Capcom talks about how the pandemic impacted Monster Hunter Rise's development

A welcome change

Capcom originally wanted to have Monster Hunter Rise out a bit earlier, but the pandemic caused them to make some big shifts at the office. All games being worked on at the time were impacted, but now studios have come to work with the situation.

In an interview with Dtoid, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto talked about the pandemic's impact on Monster Hunter Rise. Obviously there were some big changes behind the scenes, but it sounds like the end result actually worked out quite well.

Basically, one of the major changes...all of the meetings are done online, digitally through Zoom or Teams. We hardly ever meet in person anymore. That's helped a lot for us. We've been successful with that, and I hope to see more studios use that method.

Don't feel bad, even Ghosts ‘n Goblins' director can't beat the NES version

The shining example of NES tough

Most titles tied to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise are known for insane difficulty, but there might not be a more punishing version than the NES port. That wasn't by accident either. In an interview with Game Informer, series director Tokuro Fujiwara discusses the plans to crank up the difficulty for the home port, which led to him being unable to beat the game all these years later.

“The arcade version had a reputation for being difficult, but there was a demand to make the NES version even harder since it was thought the game would be too easy for those who already played it at the arcade. We thought, ‘OK, let’s make it a little harder’ but as we made further and further adjustments, it ended up becoming the hardest game in the series. To this day, I don’t even have the confidence to beat the NES version of Ghosts ‘n Goblins. But, if you have the chance, please give it a shot and experience the ultimate difficulty.”

Lucasfilm Games executive producer shares his excitement for bringing Star Wars: Republic Commando to Switch

A commanding performance

The rumor of Star Wars: Republic Commando coming to Switch popped up a couple weeks back, and today the news was confirmed. The game is set to launch on April 6th, 2021, and in an interview on StarWars.com, Lucasfilm Games executive producer Matt Fillbrandt shared his excitement for the upcoming port.

It’s a very rewarding feeling to see it have such a strong following all these years later and to be a part of releasing it again. It was originally only released on Xbox and PC, so to be able to bring it out on PlayStation and Switch for Star Wars gamers that may have read about it, but never had a chance to play it, is exciting. Looking back, so many talented people put so much of themselves into bringing this game to life. It was a great collaborative effort over 15 years ago, and all of their great work will be available for old Republic Commando fans to play again on PlayStation and Switch, and now for a new generation of fans to try for the first time.

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town's original concept art showed a darker approach

This story could have been very different

Development on Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town started all the way back in 2018, and the original vision for the game was much darker.

In a Nintendo Dream interview with Director Hikaru Nakano, Assistant Director Rika Hoshina, and Producer Dai Takemura, we learn that the team originally had a darker theme in mind for Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town. You can see concept art for that vision above. Eventually, the team decided that that approach just wasn't right for the game, so moved over to the direction we see now.

Monster Hunter Rise's director was worried that the game's Asian theme wouldn't be received well

Praise all around

In an internal Capcom interview, Monster Hunter Rise Director Yasunori Ichinose was asked about the fan reaction to the game's reveal. Ichinose was delighted with much of the commentary, but was particularly happy to see that the game's Asian theme was embraced.

This game has a very Japanese/Asian-flavored setting, so initially I was a bit worried what kind of response that would elicit, but people reacted very positively to this as well, so we’re all very satisfied. We want to create something new while maintaining the core Monster Hunter experience, so we hope you look forward to future information.

Roger Craig Smith says it was his decision to leave the role of Sonic the Hedgehog

Roger that

Many fans have been wondering why Roger Craig Smith stopped voicing Sonic the Hedgehog. It seems like a dream job to voice one of gaming's most iconic characters, so why leave? Plenty of people thought that SEGA gave Smith the axe, paving the way for a newcomer. In an interview with the Voices from Krypton podcast, Smith says it was his own decision to step away.

“I think my response would be “it’s just one of those things.” It’s a time in looking at the way things are being handled and the way that you are, where you’re at, and what you kind of want to deal with, and do. And I found myself going, ‘I think it’s time. I think it’s time to be done.'”

"I know people are sort of surprised and shocked by it, and it was like “yeah”, and I’ve seen all the speculation that were like, “voice actors don’t walk away, he was fired!

It’s interesting the perception that people have, and we get this all the time; like, it’s amazing how all the experts that are out there that have nothing to do with this industry that make all of these assumptions, you know, ‘this is how this works and this is what this does’…

You know, after a while you do things and start going ‘I think I’m very pleased and I’m very proud and I’m very happy with what has happened there,’ and I think it’s time to say, ‘I don’t want to keep doing this.’

Some people would be like, “why?” and it’s like, “it doesn’t have to make sense to you.” It’s perfectly good sense to me and it was the right thing to do, and I’m happy to have done it.’"

DOOM Eternal's director thought about making a female DOOM Slayer

The future of DOOM?

DOOM Eternal carries on from DOOM (2016) with the same protagonist, but the team behind the game were heavily considering taking things in another direction. In an interview with Bethesda's community manager, Doom Eternal director Hugo Martin mentions that there was a lot of thought about a female DOOM Slayer.

“I’ve thought about it, actually. I think if we did it, I’d want it to be lethal. I think it’s interesting how it would impact the glory kills, the kind of weapons that she would have, the fighting style. All aggression, absolutely, but a different type of aggression. I would really strive to allow it to impact the gameplay in a way that was meaningful. I’ve definitely put a lot of thought into that. How would that affect things? What sort of analogies could you draw from that and allow that to influence the experience? It definitely would be cool.”

Obviously the female direction didn't happen, but it sounds like an idea the team would love to explore going forward. We'll just have to hang back for the inevitable DOOM Eternal follow-up to see what happens.

Microsoft's Phil Spencer and other game industry members praise The Legend of Zelda for its 35th anniversary

We're fans too, Phil!

The Legend of Zelda franchise is now officially 35 years old. While Nintendo has let the date come and go without any fanfare, others in the game industry were happy to heap praise on the series. That includes executive vice-president of gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer. He shared some words with Inverse on the Zelda franchise, which you can read below.

"Gaming has a rich history of transporting us to new worlds and on new adventures, these journeys fold into our own lived experiences and become a part of us. The Legend of Zelda is an iconic franchise that has BROUGHT JOY TO SO MANY PEOPLE over the past 35 years and is still going strong."

Plenty of other devs and industry figures shared kind words about Zelda as well. You can find their statements here.

Q-Games slated to celebrate the anniversary of the Star Fox franchise by interviewing lead developer Dylan Cuthbert

Q-Games is a video game development company that was originally founded by game developer Dylan Cuthbert in 2001. Since that team, the company has gone on to develop a variety of games including games in the Star Fox franchise. In celebration of the company's 20th anniversary and the Star Fox franchise's birthday, Q-Games will be releasing some interviews with Dylan Cuthbert regarding his time working on Star Fox games. We will post more information regarding the interviews here on the site once they are released.

Bravely Default II producer talks about bringing the series to Switch while retaining its 3DS visual style

Humble beginnings

Bravely Default II is the first entry in the series that'll be on consoles, as previous entries appeared on the 3DS. While the Switch certainly allowed Square-Enix to express themselves in ways not possible on the 3DS, the team didn't want to lose the visual charm of the previous titles. Bravely Default II producer Masashi Takahashi talked about this in an interview with Dengeki Online.

We were able to make great strides in everything from the graphics to the music and characters to make it feel like a true sequel. Even with all the improvements though, we felt it was important to make sure it still resembled the previous titles in some way.

As an example, if you look at the towns in the game, previously we wanted to make create a feeling that players were walking on a painting in a 3D stereoscopic view. To keep the same feeling in this title, we decided to create the town as if it were paper craft. Once we prototyped it, things felt right and we decided to fully embrace the idea.

Additionally, to keep the series’ atmosphere intact, we aimed for something more akin to a model train rather something more realistic when designing the fields. We experimented a lot to make the graphics unique while keeping that “Bravely Default” feel.

I think players will get a good sense of this when they see it in action on a Switch screen rather than looking at screenshots. The “final demo” was also recently released, so for those players who haven’t seen the game in action yet, please give it a try.