It's always funny going to something completely unprepared. I like Mega Man, but the truth is that I haven't played it since before many of today's otaku were born. I enjoy the music. I can do "Omoide wa Okkusenman" at karaoke and even hit most of the words. (Not the notes. The words.) But my attitude toward Mega Man has always been that it exists in the background, one of those foundational works on which the entire culture rests.
So I went into the Inafune panel without the massive background that apparently everyone else in the room had. I had no idea that he'd fallen out with Capcom, that he'd gone to kickstarter to fundraise for a spiritual successor, that he'd written more music that rocked just as hard as anything in his oeurve.
Seeing him, a small, unassuming, surprisingly young-looking gentleman, I was reminded again that the creators of these works are rarely as eccentric as their work suggests.
On the other hand, then Inafune opens his mouth, and maybe he is just as high-grade a lunatic as anyone in the industry. He is tilting at Capcom, after all.
He's in an interesting position. On the one hand, he had a massively successful Kickstarter project. On the other hand, he's asking for more funding -- not to produce the game, he's very clear on that, but to further develop it. He has to show off his product while at the same time tantalizing us with the promise of more. This is the greatest thing, he says -- but with more money, it could be better. It's hard, and I have a lot of respect for his ability to go out on that stage and, with complete sincerity, make that exact case.
I think one worry that people had, in the back of their minds, was that the difficulty might be watered down. Modern games are a lot more forgiving, but that's not what enthusiasts such as ourselves look for. Inafune put that worry to rest, at least. He said that he was always pushing to make it harder, that often the test builds are too hard for him, but that he always perseveres. He said that there was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when he finally managed to best something that had always defeated him before. At that, we all looked at each other and nodded. He gets it, was our unspoken consensus.
On top of that, announcements like the Mighty No. 9 anime, while interesting, were honestly superfluous.
The only complaint I have with the entire experience is that the translator really was trying too hard. I know, sometimes idioms don't translate well. But the correct answer doesn't involve filtering things through a large ham. Often Inafune's statements were simple and elegant. Just let that come through.