The Dragon Ball Z series of fighting games have been a little hit or miss with a lot of the earlier games being misses. That said they are getting better and Atari and developer Spike are looking to make this year’s version better than last year’s. To find out how they are planning on doing that we talk with the US producer of the game, Donny Clay.
GamingNexus: Can you introduce yourself and describe your role on the project? How long have you been in the gaming industry and what drew you to your current position?
Donny Clay, US Producer on the DBZ titles. I do a little of everything but as for the cool stuff that fans would be interested in? I get to supervise the voice over sessions which to me as a fan- is just awesome meeting all the actors. As for the games themselves it’s a very collaborative effort as to what we all decide to put in these titles.
GamingNexus: From what we've heard Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will feature over 100 different characters, were there any challenges making sure each of them had a distinct style?
Donny Clay: We got better at it as we went along, but we had thought about this well in advance and it wasn't really a big problem.
GamingNexus: Can you talk about how you've changed the fighting system since the first installment of Budokai Tenkaichi?
Donny Clay: We changed up the combo system for each character making longer strings possible if you choose. The in game transformation system has added to strategy as well, since they all fight differently you will have think about which form is best for each situation.
GamingNexus: We've heard that the story mode in Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will be slightly different than it was in the original game, what should fans expect from the story mode this time around?
Donny Clay: The story mode features all three parts of the trilogy from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball GT. The story mode in Budokai Tenkaichi 2 has been really improved over the first Budokai Tenkaichi. The story mode in the original was more of a slide show while the story mode in this game includes about 60 hours of gameplay and is much more RPG like. There are objectives and world maps you fly around as you work through the entire Dragon Ball mythology: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT.
GamingNexus: Outside of the updated story mode, what other modes can gamers expect from Budokai Tenkaichi 2?
Donny Clay: There are nine other modes including single player and multiplayer modes. Those include story, tournament, VS. ultimate battle are the different modes in which you actually fight. There are others things such as baba’s shop and the dragon library as well however.
GamingNexus: How many arenas will be in the final game? About how long do you think it will take to play through the story mode for one character?
Donny Clay: There will be 5 additional arenas in this game, bringing the total to 16. Also, we have doubled the size of the arenas so fans have a bigger area to fight in and cause damage. The story mode should take fans anywhere between 50 and 60 hours to play through.
GamingNexus: In Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will fans of the Japanese anime be able to switch between the original Japanese voice track and the American one?
Donny Clay: Of course! We preserved this feature for hardcore fans like myself.
GamingNexus: Some gamers complained that the original's control scheme was a bit confusing and that the game had a steep learning curve, how have you gone about addressing these concerns with this sequel?
Donny Clay: We feel this title is great for someone who just picks it up or someone determined master every single move.
GamingNexus: We hear that Budokai Tenkaichi 2 will feature a new tag team mode, does this mean we can expect a four-player mode? Or is this game simply a two-player affair, like the first installment?
Donny Clay: We've enhanced the tag team mode to include whatever combination the players want: one on one, two on two, two on one, etc.
GamingNexus: Are there certain characters that you like to play more than the others? Why are these your favorites?
Donny Clay: I actually like the “joke” characters like hercule just because it is more humiliating to my enemy when they are defeated.
GamingNexus: The game will be one of the first fighting games for the Wii, can you describe how players will use the “Wiimote” to control the game? Were there other alternatives that you considered but weren’t workable?
Donny Clay: This title will actually be THE first fighting game for the Wii, and the only one expected for a long time. Players can choose to use the Wiimote the same way that the characters actually fight in the game, or they can opt to use a regular Game Cube controller.
We’d like to thank Donny for taking the time to answer our questions and to Stephanie for giving us the opportunity to talk to him.