Monday, July 13, 2015

In Loving Memory of Satoru Iwata (Nintendojo)

Nintendojo was kind enough to share the Iwata tribute I wrote last night. It's largely the same barring the flood of pictures and no music.

I said the review would be ready today, but it still doesn't feel real. It could be tomorrow, it could be Thursday. And uh, heh, considering what the game is, it should be no surprise I'd be in no mood to write about it. You'll see what I mean. In any case, this week's Biweekly Music Wednesday! will be dedicated to him.

In the meantime, I'd like to share something I wrote on NeoGAF.
"I just sprung up the courage to read the Iwata Asks for Kirby's Epic Yarn. Is it wrong that I bust out laughing the first time I saw "Iwata: (laughs)"? 
I'll never forget the first time I read this. Kirby means so much to me as a series, and Epic Yarn was the first console Kirby platformer in ten years and I was worried to death it wouldn't live up to my childhood. Yet reading that entire exchange--what with Iwata's teasing over the original character's similarity to Kirby, footage of Hirokazu Ando playing Green Greens on a toy recorder, and how much I just wanted to hug Jun Ishikawa's frown away--had all but melted my fears away.

I happened to start replaying that game very recently and was dreading to revisit it following Iwata's death. It's not a game he personally worked on, but I knew the moment I heard this, I'd be a mess. And I almost was, especially when I got to the part where Kirby attaches himself as a bead to a rising dandelion, swaying back and forth without a care in the world. The face I'd come to associate with innocence channeled Iwata's warmth in that moment, and I almost couldn't bear to let go.

I know he would've wanted us to remember these games with joy, but it's no easy feat. Playing Kirby's Dream Land and Balloon Fight in the wake of all this, however, have provided much comfort, particularly the latter (it's amazing how butter-smooth the game's controls are 30 years later). Best part was when right after I lost a life, I was instantly struck by a bolt of lightning and died again as one of the bird guys just chilled on the ground; it was like Iwata himself saying "stop being sad! Just keep laughing." I was immediately reminded of how much I thoroughly demand a modern sequel. Maybe they should do that as an Iwata tribute."

Leave Luck to Heaven will plug through the rest of Ten Years of Kirby in Iwata's memory.

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