GR: We asked Kobayashi this question: the series has gone through some ups and downs. As you've moved through the series, what have you learned and brought forward into the latest entry?
HI: We learn our lessons along the way. If we make a mistake, we find out what the mistake was, where we went wrong, and fix it, but... with this game we intended to make this game be a standard of this genre for the new platform.
Since DMC3, especially the Special Edition, we thought it as a very good game - so ever since that version came out we've been pleased with it and haven't had much to be disappointed about at all, so we're just going to the next level with this one. So, I guess what we weren't able to put into DMC3:SE, as far as enemies, we really focused on and tried hard to get right as far as this game. The artificial intelligence for the enemies and the way they respond to you. Making the way the enemies actually respond to your movements better - instead of just making them independent of you, they actually work with you and against you. So as you do something, they do something.
GR: That's becoming a big thing with games. Halo had a very high emphasis on enemy AI. What does making the enemies smarter bring to the gameplay of DMC4?
HI: Making the AI better in a video game is not like making the AI better in, say, a chess game. Making it better in terms of acting ability - we're basically improving its acting, so that the user can have more fun. So if the [enemies] did something in reaction to what you do, it feels like you're more involved in the actions.
GR: You're bringing in a new main character, Nero. He's not completely dissimilar to Dante, but he's not completely the same. Could you talk about Nero, and why he came into the game?
HI: There's a lot of reasons we've made them similar, or dissimilar in certain places. The reasons for that remain to be seen, because there's a story behind it.
Instead of bringing the Dante from DMC3, which is really powered up and really hard to play, we needed a character that would basically be playable by everyone. There weren't a whole lot of ways to do that. Sure, we could have made Dante have a memory lapse and lose his abilities and then try to regain them, but we didn't think that was a good option.
So we introduced Nero, who has little ability to start off with and then gradually grows stronger, and eventually, as the story progresses, you will be able to use Dante anyway. So we thought that was a good way to bring it along. Of course we considered that, because this is new hardware, there would be a lot of people buying it who would be new to gaming, so we wanted to make it accessible to everyone - beginners, as well as people who are really good at games.