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Pro Evolution Soccer 2009

Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka reveals all on the brand new PES

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I do receive complaints from the people who create stadiums in my team that no matter how much they work hardly anyone ever gets to see their finished work. But all in all even these creators understand that if the players are happy, then fine, it doesn't really matter what the camera angle is.

Now as I said at the beginning camera angles are really really important, so we haven't laid back and thought Wide is the best camera angle ever, that's it. We want to continue to experiment to find the best balance between gameplay and camera angle possible.

If there was a criticism of PES 2008 from the players, it was probably to do with the Online modes. How have you attempted to address those criticisms this year and make it smoother and more playable?

Seabass: Oh yes, we do know and people have asked us 'What are you planning on doing about this?' I do acknowledge that last year we placed such emphasis on the controls that the online side was sacrificed. For instance if you as a player didn't have a very good connection, that could really seriously affect your gameplay and it could turn out to be very horrible indeed.

Zoom

This year we looked at this [online] as a top priority and we tested half way around the world, so that even for people who don't have good connections we wanted to pursue how we can make the game still playable. At the same time we didn't want to lose the controllability that PES has, so taking on this problem really did take a long time and we found a solution as well as taking on more players, four this time, for multiplay online.

And we're not going to stop, until we're fully satisfied with this online version of PES 2009, we want to go even further. So I promise you it will still continue to change and improve further as we go along.

We recently read a statement from Itagaki-san which said graphics aren't perhaps Japanese developers first priority. Do you agree with Itagaki-san?

Seabass: I agree partly with what Mister Itagaki said, but I think that's not all that's different about Japanese developers compared to say Western developers if that's what your question is about. What I feel mostly is how effective or how ineffective Japanese developers are, how developers work.

Right now next to us we have the Kojima Productions team but quite frankly we don't share game influence or information - sure the game's totally different - but we don't share game engines or anything like that. In my imagination at least I think EA share game engines amongst their Madden games and other sports games and things like that.

This is not because we're fighting against each other but it's a little bit of a sad Japanese mentality where we do not share, we pursue our objectives more or less on our own. I think this is the factor which makes Japanese developers a little bit behind western developers, because we don't share, well maybe that's the wrong key word - it's more about being effective in terms of making the game as a product.

So it's a bit about making something unique?

Seabass: Well yes kind of like that, we pursue something unique and also we don't kind of kick back. If we were to drop some performance for example and save it for next year or two years after. Maybe some companies do think in that way, to get the game out, but we don't actually, we put in everything that's possible until the very last minute and don't think about or save anything until next year or the year after. That's another factor.

You must be tired of people claiming PES has copied its Become a Legend mode from FIFA. But why did it take so long for Winning XI's Fantasista mode to reach Europe? What was the rationale behind that?

Seabass: Well yes, that's one of my biggest regrets that we didn't get the Fantasista mode into PES and introduced to Europe. However you do encourage me and it's good that people like yourselves know that our Fantasista mode was earlier than FIFA's Become a Legend.

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