Col­lected Works

From Fire Pro Wrestling to It Die, Goichi Suda sur­veys a ca­reer full of au­da­cious ideas

EDGE - - SECTIONS - BY CHRIS SCHILLING

SU­PER FIRE PRO WRESTLING SPE­CIAL

De­vel­oper/pub­lisher Hu­man En­ter­tain­ment For­mat Su­per Fami com Re­lease 1994

THE SIL­VER CASE

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher ASCII En­ter­tain­ment (Re­mas­ter: Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture/NIS Amer­ica) For­mat PS one (Re­mas­ter: PC, PS4) Re­lease 1999 (Re­mas­ter: 2016 (PC), Early 2017 (PS4))

KILLER 7

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Cap­com For­mat Game Cube, PS2 Re­lease 2005

NO MORE HE­ROES

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Mar­velous En­ter­tain­ment/Ubisoft/Ris­ing Star Games For­mat Wii Re­lease 2007

SHAD­OWS OF THE DAMNED

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Elec­tronic Arts For­mat 360, PS3 Re­lease 2011

LOL­LIPOP CHAIN­SAW

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Warner Bros In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment/Kadokawa Games For­mat 360, PS3 Re­lease 2012

KILLER IS DEAD

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Kadokawa Games/Mar­velous USA/Deep Sil­ver For­mat 360, PC, PS3 Re­lease 2013

LET IT DIE

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Gung Ho On­line En­ter­tain­ment For­mat PS4 Re­lease TBA

Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture’s founder sur­veys a ca­reer packed with au­da­cious ideas

Goichi Suda – bet­ter known to most by his pseu­do­nym Suda51 – was work­ing as a graphic de­signer when he was con­tacted by Sega to help cre­ate some pro­mo­tional art for AM2’s sem­i­nal 1992 arcade hit

Vir­tua Rac­ing. As he was shown around the of­fice by Yu Suzuki, Suda no­ticed a lot of staff were of a sim­i­lar age to him and dressed in ca­sual clothes. “I’d al­ways pic­tured game-mak­ers wear­ing lab coats and toil­ing away, but ac­tu­ally they were just like me,” he says. “It re­ally low­ered the hur­dle for me to get into the game in­dus­try – be­fore then, I had no knowl­edge or spe­cial skills that would have made me con­sider ap­ply­ing.”

Al­most a quar­ter of a cen­tury on, in­clud­ing 18 years as pres­i­dent of Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture, his pas­sion for games is undimmed. In fact, as we in­vite Suda to dis­cuss his defin­ing mo­ments in the game in­dus­try, he’s anx­ious to en­sure that we aren’t about to pre­ma­turely con­sign him to the knacker’s yard. “I do want to con­tinue mak­ing games in the fu­ture,” he says, point­edly, be­fore go­ing on to imag­ine a dream col­lab­o­ra­tion. “Den­na­ton Games!” he nods en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. “They’re re­ally cool: the Chem­i­cal Broth­ers of the game world.

Hot­line Mi­ami is an amaz­ing game. I can’t be­lieve that just two peo­ple made it.”

Though he con­cedes that his man­age­rial du­ties pre­clude him from be­ing as hands-on as he’d ide­ally like, it’s clear he still en­joys the process – though it’s ev­i­dently cut­ting into his play­ing time. “Re­cently I’ve been try­ing to fin­ish [Play Dead’s] In­side, but I’m right in the mid­dle of The Sil­ver Case, so if I’m play­ing it while every­one’s de­bug­ging, that wouldn’t go down well.” He laughs an imp­ish chuckle, one of many as he re­flects on a colour­ful, di­verse and oc­ca­sion­ally con­tro­ver­sial ca­reer.

SU­PER FIRE PRO WRESTLING SPE­CIAL

De­vel­oper/pub­lisher Hu­man En­ter­tain­ment For­mat Su­per Fami com Re­lease 1994

“For a while I was do­ing graphic de­sign work, and I had many of­fers from peo­ple at places I was do­ing this con­tract work for: ‘Hey, why don’t you come work for us?’ Dur­ing this time, my wife said to me one day, ‘We didn’t come to Tokyo for you to do this. There’s got to be some­thing more that you want to do with your ca­reer.’ And I said, ‘You’re right.’ I opened up a mag­a­zine and looked at the clas­si­fieds, and saw there were two game com­pa­nies that were hir­ing: one was Hu­man En­ter­tain­ment, the other was Atlus. So I put in two ap­pli­ca­tions. I didn’t even get called back by Atlus, but Hu­man called me back and I got an in­ter­view. But for about a month I had not re­ceived any con­tact from them. My wife said, ‘You need to give them a call,’ but I didn’t want to – I thought ob­vi­ously they had a rea­son for not con­tact­ing me, right? She said, ‘Well, you’ll never know if you don’t call.’ And it turns out that the per­son who was in charge of deal­ing with my ap­pli­ca­tion had just for­got­ten. I called them and the guy who an­swered the phone heard the story and said, ‘OK, wait a minute, let me go check.’ I had ac­tu­ally been putting to­gether a plan for a game, and it was for pro wrestling, be­cause I was re­ally into pro wrestling, and Hu­man had a very fa­mous series at the time called Fire

Pro Wrestling. Co­in­ci­den­tally, the di­rec­tor of that series had just turned in his res­ig­na­tion let­ter, and they had no one there in the com­pany to re­place him. So I’m talk­ing to them on the phone and they had known from my ap­pli­ca­tion that I was into pro wrestling. They said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come down for an in­ter­view?’ I went in for the first in­ter­view, they liked me a lot, and called me back a few days af­ter that for a sec­ond in­ter­view, where

“IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS, BUT THOSE FEEL­INGS THAT PEO­PLE HAD HAVE STAYED WITH THEM”

I met peo­ple higher up in the com­pany. It was all smooth sail­ing from there, and I got hired. I took over on Su­per Fire Pro Wrestling

3 Fi­nal Bout as di­rec­tor, and I wanted to take the series to an­other place, now that I’d proven my­self. Orig­i­nally I was told that Su­per Fire Pro 3 was go­ing to be the last one Hu­man ever made, but be­cause it sold re­ally, re­ally well, they de­cided to make one more. Now, Fire Pro as a series was some­thing that wrestling fans can re­ally get into and en­joy. It was a sim­u­la­tion game for them. And I felt like in that re­gard it had al­ways been re­ally well made. So this time I wanted to fo­cus more on the story. I had a nar­ra­tive that I re­ally wanted to tell, and I thought it would be re­ally in­ter­est­ing, so I con­sulted with my boss and he said, ‘Yeah, go for it.’ He was a lit­tle philo­soph­i­cal, but it was some­thing I re­ally wanted to try to do.

The end­ing [which sees the game’s pro­tag­o­nist kills him­self] got a big re­sponse. At the time, there was no In­ter­net, right? Back then, games had a lit­tle ques­tion­naire in­side the box that you filled in and mailed back. Hu­man got tons of them, big boxes full. Some said things like, ‘Die!’, ‘I want my money back!’, ‘I will never for­give you for this!’, ‘Bitch!’ They were like cursed let­ters! It was such a neg­a­tive re­sponse. The crit­i­cism we got back was im­mense. But within that, maybe ten or 20 per cent of the peo­ple said, ‘That was re­ally cool – thanks.’ Dur­ing my time in the in­dus­try I’ve met lots of peo­ple – even now – who come up to me and say, ‘That was my favourite one.’ It’s amaz­ing. Even though it’s been 20 years, those mem­o­ries and those feel­ings that peo­ple have to­wards the game have stayed with them.”

THE SIL­VER CASE

De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher ASCII En­ter­tain­ment (Re­mas­ter: Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture/NIS Amer­ica) For­mat PS one (Re­mas­ter: PC, PS4) Re­lease 1999 (Re­mas­ter: 2016 (PC), early 2017 (PS4))

“Af­ter I left Hu­man, I tried to get about ten peo­ple from there as my core staff at Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture. They didn’t all come in at once; it was more grad­ual – this per­son, then that per­son, then this per­son and so on. We had to quickly think about what our first game should be. We re­alised that we had about a year, maybe a year and a half to put this thing out. At this point, there were five peo­ple within the com­pany. I con­sid­ered it firstly from a man­age­ment per­spec­tive: what can five peo­ple rea­son­ably cre­ate within this span of time? I was the di­rec­tor and the sce­nario writer, I had a cou­ple of graphic artists, a pro­gram­mer and a plan­ner: that was the core group of five peo­ple who made the game. While at Hu­man I made ad­ven­ture games – you would prob­a­bly call them vis­ual nov­els – and so I knew ex­actly what went into them. For this one, I wanted to do some­thing new, some­thing orig­i­nal within the genre. I fig­ured that writ­ing the story was a large thing – that would es­sen­tially be more than half the game. But I wanted the pro­gram­mers to be more in­volved with the graph­i­cal ele­ments and pre­sen­ta­tion. I had them cre­ate win­dows that could be ar­ranged and moved within a 4:3 dis­play. So you’ve got win­dows that move, you have a cur­sor that comes in and locks onto things, you’ve got things switch­ing around and mov­ing within the back­ground. Do­ing all this al­lowed us to give the pro­gram­mers some­thing more in­ter­est­ing to do, to have con­trol over how the story was be­ing por­trayed, and how the game would look. The whole con­cept of giv­ing the pro­gram­mers a lit­tle bit of that area of con­trol as well as this de­sire to make some­thing new is what birthed the film win­dow en­gine. No one had re­ally ever made some­thing like that be­fore.

The orig­i­nal ver­sion was made by just five peo­ple, and I thought it was pretty good as it was. I thought we’d re­ally ac­com­plished some­thing spe­cial there. That said, I be­gan to think about peo­ple in the west, who never re­ally got a chance to play this game. And so the orig­i­nal idea for do­ing a re­mas­ter or a re­make came about nine years ago. The ques­tion, es­pe­cially around that time, was: is there re­ally a need for this? As you know, vis­ual nov­els have an in­cred­i­ble amount of text, and so get­ting that trans­lated prop­erly, in a way that re­ally ex­pressed my vi­sion, was some­thing that re­ally con­cerned me, and

so it went on the back burner for a while. Then, about two years ago, a com­pany called AGM [Ac­tive Gam­ing Me­dia] ap­proached me and said, ‘We’d like to do a re­make of The Sil­ver Case.’ For the trans­la­tion part, they had three peo­ple in the com­pany who were for­eign­ers who had played the game, so they could triplecheck it. They guar­an­teed me a per­fect trans­la­tion, and that re­ally moved my heart. Also, I no­ticed that the scene over­all has changed: in­die games have be­come more pop­u­lar, and I’ve no­ticed that more young peo­ple are will­ing to try games like vis­ual nov­els, so it seemed to me that now was the right time to do it. I re­ally felt a strong de­sire to bring The Sil­ver Case to to­day’s young gamers.”

KILLER 7 De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Cap­com For­mat GameCube, PS2 Re­lease 2005

“The whole thing came com­pletely out of the blue. One day, I just heard from [Shinji] Mikami: ‘I want to meet you.’ Which re­ally sur­prised me – I mean, Mikami’s a big deal, right? He told me to come to Osaka. So I’m sit­ting there in the Cap­com of­fices wait­ing, the door opens and Mikami’s there with these sun­glasses on and he just says, ‘I’m Mikami.’ So my first im­pres­sion was that he’s kind of a scary guy! And then he talked for about one hour – the con­ver­sa­tion was onedi­rec­tional. A lit­tle bit was about games, but most of it was about other things. And the last thing he said was, ‘Let’s make a game to­gether.’ Even be­fore then, Mikami had al­ways praised Hu­man’s games, mainly be­cause the ideas in those games were the kind that you re­ally didn’t get so much from larger com­pa­nies. Within the group that Mikami con­trolled, there was a guy named Shu Takumi – you know, the Ace At­tor­ney guy. He was a fan of The Sil­ver Case and Grasshop­per, and he went to bat for me to Mikami. This group was called De­vel­op­ment Group 4, they had five ti­tles they were sup­posed to make for GameCube, and he ba­si­cally said, ‘One of these five is yours, and we’re go­ing to make it to­gether.’

From the be­gin­ning, it was de­cided it would be an ac­tion-ad­ven­ture game. Very early on, we had this idea of the Killer 7, of this per­son with mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties. That was set pretty much from the very start. The is­sue was how to build game­play around that con­cept. We made this spe­cial shader for the graph­ics, and then we came up with the on-rails move­ment sys­tem, and we built it out piece by piece from there. Orig­i­nally, it was de­cided it would be an FPS for cer­tain parts of the game. Be­cause of my ex­pe­ri­ence, I was more fo­cused on the ad­ven­ture game as­pect, but when­ever Mikami would play it, he’d say, ‘We need to get this mov­ing, speed things up a bit.’ I feel that Mikami’s big­gest con­tri­bu­tion was giv­ing this feed­back and giv­ing it more of an ac­tion-game feel­ing and a bet­ter tempo.

The im­pact it had, I didn’t ex­pect at all. When we were mak­ing the game, all we were think­ing about was mak­ing the game, think­ing, ‘How can we make this as good as pos­si­ble?’ So it was not re­ally some­thing that I con­sid­ered in any way, shape or form. Through­out the de­vel­op­ment, I was pro­tected by Mikami, I was taken un­der his wing. This guy, the man who cre­ated Bio­haz­ard – es­sen­tially a new genre, a new way to play – and he was giv­ing me ab­so­lute free­dom to cre­ate what­ever I wanted! He ac­tu­ally laughed at some of the more shock­ing scenes; he thought they were hys­ter­i­cal. I as­sume he took that to the next level and pro­tected me – I never got any push­back from Cap­com per­son­ally. With that free­dom he gave me, I knew I had to give 110 per cent and I knew I had to cre­ate some­thing

wor­thy of hav­ing Mikami’s name on it. I worked re­ally, re­ally hard to make sure that I didn’t shame Mikami, that I didn’t pro­duce some­thing that would re­flect poorly upon him. I felt that I shouldn’t ac­tu­ally worry about the sales num­bers or about what kind of im­pact it might have. The only thing I could do as a cre­ator was to make the best game I could. And I feel that paid off.

I hear from a lot of peo­ple that the game they most want me to re­mas­ter is

Killer 7. All the time. So I’d like to do that some­day. I’m blindly search­ing for a way for it to hap­pen. Cap­com is pretty co-op­er­a­tive, but be­cause the game was made on GameCube – which is a very spe­cial, par­tic­u­lar piece of hard­ware – it’s re­ally hard to bring it to modern con­soles. Rather than it be­ing a prob­lem of bud­get, it’s more a prob­lem of tech­nol­ogy. Pro­vided we could find a way to fig­ure out how to get over that tech­no­log­i­cal bar­rier, then you never know.”

NO MORE HE­ROES De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Mar­velous En­ter­tain­ment/ Ubisoft/Ris­ing Star Games For­mat Wii Re­lease 2007

“You can clearly see the in­flu­ence from Mikami in my games af­ter Killer 7. When we were mak­ing it, I would have lots of talks with Mikami, and he would ex­plain var­i­ous things to me, so I learned a lot about his ap­proach to mak­ing an ac­tion game, but also how he thought about var­i­ous as­pects of game de­vel­op­ment in gen­eral. Be­fore No More

He­roes, there were two games that came out that I did for Namco Bandai as they were then [ Sa­mu­rai Cham­ploo: Side­tracked and Blood+: One Night Kiss], and those served as the foun­da­tions of what be­came

No More He­roes. At that point, I felt I had re­ally fig­ured out what I wanted to do in terms of ac­tion. I would de­scribe Mikami as my ‘master’ – like I’m a swords­man and he’s the guy who trains me to learn the tech­niques.

I hon­estly don’t re­mem­ber say­ing I wanted it to be as vi­o­lent as Man­hunt 2. For me, Man­hunt 2 was a re­ally dark game, whereas No More He­roes had a pop sen­si­bil­ity to it. It’s a world of vi­o­lence, but you have that play­ful el­e­ment to it – that’s what I was aim­ing for. I’m not al­ways try­ing to be out­ra­geous or provoca­tive. When we were first talk­ing to Mar­vel­lous and dis­cussed that the game was go­ing to be on the Wii, in­stan­ta­neously I thought, ‘Well, the Wii Re­mote looks like a beam katana’. And the sec­ond idea came right af­ter the first in a flash of in­spi­ra­tion: ‘OK, then you charge it like this!’ [Mimes shak­ing ac­tion] I thought: gamers all over the world are go­ing to laugh about this – they’re go­ing to love it.

I didn’t mean for the open world to be a joke! What hap­pened is that I had this idea to have a small town that would have an open-world feel to it, and frankly we prob­a­bly just tried to put in too much in too lim­ited an amount of time. Af­ter that, it be­came seen as a joke, but I wasn’t re­ally aim­ing for that. By the same to­ken, I feel that the world we cre­ated within the game maybe lent it­self to be­com­ing a joke.”

SHAD­OWS OF THE DAMNED De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Elec­tronic Arts For­mat 360, PS3 Re­lease 2011

“I had this game plan from the very be­gin­ning for Shad­ows Of The Damned, and Mikami jumped in to help me with it. I was lead di­rec­tor, then Mas­simo [Guar­ini] came in and took over as di­rec­tor, and the

ac­tion parts specif­i­cally were fine-tuned by Mikami as the pro­ducer. Mikami and I both went out to start pitch­ing the game to peo­ple. We got an agent and we went all over the place in Amer­ica and re­ally put a lot of ef­fort into it. Fi­nally, we went to EA and we gave them es­sen­tially a fin­ished game plan. Bear in mind that we had no guns in the game orig­i­nally, no guns what­so­ever. And EA read it, and the first thing they came back with was: ‘You need to put guns in the game.’ Maybe that’s just the re­al­ity of a Ja­panese de­vel­oper work­ing with a for­eign pub­lisher or some­thing, but there were all these com­mu­ni­ca­tion is­sues. I don’t know if ‘dis­ap­pointed’ is the right word to de­scribe how we felt about

Shad­ows. Both Mr Mikami and I are very proud of the game that we made, but the feel­ing we both had at the end of it was, ‘Well, this wasn’t quite the game we set out to make, was it?’

The Big Boner was a sce­nario that I had par­tic­u­lar trou­ble with, mainly be­cause I’d take it back to EA and they’d say, ‘No, no, no.’ There were like five or six rounds of this. An in­ter­est­ing thing within that, though, is that ev­ery time I’d write some­thing, Mas­simo would add even more. The staff were re­ally into it. So the Big Boner and all that kind of stuff came from Mas­simo more than me. He just kept adding to what was al­ready there, and it just kind of got big­ger and big­ger!”

LOL­LIPOP CHAIN­SAW De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Warner Bros In­ter­ac­tive En­ter­tain­ment/Kadokawa Games For­mat 360, PS3 Re­lease 2012 KILLER IS DEAD De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher Kadokawa Games/Mar­velous USA/Deep Sil­ver For­mat 360, PC, PS3 Re­lease 2013

“Lol­lipop Chain­saw was a col­lab­o­ra­tive work. I feel like that game was more or less cre­ated by [Grasshop­per] staff. My role was more of a pro­ducer, and a su­per­vi­sor for some of the ac­tion parts. Warner Bros sent peo­ple over to work with us on it, and the Ja­panese pub­lisher Kadokawa Games sent staff over, so it re­ally was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween these three dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies. Warner Bros came to us and said, ‘We want James Gunn to be in­volved with this.’ Grasshop­per staff wrote the orig­i­nal sce­nario, then James took it and did his thing, which came back, and then it came to me and I rewrote some of it. So there was all this back-and­forth dur­ing the process.

With Killer Is Dead, I knew when we were mak­ing it that there was go­ing to be con­tro­versy about Gigolo Mode. I thought it might not be a good thing. But Kadokawa Games ac­tu­ally told us to put it in there. They said they wanted it. I know how for­eign peo­ple are go­ing to re­act to what we put out there. I wouldn’t say I have re­grets, nec­es­sar­ily. How­ever, one thing I’d def­i­nitely say is that when Killer

Is Dead was first an­nounced and in­for­ma­tion started to come out, we had a lot of press meet­ings and they all wrote that up. Even now, peo­ple talk about it! I said it at the time, at PAX, the same thing about Gigolo Mode – I did hear that a lot of peo­ple were re­ally neg­a­tive about it. And that game had a fan­tas­tic com­bat sys­tem. It was made by a guy at Grasshop­per called Hideyuki Shin, who was the di­rec­tor of the game and he put his heart and soul into it, and… I’m

“THE FIRST THING EA CAME BACK WITH WAS: ‘YOU NEED TO PUT GUNS IN THE GAME’”

start­ing to get worked up about it, so I’m not go­ing to say much more.

Even though I wasn’t as heav­ily in­volved [with the likes of Lol­lipop

Chain­saw and Killer Is Dead], these games still carry my sig­na­ture be­cause I al­ways do the plan­ning at the very be­gin­ning. The orig­i­nal idea and plan­ning – that’s me. Even with Shad­ows Of The Damned, I wanted to be the di­rec­tor un­til the very end. But I’m the pres­i­dent of the com­pany, with all these man­age­rial roles to take care of, and there’s all this pa­per­work that I have to do. It’s come to the point where I just have to trust the staff I’ve hired and leave it in their hands to cre­ate some­thing good. There’s also the is­sue of hav­ing to write sce­nar­ios and things like that, which is very time-con­sum­ing, and so as things are pro­gress­ing with cer­tain projects, I have to step away from those and work on other things.

Yes, I would like to be more in­volved. How­ever, as the com­pany gets big­ger, as our bud­gets in­crease, I need to be more mind­ful of all these dif­fer­ent fac­tors that come into it. One big one, of course, would be pub­lish­ers – they al­ways have a say in what’s go­ing to be made. And so be­cause the bud­gets are big­ger and there are all these out-of-con­trol ele­ments, I feel like it’s a mat­ter of course that I have to step away and leave things to the staff and be able to let things go like that. Be­cause I’ve been do­ing this for 18 years now within this com­pany. Be­cause of the cur­rent tra­jec­tory of the com­pany, it’s just the way things have to be right now.”

LET IT DIE De­vel­oper Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture Pub­lisher GungHo On­line En­ter­tain­ment For­mat PS4 Re­lease TBA

“Prob­a­bly the big­gest change on Let It Die from when it started out as Lily Berg­amo is that it’s moved away from be­ing a story-driven game. Be­cause it has asyn­chro­nous on­line play, you re­ally can’t do a story-driven ex­pe­ri­ence with that. Orig­i­nally, the main char­ac­ter in Lily

Berg­amo was sup­posed to be this per­son called Tae. Now, in Let It Die, you – the player – are the main char­ac­ter.

I’m ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor on the game, which I guess means I’m sort of look­ing af­ter ev­ery­thing! Let It Die is a game where every­one’s come to­gether and added their own ideas, and it’s all moved on from there. It’s not the type of game where one per­son is re­spon­si­ble. Grasshop­per is now part of a group owned by GungHo On­line En­ter­tain­ment, so some of those guys are in­volved in it, too. This time, I’ve had a lot to do with the plan­ning, and there’ll be times when I say, ‘I think we should do it like this,’ but even in that sit­u­a­tion, be­cause we’re leav­ing it more to the staff to fig­ure out, they won’t nec­es­sar­ily take my ideas into con­sid­er­a­tion.

There are def­i­nitely times where I’ll call staff – not nec­es­sar­ily in a meet­ing – but I’ll call them and say, ‘Look, you’re go­ing to do it like this.’ Speak­ing specif­i­cally about this game, orig­i­nally when your player dies, they just had sim­ple con­tinue/quit op­tions. But I re­ally wanted this char­ac­ter we made called Ki­wako to ap­pear and di­rect the player. For things like that, I will put my foot down. It’s a game where rhythm is very im­por­tant, be­cause it’s a game that you’re sup­posed to play for a while, and so these are the kind of ar­eas where I feel like the gran­u­lar de­tails are re­ally im­por­tant. Any time I feel that’s be­ing af­fected, I’ll def­i­nitely call over staff and say, ‘Hey, let’s do it this way.’”

Suda’s ob­ses­sion with wrestling sur­faced in the Fire Pro series, and it’s been a re­cur­ring mo­tif ever since

In Su­per Fire ProWrestling Spe­cial’s po­lar­is­ing end­ing, the pro­tag­o­nist, alone at home, takes his own life

An episodic fol­low-up to The Sil­ver Case, The Sil­ver Case:Ward25 was re­leased in 2005 for mo­bile de­vices

Bri­tish cul­ture has heav­ily in­flu­enced Suda’s work – from Killer 7’ s ref­er­ences to The Smiths, to NoMore He­roes be­ing named af­ter the Stran­glers song

Travis Touch­down was partly based on Jack­ass’s Johnny Knoxville, who Suda re­port­edly wanted to voice the hero

Suda is care­ful to en­sure peo­ple are cor­rectly cred­ited for their con­tri­bu­tions to his stu­dio’s games. Damned’s in-game fa­bles seem to bear his fin­ger­prints, but Suda in­sists that in fact they were all the work of di­rec­tor Mas­simo Guar­ini

Lol­lipop Chain­saw might not have been Suda’s big­gest hit with crit­ics, but it’s Grasshop­per Man­u­fac­ture’s most suc­cess­ful re­lease com­mer­cially by some dis­tance

De­spite Killer Is Dead’s dis­ap­point­ing sales, its di­rec­tor, Hideyuki Shin, is now helm­ing Let It Die

Grasshop­per and GungHo are play­ing coy on Let It Die’s re­lease date. It may even be out by the time you read this

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