Fear­some Fe­males

Pro­ducer Ya­suyuki Oda dis­cusses the de­sign of SNK’S lat­est fight­ing game, SNK Hero­ines: Tag Team Frenzy

Retro Gamer - - 40 YEARS OF SNK -

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

SNK Hero­ines?

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.

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