Arcadia przeprowadziła wywiad z jednym z twórców czwartego z kolei mordobicia z serii "Virtua Fighter". Cały wywiad na język angielski przetłumaczył Core Magazine. Jako, że niektórzy z was mogą mieć problem z dostaniem się na stronę CM, zamieszczamy ten wywiad u nas.
Arcadia: Why was there such a gap between Virtua Fighter 3 and VF4?
Katagiri-san: The main reason was we couldn't get the staff together. Everyone was working on different projects, and we didn't want to start until we had the right people. Personally, I thought we had done everything we could in Virtua Fighter 3, so I was focusing on Outtrigger. But after a while there was clearly a need for a new fighting game, and when we finally got the staff together, the timing was right for VF4.
Arcadia: Can you give us some background details on the staff currently working on Virtua Fighter 4?
Katagiri-san: Our two main programmers previously worked on Virtua Fighter 1 and 2. Another worked on the Saturn versions of VF2 and Fighting Vipers. Our main designer previously worked on Daytona USA and Outtrigger.
Arcadia: What sort of improvements can we expect in VF4?
Katagiri-san: We're thinking of Virtua Fighter 4 as more of a sequel to VF2 than VF3. Which means the game will take a completely different direction than VF3. I'm proud of the work we did on Virtua Fighter 3, but we're getting back to basics.
Arcadia: What's the main theme in VF4?
Katagiri-san: We're trying to give the characters more personality. Depending upon the style of the character, their attacks will be light and quick, or slow and damaging. Virtua Fighter 3 focused on balance between characters, and VF4 will bring back their personalities.
Arcadia: In VF2, it seemed very hard to beat players who were more skilled. In Virtua Fighter 3 though, even beginners could beat experts through escape techniques. How will this change in VF4?
Katagiri-san: Many people complained about the difficulty level in Virtua Fighter 3, and how easy it was. But that wasn't our goal. We've always tried to make the series accessible to novices, but we reward players who practice and increase their skill level. We realize, if there's nothing in the game to master, nobody will play it.
Arcadia: The costume designs shown so far look reminiscent of Virtua Fighter 2, don't they?
Katagiri-san: Yes, we've intentionally designed them like that. In Virtua Fighter 3 we paid attention to costume design, but more-so the little nuances like how they move. Now we're thinking about how they should look overall.
Arcadia: Have you done any motion capturing for VF4?
Katagiri-san: Yes, we've done a lot of motion capturing to add new moves, and entrance poses. We even tried dumping the raw motion capture data onto the character models, and it produced surprisingly realistic results. Of course, it looked even better when we touched up the animation.
Arcadia: Virtua Fighter 3 used a four-button setup, but in VF4 you're going back to three?
Katagiri-san: We want to go back to using the joystick strictly for movement and the buttons for actions. In Virtua Fighter 3 we had a problem how to let players dodge attacks, so we dedicated a button to 'evade.' But for VF4, we thought a three-button setup would make the most sense.
Arcadia: So all movements, including avoiding attacks, will be done through the joystick?
Katagiri-san: Yes. In Virtua Fighter 3 dodging became almost a normal movement. We think it would be more natural to do this through the joystick rather than a button.
Arcadia: VF4 will use an eight-way run system similar to Namco's fighter, Soul Calibur?
Katagiri-san: Yes, Virtua Fighter 4 and Soul Calibur are similar in several respects. You can move around freely, and avoiding attacks will require precise timing.
Arcadia: At the AOU show earlier this year, AM2 unveiled VF4 and confirmed plans for six characters. You also confirmed plans for several new characters, can you tell us about them?
Katagiri-san: Generally speaking, the new characters will focus on usability. Like in Virtua Fighter 2, the ability to control the characters was easy. I can't get into specifics regarding the new characters yet. All I can tell you is, they won't have traditional martial artist styles or backgrounds.
Arcadia: Have you created any new characters that won't be used in VF4?
Katagiri-san: Yes, we created a character who was a master of Kenpo, Pai's style of fighting. He was an extremely well made character, but we had to drop him. If this were a Fighting Vipers sequel, he probably would have made it. [laughs..] We decided what new characters to use after consulting the entire staff and hearing their concerns.
Arcadia: In previous Virtua Fighter games, characters strong in punching techniques and combos seemed to dominate. Will the new characters have strong hand-fighting techniques?
Katagiri-san: Some will have strong hand-fighting techniques. Other new characters will have completely new fighting styles. Something for your readers to look forward to.
Arcadia: Players will be able to save information regarding their performance in VF4 to external memory devices?
Katagiri-san: Yes, players will use this information outside of the game itself. With games like this, I think it's most fun to play against people within your skill level. If you had a device or system that would let you find players like yourself, I think that would be interesting. I can't go into specifics about this, because we haven't made any firm decisions yet.
Arcadia: You're thinking of offering an info exchange network or Internet site for VF4 players?
Katagiri-san: Something like that, yes. We want people to use the network to enjoy Virtua Fighter in new ways.
Arcadia: What about changes to the in-game fighting system?
Katagiri-san: We're adding walls to some stages, but there will still be ring-outs. What we're trying to do is decrease ambiguous background action. In Virtua Fighter 4, what happens onscreen will be a direct result of the players actions.
Arcadia: Are you adding any other new elements to the gameplay system?
Katagiri-san: We're trying a number of things, but I'm not sure what we're going to use yet. For instance, whether a character stumbles and recovers or falls when he's hit a certain way. Suffice it to say, we're spending plenty of time tweaking the new system.
Arcadia: You mentioned walls will be added to some stages, will players be able to incorporate them into attacks?
Katagiri-san: Many things are being done with the walls, but yes, players will be able to do attacks with them.
Arcadia: Do you think there will be a Virtua Fighter 5?
Katagiri-san: Its already been proposed. I'm not sure if it will happen, but it would be nice. Right now, we want to push Virtua Fighter 4 as far as we can.
Arcadia: What are your thoughts on network play?
Katagiri-san: Everyone seems obsessed with network play, but I haven't given it much thought. We're still thinking about network ideas for Virtua Fighter 4. It would be interesting to incorporate cellphone devices, somehow. [laughs..]
Arcadia: Thanks for your time, any message to your fans?
Katagiri-san: We're very thankful to everyone still playing Virtua Fighter 3. VF4 will offer a completely new experience, one that you can enjoy for a long time to come.
Tłumaczył: Walt Wyman