Evolving Dragonball: Namco Bandai's Bryant Green Talks Dragonball: Evolution
By Louis Bedigian
There will be some classics familiar to the Dragonball fans, as well a whole mess of new special moves that are not only Dragonball: Evolution-specific, but are exclusive to our particular game!
The Dragonball series has seen many evolutions. From anime to toys to video games and a ridiculous number of branded merchandise, Dragonball is all but inescapable. Though the long-running Dragonball and DBZ series are no longer leading the airwaves, their characters, stories and unique battles still enthrall millions of fans all over the world.
This spring, Dragonball will have the chance to expand its audience even further with Dragonball: Evolution, a live-action adaptation of the popular franchise. Evolution is also being turned into a fighting game for PSP. "The characters in our game, which follows the film story exclusively, will take on their film personas," said Bryant Green, Assistant Localization Producer. "Dragonball: Evolution was designed from the beginning with the idea of bringing such a classic story to life through film, and in our [Namco Bandais] case, this is expressed through a PSP game, based on the Fox theatrical interpretation of the Dragonball story.
"While the characters do not have their classic anime appearance, fans of the series will hopefully be delighted to find that many of the character traits that made them so endearing in the animated series are present in their on-screen (and of course in-game) personas as well."
With Dragonball: Evolution being the first live-action DB movie, the famed franchise is about to enter a new chapter. What does this mean for the DB game series and the way it will evolve?
: I think that the Dragonball game series will continue to evolve in a fashion similar to how weve seen it progress thus far. However, with the new film and film-based game coming out, I think that we will see a rise in interest from a larger cross-section of the public that may have not been aware of the series and its popularity. Our new game and certainly the film will provide an opportunity for new fans (and all of our existing fans, of course) to experience the excitement of the Dragonball storyline in a different context, live action, and I think that this sort of evolution per se, will find us with a new group of fans around the world who can voice their own preferences, interests, and ideas for the series to help us develop Dragonball further.
Let's get into the gameplay: is this going to be a fast, arcade-style fighter like the Budokai Tenkaichi games?
: You bet! In fact, we had a look at previous Namco Bandai-designed Dragonball titles, and brainstormed about how we could make a better fighter. We spent a lot of time looking at the Dragonball PSP series-based games such as Dragonball: Z Shin Budokai and Shin Budokai: Another Road, and decided that we could make an even speedier, more action-packed fighter with loads of combos that are quick to learn and easy to execute.
Tell us about some of the special moves you'll be able to perform, and how they'll differ from the other DB games.
: Well, I dont want to spoil all the surprises, but there will be some classics familiar to the Dragonball fans, as well a whole mess of new special moves that are not only Dragonball: Evolution-specific, but are exclusive to our particular game!
Thus far, the game images appear to be locked into a fixed side view. Does mean Evolution is more of a retro-inspired fighting game? Will we be able to sidestep attacks?
: I would describe Evolutions fighting style as somewhere between the classic 2-D Fighter and a more modern 3-D fighter. So, 2.5-D I guess? (Ha!) But really, when fighting, the characters appear mostly in 2-D, but the depth of the levels and how the camera handles the battles adds an element of depth and allows for the player to take in more of the stage and backgrounds. I think Dragonball fans will also find the fighting system to be intuitive and familiarregardless of their preference for 2-D or 3-D fighters.
With regards to sidestep attacks youll be able to avoid an enemys attack by side-stepping from their combos.
How will the characters' flying abilities be utilized, if at all?
: Since this was a fighting game, we felt that we should focus more on the fighting engine. We would have liked to have added the flying abilities feature, but it would have been hard to even out the characters if some could fly and others could not. However, all Evolution characters have the ability to hover in a 360-degree manner around their respective opponents to give an edge for combat and combos.
Does Evolution include a combo system of any kind? If so, talk about it and the different kinds of attacks you can string together.
: Dragonball: Evolution does include a variety of combos and a combo-based system; all players will find that there is a great deal of skill involved with mastering the combos. We have some special techniques that appear only in this game. Without saying too much, many of our combos and attacks also tie together with the film. There will be a variety of fun kick-and-punch combos, as well as some that utilize each of the characters unique talents and skills. No spoilers, but I anticipate our players will have a great deal of fun stringing together deadly combos and ending them with some pretty cool moves!
Ki management is going to be an essential part of every battle. Tell us why.
: Since Ki is basically your life force, it would be wise to maintain a standing level of Ki; running out completely leaves you exposed to your enemies. Having to charge your Ki back to a reasonable level will take time and when you are in the heat of battle, there is no time to step out and regain Ki. So it is the players responsibility to manage what Ki they have, and to use it effectively and efficiently. I believe a great deal of Ki management is based on timing; the player who knows when to use and hold on to it will become the strongest; not because of the character selected, but because of timing and management of the Ki gauge.
Can you tell us which characters are going to be included in the game?
: I can give you a few clues: Goku, Master Roshi, Bulma, Mai... and maybe a few surprise guests will be present.
As a game based on a movie, how will Evolution's story differ from the DB sagas we've already experienced? Will the game feature any scenes from the film?
: Dragonball: Evolution follows the original story of Dragonball, the story that started it all. Our game does not go into the details or storylines of other, existing Dragonball-related stories. But our tale does offer some excellent background info for those who might be new to the story. With regard to content from the film, and without giving away too many spoilers, I can say that there are indeed a lot of elements from the film in the game that are certain to please both our old and new fans alike.
Thank you for your time.
Nuevo spot del juego: