Rayman's Ancel admits: “I don't really enjoy playing Mario games”

Rayman creator Michel Ancel is flattered by labels like “The French Miyamoto,” but says that as far as he's concerned, the Mario games haven't been an influence on his signature series at all. In fact, the designer says he's not a fan of Nintendo's mascot: “I understand that people love it, but it's not my cup of tea.” Yeah, well, Shigeru Miyamoto wasn't too hot on Beyond Good & Evil either.

“I will tell you something terrible,” Ancel confesses to GamaSutra: “I don't really enjoy playing Mario games... I used to prefer Ghosts n' Goblins, Heart of Darkness, Another World, games with a focus on the narrative side. Beyond that, I find Mario's controls very interesting, but I don't buy it.”

Ancel says he and Miyamoto are “very different,” contrasting the Nintendo master's gameplay focus against his own enthusiasm for artwork and storytelling. The French designer admits he has “a lot to learn” before he reaches the level of the Japanese maestro: “Miyamoto has always been one of my models, because when I started as a game designer, there were no video games schools, no well-defined jobs, and anyhow, everyone had to find someone to get inspired from. Miyamoto is the top guy.”

Above: French author Frederick Raynal and Cultural Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres struggled to separate the two rivals when they met to receive honorary knighthoods in 2006

Ancel says he'd love to work with Miyamoto, and while the chance hasn't presented itself, the two have had opportunity to talk shop: “He even told me he wasn't fond of Beyond Good and Evil,” laughs Ancel. “He really liked the cooperation... but wasn't satisfied with the cameras. He suggested we had a look at what Nintendo did with Super Mario Sunshine.”


  • RedOutlive10 - December 9, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    You french devs, especially the Raynal guy gotta step your fucking game up and make Little Big Adventure 3. Oh Beyond Good & Evil 2 too.
  • alyn-elizabeth-woolsey-tracey - December 6, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    I really like this guy because he dislikes mario! And so do I! (Legend of zelda is way more kick ass than running around hitting blocks and eating mushrooms)
  • Darkhawk - December 6, 2011 6:05 a.m.

    I don't think BladeFalcon has fanboyed enough all over these comments. Please, here's another opportunity to use that "Reply" button.
  • BladedFalcon - December 6, 2011 7:26 a.m.

    Lol thanks! How considerate of you!
  • Dabaws1 - December 7, 2011 4:42 a.m.

    Based on your comments, you just don't seem nice. Slinging "idiots" and various other hurtful things to people you'll never meet based on their opinions. You're just a plain not nice person.
  • BladedFalcon - December 7, 2011 5:39 a.m.

    You're very free to think that if you want. Though I'd invite you to read the rest of my comments in this same article or others. I can actually be nice and respond well to people when they are reasonable. And I also like to call out and make fun of people who's points or accusations don't make sense. Does that make me an asshole? probably, but I don't attack everyone always for no good reason.
  • Manguy17 - December 6, 2011 3:32 a.m.

    interesting, i have a freind who loves rayman and hates mario, whereas i like mario and..well hate is a strong word, but i dont play rayman.
  • DrFred79 - December 6, 2011 1:34 a.m.

    Well, I'm french and I don't really enjoy playing your games Mr. Ancel. I never really knew why, but the best way I found to describe what was wrong for me with them is that they felt "too french"... Same for David Cage's Heavy Rain. God those french devs get on my nerves thinking they're so special and above everyone else. That's what they call the "french touch" or the "french exception" and that's exactly what's wrong with this country, people believe too much they're so much better than the rest of the world... It's boring and french games are definitely boring. Soryy for that block of text anyway =P have a nice day everyone !
  • BladedFalcon - December 6, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    ...And you're another idiot who obviously didn't even properly read the article. Never in the interview did Ancel bash or consider himself superior to Nintendo in any way. All he said is simply "I don't exactly enjoy playing mario games" But he never said they were bad, on the contrary, he HAS sited Miyamoto as someone he looked up to. So you hating on French arrogance is all fine and dandy, but at least try to hate on it when it's actually warranted.
  • DrFred79 - December 6, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    I read the article, and I know he didn't bash Mario. Apparently you're another idiot who didn't properly read my comment, cause obviously all I said is that I never enjoyed his games or David Cage's ones cause they had that kind of french vibe they're so proud about and that I never understood cause I've always found it boring (personal opinion...) Don' try to make me say stuff I didn't, fanboy !
  • BladedFalcon - December 6, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    I love how people call me a fanboy when I'm not the one lobbying insults without facts. You keep saying you don't enjoy his games because they have a French arrogance, but you've never even explained WHAT elements of the games have that alleged "vibe". That doesn't sound like a very strong argument me to me :P Whining and ranting about something without even properly explaining WHY you dislike it is what fanboys do, just FYI ^^
  • DrFred79 - December 7, 2011 1:51 a.m.

    Basically I read : "I'm not, YOU ARE !" Impressive... But if you want arguments, indeed I don't have them cause as I said it's a matter of opinions and tastes. "I" don't like his games, "I" don't find them funny (I really don't like that guy's humor, really...I find it "goofy" for the sake of being "goofy"), "I" don't like the universes he's depicting in his games, and then "I" don't like the gameplay of his games cause it's just not fun for me. "I" think he's not original and that having a different graphical and musical style doesn't hide the fact that gameplay wise, his games are boring and "I" don't have any fun with them. See you fanboy...
  • BladedFalcon - December 7, 2011 5:44 a.m.

    Y'know, you don't liking is game is more than fair enough, and i never really contested that. The only thing that ticked me is that in your very first post, it sounded like you were calling him and others arrogant jsut because you didn't like them. Maybe I went too hard and accusatory on you after, and I apologize for that. Like i said, if it's just a personal opinion, it's perfectly respectable, you don't have to like him and your reasons why are understandable, so yeah. Thanks for explaining that better, and making me realize you weren't just criticizing him for the sake of criticizing.
  • DrFred79 - December 7, 2011 6:10 a.m.

    No problem ! ;) *(slow piano musing playing in the background)* And sorry for calling you an idiot and a fanboy while you were just as passionate as any gamer could be, I think we both learned something today. Friends ? Group Hug ? *(Audience going "Awwwwwwww" and clapping)* ........ Man that felt like a standard sitcom ! =P Weeeeird !
  • BladedFalcon - December 7, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    Lol, no weird melodrama needed XD I misunderstood you, you did, and then it solved, easy as that. XD Still, yeah, definitely learned i shouldn't be so quick to judge XD
  • TheCakeIsaPie - December 8, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    Aww, this was touching! I feel enriched now! :)
  • AuthorityFigure - December 5, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    French arrogance is famous, Japanese humility is famous too.
  • inkyspot - December 6, 2011 3:41 a.m.

    I have found some of the Japanese businessmen/ women to be very arrogant, just in a way not noticeable to normal people. On the other hand one of my college girlfriends was Japanese and while her father didn't not like her dating me, she was nice. I prefer the Rayman over Mario, but Mario brings back those old days of gaming for me.
  • BladedFalcon - December 6, 2011 5:39 a.m.

    Yes, because a country full of xenophobic people that always considered their games and companies superior to the west in the past and who has figures such as Ken Kutaragi who loudly boasted his PS3 to be more than good enough so that you should have been THANKFUL it cost only 600 when it came out... Yeah they are totally famous for their humility! *rolls eyes* And while French arrogance IS famous, you're looking for it in the wrong article.
  • taokaka - December 5, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    I've always found a lot of nintendo titles that I didn't like that much and that's the same with ubisoft titles, but Michel Ancel has only made gaming gold in my opinion and really hope he gets the appreciation he deserves.

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