In the great city of Paris (France) the 2013 Japan Expo has begun! Namco Bandai Games was on hand to display a variety of games, including Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z. While the game wasn’t playable on the show floor, a demo, images, and information were shared by Namco Bandai. Hashimoto Kunio, producer of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, was kind enough to share a few details of the game through an interview by JeuxVideoMagazine. The interview was in French, but Saiyan Island has the English translation for you below!
Something to note is, the images from the interview have stills from the game that have never been seen before!
Why did you choose a new studio to develop Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z?
Kunio Hashimoto: Many developers have previously worked on DBZ games, for example Dimps and Spike. This time, we wanted to incorporate something different for the DBZ franchise. Our focus, specifically, is on the multiplayer team action. We worked with a development studio called Artdink, which is very talented regarding multiplayer games. So we thought that by working with Artdink, we were able to offer something new in terms of features and gameplay. We thought that by working together we can offer a masterpiece.
What are the main differences in gameplay between this game and the previous DBZ games released on PS3 and 360?
In previous DBZ games, there was a lot of one on one fighting. In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z, we focused mainly on the mechanisms related to the team. And this time, we really wanted to offer something new. In online games, you can create teams of four players and fight against another team of four players. This type of cooperation has never been seen before in a Dragon Ball Z game. I think that is what makes it a really unique game. One of the other features of this game is inspired by the Goku, when he requests energy from everybody. All players connected online can share “genki” (energy), and each player can decide to give or take.
Is the “genki” (energy) used to make characters stronger?
Given that the energy comes from all over the world, once a character has received enough, he can use his ultimate skill (for example, the Spirit Bomb). The latter cannot be achieved without genki. This is a really amazing element of the game!
Is it possible to play co-op on one console?
To play with other players, each player must have their own console. The reason for this is that we want the players to get the best graphics possible in full screen. Online, up to four players can form a team and eight players can take part in Battle Mode. Regarding the PS Vita, if you and a friend each have a Vita, you can get together in one place and play via ad hoc connection. That’s all we can say about it for now.
Can characters transform (for example to Super Saiyan) mid-combat or is it something that has to be selected before the game begins?
All I can say about it is once again: please stay tuned.
What can you tell us about the story mode of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z?
This game follows the story of the original anime/manga, however, a few changes were made due to the new features in the game. For example, during the Frieza Saga in the anime/manga, Goku fights alone against Frieza. This game puts players in a situation in what would have happened if Krillin, Piccolo, and Gohan fought together against Frieza. It’s kind of like a “what if” (an alternative scenario). These are special situations exclusive to this game. Of course, we retain the basic story of the manga and anime.
Does the story mode put players in the shoes of the good guys only?
You can experience the story from the point of view of “Z Warriors” (Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Tien, etc.) as well as from the point of view of the enemies, such as Frieza.
Will the game have alternative scenarios similar to what has been seen in previous DBZ games?
We will come up with something similar to alternative histories of previous DBZ games. It will involve the Saiyan race and tell what would have happened if something special happened. But I can not tell you exactly what it is yet. There will be more information about it later.
How many characters will be playable in Battle of Z?
For now, we just unveiled the Frieza saga. So you can play as the characters present in this saga. We can’t talk about the Cell and Buu sagas at this time, but people can expect to get news about this soon. Also, we can’t say how many characters are in Battle of Z at this time, but stay tuned, we will reveal it in the future!
You have already announced Goku’s transformation to Super Saiyan God after the recent movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is in the game Do you incorporate other elements from the movie?
Battle of Gods (released in Japanese theaters in March 2013) is the first animated DBZ movie to be released in Japan in nearly two decades. Super Saiyan God Goku is a very powerful and popular among fans. We are currently considering the possibility of including other elements from the movie.
Dragon Ball Z Raging Blast 2 and Dragon Ball Z for Kinect offered an animated episode as a bonus. Will Battle of Z include one too?
I know people like anime and they want to see it in the games. At the moment we are having very serious discussions with rights holders. I’m not sure if there will be a complete animated movie, but I know that everyone, including me, wants to see a new animated introduction sequence. Stay tuned.
Have you started thinking about the future of Dragon Ball Z on PS4 and Xbox One?
PS4 and Xbox One are excellent next generation machines. We believe that these machines are very attractive and will provide a great venue for DBZ in the future. But for now, there is still much that remains unknown about the two consoles. We’re not yet ready to create something for them yet. But in the future, we hope that we can create something great that uses the power of the two consoles.
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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z is the latest game in the legendary DBZ series. It will host team-based combat with up to 8 players, including 4 on the same team. The game is confirmed for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PSVita in Europe, North America, and Japan. No release date has not been announced yet for either region at this point in time.