First up is a Gamasutra interview with Arc System Works, the awesome men and woman behind the Guilty Gear series, the thoroughly under-appreciated Battle Fantasia, and a slew of other 2D fighting games, including the recently released BlazBlue. There's a lot of interesting information in here, most of which has handily been digested by David Cabrera (protip: if you don't read his blog on a regular basis, you totally should be), but I was most amused by BlazBlue director Toshimichi Mori's issue with the way Capcom has been presenting Street Fighter IV:
Toshimichi Mori: I'm not trying to pick a fight with Capcom or anything, but with Street Fighter IV, they made a big deal about how the game was designed to be accessible to people new to the genre.That is some curly-mustache-grade irony, right there.
I remember when I first read that in an interview, I was like, "What? How can they say that?!" I thought maybe I was seeing things. I think they need to take a second look at the list of moves for that game before they make a claim like that.
Sure, people like us who work with games, or fans of fighting games can do a hadouken or a shoryuken without thinking much about it, but for somebody just getting started? Those moves are pretty tough! You can't expect new players to just whip those moves out every time.
To fill your game with moves like that and then emphasize how simple it was for beginners to pick up seemed irresponsible to me. Street Fighter IV is not a game geared toward people who've never played fighters before. If they were really interested in making a beginner-friendly game, they should've made included a few impressive moves a player could do with the press of a button.
Second - while 1up is sorta dead, their Retronauts blog, which boasts the talents of Jeremy Parish and Ray Barnholt, among others, is rockin' harder than ever.
Case in point: their recent interview with Famicom-era Konami musician Hidenori Maezawa. This guy is one of the mystery heroes behind the memorable music of many Konami games. Best part is by far this factoid on the Parodius soundtrack:
Maegawa: "When I was working on Parodius, we had a very short time with the game, so I wasn't able to compose a new soundtrack for it. But you know, classical music is public domain -- once the composer has died, 50 years later we're free to use it however we wish and the music belongs to the public....that's why we used classical music for the game. We only had one month to create the Parodius' soundtrack!"There's lots of other cool stuff on the Retronauts blog besides this interview, anyway. I recommend checking it out.