Innovation & Design

Japanese Developers Praise Revolution


Ever since the Nintendo Revolution controller was unveiled, the emotions displayed by video game journalists have ranged anywhere from intrigue to excitement and in some cases, doubt/disappointment. Developers by and large seem to be enthusiastic about the gameplay possibilities the unique controller could provide, while others remain a bit skeptical.

In Nintendo's native Japan, video game makers seem to have nothing but good things to say about the Revolution, at least according to the latest issue of Japanese enthusiast magazine Nintendo Dream. IGN translated the publication's wide variety of quotes from some of Japan's top game creators. Most of the developers shared feelings of excitement over the rush of ideas the new input method gave them, and some applauded Nintendo for trying to simplify the controls so that new people might be encouraged to try gaming.

Excitement and surprise

"When I first saw it, I thought 'It's great!' and 'It's just like Nintendo!' It makes you feel like you're actually touching the screen. In that sense, you could say that it's an extension of the DS, but it's actually very different," commented Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, whose Mistwalker studio has committed to Xbox 360 development. "When shown such a new concept, software makers are, even as just normal people, left excited," he added.

Likewise, Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi (producer of F-Zero GX/AX and Super Monkey Ball) said that he expects new types of gameplay to be developed for all genres based on the Revolution controller. "I was surprised when I saw it, I was surprised when I touched it, and when I played the sample games, I was even more surprised!" Nagoshi said. "I doubt that there's a creator who doesn't get tickled after getting their hands on this. It combines all the elements required to let you enjoy games while feeling that you've become the character."

Change in design philosophy

In order for new types of gameplay to be developed, however, game designers will have to start thinking about the process of creating games and alter some of the fundamental design steps, explained Square Enix's Kouichi Ishii (World of Mana project producer). "I believe creators will enjoy making games [with the controller]. However, you'll have to change game design methods from the core. For instance, you'll have to start by looking back at your play as a kid and think of what kinds of things you could do if developing for the Revolution. If you can do this, then surely you will be able to make a completely new form of play, different from current games," he said.

Sora's Masahiro Sakurai (whose work includes Kirby, Smash Brothers and Meteos) commended Nintendo for making the controller so simple and intuitive to use: "I'm sympathetic for Nintendo's stance of reducing hurdles for games. For that reason, I think it's good that the controller buttons have been reduced to just one. A long remote controller shape with just one button. This has impact. The DS, with its touch screen, made games a ways easier to understand. However, with the D-pad and buttons, and also the touch panel, controls actually became more complicated. I think it would be good if the same thing doesn't happen with Revolution."

Perhaps the only hint of negativity came from Banpresto's Takanobu Terada (Super Robot Wars producer), but Terada was quickly swayed by Nintendo as well. "To be honest, I was expecting the Revolution controller to have an even more unique form, so I was initially disappointed. However, that quickly disappeared. With good use of the expansion terminal, isn't it possible to make, for instance, a versus shooting game without the use of the monitor, where the fight is through the controller alone? I feel that it is a great controller that can inspire many ideas, even aside from videogames," he said.

What could be considered the ultimate praise by a developer, though, came from Game Freak's Ken Sugimori (art director of Pokemon). "Personally, it's the kind of hardware where, more than making games, I'd rather play them," he remarked.


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