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Bandai details Tora Dora conversation system

Popular anime and light novel hits PSP in 2009.


Bandai Namco shared details today on Tora Dora! The tentatively titled PSP adaptation of the popular Yuyuko Takemiya light novel of the same name was announced in October just as its anime conversion hit the air waves.

As previously announced, the PSP version is being developed by Guyz Ware under producer Kenta Kanayama. Guyz Ware previously worked on the PSP version of Haruhi Suzumiya no Yakusoku and is now working on Golgo 13 for the DS.

In the game adaptation, players take control of Ryuji Takasu, the 16-year-old main character of the series. You move around school and town, conversing with characters and working towards multiple endings as part of an original storyline that was supervised by the anime staff.

Today's update offered a first look at the game's map system. Exploration scenes in town and in your school take place in a three-quarters overhead view. Characters are rendered in 3D, in big-headed "deformed" style.

The map system.

Also detailed today was the game's conversation system. In typical adventure game fashion, as you converse, profile shots of characters fill the screen. Here, Guyz Ware has made use of a technology called Motion Portrait, which gives life to characters. In addition to mouth and eye movements, characters will have chest movements which make it look like they're actually breathing.

The Motion Portrait technology at work.

You begin a conversation by first selecting a theme. You then progress through the conversation my making selections at branching points.

As you converse, you have to keep track of a "sychro rate." A rising synchro rate indicates that your conversation partner finds what you have to say interesting. If the rate falls, the conversation may come to a sudden end.

Selecting paths through a conversation.

Joining these gameplay details, Bandai Namco also shared details on a limited edition box it has in the works for the game. The limited edition will feature artwork from Masayoshi Tanaka, the anime version's character designer. Included in the box are a special DVD, featuring promo movies for the game and a special anime episode with previously unaried scenes, and a fan book featuring an illustrated spin off story from Takemiya, an art gallery for the PSP game, and a manga.

Pricing and specific release information will presumably be shared in a future update.

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