Today we bring you an exclusive to XCN Q&A with Yasu Nishimura, Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit Co Producer of Europe. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit is soon about to fly full force into stores around the world, so whilst you wait for the immanent launch, why not pull up a chair and read on…
Can you tell us if there is a storyline in the game and if so, can you give us some details?
Yes. The “Z chronicle” game mode will allow players to fully experience and feel the high quality story cut-scenes from Dragon Ball Z. Using the power of Xbox 360, we are able to present famous scenes from the Anime series in a unique way that will please all DBZ fans.
Basically, Z chronicle mode will comprise of stories from the Saiyan, Frieza, and Cell Sagas. By satisfying certain conditions during battles, players will be able to obtain new Drama Pieces for specific characters. We have also included “What if” Drama Pieces within the game for players to enjoy.
Do you like developing for Xbox 360?
Definately. This is the first Dragon Ball Z for Xbox 360, so we had a lot of fun!
Do you have any DLC planned in future?
At the moment, we don’t have a plan for DLC.
How long did it take you to design and make the game?
I remember that we were talking about the game concept in 2005. So it’s taken almost 3 and a half years if we include game planning.
Tell us about the multiplayer modes!
There is a VS mode in the game. In that mode, the player is able to play with others. As the player goes through a story mode, more characters and special attacks will be unlocked. In the battle this game features the basic DBZ moves such as vanishing moves which allow you to move instantly behind your opponent. Also, each character has their own unique Special and Ultimate Attacks, and some characters will be able to “transform”.
The biggest news is that the game has a worldwide online mode.
This is first time that Dragon Ball Z features worldwide online battle mode, and in that mode, the player is able to battle with the people who live in another country. For example if the player lives in France, they will be able to play against people who live in Japan or the United States.
How many characters will be in the game? Will there be as many characters and Sagas as there were in DBZ:BT3?
The number of playable characters will be less than the previous DBZ game. But I believe that players will be pleased by fully improved character graphics of this game, because we found it extremely challenging creating the new DBZ visual style for Xbox 360. We had to ensure that the visual style of this game would be different to the styles represented in the previous DBZ games.
Is it possible to create your own character?
What are the plans for the Online Lobby, how many people can be in a single room, I know its 1v1 fighting but do the people waiting get to watch the match? Can people even be waiting?
We follow the Xbox live guideline. The online battle is basically 1 vs 1, but we have some interesting mode such as ranking system online.
Will we be able to fight as the Giant Monkey?
Unfortunately no Giant Ape appears in this game.
There are quite a few games in the Dragonball series, what makes this one stand out from the rest?
We found it extremely challenging creating the new DBZ visual style for Xbox 360. We had to ensure that the visual style of this game would be different to the styles represented in the previous DBZ games. Also, this is the first DBZ game that features worldwide the online battle that all the DBZ fans have been waiting for such a long time!
How important is the Xbox Live aspect of the game to you?
It’s very important. The worldwide online battle in DBZ game is exactly what the DBZ fans have been waiting such a long time for!!
For gamers not familiar with the DBZ series, how will the fighting element attract unfamiliar gamers and those used to other fighting games?
We designed this game so it is easy to play for both DBZ fans and even people who are new to the DBZ content. As the player goes through a story mode, he/she is able to experience all the good elements of Dragon Ball Z. Also, if the player is already good at Dragon Ball Z, I’d like them to see the difference of graphics and online play.
How easy will the fighting mechanics be for beginners? Or was your aim to produce a more hardcore fighting engine?
I think the control has to be easy for everyone to play. But there really has to be some tactics/techniques that excite people during the battle. That is what we had imaged during the game development period.
How many stages will feature and will there be any unlockable content?
There are more than 10 battle stages. Each stage has an upper level and lower level. There’re also many unlockable features such as characters and/or special attacks, cut-scenes.
How easy or hard is it to develop for a particular licence? – if you stray too far from its roots you annoy the fans, if you don’t include enough content then the gamers moan?
Our biggest challenge is always how to entertain our customers.
We usually have two big customer groups. One is DBZ fans and the other is people who are new to the brand.
We have received several ideas from the DBZ license holder regarding the character expressions within the game. Based on these ideas, we are confident that this game will satisfy all DBZ fans. At the same time, the game should be enjoyable as a game itself for gamers.
Can you reveal more about the game’s controls?
At the moment, we have nothing to reveal. Please enjoy the fighting experience with your favourite DBZ character!
One new fighting element created for Burst Limit is the assist characters (each with their own special purpose). Have you considered a tag team mode for Burst Limit, sort of like in Dead or Alive 4, as to expand on this concept?
No we haven’t in this game.
Burst Limit is seemingly a faithful return to the Budokai games on the last generation of consoles. I’m just curious, but is there a particular reason why you returned to this style of fighting game instead of a new Tenkaichi (with much bigger environments that are even more destructible)?
In order for us to entertain our customers, we need to make changes even if the previous version sells well. The Tenkaichi series is a good DBZ game that has many playable characters and bigger 3D environments that are more destructible. However we wanted to bring something new aspect of Dragon Ball Z to our customers and/or people who loves DBZ.
Will we also see a Tenkaichi-esque DBZ game on the Xbox 360 / PS3?
We haven’t planned it yet.
If I remember correctly the Wii version of Tenkaichi 3 was the first DBZ game with online battles. A lot of people complained about its allegedly bad netcode so I was wondering how much this has been improved in Burst Limit?
Yes, the Wii version of Tenkaichi 3 had online connection. But its online portion of the game was region-locked meaning Japanese players play against Japanese players only. DBZ Burst Limit is the first DBZ game that allows players to battle worldwide online!
Why are you suddenly developing a Dragon Ball game for the Xbox 360? DB-Games were PlayStation-exclusives for a long time – what are the advantages of the 360 regarding your game?
Actually we’ve been releasing DBZ games for many consoles for many years. But this is the first DBZ game that will be available for Xbox 360. We wanted to bring some new aspects of the Dragon Ball Z onto the next-gen console, and it’s been almost 3 years and half since we started working on the concept.
Does the way you advance in the story resemble the Naruto game?
Why have the number of playable characters been reduced in this game? Will more be available in the form of DLC?
The previous DBZ games such as Tenkaichi series were more focused on the number of characters, battle stages and attacks. This game features different aspects from the previous series, more focused on graphics and online battle play. There are over 20 playable characters with over 50 forms and over 10 battle stages. I strongly believe that the total volume of this game is good enough to enjoy the new DBZ aspects/experience in the game.
Did you create a completely new fighting system or it is similar to other Dragon Ball games?
The fighting system technically is new to all the DBZ series.
Will there be option to choose between English and Japanese dubbing?
Yes. In Option menu, the player is able to switch voices. The game has both English voices and Japanese voices. We asked the same voice actors/actress of the anime series to record the voice. Also, we asked the same music composer of the anime series to create a completely new music score for this game. The singer is also the same as the original anime series.
Are there any big differences between the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions?
No, exactly the same.
Do you have any plans to release a demo?
Yes. We’re planning to release a demo version of the game on Xbox live.
There will be the Majin Bu saga in the game?
Unfortunately no Bu Saga in this game.
According to the multiplayer, can you tell us if team battle mode will give a gameplay experience similar to a famous series like King of Fighters?
We don’t have team battle mode in this game.
How many multiplayer arenas there will be in the game?
The VS mode in this game is basically 1 VS 1. Same as the online feature.
Dragon Ball has never had a really good, first class, AAA game on Xbox or Xbox 360. After seeing what can be done with Naruto, do you think Burst Limit will be the first of a new generation of Dragon Ball Games?
We found it extremely challenging creating the new DBZ visual style for Xbox 360. We had to ensure that the visual style of this game would be different to the styles represented in the previous DBZ games. Also, this is the first DBZ game that features worldwide online battle. That all the DBZ fans have been waiting for such a long time! So I would definitely say this game is the first of a new generation of DBZ games.
Would you like to make another Dragon Ball game for Xbox 360?
Yes, if there is a chance.
If you had infinite human and economic resources, what would you include in a future Dragon Ball game for Xbox 360?
Everything I see in the original anime series.
Which other franchise of manga or anime would you like to make a game about?
Anything I’m interested in. Right now I just don’t have much time to read/watch anime / manga. I wish I had some more time to read/watch manga/anime, and then I have a time to think about the future game development.
But I’m very happy to be involved in DBZ project.
Thanks for your time!