Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage – The PS3 Attitude Interview
We’re pretty big fans of Fist of the North Star and have been following the development of the game for quite some time. We’ve shown you screenshots, trailers, and discussed features that will be included in the game. For those unaware, the gameplay in Fist of the North Star is similar to what you’d find in a Dynasty Warriors title.
We recently had a chat with Tak Yamamoto that reveals some interesting tidbits of information, including changes made to the game, downloadable content, and the development process.
[PS3Attitude] How did Tecmo Koei become involved with a new Fist of the North Star game?
[Tak Yamamoto] Fist of the North Star is a 25 year old manga and animation that is famous in Japan. It’s actually still famous in Japan and Koei was approached by the IP holder to consider creating a decent current generation video game. So the producer, Mr. Koinuma, started to consider what he could do with the characters. That’s the start point for us.
[PS3A] How far into the storyline does the game take us?
[Yamamoto] There are two game modes. In the main story mode, which is called Legend mode, we completely follow the original manga story. So when you choose Ken, you can enjoy the whole story of Fist of the North Star from the beginning to the end. The end means defeating the final boss, Raoh.
[PS3A] Since Fist of the North Star was originally a manga and then it turned into an anime, what sort of challenges were there in bringing this world to a video game?
[Yamamoto] As you know, Fist of the North Star has an 80s taste in the managa or animation. Current generation graphics are so improved and the vision changed very drastically from the 80s, of course. But we still want to keep that kind of taste in the game. So how we express that is a big challenge.
[PS3A] How much freedom did the development team have with the source material?
[Yamamoto] There was actually lots of freedom given to the development team. They show to the IP holder or the author of the original manga the character design, costumes, that kind of thing. For movement or actions or storyline, although we follow the original story, we have complete freedom to create the game with our own imagination.
[PS3A] Will gamers unfamiliar with the series be able to pick up and play the game?
[Yamamoto] Of course! Fist of the North Star is fun to play and it’s easy to perform the special attacks. When you do the special attacks it’s fun to see and fun to do. And the “Atatatatatata” [laughs] is very enjoyable. You don’t only need to be a fan.
[PS3A] What kind of original content can players expect from the game?
[Yamamoto] We think the loyal fans are very important, so with the story mode we follow the original story. But we also prepared one more mode, which is called dream mode. This is kind of like our Koei’s Warriors type of game and it has kind of an “if” story. We prepared eight playable characters for the dream mode. You can enjoy that and the story mode.
[PS3A] How has the reception been in Japan and has any feedback influenced the international release?
[Yamamoto] Fist of the North Star released in March in Japan and we already sold 800,000 copies. When considering to bring this title to the US and Europe as well, we of course already know we should improve something. Blood effects or body explosions, these kind of things, we improved that.
[PS3A] I noticed that there were Japanese voiceovers as I was playing the game. Is there no option for English voices?
[Yamamoto] We’ve prepared both Japanese and English voice overs.
[PS3A] Will there be any other differences or new content?
[Yamamoto] Yeah. Blood effects or body explosions are one of the differences. And also, we’ll add some more scenarios for the US and Europe.
[PS3A] The Japanese version had downloadable content. Will that be included in the international version?
[Yamamoto] We prepared downloadable content as well. New costumes, playable characters, and new scenarios.
[PS3A] Are there any PS3 exclusive features?
[Yamamoto] Unfortunately, no. We’ve prepared the same game for the PS3 and 360.
[PS3A] Is there an install for the PS3 version?
[PS3A] Is the install optional or mandatory?
[Yamamoto] It is optional.
[PS3A] Is there anything you would like to add?
[Yamamoto] Yeah. Since this is based on the manga and animation, we believe that the story is very fantastic. We want people to enjoy that as much as possible.
We’d like to thank Tak Yamamoto for taking the time to talk with us.
Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage releases in North America on November 2nd and in Europe on November 5th.