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The Arc of Fighting

Guilty Gear creator Daisuke Ishiwatari and BlazBlue boss Toshimichi Mori talk.
Eurogamer Arcana Heart 3 is also due out for PS3 and Xbox 360. You've ported it to home console from the arcade. For those who have never heard of it before, how does it differ from your other 2D fighting games?
Toshimichi Mori

It's an all-girl characters fighting game. We just wanted to show European people there is a fighting game like this, which is quite unique. Arcana Heart 3 has BlazBlue's online battle system, so the online battle experience is as good as BlazBlue. The matching system is superb.

Eurogamer You're known for your beautiful hand-drawn 2D sprites. How do you create them?
Toshimichi Mori

There's quite a long process. First we design the character. Second, we decide which skills they have and their background. Then we do content drawing – the pencil drawings for all the movements. Then motion drawing, including 3D models, then hand-drawn animations. After that, colouring. Then we put them into the game.

Eurogamer That must be very expensive as well as time-consuming. Why do you continue to make games this way?
Toshimichi Mori

Because we want to make the best-quality 2D fighting games, and this is the way to make them.

Eurogamer Street Fighter IV was 2.5D. Why is your way better?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Arc System Works' fighting games are pretty much designed for anime fans. The anime style fighting game is the one we want to make. 2D drawing is best suited for the time being.

Eurogamer You're known for your unique and varied characters. Where do you draw inspiration from?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

There is already a wide variety of characters that have appeared in other fighting games, such as Street Fighter. I want to create something totally different from them. That's why my characters are quite unique, and even strange to some people.

Eurogamer How do you create your characters? What's the first thing you do?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

There are two ways of creating a character for a game. First of all I create the game system. Then I create a character that matches to that game system. Vice versa, some characters are drawn, and then the game system is adjusted.

Eurogamer Are there any characters based on personal experience?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

The character called Venom, he uses a billiard cue. I got that idea when I went to play pool with my friends. That's from the real world.

Eurogamer You've created many fighting game characters over the course of a decade. Which are you most proud of?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Every single character I've created is a part of me. Everyone is equal. But if you want to say this is the character that's my favourite of all, then that would be Sol Badguy, because he most matches my personality and sensibilities. He is the real meaning of Guilty Gear.

Eurogamer What ever happened to Guilty Gear? Why did you stop making it?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Guilty Gear got too hardcore for some people, so we wanted to reset the level of entrance. BlazBlue was the answer to it. Also, the generation of Guilty Gear players has become a certain age – maybe a little bit too old for playing games. So making that reset brings in a new generation of fighting game players. Then they will be with us for the next few years.

Eurogamer Will there ever be a truly accessible fighting game?
Toshimichi Mori

It is impossible to create a fighting game everyone can play. The basic rule of a fighting game is: one wins and one loses. As long as that's the basic rule of a fighting game, there will never be a perfect fighting game that everyone can enjoy.

At least 19 different Guilty Gear titles were released in a little over ten years.
Eurogamer What about Kinect? Could that help developers create a truly accessible fighting game?
Toshimichi Mori

Well, first of all, Japanese houses are quite small, so playing a fighting game with Kinect is difficult. If there's a Kinect fighting game, then a real setting would be quite difficult. It could be a game where the person who performs the first hit will be the winner. The person who hits first will always win.

Eurogamer Why is that?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Motion fighting games could be random, determined by things like which player is faster. That could happen when a Kinect fighting game happens, but that won't be too much fun. The judgement of win or lose cannot be which one is stronger. If that's the point you want to judge, then you should play sports instead of a video game.

Eurogamer Some fighting game fans consider Guilty Gear to be the greatest fighting game ever made. But which one do you consider to be the greatest?
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It's the nervousness between you and your opponent that gives me joy. You have to guess what the next move is by your opponent. That was the most fun thing about the game. It was so enjoyable.

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About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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