The Art of Final Fantasy
- Posted March 25th, 2008 at 10:30 EDT by
- 9 Comments
In light of the US release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable, PSU thought we’d delve further into the bowels of this illustrious series, and scrutinize a particular element that has become virtually synonymous with Final Fantasy as a series; art direction. Indeed, from the perspective of Isamu Kamikokuryo, Art Director at Square-Enix, expression through art is what impels the Final Fantasy universe as a whole.
Final Fantasy has always been identified by its distinctive artistic expression through environmental detail and character appearance. It is what separates itself from the profusion of other videogames and their innovations. While it may be a great joy to look at, a lot of thought is placed upon this aspect that many may not distinguish. For instance, Isamu Kamikokuryo has taken trips to New York City to observe architecture both new and old, visited the Grand Canyon for its evocative scenery and ventured Italy to view ancient ruins. All these elements have been put to use on future Final Fantasy projects, such as the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII compilation, which he is currently working on.
For Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it took nearly a year of pre-production solely centralized inside the art department. Surely it can be concluded that the art of Final Fantasy is something to be undertaken with only the most refined level of care and responsibility. As a result, I would like to take the time to highlight some of the inner details to the art of Final Fantasy through the perception of Isamu Kamikokuryo.
In terms of visuals, what is the initial thought that springs to mind when you hear or read the word, “Final Fantasy”? Perhaps it could be the ultramodern clothes, the profligate hairstyles, or the dazzling environments. Who knows, perchance it could be all those I just outlined. Either way, many individuals would probably conclude that there is essentially a distinctive “Final Fantasy look”. Kamikokuryo, however, insists this is not the case, as each instalment receives many changes in terms of the art direction taken. Just think of the modern design of Final Fantasy VIII compared to the more renaissance design of Final Fantasy XII.
Personally for me, the fashion is something that has always stood out. Being the fashion enthusiast that I am, I utterly adore the direction that many of the Final Fantasy games have taken in this field.
Regarding this particular aspect, Kamikokuryo explains:
“When you look at the games in the past, there are some limitations on expression. So you have to let the user expand their imagination. We take in some trends from fashion, to make it more entertainable for the game user. So people who like games enjoy the game and people who like fashions will enjoy the clothes.”
Kamikokuryo presents an appealing outlook on each character’s fashion, something of which can be noted with much of the Final Fantasy games from FFVII and beyond. No Giorgio Armani here, but the wardrobe of an individual character is more than just sheer design; it is almost an expansion of the character’s personality itself.
Beyond the fashionable aspects in Final Fantasy resides something that numerous gamers have associated the series with – namely, its breathtaking CGI sequences. Whether it is the heartbreaking FFVII scene where Aeries loses her life to Sephiroth, the touching ballroom dance sequence in Final Fantasy VIII, or the dark and gritty trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, CG has always played a significant role in many of the most recent Final Fantasy titles.
Kamikokuryo explains the how the CG teams working closely with the in-game art teams to ensure that the experience is gratifying:
“The CG and in-game teams are separate, but in a natural way we want the two to work together and be in harmony with another. The CG section also works on some high end visuals and visual expressions so there are not ceilings for that, no limitations.”
There is a notion that CG graphics and in-game graphics is beginning to narrow. This can be seen in all games from many developers as the technology improves, it is coming ... (continued on next page)
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- 7:17am EDT - March 25th, 2008
Apparently first, gotta love Final Fantasy, can't wait for an FF7 Remake
- 7:48am EDT - March 25th, 2008
real graphics is what its all about!
- 10:41am EDT - March 25th, 2008
favorite article on this site, hands down. The art in final fantasy is what got me DEEP into games. The moment I got FF8 for christmas, I saw games in another light.
- 11:01am EDT - March 25th, 2008
same here alti final fantasy VII is what really inspired me it made me realize that wow these games are an art form and are able to show expression and ideas on a whole nother level i mean i have played games since atari you know and my favorite old system was the snes but nothing had impacted my life so much as the playstation and ffVII it made me want to be a video game developer
- 2:48pm EDT - March 25th, 2008
ive not played FF VII or any of those, ive only played the first FF and FF-X, FF-X-2 and FF-XII and by far, i think tha FF-X is a very emotional and beutiful game, like where yuna jumps off the tower to escape from seymour, and then summons valefor to catch her,.....beutiful :)
- 3:55pm EDT - March 25th, 2008
in 20 years.... i really hopewe don't have ff33 by then i think it might just get a bit stale :P
- 6:22pm EDT - March 25th, 2008
Lets hope we get FF7 on the psn since the prequal came out this week it would be a nice addition to the PS1 titles.
- 7:38pm EDT - March 25th, 2008
I'm the same way, before FF7 games were just that, games. Completely changed the way I played. Since then, I have always assumed the role of the character, regardless of it's genre. @IONIXX - FFX was good, but for me the voice acting of some of the characters didn't let me really take the story as seriously as I would have wanted to. You need to get your hands on FF7 and 8. FF7 is just amazing, and FF8 has a very cool direction and Squall and his gunblade are so cool. I started playing Crisis Core today and I wasn't enjoying it, I started playing it on HARD mode and it was just ridiculously HARD! I died about 4 times, one hour into the game! But once I started playing it on NORMAL, I just started having a blast. Can't wait for the rest of it. The intro was incredible, if you've played FF7 it just brings a smile to your face, and you think to yourself 'I'm glad I'm back in this universe'
- 8:48pm EDT - March 26th, 2008
Love the graphics
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