I was browsing through Kotaku this fine sunday afternoon and they had a rumor post on a tech demo called "Final Fantasy Fortress" (FFF haha). Now This is the rumored game that was supposed to be in development by the former Grin Studios, which is now closed.
you can read about it there.
What i want to talk about though is what about the visuals and presentation that make a game have that japanese touch. Even Square's most western designed games like FFXI and FFXIII have something about them that you can tell came from a japanese development house. And that something was what set FFXI apart from most MMO's for me and is something that i prefer. The Tech demo above is obviously some type of final fantasy game, and the graphics themselves look pretty good, but dammit does it look Western. I feel that even Demon's Souls, Monster Hunter, and Resident Evil have that certain aesthetic to them. And you can usually tell the difference between something that came out of japan and something that came out of Korea.
it isn't as simple to say anime looking characters make the game look japanese, because most of those games i listed dont have anime style avatars. And that's my question to you, what kind of aesthetic choices make a game look like it came from japan, and what kind of aesthetics do you wish to come into FFXIV?