Those itching to get their Splatoon fix don’t have to wait until the game comes out next week. A brand-new Iwata Asks featuring the upcoming third-person shooter is now live – complete with interesting facts and tidbits from the game’s development cycle. The interview is between Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and five members of the production department for the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development division. The five individuals are Splatoon directors Tsubasa Sakaguchi and Yusuke Amano, art director Seita Inoue, program director Shintaro Sato and producer Hisashi Nogami. Splatoon is set to launch on May 29 for Wii U.
The latest Iwata Asks interview is now up and this time it’s all about Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. There’s plenty of interesting things included within the interview but one of the stand out quotes comes from Monolith Softs Tetsuya Takahashi who says that his goal with the original game on the Wii was to create a masterpiece within the Japanese RPG genre. Judging from the reviews of the original, and also the Nintendo 3DS version, you could probably say that he achieved his goal. Here’s what he had to say.
Iwata: First, could you look back a little on what you were imagining for the world of Xenoblade Chronicles when you started development for the Wii version?
Takahashi: Of course. My first thought was that I wanted to build a masterpiece within the JRPG3 genre… So while I worked towards completing the game, I carefully gathered all of the many elements necessary to make that happen.
Iwata: JRPG refers to Japanese-made RPGs, which have had a unique evolution in Japan. The term is used more often in other countries, but not so much in Japan. After the Wii version of Xenoblade Chronicles was released, it seemed that there were a lot of people saying “The quality of Xenoblade Chronicles stands out amongst all the JRPGs released within the past few years.” So in that way, you can say that you succeeded in your goal, or should we say, ambition, of creating a masterpiece.
Nintendo has released a brand new Iwata Asks today following its year-long hiatus. With CEO Satoru Iwata in brighter spirits since his recovery from surgery last year, and after his well-deserved rest, he returns with an in-depth interview of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. Joined by series producer Eiji Aonuma, Grezzo’s Mikiharu Ooiwa, and Nintendo software planning and development’s Tomomi Sano and Tomohiro Yamamura, Satoru Iwata talks about how the game was originally made within one year, how it came to be remade and how new features – such as the New Nintendo 3DS’ C-Stick – added to the intricacy of the game.
It’s certainly an interesting read for fans or even those new to Majora’s Mask 3D, where Aonuma even dreams of running around and wearing a Deku Mask, so make sure to check out the full interview, here. Before commencing with the interview, though, Satoru Iwata issued a small note to readers, apologising for the year-long break and why Iwata Asks returned when it did with the remake of the N64 Zelda game.
Hello everyone, this is Satoru Iwata of Nintendo.
Since we weren’t able to reveal any new Iwata Asks interviews at all last year, it’s really been a while to be able to share with you a new interview.
Last year I fell ill and had undergone surgery. Many of you were probably wondering if my illness was the reason for us not revealing any new Iwata Asks. But to be honest, I’ve been thinking about taking a break from it so I could recharge, even before I found out about my condition.
From about the end of last year I started thinking about bringing it back up on the table again, and was wondering what would be the right title to bring it back with. It was at that time when I saw people’s strong reactions to our announcement that we’re making a remake to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I was surprised by those reactions, but now I knew what that title would be.
I hope we can do a good job in trying to convey even a portion of the secrets of a game that deeply struck so many people’s hearts. It has become quite a lengthy interview, but I hope you’ll follow through to the very end.
The newest Iwata Asks has been published and it features some intriguing production elements about The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Due for release later this week, A Link Between Worlds didn’t start out as a direct sequel to A Link to the Past, in fact, it was first considered as a successor to Spirit Tracks with Toon Link.
As a Link Between Worlds started production soon after Spirit Tracks was completed, it was natural for the team to think about a successor to the title. But with most of the Spirit Tracks team working on Skyward Sword, only three members were left to continue development on a new handheld game – and it wasn’t easy. Producer Eiji Aonuma, director Hiromasa Shikata and assistant director Shiro Mouri brainstormed a working idea involving communication. But when they presented it to Shigeru Miyamoto, he said, “this sounds like an idea that’s 20 years old.”
Distraught but not broken from the presentation with Miyamoto, Shikata was struck by the idea that Link should be able to merge and move in the walls, though he wasn’t entirely sure it made sense. At this point, assistant director Mouri stepped in to say it was a great idea and that he’d make a prototype, which can be seen in the Iwata Asks interview here.
Mouri: There’s this other programmer who is usually a really mild-mannered person, but Shikata-san, who had suggested the idea, was so indecisive about it that the programmer got mad and angrily said, “I think the idea of entering walls sounds amazing, so what’s wrong with it?!”
Iwata: Even though he’s mild-mannered?
Mouri: Yeah. (laughs) He got even hotter, saying, “We’re at a fork in the road as to whether this project runs astray or not, so I’m not changing my mind!” and “We’re making this no matter what, so tell us what to do!” Then Shikata-san was like, “Maybe the point is turning corners on the walls…” without any confidence, so I got angry too and fired back, “Then I’m making a prototype!”
Iwata: When you made that prototype, was it a direct top-down view like in A Link to the Past?
Shikata: No. As in Spirit Tracks, the viewpoint was overhead from an angle.
Aonuma: At the time, we were thinking of it as an extension of the Nintendo DS games.
Tominaga: But [Miyamoto] didn’t just criticize, he also gave us a hint. He suggested basing it on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.Iwata: That was when A Link to the Past first came into the picture?Tominaga: Yes. And right after Aonuma-san said, “What if we base it on A Link to the Past, and try pairing entering walls with a point of view looking down from directly overhead?”
EAD General Manager Shigeru Miyamoto has told fans that while Super Mario 3D World is the present culmination of 3D Super Mario, that doesn’t mean that the team is done with the acclaimed Super Mario Galaxy series. Koizumi, the producer of the game, also said that when they made Super Mario 3D Land on the Nintendo 3DS, they already had the basic concept of Super Mario 3D World for Wii U in the back of their minds.
Miyamoto:Just so there is no misunderstanding, I should point out that this doesn’t mean we’ll never make another Super Mario Galaxy game.
Koizumi: That’s right. When we first started making Super Mario 3D World, Miyamoto-san asked me if this was going to be more like Super Mario Galaxy or more like Super Mario 3D Land. When we made Super Mario 3D Land, we had our eyes on the form of this game, so we made it this way without any hesitation.
Miyamoto: The same team can’t make both at the same time. And we can’t bring in a second party and slap the name Super Mario Galaxy on it. I suppose we could idealistically make both in Tokyo, but we want to do something new too, so there was that dilemma.
The latest edition of Iwata Asks covers the development and release of Wii Sports Club, which constitutes the updated Wii U versions of Wii Sports games like tennis and bowling. The question and answer session with the game’s developers revealed several interesting tidbits about the games, including the unique “Day Pass” pricing system that allows players to play any of the sports games for 24 hours at a price of $1.99, as well as the revelation that Namco Bandai were called upon to play a small part in the development of the game. Here is what developers Kozo Makino and Takayuki Shimamura had to say about Namco Bandai’s involvement:
Makino: “We asked Namco Bandai Studios to develop it, so I first participated as a coordinator. But in the end, I got into just about anything. I mainly worked on the network aspect of the game, but at times I made suggestions on how some features should turn out to be.”
Shimamura: “From the middle of development, Makino-san and Suzuki-san were also working as full-fledged planners. We did ask Namco Bandai Studio to develop the game this time, but staff in Nintendo’s Network Development & Operations Department—the Software Planning & Development Department that these two are in—and EAD also chipped in.”
Pokemon X & Y director Junichi Masuda has explained in the latest Iwata Asks segment that they named the game’s after the world’s axis, as a way to convey the idea that all players exist on the same plan despite our difference. Masuda says that the X and Y represent the x horizontal axis and the y vertical axis. These two axis always meet somewhere so it’s where people who have different views meet regardless of languages, cultures and mindsets.
“The world holds people with all sorts of ways of thinking, and you can get a sense that they exist in different dimensions. But if you think of them as people who think on the x axis and people who think on the y axis — horizontal and vertical axes — then they intersect somewhere. We may think differently, but we all live on the same planet, so everyone eats, sleeps and goes about their business day after day just like everyone else.
“So we consulted a lot of people, like [character designer] (Ken) Sugimori-san, and eventually decided this route was simple and easy to understand,” Masuda said. “And while the pronunciation of the letter may change by country, the shape of the letter is the same the world over-for example, we say ‘ekkusu’ for the letter X in Japanese, but in French they say ‘ix’-so in that way too, it was an appropriate way to name these games.”