10. Apr, 2017 09:07 (HKT)

Gundam Versus Famitsu Interview: E-Sports Play, Beta Changes and Fan Feedback

Playstation®4, Release: TBA 
Gundam Versus (PlayStation 4™, JPN)US$ 65.99 24h
Gundam Versus (English Subs) (PlayStation 4™, ASIA)US$ 58.99 24h
Gundam Versus (Chinese Subs) (PlayStation 4™, ASIA)US$ 66.99 24h

Naoya Yasuda:
Bandai Namco Entertainment Producer

Keisuke Fukuzaki:
Bandai Namco Studio Director

The "5th generation" Kidou Senshi Gundam Vs. goes worldwide?!

Full disclosure on the development of this foundationally new series!

We interview the developers just after the completion of the closed beta! Fully intended to be a part of this "5th generation," they have listened in on players who have taken part in the beta and it’s development, and can’t wait for the game to be handed over to them on July 6th!

Expanding this world and overseas development for the "5th Generation"

Inteviewer: How long has this been in the works?

Yasuda: I can’t remember exactly when it started, but as we mulled over what we wanted this next “Kidou Senshi Gundam VS.” series to be, we wondered if it was necessary to make the move from an arcade to a home console. The idea came to mind to make an international, 2v2 team battle game. However, “Kidou Senshi Gundam Extreme Versus Max Burst ON”, while it was present in many countries in Asia, it wasn’t in the many countries that simply don’t have arcades, making it difficult to obtain a true worldwide player base. Thus, we decided to mirror what we have in arcades for the home console in this next generation of the “Kidou Senshi Gundam VS” series.

Interviewer: Are you also developing it for play in the world of E-Sports?

Yasuda: That’s right. In the arcade version we already have Premium Dogfight (a national tournament for the ‘Kidou Senshi Gundam VS.” Series). The Evolution Championship Series (One of the premier E-Sports tournaments, established in 1995) even has fans gathering for side tournaments as well. So we are currently accounting for the possibility of E-sports development.

Interviewer: I see, so getting that in a good place is a big part of this "5th generation."

Yasuda: Currently “Kidou Senshi Gundam Extreme Versus” (EXVS, below) series is in its 4th generation, this 5th generation “Gundam Versus” is not simply growing upon the EXVS series, but a brand new series altogether, and we really want to get that message out to the broader player base.

Fukuzaki: It’s also thanks to Maki ON still in arcades that we have such a big player base. But with 5 years in constant development, if we had only listened to fan feedback and kept adding and organizing many different elements, it would unavoidably become a game with a razor sharp edge, where you couldn’t understand it without having played previous games, and know things that should be very obvious. So this time our plan is to develop it for the PS4 as a spiritual successor to EXVS that still blends its more complicated systems.

This is how the final product will change!

Changes from the closed beta

Interviewer: What changes were made to the closed beta since the closed alpha test?

Yasuda: First, you chose from two strikers in “striker select,” and had a reload system, but in the Beta there will be one mech that has changed to a bullet system. When we watched testers in the alpha, it seemed that having two choices, each with complicated controls, meant players were not becoming very familiar with either one. We also saw that the reload system made it so that you couldn’t use it until it charged, so we deemed it better to have consistent access to it. Aside from that, in the alpha, the input for diving was R1+triangle for striker 1, R1+square for striker 2, and R1+X otherwise, so we’ve streamlined that to a single button. We also changed “overheating”. In alpha you couldn’t move the moment you overheated, but in beta you now have 2 seconds before you can no longer move. Having this extra space to move around when overheating gave players a wider variety of actions they could employ.

Fukuzaki: The results of the survey regarding the new striker and diving systems, and new rules for ultimate battles, showed they definitely needed some tweaking, and we majorly addressed those issues. We’ve heard great feedback from the fanbase that we are making this 5th generation “Kidou Senshi Gundam VS.” series for, and it feels like we are definitely on the right track.

Interviewer:   Will players be able to play the beta content before its commercial release?

Yasuda: That’s our plan right now. We’re still ironing out content, but we want to give some time to it and see the excitement from playing it online. It’s great to see friends get together and get lost in what they’re playing.

Interviewer: Could you elaborate more on this new ultimate battle mode?

Yasuda: We are developing ultimate battle to be a multiplayer mode enjoyable even for those who aren’t great with online fighting. In Extra Battle you can play with up to 6 people, and it gave a fresh feeling to battles. This time, we’ve increased the number of modes in “Extra battle,” including 3on3 and a 5-player cooperative boss battle. 

Fukuzaki: We also received a number of ideas from the beta survey, such as 2on2on2 battles, competing to see who can break the most balls, etc. Though we had already finished testing on the development side, we are considering adding some modes to fit the “6 player max” framework, as well as adding all of these modes to ultimate battle mode. We are also considering making the new modes from Extra battle exclusively available in Ultimate battle mode.

Interviewer:  Whichever mech is available in beta, it will be one of the 48 playable strikers, but how will this work in the commercial release?

Fukuzaki: In the commercial release, we are thinking of all playable mechs having a level, and continued use will raise their level, and can unlock more strikers. This will allow you to buy them with in game “GP” and make them playable. In the full game you can unlock 3 times as many strikers as you can in beta. Level ups will also allow you to change your pilot and title. For example, if you use your gundam a lot and level up, you can unlock Ryu Hosei and the “white demon” title. If you sortie with Ryu as the pilot, the mech’s characteristics won’t change, but the voice, cut-in[TR1] , etc. will change to Ryu. There are many of those kinds of features you can enjoy.

Interviewer: Regarding additional content, are there any other plans in store?

Yasuda: We are still in development of the main game, so these details are still up in the air, but we are thinking about adding playable mechs, adjusting abilities, and adding more modes to ultimate battle. I’d also like to add events that occur regularly throughout the game, so please look forward to it!


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