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Latest Iwata Asks Opens Eyes to Nintendo's Tough Standards

Posted by James Newton

Retro Studios in the hot seat

Donkey Kong Country Returns developer Retro Studios recently sat down with Nintendo top man Satoru Iwata to discuss the game's development and the difficulties of long-distance relationships.

The Texas-based studio spoke of the inherent troubles of 5am teleconferences with Japanese producer Risa Tabata, who often would be bright and energetic much to the team's chagrin:

Tom Ivey: She'd be brimming with life and enjoying herself immensely as she made immensely tough requests for us to change something. Of course, if we made those changes, the game would improve, but it was five in the morning for us, so I would think things like, "Could you tone it down a bit and not appear quite so eager?"

Tabata-san's eagerness obviously paid off as the game has received rave reviews across the board. European gamers get their chance to try out the monkey's latest today, so read our Donkey Kong Country Returns review for the scoop.

[via us.wii.com]

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User Comments (32)

GamerforGod

#1

GamerforGod said:

I'm glad to see that Nintendo went all out, and that Retro got up at five in the morning to make such a great game. :) lol In honor of their hard work and dedication, I make this post at almost four in the morning (that's pretty close to five)!!!! :) lol

CorbsAdmin

#2

Corbs said:

We all work terrible hours and deal with people in other countries on different times. Suck it up! :)

y2josh

#3

y2josh said:

That's what I'm saying, Corbie. I hope they were just trying to be cute or something.

Vinsanity

#5

Vinsanity said:

might as well just stay up till 5 in the morning like me, THEN go to sleep after the meeting...in secret (shhhh - NCL doesn't need to know) :)

But whatevs, it's worth it, Retro! I'm playing through Epic Mickey right now and there are some janky elements in that game. It's still good, but it has it's problems (it's far too dialogue heavy, the 2D reticule is easily confused in 3D, the dpad camera controls suck, and there are too many fetch quests and not enough areas of focused gameplay like MickeyJunk Mountain - be on the lookout for discarded Magical Quest and Mickey Mousecapades carts on that level!). I can only imagine if Nintendo were in charge of busting Junction Point's during production of that game; it would be amazing. Of course, it also wouldn't come out until NEXT YEAR, but whatever :)

The polish is worth it, Retro! Can't wait to see what Nintendo property you handle next, or whatever original IP you might get to make. Might you guys start working on a launch title for the next Nintendo console at this point? Or go right into DKC Returns 2?

LordJumpMad

#7

LordJumpMad said:

Theres a 5AM?

I guess, when your working with one of Nintendo's classic games, you better get it right or they will Fire you.

Xiao_Pai

#8

Xiao_Pai said:

.....Has Diddy lost weight all these years? He looks chubby in that pic. xD

taffy

#10

taffy said:

Alright Retro, now that you are done with Donkey Kong get to work on Star Fox!!! You're the only developers I trust to bring Fox McCloud back to glory!!! <END RANT>

motang

#11

motang said:

Lol, it all worked out in the end though. Retro and Nintendo has made such an awesome game! Looking forward to their next project (hoping it would be a Star Fox game)! :D

Xiao_Pai

#12

Xiao_Pai said:

I wish they would make a trilogy out of it, you know...like the original SNES games. :p
Honestly, this game is just begging for a sequel. xD

zionich

#13

zionich said:

They should do like me, work till 12:30 am, and be up between 5:30am-6:30 am to watch my son =)

komicturtle

#14

komicturtle said:

I hope Retro doesn't LEAVE Nintendo.

It was kinda this reason why RARE hated Nintendo (not entirely, but their strictness), but at the end it paid off with a GREAT game. Now, Rare isn't making the quality titles they used to... I wonder why..

But I think Retro is happy working with them (clearly) and to see that the strictness paid off.

I hope in 4 years, I'll be able to work with Retro :)

Going in for Game Art :)

bro2dragons

#15

bro2dragons said:

@Corbie, josh, and tbd: not all of us. some of us get to live nice little confined lives in our own countries not worrying about anyone else in the world. ;) haha

but you guys have a point. still, these guys are Texans. what Texan gets up at 5 a.m.? ;)

warioswoods

#19

warioswoods said:

It's just like the old days, reusing the boss, changing it's color and pretending it is completely new!

EdEN

#21

EdEN said:

Thanks for the link. Really like the Iwata Asks section since it gives you a different perspective on how things are done at Nintendo.

James

#23

James said:

@Corbie I thought it was just me getting phonecalls from Dazza at 5am making extreme demands, though mine aren't usually about work :|

NintyMan

#24

NintyMan said:

That euthusiasm and hard work paid off for sure. Donkey Kong Country Returns is vying with Super Mario Galaxy 2 as my favorite game this year, and turning it into a trilogy would be a wonderful idea.

arrmixer

#25

arrmixer said:

this is an excellent game.... me and my wife love it!!!
I thank nintendo for their strict style in game development because unlike some third party games that are not even worth mentioning here....

Most published nintendo games are good.... : )

sin and punishment is another good example...

Caliko

#27

Caliko said:

Finally an article I can "source" for all the people on youtube who say Nintendo has no creative control over 2nd parties.

Lotice-Paladin

#28

Lotice-Paladin said:

I feel sorry for Retro to get up at 5am for some info on changing the game, although I am glad they did, I totally understand the reason why they feel like it was abit too much and to those of us who don't do awkward hours to respect that these guys are dedicated to the cause as I know how it feels to execute strange hours to work harder, especially to appease those who really want the end result. XD

Capt_N

#29

Capt_N said:

@Will_Ireland: Chagrin means dismay, in a general use of the word. Ex: Bowser kidnapped Peach again, much to Mario chagrin.

I'm gonna have to try this game.

Edit: Mario's chagrin.

Rerun

#30

Rerun said:

Working weird hours is now pretty much the standard since the world is connected. It's a great game and all those 5am calls paid off!
But I still feel for the guys over at Retro. Some people just aren't morning persons. I hope this doesn't change anything. Nintend + Retro = WIN!

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