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Koji Nakajima talks Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster

New artwork for the remastered version of Baten kaitos

In the world of gaming, the Nintendo Switch has earned its reputation as a “port magnet” over the years. This versatile system isn’t afraid to revive old gems and bring them to a new generation of players. The latest addition to this ever-growing list of remastered titles is the highly anticipated “Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster.” These games achieved cult-classic status on the Nintendo Gamecube, and now, they are set to be reborn for a modern audience. In a recent interview, Koji Nakajima, the producer behind the remaster, shed light on the journey of bringing these beloved RPGs to the Nintendo Switch. Nakajima’s team has a history of working on remastered titles, including the Katamari Damacy and Klonoa series. However, the decision to remaster Baten Kaitos came from a desire to pay homage to its dedicated fan base and the era it originated from.

Surprisingly, it was their experience with other ports that paved the way for this project. Tracking down assets from decades ago and enhancing them for the Switch was no easy feat, but Nakajima’s team persevered, making the remaster a reality. He expressed deep gratitude for their efforts in making this dream come true. One crucial aspect Nakajima emphasized is that while the graphics and certain elements received upgrades, the core of the games, including the story and gameplay, remains untouched. The team aimed to preserve the authentic experience of the original titles while enhancing the user-friendliness. Players can expect features like game speed adjustment and enemy encounter cancellation to enhance their gaming experience.

Nakajima began by explaining the decision to embark on this remaster project, saying, “Up until now, my team has worked on remastered titles of previously released series, such as the Katamari Damacy series and the Klonoa series. As part of these remasters, we decided to develop one for Baten Kaitos, which was highly acclaimed and still has a strong fan base. This game was released on GameCube at the time, and to respect the connections of that time, we decided to release it on the Nintendo Switch.” This approach aims to honor the nostalgia and history associated with the original titles.

Interestingly, Nakajima revealed that the remaster’s creation was somewhat ironic. The development team’s experience with other ports actually led to the decision to remaster Baten Kaitos I & II. He pointed out, “So, ironically, it was working on other ports that led to this one being made.” This insight underscores how the process of revisiting and remastering classic games can be intertwined with the ongoing efforts to preserve gaming history.

The remastering process, however, was far from straightforward. Nakajima acknowledged the challenges they faced, particularly when dealing with assets from decades ago and adapting them for the Nintendo Switch. He expressed gratitude towards his team for their dedication, stating, “Another thing you might not have realized is that it was very difficult to make this remaster happen. After all, they had to find the assets that were used decades ago and then improve them for the Switch, which was not an easy task. Thankfully, they were able to find what they needed and make it work.”


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