This fall, fans will be able to get their hands on the Wii’s best fighter in Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3! The developers at Eighting have been hard at work refining the awesome Clash of Ninja formula, implementing Wi-Fi battles, and of course adding new characters! Anime Games Online had the chance to interview Mike Jones, Associate Producer, TOMY Corporation in regards to Naruto’s newest clash of ninja!
1 – 4
U.S. Release Date:
Anime Games Online: How long has Revolution 3 been in development?
Jones: Revolution 3 has been under construction in one form or another since about September of 2008; so by the time it comes out, it will have been about a year.
SI: What game play modes will be available in Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3?
Jones: Well, for single player modes there’s Story Mode which covers the Gaara retrieval arc from Shippuden, then there’s Score Attack, Survival Mode, Missions and Kumite where you fight an onslaught of anonymous angry ninja. From there, multiplayer breaks down into a number of one of four player modes which include: one-on-one, Two-Man Squad (tag battle mode) and one to four player group battles. And then lastly, the big addition to the Clash series: Wi-Fi, which will feature one-on-one and Two-Man Squad battles.
SI: Can you tell us a little bit more about the story of the game? What episodes does it cover? Will it be following the main storyline of Naruto Shippuden or will it be one unique to the game?
Jones: As I mentioned, Story Mode will cover the Gaara retrieval arc and emphasize all the new Shippuden content for North America. As for exact episodes, I think it’s about the first 32 from Shippuden. The story mirrors the anime and recounts the events at the beginning of Shippuden; from Naruto’s homecoming through the ordeal with Akatsuki kidnapping the Kazekage. We tried to keep the story pretty true to the series. However, that doesn’t mean we’re locking the cast down to just that portion of the story–stay tuned as we roll out the full cast for the game over the next couple of months–it should be pretty exciting.
SI: How have TOMY and Eighting taken the opinions of the hardcore tournament players from past games into consideration when making Revolution 3 and if any, what changes have they made based on that?
Jones: Well, for starters, the control scheme is a big one. The Japanese EX series was actually beginning to move away from GameCube controller support which is very important to our hardcore fans. So that’s one thing we’ve tried to keep sacred for North American releases. As far as changes to the game, there have been some significant additions to Revolution 3 based on fan input. Wi-Fi is obviously something that both the hardcore and casual fans have been asking for and we decided that was really important to include this go around. Also, we try to pay close attention to how top-level players play the game and how the gameplay evolves. So we’ve tried to fix some things that have been historically “broken” in the games, re-tune characters that have been recycled in previous games, beef up much of the cast and throw in a few curveball mechanics like the new wake-up teleport and some custom, character-specific throws that we hope will add some dimension and overall depth to the fighting “meta-game;” if I’m allowed to use such a geeky term. (laugh)
SI: Fans are extremely excited about the Wi-Fi aspect of the game, and are discussing online tournaments, even though the game hasn’t been released yet! One concern about online, though, is lag. What has TOMY/Eighting done to make sure Revolution 3 will have a smooth experience online?
Jones: We are very excited about the online gameplay and hope it really re-ignites the hardcore community. Eighting has been working very diligently on the netcode for Revolution 3 for quite some time. It was probably the single biggest addition to the game, so we wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible so we would have time to test it, make adjustments and optimize the experience. We are currently in the middle of debug and have entire teams dedicated to testing ONLY Wi-Fi. With WiFi being such a big feature this year, we won’t be happy until we get a smooth and highly playable experience.
SI: What kind of modes will the Wi-Fi aspect of the game feature? Will there be any online leader boards?
Jones: Wi-Fi will be Two-Player and feature one-on-one and Two-Man Squad battles. We will also have some stat tracking and a variety of matchmaking features; we’re trying to do everything you would expect from the online experience. We’ll be releasing more details as we get closer to launch.
SI: In one of the released trailers, Tsunade throws a paper bomb, which was one of the unique features from Revolution 2. Will 480p widescreen support and the hand seal abilities be returning from Revolution 2 as well?
Jones: Yes! Revolution 3 will include the additional mechanics and features from Revolution 2 and more. So that means paper bombs, hand seals, Two-Man Squad, 480p and widescreen support PLUS the new wake-up attack and wake-up teleport, assist attacks for Two-Man Squad, custom throws and completely new move sets for all the Shippuden time-skip characters as well as characters, such as Kakashi, who have been revamped between Revolution 2 and Revolution 3.
SI: Have any changes been made to any of the available control schemes for Revolution 3? If so, what are these changes?
Jones: There have not been significant changes made to any of the control schemes. It still supports the Wii Remote, Wii Remote + Nunchuck, the Classic Controller and the GameCube controller. But this game is about building on the Clash of Ninja gameplay, catching the North American audience up on Shippuden and adding features that people want, like Wi-Fi. We’ve added a few mechanics like the “assist” for Two-Man Squad and custom throws which require new button inputs, but if you know how to play Revolution 2 then you should be able take to Revolution 3 pretty quickly.
SI: For those unfamiliar to the Naruto Clash of Ninja franchise, will this game still be enjoyable for those who’ve never laid finger on this brilliant fighter?
Jones: Absolutely. One thing I found while talking to people about the Clash of Ninja series is that a lot of people share a common misconception and assume that as this is a Wii game, it’s a more “casual” game for “casual” players or just for Naruto fans in that they have to use the Wii Remote. And to a certain degree that’s what it is. I mean, the controls are pretty intuitive and it’s easy to shake the Wii Remote around and make pretty stuff happen on screen. But the reality is, once you bust out a GameCube controller and start doing complex air juggles, Y-cancels and approach it like a serious fighter, it looks like a totally different game. That’s something that we’ve been trying to evangelize recently; sure, Revolution 3 is based on Naruto, but it has interesting gameplay and depth and we want you to take it seriously as a fighting game, too.
SI: The game is slated to have over 35 playable characters. Will we be seeing any characters not seen in the Naruto Shippuden storyline? Is it possible you could please tell us whether or not Sasuke Uchiha will be in the game?
Jones: I get this question A LOT. But unfortunately, I really can’t go into detail about the character roster right now. We’ve already announced a pretty big portion of the cast so far and we have to keep a few aces up our sleeve! (laugh) All I can say is that we’ll be starting a pretty extensive character roll-out pretty soon and we’ll answer all of the looming questions about who’s going to be in Revolution 3 then.