By the time you read this Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury will be available on Xbox Live for your demoing and purchasing pleasure. We wanted to get some info on the game and were able to land this interview with Tim Ramage, the executive producer of the game.
How much influence do you think that ‘Hover Attack’ still has on the Bangai-O series since it has broken off into its own original series?
How different is Missile Fury from either the original Bangai’O or Spirits? Is this more than just the old game with a fresh coat of paint? Have there been any significant changes to the level creator included in the XBLA game?
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is an evolution of its predecessors onto the platform it seems to be truly designed for. It features the same insane arcade shooter action the series is known for, but ups the ante from visual and design perspectives to take advantage of the Xbox 360 platform. Players will control Bangai-O through over 100 deviously designed levels featuring enemies and bosses that have appeared throughout the lifespan of the series. In terms of the level editor it remains pretty straightforward and very similar to previous iterations of the edit mode in Bangai-O.
What makes the Bangai-O games stand out from the rest of the schmup genre? What do you think has been the biggest innovation in the genre to date?
I think the cool thing about the Bangai-O games is, and maybe this is true for the entire shmup genre, that players are encouraged to seek out danger. The levels are so well designed that what seems counterintuitive actually is intuitive. The only way to pass these levels is by jumping in the middle of what looks like an impossible situation and firing away, employing the weapons given to you as well as both the counter attacks and the dash attacks.
What makes Bangai-O stand out, in my opinion, is the puzzle element that also pervades the design throughout the game, in both subtle and not so subtle ways.
I don’t know how innovative this is but the fact that the shmup genre seems to have found a home on XBLA has been a definite positive development in this genre. It’s rejuvenated the shmup by bringing new additions as well as refreshing the classics.
How do you balance making the game appealing to new comers to the genre vs. appeasing the hard core fans of the series/genre?
Aside from ramping considerations through the first handful of levels, as well as the addition of a feature that lets you skip to the next level if you fail the current level three times, Treasure focused on making a Bangai-O game that lived up to its reputation with core gamers and fans of the series.
Is there a chance that we could see the return of the “Shop” from the original N64 game?
The Shop does not return in Bangai-O HD Missile Fury.Will HD Fury contain anywhere near the amount of levels as Bangai-O Spirits on the DS did?
The number of levels in the game is on par with Bangai-O Spirits…over 100.
Can you describe the various mutliplayer modes that are being incorporated into the game? What’s the hardest part of incorporating multiplayer into the game?
The game features Co-op Multiplayer over Xbox Live. I think the biggest challenge was making each player’s avatar stand out amid all the visual chaos. Fortunately, playing over Xbox Live allows each player to experience the action on their own screen, so the camera will be automatically player centric. Additionally, we added differentiating glows to each player avatar so they stand out a bit better among the thousands of missiles on screen.
How important is digital distribution to making games like Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury?
I think digital distribution has been huge for the shmup genre. XBLA has been a definite benefit for Treasure in pushing the limits of Bangai-O HD Missile Fury while still staying true to its roots.
Is there anything we missed that you think is important?
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury releases exclusively on XBLA on May 4, at a price of 800 points. A lot of game for your hard earned buck.
We'd like to thank Tim for taking the time to answer our questions as well as Sarissa for answering the questions.