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Capcom's Killer 7 was critically acclaimed for having a gritty storyline, a unique art style, and an odd sense of gameplay. We chat with Goichi Suda, better known as Suda 51 about his next project for Wii Ė Heroes, how he got involved in the industry, and the rumors about a project with Konamiís Hideo Kojima.
Game Informer: Were you pleased with how Killer 7 turned out?
Suda 51: It was a very new experience for me, and yes for everyone in the U.S. talking about it it was very exciting, and I was very happy about that. There were some things that I didnít like about the game after it was released and I was sad about that. But for me it was a new job, and a new experience working as a game designer. The scenario and graphic style was new for me as well.
In Japan the style was very different than traditional games, but on the opposite side in America, Russia, Europe there were a lot of good comments on it so I was really happy about that. After Killer 7 I wanted to make another game that was suitable for the western market, so thatís why I chose to do Heroes.
GI: What did you do before you went into game development?
Suda 51: I did a lot of different jobs. I was an undertaker, sold real estate, graphic designer, and I sold womenís hand bags.
GI: How did you get into game development?
Suda 51: I love Pro Wrestling, there was a company called Human that has already gone bankrupt, and they were making some very popular pro wrestling games in Japan. They were looking for some new people for a new Pro Wrestling game. I didnít really have any game experience, but I really loved Pro Wrestling, so I just applied and I got it. Since then Iíve been in the game industry.
GI: Howíd you hook up with Capcom?
Suda 51: Itís true I didnít have the normal title that Capcom is used .to hiring. They were looking for a title for a worldwide release. Itís a really active company.
GI: Why did you choose to work with the Wii for Heroes?
Suda 51: Itís sort of a different reason. The president for Marvelous Interactive - Mr. Wada - he was really pushing to have a Wii title because he really likes Nintendo and the Wii. So I showed Mr. Wada the game concept with the light saber idea, and this was around the same time Nintendo was working on the Wiiís remote controller, and Mr. Wada knew about the remote for the controller for the Wii. We didnít know at the time that Nintendo was working on the Wii remote controller, and we didnít understand why Mr. Wada was pushing so hard for us to make this game for Wii. When I found out about the remote controller I understood why he was pushing so hard for Wii.
The final reason is that people at Nintendo are really nice people, too. And since we are a small development team Nintendo was really happy and supportive of us. This is our first time developing on Wii, and weíre happy with it.
GI: This is the first time a lot of people are developing on Wii.
Suda 51: (laughs) Yes.
GI: We saw the first visuals of this game just after E3, and youíre using another intriguing art style with Heroes. Was this inspired from Killer 7?
Suda 51: Yes, there are some inspirations from Killer 7ís art style. But our plan is to make it more of an illustration style. More of an illustration instead of like a photograph. This will be a new art style.
GI: Could you explain the game concept and what gamers can expect from Heroes?
Suda 51: The hero is Travis Touchdown, and heís a professional killer. There is a sort of killer association where the killers are ranked, and Travis wants to get from the 10th rank to the 1st Ė Travis wants to be the top killer. Travis will have to kill each of the 10 killers that are ranked higher to become the best killer.
For example in Kill Bill she (ed: Uma Thurman's character - The Bride) had to kill the other killers that she knew, but in the case of Heroes, Travis doesnít know who the other killers are. By killing the other professional killers heíll become more popular and rank higher.
GI: How can a professional killer become a hero?
Suda 51: He is a hitman. Heroes is the working title and there might be some amendment to the title, but we want to keep "Heroes" in the main title some how.
GI: As far as the gameplay is concerned is the game first person or third person.
Suda 51: Itís third person. The left stick is going to move the character, and the Wii remote controller will control the actions. Itís pretty basic.
GI: Will you use the nunchuck's motion detecting at all?
Suda 51: Maybe a little bit. Itís still in progress.
GI: What weapons will Travis have at his disposal?
Suda 51: The light saber and only the light saber.
GI: Huh. Well you probably canít call it a light saber. (laughs)
Suda: Beam Katana. (laughs)
GI: Yeah, George Lucas wonít mind Beam Katana. (laughs)
Suda 51: Maybe LucasArts cannot look at it and maybe people can be quiet about it. (laughs)
GI: So Travis is trying to go from number 10 to 1. Will it be just boss battle to boss battle to boss battle or will there be an underlying story through out the game?
Suda 51: There will be a small storyline. The game takes place in Santa Destroy, a small town on the East Coast of America. The player will be able to move freely in the town and there will be main missions and sub missions. There will be smaller enemies between the boss fights.
GI: Anything youíre thinking about for Wii Connect 24?
Suda 51: I want to do something, but I havenít thought about it to seriously.
GI: With the beam katana, how many different moves do you have planned?
Suda 51: If youíre moving your arm around, your arm is going to get tired, so we want to have quick cuts so you can slice in one cut. We will have different types of slashes and special moves.
GI: Have you played Red Steel, and what did you think of it?
Suda 51: I have. We think itís using a lot of the Wii controllerís potential. Itís a rival title, but so far thereís not a lot of titles like this on Wii. We want Red Steel to succeed.
GI: How different or similar will your swordplay be versus Red Steel?
Suda 51: Itíll be different, but itís hard to explain now. So please wait until we have a playable version to show you.
GI: When do you think weíll be able to play it for the first time?
Suda 51: Possibly GDC or E3 next year. Iím not sure. Maybe May or June of next year. For sure youíll be able to play it at Tokyo Game Show next year.
GI: Do you have a US publisher yet?
Suda 51: We are still looking for a US publisher.
GI: Is there a time frame youíre looking to release?
Suda 51: Before the end of 2007.
GI: Outside of Heroes, do you have anything else in development?
Suda 51: We have another secret Wii title in development.
GI: Is the Killer 7 franchise done?
Suda 51: It depends on Capcom.
GI: There are talks that you have something in the works with Konamiís Hideo Kojima. Is there anything developing there?
Suda 51: There have been rumors about us working on something for next year. If we are actually making something together it would be a really interesting game. (smiles) Before I got into the videogame industry I was already a fan of Mr. Kojimaís work. So if we get to work with Mr. Kojima it would be really really exciting.
GI: How did you meet Mr. Kojima?
Suda 51: In January there was a Grasshopper event in Tokyo, and we invited Mr. Kojima. Of course, Mr. Kojima is really busy so we didnít think he would come -- especially since it was such a small event. But he came. Since then weíve developed a good relationship. We have very similar music tastes. We actually talked more about music than video games.
GI: Thatís very inspirational coming from not being in the video game industry to suddenly working with Mikami-san and potentially Kojima-san.
Suda 51: Yes, I think Iím very lucky.
GI: Next time you have to work on working with Miyamoto. (laughs)
Suda 51: To me that would be my final goal. Heís a video game God.
I think this game will be really cool. I was hoping for a 3rd person action
Here's the trailer incase you missed it before:
Im following this game all the way!