Director of the Final Fantasy series, Yoshinori Kitase, has said that the RPG series will keep trying to have a more realistic look to its cast. Final Fantasy’s use of spiky hair, bizarre clothing, and sometimes odd proportions are a distinctive aspect of the series, especially in the older games.
In an interview with IncGamers, Kitase said that consoles have excellent levels of performance, and can deliver amazing visuals. He also said that he believed it would be natural to focus on realistic looks and expressions.
He also said that he was not keen on having Final Fantasy ever be photorealistic. Even the CGI movie Advent Children with its absolutely mind-blowing visuals could be recognized as CGI at a second glance. He said that Final Fantasy has to stick to the manga and anime look, and that there is a thin line between the style and downright realistic.
The deformed look (Not just chibi where the head takes up half the body, but also strange proportions, large eyes, hair style) remains popular in Japan long after the creator of Astro-Boy truly defined it. Kitase said that he assumes audiences in the US and Europe don’t want much of a deformed look when consoles can output amazing visuals.
Tell that to the Disgaea fans.
The most obvious use of Super Deformed in the Final Fantasy games was in 7 and 9, 7 was where the character overworld and town sprites were roughly four heads high, but had normal proportions in cut scenes and in battle. Final Fantasy 9 retained its unique style all the way through the game however.
What are your thoughts on the super deformed style that appears in some Final Fantasy games with large heads and small bodies? I personally think it works for certain FF games that stick to the roots of the series, being perfected in 9, but I feel the more sci-fi Final Fantasies like 7, 8, 10, and 13 are better with the realistic proportions.