• An Interview with Ichiro Hazama producer of Theatrhythm - #E3

    SQUARE ENIX Presents recently sat down for an interview with the Producer of Theatrhytm and Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, Ichiro Hazama. In the interview he discusses how he got into games, as well as sharing some of his personal feelings and thoughts behind the development of the acclaimed rhythm franchise.

    Q. Tell us about your background?

    A. I actually started in the merchandising department of Square Enix, before I moved into games. I also worked on Advent Children.

    Q. What's it like to have come full circle, now that Advent Children is in Theatrhythm?

    A. It makes me very proud, not only for this - but also because Theatrhythm showcases all the great music from series. It's also very precious to see all the support from the fans.

    Q. What's different in Curtain Call?

    A. There's very different elements within the game mechanics. With the original, we were running blind as we'd never done anything like this before. As Curtain Call is the end of the current iteration of this game, we wanted to include as much as many different types of play as possible - as we don't know when we'll have another opportunity to make a game like this.

    The VS mode is one of our biggest new features along with other social features, utilising StreetPass. You can play VS not only locally, but also via the internet. We want people to be able to come together and share the experience, enjoying it together and sharing their profile cards and achievements with each other.

    Q. It must've been a very difficult challenge to choose which songs to include from the wider Final Fantasy franchise, such as Tactics, Mystic Quest etc?
    A. It was, there's so much music in the franchise. We tried not to base decisions based purely on what we wanted. We held a lot of polls with the community to decide which songs we should include.

    Q. What can RPG fans expect?

    A. Well, there's the collectable CollectaCards similar to those found in the original. The cards are more than just flavour text this time around. These cards can be used to buff and enchance your characters. Once you hit Lv99 you can reset your level and use the cards to grow your characters even further. Say you love Vivi, you can focus on getting the best Vivi ever by collecting these cards.

    Q. What was the inspiration behind creating a game based on Final Fantasy songs?

    A. In terms of inspiration, we thought about what we enjoy and like to play. I thought about the opening to Final Fantasy VI with the Magitek mounts marching, and Terra's theme playing in the background. This was so emotional, and we wanted to use the series music to re-invoke those emotions. It's actually something we've wanted to do for a while, but at the time hardware didn't allow us to produce high quality music playback with nice visuals. When the 3DS was revealed, we knew it was time.

    Q. Do you play an instrument yourself?
    A. No, but as I get asked this so many times I'm actually thinking of taking one up. Maybe the violin.

    Q. Which of the 221 songs in Curtain Call are special to you?
    A. To Zanarkand from FFX and World with No Color from FFXIII. When I'm playing the game, I love battle themes, but when I'm listening I prefer the more mellow songs.

    Q. Did you have to cut any songs from the game?

    A. Yes, there were so many songs in this game. There are so many songs in the franchise. We had to cut some due to the capacity of the game and also prevent leaning toward one title. If we only took the results of the polls we held, the game would largely only feature FFVII songs. More songs can be added as DLC though.

    Q. What level of involvement do the original composers have?

    A. We have to do our due diligence, and make sure that the are comfortable with working with us. We also have to trim the songs to fit in the game, the composers would approve these or even suggests where the songs could be cut or where and how to end the song. They are all very happy with the end result.

    Theatrhythm: Curtain Call releases on September 16th in North America and September 19th in Europe, on the Nintendo 3DS.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: An Interview with Ichiro Hazama producer of Theatrhythm - #E32014 started by Aulayna View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Pumpkin's Avatar
      Pumpkin -
      I'm so excited for this game
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