Grasshopper Manufacture is no stranger to making anime license games or working with Namco Bandai. Before No More Heroes, they developed Samurai Champloo: Sidetrack for the PlayStation 2 and the Japan only action game Blood+: One Night Kiss. Rebuild of Evangelion: 3nd Impact is a bit different from those because they turned the mega popular Evangelion franchise into a music game.
How did Rebuild of Evangelion: 3nd Impact get started?
Akira Yamaoka: Actually, Bandai Namco approached us and said to us – what do you think about Evangelion? And, I thought that’s all? I said I wanted to do the project with the series and decided to make a title. We came up with the specifications and a proposal for it, which became 3nd Impact.
The original songs used with Evangelion are classic and since we wanted to keep Evangelion fans happy, what I did was remix the original songs to make it so it’s more enjoyable for the gameplay and to provide something new for fans.
Which game in 3nd Impact is your personal favorite out of the six different games?
Teardrop. I like that one.
I’m guessing this probably won’t be released overseas since we can’t even view the videos outside of Japan.
Ah, yeah sorry about that! We haven’t really decided, yet. There’s always a possibility.
Would licensing be an issue and it seems other publishers are weary of the PSP market in the West.
Well, if there are enough people that want it then we would love to explore that possibility.
Are there any other series you would like to remix the music for like you did with Evangelion?
Gundam! One Piece! Maybe Godzilla too.
I think Evangelion fits your style, but One Piece is so… jolly. It’s different from your usual music.
Yeah, I know it doesn’t match anymore. [Laughs.] But, as long as it works with gameplay, I would love the challenge.
While music made Yamaoka famous, his role at Grasshopper Manufacture evolved to Chief Creative Officer he explained during our interview. After mentioning this, we shifted topics to Grasshopper Manufacture’s other games and his expanded duties. Check back later for part two.