Aksys Roundtable Interview Pt. 2 – BlazBlue Vita, Visual Novels, And E3 Picks

By Spencer . June 22, 2011 . 5:35pm

Our Aksys roundtable interview continues with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, specifically the ladder jokes. Later, we talk about BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus and what games the team at Aksys were looking forward to at E3. This interview was done directly after Sony’s press conference and before any of us had a chance to see the show floor.


Just in case you missed it, here’s part one, which was posted yesterday.


image4 When I say the word "ladder" you say…


Ben Bateman, Editor: [Everyone laughs] There are a lot of ladder jokes. [laughs] I can’t remember them all right now, but I did come up with all of them, more or less, I found some on the Internet. I was very proud of my ladder jokes.


That’s actually another thing that’s also very difficult, but very rewarding when you do it well in Japanese games. Japanese people love puns, but unfortunately a lot of those puns have to deal with Japanese words and they don’t make any sense in English. I like to think of it like a puzzle because basically you have this information that needs to be communicated in this exchange. You also have to make a joke. That joke needs to be a pun. How can you make a pun that communicates the information you need to communicate and is still amusing? Sometimes you get right and sometimes you don’t, but I enjoy doing that. It’s rewarding when you do it well.


How would you feel about working on more visual novels, if you had the chance to do so, no titles or announcements implied.


Frank "Bo" deWindt II, Director of Production: If you go to Anime Expo… [laughs]

Aileen Viray, Assistant Marketing Manager: There’s going to be some marvelous otome stuff there.

BB: You can always show up and live blog it so others can experience it vicariously through you.

OK, I’ll be there and see if we can set up some kind of live blog for the readers. So, if you had a choice of visual novel what would you pick? Maybe something from the Infinity series, perhaps?


Well, I mean don’t really get to choose those things. I’m not really familiar with any visual novels, so I couldn’t tell you which one’s I’d like to work on.


Mike Engler, Editor: Not of the record, but this is not as an employee of Aksys games. Just a personal one, one I actually played through and really, really liked, although the word count would probably kill us all – Imabikisou. It’s from Chunsoft on PS3.



How about 428?


BB: That game sounds cool. I’d like to work on that, but it’s like three million characters or something.

ME: More than that.

BB: The scale of that project is mindblowing.

ME: You’re probably familiar with Jess at Xseed and her trials and tribulations of doing Trails in the Sky. Yeah, it’s like…

BB: It’s like that times ten.

ME: I think she still has trauma from that project.


Idea Factory has worked with a number of localization companies including Atlus, NIS America, and now Aksys. How did your relationship start?


FW: I think we started with Agarest War and then we moved on to Blazing Souls Accelate. Now, Agarest War Zero. Who knows what the future holds.


Compared to working with Arc System Works where Aksys usually handles those titles, do you feel like it’s a battle to license an Idea Factory game?


Yuko Abe: A little bit, but we have a very good relationship with Idea Factory… and that’s all I can say!



Your marketing for Record of Agarest War Zero changed quite a bit from the first title. The special edition isn’t so X-rated.


FW: We tried to make it more user friendly, this time around. [Laughs]


Being a niche publisher, do you feel getting retail space is increasingly difficult?


FW: There’s the what we can say factors and what we can’t say factors.

ME: If it’s any consolation, we’d dearly love to talk it about simply because to put the nonsensical speculation to rest. Some of the forums, reading them, it’s like really guys… but that’s about all I can say about it.

AV: There’s a limitation with the developers and there are several different levels that we have to go through. We have to go through the publishers, first-party, which is the major…

FW: Like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. We always have our fans best interest in mind. Whether we can make that happen is up to various elements.


There’s a Vita game Aksys has to show today.


James Xie, Community Manager: It’s BB: CS II Plus [BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus] working title, parentheses. It’s the first port of BB for the Vita. It’s the first one to use a lot of the high definition assets created originally. It looks pretty much as if it was the high definition version of the game running on the Vita. Actually, it looks like one of the best titles out there, if I could say for myself, in my totally unbiased opinion. [Laughs.]


It’s got a lot of new features and it’s still early in development so we’re still thinking about a lot of the things going into it. It’s going to support online play. They [Sony] mentioned 3G compatibility and we’re definitely looking into that as well.


Is it going to be a launch title?


JX: Well, it might become one.

AV: We are localizing it for North America.


What about the 3DS aside from BlazBlue? Are you working on any more titles?


FW: It’s a new platform, so we’re considering other titles, but as of right now we don’t have any plans.


projumperWhatever happened to that Guilty Gear spinoff DSiWare game?


FW: Ah, Pro Jumper!

AV: It’s coming out soon!

BB: The gameplay is actually so deep [laughs] the programmers have been working on it for several months. You saw one of the early prototypes.

FW: Mainly, we’re just waiting for an unknown company to release it.

[Spencer’s note: Pro Jumper Chimaki’s Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent?! comes out tomorrow.]


Are you going to localize any more of Arc System Works’ DSiWare games?


FW: Umm… yea-maybe?

ME: We totally localized Othello already.

AV: Let’s just say yes.

FW: Yeah, we do have another Arc System Works DSiWare title.


What do you think about Arc System Works reclaiming Guilty Gear?


FW: I think that’s awesome!

JX: I hope it’s not like a 3D game and when Sol does his super it zooms in on his face. [jokingly]


Tomorrow, we’re going to see Nintendo’s next console. How do you feel about that?


FW: I’m pretty excited about it. I’m curious to see what it will do.

So, I take it Aksys isn’t already working on a title?

AV: They just like to keep a lot of things secret.

FW: Yeah, they’re very secretive. They’re like the CIA of the entertainment industry.

ME: They keep their secrets iron clasped. Let’s just say there used to be one more localization editor.. he didn’t run fast enough.


Since Aksys only has one title to show, which games are you looking forward to playing at E3 that aren’t any of your titles?


FW: I’m a huge Atlus fan so let’s just say Catherine and Persona 2.

BB: I’m sexually aroused by the prospect of seeing Mass Effect 3. Also, Skyrim. There’s something else…

FW: Halo 4.

BB: I doubt I’m going to see Halo 4 there.

FW: Gears of War?

BB: Gears is going to be like all the other Gears games. I’m excited to play it, but not see it.

FW: Battlefield 3?

BB: I don’t really play the Battlefield games.

FW: I do want to see the new Zelda too.

AV: Uncharted 3, I’m a really big fan.

FW: She likes Drake.

ME: Ninja Gaiden [III], Bioshock: Infinite, the new My Little Pony game… I mean did I say that out loud?

BB: That might be cool, actually. Liking My Little Pony is cool these days.

AV: I second Ninja Gaiden III.

JV: Dark Souls, just Dark Souls. I have the same taste as almost everyone here since I play almost everything.

ME: He just wants the pain. He doesn’t hurt enough during the course of his job.

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  • AnimeRemix

    They sure did have a good time discussing the games they wanted to see at E3. =D

  • keriaku

    Yes! Imabikisou, doooooooo it! I remember wanting this so much.

  • Yay for interviews :D! Remember to come to Anime Expo and attend our panel, everyone ;D!

    • AnimeRemix

      I wish I could go…=( But I unfortunately can’t…

      Maybe someone could record it for me…? >=D



      • As if it wasn’t clear already that it’s near impossible. If Aksys does have a hold on the otome games, that already a love letter saying “Dear Sony, take you PS Move and shove it up yer A-hole. We’re getting those visual novels. Sincerely, Aksys.”

        • HistorysGreatestMonster

          I have honestly no idea what you’re trying to say. So, if Aksys release an otome game, that’s somehow telling Sony they shouldn’t release games for the Move? But yet, it’s impossible for one to be released on PS3? Is that what you were trying to say? I am totally lost by your statement.

          • I’m not even putting the Move into context here. It’s your “Why don’t ya’ll take my badge and shove it up yo ass?” joke. And I said “IF Aksys gets the otome games,” despite that visual novels are easily avoided by Sony US.

        • cj_iwakura

          How is Umineko impossible? PSN version, JP audio. Profit!

  • Is that a lot of characters to translate or something, I guess I have no idea as to what gauge to use since I didnt play a TiTS etc. More visual novel games would be nice, but the one I guess in particular didnt seem to suit my tastes I guess, hm oldish characters? Oh well, do tell more news and I cant wait for BlazBlue Continuum Shift II Plus! More Help me Professor Kokonoe and Teach Me Boobie Lady and gag endings (Ragna’s was hilarious!)

  • Hours

    Really great interview Spencer.

    Now I’m really hyped for the AX announcements.

  • I laughed at the 428 comment, I want to see that game localized, but that sounds like such a big haul!

    Love you guys <3

  • z_merquise

    JX: I hope it’s not like a 3D game and when Sol does his super it zooms in on his face. [jokingly]

    Haha! Nice! Surely, it would be a 2D fighting game but for it to be officially revealed would really take a while. Still, everyone here is happy that Arc Sys got the franchise back and here’s hoping that it won’t take too long for a new Guilty Gear game.

  • Merulana

    These are some funny guys.
    “Liking My Little Pony is cool these days.”

    • Guess you haven’t seen the new show, it’s awesome.

  • Code

    rarr, what concerns me about Blazblue: Continuum Shift II Plus on PSPita, is that, the system is still a ways off still. Blazblue: Continuum Shift II Plus would be coming at a time when really, I’d half expect early Blazblue 3 stuff would be in the works omo~! You know, Blazblue 3, that one that’ll have Jubei playable, possibly with him giving Hazama a headlock on the cover, well giving Tao a brofist omo;

    • I was under the impression that BlazBlue 3 has been in development for awhile now. Surely one doesnt expect a port to truly take away from the main development of the next console iteration, which could see launch on the portables as well?

      • Code

        Yeah agreed; I can’t help but feel like why bother releasing BB:CSII on Pita if BB3 is just around the bend >o>~!

        • Well it has extra stuff, I would get it as it makes the launch window lineup more interesting. BB3 could release around the same time, well, at least in JPN.

  • IceRomancer

    Seems like cool bunch of people :)
    Also can’t wait for a BB game on the vita :D

  • blah blah

    I was thinking maybe it’d have a surprise announcement.

  • Don’t forget to download Pro Jumper Chimaki’s Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent on DSiWare tomorrow! (6/23) :D

    • Kris

      You know I will just because it has “Guilty Gear” in the title. XD
      (besides, I need something to but next to BlayzBloo)

  • Yukito

    I want to still see 428 localized. D:….. I hope SOMEONE is willing to pick it up, and someone is persuasive enough to get Sony to allow it for a PS3 version.

    Anywho, main highlight of this? 

    “Aileen Viray, Assistant Marketing Manager: There’s going to be some marvelous otome stuff there.”

    This Aileen girl loves causing trouble and hype. .-.

  • Raiyu

    We are the white void. We are the cold steel. We are the just sword. With blade in hand we shall reap the sins of this world! We are Aksys Games! The end has come!

  • “Marvelous” otome? I guess we’re looking at Hanayoi Romanesque or Orange Honey then? *sigh*

    • Roses4Aria

      Urgh.  And now my “I’ll be happy with anything” comment is coming back to bite me in the behind.  I’ve heard terrible things about Hanayoi.  I don’t know much about Orange Honey.

      Whatever it is, I’ll still get it if only to support otome game sales.  I haven’t played either game myself so I hate to go on other players’ reviews alone when judging a game.  I might play it and love it. Guess I just had my hopes up for an Idea Factory release after that otome survey…

      Anyway, I’m going to try not to be negative about this.  Either way, it’s an official otome game FINALLY being released in the west and that’s a good thing!  Hopefully it will open the door for more. :)

      • OHOHOHOHOHOHO ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \

        • savvy30039

          I’m not sure if that ominous laughter is a good or a bad sign.


          • Roses4Aria

            Hmmm…  Guess I’ll take that as a good sign. :)

  • Apache_Chief

    Liking My Little Pony IS cool these days. What’s up with that?

    • Azuku

      The most recent My Little Pony animated television series (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) is developed by Lauren Faust, who’s husband is Craig McCracken. You might know Craig from shows like The Powerpuff Girls, and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (Both of which Lauren worked on as well).

      With this in mind, the show, despite being a “My Little Pony” derived entity, has a quality that is generally not found in today’s cartoons. For more on this story we go to our reporter in the field, Wikipedia

    • cj_iwakura

      My Little Pony: Continuum Shift. The Friendship of Fate is Turning!

      Do it, ArcSys.

      • Kunio_kun

        No, instead of getting hyped for Capcom v. Namco, I’d be stoked to see My Little Pony v. Hello Kitty…
        With Mortal Kombat -esque fatalities, of course!

  • SupaPhly

    great, I love ‘funs’ too :P

  • Tarlol

    These guys sound like such awesome people. Despite how stressful he makes it sound, I wish I had an editing job like that. Maybe one day…

  • Ugh, so much teasing on the otome games…I’m starting to loose hope! ;A;
    Anime Expo better have some otome games coming to America, if not I’ll loose it!

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    *Considers buying this otome game even though I’m a guy*

    We’ll…see about that. There’s lots of factors. Money, when it comes out, whether or not it actually sounds interesting, etc…

    Unless it’s for the PS2 or DS. Then, it’s Day One. Especially if it’s PS2.

  • cj_iwakura

    Rockin Pretty is listed as $75.98 on amazon in this topic.

    WTF, Aksys? So that’s how you bank games like 999.

  • PrinceHeir

    I need Agarest O_O

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