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No holds barred – Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut

Tuesday, 29 January 2013 01:03 GMT By Catherine Cai

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut repackages a divisive cult classic. Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro and Tomio Kanzawa chat about new content, Move controls, high impact content and more.

When discussing controversial games, Hidetaka Suehiro’s (adoringly called “Swery” by his fans) twisted survival-comedy horror Deadly Premonition takes the cake. Hell, it’s the Guinness World Record holder for being the “Most Polarizing Survival Horror Game”, as IGN completely panned the game and Destructoid exalted it with a perfect score.

Meshing unsettlingly light-hearted jazz with equally unsettling (yet oddly beautiful) murders, Deadly Premonition has garnered a cult following since its release for its unique, well, everything. Describing the game is next to useless simply because there are no games out in the wild like it. Those curious about Deadly Premonition need only to sit down for an hour or two with Swery’s eccentric baby to see why it’s an experience beyond words.

Recently, VG247 had a chance to speak with Swery and Tomio Kanazawa, the game’s producer, about Deadly Premonition: Director’s Cut, which brings the game, with new content and updated graphics, to the PS3 for the first time. Kanazawa served as Swery’s interviewer.

VG247: Was it the polarizing feedback that caused you to release a Director’s Cut? Are there any other reasons why you decided to revisit Deadly Premonition?

Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro: It was three years ago that it was released. It was originally released in 2010. We couldn’t debut this game on PS3 due to some technical issues. We couldn’t make the release date. I started working on this project, because I wanted to debut this version for PS3 owners, this time. That’s the main purpose.

Tomio Kanazawa: It was the summer of 2011 we started talking about it, this director’s cut. Our motivation was to debut this game to new players. That was the start of our concept.

So why not re-release the Director’s Cut for Xbox 360 as well?

Deadly Premonition

The original Deadly Premonition, called Red Seeds Profile in Japan, was published by Marvellous in Japan; Ignition in the US; and Rising Star Games in Europe, exclusively for Xbox 360.

The Director’s Cut is the result of a collaboration between Rising Star Game; original developer Access Games, headed by designer Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro; and Toybox Inc, the new developer founded by former Marvellous staffer and Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada.

The project reunites Suehiro, Wada and Tomio Kanazawa, the three main movers and shakers behind the original’s troubled development. Kanazwa now works at Toybox.

Kanazawa: Because it is kind of a technical issue. Actually, we may think about it later. This time our aim was to deliver this to the PS3 owners. That is why we supported the PS Move, specially for the PS3 version. We may think about bringing this to 360 owners as well if this is successful.

What PS Move interactions will there be specifically? What will you be able to do with the PS Move?

Kanazawa: There’s combat, so you can aim easily with the new PS Move support against shadows – zombies. It’s not only for the combat thing. The player can move their cars or their character in the town with the Move controller, so the player can hold the PS Move all the time – not change controllers. But the main purpose we used PS Move was for the combat, to make it easier than before.

Originally Deadly Premonition released in the US for $20. Why is the Director’s Cut releasing for $40?

[At this point, a representative from Rising Star Games stepped in to give pricing details. They explained that the price point had not yet been confirmed. However, because of the extra content that's been added to the Director's Cut, the game will be releasing for a higher price than the original $20.]

When Deadly Premonition was first released it received hugely differing reviews. IGN gave it a 2/10 and Destructoid gave it a 10/10. What were your thoughts on these reviews? Were you hurt by IGN’s review? Did you feel that they didn’t understand the game? Are you taking steps towards clarifying what your point was with the game in the director’s cut?

Kanazawa: Of course he believes that this game is fantastic. He’d been working on this project for more than six years.

Swery: The first review I received from the Western market was IGN’s. 20 points out of 100. I was shocked. I was wondering if the things I believed were wrong. I wasn’t sure. That was the first impression. I was so shocked about it. But conversely, I received so many comments from core users [players] that this game was fantastic and they’d never played this kind of game.

Swery. Probably thinking about murder.

Soon after, I received a very good review from the media. Then, everything had changed. I started receiving so many good reviews from the media, as well. I started thinking, “Of course. What we believed was right.” What I had been doing so far had been right. When I received a perfect score from Destructoid it was another shock. So I received two shocks when I received the low score and the high score. Now, both the low score and high score have been very important for the game. I want to thank everyone for all the reviews. Thanks to those different reviews, we received the Guinness World Record, so we have to thank all the reviews.

Videogames are definitely made with commercialism and sales in mind. Deadly Premonition is a very, very different game from your run-of-the-mill AAA game. When you were developing it, did commercialism come in as a factor? Were you worried about how it would sell were you more concerned with making a piece of art?

Kanazawa: Of course he believed this game would become a very fantastic game. Whether or not the game will sell is my – as producer – worry. We had been talking about this project a lot before starting: “We have to make a very edgy game. Something that’s never existed so far in the world.” I think this is much more important to think about, because it’d be no fun if we created games that were like copies of other games. Our goal is to create a game that’s never existed in the world. We never bended this policy until the end.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, you mentioned that there was certain content that was cut from the original game that you wanted to put into the Director’s Cut. You were told once again by the publisher that the content was too explicit to include in the game. Do you have any examples of what that content was?

Swery: The content cut from the original, was for example, the FBI Agent [York] running around the town on a bicycle. If the player kept wearing the same clothes, flies would fly around his body. If you change clothes, the flies are gone. But there was a feature with the shower to refresh. But it was cut from the original version. Finally, we didn’t bring those ideas to the Director’s Cut because the purpose for us to release this game is to expand the user base. We couldn’t get this game to PS3 users in the Western market, so we’re trying to deliver this world to PS3 owners.

“We have to make a very edgy game. Something that’s never existed so far in the world. Our goal is to create a game that’s never existed in the world. We never bended this policy until the end.”

In terms of censorship, Deadly Premonition is obviously a very gruesome game. Japan, the US, and Europe have differing views on what’s “acceptable”. For the U.S., violence seems to be more acceptable than nudity or sex. For Japan, nudity seems to be a little more acceptable than violence. How did you balance take that in mind when developing the game. How did you balance all these different tastes?

Swery: My first concept was not to give a shock or a scare by phantoms or monsters and these kind of creatures. I tried to give the player a scared feeling through the story or the mystery. I focused on the murders and not the scary monsters. I thought about so many ways of killing, murder, like the shower scene or the museum scene. Sometimes, I got ahead of myself. I had much more violent ideas, but I was told from the publisher not to get more violent. I had to adjust to make it much more milder than I considered [originally].

Did you envision Deadly Premonition to be a survival horror with comedy elements? Or from the beginning, were you more focused towards making purely a survival horror game and during development, it evolved into you adding elements of humor?

Kanazawa: I gave him the first scene, as an open-world mystery. After that, we started talking about adding a horror taste. That was the original concept.

Swery: First of all, I designed the country town. I didn’t get to the storyline. I started considering the people that were living in the town. Then, I started creating the storyline. That’s why this game is full of sometimes comedy, sometimes horror, sometimes mystery. This was a mixture of all of those things.

How did you come up with the character of York? He’s a very nuanced character: he has dissociative personality disorder and a strange relationship with coffee. How did you come up with such a “different” protagonist?

Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut release date – April 2013

After the interview, we spoke with Rising Star Games Phil Robinson about the release window for Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. He didn’t give an official release date, but said to expect the game to hit shelves in North America sometime in April.

Amazon UK records an April 19 launch; Rising Star’s website suggests April 26, and a Gematsu report claims April 30 is the big day.

Swery: As I said before, I started designing the country town first. The main character is York – the agent. He must have characteristics against the people living in the town. He must be very odd and he has a very cynical feeling. He must be a complete contrast from those people. That was the start. I started growing these characteristics towards something more edgy. I wanted to make this character more edgy and unique. That’s why he’s so unique from other heroes from other games. A strong, edgy, character is needed for this game because this is a very unique game. Then, I had the idea of Zach, the other character in my mind. I thought about this in the middle of the night.

Kanazawa: The next day, he called me. I had a very good idea to have Zach. He’s a friend he created in his mind. He is actually the player. Zach is the player controlling. He [York] is always talking to Zach and Zach is the player. “Okay, what do you think Zach? Do you want to do that?” He’s asking you. “Okay? Let’s do that.” The relationship is very unique. That was part of the investment in this game.

After the Director’s Cut comes out, do you guys have anything planned for the future?

Swery: Now, this is a great opportunity to debut Deadly Premonition to a new audience. After that, I’ll probably get another chance to create other games.

Kanazawa: Of course, we are discussing other games as well. He can say expect [other games].

Swery: Other than Deadly Premonition, I can’t say anything about what to expect.

Kanazawa: He’s “teasing”.

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3 Comments

  1. Ristas

    So the Director’s cut ISN’T a director’s cut (because the “director” couldn’t bring in the content he had to leave out the first time) bust instead a very simple port. Well, yay?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ariessiren

    theres new scenarios and a new opening, ending, dlc etc. its a directors cut bigtime.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    I’m usually the last guy to complain about this, but … the game is still fucking ugly. They had a lot of time to improve the graphics and yet it is painful to look at.

    Considering that we’re playing a (what seems to be) half-assed port of a game that came out 3 years ago, i don’t think the price tag is excusable. :/

    Anyway, still a great interview, i wonder why Swery kept saying the word “edgy”, from what i’ve seen, York doesn’t seem to be so edgy, quite the opposite.

    #3 2 years ago

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  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]

  • Tron: Legacy director in negotiations for Gran Turismo film

    Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is said to be in early negotiations to direct the Gran Turismo film. This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which states Michael De Luca is still slated as one of the producers alongside Matt Milam, Dana Brunetti, Josh Bratman, DeVon Franklin and Elizabeth Cantillon. Plot details are still unknown […]

  • Fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation is available for download

    The Trigger, which is is the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is available to download from today. In it, players will “compete against the clock” across three new maps in Survivor Mode. Set before the events of the main game, players step into the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo who will do what he […]

  • HBO Go app now available on PlayStation 4

    Sony has announced the HBO Go app will be made available for download later today for PlayStation 4. The app works just like the PS version. Now you can watch True Detective, Game of Thrones, Veep and more through your console. Information on installation is available through the PS Blog.

  • Skyrim mods no longer restricted to 100MB in size

    Bethesda has announced a beta for Creation Kit update 1.9.33, lifts the 100MB size restriction for Skyrim mod makers. The beta is for both Skyrim’s PC launcher and the Creation Kit which will allow for unlimited file sizes. Here are the notes: Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods […]

  • Mad Max release date set for September, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions canned

    Mad Max from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has been given a September release date, along with the new of a last-gen cancellation. The axing of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced via Game Informer. Mad Max is the magazine’s featured game for the April issue. Avalanche, according GI, nixed development on […]

  • MGS 5: The Phantom Pain out in September, Kojima “closing the loop” on saga

    Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will be released in September, according to an IGN Italy video, which also features Hideo Kojima discussing “With Metal Gear Solid 5, I’m finally “closing the loop” on the Metal Gear saga. The video has since been removed, but an image cap of the date is posted above. […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 Rockstar Energy Car Pack now available

    The Rockstar Energy Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One is available now, alongside the free car for March. The free car is the Acura Integra Type-R, and the Rockstar pack included the following vehicles: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC 2015 Subaru WRX STI 1996 BMW 850CSi 2015 Jaguar XFR-S 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert […]

  • 3DS firmware update kills web browser exploit

    Nintendo has issued a 3DS firmware update which fixes a web browser exploit that was being used to run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs since January as well as inject code within downloadable games. Another piece of code, per Eurogamer, changed the setting on the handheld to make it region-free. The exploit was only available […]

  • Unreal Tournament video shows updated textures on Outpost 23

    The latest footage from Epic’s new Unreal Tournament has surfaced, and it shows off the game’s first high-textured map which is called Outpost 23. As you can see from Zaccubus’ video, its the same are which Epic showed in the flythrough video from last year, only with updated textures and some new areas outside. The […]

  • Final add-on for Sunset Overdrive arrives in April

    The final add-on for Sunset Overdrive, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, will be released in April. On April 1 to be exact. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke from Insomniac Games either. Below, you can watch a fist-look at the new story, area, and traversal mechanic.

  • Heroes of the Storm playable at EGX Rezzed

    Heroes of the Storm will be playable at EGX Rezzed. This will be the first UK public hands-on with the online team brawler. Blizzard will also host giveaways and friendly tournaments at its stand. Tickets for all three days of Rezzed are still available, and you can purchase a pass through the official website. EGX […]

  • PES 2015 Data Pack 4 coming next week with Winter Transfers, new faces

    Data Pack 4 for Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has been dated, and it updates the game with Winter Transfers, new player faces, and additional stadiums. The latest free update contains real-time player transfers made within the January window, and player ratings have also been updated. Additionally, a number of improved likenesses to key players will […]

  • Here’s the changelog for Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 5

    Notes for upcoming Patch 5 for Dragon Age: Inquisition have been posted, noting improvements to gameplay and stability, and the new features outlined back in early February. Along with the new party storage system added to the Undercroft at Skyhold, players also have the ability to adjust the size of subtitles. Below you will find […]

  • Game of Thrones, Mortal Kombat X, Batman mobile games on the way

    Warner Bros. has announced free-to-play mobile titles spanning its DC Comics, Mortal Kombat and Game of Thrones properties. The following five new games under development are: Mortal Kombat X from NetherRealm Studios: The game blends fighting and card collection with cinematic gameplay and Fatalities. Play as both classic and fighters, and if you own the […]

  • Win! Beta access to new MMORPG Skyforge and DLC worth $70

    We have ten Wrath of the Gods Founders Packs to giveaway for new RPG Skyforge, worth over $70. All you need to do to win a Wrath of the Gods pack is enter your details in the form below and we’ll pick 10 winners at random on Thursday, March 5, after 3pm GMT. Skyforge is […]

  • PC gaming expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018

    PC gaming is alive and well. In fact, it’s expected to be worth $35 billion by 2018. According to game-business group Open Gaming Alliance, the PC gaming industry is expected to grow beyond its current $26 billion worth and to a massive $35 billion by the year 2018. The information is based on data collected […]

  • Advanced Warfare: new patch adds new weapon, Master Prestige ranks, more

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has received a new patch that gives season pass holders early access to a new weapon and everyone else a myriad of fixes and additions. The patch went live today on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, without any official notes. CharlieIntel reports that among the new additions is the new […]

  • Destiny’s end game and raids explained

    Destiny’s end game can be a bit obtuse to those not used to MMO games. Fear not, we’ve got a few quick tips on how to crack it. Arekkz Gaming has a video for new players of Destiny or those who are looking to brush up on their knowledge of the game. Today’s theme is […]

  • Capcom adds local co-op to Resident Evil: Revelations 2 on PC

    Following fan outrage over lack of local co-op support for the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom has now added it. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 now officially supports split-screen local co-op in both campaign and raid mode. The update is currently in beta on Steam, but anyone can opt-in to try it. Capcom […]

  • New Destiny glitch spawns infinite Thralls on Earth

    Destiny’s latest glitch spawns infinite Thralls to help fuel your bounty hunting and loot lust. The glitch is simple to replicate. You’ll need to start The Dark Within mission on Earth, on any difficulty. Then follow the steps in the video below (Via DualShockers) to get to an area out of the map. You’ll then […]

  • Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is here with new game mode, netcode improvements and more

    DICE has released the Winter Patch for Battlefield 4. The patch brings an eSports focus with new game mode Squad Obliteration and plenty more. Battlefield 4 Winter Patch is now live on all platforms. It’s just over 400MB on PC and 1.34GB on consoles. The patch adds new game mode Squad Obliteration and more customisation […]