"We've been generally surprised by the response rate...the paid downloads are more than we expected," Midway CEO David Zucker told GameSpot. "It's not going to change our economic success overnight, but it's a nice little business on the side, and we're glad that people are happy with the product." Midway's chief executive also expressed interest in doing similar projects with the PlayStation 3 and Revolution, should they provide that functionality.
It’s a thrill to have Daniel and Carlos onboard, beams director Ed Glaser. Not only are they skilled and professional, not only are they living videogame icons, but they have a terrific sense of humor about what they do. I think videogame fans are going to love seeing them in these roles. Viewers who realize that they’re watching the Real Deal will find that extra level of humor that makes their scenes just a bit funnier.
Press Start tells the story of a suburban youth in a videogame world who discovers his adventurous, if berserk, destiny when he's recruited by an ill-tempered ninja and a tough-as-nails space soldier to save the world from a tyrannical, but comically insecure, sorcerer.
GI: One thing that seems pretty common among other fighters is when a player starts getting juggled, they cannot get out and seems to be a big frustration. How are you guys working around that?
Boon: There’s two things. One is the breakers that we had in the other game can be done in the air. The second is with the parries, which can also be done in the air. You will be able to time things and break out of things. One of the things with the aerial combat will be a sort of risk-reward. There will be opportunities for the victim to do things as well. So you could go for a long string combo, but you will have to slam me to the ground which will give me a chance to get out of it.
GI: When you are creating a character, will you have a set number of attribute points or something that you spend?
Boon: Yes, when you start off, you won’t have the ability to pick every single attack to assign on to your character. Everything that you do in the game we are trying to consolidate into one monetary system. So when you are playing the fighting game, you will be earning the same type of points as you would playing the Konquest Mode or any of the other modes in the game. With that currency, you can go back and purchase different kinds of moves and special attacks and keep building your character visually and skillfully.
GI: I know you’re a fan of the PSP and now you have Unchained coming out. What was it like working with that hardware?
Boon: Well Unchained was developed in Santa Monica by a company called Climax. So we didn’t develop the game here in Chicago but there were a lot of issues that we wanted to address. We really wanted to keep the framerate very high. So we went in there and helped them optimize their code and the Wi-Fi linking - we really wanted to make sure that was tight. We did have a lot more exposure to the hardware than we normally would have when working with a third party, but the main work was done by Climax.
GI: So what excites you the most about next-gen development?
Boon: To me the most exciting thing is having the opportunity to start everything over. Brand new presentation, as many new characters as we can, a whole new fighting engine and just the whole starting from scratch. Creating something like Mortal Kombat 1, where no one had seen the game before or like Deadly Alliance where no one had seen that kind of fighting engine. This is another one of these opportunities to make one of these. So when people see it, there is going to be so much “new.”
GI: Do you think that online takes away from that [the arcade experience] or could it reach that communal aspect?
Boon: I think it can if you had an interface that promoted it. To me, in my head there is this virtual arcade that you walk into an arcade and you see people kind of World of Warcraft-ish - you know with the little name over their head. You can walk up to them and talk to them. See all of these quarters lined up. You could just say “Add my quarters.” And they pop up. DINK! I could just see people doing that. And then you have a button you push and the guy punches the screen and all of the quarters fall off. Stupid stuff like that.
Like other Xbox Live Arcade games, you'll be able to earn achievement points for fulfilling certain requirements. Some are easy, like simply playing a game with each character. Other single-player achievements include beating the game without losing a round, and so on. Online, you'll earn points for playing in 250 matches, winning 100 matches, reaching the top 10 leaderboards, and so on. Overall, there seems to be a good balance of easy and difficult points to earn.
So, what's the hold up? Well, presumably there's still work to be done on the online side of things. Considering that a fighting game is useless without a steady stream of competition, the online play will either make or break this one. Last reports put this game on for a March release, but we'll have to wait and see what Capcom is up to.