He's been called an eccentric, a rock star, a hypocrite and once, even a game designer. Tecmo's Tomonobu Itagaki has been called a lot of things and, following on from an interview conducted by
Kinkyzoo Kakalukeia Kikizo, we suspect that "drunkard" may be the next label appended to the already impressive list. When queried about how he gets his ideas, Itagaki calmly claims that he often sees them at the bottom of a bottle of whisky.
"Of course, there are ups and downs, waves, of how I drink in terms of the amount, but it's a long period of time. In the last ten years - not that you asked this question - I think I had better ideas when I was drinking whisky. When I am drinking shochu, that's a conservative drink, so the ideas are not that great. Beer is just like water to me, so it just helps me and everyone else loosen up a little bit, it doesn't really contribute to coming up with ideas." The interview mostly stays on the topic of Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (a game which Itagaki says he's developing as a hobby), but does reveal that Ninja Gaiden 2 is currently in its planning stages.
If alcohol is a vital ingredient in games like Ninja Gaiden, we say let Itagaki and his team have a drink and loosen up. Heck, we encourage him to drink himself into a stupor -- we're sure a couple of vomit-encrusted keyboards are worth receiving another refreshingly difficult ninja kill-em-up. The man's outspoken for certain (don't forget his 5 most hated games, Tekkens 1 through 5), but he usually does a good job of sticking to his promises. That's one trait that many game designers could do well to adopt. Well, that and raging alcoholism.
[tHaNKsh enbob89! Hic.]