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Hudson talks...everything (more added)

by rawmeatcowboy
13 March 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

There’s an open question/answer thread with Hudson over at NeoGAF. Here is the Nintendo-related info that has come in so far.

Bomberman WiiWare - Yes. It’s coming. Details are still being finalized. It will be different than Bomberman Live. But it’s still the classic Bomberman, if you catch my drift. It’s probably one of the few classic games we are bring out on Wii Ware, but digital download is really where Bomberman shines.

New Bonk - I tell you what, if you really want to dig into some good dirt on Bonk, then you’ll have to listen in on some recent podcasts I did. I go into detail on Bonk about some interesting things happening behind the scenes. It’s really quite fascinating. With that, I’ll let you treasure hunt!

Super Star Soldier R - Super Star Soldier R for Wii Ware is a unique game. It’s a lot like Pacman Championship edition, in that it’s a time based attack mode, where you prove you can get the highest score. The whole concept originated many years ago on the Hudson Caravan. A traveling showcase Hudson did around Japan where hundreds of thousands of people would come out, meet celebrities, play games, and compete (Bomberman, Star Soldier, etc). One of the original Star Soldier games featured a 5 minute mode, specially designed for competition. And we’d used that to prove who was the best out there. That mode is designed to be very complex, and there are many ways to rake up combo points, so trying to master it requires some testing out of different attack patterns. Anyways, it was hugely popular in Japan, so this updated Wii Ware version was originally planned just for that market. We’re evaluating bring out for the US, since most people have never heard of Star Soldier, or the 5 minute mode or the Hudson Caravan. Or 16-shot. But that’s for another thread.

Bomberman Story DS - No, there’s currently no plans to bring Bomberman Story to the US. When we took a look at Bomberman Land and Bomberman Story, it became clear the Bomberman Land franchise was much more fun, and fit better with US tastes, so we brought that one over. There’s just so much more content in that series, not to mention having the full classic battle mode built in to boot.

Dracula X - As for the classic never-before-released-in-the-US version on the Turbo Duo, no final plans on that yet. But we hear you loud and clear. Neogaf <3 Castlevania X. And so do I.

VC titles, graphics, releases - To be honest, I don’t have a full answer on this, because much of our VC business is managed from Japan. We simply have a calendar of releases we see in the US, without much insight into how the technology comes about on our side. That being said, I do hear your concern that if you played the original games, the emulated version does look different. And we are aware of it. Please understand that we are also following the guidelines and rules of how emulation should work as defined by the policies in place. So while other publishers seem to provide alternatives in emulation, we seem to be sticking to what we were originally told to do. There’s a reason why the graphics look different. I’m just not sure I can talk about it in detail, and whether it can be addressed. In other words, what you see isn’t “broken”. It’s deliberately done.

Kororinpa 2 possibilities - That’s one of those games that hardcore gamers seemed so ready to write off, but ended up being a real treat for those who love a more casual experience. I loved that Apple level, where you can turn the apple all around and you have to navigate through the grooves. As for a sequel, it would be great to see one. And if we did do one, it would be deeper and have more levels to better suit US gamer tastes. US gamers sure seem to demand more when it comes to gameplay depth and the amount of content they want in a game.

Sales of first Kororinpa - The game actually sold very well, we ran out of inventory not expecting it. But yes, it tends attract a gamer that appreciates the more casual nature of a game like this. No explosions. No bosses. No massive combo system. Or HD graphics. I was actually referring to game reviewers who tend to score casual games lower. As they do games oriented towards females and kids. Not that I’m bashing game reviewers, but they don’t tend to review games based on who the they think the game is designed for. They only review based on their perspective. I remember working on SpongeBob before and those games would consistently sell millions, and kids would consistently rank the game the highest in focus group testing. Yet try finding one version that scored above an 80%.

Kororinpa NA boxart Vs. Japanese boxart - Ha ha! Boy that brings back memories! We had some HUGE debates on what to do with the cover! While the Japanese version really captures a subtle charm, when we tested it for the US, people thought it was too esoteric. They had no clue what the game was about. And for a game that needs to pull people in to buy at the retail level, where many casual gamers buy by impulse, we needed a cover that clearly explained what type of game it was. It’s a marble rolling game. Need to have that on the cover. So that became the final decision. That being said, we did run out of time in the end, and had to settle on that particular design, which is just a bit too colorful. It’s fascinating to see what choices go into making a game presentable, the ads, the messaging, the packaging. The Japanese have a very different approach to box art design than the US. They tend to treat it as artwork, stirring up more of an emotion. The US tends to go more for action shots, which tends to stir up more of a adrenaline reaction. We also had a big debate about the title, since no one could pronounce it in the US:) We eventually settled on a subtitle for that. BTW - the title KORORINPA is the sound of a marble rolling around in Japanese.

Response to Famitsu review of Deca Sports - Quite frankly, I come to accept that the hardcore gaming media tends to score casual games lower. Famitsu also scored our Kororinpa game averagely (is that a word?), and yet it’s one of the games that people say they love the most. Deca Sports is shaping up to be our biggest game of the year. Even bigger than Bomberman Live. Our testing shows that the typical Wii owner loves the game even more than Wii Sport. Mainly because we offer up 10 full sports, as well as much deeper gameplay that appeases the more dedicated sports gamer. Or as I like to put it, Wii Sports was the appetizer, get ready for the main course:) The game plays really well, has replaced Bomberman Live as the choice game people play on their breaks in the office. Ironically, even though the US previews have been pretty positive so far, I don’t think the game will score well, because of the typical complaints of Wii games - Graphics, too simple, etc. Let’s see what happens! You got the preview so far up on Gamespot, we’ll see what happens with the review! The game is coming out in May, so it’s right around the corner now.

Ongoing thread here