Q&A with Taito! 16bit.com is proud to present a Q&A session we had via email with the developers of such games as Arkanoid, Operation Wolf, Qix, Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and other greats from the golden age of coin-op gaming. Truly, these people are gods among men, or at the very least excellent game programmers among men.
In early April 2009 we reached out to them to find out if they could give us some dirt on Arkanoid Live, and we got a response from Mayu Miyano, who tells us that he is "spokesman of Taito." A sweet gig, surely. We fired off some questions about the new Arkanoid as well as Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, and we got a response at about 2 in the morning California time, because we stay up all night. Here's what we got back.
Will Arkanoid Live for the Xbox 360 be released in the USA, Japan, and Europe? Do you have a release date?
We plan to release Arkanoid Live in the USA, JAPAN, and Europe in early May.
Will Arkanoid Live be compatible with a spinner controller, like the original arcade dial? Will you support the Xbox 360 Mad Catz Gamestick, or perhaps create a new device for these games?
Unfortunately, it will not be compatible with spinner controllers.
How does Arkanoid Live differ from previous versions of the Arkanoid series? Are there any new modes, like multiplayer support on Xbox Live?
Arkanoid Live Features:
- A Brand New Version with Stylish 3-D Graphics & Rhythmic Audio
- Enjoy 31 Levels x 4 Episode = 124 Levels, with Four Different DOH Bosses!
- Each "Episode" consists of 31 levels, or "rounds".
- Episodes 3-4 can be downloaded at an additional cost.
- Each season offers a different collection of blocks, background graphics, and bosses.
- Fight the boss, or DOH, on the final round of each season.
- Each DOH has its own appearance and attack method.
- 2P Collaborative Gaming, New Features, and Many Settings Options!
- Play Against up to 2 Players with the Xbox LIVE "VS Mode"!
- Engage in Xbox LIVE tournaments with players from all over the country!
- 2 players may take part in each tournament
Will any elements of the Nintendo DS Arkanoid title be incorporated in the new Xbox game?
No, this versions' levels, etc, are completely different from past releases.
This version also features more levels than any Arkanoid release to date.
What is the best new power-up which will be introduced in Arkanoid Live?
The most powerful power-up item is the Laser (L). When you get two of them, your VAUS gains a powerful laser.
How many stages are in Arkanoid Live?
There are 4 episodes, each containing 31 levels, for a total of 124 levels.
Space Invaders & "Bobble"s
Do you have any plans to bring other classic arcade titles to the Xbox 360 in their original arcade forms?
Yes, but not in their original arcade form. The games will be completely remade.
We are currently working on Bubble Bobble.
Do you have any new information to share regarding your upcoming Space Invaders game for the Xbox 360?
The Xbox 360 Space Invaders will be based on the DS/PSP game Space Invaders Extreme.
It will include online multiplayer for four players.
Are there any plans for new Bubble Bobble or Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move) games on the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, or Xbox 360? Can you share any details?
Now games for these series are in the planning stages.
Bubble Bobble was recently released via Wii Ware and Puzzle Bobble is coming soon.
We'd like to thank Taito for taking the time out to speak with us.
April 22, 2009