Interviews

Shinji Mikami

A brief chat with the Resident Evil creator, with a cameo from Atsushi Inaba

With Vanquish having to enter a market with the likes of Epic's Gears of War series, you might say it would struggle to make an impact if it wasn't stamped with the Mikami name.

We managed a brief but interesting chat with the Resident Evil creator to talk about his new game and the Japanese output more generally.

Atsushi Inaba popped his head around as well!

PlatinumGames' last game, Bayonetta was a very successful action title. Are you consciously taking notes from what Bayonetta did well to help make Vanquish a better game?

Inaba: We learned a lot from Bayonetta in regards to covering the differences between platforms. Furthermore, many of the members of the Bayonetta team joined the Vanquish team after development was completed, so their know-how when it comes to games in general, and action games in particular, is also reflected in the project.

A lot of gamers see Vanquish as the spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4 because of the Mikami connection. Is the team consciously looking to top that game?

Mikami We didn't really go back and reference Resident Evil 4; however, there are a few staff members from that project on the Vanquish team, so I suppose you could say that some of the "essence" of that game has carried over into this one.

Because Vanquish is a third-person shooter that uses cover, there have naturally been a lot of parallels made with Gears of War. Do you think those comparisons are fair?

Sure, I think there are some parallels between the two games.

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Most action games today are slow and immersive whereas Vanquish is fast and visceral. Why have you decided to buck the trend?

There are plenty of slow, immersive games on the market already, so I was motivated to try and make something in the opposite direction.

You've said you're developing on PS3 first because your team "know less" about making games for the platform. How have you found it so far?

I think that making the PS3 the lead platform during development was a success for us. At the start, we didn't have PS3 production experience, so I think that this was really the only choice we had.

Gears of War 3, Lost Planet 2 and Max Payne 3 will all be released in the next 12 months. Why should gamers look forward to your game ahead of the competition?

As Vanquish is an original title, trying to compare it to sequels in already established brands is problematic. However, I sincerely hope that Vanquish becomes a game that is able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those titles.

Japanese action games are getting more popular; whereas Japanese RPGs are getting less popular. Why do you think this is?

I think it is because Japanese RPGs were really never all that popular in the west to begin with. I think the best way of interpreting things is that they aren't getting less popular; they weren't very popular from the start.

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