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    Ultimate Fantasy X and X-2 producer displays on the modern PS2 titles – PlayStation.Weblog


    We put quite a lot of ‘new’ in Ultimate Fantasy X. It was the primary recreation within the Ultimate Fantasy sequence to be inbuilt full 3D, we launched new varieties of presentation, a brand new battle system… it even got here out on new {hardware}. It additionally spawned the primary direct sequel within the sequence’ historical past – Ultimate Fantasy X-2.

    This recreation was equally recent, and had a really totally different type, tone, and construction to the remainder of the sequence.

    I labored as producer on Ultimate Fantasy X and its sequel. With each accessible on PlayStation Now in Ultimate Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster, I assumed I’d share some reminiscences of engaged on these very particular video games.

    Ultimate Fantasy X

    Ultimate Fantasy X was the primary recreation within the sequence to be developed for the PS2. There are at all times challenges and choices to be made when working with new {hardware}, and that was definitely the case for Ultimate Fantasy X.

    The PlayStation 2 impact

    One key resolution we confronted was across the visuals. Regardless that the PS2 supplied an enormous improve in energy from the unique PlayStation, there was nonetheless a restrict to the {hardware} specs, so to depict the brand new graphical type, we had to decide on whether or not to prioritize decision or the variety of colours.

    Initially, we thought it could be helpful to make use of extra colours – we thought that might assist us actually depict the world of Spira in a vibrant method. Nonetheless, once we appeared on the developments in different firms’ video games launched whereas we had been engaged on improvement, it grew to become more and more clear that followers had been hoping for increased decision next-gen video games.

    Because of this, we switched from specializing in the variety of colours to creating the sport as excessive decision as doable – and we did this about six months earlier than the grasp deadline!

    This meant we needed to make main modifications to the sport we’d made up to now, which was an enormous danger by way of the schedule. Thankfully, our glorious programmers and designers did a beautiful job.

    Ultimately, a ‘high-res’ Ultimate Fantasy X was born, and we had been in a position to obtain the type of high-end visuals you’d anticipate from a next- gen console.

    An in-Spira-ing world

    The brand new visible type added different challenges too. For instance, Ultimate Fantasy X was the primary recreation within the sequence to not embody a world map – it is because the sport was inbuilt full 3D, and that’s costly!

    As recreation creators, we generally need to make choices that stability recreation design with ballooning manufacturing prices. On this case, dropping the overworld map was probably the most practical answer we had accessible.

    Our prior video games, Ultimate Fantasy VII and Ultimate Fantasy VIII had been set in steampunk and science fiction-inspired worlds respectively, so we wished to do one thing totally different.

    This may be additionally the explanation why Artwork Director Yusuke Naora got here up with the idea of getting a world with an Asian really feel to it, and that grew to become the inspiration for Spira.

    New battle plans

    That wasn’t the one break from custom launched in Ultimate Fantasy X both – we additionally reinvented the fight system.

    The last few video games had used the Energetic Time Battle (ATB) system, through which gamers might take actions each time a bar crammed in real-time. For the brand new recreation, we wished to create battles with higher strategic depth than ever earlier than.

    The designer who labored on the battle system had additionally labored on Entrance Mission, and he was very expert at creating technique video games, so we moved to a turn-based system as a substitute.

    We additionally modified how character development works by introducing the Sphere Grid. This let gamers manually enhance their characters by selecting upgrades from a grid. I’ve been an amazing fan of board video games for a very long time, and I wished to recreate that analogue sensation of shifting items and filling up the board with them.

    Making our voices heard

    One new characteristic that I used to be personally very captivated with was the introduction of voice appearing. I discussed this in my final weblog, however I felt a bit dissatisfied with the truth that Ultimate Fantasy VIII wasn’t voiced.

    We achieved extra practical visuals and sounds, however once I take into consideration the scenes in that recreation, I imagine they might have been much more emotional if there had been voice appearing included. That was the driving drive to make it occur for Ultimate Fantasy X.

    In fact, this was the primary time we’d ever recorded voiced strains, so it was quite a lot of work to get it to return to fruition. These days, it’s the norm to get every forged member to enter the recording sales space one by one, after which file all their strains individually. Nonetheless, again within the day we acquired a number of forged members to enter the studio without delay and file the dialog scenes collectively.

    Due to this, I believe that we had been in a position to carry out pure performances, regardless of this being our first time doing it.

    Ultimate (Fantasy) ideas

    In the end, I’m happy with what we achieved with Ultimate Fantasy X. I believe it’s a landmark recreation – by way of the state of affairs, graphics, digicam work, sound, voices, and movement seize, it achieved the perfect cinematic high quality that the Ultimate Fantasy sequence had been aiming for.

    I believe that the type perfected right here helped to ascertain the look of future Ultimate Fantasy video games. One in all which was Ultimate Fantasy X-2.

    Ultimate Fantasy X-2

    After Ultimate Fantasy X, we began to really feel like we didn’t need the world of Spira and its characters to be over in a single chapter, and we wished to allow them to take middle stage and flesh them out much more.

    That’s why we began manufacturing on Ultimate Fantasy X-2 – the primary direct sequel within the sequence’ historical past. We determined to discover a world that had turn into peaceable after the occasions of the earlier recreation and inform a distinct sort of story.

    Fairly than the theme from the earlier story that delves into explicit relationships, resembling between a person and lady or father or mother and baby, we wished a vibrant and light-hearted narrative that might give the sport a cheery tone.

    The Gullwings assemble

    That upbeat angle was mirrored within the recreation’s playable characters. Not like earlier video games within the sequence, Ultimate Fantasy X-2 has an all-female get together: Yuna, Rikku and a brand new character, Paine.

    Many video games on the time, not simply Ultimate Fantasy, had male protagonists and I wished to inform a narrative with Yuna as a powerful feminine character. I assumed that might ring a bell with much more gamers.

    The tone is additional strengthened by the construction of the sport. Not like the Ultimate Fantasy X, through which you comply with the drama in a linear vogue, the quests in Ultimate Fantasy X-2 will be accessed in any order. To extend the range much more, we elevated the variety of minigames accessible within the recreation.

    I recall that probably the most difficult to make was Sphere Break – a strategically deep coin recreation. A single recreation designer engaged on the sport the whole lot, together with the programming, single-handedly!

    Gown to impress

    When it got here to fight, Ultimate Fantasy X-2 moved to a brand new model of the ATB system, which let gamers time their assaults for combos and simpler assaults. You might be questioning: why the change from the prior recreation’s techniques? It’s as a result of the designer for the battles modified!

    The assistant recreation designer from Ultimate Fantasy X grew to become the lead for its sequel, and he wished to make use of a distinct system.

    An enormous aspect of the brand new system had been dresspheres, which allowed the get together to seamlessly swap between totally different roles in fight. For instance, Yuna might change from a damage-dealing Gunner to therapeutic White Mage, a Thief or many extra choices within the warmth of fight – every accompanied with a flashy outfit change.

    This method happened partly because of the story of the unique Ultimate Fantasy X. In that recreation, Summons find yourself disappearing from the world, so the transformations had been a solution to work within the spectacular visible results gamers had come to anticipate.

    For the animations themselves we appeared to a style of children’ TV reveals in Japan, through which the heroes remodel or tackle a brand new type. The perfect a part of every episode is when the character transforms with a dynamic efficiency, and we took inspiration from this.

    What’s in a reputation?

    It might sound odd, however one of many largest challenges we confronted when making Ultimate Fantasy X-2 was what to name it. Having a sequel to a mainline recreation was unprecedented, and once we advised “X-2” the corporate was initially frightened that it could be mistaken for Ultimate Fantasy XII and turned it down. Since then, they’ve grown keen on it in fact.

    In the end the sport proved extra divisive than different Ultimate Fantasy video games – I think that’s due partially to the truth that its vibrant and poppy route offers it a really totally different taste to different entries within the sequence.

    However I believe the best way that Ultimate Fantasy video games attempt to break free from preconceived concepts is one thing actually great concerning the sequence – and Ultimate Fantasy X-2 is an ideal instance of that.

    Each Ultimate Fantasy X and Ultimate Fantasy X-2 can be found to stream and download with PlayStation Now.

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