Interview: Yasuhiro Wada

Interview: Yasuhiro Wada

This port from Wii to Xbox 360 and PS3 might have passed almost unnoticed if it was not for its context. Producing gamer-orientated games for Wii has been a distinguishing feature of Marvelous Entertainment’s recent activity, from the excellent Little King’s Story to Muramasa: The Demon Blade. After all, if the company can find a way to access the vast number of Wii units on the market, it would have big hits on its hands. But it looks like this aim has not been an easy target to meet – its latest financial figures suggest that three of its four more recent Wii games have failed to be profitable.

No More Heroes developer Grasshopper Manufacture is another company often associated with the Nintendo world. But Marvelous is about to make a major move toward development for the high definition consoles in asking Lost Odyssey developer Feelplus to undergo the task to port No More Heroes from Wii to PS3 and 360.

The choice of Feelplus may be surprising, knowing Grasshopper Manufacture’s desire to apply itself to development on consoles of higher spec than Wii – indeed, studio head Suda 51 has said that No More Heroes started out in development for 360. But it’s a logical choice, as Feelplus has become one of the best high spec-oriented developers in Japan. The need to almost rebuild the entire game to take full advantage of the increase in power was in need of solid experience in order to make a smooth and fast port.

Not that the game will take advantage of all PS3 and 360′s capabilities. It will not use the network in any major way, and will feature few additions to the original content of the game. It will be made more accessible for the Japanese audience, as it features Japanese voices in addition to English. Additional “sexy” costumes will be made available through pre-order campaigns via download, one specific to each platform. The big change, of course, is down to convertinh a control scheme that used Wii Remote heavily into one which does not require motion.

We spoke with Marvelous Entertainment head Yasuhiro Wada about the project and what it means for Marvelous’ future plans.

Can you explain why you decided to bring No More Heroes to the high definition platforms now? Marvelous Entertainment has seemed committed to Wii – could this be a sign that sales on the Wii have been a bit disappointing?
The reason for bringing No More Heroes to high-def consoles was simply because we wanted a wider audience to have the chance to play this crazy game. There’s always a lot of discussion about which platforms to release on, but the most important thing is for the game to get played by even more people. This idea ties into the business side, but it’s also a creative source for me.