During a Namco Bandai panel at New York Comic Con Tales series producer Hideo Baba and Project .hack director Hiroshi Matsuyama discussed the particular difficulties of sharing Japanese games with the rest of the world, what makes them great and some information on the upcoming titles Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and Tales of Xillia.
If you’re a fan of both Naruto and Dragon Ball Z then you’ll want to make sure you pre-order Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 as it will have an in-game goody for those who do: Goku’s training outfit. If you’re a fan of Naruto and fighting games at all, you’ll want to pick this up as it will have more than 72 playable characters.
On the flip side, as any Tales fan should know, Tales of Xillia was announced for European and North American releases in 2013. In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Tales the two main character designers for the series, Kousuke Fujishima (Tales of Vesperia, Symphonia, the Abyss) and Mutsumi Inomata (Tales of Graces, Hearts, Destiny 1 & 2) both worked on the title. They each designed one of the two protagonists for the two main storylines of the game, Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell.
When asked what advantages Japanese games have, Matsuyama replied, “We always put a lot of effort into making awesome cinematic scenes. Even when the next consoles come up, we will always work to create stunning cinematics with that new technology.”
Hideo Baba added his two cents, “Rather that worry about the power of the hardware, we like to focus on gameplay, story, and the characters in our games. That will always be the most important aspect for the Tales games. But as hardware developers, we are always looking towards how to take advantage of that as well.” Anyone who appreciates RPGs, Japanese or otherwise, will admit that what pulls the player in and makes the game great are the story and characters.
“We deal with Naruto, a very Japanese animated classic,” Matsuyama said. “Because the content of Naruto is so Japanese, we would really like to put our efforts towards preserving that kind of game creations. Western studios have a lot to offer and we have a lot to learn from them, but we want to be able to stay off their course and stay on ours, offering everyone in this world something new.”
Hideo Baba concurred, saying, “We’re really proud of how our games have a unique sense of the Japanese culture. That’s what really makes them special. We want to continue to focus on bringing that type of unique culture content into our games.” We want you to continue doing that, too, sir.
Excited for Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 or Tales of Xillia? Think Hiroshi Matsuyama and Hideo Baba have it right, focusing on story and characters, while still creating amazing cinematics? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.