that you aren’t satisfied with? On the other hand, what aspect of CRISIS CORE are you most proud of?

Tabata: Perhaps the most satisfaction I get from the game is that it functions extremely well as a prequel, and as such, moves seamlessly into FINAL FANTASY VII. After playing the game to the end, I am confident that fans will feel that they have “returned” to the world of FINAL FANTASY VII.


In terms of improvements I think we could have made, since this was a portable console title, we implemented many small side missions into the game so that users could enjoy the gameplay in a short amount of time. However, due to the sheer volume, we may not have been able to put as much into the stories of these side missions as we wanted.

Q. If given more time, is there anything that didn’t make the final version of CRISIS CORE that you would have liked to implement?

Tabata: In regards to the story, due to schedule and [UMD] memory concerns, a good deal of it ended up on the cutting room floor. Originally, the episodes were much more detailed. We also considered implementing a multiplayer competitive/cooperative mode using the PSP network function, but again, this wasn’t realized due to scheduling concerns.

Q. What did you look to for inspiration during development? What was your influence while directing this game?

Tabata: We drew a lot of inspiration from Japanese historical dramas, since we were dramatically re-enacting a historic episode where the outcome is already known.

Q. Tell us about your favorite characters and scenes from CRISIS CORE, and why you like them.

Tabata: I would say that Zack is my favorite character. I can’t really point to one specific scene, but the entire flow from the last boss battle to the ending is the most memorable for me.

Q. How does the gaming community and fans’ opinions affect the decisions you make when you’re in charge of a project such as this?

Tabata: As developers, we try to look at as much user feedback as possible for each title, and then weigh them against our own thoughts. Both positive and negative issues that arise during this process are then referenced when developing a new title.

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