Keiji Inafune is responsible for some of the most joypad-crushingly difficult games of the 8-bit era, with the Mega Man series being considered the ultimate test of skill by many Nintendo players.
However, Inafune has admitted to Kotaku UK that he is in fact a mere mortal and doesn't create games which he himself finds easy to play. Mighty No. 9 - one of his current projects - is so tough that he's not even the best player on the development team:
It's not an option to make a game that I can play! It's best to make a game that I really have to make an effort to play. My staff, though, are really good.
Inafune elaborates on the game's "dash" system, which strikes a fine balance between risk and reward and is arguably the main hook of the gameplay:
It's a system that really challenges players. And we want even expert players who are really good at the game to be challenged. When they think they can master it, there are mechanisms that make them realise they have to think twice.
There are systems built in that train players, in a way, to be quicker and more skilful by the end. This is what we do with dashing. We want players to take risks in the game, yes, but we do balance that.
However, there won't be an "easy" mode, so even relative newcomers to the platforming genre are going to have to practice:
We don't have that. Everybody, even beginners, has to deal with what's thrown at them!
Mighty No. 9 is coming to the Wii U and 3DS sometime early next year, following a recent delay.