Hiroaki Kato Interview – Tactics Ogre: Reborn – Screen Rant

Tactics Ogre: Reborn’s producer Hiroaki Kato answers questions on the game’s timing, what makes it special, and more in this Screen Rant exclusive.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn represents a second chance for tactical RPG fans to experience what many consider to be a masterpiece of its era. Square Enix's 2010 release was a game that received a great deal of attention from genre fans but ultimately remained something of a niche launch in spite of the positive discussions surrounding it.
Now, in 2022, Tactics Ogre: Reborn has released on PC, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, improving the title's now-dated graphics and making improvements to its audio design also. What hasn't changed is its compelling gameplay and intriguing story, following a story of a hero who in spite of his noble intentions is forced to make some difficult – and ultimately brutal – decisions.
Related: Tactics Ogre Reborn: How to Recruit All Story Characters
Screen Rant conducted an email interview with Tactics Ogre: Reborn producer Hiroaki Kato to discuss the game's release and what it means for both the title itself and the tactical RPG genre.
Hiroaki Kato, Producer: I had a strong desire to be involved in the development of "Tactics Ogre" again at some point in the future, keeping in mind the opinions of those who played the PSP version. The turning point for me was the development of FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE, released in 2017, which I oversaw. After improving elements such as the visuals of the original FINAL FANTASY XII, the sound, including new voice recordings, the battle design, and the playability, I thought, "Now, maybe I can utilize this knowledge to create a new Tactics Ogre," and began development.
Hiroaki Kato: When it was first released, everything about the game, including its appearance, was new, and I feel that the world/lore, story, and system, which were all crafted with incredible detail, left a strong impression on players and captivated them. To be more specific, there was the quarter- view field with its elevation differences, which had never been seen before in games of the tactical genre, and the consistent battles designed to match this presentation. Among the many video game stories being told haphazardly or incoherently up to that point, the scenario was unique in that it skillfully incorporated realism and fantasy. Then there was the high-quality UI and sound supporting it all. If I were to list all the styles established by Tactics Ogre at that time, it would be endless, and without exaggeration, I feel like this title completed the “simulation RPG” format when it first launched.
Hiroaki Kato: I think it is the same with any title or series, but every time we develop a title, there are times when we later feel, "would it have been better to do this part differently?" For Tactics Ogre: Reborn, the development team thoroughly discussed what to do and what not to do with Yasumi Matsuno, who was in charge of game design, scriptwriting, and supervision, at the start of development. In this respect, I believe that we were able to implement what we set out to achieve, but I am sure that as many users play the game, people will voice their opinions along the lines of, "it would have been better if they'd done X this way." We hope to listen closely to these comments and further consider how this feedback can be applied to titles we develop in the future.
Hiroaki Kato: I'm sure there are a certain number of users who want to play TRPGs (personally, TRPGs are one of my favorite genres), so I'm very pleased to see multiple titles released in 2022. However, if we continue to use the same methods of expression, users will start to see them as routine and become tired of them (I think this is one of the reasons why so few TRPGs have been released recently). If we can find new methods of expression while remaining conscious of the stylistic beauty of TRPGs, I feel that this genre has the potential to become more prosperous than ever. I would like to create new methods of expression through repeated trial and error. I will do my best!
Hiroaki Kato: Above all, we hope that many customers will take the time to play Tactics Ogre: Reborn and that it will become a long-loved classic Tactical RPG title (the amount of end game content is so vast that you can keep playing forever if you’d like!). With that in mind, we’d like to see how players react and from there decide what lies in the future.
Next: You Should Be More Excited For Tactics Ogre: Reborn
Cody is Screen Rant’s Game Reviews Editor. He joined the team in 2018 and has been reporting on games pretty well every day since – except on weekends, where he’s typically playing them instead. Despite being in a field ostensibly about critiquing and enjoying quality games, his most played game of 2019 was Fate/Grand Order – something unlikely to change in 2020 and beyond.

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