Prior to E3, we asked around on our blogs, twitter, facebook and forums for your questions to Shinji Mikami on Vanquish. We’ve taken your questions directly to the man himself and are happy to post the answers:
Sega & PlatinumGames Forums
- What was the inspiration behind the style and setting of VANQUISH?
We based things on the Japanese animated series, Casshern. As far as the game goes, we really put an emphasis on speed during the gameplay.
- How Important will the Melee combat be in the game? and how many melee moves are there?
We haven’t made melee the focal point of combat in the game, but it is an effective technique when you close in on an enemy. The focal point of combat in the game is shooting, so the melee attacks are really just to add to the combat repertoire.
- Do you think VANQUISH will be able to successfully compete with other shooters on the market without Multiplayer?
Of course, the lack of multiplayer will probably make things difficult on the sales front, but what we have instead is the speedy exhilaration of Vanquish’s gameplay, along with the content you can really sink your teeth into. I think it will provide more than enough enjoyment for those who buy the game.
What was your inspiration to make this into a third person shooter and not first person?
I wanted people to really feel the action going on during the game, which means that we needed to show the player on the screen.
- Will we’ll see any characters from your previous titles making an guest appearance?
- Do you think Vanquish represents a sort of attempt at making a very traditionally “western” genre and infusing it with a style that is centric to Japanese video games?
If that is how people take the game, I am totally fine with that.
IR A IP T O IR
- Will it be different color swaps for the suit? I want a black one!!
At first, we thought it would be fun to have a black version of the main character included in special edition. During production though, this plan fell by the wayside, but you are right, a black version of Sam would be really cool.
- Will the Achievements / Trophies be difficult to obtain?
We aren’t making them insanely difficult, but you are going to have to challenge yourself to earn them.
-What is your favorite aspect of Vanquish?
I really love the boost system in the game, as well as the English voice for our main character, Sam. It is incredibly cool, and I’m hooked on it.
-Is aiming of the guns smooth and precise despite the speed and hectic atmosphere of the game?
We have tuned things so that the guns in the game are easy to aim, and that aiming is smooth.
-How serious is the story going to be?
Basically, it is a serious story, becoming a bit dark at the end.
Shinji Mikami (The forum poster)
-Can Shinji Mikami shed some light on some hidden parts of the game that make it special and different?
The staff decided to screw with me a little bit by hiding some rhinoceros beetles in the game. They did this without me knowing, so definitely be on the lookout for them in the game.
- Will be bosses be solely “Shoot and Dodge” or will there be pseudo puzzle challenges like environmental hazards?
The bosses are a bit old-school, in that there is a distinct process for defeating them, kind of like exposing their weak points and then firing upon them.
- Did you go to a gaming art school or a regular university?
I went to a normal university, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. I didn’t really study, but I was somehow able to graduate.
- What was the inspiration for the visual style?
The backgrounds are influenced by a movie called Tristan + Isolde. In the end, the visuals are really the product of the individual tastes of the staff creating them, but I think the graphics in the game are something we can be proud to recommend to people.
- Who will be composing the soundtrack for the game?
The soundtrack was mainly composed by our in-house composers; however, ex-Grasshopper Manufacture composer Masafumi Takada was also in on composing some tracks.
- (Shinji Mikami) never seems to stick with one game style for his projects, often doing something very different with each game genre he tackles. I’d like to ask why he chose the third-person shooter genre this time?
It isn’t really a question of why. There was a reason the game had to be a third-person shooter. To create a shooter with strong action elements, I felt the only way to pull things off was with the third person perspective.
-What is the main difference between an Occidental shooter and a Oriental shooter design fundamentals that makes the difference at all
The short answer is Realism. From the graphics, to the worlds, games created in the West tend to want to simulate reality at a very high level. On the other hand, there tends to be a great number of Japanese games going for distinctive styles of expression.
There you have it! Big thanks to the good folks at PlatinumGames and Shinji Mikami for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions. We love doing interviews like these, so be on the lookout for future opportunities!