Yes, that was a line directly from Naoki Maeda  about their new Kinect dancing game, DANCEMASTERS. We saw the return of both Naoki Maeda and Konami Japan’s PR representative and talented translator Thomas Nagano at Konami’s press conference, and I can’t stress enough just how funny Naoki is in person.
We were fortunately able to catch a few minutes with the duo after getting some hands-on time with DANCEMASTERS. While I felt like an idiot playing the game (I constantly mix up my right and left with these games), I did have fun, and am excited about some of the revelations that Naoki had about the title during our chat.
Read our brief discussion with Naoki Maeda after the jump.
OSV: So we tried DANCEMASTERS, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of what I expected to see from a dance game with the Kinect. It feels different in that you’re physically doing the motions on the screen, whereas some other games have you performing pre-set gestures and telling you whether you’ve done them right or wrong. Tell us about the game’s concept and how you feel it’s different from the other dance games out there?
Naoki: DANCEMASTERS is positioned to be a game that you can actually experience dancing in reality. We’re able to do this because of the technology of Kinect.
OSV: It seems like when Kinect was first announced, several companies announced dance games. How is DANCEMASTERS different?
Naoki: With [Harmonix’s] Dance Central, like you said, they have pre-set dancing that kind of tells you how to dance, but this game does not. In DANCEMASTERS you have to do it on the fly, so it kind of seems difficult. Have you personally experienced dancing before?
OSV: No, I’m not really one to dance. Unless it’s Dance Dance.
Naoki: So no dance classes or anything like that?
OSV: Unfortunately not.
Naoki: Well, I think that humans instinctively want to move their body. So if somebody near you is moving their body, you feel you have to move yours as well. With DANCEMASTERS, it’s not a game that you just play once. As you play more and more, your body memorizes the choreographed dance moves. That’s why we think this title is different.
OSV: I have a question about the music in the game. Is it going to be licensed, or will we be hearing new Konami original music?
Naoki: This time it’s going to be all Konami original music. You see licensed music in a lot of other games, but we wanted to create something that only we at Konami could make. Music is very important to a dance game and we have to determine if it fits the game. Using Konami original songs, we can make games that can enhance the fun of the game and the songs recorded in DANCEMASTERS are songs that provide this effect. We would like to eventually start implementing licensed songs, but we want to start out with our Konami originals.
OSV: My final question is about how this game will appeal to DanceDanceRevolution fans. Fans of that game have been playing this game with their feet–and maybe a little with their hands–for many years, so what would you say to them about DANCEMASTERS to get them interested in the game? Do you think they’ll transition over to this new dance game?
Naoki: Well, we want them to do both. For people who want to try out realistic dancing, we would recommend trying DANCEMASTERS, but people who want to play DDR for dancing as more of a game, we would recommend DanceDanceRevolution, but we hope everyone will try DANCEMASTERS at least once because it’s really a lot of fun to play.
OSV: In terms of the DanceDanceRevolution community, they play for the challenge and want really difficult game modes. I only played a simple song here on the floor, but will we see very difficult dance routines in DANCEMASTERS to appeal to hardcore fans?
Naoki: For DANCEMASTERS, of course we’ll have more difficult dance choreography, but the main concept of DANCEMASTERS is to completely copy the model dancer’s movement, so it should be challenging.
OSV: Well, thank you so much for your time, and congratulations and good luck with DANCEMASTERS.
Naoki: Thank you!
[Special thanks to Thomas Nagano for translating]