Hisashi Koinuma-san on the PS4, Kizuna System, Creating Characters — Koinuma-san Wants to be Powerful?
If you’ve read my One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 preview you’ll already know I was very impressed by the game. It could very well be the best Musou game yet. But what does it take to make the Musou formula so fresh? I asked Hisashi Koinuma-san…
This is the first one on the next-generation consoles. How has working with the new hardware allowed you to improve the game?
So far so good. Koei Tecmo is already getting used to creating games for the PS4. They’ve been releasing other Warriors games for PS4. But you’re right, this will be the first Pirate Warriors on the current generation, PS4. We put a lot of resources into the “toon shading” because toon shading is the unique feature exclusive to Pirate Warriors, unlike other Warriors titles. We used a lot of resources in order to reproduce some of the visual expression we’ve seen in the original manga and anime. We’ve also put a lot of resource into other visual elements as well. For example, approximately 200 enemy characters can appear in one single screen on the PS4. That’s almost double compared to the PS3 version. Those are the areas we put a lot of resources into for the PS4.
When I was playing the game I found it impressive not only visually, but with how fluid everything was. It felt very true to the anime and manga. How difficult was it to get it that close to the source material?
We spent one and a half years on development. During the initial research we came up with the output about how we should reproduce all the moves we’ve seen in the original manga and anime. As development continued we kept revising and polishing those moves, and the behaviors of each character. Luckily Koei Tecmo has been working on the other titles, and they also have the research sector focusing on the basic research, specifically for any of the other titles. The dev team has been continuously receiving feedback from the other dev teams as well as the research sector on how they should polish and revise the visual expression they’ve been implementing in Pirate Warriors 3.
There’s been a lot of new additions to this entry in the series, one of which is the Kizuna Rush mode. It seems hard to imagine the game without it now. How did the development of the Kizuna Rush mode come about?
(laughs) Happy to hear that! However, we’ve released the past two installments without the Kizuna system! We’re really happy to hear such a strong opinion about it. The main theme of this game is about the bond among Luffy and his friends. Kizuna means “bond” in English. That’s why we’ve implemented such a system — to match up with the main theme of the storyline.
There’s also now a Dream Log mode as well as a Story Mode. I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about how you hope it to affect the overall feel and structure of the game?
Because it’s based on the original IP not all 37 characters can actually be controlled in the main story, which is basically re-experiencing the storyline from the manga and anime. That’s why we decided to create the Dream Log where the player can choose all 37 playable characters. We prepared about eighty stages for players to control all the characters. Not only that but we’ve also implemented a lot of items into the Dream Log, so players can collect them and customise their favourite characters.
With such a huge roster of characters in the game how hard was it to keep all of the uniqueness of each them?
Each of the 37 playable characters is so unique, because we’ve had to reproduce the things we’ve seen in the original manga and anime. We haven’t mimicked any of the characters on any of the other characters. We created all 37 from scratch to exactly copy how they behave in the original manga and anime. In that sense we spent a lot of resources creating each of the playable characters.
If you could pick any of the devil fruit to get powers, which would you choose?
[Koinuma-san answers and he and his translator both laugh] The most powerful one is the Gura Gura no Mi [Tremor-Tremor Fruit] that Whitebeard had. A lot of guys want to be powerful, so it makes senses that Koinuma-san would want to have the Gura Gura no Mi!
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