Metroid Prime: Echoes + Hunters interview
Door Ness op 15-05-2004 om 08:42
IGN had gisteren een interview gehouden met Kensuke Tanabe, de producer van Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. In dit interview is een veel nieuwe informatie vrijgegeven over Metroid Prime 2: Echoes voor de GameCube en Metroid Prime: Hunters voor de NDS. Hieronder het volledige interview.
IGN: Are you based in Texas now or do you work out of NCL in Japan?
Kensuke Tanabe: At NCL in Japan.
IGN: What is the goal of Metroid Prime 2? What is the game really about?
Kensuke Tanabe: Our obvious goal is to build another game for people who enjoyed Metroid Prime -- just an enjoyable game to play for people who loved the franchise.
IGN: There's been a rumor going around that Retro Studios lost a chunk of its talented art staff after the completion of the first game. Is this true?
Kensuke Tanabe: There is a rumor that Retro lost artists?
Kensuke Tanabe: They haven't lost anybody.
IGN: So the team working on Metroid Prime 2 is entirely the same as the one that worked on the original?
Kensuke Tanabe: Right after the completion of Metroid Prime, a couple of people left. There was an engineer who left -- it wasn't all on the art side. And it was a very limited number of people.
IGN: Can you explain the Light and the Dark World beams? How do they relate to the light and the dark worlds?
Kensuke Tanabe:Well, first of all the doors between the two worlds are called portals. The portal into the Dark World is the Dark Portal and the Light World the Light Portal. To go into the Dark World you need the Dark Beam and to open a portal from the Dark World to the Light World you need a Light Beam. In each world there are different beings and opponents. The creatures that inhabit the Dark World are vulnerable to the Light Beam and vice-versa the creatures that inhabit the Light World are more susceptible to taking damage from the Dark Beam.
IGN: We noticed that the Light Beams and Dark Beams have limited ammo. Why put a limit on the ammo?
Kensuke Tanabe: I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression before when I said that the Light Beam damages dark creatures. Other weapons can also damage them -- it's just that the Light Beam is most effective. So if we gave these beams unlimited amounts of ammo, then if you're in the Dark World why would you use anything other than the Light Beam? We don't want the player to do that -- we want them to have to use strategy and figure out different ways to beat enemies instead of just bringing up the big gun every time. We wanted to introduce that element of strategy to the game.
IGN: Why is the game called Metroid Prime 2: Echoes? Does this relate to the new visor mode that lets you see sound?
Kensuke Tanabe: There is going to be an Echo Visor and you're right that it does let you see sound in certain ways, but that is not where the name came from. The name itself refers to the two planets existing simultaneously and that each one is an echo of the other.
IGN: Samus currently takes damage in the Dark World whenever she ventures outside of shielded bubbles that protect her from the environment. Will the character gain a new suit that lets her exist in the Dark World?
Kensuke Tanabe: [Smiles] That's a good question. I guess my response is that you're probably on the right track.
IGN: The multiplayer mode is a new addition to the Metroid series. What led to the decision to include a multiplayer mode in the game?
Kensuke Tanabe: We actually wanted to have a multiplayer mode in the first Metroid Prime. However, we just didn't have enough time. Our plan right from the beginning in Metroid Prime 2 was definitely to include a multiplayer mode. We thought that was something the fans wanted and it was something we wanted to do as well.
IGN: Will you be able to play as Dark Samus in either the single-player or multiplayer modes?
Kensuke Tanabe: No, there is no plan right now to have Dark Samus as a playable character.
IGN: Will there be any link functionality between Metroid Prime 2 and the Nintendo DS Metroid Prime Hunters?
Kensuke Tanabe: No, there's no plan to have any connectivity between the DS and GameCube.
IGN: How does the Echo Visor work?
Kensuke Tanabe: We're not showing the Echo Visor on the show floor and that's one of the things we did intentionally because we wanted people to have something to look forward to. But the information you can derive from the name, that's pretty much all the information we have.
IGN: Samus appears to be able to lock-on to multiple enemies simultaneously. Can you explain how this works?
Kensuke Tanabe: That's a new ability of missiles, actually.
IGN: How much of the game takes place in first-person versus third-person morphball?
Kensuke Tanabe: As far as the percentages, it's probably not very different from Metroid Prime. Most people are going to be playing in first-person mode for the majority of the game. In terms of other third-person elements, there's the new screw attack. That's in third-person because first-person would make you ill [laughter].
IGN: Speaking of the screw attack, how does it work and can you execute it any time you want?
Kensuke Tanabe: Once you get the item that allows you to do the screw attack you can do it wherever you want. But it's designed to allow you to wall-jump up chasms and things like that.
IGN: Can it also used as a weapon?
Kensuke Tanabe: It's not one-hundred percent finalized yet, but our feeling now is that it's not really designed to be a weapon, but more of an exploratory device.
IGN: Can it be used in the multiplayer mode?
Kensuke Tanabe: It's not in there right now [Laughs]. I can't envision places in a multiplayer match where you would use it. But, you know, if there is an outcry to have screw attack in the multiplayer mode, we're certainly consider it, sure.
IGN: Will the multiplayer mode support LAN capabilities?
Kensuke Tanabe: No.
IGN: We came across 'hacking mode' in the multiplayer demo, but we didn't have time to figure out what it's use was. What's it for?
Kensuke Tanabe: That's a multiplayer feature. In multiplayer mode there's really no place to use the visor, but they really wanted to so this was their solution. Through scanning you can infect your opponent with the virus and that makes the character take damage.
IGN: What's the name of the planet that Samus now explores?
Kensuke Tanabe: It's called Aether.
IGN: Will any of the visor modes be available in multiplayer?
Kensuke Tanabe: We don't have plans for that right now. We'd like to make the multiplayer mode pretty straightforward and simple so that players can pick up and go.
IGN: How will the game's storyline be delivered? Will there be more cut-scenes or voice work?
Kensuke Tanabe: We don't have any voice or narrative planned. However, I believe there are more cut-scenes in this game than in the previous game. But the scan visor is used to drive the story elements as well.
IGN: The scan visor display is different looking. Does it function differently, too?
Kensuke Tanabe: Same functionality. Just the look of it has changed. The designer who is charge of the visor elements said he didn't want to use the same one, that he wanted to change it and make something different and new.
IGN: We talked about the screw attack. Are there any other abilities that Samus can acquire that weren't in the first game?
Kensuke Tanabe: Nothing really big. The biggest new element is the relationship between the Light World and Dark World.
IGN: We take it that Dark Samus will be a prominent figure in the game, always hunting Samus.
Kensuke Tanabe: [Laughs] I've had that question a bunch, actually. In the video we released, Dark Samus is featured really prominently, but in the game not as much as the video suggests. The role of Dark Samus is not limited to a hunter or the hunted. It's more mysterious than that.
IGN: What are you most proud of in MP2 from a technical standpoint?
Kensuke Tanabe: As far as a lot of the technical things, you'd really have to talk to one of the programmers or the engineers. But in the first game we were very happy with the very short load times. I know that they really wanted to make it even shorter and shorter [for this game] and have put a lot of effort into that.
IGN: Are there any plans to incorporate the Spring Ball mechanic into the game?
Kensuke Tanabe: No plans.
IGN: How big is the MP2 development team?
Kensuke Tanabe: About the same as last -- 40 people.
IGN: Are there any changes to the way the Spider Ball works?
Kensuke Tanabe: I can't give you any details, but I think it controls better this time.
IGN: What led to the use of the crystals, which are used in the Dark World to illuminate areas? Was their inclusion inspired by Final Fantasy in any way?
Kensuke Tanabe: No, we didn't have any outside influence as to why we wanted to use crystals. But we needed something to shoot to create these safe zones, which allow Samus to travel through the Dark World and crystals are pretty, easy to see and look good.
IGN: How big would you say the game is overall?
Kensuke Tanabe: I haven't played it from beginning to end, so I can't give you a definitive answer. But I think it's pretty close to the first one -- roughly the same amount of gameplay.
IGN: Are there locations that you can explore other than planet Aether?
Kensuke Tanabe: That's our only location in this game, you're not going anywhere else.
IGN: Have you focused at all on Samus Aran's bounty hunter aspect? Have you implemented anything in the game which spotlights this particular side of the character?
Kensuke Tanabe: We didn't really focus on anything to do with Samus as a bounty hunter more than we have in other games. Other than that she's a hired gun and she comes to the planet for a reason. People looking for the bounty hunter aspect should probably look at the Nintendo DS title Metroid Prime Hunters.
IGN: Who is developing the DS game?
Kensuke Tanabe: It's not Retro. They obviously have some Retro assets though. If Mr. Iwata says okay, then I can tell you.
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