IMAG1313Photo credit: Miguel Concepcion

Yusuke Kozaki might not have been the guest of honor at the recent U.S. debut of the French-run Japan Expo (it was 'Evangelion' character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto), but the video game artist certainly got his fair share of attention. With last spring's "Fire Emblem: Awakening" still fresh in the gamers' 3DS', Kozaki's character designing style has become all the more recognizable. We caught up with him at Japan Expo to talk about his background, his experiences as a character designer for games, and his music tastes.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening

You have to hand it to Nintendo, sometimes they can really laugh at themselves, and one simple line of text from the upcoming "Fire Emblem: Awakening" proves it.

Reggie Fils-Amie's now infamous meme from E3 2007 has officially made its way into a Nintendo game. Check out the above screenshot from "Awakening,"in it Frederick, the noble servant and personal bodyguard of Chrom, clearly states that "my body is ready" while conversing with the player's character. Unlike Reggie's declaration, Frederick is ready to taste some bear meat instead of step on the Wii Balance Board. The line comes as part of the game's support conversation system, an option where members of your party can converse with each other to strengthen their personal bonds, which translate to better teamwork on the battlefield.

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By Joseph Leray

Nintendo kindly released a handy -- and awkwardly narrated -- introduction to some of “Fire Emblem: Awakening”’s more nuanced mechanics: support and “pair up.”

Both mechanics depend on smart troop placement to increase individual units effectiveness in battle, adding a unique spin on “Fire Emblem”’s tactical RPG formula. The video does a really good job of explaining complex tactics in simple language, and -- if I’m understanding correctly -- players could conceivably set up four-on-one encounters.

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