In an interview with the Japanese gaming press, FF Dissidia Director Takeshi Arakawa has revealed several tidbits of information about the game, including what to expect from the game at TGS and why the PSP's UMD format made development difficult.
Here are the best bits, fully translated to English.
First off, Arakawa reveals that the game has been in production for "Longer than expected," and the reason the game only covers Final Fantasy I to X was because those were the only FFs complete and released when the game first began production.
He then goes into detail regarding the story's relation to the wider FF series. "Dissidia's story is not directly linked to the other FF stories these characters come from. However we have designed it so that as you get closer to the games ending there will be a link relating to the older games. Also, although this is a different world and story, the characters will keep their recognizable personalities so fans can rest assured."
It's here that he then discloses some information about what gamers can expect from Dissidia at TGS. "Although characters from all the series from "I" to "X" will appear, we've yet to show all of the characters from "V", "VI" and "VII" who will appear. I think we will be able to show a few of them at this TGS."
Six characters will be playable at the show.
Arakawa tells the magazine that it was difficult deciding which parts of FF lore deserved a place in the game - and that the development team was made to replay and study the fan communities of each individual FF game. Opinions were still divided amongst the staff, and Arakawa resolved these issues by putting some of the larger decisions to a vote.
He confirms that players will be able to fight against each other over Wi-Fi, adding another, as yet largely unmentioned piece of information, saying that players will be able to 'Trade' customized AI styles for the CPU to use.
When asked to describe the main game style, Arakawa explained the basic premise. "The main game is a single player campaign where you level up and shop in order to customize your character. The main part consists of using that customized character to fight." He went on to elaborate the amount of options available meant that few characters would appear the same, even in a multiplayer Squall vs. Squall battle.
Players will also be able to save segments of the game they most enjoy and play them again quickly and easily from the menu.
On the PSP as a development platform, he found the UMD the biggest problem: "The PSP's media, the UMD, caused some trouble. Current generation home video game consoles have quite a lot of memory so we can program them to read data off the DVD in the background to make it a stress free gaming experience. However, in the case of a handheld console like the PSP, having the UMD spin too much takes up a lot of battery. But if we don't do it at all, loading times increase and so does stress. Programmers had a hard time finding an efficient compromise."
Finally, Arakawa left fans with a message regarding the game. We're trying hard to include everything Final Fantasy in time for the release date, a whole 20 years since the series was born. We've tried not to desecrate the memories of all the FF fans out there so please come and enjoy it all again.
Also, although this game is technically an action game, we have taken into account that "FF" is an RPG to try to draw in people who don't play action games by including a system with the depth of an RPG. We have made it so that, whatever your age or gender, you can get to the end.
I personally believe that this title is a new start for the "FF" brand. I am glad to be part of this title which is the culmination of overcoming differences between players and between staff."