Would You Buy A Skyrim Or Dragon’s Dogma Type Game From Level-5?

By Spencer . August 1, 2012 . 3:20pm

youkaiwatch Speaking with Famitsu magazine in a creator’s interview section, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino said as a game designer he’s interested in making a big open world style game.


Hino says he’s mostly worked on story oriented games in recent times, but he thinks he can start working an open world game soon. He compared his vision of an open world game to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma.


Hino actually developed an open world when he worked on True Fantasy Live Online. Unfortunately, the world didn’t get to see it since the MMORPG was canceled.


One of Level-5’s key project, Youkai Watch, is in the final stages of preparation. Siliconera saw Youkai Watch at Level-5 Vision last year.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • Carlito Cabada Jr

    I haven’t played Dragon’s Dogma, but I’d rather Level-5 preserve as much of a Japanese mindset as possible. Sure, Skyrim was expansive, but the main questline was EXTREMELY boring, none of the choices you made had any effect, and all sidequests boiled down to, “Go this cave, clear out the monsters, find magical solution to the quest at the end of said cave.”

  • Depends on how they do it. I mean more than likely, I like Level-5.

  • MrRobbyM

    Sure! As long as it’s not generic western themed fantasy. I’d like to see more obvious Japanese fantasy/JRPG elements while not totally typical Japanese. First thing that comes to mind is something like FFXII.

    • Not to sound rude, but what do you mean like FF12? Because I am not the biggest fan of 12’s combat system.

      • MrRobbyM

        Just in terms of art direction and graphics. Except more color.

        I don’t mean the combat.

        • Ah, okay then. I can get behind that.

    • Kitestwinblades

      You know when I first played FFXII and saw all the lines moving when commands and attacks where in the process of happening, My first thought was “This NEEDS happen in a MMO or something with online play” XD

      I thought it was a pretty fun game that probably would have been insane with real people in place of the gambit, although I dont really mind the gambit system too much. It was slow at first but as the game progress everything became faster.

      • MrRobbyM

        I know! The gambit system isn’t that bad. I actually liked it. It definitely speeds up later in the game. ‘Twas pretty fun.

  • Probably? Dogma was a massive disappointment but there was some good amongst all the crap. I’ve yet to play Skryim though. Why not a Xenoblade type game instead of a Dogma/Skyrim game? Instead of taking inspiration from a WRPG and a mess of an RPG hybrid take some from a fantastic JRPG.

    • MrRobbyM

      I wouldn’t mind a Level-5 Xenoblade type game.

  • I would, provided it has these things:

    1. Level-5’s signature cel-shaded style.  Too many open-world games strive for “realistic” graphics.  I tend to prefer more stylized looks, and Level-5 is very good at representing illustrative styles in the 3D character models.

    2. Good combat.  Dragon’s Dogma has the right idea, with cool, action-based team combat.  Skyrim, on the other hand, has that first-person flailing melee combat that makes it kind of hard to accurately judge distances.  Plus, 3rd person gives one the chance to enjoy the customized look of their character model.

    Honestly, I’d rather see Level-5 stick to story games, but on the other hand, Level-5 doesn’t always have the smoothest stories, especially in the later stages.  Yasumi Matsuno works for them; they need to leverage him to tell a riveting story.

    • MrRobbyM

      Your first point is pretty much what I said though I would like to see a good balance between realism and stylized graphics which cel-shading might not be well suited for but either way.

  • Locklear93

    I… might give it a try, but it’s not typically what I want from Japanese games.  Not saying they shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t do it, and well, just that that’s not typically what I want when I buy a localized game.

    • Solomon_Kano

      You don’t want an open world Japanese game? I don’t think he means that his open world game would play like Skyrim or Dragon’s Dogma, it seems more like a reference to scale since they certainly don’t play alike. Or did you mean a western-style RPG?

      • Locklear93

         His mention of having mostly worked on story oriented games before, as if that’s separate, concerns me.  If it’s purely a reference to scale, and he can create a detailed world at the scale of Skyrim, I’d buy that in a heartbeat, but with the (admittedly unclear) description he gave here, no, that’s not something I’m interested in, personally.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Understandable. Since he apparently intends to get to work on this, I hope he clarifies what exactly this game would be like.

          • Locklear93

            I work primarily on open world games, for a living.  I should admit that as a result, there’s somewhat less “OOH, an open world game?!” appeal to them for me, from spending thousands of hours on them. <_<  I can still enjoy them, but for me, the novelty is in the tighter, more narrative driven title, most of the time.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Ah, yea, I can see how that would downgrade their appeal. If you don’t mind my asking, what developer do you work for? I seem to recall seeing you mention that you worked for one in a prior article as well.

          • Locklear93

             @Solomon_Kano:disqus Bethesda. 

          • Solomon_Kano

            Ah, that’s what I was thinking it was. Cool.

  • Laharl

    Depends, is it like Skyrim, with a full world?

    Or like Dragon’s Dogma, Monster Hunter with a cheap skyrim layer of paint?

    • Roubjon

       Except Dragon’s Dogma wasn’t really like monster Hunter at all, besides the fact that you fight decent sized monsters once in a while.

      • Laharl

        And the combay used a lot of the same ideas…

        It certainly wasn’t like skyrim

        Sent from my Verizon Wireless smartphone

        • MrRobbyM

          Monster Hunter’s combat is much slower and more like a puzzle whille Dragon’s Dogma’s combat, depending on what vocation you choose, is much faster and action-oriented.

          • Laharl

            Yeah, We’ve established it’s faster and easier.
            But it’s almost NOTHING like Skyrim. 

          • MrRobbyM

            I don’t think anyone here is saying it’s like Skyrim at all, besides the whole focus on dragons and if you ask me, Dragon’s Dogma has much better dragon fights.

          • Laharl

            Eh, Skyrim made the dragons seem really special. DD they were just… Another thing to climb on
            Sent from my Verizon Wireless smartphone

  • TiredOfMyOldUsername

    I don’t know if i would buy.
    I played both Skyrim and Dogma and while both game was decent they both had lot of flaws.
    Imo skyrim only real good point was the expansive world map and in Dragon dogma it was the gameplay.

    • Daniel Morandi

       I prefer Dragon’s dogma style because the combat was really fun and the open maps were big enough for me. Skyrim was boring with a beatiful world map but some generic dungeon and gameplay combat and even there were missing some preety good thing present in Oblivion.

  • SolidusSnake

    Sure, provided that it’s actually good. Open world games can be boring as hell when they’re done wrong.

  • If they stayed with Level-5 style then yes. If they were trying to stylize it like Skyrim / Dogma then maybe though I might be hesitant. 

  • SirRichard

    With Level-5’s normal whimsical style and approach to game worlds? Hell yes, I would love to just wander and explore one of those. A Professor Layton-styled one in particular, if they could make that appear alive and fill it with neat things to see and climb all over, I’d be on it in a heartbeat.

  • Daniel Morandi

    My problem is that when I play a game like Skyrim or Dragon’s Dogma I say:
    “Whoa, what a world. What should I do now……okay I gonna play another game”

    Open maps become preety boring, the problem for me is that Im used to be restricted somehow not too much freedom because I don’t know what to do next even if you say I can have my own adventure. Sadly the sidequest don’t even are story driven like I would like in those game, they are simply hunt this or that or give this to someone, etc. With some boring dialogues or without scenes at all.

  • Nicolas Vasquez

     the problem on this side of the world its not if we want that game, but if we want it localized, enough level-5 gems have slipped already.

  • Vampiric

    His game wouldnt be like skyrim or DD

    It would be more like ni no kuni

    which is the last open world game he helped on

    people shouldnt make a big deal out of this

    • Arrei

      People are comparing it to Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma because that’s what he’s comparing his vision to himself… if he meant a game like Ni no Kuni he’d say a game like Ni no Kuni.

      • Vampiric

         Not really if he couldnt think in time.

        • Solomon_Kano

          You’re suggesting that he couldn’t think of his own game in time so he said someone else’s? I find that hard to believe. If he said DD and Skyrim, he meant DD and Skyrim.

          • Vampiric

             What I am suggesting is he choose those games for I guess for the sheer openness.

            BUT IN REALITY, he would continue to make the games he is

          • Solomon_Kano

            Except we don’t know that. I agree that he mentioned them for their openness since the two play nothing alike, but we have no way of knowing that the open-world game he’s talking up would be like Ni no Kuni.

          • Vampiric

            Level 5 has made many open world games…………ni no kuni was just 1 example

  • konsama

    As long they keep their style and don’t want to try and do copypasta of those games (which i doubt) it’s fine and look forward to it.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    A Skyrim-like game set in a LEvel-5 world? YES PLEASE!

  • xavier axol

    well… i’m not sure of a level 5 take on skyrim or dragon dogma, but if they decide to make a dragon quest clone (seen how awesome was dragon quest VIII journey of the cursed king). i will support this idea anytime!!. damn it! square enix return dragon quest to consoles already!.

    p.s. what’s the name of the game from that picture? is it for the psp or vita? (i forgot), has it come out?

  • Put Yasumi Matsuno in charge of it!

    • Solomon_Kano

      A thousand times, YES!

    • Talbot

       God dammit, I do miss having that guy around to do larger-budget games. =(

       I would love to have seen what FFXII could have been like if he hadn’t left the team halfway through.

  • Vampiric

     its not exactly a new idea

    dq VIII, rogue galaxy, DQ IX were all EXTREMELY open

    ni no kuni, which I imported is also very very large

    • Solomon_Kano

      Ni no Kuni I can’t speak on, but DQVIII/IX and Rogue Galaxy certainly weren’t on the scale of a Dragon’s Dogma or Skyrim. Also, they weren’t open in the same sense. While Rogue Galaxy let you explore at your leisure, you couldn’t reach everywhere until surpassing a certain point in the narrative. In games like Dragon’s Dogma, everything is available for you to explore from the beginning except for certain dungeons that only appear for portions of the story.

  • Arcm

    If the world is even half the size of Dragon Quest 8’s it would be a epic game. DQ 8 still surprises me at how huge the world map is and all the places you can go. I loved running around finding hidden chests and fighting random battles. So, long story short I would love to give Level 5 my money.

  • Kitestwinblades

    Just about instantly as long as they keep their cell shaded art style as MrRobbyM and Nick C. stated and maybe add some online play. I mean its level-5. Dark Cloud, Rogue galaxy…  Dat crafting & art design.

    I couldn’t possibly say No if they stayed true to their type of presentation with insane character & monster design.

    Dammit… now I want Rouge Galaxy 2 lol

    • Steven Higgins

      I totally missed out on Rouge Galaxy T_T I wish it would get a downloadable PS2 classics release on the PS3.

  • Solomon_Kano

    With Level-5’s ever-present mind for story, I’d love to see an open world game from them. Hino obviously doesn’t intend to make a Skyrim in terms of visuals, so I’d like to see Level-5’s take on that. Exploring another one of their gorgeous worlds would be fantastic. An action-RPG in the vein of Dragon’s Dogma from them would be cool. I liked Rogue Galaxy a great deal, so even an expansion of that (idea-wise, not like a sequel) would be cool.

  • Arrei

    An anime-styled open world game? Take my money NOW.

  • FStubbs

     If it’s a wRPG clone of Dragon’s Dogma/Skyrim, no thanks. If it’s a huge open world, cel-shaded in the way Level 5 is great at, has Rogue Galaxy’s battle system (but improved), count me in.

  • scratchbach

    I’d buy just about anything from level 5.

  • l777l

    I generally do not like open-world games. I prefer story over running around randomly.

    • Cloud_ST

       Why can’t we have both?,an intense story and a big world to explore, that’s ideal IMO.

      • Arrei

        Hear, hear! That’s what I loved best about Xenoblade.

        • Talbot

           I would squeal like an excited badger at the start of mating season if someone can build on the Xenoblade style – retaining a strong central narrative, but not hesitant at the same time in letting the player just roam around to their heart’s content. That’s probably all the “open-world” I need from a JRPG (though Xenoblade isn’t open-world, the same way one can’t call FFXII an open-world game).

      • l777l

        Intensity depends on depth and prevalence. Think of this in terms of quantity versus quality. Even purely in terms of how environments are shaped, detail, atmosphere and uniqueness suffer when space is increased, because resources are required and limited. Furthermore, linearity allows for a more finely designed story and presentation; it allows for more effective pacing, allows ordering events and building an effective sequence of themes and emotions. It’s highly specialized and done in finely tuned presentation. With open worlds and much less predictable player behavior the approach is much more generalized. Events can’t be brilliantly tailored and orchestrated in perfection. The players different and erratic progression dictates that events must work in nearly random order. I prefer an orchestra, a brilliant symphony over nearly randomly mixed instruments and tunes. Open world gaming isn’t even Jazz.

        • Cloud_ST

           I disagree. You can give more detail to some areas during the story and less to larger,emptier areas and you can still have a balanced open world game. Now while I do agree that linearity can bring better pacing to stories in gaming it all depends on how much linearity you wanna bring to the game, it can still be an open world while the big important main story stuff is linear and It’s triggered when you eventually reach a certain area, you make the story continue when you want it to continue and you explore when you want to explore, that’s something I really appreciate in games like Fallout: New Vegas for instance, you can inmerse yourself in the game world as much as you can do it in the main story.

          Also, I gotta say your “games to music” comparison is quite perplexing and entirely subjective.

          • l777l

            I’ve had enough with Fallout 3, and that was the perfect example for a bad story that’s connected with a typical “open world”. And these barren and bland places, devoid of character and style, are not immersive. Unless you have a very vivid imagination and/or halucinate.

            As for the music comparison, it’s an objective one, based on a subjective opinion that embraces much truth. S you are perplexed (I take it as true) and wrong: it’s far from entirely subjective.

          • Cloud_ST

            I won’t deny that F3’s story was very very flawed, which is why I didn’t use it as an example and instead used the superior New Vegas instead,a great example of an open world game with a magnificent story.

            My point with the comment about your comparison is that it’s pretty much pointless to this argument, we are discussing games, not music.

          • l777l

            Vegas probably was an improvement, but the same essential, structural problems probably remained (and I’m not talking about its bugs).

            “My point with the comment about your comparison is that it’s pretty much pointless to this argument, we are discussing games, not music.”

            Uh-huh. We should have probably discussed analogy first.

  • I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    However I VERY strongly prefer Level-5’s story-heavy RPGs and hope they continue onward with those instead.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Eh, forget instead, we can just have both!

  • I’m more of a Dark Souls kind of guy. =)

    • MrRobbyM


      *running jump mid-air high five*

  • StaticDestroyer

    I wouldn’t. Purely based on the fact that level 5 have made some of the best story driven games of the generation and I’d hate to see them jump on the open world bandwagon. Imagine if you will that it’s so far removed from their standard narrative driven fare that it ends up being a commerciasl failure. Even with their existing stable of IPs a large investment in a title that nose dives could destroy them, it’s already happenend to other companies in recent years and I’d very much like to see them remain in a position where they can keep producing and I can continue to enjoy their stellar storytelling.

    • puchinri

       I can’t see them leaving story-based titles entirely, and it would be kind of refreshing to see them try something similar. I’m probably being very optimistic though too. For them, I could see some small story, and something like Xenoblade, where there’s lots of interaction with NPCs and the world and such.

  • I want Ni no Kuni styled Skyrim with Dragon’s Dogma battlesystem!

    • MrRobbyM

      Now THAT would be interesting.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I can’t even imagine how that would turn out.

  • CirnoLakes

    I’d rather have a regular jRPG. I like my jRPGs.

    That said, if I was going to play a wRPG, it’d be pretty cool to actually play one that kinda looked and felt like a jRPG for a change. wRPGs usually need mods to do that.

    • so in other words you want the same old, recycled, unoriginal crap. -__-

      • Ricewarrior

        Apparently everyone does with all the Call of Duties, and chest high cover shooters we’ve been getting for the past 5 years.


        • oh please im not saying there good either….

      • CirnoLakes

        No. And I’m sorry that you think that jRPGs are crap and that the converse, is “innovation” and by default, better.

        I wish that what you were saying was uncommon, too. And there wasn’t a growing mentality that Japanese developers should ape the West in every possible way. And should ignore everything that they excel at, because some Westerners think that it’s “crap.”

        I can’t imagine anything to be more “recycled, unoriginal crap” than the Japanese games coming out lately which ape Western gaming design very badly. Japanese companies should feel free to make good, Japanese games. And making Japanese games does not equal “making crap”.

        I think the fact that you equate “wanting a jRPG” with “wanting recycled crap”, says leagues.

    • Ricewarrior

      An open world doesn’t necessarily mean it has to play like Skyrim.

      Dragon Quest VIII had an open world but still looked, felt, and played like a jRPG.

      • CirnoLakes

        Valid point. A greater degree of exploration of choice or exploration of any kind wouldn’t hurt jRPGs in general, so long as they make it cohesive. Persona 4 certainly didn’t suffer from social choices and Chrono Trigger certainly didn’t suffer from multiple endings. Nor did Final Fantasy IV suffer from the ability to immediately explore areas whence upon the airship.

        It’s the comparison to Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma that scares me. I certainly wouldn’t want to see a Skyrim-clone out of Level-5.

  • Go2hell66

    Probably not, its nice for devs to change things up every once in a while, but if they’re gonna start making dragon’s dogma and skyrim clones i’d rather just get those games instead not to mention games like those absolutely repulse me.

  • Hmmm… maybe… depends. But it is nice to know Youkai Watch is coming along. Kind of sad though that we have heard little news about it.

  • As long as you’re not going western approach, I’ll take a look at it… If you are, we already have Skyrim for that….

  • puchinri

    I would so be interested in that. As it is, I feel like most of their titles could go that route as it is, so if they wanted to, it’d be awesome. L-5 is pretty good at handling customization and large, great worlds to me, so I’m actually hoping they try to (w/Hino on the team, totes obvs).

  • RaikageV

    The open world and quest system from Skyrim with the battle system from Dragon’s Dogma.

  • LynxAmali

    Toss me a Danball Senki with a Skyrim overworld and Dragon’s Dogma battle system.

    I would play the crap out of that.

    Size does make a difference, after all.

    • Solomon_Kano

      That would be beyond incredible.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Combine both LV-5 heavy story style to open world. I will buy the game DAY ONE!!!

  • Well it’s not just having the world of Skyrim now is it?It’s the non-linearity of the game which makes it different than other RPGs.Not having to progress through the main story in order to visit all the areas in the game is quite refreshing for an RPG to do.But I don’t think I’ve ever played a JRPG where you could access the entire world without having to either progress through the story or level up in order to match the strength of the enemies of the next area.Even JRPGs which are pretty open and large still require you to either level up somewhat or go through the story.Which is fine, that’s how they’ve always been, they’re more focused on the story and narrative, and games like Skyrim are more focused on the exploration of the world.Again, there’s nothing wrong with that either, it really depends on your taste.Do you want to explore the world at your leisure without anyone telling you where you can or cannot go, or do you want an engaging and emotional story?It seems to me like you usually have to sacrifice one in order to perfectly capture the other.Which is why I think it would be difficult to successfully integrate both aspects into a game, much less an RPG, which usually require so many other systems to work together perfectly in order to be an enjoyable experience.It’s nice to see someone up to the challenge though, so I might be interested in this type of game.

    And now I think I’m going to go get some ice because my fingers are bleeding.

  • CasualGamer

    Why not combine their best aspects? The open world system of Skyrim and the combat system of Dragon’s Dogma. I think it’s a guaranteed huge-seller if executed and marketed right.

  • as long as there be character customization I’m in

  • KotaroInugami

    Wow does anyone even remember true fantasy live online? It was supposed to be on XBOX and was my focus in buying mine. It had such a nice anime feel and look. I wanted that game so bad. :(

    • Locklear93

       Yep, I remember, and I remember being mad as hell when it was canceled.

  • Nemesis_Dawn

    Didn’t they already make an open world game, with Dragon Quest VIII?

    • Solomon_Kano

      They did, but there are many things that Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma have that that game did not. I’m sure Hino knows he’s already had several open world games, so he likely meant he wanted to do something involving one of the other elements those two games have. Non-linearity perhaps?

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