In a recent interview, Metal Max series creator Hiroshi Miyaoka, Metal Max Xeno Reborn producer Juntaro Kouno, and director Yuusuke Tomono talked about the reasons behind the remake’s changes and why the game got delayed. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]
Here are the highlights:
- While the reason for the game’s delay could be simply explained by saying that it needed more time in the oven for quality reasons, Kouno stated that the delay was also due to an expansion in scope for the remake to not only refresh Metal Max Xeno, but also the entire Metal Max series as a whole. This was partially because of the reactions from fans during the series anniversary event.
- As development continued, the team sensed that there was a great new possibility available via the new action-based tank battle system where you could chase down enemies and shoot them. Members felt that the game could become something even greater than a simple remake and decided to pursue the idea. According to Kouno, the team was too focused on creating a regular JRPG during the original game, and then were dragged down by a more linear feel and the lack of things to do during battles. The development team decided to delay the game, go wild, and create something more fun.
- When the game was announced, Kouno revealed it would have more free-roaming, and you could even ignore Toni and explore with just Pochi. During the interview, he reiterated this and that the game is much more open than before, so as long as you complete your main story objective, it won’t matter what you do in between the beginning and end of the game. Another big change involves the skill system, which has been changed into involve a skill tree. The result of these changes, plus alterations to the battle system, resulted a very different game in just three months of development. According to Kouno, the team developed it with the image of what Metal Max would have been like if it was a 3D game from the very beginning.
- More on-foot sections have been added and skill ranges are more defined and strict, meaning that you have to be more careful during these sections.
- Overworld movement speed been adjusted. There will be no limits to where you can go, no matter how low-leveled you are. While in previous games, tanks were a means of both attacking and defending, this is much more prevalent in that riding in the right vehicle could mean evading unnecessary fights.
- The character design change is a result of and due to the changed UI, which is much more grounded and subdued. It was compared with the original Xeno, where the more saturated character designs fit more with the UI in that game.
- Po-M is playable in Metal Max Xeno Reborn and, while she doesn’t gain skill points even when leveling up, she has her own android-based growth tree. She’s voiced by Mizuki Tosaka. Her skills are an amalgam of other skills from other characters, representing her growth from just a regular robot into something more human, to the point she can even use Steal on enemies.
- With Metal Max Xeno Reborn, series creator Hiroshi Miyaoka felt that the game channeled the same sort of rebellious spirit he had when he directed the first game. With the PS5 on the horizon, Miyaoka felt the series needed to find its footing and a way to survive in the future. Just like many contemporary titles in classic series, like The Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy, it tries to do something new and act as a “rebirth” for the series.