Moving on... Matsumura-san? What would you like to say to people who have never experienced a Pokémon Rumble game?
Brisk and refreshing?
Yes. (laughs) It’s refreshing and summery! No, it’s fun to play in the winter too, but it’s summer now, so play it like a cool breeze!
Is it a good fit for a handheld?
Yes, I think so. What I thought first when making the shift from WiiWare to the Nintendo 3DS system was how the game’s value would be determined by how many people it causes to miss their train stop. If it causes people to miss their stop, I hope they’ll tell me. I’d be really pleased. We wanted to make a game that people would get that absorbed in.
In Tokyo, trains come frequently and the interval between stops is short, so if you overshoot one stop, it’s no big deal, but depending on where you are, you could get in a lot of trouble! (laughs)
On the Shinkansen (trans-city bullet trains), you’d really be stuck! (laughs)
Oh, I suppose so...
If something like that happens, you are blessed as a game developer.
Yes. So if you play on the train, be careful not to miss your stop!
Okay. (laughs) What would you say to people who played the previous game?
When we made the WiiWare game, we put a lot of effort into fine-tuning it, so the key point was how great it felt. This time, we polished that even further.
It feels even better?
Yes. And even though it’s for a handheld, we increased the amount of gameplay, so you can play it for a long time.
Rather than just simply ending, it can be a game that stays with you for years to come.
I hope it does. And we prepared something special for after you clear it. I think people who have played the previous game will fully enjoy that.
For those who played the previous game, is it as if the challenge really starts after you clear it the first time?
Yes. It’s a little hard, but we play it, too, so I would love it if everyone else does.
How a videogame captivates first-time players as soon as they start playing is very important. When we made the WiiWare Pokémon Rumble game, I thought that if the first 30 minutes were thoroughly satisfying, then the rest would follow. But this time, with a handheld game, I thought the game’s reputation would be determined by whether we could get people into the game or whether they found it a little tiresome in the first ten minutes, so I put a lot of care into polishing the first ten minutes.
There was a lot of back-and-forth among the staff members with regard to those first ten minutes, wasn’t there?
Yes. We wove a solid story this time, so in the early stages we felt like talking a lot about what the toy world is like, what kind of problems arise there, and what you have to solve.
The bigger the setting, the longer the setup tends to grow. Too much of that, and even in an action game, you may end up doing very little actual playing at the beginning!
That’s right. In an action game, it’s important that the action starts as soon as the screen appears. What’s most important are thoughts that drag you in, like “What should I do next?” and “Oh, I didn’t know this was here!” We made this game so that players will be able to tell in the first 10 to 30 minutes how fun it is. Then, if they think, “Even I can play this!” they’ll play to the end. It definitely has lots of Pokémon types and depth of gameplay, so please try it out.
Thank you. And what would you say to those who played the previous game?
To them, I would say, similar to how Ozawa-san succinctly and firmly declared that this is the real thing that it’s like a grand culmination of a Pokémon Rumble game.
It is a Pokémon Rumble game evolved to the extreme.
Yes. So I hope that those who played the WiiWare game will experience this fully evolved version of Pokémon Rumble for the Nintendo 3DS system to the fullest.
Is that why you added “Super” to the (Japanese) name of the game?
One idea at first was to remove “Ransen!” (Melee) from the name in Japanese (Ransen! Pokémon Scramble) so it would just be Pokémon Scramble. But we thought that might be hard to understand.
It would feel like something had been lost. A Pokémon Scramble game without something like “Ransen!” just wouldn’t strike the right note, so we wanted a word that would suggest how the series had evolved. And here at Nintendo, we like using “Super.” (laughs)
(laughs) So that’s why, eh?!
We also thought of Dairansen! Pokémon Scramble (Pokémon Scramble (Great) Melee). (laughs) But we felt like we’d seen something like that somewhere, so... (Editor’s note: This is a reference to the Japanese title of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which is similar.)
I do think we settled on a great title if I do say so myself.
I agree. There’s one last thing I would like to ask you, Ishihara-san.
Yes? What is it?
Of all the many Pokémon games, what is it you are trying to say to the world with this packaged game as the first one for the Nintendo 3DS system?
That it’s the easiest to play. A new piece of hardware holds various new possibilities and functions, but with the Nintendo 3DS system, there are tons!
It does have a lot of new features.
A product will have a long life retail-wise if it makes abundant use of new features to expand play, while also allowing players to simply and smoothly enter into it and play for a long time, so when I wondered which Pokémon title was most suited to that...
That was Pokémon Rumble.
That’s right. As I said at the start, my wife, who doesn’t much like action games, could play to the end - which is really saying something! And I learned that women could really enjoy the element of collecting the Toy Pokémon, so I wanted to make this.
Both people who like action games and those who aren’t crazy about them can enjoy it.
Yes. It’s a game for everyone, perfect for being the first one to come out for the Nintendo 3DS system.
We’ve mentioned Ishihara-san’s wife, but the wives of staff members at Ambrella are also enjoying the game, so I’m glad the package design turned out so cute.
The WiiWare game didn’t have a package.
That’s right. I can’t wait to see it in shops.
Understood. Thank you for your time today, everyone.
It was our pleasure!
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