Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

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KC_MCDOHL
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:22 pm

Yeah, I noticed that too! If you dont get a response here maybe PM Rachael?


The birthday card thing is awesome! <3

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Xelinis
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Xelinis » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:34 pm

It sounds like a restaurant.

Umm, we probably shouldn't be talking about their check-ins from now on. :wink:
Last edited by Xelinis on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KC_MCDOHL
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:44 pm

lol yeah I agree if it involves JK. She asked me not to discuss any of our conversations whatsoever. So I gotta stay out of this one

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Rachael
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Rachael » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:01 pm

Yep, it's a restaurant. http://japanrestaurant.net/restaurant_info.php?id=281

Sometimes it helps to Google the actual phrase instead of translate it, then look at the addresses of the websites that come up first. This can also help with figuring out what the pronunciation is.

Here are the steps I took.

1. Google "麻布". I found a bunch of Chinese sites.

2. Look up "麻布" on jisho.org. This is an excellent site for figuring out the reading of a kanji or kanji compound, as well as its meaning. I got "hemp cloth; linen."

3. Look up "長江" on jisho.org. I got "Yangtze River." This didn't really make sense, so..

4. Google "麻布長江". This is where I found the Japanese site for a restaurant called "Azabu Choko." I wasn't 100% positive it was a restaurant, though, so...

5. Google "Azabu Choko." Sure enough, the first result was a restaurant in the Azabu area.

Translation is kind of like detective work. :)
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Rooks » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:33 pm

HAha yeah I saw that and got excited, I am still loopy from the after surgery pain meds Im taking. Well, what can I say? I have translated some Gaeilege Eire (Irish Gaelic) before, but anytime I get out of the roman alphabet I am way out of my depth, thanks for translating that anyway, Rachel, I'll try not to bug you with lame translations from now on.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby patapi » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:39 am

From the General topic, in case anyone missed it:

Xelinis wrote:Additionally, we have some further staff confirmations. Nothing surprising.

Producer: Shingo Mukaitoge
Director: Osamu Komuta


So the man is back. Guess let's see how making things right turns out to be then.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:48 am

My conversations with him tend to seem quite promising. It seems he wants to listen to what fans want so I'm guessing he has learned alot from Tierkreis. In other conversations with Konami, they seem to be adamant that they have learned the lessons from Teirkries also. So, all in all, this new Suikoden ''should'' be much better than Tierkreis.

But, of course, the question still remains as to the future of the Suikoden series. Are they going to just merge it all into the Infinity concept and say goodbye to the timeline set out in I-V?

Honestly. I don't think so. I just don't think Konami have been in the right position financialy and politicaly to push for a main Suikoden title. Also, we already know that Konami ''lost its RPG knowhow'' and moved the Suikoden staff members onto other projects. Bearing that in mind, it could be as simple as they see Osamu Komuta as the most promising person to take the Suikoden series forward so are leaving him in charge of spin offs and smaller titles to see how he gets on. If he performs well, they may trust him with a main title.

If thats the truth, I don't see anything wrong with Konami using this approach. It also shows that they still have atleast some respect for the Suikoden series.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Ernst » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:23 am

That seems a fairly optimistic view, though having said that, I think we could possibly, maybe all agree that this new game looks a lot better than Teirkries? I certainly have higher hopes for it. The trouble is I'm not getting any younger. None of us are. And I think one thing that's for sure is that Suikoden isn't going to mature with us. I'm on a bit of a deadline here. If they're going to be releasing a new Suikoden- a real Suikoden- I'd like them to do it in the next few years.

Edit: Sorry, politically able? I'm not clued up on the inner workings of Konami, but why would there be resistance? Financially, I understand your point. The idea that if these pretend-Suikodens can generate enough interest to catapult the sales of a new main Suikoden it'd be more commercially viable. Again, I still think a better idea behind that would be to have a new team reboot the series with a mid-market Suikoden I remake. Brings old fans and new alike, as well as fostering a new team. It seems perfectly reasonable in this arid JRPG environment.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:32 am

Yeah, I know what you mean. I don't want to be like 35-40 and playing Suikoden VI or VII pretending I'm back in 1999. I would probably do that anyway, if that where to be the case lol, but that idea seems kind of ....sad.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:58 am

I believe the political problems with Konami have been that many where pushing for a new Suikoden titles where as many thought it was not a good idea/the right time/financialy sound enough.

Also, there are many that believe JRPG's should stay in Japan (where they sell well) and ''Western RPG's'' should stay in the West. That is a common opinion within all companies that produce JRPG's, not just Konami. I think Mass Effect and Dragon Age where able to seize in on the market and capitalize on Square Enix's recent failures while Konami was still squabbling.



EDIT (sorry for double posting, I should have just edited the above post. I am hung over today. My poor brain...)
Last edited by KC_MCDOHL on Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Ernst » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:07 pm

Ah, I see. Square Enix's recent failures indeed. I just got FFXIII, and maaaan, is it bad.

I could understand why Konami would feel ill-equipped to market a JRPG here, in fact, any Japanese company, considering the climate in the West. It actually seems hard to envisage a JRPG doing particularly well here (other than Final Fantasy). It's a real shame, I hope things shift again.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby KC_MCDOHL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:13 pm

Yeah, its a bad market right now. It's a real shame imo. This is where I believe Suikoden has so much potential for Konami though. If they are serious about reviving JRPG's to a level similar to the hieghts of the 90's, then Suikoden is their flagship RPG. In that sense, theoretically, the series is actualy in the most promising position it has ever been. For the love of God can they once, just ONCE, handle the series correctly! lol

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Rooks » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:56 pm

Ernst wrote:Edit: Sorry, politically able? I'm not clued up on the inner workings of Konami, but why would there be resistance?


KC and I have been in contact with members of the Suikoden Team and Konami executives over the past year. KC with Japanese staff and myself with American execs. We have both heard that Konami -from the artists to the executives- are well aware of the failings of Teirkries and do not wish to see the loyal fanbase offended by a new title. I would much rather of had Junko Kawano helm this project than Mr. Komuta, but unfortunately that is the way it has worked out.

In terms of the "political" sides of the issue, there are several considerations. 1) Take the example of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. This is a game that was developed independently by a Spanish company, gotten a hold of by an American producer and Hideo Kojima, then released with only minor tie-ins to the original Castlvania series. This was an issue of debate within Konami, as many of the Japanese staff were offended that a traditionally Japanese game was handed over to the Spanish and American teams, to mediocre results. (Sound Familiar?) So, in response to this internal backlash, Konami promised fans (and their own staff) that the next Lords of Shadow would be more closely tied to traditional Castlevania. In addition, they released Castlevania: Harmony of Despair for PSN and XBL. (Note, Konami claimed to have sold 1 million copies of Lords, so the sequel -by all means- is inevitable.)

Also, there are conversations (i.e. Arguments) going on as to the content a modern RPG should contain. They have been watching the success of Dragon Age and other games very closely. Many are resistant to changing the basic content of the games, while some see it as necessary for Konami to become a real player in the RPG genre. We have yet to see how this will pan out. But with Komuta and Kawano involved, I doubt we will see anything beyond a Teen ESRB rating. Though, in Suikoden II, it was strongly implied that Jillia was the result of an act of sexual violence perpetrated by the people who kidnapped Luca and the Queen. In this sense, we may see these types of plot points move into the open, rather than just being implied.

The third major political issue is one of marketing. Currently, Konami is stumped as to how to market what they see as a "J-RPG" to western buyers. The people I have talked to implied that they are trying to get the Japanese staff to realize that the western market cares little for the idea of a "western" or a "Japanese" RPG so long as it is a good game, but unfortunately they are fighting some executives that want to keep the distinctions between the two clear.

But, there are several things that people in Konami both in the west and Japan agree on. First, that the Suikoden series should continue. And second, that Konami wishes to have a strong market presence in the RPG genre. So, while these basic policies remain, I am not too concerned about the series dying, yet.

There are other issues as well. Much of the development budget is centered around alternative interface games, as Konami is hungry for another hit like DDR. Also, Metal Gear Rising and other Projects that Hideo Kojima is involved in get top priority nowadays, forcing RPG projects to the back burners. Though, the promotion of Mr. Kojima himself was really a political move, not only to keep Kojima productions closely tied to Konami, but also to signal investors and staff that Konami wants to make games driven by its talented developers and artists, and not return to the mid-nineties folly of releasing tie-ins all running the same basic engine.

So, there are lots of things going on inside Konami right now. And not a whole lot of this makes it easier for a possible Suikoden VI to be released. But, I think this game is a good sign, and really just the spearhead of a larger movement by Konami to take a foothold onto the RPG genre.

*Edit*

Unlike KC I edit my posts! *ahem*

Anyway, AS KC said, the Japanese staff as well as American Execs keep their eyes on Suikosource, as much as their English will allow. They really do not want to make anyone mad, but Tierkreis was essentially a failed attempt at reviving the series. I think this is public knowledge, but Junko Kawano put up a lot of her own personal money to make Suikoden IV, and as a result, she is the person most responsible for keeping the series going after Mr. Murayama's departure. We can pick on SIV and Tierkreis all we want -and many of our grievences are valid- but in the end they each succeeded in bringing new fans to the series and continuing on. Bad games happen, even in the best of series. And at this point, all we can do is wait to see what happens, and make our opinions on the new title clear.
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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Ernst » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:00 am

Thanks very much for that really detailed response, Rooks! It's really appreciated.

Firstly, a little tangentially, I wasn't really into the Castlevania series before Lord of Shadows- I very much appreciated it, both by gameplay and by narrative. I think Kojima productions did a very good job in rebooting that franchise and I look forward to the next installments. After playing it, though, I went back and played the previous titles. And it made me realise, and accept, that sometimes a series' chronology and continuity is just such a mess that it may be better to start over- Resident Evil should be careful on that front. So, really, I think sometimes the fanbases can simply resist change when it can indeed be the right way to go.

Yes, I don't envy any games company wishing to market a JRPGS in the West right now, it seems a really lofty feat. There is clearly a divide in style between JRPGs and western RPGs, but you're right in that no one cares as long as it's a good game, which I think will be proven with that new anime-inspired JRPG readying for release.

On the issue of Suikoden IV- I personally recognised its inferiority but actually quite enjoyed it- I'd have to query your idea that it brought new fans to the series. I actually think it was the most commercially damaging title to the series, even more so than Tierkreis. See, I don't think Tierkreis is going to really affect the fan base, they'll flock back at the whiff of a main Suikoden, and maybe (just maybe) it will attract some new fans, but Suikoden IV seems to have pushed loyal fans away. That seems the only likely explanation for V's rapid decline in sales, which is a shame because V was pretty much the title the series had been waiting for.

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Re: Osamu Komuta as the man behind new direction

Postby Rooks » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:27 am

I just realized that we are getting away from the actual topic here, so I will try to be brief. (something I'm not very good at). As far as the issue of Lords of Shadow, it is essentially Tierkreis. That is, it was never intended to be a Castlevania game until after a certain point in production. For Tierkreis, in order for Komuta to move it forward into production, Konami wanted the Suikoden title on it as a way to increase sales and market presence. I still believe that if it were up to Komuta, he would have just made his own game.

Suikoden IV was a huge disappointment for me as well, but talking to people here you'd be surprised at how many played that game first, then got into the rest of the series. Same with Tierkreis actually. Also, over time I have warmed up to it. I mean, it is still better than FF X with its stupid underwater soccer.

Back onto the topic. If Tsugawa is writing this -and I do not think it has been confirmed yet- with Mr. Komuta directing, overall I'd say this is bad news for the new title. At first, virtually all of us thought that it would be highly unlikely for Mr. Komuta to direct both Frontier Gate and the new Suikoden at the same time. But even with release dates only 2 months apart, it seems he decided to go for it.

Apart from that though, the plot does seem to be quite subtle so far, especially considering the latest news from Japan. So, while many see this as a continuation of Tierkreis, maybe it is a chance for Mr. Komuta to redeem himself.
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