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Keiji Inafune on the Shadow of Mega Man and Burdens of the Past

News Bot Aug 16, 2016

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    News Bot Chaos Immortal

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    Few video game developers can be considered auteurs, but when Keiji Inafune's name is attached to a project, it carries a certain weight. As the designer of the Mega Man series, he created a franchise known for blistering difficulty, pitch-perfect platforming, and iconic 2D combat. But at what point does that fame become a hindrance? At what point does his legacy hold him back from new creative pursuits? We caught up with Inafune at Gamescom 2016 to talk to him about his upcoming project Recore, comparisons to Mega Man, and coming to grips with the past.
    GameSpot: The first thing that struck me about Recore was its difficulty. Are you going for that challenging game experience?
    Inafune: I think it's not that we intentionally tried to make it difficult. You're in the middle of the game at this particular stage [where you played] and that's combined with the fact that there are a lot of things going on--we kind of throw you in there and you're supposed to figure this out as you go. You missed a lot of the tutorial sections that ease you into it, but there are definitely a lot of things happening.
    Could you talk about the influences that are informing the creation of Recore?
    I think one of the bigger sources of inspiration and influence is anime. That doesn't mean we wanted to go full anime; in fact we tried to make a conscious effort to design the art and the characters and world in such a way that's palatable to anyone around the world, whether you're from Japan, US, or Europe. I think we've succeeded with that because it's a very internationally collaborative project between many companies. In addition I really wanted to explore what a post-apocalyptic world would look like in this game. I think we succeeded in that as well.
    [​IMG]CLick image to view in full screen[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]A lot of people are wondering if it's 3D Mega Man. Is that accurate or is it just people attaching your name to the project and assuming that?
    I wouldn't say there's a conscious effort to make it appear, feel, or look like Mega Man. In fact, we really developed this from zero, if you will. But having put the game out there and heard the feedback from a lot of players, they're the ones that point out, "Hey, this one element feels like Mega Man," or, "This part looks like Mega Man." They're the ones that bring it to my attention that it looks and feels like Mega Man. Only then do I realize, "Oh, I guess so." Perhaps influences are there and present, but it was all subconscious and not necessarily a conscious effort.
    How do you feel about being associated to Mega Man so frequently? Is it a burden at a certain point when you want to make something new?
    I don't necessarily consider it a burden. Mega Man will always be a huge part of me and what I've accomplished. I am very proud of that. In terms of what people will think or feel or associate me with Mega Man, I will always value that. Whenever I make something new, I don't try to consciously include that, but I feel honored that people point it out and are still able to make those references to this day.
    How do you balance making something new with the old-school inclinations people have these days? How do you marry the past with where you want to go in the future as a creator?
    That's a very interesting question. In the pursuit of photorealism, this thing that almost feels like an empty pursuit, I think the quality of games has been lost along the way. So I always put a lot of value and emphasis on the system, how it feels in someone's hand, and how the game actually plays, and its mechanics. I definitely try and balance that, and it can be challenging at times, but I don't think we should forget that at the center of every game there is an element of, "What makes a game a game?" and not just the pursuit of just a realistic sort of expression.


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