Koji Nakajima: J-Stars Victory VS+ – Interview

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While people all over the world are anxiously waiting for the release of J-Stars Victory VS+, I got to sit down with Koji Nakajima, the Game Producer for J-Stars Victory VS+. J-Stars Victory VS was already released in Japan on March 19th 2014 but people from the western territories will have to wait until this summer.

J-Stars-Victory-VS-

Perhaps a silly question to start off with, but how did your company come up with the name of the game? Is it because of the ‘Japanese’ heroes that star in the game? Or did it just have a nice ring to it?

This game was developed to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Shonen Jump, known for Weekly Shonen Jump. The ‘J’ is derived from Jump and we added Stars because of all the “Stars“ (characters)that star in the game.

 

Will J-Stars Victory VS+ be a tactical fighter, or more a brawler?

J-Stars is a tactical fighter. In-game, players can do a combination attack with partners and the map itself is very broad so players can fight from a distance but they can also fight up close. To win the game, players must find a perfect combination of fighting from afar and up close.

 

Will players be able to destroy items in the environment and thus use the area to their advantage?

Some of the buildings that are placed on the map can be broken, but the game also features famous monuments and buildings that feature in some of the respective anime or manga.

 

Wasn’t it hard to balance a game with this many powerful known fighters?

We didn’t really differentiate between the characters if it comes to attack, stamina or defence. Each characters has the same stats, we also gave each character specific moves and controls.

 

Wasn’t it hard to pick out which signature move was designated to which character? (Some characters have many moves in their respective series)

That was one of the hardest things, it took a very long time to decide which signature moves we were going to assign to which character. For example Naruto, we finally decided to add the Kage Bunshin and also the Senin Mode where you can have the Senin Power. But it took a really long time to decide, we hope that the fans think that we picked the right moves.

 

This might be in the wrong order – but how did you decide which characters made the cut to star in the game? Some of the series have many famous, well liked characters and thus it was probably not easy to find the right characters for the game?

I’m a is a very big fan of the Weekly Shonen Jump, so it was very hard to decide which characters got to star into the game. I wanted to integrate a lot of the titles in the game but finally I had to make a selection of characters. There was also a slight issue, a lot of the characters in the game are fighters (Luffy, Naruto,…) but the game also features characters who don’t fight in their respective anime because they come from funny comics, so for those characters we had to develop specific moves, this was one of the hardest parts of developing the game.

 

Will there be additions to the roster in the future?

We have added all the characters we wanted to add to the game, currently there aren’t any plans for a future DLC which will include new characters.

J-Stars Victory VS+

Do some characters need to be unlocked? Or can you play with all the characters the game has to offer, from the beginning?

The characters can be unlocked by levelling up.

 

Seeing we will receive the + version of J-Stars Victory VS, we are treated to some extra modes? Which modes are we talking about – and what do they do?

We decided to add a few new game modes for the + version that didn’t feature in the Japanese version. An arcade mode was added, which was not available in the Japanese version, in which players can enjoy continuous battles. It has been a year since the Japanese release and since then our company has gotten a lot of feedback from players, based in this feedback we have adjusted the gameplay so that it is more easy to play.

 

The J-Adventure mode. Will this revolve around the stories of the characters themselves, or is it a new storyline with all those famous characters in the leading role(s)?

The story takes place in Jump World, which is a fusion off the universes off the different characters. In the beginning of the story, all characters are preparing for the J Battle Festival which is a tournament that is held every 45 years (=> 45 years of Shonen Jump). In this tournament all characters compete to decide who is the strongest. The story is separated in 4 different chapters, each focussing on different characters. The Motion Chapter focuses on Luffy, Ace and Seiya; The Hope Chapter focuses on Naruto, Yusuke and Gon; The Research Chapter focuses on Toriko, Zebra and Goku; and The Pursuit Chapter focuses on Ichigo, Oga and Hiei.

 

Will we be hearing famous tunes from all the all the different anime series or have you developed a new soundtrack for the game?

The game features an entire new soundtrack which was specially developed for this game. We also did some research to which music is being played in which anime, some of them feature fighting music but others feature other genres of music. So the game does not only have music that encourages fighting but it also features pop-music and lots of other music genres.

 

Who is your favourite character in this game?

I really like Lucky Man, this character was specially developed for this game. It is a character that only fights with his luck, characters like Naruto or Luffy are very skilled fighters and they are very strong. But Lucky Man, as the name suggests, only fights with his luck, so players can enjoy the combination of fighting with Lucky Man against Luffy or other seasoned fighters.

 

Do you still have something to tell us about the game that we do not know yet?

We really hope that this title will be some kind of starting point for players to discover characters they did not know yet. But by playing the game they can get to know the characters and maybe even start reading the manga or start watching the anime. That is my biggest hope. We developed all of the moves in a very specific way for each character so that players can enjoy playing the game.

J-Stars Victory VS+

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