I had a chance to ask Mike Pepe, Brand Manager at Hudson Entertainment, questions about the Dungeon Explorer revival and most of this interview is about Dungeon Explorer: Warrior of the Ancient Arts. We outlined the differences between the PSP and Nintendo DS versions of the game so you can figure out, which version is most appealing. However, glancing through the Reader Response questions I noticed many of you wanted to know about Hudson’s plans beyond Dungeon Explorer. So, I shifted gears and snuck a questions about Far East of Eden and Turbo Grafx revivals in at the end. Enjoy!
How different is Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of Ancient Arts for the PSP and DS?
They are different in the fact that they have 2 completely different story lines. The PSP takes place in the past and the DS takes place in the future (relative to the Turbo Grafx Version). They also have different job arts and graphics with the PSP holding an edge over the DS version.
Are the stories connected? Do you need to play both games to comprehend the narrative?
The stories are not connected, but do share similar backgrounds. The PSP version has you looking for a lost Kingdom, the DS version has you saving the lost kingdom. There also ties in each game to the Turbo Grafx game.
What about the combat system? I remember the PSP version has Big Bang Arts while the DS one doesn't. How come?
The combat system is a hack-and-slash action RPG. The fact that it’s not turn-based pulls players into the game and promotes adrenaline pumping battles as your character quests through the different regions of the game.
Regarding the Big Bang Art: The game play in the PSP, although similar to the DS’, promotes a stronger team effort that we were able to implement. Although we were not able to do this on the DS because of the cartridge limitations we were able to make up for it with Wi-Fi connectivity text/voice chat.
How customizable are the characters? Do you have the same options in both versions?
The players are very customizable. In fact two players with the same arts will behave completely differently because of the affect their weapons have had on them. The PSP has 150+ arts to choose from and the DS has 60+. Customize away!
If I remember correctly the PSP version only has local Wi-Fi play, while the DS release has Nintendo Wi-Fi support. How come Hudson didn't take advantage of infrastructure mode for the PSP?
That is something that we regret. The PSP development team focused on the story, gameplay, and graphics with Wi-Fi not making it in time for the build. This is being addressed for the next version of the game.
Do you have to use friend codes on the DS version to play with other "Dungeon Explorers" or is there random matchmaking for quick play?
Both. Friend codes and random matching are both supported. Although communication between players is limited in random because of privacy concerns (Text and Voice Chat is only available in Friend Mode).
Are the two games coming out at the same time? My readers point out Gamestop only lists the DS version of Dungeon Explorer for sale.
They ship together day and date.
Besides localization, are there any differences between the North American versions and the Japanese versions?
There are no differences between the two regions.
About two E3s (or was it more?) ago I met with someone from Hudson who mentioned a Dungeon Explorer game was heading to the Xbox 360. Is this still in development?
There is a development team dedicated to this, but I can’t comment right now how far along they are.
Is Hudson considering reviving more TurboGrafx-16 franchises? Personally, I would love a new Bonk or Air Zonk game! Neutopia would be a great fit for the DS too.
We are definitely reviving more TurboGrafx franchises! As you know Hudson has a large library of titles that we can draw from. Look for announcements in the coming months.
What about the Far East of Eden games? Will Hudson consider localizing those if Dungeon Explorer does well? (Please?)
All I can say right now is that it is a possibility. Stay tuned for announcements from Hudson!