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Japanese Developers Comment on Kinect

Suda 51 and the makers of Panzer Dragoon and Parappa share their thoughts ahead of Saturday's big release.

Project Draco, from the director of Panzer Dragoon. One of many Kinect titles announced at the Tokyo Game Show.

Kinect hits on Saturday (check back for full SKE48 launch coverage via early rising Alex!). Just ahead of launch, Famitsu.com has posted a developer commentary feature with comments about Kinect from some of Japan's top creators. The feature appeared in part in a recent Weekly Famitsu.

Here's a summary of a few of the responses:

Grasshopper Manufacturer's Suda 51

Suda believes Kinect to be a major answer to "free gaming." Said Suda, "For the player, freedom of hands has the meaning of greater freedom and openness."

Grasshopper is working on "Codename D" to be published by Microsoft in 2011. This action game is set in an amusement park that houses strange and atrocious creatures. Using Kinect, you become the controller and face off against enemies, clearing missions "in the hopes of restoring your lost self."

Regarding Codename D, Suda said "It's a no gun, no sword action game. It's a game that will let you experience the invigorating feel that can be had because of Kinect."

In making a Kinect game, his staff is working to producer "a game design that reduces burden."

Grounding's Yukio Futatsugi

Futatsugi, director of Panzer Dragoon and Phantom Dust, is working on the tentatively titled Project Draco to be published by Microsoft in 2011. Draco is a 3D flight shooting game. Players use Kinect to communicate with a dragon, raising it and making it learn skills, with the hopes of deepening your bond with the creature. In the game's online mode, you can fly through the skies with your friends.

For their work on Kinect, Futatsugi and his staff are taking care to ensure that players can enjoy themselves for lengthy periods without betting tired. They're paying attention to such things as the length of a single map and the frequency of enemy attacks. Explained Futatsugi, Project Draco is not a party type game where everyone enjoys themselves for brief periods, but is rather the type of game into which players sink their teeth. Because of this, they're developing the game to keep players from being tired while still delivering a control scheme that delivers a direct feel of movement.

As a sales point for the game, he said, "Don't you want to be able to actually experience the feeling of communicating with a dragon and riding it into battle? I do."

Konami's Naoki Maeda

Maeda worked on DanceEvolution, one of Kinect's launch titles. Asked what he believes to be the appeal of Kinect, he said "You can play games without a hand controller, using your body as the controller." (Really?)

He expects Kinect to expand the imagination of game creators and feels strongly that if titles that properly use Kinect are released in the future, the device could lead to a revolution in the game industry.

Nanaonsha's Masaya Matsura

The creator of Parappa the Rapper is working on on Haunt, which will be released by Microsoft in 2011. Haunt is a game with a "horror touch." While the game is shrouded in mystery, it seems that players will have to explore a cursed mansion, dealing with traps and ghosts.

As a sales point for Haunt, Matsura said, "It can be played by a wide range of people. In addition to the enjoyment of the game play, you can also look forward to the quality of the visuals and music."

Regarding Kinect itself, he said "I believe it is a major step in the history of game systems." Jokingly, he said that Kinect makes it so that event organizers will no longer have to sterilize controllers at game events as a bird flu prevention tactic.

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