Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Interview with Tecmo Koei - Dynasty Warriors Next

Greetings again. This week I'd like to welcome Tecmo Koei's Kenichi Ogasawara, producer of Dynasty Warriors Next, to talk about his upcoming PlayStation Vita launch title. Many thanks to Mr. Ogasawara as well as the Tecmo Koei PR team who helped to arrange this interview along with last week's interview with Keisuke Kikuchi, the producer of Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus.

Greetings, and thank you for taking the time to talk with us about Dynasty Warriors Next. Something I always like to clarify when talking about portable games is the developer. Is Omega Force the developer on this one?

Kenichi Ogasawara (Producer): Omega Force developed this title.

For those unfamiliar with the series, could you give us a quick rundown of what to expect from Dynasty Warriors Next?

Ogasawara: The Dynasty Warriors series is a tactical action game based on China's Three Kingdoms period (roughly 1800 years ago). As an unparalleled hero battling far and wide on the battlefield, use your strength to lead your country to victory... Through this, players can enjoy the exhilarating battles of "one versus many". With Dynasty Warriors Next as a PS Vita title, we are making full use of the PS Vita's functions, and created a title where players can enjoy the various functions of the PS Vita.

Does Dynasty Warriors Next make any efforts to break in newcomers to the series or should only the hardcore apply?

Ogasawara: There is a story mode where players can follow the Three Kingdoms story from start to finish and the implementation of tutorials into the game system, so players new to the series can enjoy the game. In addition, there are new systems, modes, and gameplay for the PS Vita creating content to satisfy hardcore fans of the series.

Are the maps and story mode the same as Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends or completely new for this release?

Ogasawara: Only the costume design and personality settings of the characters are based on Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends. The maps and scenarios have all been newly created. One of the main modes "Campaign Mode" (Story Mode) is an entirely new system, and "Conquest Mode" which uses the wireless communication function is a game mode that has never been attempted before in the entire Warriors franchise. This game is different than both Dynasty Warriors 7 and Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends.

What features of the Vita does DW Next benefit most from having? What are some of the system's limitations?

Ogasawara: The unique interface and wireless communication functions. By utilizing the multi touch screen, rear touch pad, and motion sensor functions which aren't available with the PS3 and PSP, we were able to implement a more intuitive "one vs. many" system and feeling of exhilaration which the series hasn't experienced until now. With the wireless communication functions, we were able to implement a mode and components where players can enjoy the game while communicating with others around the world. We did not encounter any particular limitations.

As we asked Mr. Ogasawara last week, what are the chances of seeing other Tecmo Koei games on the Vita? Maybe even some old school Romance of the Three Kingdoms? Why do you feel this is the best platform for the titles you've chosen to release?

Ogasawara: I cannot answer anything specific yet, but I do think there is a possibility of seeing other Tecmo Koei games on the PS Vita. Again, I cannot say at this point why specifically for the PS Vita, but definitely the PS Vita's interface, stunning graphics, and the wireless communication functions are very attractive and make it undoubtedly one of the best platforms.

How is porting or scaling down console games for the Vita easier than in prior generations? Is dual releasing games on both PS3 and Vita something you'd want to look into in the future?

Ogasawara: It is definitely easier to port or scale down games for the PS Vita. As for dual releasing on both the PS3 and PS Vita, it is something we are very interested in.

How do you think the Vita will hold up to other portable systems (the 3DS)? How about the iOS market? Has it reshaped your portable game market strategy?

Ogasawara: I think the direction that the PS Vita is headed towards is different compared to other portable systems. The PS Vita is purely a high-performance game device which I think that core game users find appealing, as opposed to the 3DS which is more focused on light users. As for iOS, iOS devices aren't pure gaming devices to begin with, so in terms of a market geared towards the pure enjoyment of games (core gamers), I don't think they cancel each other out. We hope to create games which are fitting for each platform's features and demographics.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with your fans about your two Vita launch titles? Maybe something you'd not been able to mention about them until now?

Ogasawara: Since we are making the greatest possible use of the PS Vita functions, to those who are interested in trying the PS Vita's various functions, we would recommend purchasing Dynasty Warriors Next with the PS Vita. And while there may be many people not familiar with the Three Kingdoms world, we hope you would use this game as an opportunity to enjoy the alluring tale of the Three Kingdoms.
We are planning on distributing a demo version of the game on the PS Vita's launch date, so take a look at it and try it for yourself and experience a new dimension of the exhilaration of "one vs. many."

Pocket Console is very appreciative of Mr. Ogasawara's time, as well as the Tecmo Koei staff and PR team, in answering these questions about Dynasty Warriors Next. This title, along with Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, will be available at the PlayStation Vita launch on February 22, 2012. And again, if you missed last week's talk with Keisuke Kikuchi, please feel free to check it out as well.

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