The PlayStation Blog runs a little feature called "Meet the Creators" where the company asks big names in the video game industry to talk about their favorite PlayStation games (which you can of course purchase in the PSN store). This week the PS Blog invited Nier: Automata director Yoko Taro who of course gave the assignment his typical Yoko Taro-esque approach.
While he lists a bunch of eclectic titles, but his comments about Final Fantasy XV and Horizon Zero Dawn are a particular joy.
Taro list of favorite PlayStation 4 games include Housemarque's RESOGUN, Square Enix compatriot Final Fantasy XV, Guerilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn, Japan Studios' Gravity Rush/Gravity Rush 2, Spike Chunsoft's Danganronpa, Dontnod's Life is Strange, and Japn Studios' The Last Guardian.
Taro, known for his off-kilter and eccentric personality, was asked to give a "one to two lines per game" type commentary but he ended up delivering a whole paragraph per game. While he heaps praise on all the games on his list, Final Fantasy XV and Horizon Zero Dawn offer some insightful looks into the director's train of thought, specifically how these two games affected his nerves.
On Final Fantasy XV Taro says, "I was creating a title called NIER Gestalt/Replicant when this title was called Versus XIII but because it was very likely that our games would release around the same time, I was thinking "oh man, Versus is an action RPG right? It would suck if the release dates were close to each other." NIER ended up releasing without having to worry about Versus XIII but then, when I was creating Drakengard 3 I thought "it would suck if they release close to our release," and it was the same again when we were creating NieR: Automata this time too. Looking back, I feel like I was trapped by the curse of Versus for about 10 years."
Likewise, he talks about Horizon Zero Dawn's release schedule in relation to Nier: Automata's: "By the way, the release date of this game was only one week apart from NieR: Automata, the game I created. I thought I was going to die. Well, I did die. (I just noticed that I keep on talking about release dates...)"
Actually, Taro's comments on Horizon goes a little further when he talks about the game's artistic merits, especially in terms of the East and West divide in game development. "The thought that came to my mind at first glance was "this world view is amazing."' writes Taro. "I had thought that big-title Western games have a strong directionality towards realism, and on the other hand does not often venture into artistic exploration, and so I was stunned that a world filled with such imagination like this title would be created."
The rest of his commentary is well worth a read, especially if you've gone too long without Taro's wonderful little aphorisms. Here's hoping the next big Final Fantasy or Triple-A title doesn't coincide too much with the release of his next game.