Peter Serafinowicz: My Favourite Game
Have you played anything recently that you think does it right?
A recent one that is fucking excellent for voice-acting is El Shaddai. It has Jason Isaacs in, and he's brilliant, and I was just totally absorbed by it. You play this angel who's got to gather up all the fallen angels from Earth, so it's all very psychedelic, religious – it's a really trippy game. It's nuts, and you're suspending disbelief at this mad situation and this dialogue which is cod-metaphysical weirdness, and it really works. They got brilliant actors and they directed them really well. I loved Limbo. Braid was great as well, and I've ordered the Ico and Shadow Of The Colossus HD collection which I'm really excited about playing again. Particularly Ico: it was such a beautifully designed game and I'm really interested in how it was made, because obviously that team just loved their game so much. And also it's one that I think I could play with my little boy. Shadow Of The Colossus I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by, just because I'm not a big fan of boss battles and it's just loads of boss battles.
You mentioned Wind Waker – have you played any of the other games in the Zelda series?
James – who I write with, and produced my sketch show and stuff – and I used to live together, and he played through Ocarina Of Time. I was working, and he was a student, and he didn't do anything all week except play Ocarina Of Time. I would come back at night and we would play through that together – or I would just be his co-pilot. I went back to them later on. The story is always the same – it's that classic young boy becomes a warrior thing.
I've got a tiny, tiny office where I've got my main computer, and I've got an Xbox 360 and a Wii in there and there's not enough room for you to back off far enough away to make it work. I thought that was a bit of a misfire for me, that controller. I hated having to keep it pointed to the screen, it's so inaccurate. Having said that, I saw the demo for this new Nintendo console, of course I'm super-interested in that.
Do you play online? You and James made a spoof Call Of Duty video that was so accurate that it seems you do.
God, yeah, that was practically documentary footage! I've got a number of friends who play Call Of Duty a lot, and it's a great way to socialise, especially with mates who live in America. Even locally, i hardly get to see anybody these days and it's potentially a great way to socialise but I find it so demoralising because I'm so awful at it. I routinely stab myself. I quite like the Call Of Duty games, but I much prefer to play through the singleplayer modes and just sort of enjoy them at my own pace.
You said you struggle to find the time – do you take a console with you when you're on set?
The iPhone gives you that little fix of games. There's a great one with a really unmemorable name, Dungeon Raid. A really anonymous-sounding title. It's a match-three kind of game but it's not: it's an RPG as well, and really super-hard. You can get quite far and then suddenly if you haven't planned ahead you'll die and you're right back at the beginning, and there's something old-school about that that I like. Another one of my old favourites is Sentinel, and there's one like that called Surveillance, though you can only control it with the gyroscope which kinda rules out playing it on the Tube. If they just changed that so you could control it with spikes or whatever that'd be amazing, it's a wicked game.
It's great having ZX Spectrum and C64 emulators on there too, it's like: "Wow, I'm totally living in the future." And Jetpack Joyride is brilliant – that's another one my little boy loves. I'm kinda over Angry Birds now, really, though that was kind of beautiful.
Do you ever think about getting involved in the industry yourself?
I'd love to be involved in creating a game. I'd like to help design it, and write it, and get actors in that I thought were amazing. But I don't really have the right contacts, you know? The world I'm in, and the game world – they never really collide. I went to the games BAFTAs a couple of years ago and that was amazing to meet a lot of my – my heroes, really.
Will we ever see a sequel to the Buttertendo?
Well, we are in the process of writing two things for Butterfield – a TV show and a feature film – so hopefully that will feature. The Buttertendo 63.
So, no more beating around the bush: what's your favourite game of all time?
Wind Waker. It's so beautiful. I remember when Dragon's Lair came out, seeing it on TV and thinking, "Oh, Jesus Christ, you can play a cartoon!" Then you got to the arcade and very quickly realised you weren't actually playing anything at all. Wind Waker is like you're controlling an incredible cartoon.
I dearly wish they would make another one in the Wind Waker style. I was quite underwhelmed by Twilight Princess – I found that less charming and I'm not a fan of the Wii controls. There's this new Skyward Sword coming out and it made me realise I haven't looked at my Wii for probably two years.
But it's a huge game, you really care about [Link], his sister, you meet such friendly characters and the baddies are really bad. It's funny as well, the script is super-witty. You sometimes wonder, who did they get to write these games? It's such a Japanese-style game, and it'd be very easy to get a shonky transalation done. The music is just incredible, and I bought the soundtrack on import from Japan. Then I found out that it's Miyamoto's mandolin playing on the title screen. When i found that out it brought a tear to my eye. Just talking about it now, I've got goosebumps. That game just has it all.