One good thing about the small size of E For All was the ability to get some good sit-down time with a lot of the developers and producers. Konami was especially kind to us, and gave us open access to just about everything except Solid Snake. He was busy having his hair dyed and getting some Hollywood-esque plastic surgery done during his downtime in Los Angeles.
So we moved on to another entertainment idol who wields a whip. No, we don't mean Indiana Jones this time. Instead, it's all about Koji Igarashi, producer of the Castlevania series ever since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He was on-hand at E For All, complete with a stylish hat and a black leather whip, ready to dish out justice to bloodsuckers and pimp out The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP. Check out our brief interview after the jump, and be sure to sharpen your knives and compete in our very own Pumpkin Carving Contest where you can win your very own copy.
So, we see you've brought a whip with you. Is this the whip from Castlevania? Do you have to bust it out and use it every now and then?
If I use this in real life, I'll probably be arrested.
Okay, so tell us about your involvement with The Dracula X Chronicles and the Castlevania series.
I oversee everything for the game and the series, and I also wrote the scenario and the concept document for the game. I've also worked on every Castlevania game since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
So, The Dracula X Chronicles is only for the PlayStation Portable, correct?
Yes, this one is only for the PSP, although we've also made a version of this that can run on a PC engine.
Is this title the only PSP Castlevania title?
I can't tell you the details right now, but I am working on a version for the Nintendo DS.
Was there anything particularly challenging about developing a title for the PSP?
Well, we made some improvements over the console version. One specific thing was adding save points. In the Japanese market, all consumers play handheld games on the train. That means everyone has to stop and get off at certain stations, so we added save points so that you can save at any time if you need to.
The challenge on this title was the PSP graphics, because the graphic capability of the PSP is not as good as the consoles. Since we decided to make it 3D, there were a lot of challenges in making that work on the handheld.
The Castlevania series has been around for a long time. Is it challenging to keep it fresh and exciting?
Every time I make sure to have elements from previous games, and to add new elements so each franchise seems fresh and exciting.
So what's next after The Dracula X Chronicles?
I have been producing Castlevania on handheld products for a long time, but now we're thinking about producing a title for the next-gen consoles. Right now we're trying to decide which console to do that on.
Do you have an Xbox 360 or a PS3 at home?
I own an Xbox 360, but not a PS3. I really like the lineup of games on the Xbox 360. I plan on purchasing the PS3 once Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out. I'm also hoping the price will drop a bit!
Well, we'll look forward to whatever comes out next. Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much. I hope you enjoy The Dracula X Chronicles!