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Brawlout devs discuss what differentiates the game from Smash Bros.

A portion of a COGConnected interview with Brawlout dev, Bodgan Iliesiu...

COGConnected: What features set you apart in the inevitable comparisons to Smash Bros and Brawlhalla that are bound to surface?

Bodgan Iliesiu: While Brawlout is based on the Platform Fighter genre which was established by the Super Smash Bros series, the fighting game mechanics are inspired from more traditional fighters, like Street Fighter, Tekken or Mortal Kombat. The movement and win rules are really where any similarity lines can be drawn to Super Smash Bros.

We’ve focused on more fast-paced battles, faster movement and a lot more aggressive combat style for all characters. Brawlout is combo oriented, with block and grab buttons totally removed, and this takes away the defensive playstyles found in Smash. Instead of having to read the opponent’s moves, and reacting to them (in the rock-paper-scissor / attack-block-grab style), all you need to focus on is your movement flow and anticipating your opponent’s trajectory around the stage.

We also introduced the Rage Meter. It’s charged by dealing damage or even faster by taking damage. When half filled, it gives you the option to do a Rage Burst, which acts more like a Combo Breaker in Mortal Kombat (you can interrupt your hitstun, or even use it to do several air moves such as 2 recoveries, when activated in air). When the Rage Meter is full, you can go into Rage Mode. This lets you deal more knockback while lessening your own when hit.

The main difference is the character play styles. They are not duplicates of Smash movesets, but instead, all designed around established fighting games archetypes or fun action games mechanics. For example, King Apu wields a long chain, similar to the main protagonist in Castlevania, while Olaf Tyson combines close range boxing moves with long-range freezing attacks (a-la Sub Zero). Whether you’re a die-hard grappler or a rushdown fiend, there is a fighter for you in Brawlout.

The metagame outside the main play modes are a totally unique fighting-platformer experience, likened to modern online games, similar to Overwatch or Injustice 2 (or even Brawlhalla), with progression mechanics and robust online tools, like:

• 1v1 Casual matches for low-stress competition
• 1v1 Ranked matches
• 2-4 player private lobbies where players can practice or mess about to their heart’s content
• The Brawlout Network where players can check their fight stats, match history and replays
• Brawlout TV which allows for live spectating and watching of specific player replays
• Weekly competitive tournaments for those looking to prove their Brawlout skills

Full interview here (thanks Sligeach_eire)

Legrand Legacy devs talk about optimizing the game for Switch, tease "pleasant and fun surprise"

The following is a snippet of a NintendoChitChat interview with Semisoft...

NCC: Do you anticipate any differences between the Switch version of Legrand Legacy and the PC release?

S: We are trying our best to have minimal difference on the graphics side, but considering that Legrand Legacy is quite heavy on processing power and RAM, we might have slight (hopefully unnoticeable) optimization.

Aside from that, there will certainly be new content and cross promotional content in there as well, although we still can’t divulge the details right now, but be prepared for a pleasant and fun surprise. =)

Square-Enix elaborates on why Switch succeeding is good for them, considering sequels to older IPs

A portion of a Telegraph interview with Yosuke Matsuda, Square-Enix's president...

T: How has the Switch changed how Square Enix as a whole look at developing and designing games?

YM: We announced this in our yearly results as well, but certainly the really great thing for us is to see how the Switch is selling so well, it's doing incredibly well, which is nothing but a good thing for us. As a publisher and developer of games, we obviously want to get our games onto as many different platforms as possible, and so obviously having a broad range to choose from can only be a good thing for us, so certainly seeing Nintendo's hardware selling so well and doing so well, getting our games on that can only be an advantage for the company, so we're very happy about it. Like I said, it makes our portfolio even more broad and even more bountiful.

T: Where do you think the balance of using existing IPs and creating new IPs stands in the future of Square Enix?

YM: We really want to do both of those in equal balance. Obviously we're going to continue making new games, and for the older IPs as well, not just the remake/remasters we've been doing, we want to create sequels and new games in those series as well.

Certainly the Switch, as well, because it has sold so well and is doing really well at the moment, there's a number of previous game IPs that we've got that we didn't make continuations of those series sequels for in the past, and I think maybe looking into doing some of those kinds of sequels to older IPs on the Switch in the future is something we'd like to look at.

Capcom on Mega Man being important to them, potential for new X/Legends/Battle Network and Mega Man 12

The following tidbits come from a Game Informer interview with Mega Man 11 dev team members...

On Mega Man still mattering to Capcom

Mega Man 11 director Koji Oda: “I still feel like Mega Man is one of the important pillars of the company. At the end of the day, we asked ourselves, ‘What does Capcom need to do for its fans? Should we act like Mega Man is a thing of the past? Should we toss him aside?’ I felt like that would be a foolish gesture. Inafune-san was a very important component to making Mega Man a success, but Mega Man is such a treasure to the company that it would be a waste to let him go because someone left.”

Would Capcom Consider Making another 3D Mega Man?

Mega Man 11 director Koji Oda: “You could build a mountain with all the different concepts we came up with, but we want to make sure that whatever we implemented would maintain that simplicity and durability of gameplay. It’s called Mega Man 11, but there was actually a heavy amount of discussion to get us to that point. A lot of us asked, ‘What do we want to call this? Do we want to take it in a brand-new direction and call it something totally different?’ At the end of the day we decided we wanted to be as straightforward as possible and tell people this is what you’ve been waiting for.”

Can We Expect A Mega Man 12?

Mega Man 11 producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya: This is definitely not just a trial balloon, we’re definitely not experimenting. We don’t even have the bandwidth to experiment. This is all about pouring everything we have and everything we know into one project and making it happen. We’re using our prior experience and knowledge to strengthen ourselves and reach the next level. From the start of the project I’ve been saying, ‘Mega Man 11 needs to be a true resurrection of the franchise.’ I really want this title to be something that veterans can pick up and say, ‘Yes, Mega Man is finally back.’”

What about The Mega Man X And Legends Series?

Mega Man 11 director Koji Oda: “I’m one of those people who thinks that actions speak louder than words. I could say all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, I’d like fans to see that we’re taking it seriously by starting to resurrect the brand in the way that we are and to continue to prove ourselves moving forward. I love reading survey data. It’s a great pastime, and I’m well aware that there is a voice out there that wants something new for games like Mega Man Legends and Battle Network.”

Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch News dev team interview features: Parts 2 through 5

Have you been keeping up with the Zelda: Breath of the Wild dev team interview taking place on the Switch News section of your Switch? If not, no worries! We've already covered the first part, but now you can see parts 2 through 5 below. The include commentary from both Eiji Aonuma (Producer) and Hidemaro Fujibayashi (Director).

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Nintendo: For new players, should you play the DLC after you beat the main story?

Fujibayashi: While developing DLC Pack 2, I thought the game is at its best when you have both DLC Packs 1 and 2, and has more memorable moments. This might sound market-y but for those who haven’t played it yet…

Aonuma: It’s not too late! (laughs)

Fujibayashi: For those that haven’t played it yet, I think the optimal way to play is to have all of the DLC included from the beginning.

Nintendo: Could you tell us why you decided to focus on the Champions for this DLC pack?

Aonuma: Especially after the launch, the Champions have been popular, so we assumed players will be interested in them. We’ve presented them as new and distinct characters to the series, so I think they stand out just as much as Link and Zelda. I hope that we can use them again in the future. (laughs)

Nintendo: Us too! Also, how was the idea born to deepen the Champions’ story through Kass’ new ballads?

Fujibayashi: In the main story, some of the story was told through Link recalling his memories, and the idea sprouted from discussing if we can have a different approach to tell the story. From there, we thought it would match the world of BotW to tell the stories from 100 years ago, and even ten thousand years ago, though ballads passed on through the world’s long history. So that meant someone needed to sing these ballads… and we remembered we already had a bard in the game! So we thought Kass would be fit to recite the story to Link.

Aonuma: I believe Kass is another character that stands out. After the game’s launch, I’m assuming Kass left quite an impression along with the sad melody that is recited on the accordion. In DLC, it’s a great opportunity to actually fully create the abilities and “what-is”s for some characters.

Nintendo: Speaking of the Champions, who’s your favorite Champion?

Aonuma: After working on DLC Pack 2, Mipha became my favorite. In the main story, I had an impression that Mipha’s feelings towards Link felt like a devoted love that seemed a bit too much for me. But after working on DLC Pack 2, I learned that her feelings were more deep –something similar to a mother’s love towards her child–and I felt that was really touching.

Fujibayashi: Urbosa is still my favorite. She’s strong, kind, and beautiful. I think the traits that make her a cool leader of the Gerudo make her the most charming character to me.

Nintendo: Is there anything you want to say to new players, Mr. Aonuma?

Aonuma: Sine this game is part of the Zelda game series, some people may assume that you need to play the other games to understand it. However, Link starts this game without any memories. So it’s a game where Link goes on a journey figuring out who he is, and why he was asleep there. Because of this, players can enjoy the game without knowing anything about the past Zelda series games, and it’s a game focused on discovering what the game is about. In addition, some games we’ve created don’t allow players to progress without defeating specific enemies. In BotW, there’s so much you can do that doesn’t require defeating enemies, and by doing tasks that don’t require defeating them, it can help you defeat enemies you couldn’t defeat before. And even if you still can’t defeat some enemies, you can discover new things to do and progress the game at your own pace. I would be happy if players that have gotten lost and stuck in other games play this game –it was designed to open up more paths as you explore.

Nintendo: Let’s talk shrines and dungeons! First, how do you go about designing the dungeons in the main story?

Fujibayashi: Ah, yes, there were two approaches. Since these dungeons focus on physics, one approach was creating a dungeon that fully utilized the physics. The second approach was to create a dungeon that gets affected by events in the dungeon –such as dynamic movements, changes in direction, and getting transferred to different locations. By having players discover a dungeon within these large beings, it links the story and gameplay, and that’s the kind of dungeon I wanted to create.

Nintendo: Ah, interesting. So how did this affect the new dungeon in The Champions’ Ballad?

Fujibayashi: Since the new dungeon was created with more ideas after we’ve created the four Divine Beast dungeons, I believe the dungeon added in DLC Pack 2 is the most fun and different among the dungeons we worked on.

Nintendo: There are many outfits in the game that are from past Zelda games, but how did you decide which ones to use? Also, which outfit is your favorite?

Fujibayashi: All the staff got together to decide on them, focusing on the impact of the outfits, like Zant’s Helmet, the Island Lobster shirt, and Phantom Ganon armor. We really wanted to choose impactful and fun outfits like the lobster shirt, and outfits that make Link look totally different. I’m personally a fan of the Phantom Ganon armor set because when it’s equipped, Link looks like a totally different character –it felt like I’m playing a different game while riding the motorcycle with this outfit. I had Link rising around in it while we were testing the content!

Aonuma: As producer, I was interested to see how the outfits would appear in the world of BotW. Surprisingly, it seems like most outfits would work in the game’s world. Honestly, the outfit I wanted to add into the game the most was the Island Lobster Shirt. I own a replica of this shirt, I’ve worn it to many promotional activities, and I even wear it during my life outside of work. It’s a design that strangely looks decent even when an adult wears it. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, where this shirt originated, the ocean appears in the game, but no lobsters. I’m still puzzled why there’s a lobster pattern shirt in a game with no lobsters.

Nintendo: Many players have used the capturing function of the Nintendo Switch system to post interesting screenshots and videos of the game online. Have any of them surprised you?

Fujibayashi: I think there’s a road where the Yiga Clan ambush you in the game, and I saw someone post a series of videos showing different ways to defeat Yiga Clan ambushers. In one video, they stopped an item midair with Stasis –when the Yiga Clan member appeared, the item drops and crushes them. I thought that was fun and clever. Very unique.

Aonuma: There are a ton of them shared online, so I’ve seen quite a few of them already –like people hitting something several times under Stasis and riding it a far distance. The one thing that really surprised me, and I don’t know how this user pulled it off, but they made a strong enemy called a Lynel chase them a far distance –leading it to another Lynel to fight. Looking at it I was worried what would happen! I was surprised with the user’s determination to do what they want and their challenging spirit.

Nintendo: Mr Fujibayashi, thank you for providing tips for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild news channel. Could you give a brief rundown of how players can benefit from this channel?

Fujibayashi: Of course. Some of these articles provide items you can use in-game, so it lets players test out the tips right away. A funny example is the article that distributed eggs. If you tried to redeem the item at the wrong location, they’d fall from the sky and break. Normally, we make sure you can retrieve the distributed items, but we thought it was funny that they’ll break if you’re not in water… so we distributed them as is. There’s no limit to the number of times you can redeem the items, so try it as much as you like!

Nintendo: We were wondering about those eggs! And finally, I would like to ask a very important question. (pauses) Why does the Yiga Clan love bananas so much?

Fujibayashi: (laughs) This is actually a secret that hasn’t been told yet. As mentioned in the main story, the Yiga Clan used to be members of the Sheikah tribe, and between you and me, the Sheikah tribe apparently liked bananas ten thousand years ago. There’s actually a scene that proves this in DLC Pack 2. It’s a secret where this location is at, but if you do manage to find it, it gives players a fun nod from ten thousand years ago. However, it’s still a mystery why they specifically love bananas so much.

Nintendo: I am honestly surprised to get such a deep answer from such a casual question.

All: (laughs)

Aonuma: I was also wondering “Why Bananas?”, but it’s still a mystery to me, too.

Nintendo: I see (laughs). Assuming this mystery will not be solved anytime soon, that’s it for today. Mr Aonuma and Mr. Fujibayashi, thank you again for making time for us!

Aonuma & Fujibayashi: Thank you very much.

Nintendo's devs working on 'interesting & different' ideas to utilize Switch's Joy-Con, says Switch is 'on the road to success'

Nintendo has had an absolutely phenomenal 2017, with the Switch sitting front-and-center of their success. With over 10 million sold, it seems like Nintendo's fortunes are really turning around. People are excited about the Switch, as are Nintendo's own developers! Nintendo's Yoshiaki Koizumi and Shinya Takahashi sat down with Engadget to discuss their favorite feature of the Switch, the Joy-Con.

Koizumi: "[A] really exciting hardware feature of the Nintendo Switch is the fact that you can separate the controllers. This makes lots of new forms of play possible, and we're currently researching a lot of different and interesting ideas. We've also seen many amazing and great ideas from our third-party development partners, as well as the Nindies community."

Takahashi: "You can quickly start playing with another person no matter where you are," he says. "This made a big difference in how we thought of the experiences in 1-2-Switch, which also has a lot of experiences that make use of the HD Rumble feature as well. These are experiences you can only have with Nintendo Switch. We would like to continue making new types of software that make use of these unique features of the hardware.

We want more people to have these kinds of experiences, so that's what we have been working towards, but that's also why I feel that it is too early to talk about our success. Rather, I feel like we are still on the road to that success. We would like to see so many more people having these experiences, and I do believe that we can get there."

Doom dev says the key to Doom's engaging gaming is 'fun first'

Coming from a Gamasutra interview with Marty Stratton, game director at Bethesda-owned Doom developer Id Software...

"From a high-level perspective – this is going to sound overly simple for a dev audience – but it was absolutely 100 percent 'fun first.' I know a lot of developers would say 'yeah, of course, we all do fun first'...I dunno. I think that was definitely a big, big thing for us, always. We let the game tell us what it wanted as we played it constantly, and always steered into the fun. And that came back to the most fundamental design things: bad-ass demons with tons of personality, great guns, and fast movement – push-forward combat – that created [what we call] 'combat chess.'"

Full interview here

Bound to Sound - A documentary on composer Jesper Kyd (Darksiders)

During our recent trip to California, we took an extra day to go visit Jesper Kyd at his studio to get the footage we needed for our upcoming documentary on Darksiders. We ended up filming a full doc on him. This is the story of Jesper Kyd's journey to becoming a renowned video game composer.

Kid Koala discusses his work on the Floor Kids soundtrack

A portion of a Nintendo Life interview with Kid Koala, composer for Floor Kids...

NL: Floor Kids’ soundtrack is phenomenal, and it’s such a huge part of the experience — can you tell us about the musical influences that went into it?

Kid Koala: Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the music! I’ve been doing more film soundtrack and scoring work in recent years, so I kind of applied that “score to picture” mentality to Floor Kids. JonJon’s art style is very raw and scratchy, so I just tried to make music that would fit the visual world that he created. I pretty much used everything in my studio and tried to make tracks that had the energy of the bboy/bgirl events that I’ve deejayed at over the years. I have a vinyl cutting machine in my studio, so often I would play the instruments and then cut them on to vinyl to re-scratch them back into the track. That way you get that turntable push/pull and record dust into the mix, which I love. I got to use equipment from every era because I’m a bit of a gear geek. Jon drew a venue that’s an old school video arcade, so I brought out the Commodore SID chip, 4 bit, 8 bit, synths for that. By the time the player gets to the Peace Summit, I wanted the music to feel like some insane “Final Boss Battle”. I laughed a lot making those tracks also (sometimes maniacally) because the chorus sections are ridiculously difficult. During the menu music and story cut scenes, I made more mid-tempo tracks just give a little break from the uptempo battle tracks.

Nintendo says Switch supply is currently good, 3DS on track to sell more in US this year than last

Nintendo made a promise to do a better job with Switch stock, and they've come through on that promise. It is definitely easier to find a Switch out there at retail right now, but it's not a 100% sure thing. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime discussed the situation.

"Our supply chain is very robust. Product is arriving at stores and to our dot-com retailers literally every day. The best advice is to look across the full landscape of retail. I did that this morning, and at least here in the Pacific Northwest, you could go to a GameStop location near me and find the hardware. I looked online, and Target.com had Switch available. Some retailers might have it available in their physical stores, but not online. The trick is really to just look around. Do a little bit of homework. There is supply out in the marketplace right now.

If a consumer wants a Nintendo Switch and they see it on the shelf, they need to buy it then and there, because as we get closer to Christmas it's going to become more challenging to find. I would not advise a consumer who wants a Nintendo Switch to wait until the 23rd or 24th, because you risk being disappointed."

Many people might believe the 3DS has been left in the dust thanks to Switch, but Reggie revealed some info that shows consumers have not forgotten about the 3DS at all.

"In the United States we're on track to actually sell more Nintendo 3DS systems this year than we did last year. That's incredible for a system that has been out in the marketplace and is enjoying its seventh holiday right now."