In the current edition of "Iwata Asks" – a series of interviews that Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has conducted with colleagues to give fans insight into the creative processes at Nintendo – Monster Hunter 3 Tri director Kaname Fujioka and producer Ryozo Tsujimoto discuss the process of bringing the hit series to the Wii.
Amongst other interesting details is the fact that the Classic Controller Pro came about as a direct result of Nintendo's interest in seeing this latest entry in the franchise be as successful as popular with both existing fans and those new to the series. According to Iwata, it would be "too bad" if players couldn't get into the game just because they couldn't adapt to the Wii's unique controllers. Even more radically, Nintendo directly involved the Monster Hunter staff in designing the revamped pad, and the positioning of the analogue thumbsticks is a direct result of their input:
Iwata: Someone within Nintendo said, “What? You’re going to ask the development staff of another company?” But since we were going to make a new controller so that people who had played Monster Hunter before could play comfortably, I thought we should at least get the seal of approval from the game developers.
Fujioka: To be honest, when we were first asked that, I thought, “Is it all right for us to decide?” We said what we thought would be a good spot for the analogue sticks, and when it turned out just like that, I was surprised.
Whilst support for the Classic Controller was always in place, the team had problems with its design. Fujioka notes that the original Classic Controller design made the game "somewhat awkward" to play, but the Pro version's form factor has received nothing but praise from those who have used it in comparison.
The collaboration clearly indicates how important Nintendo regarded the development of a new Monster Hunter title for the Wii, which is also evidenced by the level of cooperation between the companies in promoting the release of Monster Hunter 3 outside of Japan as Nintendo picked up publishing duties for other territories.
There's a lot more interesting bits of information regarding the development of the title, how local multiplayer works (especially of interest is the fact that players can save rewards earned during local sessions to their remotes to take back home with them), online play and the tone of the entire multiplayer experience.
We strongly encourage anyone with even a passing interest in Monster Hunter 3 to read the full interview (which is a translation of a feature that appeared on the Japanese Nintendo site last July) by following the link below.