Thanks to Grand Text Auto for pointing out this interview with D.B.Weiss, the author of Lucky Wander Boy, the novel about classic video games I've mentioned earlier. His favorite recent game? Katamari Damacy.
Has anything in recent games inspired you like the MAME emulator?
Katamari Damacy (Namco, 2004) was certainly an inspiration -- it really captured the whacked-out, topsy-turvy experience I got from playing early Nintendo games, but scaled up (literally) to take advantage of current hardware, but not too much advantage, and I liked that too. The designers chose a visual simplicity that works in the game's favour. I haven't been able to adequately describe the game's appeal to people, I don't think, but I still try every chance I get.
The surrealist game in question in your book was also Japanese. Do you think Asian games are inherently of better quality or just more interesting due to the cultural difference?
I don't know, man... after finishing Katamari Damacy, I'm inclined to say they're better... but that's a pretty unique game by any standards. Honestly, I just found the store near me that sells Japanese imports. Let me play a few more of them before I develop a real opinion about that. It does seem that there's a hell of a lot more variety over there than over here. I like a good racing game as much as the next guy, but how many dozen can you make?