X360 Sunday, July 8, 2007 | 12:12 AM

Hironobu Sakaguchi interview

Hironobu Sakaguchi interview

I had the chance today to interview Hironobu Sakaguchi at the Japan Expo in Paris. I actually videotaped the interview but as you all know, my real identity has to be kept a secret for the good of Mankind (or maybe I had some microphone problems, I forget), so all you'll be granted with will be a transcript of his conversation with me and you should be very happy. I asked him about the European release of Blue Dragon, the long awaited Lost Odysssey and Cry On: Jump inside if you want to know more.

Update: The interview has been updated based on what Sakagushi said in Japanese.

Gamersyde: To begin with, we would like to have some confirmation from you because a lot of people are still wondering if the European release of the game will include the Japanese voice track.

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Not only will you have the Japanese voices but there are also other languages such as English, French, German and Spanish. So you can decide to play with the Japanese voices and then choose the subtitles in your own language.

Gamersyde: Excellent! Blue Dragon sold about 200,000 units in Japan: are you satisfied with the sales so far and what about your expectations for the worldwide sales?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: I think I'm pretty satisfied since we sold about 200,000 packs but we also sold 100,000 games so that's 300,000 total which means that 66% of 360 owners have bought the game. I think it was a successful release.

Gamersyde: Blue Dragon is quite an easy game: will Lost Odyssey be more hardcore? How long would you say it will take to complete the main quest? Also, are there going to be many side quests?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: We're just putting the final touches to the game now. Right now if you played through it it would be about 60 hours, but we're working on giving it a high tempo (fast pace), and by doing that we hope to give the game a new feel that's enjoyable. To be honest, I don't really know how many hours it would take to complete the game.

Gamersyde: So will it be more difficult than Blue Dragon?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Yes, a little bit.

Gamersyde: Is the combat system of Lost Odyssey going to be similar to what we saw in the demo, or has it changed since then?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: It's going to be different from the demo, while it's still turn-based encounters, there are action elements [think FFVIII's hitting R1 on Squall's gunblade; and I thought we already knew Lost Odyssey had stuff like this before]. The system is based on the front line protecting the backline and the strategy is in how much of a wall you want the frontline to be. So it's very different than what was in the demo.

Gamersyde: Is Nobuo Uematsu going to be in charge of all the soundtrack of Lost Odyssey?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Absolutely, all of it.

Gamersyde: Manabu Kusunoki is now the art lead on Cry On but in the beginning it was someone from Cavia if I'm not mistaken: is Artoon doing all the work on Cry On or is Cavia still working on the programming?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: (laughs) Cavia is still in charge of the development but Mr Kusunoki is the main designer at the moment: I just wanted to make the game more realistic.

Gamersyde: Is there another Manga-ka you would like to work with in the future?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Toriyama and Inoue are the only Manga-ka that I really know in detail. I'd also like to work with Amano. He worked on FF and did some pretty amazing drawings.

Gamersyde: Would you like to work for Yasumi Matsuno again?

Hironobu Sakaguchi: (laughs) I haven't heard from him for a while so I don't know how he's doing now to be honest.

Gamersyde: Ok, thank you very much for your time. It's been a pleasure meeting you.

Hironobu Sakaguchi: You're welcome, the pleasure was mine.

All comments

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Commented on 2007-07-08 00:38:08
Any word from him about a release date for Lost Odyssey?
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:39:52
Confirmed Japanese voices = instant buy. I MUST have Blue Dragon!
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:40:54
Sweet Interview Blim. Thanks a bunch! So Blue dragon sold 300k That's brilliant news!
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:41:36
So, are there still random battles?
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:41:58
His answers were a bit short,but a great (tease) interview.Too bad about Yasumi Matsuno,but maybe in the not too distant future.
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:43:33 In reply to Phaethon360
Posted by Phaethon360
Any word from him about a release date for Lost Odyssey?
End of 2007 for japanese and english territories (including UK), and a tad later everywhere else.
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:44:15 In reply to vspectra06
Posted by vspectra06
So, are there still random battles?
Actually I asked that question but the translator didn't get it right and it became the confusing reply I got about the battle system.
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:44:45
Very nice, thanks Blim.

It's amazing how far you guys have come in the last couple of years. I think you are at the point where you are giving the big boys a significant run for their money and IMO have them beat when it come to original videos and interviews. Whats even better is that as a gamer I think I benefit the most. Thanks to you guys I don't have to put up with the IGN's and Gamspot's of the world.

Commented on 2007-07-08 00:44:54
hell yes! my dreams have come true!.
Excellent interview Blim :)
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:46:13
Woohoo. Japanese voices for the win, and it seems like more future games will support that.

Blue Dragon, Lost Odysse and Naruto: Rise of a Ninja for example. I hope Eternal Sonata will have japanese voice track, otherwise I'ill cry... :P
Commented on 2007-07-08 00:51:35 In reply to BlimBlim
Posted by BlimBlim
Actually I asked that question but the translator didn't get it right and it became the confusing reply I got about the battle system.
Ah, sucks. Thanks for trying though. :p
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:05:30
Wish we could of got a follow up question on MMO. From sounds of it, that isn't actually confirmed yet/bad translation. Either way, couple good questions and the 300K units sold being the most interesting one.
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:07:18

Is the Release also in Germany ??
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:10:24
Awesome interview, but I would've liked to see a question asking his current feelings on how he thinks Lost Odyssey is turning out and are there any particular qualities of the game (that he can talk about) that make him think Lost Odyssey is going to be truly something special and unlike anything he has done before.

Think he coulda been drilled a bit more about Lost Odyssey, but I suppose thats what E3 is for :/
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:11:46
Do you think this game will be released in Sweden this year? Since the game isn't translated to swedish we should get the UK version this year, but maybe we have to wait for the other version released 2008 but I really hope we will get the UK version this year. Hmm, what do you think?
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:46:52
That frontline and backline are clear to me. If you put strong defensive guys in front of your back party. They'll suffer less damage in a big attack.
Commented on 2007-07-08 01:50:16
Commented on 2007-07-08 03:43:37
Blue Dragon I cant wait !
Commented on 2007-07-08 04:25:10
prodygee: Why not just buy the game from the UK? I live in Sweden as well, I'ill absolutely buy it from an english store if its released there earlier. Just as easy as buying from a Swedish internet store...
Commented on 2007-07-08 04:34:51
Thank You so much BlimBlim !!! :)

Hironobu Sakaguchi: Not only will you have the Japanese voices but there are also other languages such as English, French, German and Spanish. So you can decide to play with the Japanese voices and then choose the subtitles in your own language.
^^ This is pretty cool! Many people will be happy about this. XD
Commented on 2007-07-08 04:45:47 In reply to abaddon1125
Posted by abaddon1125
Confirmed Japanese voices = instant buy. I MUST have Blue Dragon!
You can say that again. Can't wait.
Commented on 2007-07-08 09:34:00
Thanks for the interview! Good to know that Japanese voices are in European version too :)
Commented on 2007-07-08 10:39:21
The frontline/backline thing:
in FF style games your characters can be in the front or the back.
The "fronters" short range attacks inflict more damage, but fronters are the first choice when enemies attack, the backers short range attacks inflict less damages, but they are not the first target choice.
During massive attacks of the enemies, the fronters should receive more damage than the backers.
A fronter can protect a backer, by aligning himself with the other and parry the attack, sometimes at the expense of some HP or turn time.

That s how things should work :P
Commented on 2007-07-08 11:20:08
This message is in "Boulet Time" (TM), If you still *really* want to see it, click here

Commented on 2007-07-08 11:46:27
Hello, I registered here to say a big thank you for asking about the japanese voices in the PAL version of Blue Dragon. Thank you.
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