x360a Q & A - X-Blades
Written Monday, May 12, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
x360a got chance to speak to TopWare Interactive's Managing Director James Seaman regarding their upcoming anime, hack and slash adventure, X-Blades to give us more of an insight in to their new title. See what he had to say.
For the people back home, can you please introduce yourself and your role on the team?
James Seaman, Managing Director of Topware Interactive. I’m the guy that makes sure the finer details of the game are indeed fine.
In the announcing press for release for the title, Melanie Mroz said that “The 3rd-person ‘hack-em-up’ genre needs a fresh perspective and X-Blades is poised to deliver it”. Can you give us more of an insight in to how you hope to achieve this?
The anime style of X-Blades isn’t just window dressing, we are striving to make players feel like they’re taking part in a high-action, animated epic. We want the game to flow from cutscene to battle and back again without any hiccups that would make passive viewers realize they’re watching a game being played.
It’s not very often these days in the hack and slash genre to take control of a feisty female. What was the inspiration behind this?
Probably simply because it doesn’t happen very often. Personally, I think the arrogant, smart-mouthed male lead in action games has been done too many times. The arrogant, smart-mouthed female however…
Are you expecting to receive a mature rating for Ayumi’s outfit alone?
If the outfit doesn’t do it, there’s plenty of other reasons.
Can you give us more information on the backdrop to the story?
Ayumi is an experienced treasure hunter that finds a map to an artefact that promises untold power. Naturally, such an item is guarded by powerful foes, some of near god-like proportions. She may in fact be in over her head and dealing with something that’s beyond her comprehension, but her stubborn drive to succeed where she’s never failed before throws such concerns to the wayside.
From the early screenshots, the environments look huge and show some great detail. What sort of freedom can the player expect to have?
Well, you are on a quest to find an item that’s in a very specific place, so in at least some regard, you do have to press forward. However, we’ve strived to make the environments as open as possible, and filled with things that can create intense action moments for players with good eyes.
How will the magic system work… What sort of skills will our temptress be showing off?
As you defeat enemies, you gain a sort of in-game currency that allows you to unlock new and more powerful abilities. Players then key these to their control pad as they need. Some attacks are useful against specific foes, some are hard to pull off, and some just look frigging cool.
Will X-Blades have a complex combo system a la Devil May Cry or will it be more of a button mashing exercise, a la Dynasty Warriors?
The former, by far.
What would be the one fundamental feature in the game that you think will be the games biggest selling point?
I don’t want to detract from the action and gameplay by saying this, but I think the thing that will catch most people right away is its anime-styled graphics. The game is fun to play, and beautiful to watch. I guess you could say I think the look will get people interested, and the gameplay will make them hooked.
Achievements are becoming more and more of an integral part of the gaming world. Do you enjoy the added task or is it more of a pain in the ass?
I love it. It makes you think about your game in different ways. It would be easy to just give out achievements for accomplishing things that are going to happen anyway as players progress through the game, but when you challenge a player to do something that’s totally unnecessary but utterly cool, that’s when you know you’ve got a good achievement.
More and more are games these days getting pre-release demos. Will we be seeing one for X-Blades?
I hope so.
When do you anticipate the game to be on the shelves?
By the fall of this year!