This is an older post I wrote for one of my older blogs, about around the time Pokémon Platinum was to be released. There will be bits of interviews between the developers of GameFreak and IGN, GamesRadar, G4TV, 1UP, Gamepro and WhatTheyPlay.
The developers basically answer questions about how they go about working on a game, about the concept of Pokémon Platinum that, at that time, just had been released, and how they look at the phenomenon that is Pokémon themselves.
We’re pleased to meet the Director Mr. Masuda (also the Composer) and his colleague Mr. Kawachimaru.
“JM: [Laughs and shows me a photo that he took of the Golden Gate Bridge.] I love bridges and seeing different types of bridges. Each element of a bridge is very simple, but they all come together to become this huge and strong thing. That’s why I’m fascinated with bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge. Bridges like that have to be strong to hold all the iron, concrete, cars, but at the same time they have to be flexible so that they can withstand heavy winds or an earthquake. The Golden Gate Bridge is very beautiful with its bright-red coloring. Just thinking about all the different components that go into building this one beautiful bridge — that fascinates me. Bridges look very simple, but if you look closely and see all the different elements — it’s a very complicated matter. G4: And really, that’s the perfect metaphor for Pokemon, isn’t it?”
JM: Junichi Masuda G4: The author
I also think that’s a great metaphor for the phenomenon that is Pokémon. I don’t think I could’ve said it better myself. In this article they’re also asked which Pokémon is Mr. Miyamoto’s favorite Pokémon is, and they say that they don’t know. According to various sources, which I can’t link to at the moment (I swear I ain’t lying!) it’s Psyduck, hence why they distributed Psyducks and Ponytas through events for Pearl and Diamond version just a year before. Also, we’re being told the creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise Hideo Kojima has Ditto as his favorite.
“Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima once told me that his favorite Pokemon is Ditto.”
The Gamepro article tells us this:
“GP: What’s your number one favorite Pokemon?
Masuda: My favorite is Piichu. “
I agree with Mr. Kawachimaru that Bulbasaur is great, it’s also a favorite of mine (I also have Ditto as a favorite, so yay, I can relate to Mr. Kojima). I don’t agree with Pichu being that great of even worth of admiration, since I don’t really like Pikachu clones, but I can understand him since he descrives that he and Mr. Sugimori (the Art Director) spent a lot of time designing it, designating it “the new Pikachu”. Both design-wise and gameplay wise it loses the race between itself, Pikachu and Raichu. And that also holds true against the other clones. Yes, I’m looking at you, Plusle and Minun. And the others not worth even mentioning. Yeah, you know who you are.
And some info about their preferred Pokémon types:
“GP: Do you have a preferred type [of Pokemon] that you use when playing the game. What is your preferred lineup? What are your heavy hitters?
Kawachimaru: We have an internal office tournament, so whenever we battle, I predict what my opponent will have, and then decide what my Pokemon will be. But my favorite Pokemon to use in the tournament… there are two of them I regularly use. One is Weevile and the other one is Gengar.
Masuda: The type I always use is actually Water Pokemon, because Water Pokemon have strong moves, such as Surf. That’s my favorite move. “
As most fans know, both Weavile and Gengar were popular in competitive play back then (I have little knowledge how that environment looks nowadays). Myself, I like Gengar a little bit, and I think I have a Weavile in Diamond, but I’m not so sure anymore. It’s been a Weawhile since I fired that game up, pun intended.
Also it’s not that weird that Mr. Masuda favors water types, and as the one approving the new designs he’s left his marks on the roster in each new game: water Pokémon are ever so abundant in every game, especially Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire who are centered around a maritime theme.
“GP: For the Pokemon Championship [the same year the game was released] , does the winner get to battle you guys? Do you plan to compete off to the side?
Masuda: We haven’t done it yet!
Kawachimaru: Probably, they’re going to beat us. “
Apparently they keep tournaments between the staff and the Game Mechanics developments and it’s pretty obvious who wins.
“…They also keep the games fresh via a stream of new and improved Pokémon, the titular creatures players are tasked with catching. Masuda revealed that the team at the game’s developers, Game Freak, actually create Pokémon specifically for each game rather than constantly inventing new furry friends and foes. “When we create a new Pokémon game, we always come up with a concept for the world in that game, so there’s always a theme,” Masuda said. “For example, in Diamond and Pearl, our theme was ‘ultimate,’ so we created Pokémon that were stronger than those found in previous games. The new Pokémon in each game depend on the theme of the storyline.” “
That explains the abundance of water Pokémon in the Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald games.
And that’s pretty much it for this time. See you next time!
First image from: http://chaox-girl.webs.com/Giratina%20Origin%20form%20Art%20work%20(platinum%20box%20art).png
Second image from: http://sushanyue.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/17-12-12-psyduck.jpg