Suda 51 • Page 2

"One day, I want to be able to throw pants."

The game's plot, he said at the unveiling, is predicated on revenge. Travis' revenge, presumably, but whether someone killed his cat, defaced his wrestling masks or suggested he might like to ride an ordinary motorcycle, we don't know. And it might not be so flippant. "I think it's time for No More Heroes to become serious," he says. "But it's going to have humour, don't worry. It won't be too serious."

Suda's up for some revenge too, for the parts of the first game that let him - and, as it happens, us - down. "I wasn't that satisfied with the open world," he admits now. "I wanted to make a lot more stuff, more detail. So this time in No More Heroes 2, I want to take my revenge. And actually, the theme of No More Heroes 2 is revenge, so..." Suda 51 chuckles deeply, something he does quite a lot.

So, a more serious mein, a revenge plot, a better open-world setting. We ask him what the other changes will be over the first time, and Suda refuses, politely, to be drawn. We press him a little harder - surely there must be something he can tell us? Something non-specific? What feeling will players take away from the game.

There's a long pause. Eventually, the writer, designer and chief executive speaks. "One of the feelings you may be experiencing is the true meaning of fighting," he says deliberately. Then he nodds sagely, looking round his cohorts for approval, satsifed with his answer on some deep level we can't quite fathom. Pleasant, but happy to maintain the enigma for now.

Something else we know is that No More Heroes will, unsurprisingly, be returning to Wii as an exclusive. Grasshopper Manufacture looked at an Xbox 360 version originally, but the motion controls leant themselves so well to its visceral sword combat that there was no contest.

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Contact: mysterious.

"I was really considering making it on Xbox 360. I was actually thinking about it," Suda 51 says "But one of the really good points of this game was the way we used the remote control. We were really good in that respect. I was really confident that this control scheme would be a hit. If we took the Wii out of the equation, we'd have lost that, so the answer was that we had to make it on the Wii."

Controls are something Suda 51 and his team take especially seriously, to the extent of flying in the face of all conventional wisdom with Killer 7's two-button movement scheme. Although all Grasshopper's games are very different, the pivotal importance of the user interface, says Suda, is one of their common threads.

"I'm going into details here, but the way I mix the game and the cut-scenes - the way I mix everything up, and the user interface too, the way I make that, you can see a kind of similarity," he says. "Every time I direct a game, I like to control those parts very closely. I think the way you link everything together is really important to the tempo of the game."

In No More Heroes, the result was one of the few "hardcore" hits on the Wii that still made best use of its family-friendly controller - and probably, a healthy dose of extra sales from having a little corner of a huge market almost to itself. Does Suda think the Wii market will ever change? In Japan he does. "Maybe the trend's going to change, with Monster Hunter tri on Wii," he says. "Out of all the games here at Tokyo Game Show, it's the most popular one." And he's right - Capcom's stand is mobbed at all times, even on the show's "business" days. (We'll bring you a full preview of the monster-mashing sensation soon.)

No More Heroes' pull with the older otaku crowd was so strong that European fans were outraged when the game was released here in its "censored" Japanese version rather than the gory one released in the US. Grasshopper, Marvelous and its European subsidiary Rising Star won't be making the same mistake again, but they won't be producing a uniform version either.

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