Team NINJA leader Yosuke Hayashi talks DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions
DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions for Nintendo 3DS brings the explosive fighting action of the hit series to life in a whole new way. We caught up with Yosuke Hayashi, leader of the dynamic Team NINJA, to ask about the appeal of fighting games, the fresh possibilities offered by Nintendo 3DS and the DEAD OR ALIVE series as a whole.
There are lots of fighting game franchises competing for our attention. What makes the DEAD OR ALIVE series different from those?
The major difference is the sheer beauty of the game. The real charm of DEAD OR ALIVE is the way it takes the brutality of fighting and mixes it with beauty and style. The way DEAD OR ALIVE brings them together makes for a really unique combination of the two aspects which are otherwise conflicting images. When you mix these into a formula with gorgeous characters, wide-open stages, and fluid animations you get that sheer fighting beauty which is only DEAD OR ALIVE.
What is it about fighting games that you think appeals to people in general?
Fighting games are very simple in design and what makes them really attractive is that they evoke a sense of urge and instinct that lies within all of us, which is to fight and beat someone. There are two things which stimulate this urge to fight. One being that the stronger person is certain that they can win over their weaker opponent. And the other is that the weaker opponent has a sense of confidence that they can beat an opponent if they challenge them. I think that these two aspects are extremely important in making a fighting game what it is.
One of the novel features of the DEAD OR ALIVE series is the interactive environments and the fact that the positioning of your character in the 3D space actually matters. Do you feel the 3D functionality of Nintendo 3DS enhances this aspect of the gameplay?
One thing that distinguishes DEAD OR ALIVE from the rest is the fact that you need to use environments to your advantage in battle. In order to use these successfully you need to judge the depth on the stage. With the use of stereoscopic 3D you will see this depth much more clearly. One more thing we have done is use stereoscopic 3D to accentuate the presence of each character. Please check this out by sampling the gameplay on Nintendo 3DS.
What advancements, other than the 3D effect, does DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions boast over the last game in the series, DEAD OR ALIVE 4?
Put it this way, if we didn’t have the experience we got from DEAD OR ALIVE 4, we couldn’t have made DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions. The modes and tweaks and adjustments we made in DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions are based on the feedback that we got from the fans who played DEAD OR ALIVE 4. In this sense I think that DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions exceeds DEAD OR ALIVE 4 in every way. We have also spent a lot of time in tuning the finer points of the difficulty so players who struggled in DEAD OR ALIVE 4 will find DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions much more approachable.
Do you have a favourite character from the DEAD OR ALIVE series and, if so, why?
My favourite character is actually my own little secret. The other characters would be jealous of me if I revealed this! All our characters are our children and all Team NINJA’s children need to be treated equally.
The Geothermal Power Plant stage comes from METROID: Other M, which Team NINJA made in cooperation with Nintendo. What inspired you to reference that game in DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions?
We learned a lot from working with Nintendo on METROID: Other M. Following its release, DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions marked the first outing of the series to a Nintendo platform, so we wanted to commemorate this with a little something and decided to put a Metroid stage in there.
The guys over at Nintendo were happy with the idea and we had no problems with implementing the stage. We had some of the guys that actually worked on Metroid come down from Nintendo and do the stage with us so the stage is perfectly replicated in DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions. One little surprise we have for all of you on this stage is that you can use the microphone on Nintendo 3DS to call out to a special friend! When you play on this stage, make sure you call out “Samus!” and see what happens.
Can players expect to see more crossover elements from the Metroid series in DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions?
Since both of these titles have a long history in their own right I think it would be inappropriate for these two to mix too much into each other’s affairs any more than this. Rather than this I want to play a new Metroid game!
What would you say to convince someone who’s never been interested in fighting games that they should give DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions a try?
For those who check out the game footage and think to themselves that they can play like that, I recommend that you go out and try the game. For those who have never tried fighting games, I am confident that you will learn to love the genre after playing DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions.
This game is also utilising many of the functions featured on the Nintendo 3DS system. For those of you who want to experience the hardware being used to the full I suggest you try out DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions. It’s not just the 3D graphics that you’ll be amazed by, but also by the interesting little way we incorporated the gyro sensor, as well as the way we are letting players take the fight online… oh, and not to mention that you also have StreetPass and SpotPass to experience. All these features combined will let you experience new ways to play the game and this is something we could only do on Nintendo 3DS.
I am waiting for all of you online for some scorching hot fights!
Hayashi-san, thank you very much for your time.
DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions is in shops now, only for Nintendo 3DS.