Nobody really understands Platinum Games' MadWorld. Sure, it's violent and has a bizarre (but unique) black and white art style, but how does it play? And what's the set-up behind this (ahem) madness?
We sat down with the game's Japanese producer, Atsushi Inaba, to try and get to the bottom of it. 15 minute time slots and translators don't usually go hand-in-hand, but here's what we got.
Why did you choose Wii as the platform for MadWorld?
Inaba: We're really interested in the Wii platform so we wanted to create a really cool and stylish game for that.
As you can see it's really easy to pick up and play so when we came up with the concept of Mad World the Wii felt like a good console for that. It feels like a game that is at home on Wii.
A lot of people are confused over exactly what MadWorld's about. What kind of action game is it? Is it an arcade, point-scoring game?
Inaba: I can't unfortunately comment on the whole story at this stage but Jack is in a....
Sega marketing man David Corless: Let me answer that question - I think it's been a bit lost in translation.
MadWorld is an action game. It's not like The Club; The Club is about getting from A to B as quickly as possible, trying to kill off as many targets as quickly as possible. This is a lot more action orientated, dare I say, traditional.
We're not going to reveal exactly how you play the game because we want to reveal that later.
In terms of the storyline, again we can't reveal everything about it but it is a place where people are fighting each other and watching people fight each other - it's a bit like a game show. That's all we're going to say at the moment but there's a big, big story behind it.
To answer your question it is more of a normal action game. There are levels.
Inaba: The people who are watching [in the game] are actually betting and gambling. So if you do better people will bet for you more.
You've made a wide variety of games from Okami to Viewtiful Joe. Are you making a statement with MadWorld? Are you angry?
Inaba: Platinum Games' philosophy is to always make something new and stylish - cool stuff. We want to surprise users.
MadWorld is an extremely different type of game and we're confident that when people see it they will go 'wow!'
German journalist: How many levels where there be?
(CVG: Great question...)
Inaba: We're still in development so we can't tell you at this stage exactly how long the game is going to be. There are many mini-games you can replay so it depends on the users how they want to play the game. As you can see it's really easy to pick up and play.
What are you views on censorship and how that affects how you make games?
Inaba: We had a clear vision that we wanted to make this kind of game but we always have a limit whether its with hardware or with violence. We try to do as much as we can with those limitations and make the best game we can.
Are the limitations frustrating?
Inaba: The limitations are frustrating, of course. We struggle with that.
There was quite a controversy in UK newspapers recently over MadWorld's extreme violence...
Corless: Yes, it's violent. We don't try to hide that, but as publishers, we see it as a fantasy game - it's fantasy violence. It's over the top. It's cartoony.
We also take the violence very seriously. We are working with the age rating boards, with PEGI and with BBFC. We're not at the end of the game's development, but we're working with them now to make sure that we don't go over the top.
The game has been banned in Germany; there's no getting around that unfortunately. But we are taking it seriously and we're going to make sure that this game is rated for the appropriate audience.