Masahiro Sakurai is a legend in game development. He is the creator of Kirby, one of the most successful Nintendo franchises, and is the mastermind behind the Super Smash Bros. series. To Sakurai, gaming isn’t just gaming, it’s an artform, both visually and in story. For him, it’s not just about doing the same thing all over again, it’s about making something that’s different. Because of that, he’s rather fond of NieR: Automata, and says that Platinum Games “Outside The Box Thinking” is what more games should have.
Source Gaming translated a full post on the matter, where Sakurai said:
“One thing I love about the NieR series is that they try to step outside their game or genre-defined “boundaries” to shock the audience. Just that element itself is enough for me to want to play these games.
Some people might disapprove or dismiss these kinds of things as just “meta” posturing. But for me, I judge these things based on if I find them enjoyable, fresh, or genuinely surprising. I’m not a fan of these jokes if it becomes too much like an inside joke, and having the controller (metaphorically) ripped out of your hands might be initially unpleasant.
But I want to enjoy the feeling of suddenly being forced to step outside of the boundary, that unexpected feeling of unease and confusion. I think it’s always important to question if we should simply keep reusing and adhering to the old standards and existing systems. Sometimes you do end up going with what’s established, and that’s fine, but there’s no drawback to trying to think outside the box. I’m not saying people should deliberately try to be weird, and make unconventional games.
But in the case of NieR, everything about the game is done with intent and purpose, and choices like the one to make the main character an android feel like one part of a defined greater vision. The experience of feeling something you wouldn’t normally feel. I think that feeling of “trying something for the first time” is very important.”
Is he right? Should people follow what Platinum Games and other developers do and try to make something new? It works for Legend of Zelda, and Breath of the Wild is being heralded as one of the greatest games of all time. Should others follow suit? Let us know in the comments below.