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Archive for the ‘Grasshopper’ Category

Moon translation rebooted
A few people have been in touch to tell me about this, as far back as last October, but I’ve been a little bit distracted – not least by the fact that I no longer have the net at home. But enough about my problems… It seems that while this old Moon translation stalled, a new one is making much better progress. Actually, it looks as though the person doing the hacking is the same as on the new Captain Rainbow team. A good sign. And the person writing the translation is none other than Steve Martin. An even better sign. 😉

3DS e-shop delivers Lovedelic related games
If you have a 3DS then get yourself online and have a look at Freakyforms: Your Creations Alive! and Dillon’s Rolling Western.

The former is a rather ingenious little platform game that combines user generated content with Animal Crossing style fetch quests. It’s made by Hiroshi Moriyama the co-director of Chibi-Robo and has a similar feel in the way its world’s horizons gradually expand. There’s even a nice Chibi reference in there – remember the way a tin pan would randomly land on Chibi-Robo’s head when he tried to recharge? Well the joke is used again here. Maybe we can consider it a Moriyama meme in the same way Kenichi Nishi’s dog appeared in most of his games. If you have time then watch this Iwata Asks video with Motiyama, in which he explains Chibi-Robo’s influence on Freakyforms.

Dillon’s Rolling Western, meanwhile, was co-developed by Vanpool and only recently went live on the e-shop. I haven’t tried it yet for a couple of reasons – I don’t really care for tower defense games, and I’m low on cash – but I’d like to check this out purely because of Vanpool’s involvement. Dillon’s Rolling Western was announced a long time ago now so Nintendo has at least taken the time to polish it up. If you’ve played it then do let me know what it’s like in the comments below.

New Little King’s Story nearing release
Did I mention there’s a sequel to Little King’s Story? Whatever, it’s on its way to PlayStation Vita at the end of March (in Japan) and seems to be largely the same game but with a slightly more mature art style. What’s unclear is whether any of the original staff are involved. I don’t believe Yoshiro Kimura is and the permanently closed Cing certainly isn’t. The game is published by Konami and developed by the recently merged MarvelousAQL so I’m not sure if this strictly counts as ‘Lovedelic Life’ game. I’m sure it’ll still be a great game though, and if I had a Vita I’d definitely play it. A UK release was announced some time ago through Konami, though a firm release date is yet to be set.

Yasuhiro Wada forms new studio
Back when Harvert Moon (and Little King’s Story) creator Yasuhiro Wada left Grasshopper Manufacture, he went quiet for a little while. Now he’s on the scene again with a new studio called Toybox. The studio’s slogan is “We are gaming for Love, Peace and Earth”, which as a few people have noted is very Lovedelic. Yoshiro Kimura, a longtime Wada collaborator, left Grasshopper around the same time, so I assumed that he may also be involved with Toybox. But I’m told he isn’t. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing what this studio comes up with.

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As Siliconera reports, both Yasuhiro Wada and Yoshiro Kimura have departed Grasshopper Manufacture after a little less than a year at the company. What’s the reason? Nobody seems to be saying but I’m willing to bet that the sheer weight of personality employed by Goichi Suda and Akira Yamaoka left little room for any personal creativity. But that’s just idle speculation.

As far as we’re aware, neither Kimura or Wada has produced any personal projects while at Grasshopper but I suppose it is possible that the pair has helped the developer become more productive. The studio has released two titles already this year (three if you include No More Heroes: Red Zone) and currently has a ridiculous five games in development.

Where will the pair go now? Who knows, but a small part of me hopes that they’re both off to help out on the recently announced sequel to Little King’s Story on PlayStation Vita – which I really should have reported on here had I not completely forgotten about it. A larger part of me hopes they do something wacky and unexpected. And an even larger part wants them to go make Moon 2.

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Looks like I picked the wrong month to quit blogging. 😉

As Famitsu reports (via 1UP and NintendoLife) Yoshiro Kimura has joined Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture as Chief Creative Officer alongside fellow Marvelous colleague Yasuhiro Wada, who will take the role of Chief Operating Officer. This obviously raises a number of questions. Such as: what is the fate of Marvelous now that it has lost Wada? And where does this leave the rumoured revival of Moon?

Interestingly, this is actually the third time that Grasshopper has collaborated with an ex-Lovedelic staff member. Akira Ueda developed several games including Shining Soul and Contact while at GHM, while Kimura himself contributed to the first No More Heroes.

Personally, I’m a huge HUGE Grasshopper fan, so I can’t wait to see what the studio turns out next.  The developer has been recruiting cult games industry professionals like mad really and now boasts a team that includes Silent Hill’s Akira Yamaoka and Doshin The Giant creator Kazutoshi Iida in addition to Suda, Wada and Kimura. It boggles the mind to think what these five stark personalities could achieve together.

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Grasshopper LogoI received a lengthy email from a friendly Australian called Bob today. I won’t publish the entire letter here (though it’s certainly worthy) but I thought the following question was intersting and that other people may like to read the answer. (more…)

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