Keiji Inafune of
Mega Man Mighty No. 9 and Soul Sacrifice fame is a man full of opinions. And today, you're going to hear his opinion on Rain. Rain? Yes, Rain.
Rain and Soul Sacrifice are entirely different games. But they share something in common you might not know about: Both were produced by Sony and both were proposed at the same meeting. It was at this meeting where Soul Sacrifice creator and industry legend Keiji Inafune met Rain creator, Yuki Ikeda.
"My initial impressions of the game proposal were 'This looks interesting.'" Inafune said in an interview with Weekly Famitsu. "My title in my company is 'conceptor' so, as you can tell, I focus on and want to play games with good concepts. But I also thought to myself '[Rain's] concept is going to be hard to pull off.'"
Looking at the finished product, Inafune spoke with the caveat that he was viewing the game through the eyes of a creator and not a consumer. "The atmosphere is good, the music is beautiful, but I felt that there were a lot of 'near misses' in the game." Inafune remarked. "This is a path that every creator must walk; you want to hold true to the concept, but you need the product to stand as a game, but by doing that, the concept falls apart. Playing Rain, there were places where I found myself thinking, 'I would have done this another way.'"
Asked what he would have done differently with the game, Inafune answered, "For example, I believe one of the major themes in Rain is the young boy wondering 'what am I?' I would have brought that up first and explained it. By doing that, a certain inevitability comes out in a lot of areas. The same with the existence of enemies. I think it would have worked to push through by using staging and atmosphere, and I get the feeling that there were places where the developers wanted to do that."
Speaking to both Ikeda and other young creators, Inafune had a few choice words of advice to give. "It's all about how much you care about the concept. Whether it works out or not comes later. It's better to stay true and fail than to make a game that strays from the concept. That way you'll learn 'I guess you can't make a game from this concept after all.'" Inafune noted that while there are exceptions to the rule, people need to remember that these are exceptions and that the rules still stand. "Sometimes things work out even when the core shifts, but that's only by coincidence. Most of the time, it doesn't work out. You shouldn't strive for coincidence."
Wise words. I feel a little more secure in my investment in Mighty No. 9 now.