Square Enix recently released War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius in the west, a game that many consider a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics.
To learn more about the game, Twinfinite interviewed global version producer Hiroki Fujimoto, who provided plenty of information on what we can expect.
Questions were provided by yours truly and our editor-in-chief Ed McGlone.
Twinfinite: War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is obviously inspired by the tactical-RPG gameplay of Final Fantasy Tactics. One element of Final Fantasy Tactics that players really enjoyed was mixing and matching the variety of different Jobs to leverage the environment and the grid-based battle system. Can you explain for Final Fantasy Tactics fans how Jobs will work in War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius?
Hiroki Fujimoto: A variety of Jobs appear in WOTV FFBE as well. Each character has two Sub Jobs in addition to their Main Job, and these are unlocked as your characters grow. Players can choose to switch their characters’ Jobs before heading into battle to better counter different field layouts or their opponents’ Jobs.
For example, if a character has the Dragoon and Ninja Sub Jobs, the player can choose to fight as a Dragoon in fields featuring elevational differences because they’re able to take advantage of the Jump ability there, while they can choose to fight as a Ninja in fields without elevational differences because they’re able to use the long-range attack Shuriken instead. In this way, players can carry out battles to their advantage based on their own strategies.
Twinfinite: What are some of the ways that the gameplay will differ from titles in the Final Fantasy Tactics series? Is there anything that big fans of the Tactics series should be aware of in this regard before jumping in and giving War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius a try?
Hiroki Fujimoto: Final Fantasy Tactics and War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius are both part of the Final Fantasy series, but they differ in their worlds, characters, and stories.
However, both games are part of the tactical RPG genre, and I think there are enjoyable elements that they both have in common.
If you’ve played Final Fantasy Tactics before, please give WOTV FFBE a try as well. I think you’ll find that in addition to some nostalgic fun, new adventures and new surprises await.
Twinfinite: Unlike some other RPGs where you can often grind your way to victory if you’re having a hard time, in tactical-RPGs strategy factors in far more heavily than usual. Fans of the genre will want a game that pushes them to think while newcomers may get put off by an extreme challenge. How is the development team balancing this?
Hiroki Fujimoto: WOTV FFBE includes very many factors for character growth (leveling and learning new abilities, etc.). In cases where it gets difficult to continue proceeding through the game, powering up your characters and making them stronger may enable you to break through those circumstances.
Additionally, there is a great multitude of characters who appear in the game, so I think you’ll also be able to get through difficult circumstances by choosing characters that are well-suited for that field layout or against those opponents, or by placing an even stronger character in your party.
Twinfinite: Between Final Fantasy’s reputation for excellent stories and the extremely high bar that Yasumi Matsuno set with his work on the Tactics Orge and Final Fantasy Tactics games, expectations are naturally high for many fans about the setting and plot of War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Could you talk about the story and setting a bit, and what curious fans outside of Japan might enjoy about it?
Hiroki Fujimoto: WOTV FFBE is a story that depicts the world several hundred years before FFBE.
FFBE featured what might be considered a classic hero’s tale, where the heroes and heroines experience growth through their journeys and defeat evil. However, WOTV FFBE involves the plots and motives of its various nations as well as its many characters’ interweaving storylines of love, friendship, and betrayal, and the story developments that take place are weightier.
Even those who haven’t played FFBE will have no problem enjoying this game.
Additionally, the story includes voice-overs, and players can choose from either Japanese or English for these. English, French, German, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese (Traditional) are the six languages that are supported [for subtitles], which I think will help ensure that lots of people around the world will be able to enjoy the game.
Twinfinite: War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is only on mobile platforms, but fans have been asking for a new Final Fantasy Tactics-like game on consoles for a long time. Is there any chance that a console or PC port could be considered?
Hiroki Fujimoto: WOTV has been developed for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, so we’ve refined the UI under the assumption that it will be played on mobile devices. Additionally, its content uses the benefits of continuously updated mobile games to its advantage, for example through its periodically updated storyline. Therefore, we cannot port it to consoles as-is.
Also, we’ve only just released the game, so I think the most important thing right now is to have lots of people around the world play the game and to develop content that will compel them to keep playing.
Twinfinite: Achieving parity of content between the Japanese and English versions of mobile games is a challenge few developers manage or even want to achieve. What are your plans and objectives on this front?
Hiroki Fujimoto: The time between the Japanese and Global version releases was about four months. This period was necessary for localizing the game into six different languages, and it was also used to develop the game with features unique to the Global version.
The game’s basic balance is the same in both the Japanese and Global versions. However, when it comes to the ongoing content, there are also unique elements catered toward the Global players.
Additionally, we also want to prepare some new surprises for Global version players.
Twinfinite: Are you able to describe in any detail at the moment the post-release plan for the global version of the game once it is established?
Hiroki Fujimoto: I’m happy to share that the Final Fantasy Tactics collaboration event will begin on April 22.
I know many fans have been looking forward to this event, so I hope everyone enjoys it. More details are available through our in-game notices and official social media accounts, so please take a look for further information.
Twinfinite: Music and artwork is another element that is crucial for many RPG fans’ enjoyment of a game and once again, Square Enix-developed titles and especially the games within the Tactics series have all been very successful in those regards. Could you talk a bit about what the development team has done to ensure that War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius meets the high standards of fans?
Hiroki Fujimoto: In order to capture and convey the unique qualities of Final Fantasy and FFBE in this title, we had various staff members come on board for its development.
Character illustrations are handled by CyDesignation, the president of which is past Final Fantasy series art director Hideo Minaba. Akihiko Yoshida, who worked on character design for Final Fantasy Tactics, is also at this company, and he supervises the illustrations for this title.
Noriyasu Agematsu, who composed the extremely popular music for FFBE, joins us once again to work on the music for this game.
The title’s beautiful CG movies have been produced by Visual Works, who are responsible for the 3D CG of the Final Fantasy series.
I think Final Fantasy series fans will be able to feel various qualities of Final Fantasy here, and I also think that through this game, those who have never touched the Final Fantasy series before will be able to experience the epic world of an RPG.
Twinfinite: The development team has had some time now to evaluate how the game has been received in Japan. Are there any major changes that fans who have been following the development of War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius should be aware for the global release?
Hiroki Fujimoto: We’ve made various improvements to the Global version after conducting beta testing in the USA and after looking at feedback from players of the Japanese version.
The tutorial at the beginning of the game is one part in particular that I believe has become more user-friendly and easier to understand as a result of such improvements.
Some may have the preconception that at first glance tactical RPGs look difficult, but I hope they’ll go ahead and try downloading and starting this game. I think they’ll find that they’re able to enter the game’s world with ease as they move through the tutorial.
Twinfinite: As a personal opinion, do you think War of the Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius’s success could persuade Square Enix to actually bring back Final Fantasy Tactics in some form?
Hiroki Fujimoto: There’s nothing I can really say about this one. Please keep looking out for future announcements from Square Enix