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Interview with Chocobo Mystery Dungeon developer h.a.n.d.

3:27 PM on 03.26.2008 // Colette Bennett

We talked about the announcement of Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon: Tokiwasure no Meikyuu way back in September 2007, where I performed the accurate amount of screaming in joyful anticipation and then went back to the daily grind of non-chocobo inhabited life. Since then the game has been released on the Japanese market, but there's been no more word about a US version. Ahem, Square? What's up with that? Some people need their fix, you know.

The website Cubed3 was also curious, apparently, as they recently posted an interview with developer h.a.n.d., the team behind the game (they also worked on Chocobo Tales for the DS. )Sadly, they still couldn't comment on whether or not the game would see a US release, but they did share some other interesting tidbits about the title. From the interview:

AR: Is this Chocobo Dungeon game fundamentally different from the two PSone versions, or are there main elements that fans of the old games will be familiar with?

Yuji Yano; Director: While some main elements of the game have been carried over to Wii, we wanted the game to be accessible to a wider audience, for example small children and female gamers, so some difficult elements of the game were removed. But to keep the game entertaining we added new elements such as the job system.

I'd like to be grumpy about having games I like "dumbed down" so more people can play them, but Chocobo games don't exactly rank high on the challenge curve anyway. Here's a more telling part of the interview though (and a slightly distressing one):

AR: The game had a strong first week in Japan before Christmas, but quickly disappeared from the charts. Has the game still met sales expectations, though?

Yuji Yano; Director: I am not fully satisfied, unfortunately. I want the world of Chocobo and the genre of ‘Mystery Dungeon’ to be loved and played by as many users as possible. I was extremely pleased with the launch sales. However, I believe there are still many people yet to have experienced the world of Chocobo, so with the next Chocobo project (if there is one…) I hope to create a game that more people can love and a game that fully expresses the beauty of the world of Chocobo.

By far the worst sign of a game not being imported over is so-so performance (or the appearance of naked men, of course.) Maybe they're adding more features or streamlining the original concept, or maybe the game is simply not going to make it US shores. I'm still hopeful, but I have to be honest and say that if it's announced that the US won't get any more chocobo games, I'm going to be one sad panda.

[Thanks Justin]

Colette Bennett,
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