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Conference and chat with Ryuhei Kitamura
http://forums.junkerhq.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=995
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Author:  Rolman [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Conference and chat with Ryuhei Kitamura

Last sunday I had the chance to talk with Ryuhei Kitamura at the Anime Expo 2006. He went there to premiere his movie Azumi (good movie, BTW), which will be finally released theatrically and in DVD stateside in the following weeks. Several topics were mentioned, but he clarified a lot about his involvement in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.

During his conference, he told the story of how he met Hideo Kojima. A producer from Konami saw Versus and recommended it to Kojima and insisted they should meet each other. After meeting, Kojima and Kitamura became very close friends.

Some time after that, Kojima offered Kitamura to work in the MGS remake. Kitamura was initially "not interested in touching his masterpiece" (his own words) but Kojima insisted and told him to completely forget about the past and do whatever he liked with MGS. So Kitamura said he'd be interested only if he could "BREAK it" (yes, he said BREAK it). Personally, I think he delivered in that regard very well ;p

They would meet on a daily basis to work on the storyboards for the game, even though Kitamura doesn't do any storyboards for his own movies. Interestingly, though, he and Kojima basically ignored the work to be done and spent most of the time together talking about movies, music and everything they share a common taste in. So, Kitamura ended up doing whatever he wanted, with Kojima readily and happily agreeing with everything.

I asked him where does he think Japan should go in terms of moviemaking, and he said he doesn't think he should try to steer Japan into any given direction, but that all modern japanese action movies are SHIT (I happen to agree with that). He mentioned that he encountered a lot of resistance from japanese producers to make action movies when he started making his own. Japan produced a lot of good action movies during the '70s, so he just wanted to do things on that genre, and he'll continue doing that. Perhaps that's the reason why the action in his movies (and therefore, in TTS) is so greatly exaggerated; he really wants to catch your attention with crazy stuff.

After this, I'm relieved to see such confidence from Kojima to let Kitamura did as he pleased with MGS:TTS. It's what both wanted and, because of that, I now see the remake with different eyes; I used to hate it, but now I even want to play it again =)

As a game, though, I still have a grudge against it because the level and boss pattern designs just got trashed with the new gameplay elements, but that's a separate issue and has nothing to do directly with the relationship between Kitamura and Kojima and how the cutscenes ended up looking like.

I hope you all feel the same now =)

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File comment: Ryuhei Kitamura after the Azumi panel
Kitamura_AX2006_by_Rolman.jpg
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Author:  Marc [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:53 pm ]
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That's cool you got to talk to him. :)

I still don't like TTS, though. The problems go beyond Kitamura's work, I didn't find it all that bad (some of it, like the Ninja stuff, was pretty awesome), but it was the feel of the game I didn't like, because it wasn't truly a Konami game, it was a Silicon Knights game. It doesn't feel like a MG game, and I have no urge to play it again anytime soon.

Plus I didn't like those changes they made to the original translation.

Author:  Artemio [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:32 pm ]
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I've always hated the thing... But maybe (as I told Rolman personaly) I'll give it a try now. I must be honest though, back then I simply couldn't bring myself to finish it after playing for some hours. It was way too bad for my tastes.

I believe that if it was promoted for what it was, it would have gotten a little bit better acceptance from die hard MG fans.

Author:  Marc [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:10 pm ]
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I don't think Silicon Knights had ii sensu with the game.

Author:  Rolman [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:10 pm ]
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Yeah, I've always insisted Snatcher to play it through the end, if only to see the cool Fox vs. Rex stuff =p

I agree, perhaps the problem is that it wasn't marketed as what it is and not as a remake. It infuriated most of us because it was supposed to be comparable to the original masterpiece, when it's a completely different thing.

Maybe name it "Metal Gear Solid: Super Snake Bros." or something :P

Author:  Marc [ Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:26 pm ]
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I actually bought a GC just to play it, and, just before I booted it up for the first time, in a fervor wiped off all the dust that had unknowingly accumulated on my TV screen.

Author:  87th [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:15 am ]
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I think it's a fascinating experiment, but was never intended to replace the original. It doesn't work as a standalone game, but a version designed to implement new ideas and graphical abilities- like Rebirth mode in Resident Evil: Deadly Silence.

Author:  ratperson665 [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:07 am ]
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I LIKE The Twin Snakes. Although I prefer the original MGS.

Author:  Skycladiana [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, I've only ever played TTS. I didn't own a PlayStation while the original MGS was out, so this was the only way I've ever had to play this game. It introduced me to Metal Gear, though, and led me to purcahse a PS2 simply so I could continue the MG saga. I've since played both SOL, SE and the original MSX games included on Subsistence, and consider them all to be masterpieces of game design. No matter how awkward the controls are, or how Wachowski'ed the cinematics are, or how flunky the translation is at times or how the voice action (so I'm told) doesn't match up to the original (again- having only known this game as TTS, I can't make that judgement, and can only say I was impressed by the performances), I'll always say that TTS is a damn good game.

It's strange. I understand this argument that TTS isn't as good as the original. It's comparable to the complaints over Lucas' alterations in the Star Wars special editions, or the recent tummult on the boards over Ridley Scott's director's cut of Blade Runner. I happen to prefer the creator's version in each case, but I'll admit that the changes made in TTS are far greater and of possibly more disturbing aspect than those done by Lucas or Scott, as aside from its general design, script and visual style, TTS is a vastly different game from MGS, and not simply the same product with relatively few changes or additions.

I don't know. Maybe we'll see Kojima include the originals in a box-set someday. Of course I'm also hoping that MG and MG2:SS will get remade eventually in TTS treatment. Call me a heathen, if you will.

By the way, I can't really vote on this poll since I never hated TTS to begin with. It's the game that got me into Metal Gear, after all. How could I hate that?

Author:  ratperson665 [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

Skycladiana wrote:
Well, I've only ever played TTS. I didn't own a PlayStation while the original MGS was out, so this was the only way I've ever had to play this game. It introduced me to Metal Gear, though, and led me to purcahse a PS2 simply so I could continue the MG saga. I've since played both SOL, SE and the original MSX games included on Subsistence, and consider them all to be masterpieces of game design. No matter how awkward the controls are, or how Wachowski'ed the cinematics are, or how flunky the translation is at times or how the voice action (so I'm told) doesn't match up to the original (again- having only known this game as TTS, I can't make that judgement, and can only say I was impressed by the performances), I'll always say that TTS is a damn good game.

It's strange. I understand this argument that TTS isn't as good as the original. It's comparable to the complaints over Lucas' alterations in the Star Wars special editions, or the recent tummult on the boards over Ridley Scott's director's cut of Blade Runner. I happen to prefer the creator's version in each case, but I'll admit that the changes made in TTS are far greater and of possibly more disturbing aspect than those done by Lucas or Scott, as aside from its general design, script and visual style, TTS is a vastly different game from MGS, and not simply the same product with relatively few changes or additions.

I don't know. Maybe we'll see Kojima include the originals in a box-set someday. Of course I'm also hoping that MG and MG2:SS will get remade eventually in TTS treatment. Call me a heathen, if you will.

By the way, I can't really vote on this poll since I never hated TTS to begin with. It's the game that got me into Metal Gear, after all. How could I hate that?
You do know you can play the original MGS on PS2 without any problems right?

Author:  Skycladiana [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:44 pm ]
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Yeah, there's just the problem of actually finding it. Since I have TTS, I don't really feel it's that necessary.

Author:  Marc [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:54 pm ]
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Dude, I think I speak for most of the people here when I say it is necessary. Please play it, for your own enjoyment. It is most definitely worth it. I can't emphasize this enough - if there is one game you (someone who's played every other major MG game except this one) should play as soon as you can, it's MGS1. The feel you come away with from the two games is very different. You could think of MGS1 as being the version of the game Kojima intended. It would also let you see where this phenomena started. What do you have to lose?

Is it really that hard to find? What about online sites? What about eBay? Heck, I would even buy it for you if you can't order from them.

Author:  ratperson665 [ Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:01 pm ]
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Skycladiana wrote:
Yeah, there's just the problem of actually finding it. Since I have TTS, I don't really feel it's that necessary.
It's VERY easy to find. I got mine in an EB GAMES bargain bin in perfect condition.

Author:  87th [ Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:21 am ]
Post subject: 

Besides, you can't play VR Missions without the original. ;)
The original MGS is rediculously easy to find. The only other PlayStation games I think I've seen more in Second hand shelves are Final Fantasy VII-IX.
Everything in TTS looked too clean for my liking, too. In the original, it's quite hard to make out each character's face, suggesting a much darker environment.
I don't think I'll ever get over how stupid the mid-air cartwheel over the REX Control Room's door looked, either.

Author:  Squallidus [ Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:49 pm ]
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I HATE TTS, it disgusts me. I wont cover it on my site. I sent it back to the store the same day I bought it. It was such a wasted opportunity. :sad:

Author:  OtakupunkX [ Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

I just couldn't get used to it and never finished it. I plan on playing through it eventually.

Author:  Marc [ Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

I played through it twice when it came out, once for each ending. I tried to play it again a few days ago after this topic appeared, then I got to a certain point and I once again remembered why I don't play it (that's what always happens).

It was at the Tank Hangar, I was spotted, and the backup team just appeared instantly out of nowhere (instead of maybe taking the elevator or something). I just turned it off.

Author:  akira-devilmna-fudo [ Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

i actually never hate it
it was nothing agaisnt mgs 1 or any otehr mg game
but TTS was a good game
the only think i didnt like it was how easy it is and the character models
every character looks soo...ugly....and plastic :D
it would be awesome to have a remake but like the resident evil Rebirth, with true new gameplay and gamecube graphics :P

Author:  hybridtheory [ Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

Osiris wrote:
I played through it twice when it came out, once for each ending. I tried to play it again a few days ago after this topic appeared, then I got to a certain point and I once again remembered why I don't play it (that's what always happens).

It was at the Tank Hangar, I was spotted, and the backup team just appeared instantly out of nowhere (instead of maybe taking the elevator or something). I just turned it off.



Yea, the guard spawn placement in MGS2 was more logical than TTS. Even MGS1 did it better by spawning the guards off screen rather than a illogical spot like were the door where the chaffs werre. :???:

Author:  Missing [ Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:36 am ]
Post subject: 

What a ridiculous thing to complain about. The guards' spawn placement was hardly the most critical of errors made within TTS. In fact, I bet had Kojima done the same thing in one of his own games, none of you would even be complaining. For me, it wasn't so much the gameplay that had been botched as it was the storyline. I do agree that much about the gameplay was greatly flawed, but had the cutscenes been up to par with the original game, then I could easily forgive everything that was flawed about the play mechanics. TTS just did not capture the atmosphere of the original MGS1, and the cutscenes were a large part of the problem. However, I'm not directly criticizing Kitamura for his style of direction. I don't think his direction was bad overall, but it was completely unsuited for the tone of franchise (and MGS3 proves it as well, since all those over-the-top sequences annoyed me just as much as they had in TTS). Maybe had the game more closely resembled MGS1 in that respect, I wouldn't even criticize it so harshly.

But honestly, the thing that bothers me most about the whole TTS project is that Kojima permitted MGS1 to be remade in the first place, when it was entirely unnecessary. MGS1 has never been anything short of perfection in my opinion. I don't need him tarnishing the original by approving a half-assed game concept in order to appease Nintendo's clamoring for him to develop a game on their console. But even if it weren't all that bad an idea, the execution is what really counts, and that also fell apart. Obviously, Kojima didn't give it his full effort, and because of that, we got a sub-standard product. Had he been more involved, maybe he would have realized the whole project was a waste of effort. That's why I don't criticize Silicon Knights, because I believe they at least gave their full input on the project, and certainly don't deserve any criticism because their accomplishments are any less than Kojima's. Given all the existing games that try to imitate Metal Gear, we can at least say that TTS probably ranks as the best of them all, and that's thanks to them.

Author:  Johnny Undaunted [ Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:50 am ]
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I was never exactly a Twin Snakes lover nor hater. The cut-scenes and direction by Kitamura (which many fanboys criticized) was actually my favorite part of the game. It's the gameplay, how all the features from MGS2 were implemented.

Author:  OtakupunkX [ Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:10 pm ]
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I do have to say, I like the cutscenes that I saw.

Author:  Missing [ Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:47 pm ]
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I was honestly impressed by the first trailer they showed for the game back at E3 several years ago, in which the Ninja is shown cutting up all those guards. I thought it was handled very well in conjunction with the original game's style. They hadn't yet shown anything too over-the-top (at least not in comparison to other Metal Gear titles). But when I saw it in the actual game, I was greatly disappointed, because not only was the scene not nearly as well paced or edited as it was in the trailer (it dragged on longer with too many martial arts maneuvers), but they also changed the music. I don't know if any of you remember the music that played during the trailer, but I loved that particular theme and thought it perfectly accompanied the scene (I don't even think it appeared anywhere in the game). The music they replaced it with was totally inappropriate for a scene that shows a bunch of guys being shred to pieces.

Author:  Marc [ Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:49 am ]
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Missing wrote:
What a ridiculous thing to complain about. The guards' spawn placement was hardly the most critical of errors made within TTS. In fact, I bet had Kojima done the same thing in one of his own games, none of you would even be complaining.


We never said that was the worst thing in the game, only a pet peeve. And Kojima didn't do something like that (at least not to my knowledge). In fact, on a technically inferior console, he was able to implement more realistic backup team behavior (arriving at an area through an entrance and after a time delay). MGS1 had an excuse, but TTS didn't.

Author:  Missing [ Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:31 am ]
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And I never said Kojima did that pet peeve in his own games. I said had he done the same thing in one of his games -- technically inferior console or not -- you probably wouldn't be complaining. Am I wrong?

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