Producer Yasuyuki Oda discusses the design of SNK’S latest fighting game, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
how did the SNK Heroines project get started?
Soon after The King Of Fighters XIV was released, we decided to start with a new project with popular female characters from throughout the whole SNK library. That’s where this came from.
there was a game on the neo-geo pocket color with a similar theme,
SNK Gals’ Fighters. was any inspiration drawn from that for this concept? Actually, it was kind of an opposite influence. Because we had already made a game like that, we wanted to make sure SNK Heroines wasn’t just a rehash of what that was, but a complete differentiation and a new game within that concept of using female fighters.
how did the team decide which characters to include in the game? There were three different categories – popular characters from SNK, characters that we want to make more popular, and what we call the ‘special box’.
we’re curious, what does the ‘special box’ entail?
If you’ve played The King Of Fighters XIV, you might know that everyone gets revived at the end of the story. So it was kind of a way to bring back Shermie.
the concept of a tag-team fighting game is familiar to most players, but the dream Finish system is a new concept. could you please explain a bit about that for us?
The only way you can win is with a Dream Finish, so even if you get your opponent’s energy meter all the way down to zero, that opponent will not be defeated until you use a Dream Finish. The reason that this is important is because rather than a traditional fighting game where you’re using many combos or trying to chain things together, it’s for people who maybe are not particularly great at that. It’s more of a timing thing – waiting to build up your Dream
Finish, and then waiting to get your enemy down to low energy, and then unleashing it at the right moment. Or maybe your playable character has used all of their stamina gauge, and so you switch out to your character in reserve who has the Dream Finish, and do it right then.
You mentioned that the dream Finish system was tailored towards gamers who aren’t so good at pulling off combos. is it fair to say that you’re aiming SNK Heroines towards an audience that is less familiar with fighting games?
Yes, the idea is to be as broad as possible with who is able to play this game. Of course there’s practice involved, you still have to practice and learn how to play the game well, but it’s very welcoming for everyone.
King Of Fighters XIV had features to help newcomers, such as autocombos, and SNK Heroines is geared towards players who are new to fighting games. how important is it to get new players invested in the genre?
We still plan on making games for the more hardcore audience, but especially at demo events or games shows, most people are just going to grab the controller and start pounding the buttons. Being able to have something cool happen when they do that is pretty important to keeping them interested in the game overall, so that’s part of our strategy to increase the amount of fans.
what modes are included?
Story mode, versus mode, survival mode, training mode, online mode – and there’s an option within the online mode to watch other players and bet points on their battles.
what is the purpose of the points that you accrue?
Those are used for customisation – there’s lots of costumes, lots of accessories, you can buy different backgrounds and take screenshots using them. The in-game currency is the way to get all this stuff, the betting is just a quick way to get it so you can unlock more things that you’d like to use.
snk has been giving ongoing support to its competitive games. is that something you plan to do with
In addition to the Neo-geo World Tour, we also offer support to esports communities, and we plan to continue doing that with SNK Heroines as well as The King Of Fighters XIV.