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Atelier Ryza’s producer discusses the challenges of Ryza's design

Crafting a 'normal' girl

The gang at 4Gamer recently sat down with Atelier Ryza’s producer Junzo Hosoi to talk about various aspects of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout. In the snippet below, you can read up on the struggles of finding a design for Ryza, the main character.

4Gamer: The character designs give off quite a different impression this time.

Hosoi: “Right. On that note, the designs were very difficult to navigate. No matter how much we tried, there was a gap between the worldview we had in mind, and what Toridamono-san had in mind. The Atelier characters drawn by Kishida Mel-san, NOCO-san, Yuugen-san and the others up to this point were very flowery, and what you would call girly.

On the other hand, Ryza, the protagonist of this game, was “a regular girl who’s defining feature was that she didn’t have defining features”, and “a girl from a rustic village”, which we decided from the start. However, the entire team up to that point were dragged down by the design image up to this point, and couldn’t decide upon Ryza’s design.”

4Gamer: Being asked to create “a normal girl” is probably even harder.

Hosoi: “That’s right. So, firstly we decided to go with a design that was “normal as felt by Toridamono-san”, but it seems they were quite troubled over it, and so the days were mired in agony.”

4Gamer: It was that bad, huh…

Hosoi: “In our view, Toridamono-san’s characters are very appealing, rustic and idyllic, and we believe it fits the image of the game perfectly. Because of this, we’re relieved just from the fact that we somehow made it through this.”

Banjo-Kazooie composer not sure a new entry in the series will ever happen

Fans continue to hold out hope

Banjo and Kazooie are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate, and fans couldn't be happier. The reveal of the duo for Smash Bros. Ultimate may very well be the biggest reaction the Smash community has ever let loose with, showing just how popular the bear and bird are to this day. You would think that would lock-in development of a true sequel, right? Original Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope isn't so sure.

In an interview with VideoGamesChronicle, Mr. Kirkhope talks about the likelihood of a sequel, the reaction from Smash Bros. fans, and how a sequel could come together. Check out his full response below.

“My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo. It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox. Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.

Maybe the E3 reception has made Microsoft think about it, but the trouble is, if I say anything more definitive than that then the fans will think I’m in the know! When really, I’m just a composer. I have no connection to that decision what-so-ever. Gregg Mayles and Tim Stamper are the real inventors of Banjo… I’m just the most visible on social media.

They (Nintendo) were surprised by how crazy it went. The E3 reveal seemed to be gigantic. When I was speaking to Nintendo back at their booth at E3, they were all saying it was a bigger reaction than they’re normally used to for Smash. So Nintendo did recognize that it was a big deal. They were surprised. And we all were: it was such a huge release for all those fans who’ve been waiting so long for a new game.

Rare need to find somebody like that who gets the game, who really loves it, gets the humour, comes up with a great plot and then kicks on. They would need to find an external studio who really cares about the project and wants to do it, like they did with Killer Instinct and also similar to how Ubisoft Milan did a great job with Mario + Rabbids.”

Nihon Falcom says they don't have many Switch games due to lack of technical know-how, and a belief their audience is on Playstation

It's time to change that!

When it comes to Nihon Falcom games, you won't find too much on Switch. Everyone else is putting their games on the platform, so why is Nihon Falcom holding out? USGamer asked Nihon Falcom's Toshihiro Kondo that very question, and you can find his answer below.

Switch is an incredible platform we like, but the truth is that we don't have the knowhow to really develop for Switch. Plus we're, fairly convinced that our main user base is actually located on the PlayStation platform. That said, you know, thanks to working with Nippon Ichi Software in Japan and then NIS America over here, we were able to bring one of our games to Switch and obviously we want to grow the brands as much as we can and put it out as much as we can. So in the future, if we have the opportunity to have our games ported by other other companies to Nintendo Switch, it's something we would definitely be happy to pursue.

And as a gamer myself, as an aside, I personally love the Switch. In Japan when this question comes up, it always, we get this weird thing where it's like "Falcom doesn't want to work on Switch," or "Falcom doesn't like Switch," or something. And that's not... The plain and simple truth of it all is that we just don't have the knowhow and the ability to be able to work on Switch games right now.

I would certainly agree with the president's statement about their audience being on the Playstation side of thing. Nihon Falcom hasn't really done all that much with Nintendo platforms in recent years, and have instead focused on Playstation platforms. If there was ever a chance to change that, now's the time!

Nintendo's Bill Trinen stops by Marvel's YouTube Channel to talk Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Marvelous!

Well this is a pretty fun crossover! Nintendo's Bill Trinen is being featured on Marvel's YouTube channel to answer some questions about the upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Check out his discussion with Producer Peter Rosas above.

Thanks to Duckhunter for the heads up!

Castlevania and Mega Man's soundtracks directly influenced the music of Ninja Gaiden, says series' composer

Classic tunes

The NES has so many iconic, timeless games, and that goes for the music of those games as well. The original Ninja Gaiden trilogy has some phenomenal tunes, thanks to composers like Keiji Yamagishi. Yamagishi worked on the original trilogy, and in an interview with Eurogamer, we hear how two other seminal franchises paved the way for the sounds of Ninja Gaiden.

"When I was working on Ninja Gaiden, the producer at the time, he was a big Konami fan. He just said, go listen to Konami! But he did also suggest listening to Capcom... So two of the big influences going into it was the music of Castlevania and Mega Man."

Yooka's vocals in Yooka-Laylee were recorded by stuffing a sock in the mouth of Playtonic's co-founder

Suffering for your art

Playtonic is made up of numerous RARE devs, which lead to the two companies sharing a lot of similar traits. One of those traits are the grunts and groans characters make when talking. It was something on display in Yooka-Laylee, and while you might think recording that "dialog" would be fun and simply, it turns out that's not the case.

In an interview with Nintendo Life, Playtonic's Dan Murdoch reveals just how they captured the sound of Yooka...and it wasn't pleasant.

Ah, yes. So we had to re-record Yooka. Relatively late on, they decided that we wanted to change the way in which he holds items… you know how he licks items and they spring back into his mouth? Every single Yooka emote action and vocal element in the game had to get re-recorded with Chris Sutherland [Playtonic Project Director and co-founder] with a sock in his mouth, so that we could have a different ‘ooh’ sound for every jump and turn.

Doug Bowser on the words of wisdom Reggie Fils-Aime shared before he left, and wanting fans to know he and Bowser are different

Sure you are, Doug...sure you are

Doug Bowser has been Nintendo of America's president for a hot minute now, and he's filled the role quite nicely. Fans took to Doug Bowser right away due to his last name, which was an easy point of entry for poking fun. In an interview with Mashable, Doug Bowser took a moment to let everyone know that he and Bowser are very, very different.

"I think we have to separate Doug Bowser from Bowser the character and clearly Bowser the character is under the supervision of many at the [Nintendo] development community. It's been fun to share the name, to embrace it a bit, have some fun with it. But also recognize that we are very, very different."

Doug Bowser is also very different from Reggie Fils-Aime, his predecessor. The big guy is kicking back in retirement now, but his impact on the world of Nintendo will forever be remembered. Reggie played a huge part in Nintendo's path forward, as well as the community of Nintendo fans out there. Before Reggie left his position, he made sure to share some words of wisdom with Bowser.

"I think ... the most important thing that he shared with me was really just the importance and, if you will, admiration for our great characters and immersive worlds. And then also the passion our fans have for that. [I need] to make sure that that's always our focus, to bring smiles to those people's faces. And that's been my job since day one, from the moment I arrived at Nintendo all the way until I came into this role."

Ubisoft shares an interview on Gods and Monsters: "Building a journey as rewarding as the destination"

Queen of the harpies

Much like Nintendo has been doing lately, Ubisoft has grabbed a couple of their developers to host an internal interview. The official Ubisoft website has shared a feature on Gods & Monsters that gives a much more detailed look at how the team pulled hte project together, their goals for the game, why they chose a unique art style, and much more. It's a pretty great run-through of what the entire experience is about, and it features input from Creative Director Jonathan Dumont and Senior Producer Marc-Alexis Côté. If you have 5 minutes, I definitely suggest checking it out.

Read the interview here

Square-Enix explains why now's the time for Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, and looks back on the Gunblade prop they used for motion capture

I need to see this prop

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered was one of the surprise titles announced at E3 2019, and fans were extremely happy to see the game getting a second chance on today's platforms. In an interview with Famitsu (translated by NintendoEverything), Square Enix’s Yoshinori Kitase explained why now was the right time to return to the title.

Even if the current hardware keeps moving forward, we still want fans of the series to be able to play the original games. The plan to port FFVII, FFVIII and FFIX started from that wish. But while FFVII and FFIX were able to move along pretty smoothly to being available for purchase, with those improved capabilities of recent hardware, we decided to give FFVIII a large graphical improvement. We had to keep retesting to maintain the quality of the character models and character motions, and I think we will be providing with the highest quality product we can.

Kitase himself was involved with the creation of the original Final Fantasy VIII. When asked about memories from the game's development, he looked back on a particular interesting tidbit from the game's motion capture session.

This was the first time we used motion capture for the characters, and also the first experience any of the staff had with motion capture. Even though it would have made more sense to use something wooden and light to capture the movements of Squall’s Gunblade, we ended up making something really heavy out of metal. And it really did look like a deadly weapon! I still get cold sweats thinking about what might have happened if someone ended up being hit by it…

Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe says Gooigi 'might taste like coffee,' ponders a Gooigi-only spin-off

A shot of Gooigi in the morning

During E3 2019, the internet went slightly mad for Gooigi. While the character existed before this year's E3, he really got the spotlight due to his major appearance in Luigi's Mansion 3. Plenty of people who caught their first glimpse of Gooigi were instantly intrigued, and they needed to know more. For some reason, everyone was dying to know if Gooigi is edible.

In a Game Informer interview, Nintendo's Kensuke Tanabe revealed that Gooigi is most likely edible, as the character is sort of like Jell-o or gummy candies. Now Verge has taken things a step further to ask what Gooigi tastes like, and Tanabe was more than happy to answer by saying that Gooigi "might taste like coffee."

That might seem odd at first, but it actually makes perfect sense. Tanabe had previous explained that "Professor E. Gadd extracted a bunch of energy out of the ghost that he captured, and then he accidentally spilled coffee on it, and that's how the goo was made." Certainly seems like a coffee flavor is the way to go!
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With so many Gooigi fans coming out of E3, what does the future hold for the character? Tanabe has said that if Luigi's Mansion 3 is a sales success, it could lead to bigger and better things for the gooey one.

“There might be a Gooigi-only spinoff perhaps, with all different colors. Gooigi Power Rangers.”

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