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Shun Nakamura marches to the beat of his own drum. Or should that be the shake of his own maracas? Responsible for Dreamcast's monkey/ maraca mashup Samba De Amigo, Nakamura has turned his gaze on Paris for 3DS's rather fabulous Rhythm Thief And The Emperor's Treasure. Next stop? Nintendo All-Star Musical.
Which of the Rhythm Thief minigames is your favourite?
My favourite is R01 Showtime, as Rhythm Thief's development started from there. Many features are condensed into the game, including the visuals and characteristics of [lead character] Phantom R, the blend of story and rhythm game and the approach to the stereoscopic view of 3DS.
What attracts developers to Paris?
I think it is because Paris is a very familiar place for all Japanese, not just for game developers. It is familiar for us, as we often seeNapoleon, the Louvre and Versailles in our daily life. Also they are very impressive both visually and historically. Setting it in Paris gives width and depth to the story.
As a rhythm action designer, did you enjoy Rhythm Paradise?
Rhythm Paradise is a masterpiece with a wonderful concept and very famous Japanese artists involved. We created Rhythm Thief by combining elements from rhythm games including Space Channel 5, Samba De Amigo, as well as Rhythm Paradise, aiming to provide a compilation of rhythm games.
What other 3DS games are you looking forward to in 2012?
I'm interested in Kid Icarus: Uprising. I'm getting so excited to see how the great game developer Sakurai-san got ideas for a new game and how he's made it distinct from Super Smash Bros and Kirby. I expect the novelty of Kid Icarus: Uprising to take us back to some fun aspects of gaming.
What's your favourite ever Nintendo game?
Super Smash Bros for N64. It simply focuses on fun and the exhilarating aspects of games, and brings a lot of fun for every player. I've been playing it for years, since its release.
If you could work on any Nintendo franchise, what would it be?
I would rather pick out no titles! Honestly, I would like to enjoy Nintendo titles just as a user rather than developer, because most of them are too great and seem so hard to develop. If I had to, I'd ideally create something like Nintendo All Star Musical, a rhythm game like Rhythm Thief using Nintendo characters and background music. Mario rhythmically follows the stage while Koopa Troopa's location is based on the rhythm, and that makes a track, for example. Nintendo, I'm looking forward to your offer!
What's your favourite Nintendo console?
My favourite is Wii. Personally, I'm guessing it was developed based around the idea of space recognition from Samba De Amigo [laughs]. I think Wii is a wonderful console that introduces a new element to games that have previously been played with a pad and allows everyone to enjoy it.
Do you StreetPass? What does your Mii say?
My Mii says, "Please support Rhythm Thief!" It's a great function which allows a developer to promote his game directly to users.