The first part of our interview focused entirely on BlazBlue and the upcoming PlayStation Vita title. We shifted topics and discussed Toshimichi Mori’s ideas for an action game and the possibility of series crossovers in the BlazBlue universe.
Arc System Works is known for making fighting games, but your company has branched out with the Family titles Aksys published for WiiWare and Hard Corps Uprising. If you weren’t working on BlazBlue what kind of genre would you like to work on?
Toshimichi Mori, Producer: Action games. I’ve been thinking about making an action game like Devil May Cry for a long time.
More questions? [Laughs] I always wanted to make an action game that didn’t have difficult controls and was still enjoyable. I want players to get better and learn how to play a game simply by playing it and going through the levels.
Games like FPS (first person shooters), the controls are not that difficult. You don’t have to memorize all of these inputs, compared to fighting games. Even so, these games have the same depth as a fighting game. This is the kind of direction I’m thinking especially because with Arc System Works fighting games there are so many details you have to study and learn.
That’s interesting. I agree there is a lot players need to master and understand to be a mid-tier player for an Arc System Works fighting game. How do you feel you can make the games, even the ones you’re developing now, more accessible?
One idea is there is the possibility to get rid of all the complicated stuff and start over all over again with a brand new game without all of the extra systems.
Is that something you would really do?
To be honest, we have the feeling that we want to do that to reset the game. [Laughs and pauses to think.]
Well, it is pretty hard because many players like different elements from the games. It’s difficult to cutout some pieces. If we have less systems some players might not like that. That is a dilemma.
Plus you’re Arc System Works so you must have lots of systems.
[Laughs] Nice joke!
Crossovers are popular with fighting games and we’ve seen some BlazBlue characters pop up in other titles like Lord of Vermillion II from Square Enix and Queen’s Gate from Bandai Namco. We haven’t seen any characters crossover into the BlazBlue series, which series would you like to work with?
Honestly, until the BlazBlue story comes to an end we don’t want to add something outside from the story into the game. If we must choose, one series we’d like to work with is Trigun.
That suggests you already have an idea how BlazBlue will end, right?
Yeah, I had an idea from the start.
How far along are we in your plan?
Now, we’re a little bit over halfway through. The plan was to finish the series with the next title, but at the moment it’s getting pretty hard to wrap everything up. [Laughs]
I guess you’ll disappoint fans hoping for Guilty Gear X BlazBlue.
Until BlazBlue is finished we don’t have any plans for that.
[Spencer’s note: Earlier I asked about Guilty Gear, which Mr. Mori is not involved with, he told me that’s something I would have to ask Daisuke Ishiwatari about.]
You brought BlazBlue to the 3DS near launch and BlazBlue is already in development for Vita. Since you’re on the cutting edge, what do you think of Wii U?
At this point, we do not have enough information on Wii U.
How about a fighting game where you knock someone out of the TV and onto the controller?
[Laughs] We still don’t have enough information. We’d have to look into it and the specs of the console.
You mentioned Trigun as a series you’d like to work with. Not necessarily tied to BlazBlue, but what other series would you be interested to develop into a game, perhaps similar to how Arc System Works worked with Fist of the North Star?
In addition to Trigun, maybe Gatchaman for an action game. This is just in my mind, but if I had a chance I would like to do Gatchaman from a different perspective as a dark hero, like Batman.
What makes dark heroes so fascinating? That seems like a growing trend in Japanese games.
Because I like Batman! [Laughs] I really enjoyed the new Batman movies like The Dark Knight. In these uncertain days, people are not sure what is good and what is bad. Dark heroes kind of represent that feeling for players.