This week's issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu contains an interview with Yasumi Matsuno, a former staff member at Square Enix who now finds himself under the employment of Professor Layton studio Level-5.
As translated by Andriasang, the video game designer with acclaimed titles such as Vagrant Story, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Final Fantasy: Tactics Advance, MadWorld and Final Fantasy XII under his belt is far from having a light portfolio and it seems he will be taking his expertise to new grounds as the Fukuoka-based Level-5 will now be his professional home.
Matsuno and Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino first talked about working on a collaboration about a year ago, however, it wasn't until Matsuno's work on the PSP remake of Let Us Cling Together was done that Hino really made the push for him to join the company. The desire for Matsuno to join the ranks of Level-5 were mutual, as Matsuno had always found the company appealing and saw similarities between Hino and himself.
Given free reign to do something new and "Matsuno-ish", the designer is just happy to be in a position where he can attempt something original. Praising the pick-up-and-play appeal of games like the Professor Layton series and Inazuma Eleven, Matsuno has hinted that his debut Level-5 project won't have the same epic feel of his past work and Hino himself said he wants the game to be "compact" and not take years in the making. Believing that the state of the gaming industry will improve with new titles, it's in Hino's opinion that a designer like Matsuno is just the kind of person that can guide the studio into doing things that weren't previously done.
Although things are still in the early stages, Matsuno closes off by saying the feeling he's getting from working on this new game takes him back to the days of working on Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen.