The Binding of Isaac Rebirth

Itoi on Earthbound's popularity, no Mother 4, Iwata's passing

Coming from a Game.Watch interview with Mr. Itoi...

GW: What’s the reason for MOTHER continuing to be so popular?

Itoi: It’s the connection with modern day life and modern day places, I suppose. When you’re suddenly told “It’s dinner time!” right in the middle of playing “Dragon Quest,” you’re taken out of the setting, but it’s different with MOTHER. I think it’s good that it’s tied to modern day life.

GW: You strongly denied it when MOTHER 3 first went on sale, but what do you think about a MOTHER 4?

Itoi: I’d love to run a marathon while holding my breath, but as with MOTHER 4, that’s just not feasible. People in America are always saying that “4 is on its way to being made,” but that’s simply a rumor. (laugh) I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be now. Of course, only showing the very fringe elements and giving the impression that it was being worked on was something I did thoroughly with MOTHER 2… and 3.

GW: It’s hard to ask about, but what are you feelings on Mr. Iwata, who passed away in July of this year?

Itoi: Just the other day, I was talking to my staff and saying that “if Iwata were here, he’d say something like such and such in this case.” It was a conversation about how I’d love to have Iwata here in various situations, and he’s particularly needed in the baseball industry – stuff like that. (laugh) Sometimes I do an imitation of Iwata’s voice.

Iwata’s birthday is coming up, so I’ve been thinking that once more this year I’ll need to talk about some story I can share about Iwata. If I don’t, I feel like that grief everyone is feeling will simply grow.

I’d love to have a day where Iwata would come back to us and talk with everyone. I mean, he only passed away this year, you know? Even now I’m still filled with sadness. There’s been nothing like this, even among my own family.

Excitebike 64 devs look back on the project's development, Miyamoto's input

Coming from a GamesTM interview with producer Henry Sterchi...

“Excitebike 64 started out as a more traditional motocross game to prove out the core engine, handling and basic play. The handling was physics-driven and realistic, but I wouldn’t have called it a technical simulation. We did try some real-time track deformation such as tyre ruts, but it was abandoned because it wasn’t that fun and quite a technical drain. We’d already discussed and prototyped the thing we wanted around the turbo mechanic and track designs in order for it to be an authentic Excitebike experience, so it was always the hope that they’d go for it and if it didn’t work out, it was ready to stand on its own as a more traditional motocross racer.

He [Miyamoto] gave some great feedback in that we went too wide with the extra modes and should have stayed focused on depth instead. At the end of the day, some of the modes were nice distractions, but he was, of course, right. They didn’t improve the main game experience, which was the reason why people bought it.”

Xenoblade Chronicles X creator talks about the importance of intuition in game development

Coming from a Eurogamer interview with Xenoblade Chronicles X creator, Tetsuya Takahashi...

"Basically, I'm the kind of person who always believes they are right, so I never doubt my decisions during a project. Of course, after a project ends there are times when I look back and see things I could have done differently. There are also some decisions that are not easy to make. Like when one person would be happy with a decision, but someone else would not. Facing such decisions where there is a trade-off is all part of creating something. Ultimately you have to rely on your intuition. I try to make decisions not only considering the immediate consequences, but also considering where Monolith Soft is heading in the future."

Vblank could bring Hawaii Shakedown to NX

Coming from Vblank's Brian Proviciano...

I'm currently targeting 3DS, but other Nintendo platforms are possible. I'm leaving the final decision until closer to launch since I'm not sure when the NX will come out. As the game is closer to completion and more is known about the NX, I'll be able to better make the decision.

Twilight Princess HD fan project continuing on with development

While Nintendo is bringing out The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for Wii U, there's another fan-project that has been going on for awhile. The fan project will actually require you to own a physical copy of Twilight Princess for Wii, but you can still see how Nintendo might not be too happy about this. The creators of the project have been asked about any trouble from Nintendo, and while they haven't heard anything yet, they don't have any plans on halting their work.

I'm not concerned since this project is basically heavily modding the ISO and emulation. Our project is just going to be a huge patch that requires you to own the physical copy of the game (either GameCube or Wii). If we receive a C&D (cease and desist), let's just say the project will finish one way or another.

In other words, this is going to end up being a messy situation if Nintendo jumps on it. I guess we'll just have to sit back and see what happens.

Xenoblade Chronicles X director on company workload, western JRPG interest, possible sequels

Coming from a GameSpot interview with director Tetsuya Takahashi...

"When I think about how it feels to work at Monolith, it's something that's probably changed quite a bit over time. In the very beginning of Monolith, right after I'd left Square, there were certainly a lot of times when we were working very late into the night. We were still building up the company so there were not that many people involved.

We still have some of the early core members with us now like [director Koh] Kojima and [art director Norihiro] Takami who were there from the beginning. Certainly things have changed quite a bit over time, but I think it's not quite as grueling as it was in the very beginning. Working with Nintendo has changed our approach to [making games] and given us a little more freedom in terms of how we schedule things out. We don't have to necessarily drive people in the traditional overtime way that you would see at a lot of Japanese companies."

Mr. Takahashi also discussed the Western reaction to JRPGs, specifically Xenoblade Chronicles...

"We do take into consideration the needs and the reactions of western audiences when designing games. After the success of Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii--I believe it had better sales overall abroad than it did in Japan--I was very interested in following along with the reactions that I was seeing outside of Japan. That's definitely something that I will continue to consider going forward, but I also, of course, have to balance that with the needs of the Japanese market as well. Though that balance may shift from project to project, depending on how people's' tastes and reactions are changing."

Finally, Takahashi teased the idea of more Xeno games down the road...

"The opportunity presents itself. Usually I need to start with an interesting idea or direction that I feel it's going to have some compatibility here but if that presented itself, I would consider doing so."

Pikachu's voice actor shares little-known details about the character

The following information comes from Ikue Otani, the voice actor for Pikachu from the anime series.

Pikachu’s Pika-Pika Lines Are Actually Written

“The role is scripted, but the mouth movements may be a little different from what’s written in the script. So for example, if Pikachu wants to say something like ‘Yatte yaroze’ (‘Let’s do it!’), I would say ‘Pika-pika-chu!’”

Full feature here

IGN - Level-5 open to more Wii U, NX support, talks Pokemon/Yo-Kai Watch

Coming from an IGN interview with Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino...

- if Level-5 has a title that would be served well as a Wii U game, Hino "would definitely want to proactively consider it."
- if the NX can "bring Level-5 games to as many kids as possible, it wouldn’t be impossible" to see Level-5 support
- "If kids are willing to buy both of them (Pokemon and Yo-Kai Watch), I couldn’t be happier."

NES designer talks about Nintendo's failed collab with Sony, laments graphics over gameplay

Coming from a GamesIndustry interview with NES designer, Masayuki Uemura...

"You might know that we tried to collaborate with Sony once. We knew what Sony was thinking and what kinds of things they were trying to develop. During this time when Sony and other companies started launching products, people started realizing how difficult it is to create a game with great mechanics. Since the time of Game & Watch, Nintendo was doing their best to create game design mechanics that fully utilize the limited technological specifications. What happened was when they started launching those products with high quality graphic design they started emphasizing the graphics processing power - in other words, it wasn't just the game mechanics they had to focus on but they also had to focus on graphic expression and sound design, not just game design. That's how the market got saturated with all these kinds of products."