Kitase: We try not to listen to the critics too much

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Yoshinori Kitase, Producer for Final Fantasy XIII, recently discussed in an interview with Xbox World 360 (Magazine) the problem he has with reviewers in the west and how his team tries not to listen to them too strongly.

While Kitase does make some very good points, it feels a little like he’s stereotyping the entire industry in North America as a whole opposed to what it really is.

“We try not to listen to the critics too much. Most of the criticisms have come because the first half of the game is very linear,” states Kitase. “But we’ve got a story to tell, and it’s important the player can engage with the characters and the world they inhabit before letting them loose…”

“We think many reviewers are looking at Final Fantasy XIII from a western point of view. When you look at most Western RPGs, they just dump you in a big open world, and let you do whatever you like… [It] becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you’re given that much freedom.”

Though he is accurate that that much freedom does make it difficult to tell a compelling story (which is evident by the lackluster story behind such games as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout), it’s absolutely ridiculous that he thinks just because a western reviewer is reviewing a Japanese RPG, he’s doing it with a western point of view.

As far as I’m aware, most of the guys reviewing JRPGs (on a consistent basis — there are some one-timers I’ve seen review the genre), are fans of the genre on an overall level and have been playing games from the company he works for, for years.

Do you guys feel that Western reviewers can’t appreciate a Japanese RPG for what it is solely because they’re from North America?

Readers Comments (15)

  1. Yes. I feel like every JRPGS are being compared to some big shot WRPGS by the western reviewers.

  2. Yes I do feel that westerners are assholes for the most part when it comes to JRPGs. I definitely agree with them.

  3. Especially after that IGN final fantasy rant lol, that confirmed it for me.

  4. Why are they obsessed with saying the ‘first half’ of the game is linear? It’s about 75%, which is nowhere near half.

    Anyway, I think they can totally appreciate it. I certainly don’t think of a WRPG when evaluating a JRPG. There are plenty of JRPGs that are crap even when compared to other JRPGs. He’s probably just throwing a hissy fit since he couldn’t pay them off like he could famitsu. I understand not wanting to consider it since the games are made for the japanese market, but you can’t disregard an entire region just because they think differently. And, no matter what their reviewers may say, most of the gaming population over there agrees with the ‘western’ reviews.

  5. If anything I think some or even most of the reviewers are just getting tired of the non-evolving JRPG style and due to this they tend to hate a bit more.

    Honestly JRPG’s aren’t really taking it to the next lv, not saying Western are doing it any better either. Both have ups and downs just like anything else. Western RPGs are just too freaking long with all of the quests, and this easily makes you lose track of the story. JRPG’s are usually too linear, but with great stories. They should just learn from each other and make the next big thing from what they learn.

  6. yep agree with the article, not many reviewers consider all of the aspects at play, because their used to their own style of doing things

  7. After IGN gave Halo ODST a 9, I haven’t let a review sway me one way or another. I already have my FF13 pre ordered and I’m happy as a clam.

  8. Yes I do, I never listen to the usless ass critics AND I MEAN NEVER, if I want to know if something is good I’ll look at the ratings on, gamespot, my friends, and the people on the university.

  9. I feel Kitase is right about much of this. I see sites praise these games with lackluster stories and open worlds and giving them high scores but downplaying RPGs with a wonderful story but the gameplay isn’t top-notch or the world isn’t open. It seriously pisses me off. They are giving bad reps and reviews to these games, people don’t buy them, they hype up generic shooter x and people buy those. They are shaping the industry into games full of short, crappy single player experience full of button-mashing battles or frantic online modes. As an old school gamer, I don’t want to see that happen. I can enjoy the crazy button-mashers and frag-fest shooters as well. But I’m sick of those being the only games out or the only games getting good review scores.

  10. @ReneldKlein DAMN STRAIT, lol.

  11. @ReneidKlein Couldn’t have put it better man. Word. I believe reviewers are only giving good ratings to games that they are either paid to rate well or are a genre that they like. The story is a very important part of the game for me. So I appreciate JRPGs for what they do.

  12. i think they just ruined this final fantasy. From what i heard its linear as it points out, no more towns to explore, the party gets fully healed after every battle, and it has somewhat forgettable/unlikable characters, but thats what i heard and fans are upset.

  13. I agree, seems like IGN played White Knight and was like, wait…this isn’t like mass effect 2!? 5(or 6, whatever they gave it)

  14. me personally I would choose a jrpg over a western rpg any day of the week… but then thats just me.
    Still that being said I’m still buying ff13….

  15. I think Japanese RPG are more abou the story line than Western RPG. They are trying to make Final Fantasy 13 linear so they can tell the story easier. When you progress through the game more, it will become more open and less linear. I hope that this new approach to Final Fantasy 13 will work well.

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