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Ancel: Rayman 'Not At All Inspired' By Mario

Matt Gardner
Mario, Michel Ancel, Nintendo, Rayman, Shigeru Miyamoto, Ubisoft

Ancel: Rayman 'Not At All Inspired' By Mario

Michel Ancel, the man behind Rayman, responded to a suggestion that Miyamoto's famous Mario series might have heavily influenced the French platformer with a resounding negative.

"I will tell you something terrible," said Ancel. "I don't really enjoy playing Mario games. I don't like gliding, I don't like its inertia, and I don't like not being able to give some slaps! It's a fabulous series, and I understand that people love it, but it's not my cup of tea.

"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. I can't help but seeing the ropes of the game, even if it works. The game is thrilling, obviously."

One of the first people to be knighted under the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, alongside Mr. Miyamoto funnily enough, Ancel has often drawn comparisons from others with the Nintendo creative. It is, he feels, a slightly misleading comparison.

"In my opinion, he focuses a lot on gameplay, whereas I really like to work with technical tools, too," said Ancel, talking to Gamasutra. He acknowledged Miyamoto as "a star" but suggested that their differences lay in development focus. "I really loved the idea of introducing artistic features in games -- that is to say the storytelling, the artwork, music -- and to get everything together in the best possible alchemy. We have two different approaches, two different tracks."

Miyamoto has been something of an inspirational figure, though, and Ancel said he would love to work with him one day if the opportunity arose.

"It never happened, but of course I wish I could. We've already met. He even told me he wasn't fond of Beyond Good And Evil. He really liked the cooperation work with Pey'j, but wasn't satisfied with cameras. He suggested we had a look at what Nintendo did with Super Mario Sunshine."

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