"Grasshopper is making all these great games, with really a nice visual style," Mikami told us at an EA event during last week's GDC. "I'm there to make sure the gameplay is right -- make sure it's tight, make sure it's fun. That's why I'm there." He denied the assertion that Shadows of the Damned would feel strongly Mikami-like." "When you look at it, you're going to say this is a Grasshopper game," he said. "When you play it, especially if you've played a Resident Evil, you can kind of sense 'ah, there's a little bit of Resident Evil here.' But I don't think it's from the start it's a Mikami game. It's definitely a Grasshopper game."
We asked Mikami about the heart-shaped buttons EA was handing out at the event, which seemed hilariously out of step with the outrageous violence and manliness of Damned. Is Shadows of the Damned a love story? "There's two sides to it: there's that aspect of a love story, but it's not the romantic type of love," Mikami explained, cryptically. "It's a very adult type of love. And you'll see that when you play through the game -- it's definitely conveyed in certain aspects." Apparently, the "adult" type of love is so strong that a man can be fooled by a giant, grotesque demon wearing the shape of his girlfriend like a costume.
As the interview concluded, the subject turned to another violent, quirky action game from Mikami: 2006's God Hand -- a title that Mikami burst into laughter upon hearing. Mikami firmly denied even a superficial relationship between his own PS2 action game and Shadows of the Damned, but he did tell us that "I'd like to make a sequel to God Hand sometime." When we suggested he could make a spiritual "sequel" to get around the Capcom-owned IP, Mikami laughed again and said "Someday, I'll do it."