Christian Whitehead Says Sonic Can Be As Great As Any High-Quality Nintendo Platformer

We have been hard at work relaying to you details from a Polygon interview where past and present SEGA figures recalled the history of the Sonic franchise. Sonic’s past, present and future were all brought into the spotlight. One figure in particular, Christian Whitehead, had some Nintendo-related remarks to share.

If you don’t know who Christian “Taxman” Whitehead is, he was the creator of the “Retro Engine”. Whitehead was hired by SEGA to use the engine to create revamped ports of Sonic 1, Sonic 2 and Sonic CD. In the interview, he explains that it’s a “pretty tough task” for Sonic to be as big a game like Grand Theft Auto. However, he states that with the “right mindset behind it”, Sonic still has the capability to be as great as “any high-quality platformer Nintendo is currently putting out”.


Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Developers Discuss Game

If you reside in Europe then you are probably playing, or have played, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros which was released in December. The game has yet to be released in the United States, but is coming later this month. The talented developers behind the game have participated in an interview with Japanese publication Nintendo Dream. There’s plenty of things included within the discussion including the inclusion of Paper Mario, improving the control scheme, adding dash, plus plenty of other things. Read on!

ND: Was it decided from the start that Paper Mario would make an appearance in this game?

Otani: We were thinking about the next project after developing the previous entry “Mario & Luigi: Dream Team”, but before deciding which characters would be in, there was an idea that we had to re-examine the use of buttons and the way of playing. The layout of controlling Mario with the A button and Luigi with the B button has been established in the series, but this was the first game in which we decided to add into the formula and use three buttons, even though the controls may became a bit complicated.

ND: Characters were decided based on the increased number of buttons, right?

Otani: The Y button is the easiest button to reach after A and B buttons, and we looked for characters that can perform actions by using these three buttons. Although it would be attractive to use a character that has already appeared in the series, I thought that it probably wouldn’t feel fresh, and then it came to my mind that it would be interesting if Mario and a Mario-like character coexisted. That is possible with Paper Mario and since Paper Mario is thin, I thought we could use the contrast of three dimensional and flat or heavy and light in creating new gameplay.

On dash:

Otani: Some people who played the previous game commented that movement on the field felt a bit slow, and it was decided in an early development phase that we’d introduce dash instead of increasing the movement speed. Originally if you didn’t push the A, B and Y buttons with a good rhythm within a fixed time, you couldn’t dash and you’d stop soon if you couldn’t keep up with it. We created this system as we thought the continued input was interesting even though it was a bit complicated, but when we brought it to Miyamoto, he said: “That’s too much trouble, one button is fine.” (laughs)

Kobayashi: The X button [dash] is perhaps the most often pushed button on the field. We conducted a survey within our company and some people went as far as saying “you can’t live without dash” (laughs).

ND: What was the concept for this game?

Otani: I thought a festival-like feel would be nice since characters of two worlds appear. I think perhaps the biggest concept was how to express festive feeling during the fun adventure of two Marios and Luigi.


Thanks, Cheatmaster30


NX: Tezuka Says Nintendo Wants To Create Something “In Sync With The Times”

Bloomberg recently had the opportunity to meet up with Nintendo game designer Takashi Tezuka to talk about Nintendo’s mascot, Mario. Obviously the publication couldn’t help but ask about the company’s forthcoming NX platform. Tezuka wouldn’t say anything, but he did mention that they’re creating something that is in sync with the times. I’m afraid that’s all they managed to get out of him on the subject of NX.

“We feel quite strongly about creating things that are in sync with the times,” he said with a smile, a hand on the plush stuffed Mario doll at his side.


Thanks, MasterPikachu6

Monolith Soft’s Next Project Will Look And Feel “Pretty Different”

Monolith Soft founder Tatsuya Takahashi says that while he’s pleased with Xenoblade Chronicles X the next title that the team will work on will look and feel different. It’s probably safe to assume it will look different visually as it is most likely destined for Nintendo’s next platform, the NX.

“I tend to get bored with things pretty easily, so I’d like to keep creating things with different approaches every time,” says Takahashi. “Along those lines, I’d definitely like my next project to look and feel pretty different from this one. The ‘Xeno’ name, by the way, really just exists to make it clear that these are Tetsuya Takahashi productions.”


Xenoblade Chronicles X Director Says He Prefers Western Games

Time has an interesting interview with Tatsuya Takahashi the director behind the recently released JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U. Takahashi revealed to the publication that he doesn’t have much interest in current Japanese anime and games and he doesn’t play them either, other than for research. He’s much more interested in western games, movies and TV shows, which is certainly very interesting.

“Except for a subset of titles, Japanese RPGs are budgeted so they’ll make a profit off sales within Japan alone,” says Takahasi. “It seems to me that building the entire world of the game itself (making it open-world) is considered one must-have element for Western RPGs nowadays, but that just can’t be done in the current Japan scene. But lately, I’ve started to wonder about whether this is really just because of budgetary issues. I think this is probably due to differences in cultural tastes, but in the current situation, it’s difficult to take content created in Japan and have it accepted in the West. As a result, you can only create things scaled to make money within Japan alone, and it becomes this negative spiral.”

“Japanese tastes are unique compared to those in the West, so if you focus solely on gamers within Japan, you’ll always find yourself running into this problem. (I think this is easy to see when you notice that FPS-style games sell only around 100,000 copies or so in Japan, as opposed to 10 million worldwide.) This may be a surprise to hear, but I don’t have very much interest in “current” Japanese anime and games, and I don’t play them, either. (I do get hands-on with them for future reference, though, and I still love older games that came out 30 or so years ago.) Most of the movies, TV dramas, novels, and games I pick up are made in the West. I don’t do this deliberately; that just turned out to be the kind of thing I like. As a result, I’ve come to the realization that it’s best to try and organically make the kind of things I like, or want.”

“We’re also seeing mobile games flourish in Japan while the console market declines, but the type of audience playing mobile games in Japan now has never bought my games, not since even before mobile existed. I consider the entire world to be my main field of battle, so I don’t worry about that at all. I also think that other companies’ RPGs, those with the potential to fight it out on the world market, aren’t going to be threatened by the state of mobile within Japan. That’s the kind of thought process that led to the completion of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and I hope that people will be willing to give it a try.”



Tri Force Heroes Interview Discusses Scrapped Naked Costume, Possible Destiny Influence, And More

Game Informer recently got the chance to sit down and discuss The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes with game director Hiromasa Shikata and series producer Eiji Anouma. The interview reiterates some of the news that has released since the game’s launch, such as where the title fits in the official timeline, but includes new info about development, characters, and advertisements that makes it worth a read. You can take a look at some excerpts below, or read the full interview here.

On whether or not A Link Between Worlds assets were used to streamline development: 

Aonuma: More so than saying it’s the art assets or the game world, it’s more about the game system, so with Majora’s Mask we really looked at what we had developed with Ocarina of Time and they wanted to go back and use that same system, doing something with masks, and sort of streamline that development time, and again reuse some of the things we had already created.

Shikata: When we finished up A Link Between Worlds, we looked at the game engine and Mr. Aonuma had talked with the team about wanting to create a multiplayer Zelda game and really wanted to take a look at whether or not that system was something they could use to accomplish that goal. So more than art assets or visiting the same worlds, it’s more about does a game’s engine and system we have work with this next idea and do they match up? And in this case they did.

On the possible influence of Destiny’s item retrieval system: 

Shikata: I know of Destiny, but I have never actually played it. So, none of the structure of Zelda was based on that game at all.

On cut costumes: 

Shikata: I’m sure you’re familiar with the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where the Emperor is told he has the most wonderful fashion ever, but he is actually naked. We wanted to implement some sort of outfit that would play off of that story, but we couldn’t come up with any abilities that that outfit would add, so they really weren’t able to bring that idea to fruition. We were really were disappointed that we weren’t able to implement it and bring it into the game.



Yoshi’s Woolly World Developers Talk Different Designs And Pokemon And Lack Of Baby Mario

US gaming publication Game Informer recently had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the super fun Yoshi’s Woolly World on the Wii U. The staff members present for the extensive interview were Yoshi’s Woolly World designer Emi Watanabe and producer Takashi Tezuka. There was a lot of information discussed during the interview including the many different Yoshi designs as well as Baby Mario’s absence. If you are interested you can read the full interview, here.

On the Yoshis with different designs…

Watanabe: We actually started with just the standard, green Yoshi that is the main playable character, and as we developed the game and came up with all these gorgeous backgrounds, we decided that maybe we could play around a bit with Yoshi himself too. With knitted scarfs and sweaters and things like that, you can have a bunch of different colors mixed in there. We played a bit around with him and made a bunch of unique designs and when we asked around for feedback, people were really divided on what they liked and had their ideas of what we should make. So we decided to throw them all in and put in a bunch of different kinds of designs.

Tezuka: And for me, just changing Yoshi’s designs, like the pattern, it was really fun and it made me really happy. At first, we also considered having abilities to go with some of these patterns, but I found that just the aesthetic itself was so fun and pleasurable. So rather than limiting the number of designs based on different abilities we could think of, we decided to focus on kind of the visual aspect and the joy that the colors and things brought.

On how some amiibo characters such as Pokemon give you a Yoshi with a white t-shirt that says “amiibo”…

Tezuka: With the Amiibo designs, we had to think about what characters could be represented authentically to the character in the Yoshi form, and so we couldn’t do every single Amiibo. We did some trial and error and, unfortunately, we didn’t make these ones and have Yoshi wearing an Amiibo t-shirt.

On the appeal of yarn with game design…

Tezuka: It’s funny that you mention that connection with those games with yarn. We hadn’t really thought about it that way because with the Yoshi series, you might have noticed that each one has its own hand-made feel. Yes, we did know about Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and we loved that aesthetic and we decided to work with that developer to create Yoshi’s Woolly World. But it came from a place of wanting to have fun with Yoshi’s form with yarn rather than any sort of trend that may be emerging. We just liked the aesthetic for this game.

Watanabe: Personally, I think the appeal of yarn is that everyone has interacted with it and touched it before. They can imagine what it would be like to unravel something, and so it’s kind of that tactile feeling that we can imagine while we’re playing the game, which I think might be universally appealing to people. It’s something that I enjoy myself, anyway.

On the thought process of choosing which Nintendo character gets a yarn game…

Tezuka: With Yoshi’s Woolly World, I think we really pushed the expression of yarn to its limit, so as far as more yarn games go, we really want to try to play with something else – and that’s for Yoshi games or other Nintendo characters.

On the next aesthetic they would like to try…

Tezuka: You probably saw this coming, but I can’t tell you just yet.

On whether Baby Mario was ever considered…

Tezuka: The concept of Yoshi’s Woolly World was that we wanted to do a yarn take on the series, so we didn’t have plans for Baby Mario from the start.

On how they determine when Yoshi makes the comeback in a support role rather than a main character role…

Tezuka: Regarding Yoshi appearing in other games, we know Yoshi’s a beloved character and we know that fans want to see him as much as possible, but we really want to consider the game and gameplay that makes sense for having Yoshi as a character. It’s really case by case and whether the mechanic adds something to the experience. That’s kind of what we have on the forefront of our minds in making that decision.