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Sakurai Live Stream Recap


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The live stream was recorded mid-February. The first and second recording were about 40 minutes each.

Sakurai is going to play through some games he’s played in the past couple of months.

NOTE: The following are all of the games he’s played in 2016: Fallout 4, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, Darius Burst Chronicle Savers, Just Cause 3 Yakuza (PS4), Gravity Rush, Dragon Quest Builders, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Storm 4, Great Detective Pikachu, and Nom Nom Galaxy according to his 501th Column.

Fallout 4

Combat occurs in slow-motion, so it’s accessible to players unfamiliar with FPS games.

(showing Sakurai creating his settlement in Sanctuary)

Creating a settlement requires materials, but the collection process can be pretty fun.

(showing an impressive display Sakurai created for the power armor suits he’s collected)

Sakurai set his PIP-BOY to sepia because the light it produces makes the surrounding area easier to see. 2016-03-10 23-56-10

Sakurai doesn’t remember writing his first column, but he remembers his invitation to start writing for Famitsu. He and Okumura used to play FFXI together, and she made the offer through the game.

First column ran in 2003 (It was in black and white, and only took up half a page).

When producing a game for Nintendo, Sakurai always has to consult with them regarding when it’s safe to release information. He is also prohibited from answering questions from fans for the same reason.

Discussing Sakurai’s unique experience working in a game store in Nagoya

Even though Sakurai plays a lot of games, he doesn’t always have time to write about them because of his work as a director.

Part of Sakurai’s game philosophy is looking back at older games and thinking about what makes them feel good, and fun.

He plays a lot of games, and fun or not, he thinks about why they ended up being that way for him. 2016-03-10 23-56-36


Now he’s playing Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours, on PS4/PS Vita.
The bosses in Dariusburst are generally modeled after deep sea creatures. Sakurai’s also a fan of the unique music in the game. 2016-03-10 23-57-01


Coming up with ideas for columns isn’t difficult. The biggest challenge comes with the content of each column. Articles that involve a particular person or delve into a particular game requires him to ask for their permission first.

It’s important to Sakurai that he writes about playing games, not just talking about making his own games. He thinks he probably wouldn’t have gotten to 500 columns if he only talked about his games.

He wrote about Night Striker once, and went all the way to an arcade in Yokohama to play it …there were only 333 arcade cabinets made for it in Japan!

He did beat the Witcher 3, though. Very quickly, apparently. He only played the main quest to beat it ASAP.

Sakurai isn’t able to play as many games as he used to largely because the games themselves have increased in size. Old-school shooting games were over in an hour. Recent games and AAA titles require an extensive amount of time to complete.

Wild Gunman left an extremely strong impression on Sakurai. Not the NES game, but the simulation system version in arcades.

He wishes that he could collaborate more on columns, for example, in the past he has written columns with Kojima, Nobuo Uematsu, etc. 2016-03-10 23-58-02

Just Cause 3

Sakurai talking about different movement options in Just Cause 3, like the parachute and wingsuit, and how you can move freely if you use them well.

Random thought: Sakurai is really good at advertising these games.

Sakurai is having a lot of fun with explosives, the grappling hook, and JC3’s unique take on physics. 2016-03-10 23-57-37

That was the end of the first recording. The host is talking about how good Sakurai is at video games.

Now he’s playing Dragon Quest Builders. 2016-03-10 23-57-51

Now answering questions! Famitsu collected over 200 questions. 

(Note: Questions and answered are paraphrased)
Q. Are there any new hobbies you’d like to get into? Is there anything you’re getting into currently?

A.I like to go on drives, and being able to admire the scenery and have some time to myself.
I have a very environmentally friendly car.  I want to try skydiving, as I’ve only gone bungee jumping before.

Q: The person asking the question states that he hates programming…but it’s possible he feels inferior in comparison with his peers.
A: There are a number of possible factors. Regardless of whether one programs, directs, or what have you, it’s no good if you don’t genuinely enjoy creating games. It’s important to make a distinction between liking to play games and liking to make games.

Q: You’ve talked before about how it’s important to keep in mind the silent majority. I agree with the sentiment, but how do you accurately gauge what this silent majority wants?

A: It’s harder now, but in the past we held things like having elementary schoolers play our game during development. Babies don’t say everything they want. Chefs don’t constantly ask their customers what they want, they [Chefs/ moms]  have to just think about what they [customer’s/ babies] want. 2016-03-10 23-59-44 (1)


Now, we’re on to Minecraft (PS3).

(He built a tall tower and dropped lava from the top of it to act as a landmark at night) 2016-03-10 23-59-32

Q: What do you think about hardcore games like Dark Souls or Bloodborne?

A: I’ve talked about them a lot, though. I’m very jealous of the setting and their skill.

We say it’s for core gamers, but a lot of people have played and really enjoyed these games. When you narrow your audience, you make a game that’s not as many people enjoy, but the people who do really enjoy that game. Creating a game like Smash is, in a way, my role and I think having things for all sorts of gamers is the best.

Q: I’ve been playing Smash since 64. I tend to avoid buying games, relying only on online reviews. What do you rely on to determine whether you buy a game?

A: I used to go to Akihabara, grab a shopping basket, and just pick them out like vegetables and groceries. I tend to look for something particular that stands out about a particular title, be it the graphics or a certain system.

Okumura Kisuko, the head editor, is presenting Sakurai with a cake. A book-shaped cake with his face on it.

The cake says, “Go for 1000! But don’t try too hard.”

Playing Attack on Titan. 2016-03-11 00-00-27

You can go for the limbs to disable them, but Sakurai goes straight for the neck.

Sakurai mentions that Kobayashi Yuu, the VA for Sasha, is the VA for Lucina in Smash 4.

She is perhaps the most unique VA he’s ever met.

That’s all folks!

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one comment
  1. What I found the most interesting was the bit about him not being able to answer fan questions without Nintendo’s consent. I mean, it makes sense, but still. It might explain why he’s usually so mum on characters who didn’t make it in.

    SC on March 10 |