Smart or Stupid: Tetsuya Nomura Directing/Designing So Many Games

By Kyle Durant

March 12, 2011

Maybe a more appropriate title for this article could be “Tetsuya Nomura Not Getting Around to Kingdom Hearts III!” This Japanese video game director and character designer is probably one of the best workers over at Square-Enix. Unfortunately, this talented man is a part of too many games. (This problem is also experienced by other fans of different games). Now I’m not saying he shouldn’t be a part of the large multitude of games, but at least finish one series (or saga) before moving on to others. Better yet, create multiple side story games after the main series (saga) is over with. A prime example would be my favorite video game series, Kingdom Hearts. However, Tetsuya Nomura is making himself known as a great, diligent worker who is apart of great games and makes a big profit because of it.

Why it is Smart: Everyone loves to be appreciated, get respect for their hard work, and earn money. Those things are exactly what Mr. Nomura receives. Repeatedly Tetsuya Nomura, since 2006 for the purpose of this article, directs or designs video games that are critically and/or commercially successfully. As a result, he has made quite a name for himself. Not to mention other forms of entertainment he is a part of. With the JRPG franchise, Mr. Nomura is probably an icon of his kind and who doesn’t love to be that?

Tetsuya Nomura belongs to a plethora of games in one way or another since 2006. I.E. Kingdom Hearts, The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy 13, Final Fantasy: Crisis Core, Final Fantasy 13 Versus, Final Fantasy: Dissidia, and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. You can’t tell me that the previous mentioned games don’t have a huge fanbase all their own. I’m pretty sure those amount of fans could form its own country! Appreciation never sounded so good. Plus, I have a big feeling that Mr. Nomura really enjoys what he does for a living. Add that to the already huge amount of appreciation and you know he feels special.

A man who works this hard and on this many titles deserves respect and Nomura certainly has mine. As I’m sure he’d be flattered to hear that, there are bigger and more illustrious individuals in the gaming industry who border on worshiping Tetsuya Nomura. When you have “higher ups” who respect you that much, you know you’re doing your job right and beyond expectations. Of course, I’m sure the millions of fans respect Mr. Nomura just as much.

Money talks and Nomura sure has a lot of it. When you can earn millions upon millions of dollars (or should I say Yen here?) for making video games…you know you belong in the right industry. Plus getting the word out of your games solely because of its success is a great achievement all its own. I can’t even get my idea out about actually getting Sora and Kairi to kiss already! In the end, Tetsuya Nomura has a lot of things going his way and if he continues his work, I’m sure he’ll be remembered as one of the greats in the gaming industry.

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Why it is Stupid: My main reasons here will MOSTLY consist of Kingdom Hearts and unneeded games. I’m sure I have a lot of people who agree with me that Tetsuya Nomura is taking too long to make Kingdom Hearts III and is making other KH games that aren’t really necessary to the overall experience of the series. (Hey, at least we’re not in the Duke Nukem crowd right?) It is for that reason that his Final Fantasy renditions cannot be expressed here. Final Fantasy has a long standing tradition of releasing new games (with new stories) without any console sequels except for FF10 and now FF13.

To start off…come on already. There was a four year period between the release of Kingdom Hearts I & II. That amount of time alone can drive a hardcore fan insane. It has now been five-six years since II’s release and isn’t showing signs of coming to store shelves anytime soon. A reason for that may very well be the amount of games Tetsuya Nomura has worked on (mentioned above). When you start a beloved video game series, usually you want to finish the series or a saga of it. (Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed that KHIII will simply end the Xehanort Saga, not the KH series). Otherwise fanboys get restless! I’m not crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…sorry about that…see what I mean?

Look at what Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch have done. They’ve made one series at a time and not only kept their fans happy but also the critics. Another example is Insomniac Games. They haven’t made one series at a time this generation (Resistance and Rachet and Clank) but they still find the time for each game. Although they don’t develop the amount of games that Mr. Nomura works on, you get my point. There is a line where having fun and making money shouldn’t cross fan loyalties.

Another reason working on so many games can be stupid is it leads to making games that aren’t really necessary to storylines. FAN OPINIONS AND SPOILERS BELOW. Let’s start with 358/2 Days. The DS game that introduced Xion (14th Organization member) and her relationship with Axel and Roxas. Even though the game was good; it wasn’t really needed for the Kingdom Hearts series. All the game did was introduce a character that would be killed and forgotten and make the relationships between Sora, Roxas, Namine, and Riku even more unnecessarily complicated. Upon playing through KHII after beating 358/2 Days, you’ll realize that although the events could happen…they didn’t really have too and did nothing to enhance the series performance.

Next is Kingdom Hearts: Coded for the mobile device and DS. In my opinion, this was just a rehash of KHI and was even more not needed than 358/2 Days. All it did was reveal how Aqua, Terra, and Ven would be in KH3 and that was only about 10 minutes of story/gameplay. I feel a short movie would have been better used in this situation. Hell, Nomura already did that with the “FFVII sequel” Advent Children. If anything these games would have been better being released after the KH series/saga was over with instead of stalling KH’s true sequel. (Birth By Sleep was needed as it explained why everything happened as it did in the Kingdom Hearts universe).

So the pro side of this article focuses on having fun, making money, and getting respect. The cons focus on fan happiness and loyalty. Do developers/directors care about one more than the other? If that’s the case where does Tetsuya Nomura lie? I am contempt with creators making games just for money…but as long as the game is good, I won’t have an immediate problem. However, when five-six years pass and a series’ sequel still isn’t in full development…that is a problem. Especially when you announce you’ll be directing another game that gamers didn’t want, didn’t expect, and would prefer something else made by you (FF13-2). So the point of this article is…PLEASE GET TO KINGDOM HEARTS III ALREADY!

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Kyle Durant

Pretty much your above average gamer who plays games profusely and appreciates them even more. Been gaming since the NES but is in love with anything PlayStation. No I am not a typical fanboy...I appreciate each system for their strengths and recognize their weaknesses. I just love the PS brand. (Think along the lines as someone who likes to read but loves one author in particular). Ever since my time as #2 in the world at Resistance 2, I have taken video games much more seriously. Don't get me wrong, I am a laid back, fun guy to game with...but I always play to win.

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