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Platinum Games has big ambitions for Bayonetta 2 and the studio. Director Yusuke Hashimoto and producer Atsushi Inaba are determined to make the Bayonetta 2 better than the original -- here, they discuss working with Nintendo on the Wii U-exclusive game, combat design, and what being an independent developer means.
How do you feel about the relationship with Nintendo for Bayonetta 2?
Atsushi Inaba: Due to various circumstances, we've now had a chance to work with Nintendo and it's been really great. You have a certain image of a company, and in the case of Nintendo, we've found it's been really nice to actually work with them and find out what that's like.
They know a lot about games, and they've been really great to work with. Our relationship so far with Nintendo hasn't been very long, but so far it's been a great experience. Not to say that we won't have some serious fights over things later, but so far it's been good.
You got a superficial question about whether the game had to change its aesthetic direction due to the Nintendo relationship during the roundtable Q&A [at E3 this year]. But I'm more curious if you learned anything from your relationship in terms of the direction gameplay should go.
Yusuke Hashimoto: In certain terms, there have been instances where there's been feedback Nintendo brought to the game -- where we come up with something and they'll be able to play it and provide it with feedback that we've been able to use.
You tend to get tunnel vision when you're working on a game, so when suddenly this volley of advice lands from the outside, honestly, it's refreshing.
Bayonetta is so gameplay-focused that I honestly feel that Nintendo would understand it very well. Do you find that's the case?
YH: Yes, exactly. And all of the things we want to do in the game, they're not standing in our way, in that sense. But it's almost as if they are a very critical player that can sit back and give us great advice on how we're creating the game.
AI: Working with Nintendo, one thing that comes out of that is that we're not able to cover up weaknesses in the core gameplay by making the graphics prettier or adding cutscenes, or whatever. The concern, first and foremost, is the core of the game and the quality of the gameplay. They really have our back in that sense. And that's actually a little bit unnerving, working with people who are such perfectionists in that sense.
Has the game changed much since Nintendo came into the picture?
YH: Actually the spec hasn't changed at all. Really, Nintendo has been more as an observer, and really good to just let us do our work, but to point out some minor things throughout the course of development.