Yurukill is a unique blend of genres that piqued our interest during its reveal. To learn more about the game, we interviewed producer Shinsuke Umeda.
Noisy Pixel: The shmup genre can be considered daunting to some who aren’t versed in its challenging systems. Are players able to customize the difficulty of the shmup aspects? As a follow-up, do you feel like this challenge is needed to convey the overall life-threatening emotions of the narrative?
Shinsuke Umeda: There are multiple life-or-death choices throughout the story mode, so even if you’re playing the shoot ‘em up sections on easy, there should be a real sense of tension, regardless of how difficult the game feels. And players looking for a more challenging experience can always try the harder difficulties.
NP: World’s End Club, worked on by Tookyo and Izanagi games, was not a death game despite pretending to be so. Would you say that Izanagi games decided to work on Yurukill: The Calumniation games because they wanted to actually step into the genre?
SU: Haha, well I wouldn’t necessarily say we approach projects with the aim of deceiving players about the true nature of the game! Rather, the goal is to deliver a thrilling experience in which the player is always on tenterhooks thinking about what’s just round the corner. Yurukill: The Calumniation Games is a fusion of escape adventure and shoot ‘em up, and we wanted players to fully enjoy the synergy on offer there.
The title is said to feature adventure exploration puzzles. How heavily are these incorporated into the narrative, and were there any particular games or ideas that inspired them?
Each chapter features Yurukill Land “Attractions,” and the player’s task is to clear these in turn. The puzzles are an integral part of the player’s overall mission of achieving victory in Yurukill Land. Homura Kawamoto (of Kakegurui — Compulsive Gambler fame), the original author of the story, among others, came up with the puzzles, and there are all kinds of interesting gimmicks, as well as puzzles that relate to other past incidents in the story.
NP: Can you recall the original pitch for this game and how it was greenlit? I’m sure it’s not every day where someone brings in a narrative-driven shmup.
SU: Well, a big factor was that I just happen to be a big fan of bullet hell shoot ‘em ups… but I also wanted to create an interactive game in which the player drives the story, as opposed to a traditional visual novel where you just watch and experience the story passively. So that was the background going into the project, and the game took on its current form after a series of meetings with G.rev CEO Hiroyuki Maruyama. (G.rev are the developers of the shoot ‘em up sections.)
NP: The game had been delayed previously. With the extra time, was there a particular game mechanic that you were able to refine or something that you could add?
SU: I think that’s fair to say. There’s a lot of content in the game, I feel, and we’re using the time to really fine-tune the shoot ‘em up section boss fights for example, and get all the little details just right in the story mode.
NP: There is an additional Shooting Mode available with online leaderboards. Will there be other modes added or any post-launch DLC that players can look forward to?
SU: We haven’t made any specific moves in that regard, but depending on sales and the fan response, that’s something I’d definitely like to consider.
NP: The idea that Sengoku Shunju might be innocent brings in questions about the validity of this entertainment game. Do they typically get the suspect wrong, or is this the first time it’s happened? Also, will there be multiple endings?
SU: That’s a secret!
NP: Is there anything you’d like to say to those awaiting the release of Yurukill: The Calumniation Games?
SU: I really want players to experience this exciting new fusion of bullet hell shoot ‘em up and escape adventure! I think both aspects of the game are really interesting and finely-crafted. And I’d love to see shoot ‘em up fans take on the game’s Score Attack Mode!
Yurukill: The Calumniation Games is available now on PS4, Switch, and PC.
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