Another World

to live, to sleep…maybe to dream

Atlus Contact interview #2

Posted by evans στο Τετάρτη, 26 Ιουλίου, 2006

TGZ: Contact looks to be quite a unique game; could you sum up the storyline for us?

Zach: Contact is about a nice kid named Terry who’s recruited by an old fogey named the Professor to round up the missing Cells that power the Prof’s spaceship, which has crash-landed on Terry’s planet. What’s unusual about the situation is that the Professor knows he’s in a video game, and breaks the fourth wall to directly interact with you, but Terry doesn’t know squat. It gives the dialogue a great dynamic.

TGZ: It also has a very unique art style to it. Some parts seem to be very simplistic while others are rich and full of color. Why is this? Does it play into the storyline?

Zach: The art style reflects the desire of Marvelous Interactive’s Mr. Ogura, one of the three principal designers, to create a game that combined the combat of an MMO with the look and feel of Harvest Moon. Yeah, that’s right—Harvest Moon. And the crazy thing is that Marvelous and Grasshopper pulled it off.

TGZ: What part will the Wifi connection have in this game?

Zach: There’s a region in the game called WiFisland, which you populate by exchanging Friend Codes with fellow Contacters. You can have up to eight peeps on your WiFisland, and the bigger the population, the better the bonuses you receive (including special items and new quests).

TGZ: Could you explain how the battle system works?

Zach: It’s nice and simple, kind of like an MMO. You select your target and put Terry into attack mode, whereupon he exchanges blows with his foe until one combatant croaks, you run away, or you use a special technique. The combat, like everything else in the game, can be controlled either with the stylus or the buttons; it’s totally up to the player.

TGZ: How long will Contact be? Well, it’s the same length as every other DS Game Card, so… oh, you mean gameplay length. Well, that depends on the player’s desire to power up and/or play for completion. There’s a bunch of secondary stuff to do: cooking, fishing, mini-arcade games, a couple dozen fetch quests, et al. And WiFisland, of course. Let’s say 25-30 hours. TGZ: Mr Goichi Suda is the Director behind this game, It seems to be quite a departure from the likes of Killer 7, Why has he chosen to create a light hearted RPG for the DS?

Zach: Actually, Mr. Suda was the executive producer on Contact. Here’s how it works: Mr. Ueda came up with the original idea, and is the leader of the creative team. Mr. Suda is handling the development. And Mr. Ogura is the producer, sharing ideas with Mr. Ueda.

TGZ: Does he have plans for the Nintendo Wii or any other next gen consoles? I’ve heard rumours of a title called Heroes but that was unconfirmed.

Zach: Since you submitted this interview to me, the first video of Heroes has been unveiled, and all I can say—as both a PR guy and a gamer—is that it looks totally bitchin’.

TGZ: Currently Atlus has two other DS titles in the works, Deep Labryinth and Touch Detective, is this the portable system of choice for Atlus?

Zach: So far, the Nintendo DS has been a better fit for our company profile, but we’re certainly not intentionally shunning the PSP, so don’t be surprised when we announce our first PSP title. Heck, it might be sooner than you think…

TGZ: There hasn’t been much info released on Touch Detective. Could you explain what this game is about and how it will use the DS’ features?

Zach: Touch Detective is a mystery adventure—or graphic adventure, or point-and-click adventure, or puzzle-solving adventure, depending on the terminology you prefer—about a girl whose father passes away and left her in charge of his detective agency. Thing is, the world of Touch Detective is a fantasy realm filled with robotic butlers and walking mushrooms and talking sharks and all kinds of craziness. The game’s best features are its great sense of humor and utterly unique character design; I’m especially fond of Funghi, the mushroom-man who follows the girl around and helps her solve certain puzzles. He’s just a wonderful little guy. Touch Detective is also great because it’s one of those rare games that strongly appeals to the female gender (but it’s not fruity–just cute).

TGZ: Now I know I’m not supposed to ask this but does Atlus have any other titles beyond Trauma Center: Second Opinion in development for Wii?

Zach: Nothing that we’ve announced, but keep in mind that we’re focusing our energies on getting Second Opinion nice and polished, since it’s (unless I’m misremembering) the first launch title in the history of Atlus USA. That’s a very big and very exciting deal for us.

TGZ: Thankyou so much for your time, is there anything else you would like to add? Zach: Thanks very much for the interview, and I invite your readers to visit our website at http://www.atlus.com for more information about all the games we’ve mentioned. Take care!

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