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Edge #304 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild special

Dark Cloud

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I don't want people to think I dislike Koizumi lol. He's my favorite person at Nintendo when you see his resume. Look at how much praise BotW is getting right now. It looks like Zelda is in some pretty good hands.

Koizumi gave us Super Mario Galaxy. One of my favorite games ever. He gave us some story in a MARIO game lol. Didn't he say he had to sneak it in against Miyamoto? Maybe he was joking, but still.

I think he should be allowed to apply all his knowledge to a new big story driven IP than can rival Zelda and Mario.
 

MoonFrog

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I don't subscribe to the "Aonuma should be replaced by Koizumi" view, but here is what I've encountered as the reasoning behind such a view, which I think gets off the ground by pretty much ignoring Aonuma's work:

Koizumi was involved in what? aLttP, Link's Awakening, Mario 64, OoT, MM, Mario Sunshine, WW, Jungle Beat, Mario Galaxy, Galaxy 2, 3D Land, 3D World, Odyssey?

He's like the other guy who could've gotten Zelda in the wake of the N64, who ended with Mario instead, coming out of an era of creators who hand their hands in a variety of Nintendo's big franchises in the NES-early GCN days.

The way Iwata Asks presents it, Koizumi was quite the central figure in the development of 3D movement, camera, and combat systems in Mario and Zelda 64. He is credited with story and premise conceits in MM and WW in those interviews too.

I think it is the latter, coupled with his involvement in LA and with the story of Galaxy, which some people liked a lot, that especially inspires the "Koizumi should have Zelda" folk, at least the ones I have encountered on the internet. Then there is a side to it touching on the former and bringing in the creativity of Jungle Beat and the high regard, which 3D Mario has in the post-Galaxy world, especially in comparison to the more contested status of Zelda, post-WW in particular. There is an impression that Koizumi is more gifted than Aonuma.

IDK. I'm thinking of one person in particular who held these views on another board. The general gist of the view was: Koizumi wants to push story in Nintendo games and is a game design genius, whereas Aonuma is uninspired.

...

I do often think it is sad how much more rigid Nintendo seems now as opposed to in the days when Miyamoto was more deeply involved and people seemed to move around more. Post-GCN there is a lot more Zelda team, Mario team, Kart team, etc. I do think it would be cool to see someone else do Zelda, like Koizumi, but I don't think Aonuma is some dark, creatively bankrupt captor of the series.

I am excited that Nintendo is encouraging those teams to break out of those molds and create new IP, like Splatoon. Really hope, for example, Aonuma and co. get the chance to do that.
 

PRjumpman124

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Jan 11, 2013
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Nobody says that but crazy people. The Oracle games and Minish Cap are good but Link's Awakening and A Link to The Past are much better games.

I've loved all of Fujibayashi's directed games expect Minish Cap, which while good felt somewhat lacklustre. Skyward Sword is a flawed masterpiece though, much like The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Each has their issues particularly when it comes to pacing and content.
For all its flaws, I still hope the final boss fight for BOTW shares inspiration from Minish Cap. That fight is still a a standout in the series.
 

Nanashrew

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Koizumi's background before joining Nintendo was with film making in college, so him being a young and instrumental figure for 3D titles when it came to camera and story and how things presented itself makes sense. It's what he studied and applied it to games with help from his mentors.

EDIT: I will say though that everyone should try seeking out Eiji Aonuma's first game, Marvelous: Another Treasure Island. It's like a slower paced Link to the Past but it's a lot more puzzle focused with the overworld. You control 3 young boys that went on a school camping trip and they're teacher was taken by pirates searching for treasure. Each kid has their own skillset and items they acquire. It's a very good game but very obscure and hard to find but it is on Japanese Wii U VC. But you can clearly see why he was chosen to help with Zelda from then on and why he would inherit it because he really digs adventure games with lots of puzzles.
 

MoonFrog

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The Iwata asks about Mario 64 and OoT are definitely among my favorites. MM one was good too.

I am quite fond of Koizumi.

I also just like the idea of bouncing from Mario to Zelda. Oh the days when game development was not such a time and effort sink and so streamlined :p.

Gaming is going to get more and more developed and that's going to be something creativity will always have to struggle with.

I would like to play Marvelous.
 

Andyliini

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Before the Koizumi praise reaches new heights, I just would like to point out that Koizumi did not direct Link's Awakening, that was done by Takashi Tezuka, he also directed A Link to the Past Koizumi co-wrote Link's Awakening with Kensuke Tanabe. He didn't become a director until Ocarina of Time, and even then he shared the role with Miyamoto and Aonuma.
 

Bucket Mouse

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Nintendo is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talented industry legends. Looking at these guys' resumes, they pretty much shaped my childhood.
 

Honorio

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I love koizumi, aonuma, miyamoto, tezuka etc. I hope they put fujibayashi and kenta motokura and koichi hayashida on the spotlight too. The people at nintendo are really fun to listen to and they are absolutely phenomenal.


I think of all the zelda/mario people, the one that gets the least amount of credit is tezuka. This dude directed some hardcore masterpieces. I mean, going from smb 3 to smw, alttp, LA, yoshi's island. the dude has probably one of the greatest streaks of masterpieces of any director
 
Aug 1, 2013
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...The way Iwata Asks presents it, Koizumi was quite the central figure in the development of 3D movement, camera, and combat systems in Mario and Zelda 64. He is credited with story and premise conceits in MM and WW in those interviews too...

I do often think it is sad how much more rigid Nintendo seems now as opposed to in the days when Miyamoto was more deeply involved and people seemed to move around more. Post-GCN there is a lot more Zelda team, Mario team, Kart team, etc. I do think it would be cool to see someone else do Zelda, like Koizumi, but I don't think Aonuma is some dark, creatively bankrupt captor of the series.

I am excited that Nintendo is encouraging those teams to break out of those molds and create new IP, like Splatoon. Really hope, for example, Aonuma and co. get the chance to do that.
The Iwata asks about Mario 64 and OoT are definitely among my favorites. MM one was good too. I am quite fond of Koizumi...
MoonFrog’s analysis is very interesting to read, and quite helpful to understand how different groups of fans have developed their views of the more prominent Nintendo devs, as well as how those views may in part be derived from specific Iwata Asks interviews.

I haven’t yet read through all of the interviews that pertain to 3D Mario (actually just started reading the Uematsu/Sakaguchi one for The Last Story, which is pretty great BTW!), but does anyone recall the specific interview that had the most insight about Koizumi’s input on Mario 64?

Looking at the list of Iwata Asks interviews, perhaps it came up during Galaxy 1 or Galaxy 2? I don’t see one devoted specifically to Mario 64, perhaps I’m missing it. In any case, I'll likely end up reading through all of them, out of interest.
I think of all the zelda/mario people, the one that gets the least amount of credit is tezuka. This dude directed some hardcore masterpieces. I mean, going from smb 3 to smw, alttp, LA, yoshi's island. the dude has probably one of the greatest streaks of masterpieces of any director
An impressive streak! Iwata and Koizumi seemed to indicate that Tezuka is generally more interested in the 2D side of things:
http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/super-mario-3d-land/1/0
Koizumi: Early on [in the development of Super Mario 3D Land], we established the theme of making a 3D Super Mario game that would be close to 2D so that anyone could play. One big difference between 2D and 3D is the camera. We made adjustments as we went to the parallel-track camera we used in Super Mario Galaxy 2 so it would be easy to play.

Iwata: A parallel-track camera moves in parallel to Mario at a set distance… Tezuka-san, you were in charge of 2D Super Mario games. The 3D Super Mario games have always been Miyamoto-san's sphere, while you were in a position slightly removed from them. What made you become actively involved this time?

Tezuka: I never said much with regard to the 3D Super Mario games so far, but I sensed there were a lot of 2D Super Mario elements in this game, so I had things to say. I was like, "Let me chime in!" (laughs)…

Koizumi: Well…I thought, "At last, we motivated him!" (laughs) This time, we were putting aside the game element we carried on since Super Mario 64 of searching and were trying to reconstruct the game with the original Super Mario elements. I think perhaps that is why Tezuka-san couldn't help but feel as if it flowed like a 2D Super Mario game...
 

oneida

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when can i buy this issue in stores?
I'm in US, my Barnes & Noble carries Edge
 

dno_1966

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Just read the review and article and wow, Friday can't come soon enough.

One thing i noticed in the previews section was that a Taiko game is in development for Switch, using the joycons as drum sticks and is slated for a US release.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
I love koizumi, aonuma, miyamoto, tezuka etc. I hope they put fujibayashi and kenta motokura and koichi hayashida on the spotlight too. The people at nintendo are really fun to listen to and they are absolutely phenomenal.
Fujibayashi has been doing interviews and live presentations for the game as well. Motokura also did a live presentation.


I think of all the zelda/mario people, the one that gets the least amount of credit is tezuka. This dude directed some hardcore masterpieces. I mean, going from smb 3 to smw, alttp, LA, yoshi's island. the dude has probably one of the greatest streaks of masterpieces of any director
The problem is that most of Tezuka's works get credited as Miyamoto games. The way promotion and idolization work, I guess one name really gets the headliner bill.

I don't subscribe to the "Aonuma should be replaced by Koizumi" view, but here is what I've encountered as the reasoning behind such a view, which I think gets off the ground by pretty much ignoring Aonuma's work
Aonuma was the lead 3D dungeon director / designer of Ocarina of Time. Those dungeons are the core essence of Zelda.

I feel Nintendo fans are trying to find a new "Miyamoto". As in this false theory that there is one genius at the company who makes everything good. But Nintendo doesn't want to create that PR mystique anymore, they want to present the consumers that they have several talented developers leading the company.
 

Servbot24

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I got this impression after listening to GameXplain's video preview. They commented on the Majora's Mask styled NPC's and darker toned story, which reminds me of how Twilight Princes mixed & matched elements from other Zeldas.

-Dark World from A Link to the Past
-Transforming from Majora's Mask
-Art Style form OoT
-Facial Expressions from Wind Waker

Where Twilight Princess felt like 'Best of' take on mixing & matching elements from the series past, Breath of the Wild is like 'a best of' collection of elements but heavily expanding upon them.

If that really is the case......this could hands-down be the best Zelda in the entire series. While I'm not hyped (have no means to play this, as I'm not getting a Switch for a while (at least until 3D Mario) nor do I own a Wii U), I'm eager to see the final response the game gets from critics later this week.
The "greatest hits" style of TP is what I didn't like about it tbh. It didn't have a strong identity to me. Didn't feel daring. Still a pretty good game though.

I'm limiting my exposure to BotW, but from what I've seen it does seem to have quite a strong identity and is fully willing to toss aside conventions, which I'm excited for. I'd much rather Nintendo go out on a limb and make a risky game that's memorable rather than play it safe.
 
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...I feel Nintendo fans are trying to find a new "Miyamoto". As in this false theory that there is one genius at the company who makes everything good. But Nintendo doesn't want to create that PR mystique anymore, they want to present the consumers that they have several talented developers leading the company.
Sounds like a very healthy thing!
...The problem is that most of Tezuka's works get credited as Miyamoto games. The way promotion and idolization work, I guess one name really gets the headliner bill.
In terms of the actual credits for the games (as opposed to promotion/PR within the media), I notice that Tezuka continued to be credited as a director on many major projects during the time when Miyamoto started to be credited more often as a producer. In 2003, Miyamoto described why he started to call himself a producer.
 
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Yeah, I'd like Aonuma to be taken off of Zelda just to see what else he'd make to be totally honest. They should fill his spot with someone like Koizumi, that would be great.

Then again I'd also like to see what Koizumi would make untethered to an existing IP, but I still think he has more unexplored potential, and I'm more interested in his future work on 3D Mario, or iterating on an existing IP like Zelda. He did great things with Super Mario Galaxy.
 

MoonFrog

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MoonFrog’s analysis is very interesting to read, and quite helpful to understand how different groups of fans have developed their views of the more prominent Nintendo devs, as well as how those views may in part be derived from specific Iwata Asks interviews.

I haven’t yet read through all of the interviews that pertain to 3D Mario (actually just started reading the Uematsu/Sakaguchi one for The Last Story, which is pretty great BTW!), but does anyone recall the specific interview that had the most insight about Koizumi’s input on Mario 64?

Looking at the list of Iwata Asks interviews, perhaps it came up during Galaxy 1 or Galaxy 2? I don’t see one devoted specifically to Mario 64, perhaps I’m missing it. In any case, I'll likely end up reading through all of them, out of interest.


An impressive streak! Iwata and Koizumi seemed to indicate that Tezuka is generally more interested in the 2D side of things:
Hmmm...It included, for example, talking about the camera and swimming in Mario 64, with an anecdote of Koizumi being alone in the office with Miyamoto when the latter started "swimming" on the table.
 

OrbitalBeard

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Yeah, I'd like Aonuma to be taken off of Zelda just to see what else he'd make to be totally honest. They should fill his spot with someone like Koizumi, that would be great.

Then again I'd also like to see what Koizumi would make untethered to an existing IP, but I still think he has more unexplored potential, and I'm more interested in his future work on 3D Mario, or iterating on an existing IP like Zelda. He did great things with Super Mario Galaxy.
Koizumi isn't going to be diving deep into many individual games anymore, outside of 3D Mario titles (and I honestly don't think that will last much longer). He's extremely high up on Nintendo's corporate ladder now and has a much broader role.
 

MoonFrog

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But really, that Sheik game and that thief game need to happen.

I'd kind of really like a game set between Link's being sealed and unleashed in OoT, where Zelda is sneaking around as Sheik, eking out an existence in Ganondorf's Hyrule.
 
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Hmmm...It included, for example, talking about the camera and swimming in Mario 64, with an anecdote of Koizumi being alone in the office with Miyamoto when the latter started "swimming" on the table.
Found it, thanks! I had most recently read the lengthy interview with Giles Goddard that oddly never mentioned Koizumi (instead mentioning longtime Nintendo programmer Takumi Kawagoe, in relation to the camera system) so this Iwata Asks with Koizumi definitely helps give a much more complete picture.

Also, the anecdote MoonFrog mentions above (‘Gestures in the Night') is pretty great:
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Super-Mario-Bros-25th-Anniversary/Vol-3-The-Developers-1-/4-Gestures-in-the-Night/4-Gestures-in-the-Night-222196.html

Koizumi: Right. I was really having a hard time figuring out how to make things move in that scene. I was working away late at night, and all of a sudden Miyamoto-san comes up behind me and starts doing these gestures.

Iwata: Gestures? (laughs)

Koizumi: (Making a "balancing" gesture) While he was saying, "Not like this... But a little more like this."

Iwata: (laughs) So Miyamoto-san was trying to tell you how Mario should move through his own gestures?

Koizumi: He'd be saying things like, "His feet should move like this here, and the focal point is right around here..." This was around 2 or 3 in the morning, and pretty much all the development staff had already gone home. So it was just Miyamoto-san and me in the office, and he starts showing me how Mario is supposed to swim while saying, "It's not really a breast stroke, and not a crawl, but something like this maybe...?" And he was completely sprawled out on the desk doing these swimming motions. (laughs)

Everyone: (laughs)

Koizumi: I really should've snapped some pictures of him doing those gestures. (laughs) But when I looked at him there and noticed he wasn't a bit embarrassed, I thought, "This is the work of a true director." And something I realised later is that drawing up instruction sheets for 3D games is extremely difficult.

Iwata: Unlike with 2D games, it's definitely a lot harder to explain what you want on paper when it comes to 3D.

Koizumi: Yes... Other than Mario, I was in charge of player design for a 3D Zelda game, and when looking at how the feet run, or various other small details, I really felt like my experience with him during Mario 64 taught me how important it is to get those little details right.

Iwata: It sounds like Miyamoto-san's late night gestures really helped it sink in.

Koizumi: You could say that. (laugh)
 

Munter

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I have the subscription cover, but that regular cover is awesome. May have to buy a second copy.
 
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Also interesting to see the way Miyamoto describes his relationship with Tezuka:
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Super-Mario-Bros-25th-Anniversary/Vol-1-Itoi-asks-Miyamoto/2-You-re-Pretty-Negative-/2-You-re-Pretty-Negative--217256.html

Miyamoto: For example, if I’m in a meeting with about five people and I say, “This is what we should do,” about two people will say, “Okay, that settles it,” but the other three will be like, “Huuuh?!” And the two who agree are always the same. That’s Tezuka-san and Nakago-san… In order to explain why we always agree, it would be easy to say we simply get along, but I think it’s that we have the same awareness of problems… We view problems the same way, so we understand immediately where the answer lies. People who have a different awareness of the problem, or aren’t aware of it at all, have no clue to the answer…
http://web.archive.org/web/20030811223536/http://www.video-fenky.com/features/miyamoto.html

Miyamoto:Whenever I'm in a conference, I get assorted ideas, but most of them are the sort of opinions that anybody can toss around. But, as we go on, sometimes we get an idea that wouldn't come out normally. They might be bad ideas, or just stupid, but they can be a breakthrough because they help you let go. I've been partnering with [Takashi] Tezuka for a while, but it's like we're at the same wavelength; most of the ideas we choose end up being the same. We both say "This is cool!" to each other afterwards…
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Super-Mario-Bros-25th-Anniversary/Vol-1-Itoi-asks-Miyamoto/11-It-s-Been-Easy-Making-Mario-/11-It-s-Been-Easy-Making-Mario--217662.html

Miyamoto: ...Regardless of whether I can or cannot do it, I could at least give it a shot, but I never have. Similarly, I’ve always said that I wanted to become a manga artist. One time, I suddenly thought I could still do it if I wanted. So I declared to Tezuka-san that I would try drawing a simple four-frame comic strip. I drew a rough layout for one and showed it to him, and he said it was good, but I haven’t done anything since. (laughs) Really, making Mario games is easier...
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Iwata-Asks/Super-Mario-Bros-25th-Anniversary/Vol-1-Itoi-asks-Miyamoto/12-Still-Provocative-25-Years-Later/12-Still-Provocative-25-Years-Later-217701.html

Itoi: When you’re working together with some younger people and listening to what they talk about, haven’t you ever, even if just a little, thought, “Have I fallen out of touch?"

Miyamoto: Right now, I don’t think so. (laughs) But sometimes I do check to make sure I’m not out of touch.

Itoi: With whom?

Miyamoto: Tezuka-san. (laughs)
 

Hyperborean

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I really regret not buying the issue of Edge with the Ocarina of Time review. Definitely going to get this issue.