July 2, 2007
Madness for Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM – Six Sagas Represented, Massive Battles,
Trademark DW Gameplay and More
by Louis Bedigian
“We tried to do an actual physical count before, but gave up after we went past 150 mobile suits.”
Gundam and Dynasty Warriors. The two don’t sound like a combo rivaling peanut butter and jelly. But by the time Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM is released, KOEI and Namco Bandai hope to achieve a flavor comparable to peanuts and chocolate, if not the renowned PB&J.
Originally designed as a PlayStation 3 exclusive in Japan, Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM will be released on both PS3 and Xbox 360 when it launches in North America on August 28. Featuring characters and story elements from six different Gundam series, this hack-n-slash action game could be the most comprehensive title involving mobile suits.
“We have characters coming from the Mobile Suit Gundam series, also known as the first Gundam,” said Nobuaki Taguchi, Localization Producer. “We have characters from Gundam Z, Double Zeta Gundam, G Gundam, Gundam Wing, and Turn A Gundam.”
“One thing that we did was, obviously we wanted to introduce something a little different,” he continues, noting the development team’s concern with merging the worlds of Gundam and Dynasty Warriors. “[Merely] bringing over Gundam wouldn’t be enough. One of the features that is included is called a Boosting feature. It adds an element of speed to the game. There were a lot of user opinions to how large the playing field is and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. The Boosting feature gives players faster movement to get from one area to another.”
Gundam is a franchise that’s known for its massive and explosive battles. Dynasty Warriors is known for frantic and chaotic melee combat. Not surprisingly, Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM will contain both.
Nobuaki comments: “If you would like to hack away at the mobile suits coming forward, that’s your choice. Or if you would like to hold true to how the Gundam franchise is depicted – try to pick them off [from afar] as the try to shoot you.”
Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM will feature a voice-over language switcher, allowing players to hear the original Japanese voices with English subtitles (in addition to the English dub). There will also be two specific modes relating to the story – Official and Original. “The Official mode is based on the story of the actual anime series, whereas the Original mode is a special story mode which was made specifically for this game only. It brings all six storylines into one world and it’s a very interesting storyline taken from each different aspect.”
Those of you anticipating next-gen graphics will be intrigued by the prospect of more than 150 visible mobile suits – at one time! “We tried to do an actual physical count before, but gave up after we went past 150 mobile suits. Everything was constantly moving around, [it became difficult to keep counting]. So I can guarantee at least 150. Who knows how many more it can actually handle.”
As far as the game’s length is concerned, Nobuaki says that the game can be played through quickly – if you desire. “If you were to play [through the game] as one character, and complete each mission with that character, I would say it’ll take a good three hours,” he says. “That’s partially because we have different difficulties for the game. With that you may be able to beat the game a little faster, or you may hit road blocks that will [take a few times] to clear. Overall I would say its well over 30 hours of gameplay. For myself I am already at 120, so…that’s going a little overboard.”
Can you fly in this game?
Nobuaki Taguchi: Yes. To a certain degree, some of the mobile suits can fly in the game. I’m sure some of the Gundam fans can probably pinpoint which ones. We do have a couple that [offer] flying capabilities.
Are the flight controls essentially the same as when moving foot?
NT: The flying feature is [apart of the] Boosting feature. What you do is, you jump into the air and some specific Gundams will change form so they can navigate through the air. It is not flying for eternity, but it does give you greater speed. This can be done both on land and in space.
Do you only control various mobile suits, or are there also times when you'll control the pilots themselves?
NT: There isn’t any real instance where you get to control the pilots themselves.
Are there story elements surrounding the Gundam Wing characters or any other Gundam characters in the game?
NT: Apart from what’s in the Official mode, which we pulled the story from the first Gundam (Mobile Suit Gundam) and Zeta Gundam, for Gundam Wing – we actually incorporated more of the character relations into the Original mode. In there you will see a number of different instances that fans of Gundam Wing will probably smirk and smile at when they come across.
Are there specific anime or CG sequences that are exclusive to this game? Or are they taken directly from the shows?
NT: There are a few. It’s more in the Official mode. It’s not from the anime series – it is an actual rendered movie that’s within the game. [It features] a number of very famous scenes from Mobile Suit Gundam and Zeta Gundam. I would like to have everyone experience it [on their own] so that you can find out what that’s alluding to.
Dynasty Warriors offers multiple characters with multiple weapon types. How will that be translated to the Gundam edition? Will the mobile suits be upgradeable in some way?
NT: As far as the weapons go, yes. Each of the mobile suits has its signature weapon, and as far as combat sequences, it [does] carry over a similar system from Dynasty Warriors. A lot of the melee and projectile combat will use their signature weapons in the process.
As far as customization goes, there is a special feature [in the game] called Parts. What it is, is special parts that you acquire during the battle. After each mission these ‘parts’ can be used to power-up your mobile suit.
Where is the soundtrack coming from? Gundam classics, including Gundam Wing, I hope?
NT: We wanted to make a soundtrack that would match what’s going on [in the game] as much as possible. KOEI has done a very good job of making a number of mixes of background music for this game alone. If you’re looking for the actual Gundam Wing soundtrack [or one from any other Gundam], [those] are not in there. But I am sure the soundtrack KOEI made will please you. It is very fitting.
Tell us more about number of suits that are visible at one time. Does the camera pan out to cram in the 150+ mobile suits you described?
NT: Actually, the camera does not zoom out. Within that one single screen – some of the areas have immense depth – if you were to take one screenshot with several enemies, you will be surprised by the number of suits that appear.
I would assume the graphics are considerably higher than the other Dynasty Warriors games. When the last title came out for 360, it looked like an upgrade of a PS2 game. Not a specific Xbox 360 game. However, Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM is exclusively next-gen.
NT: Exactly. When the game came out in Japan it was made specifically for PS3. Hence, you can already see that the development team has been gearing it toward next-gen. [The PS2 version] is not comparable. Anyone who has played the previous games on PS2 will notice that it is a huge upgrade.
Will there be any kind of charge move, as in the other Dynasty Warriors titles?
NT: The Musou gauge [is featured in] Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM. You increase the gauge by attacking enemies. There are also items that can replenish the gauge entirely. There are three stages of its usage. When you use the gauge, you use that character’s signature weapon, which will do a lot of damage to enemies in the process. There is also a special feature where you can use this move in alliance with your allies. That will rank up your move another level.
Thanks to everyone at Namco Bandai and Kohnke Communications for having a wonderful conference call.