PSP Yakuza Goes on Demo
Second hand impressions from today's demo event, complete with commentary from Toshihiro Nagoshi.
Sega put PSP's Black Panther Yakuza New Chapter on demo at Shinjuku's Bic Camera earlier today as the start of a demo tour that will take the game to multiple retailers in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. Here's a bit of what Impress Watch had to say about the game, along with a summary of comments series director Toshihiro Nagoshi said to the press following the demo session.
The demo was set in the game's third chapter. Players were able to play about 15 minutes, trying out battles around town, working through sub events for learning skills and styles, and trying out mini games like bowling.
As you move about town, you'll run into the usual thugs who have various issues with you. When you come into contact with these thugs, the game shows their info. You can switch your fighting style at this point to match the upcoming battle.
Promotional materials at the event listed such styles as street fighting, boxing, karate, pro wrestling, Chinese Kenpo and Kobudo (Japanese martial arts). The demo version had street fighting, boxing and Muay Thai playable.
Impress says that the street fighting and Muay Thai styles give the feeling of being user friendly, with good balance for hand and leg skills. Boxing focuses on punching and speed, and its reach is low so it could end up taking some getting used to.
The fighting styles have individual levels. As you increase a style's level, your abilities with the style will increase.
Here's how the game's combat controls work on PSP:
- L button: Guard
- R button: Switch targets when faced with multiple opponents
- D-Pad/Analogue: Move your character
- Square: Punch
- Triangle: Kick
- Circle: Grab
- X: Dash/Step
- Down + Square or Triangle: attack a downed opponent
- L + circle: pick up items that are sitting about the stages
The game has the series' "heat action" system, where your character perform flashy finishing moves. However, it does away with the gauges for both heat action and life. Your life gauge only shows when you're close to death. Instead of the heat action gauge, you can tell when your character is ready for a finishing move based off the color of the aura that surrounds him.
The battle screen isn't totally clean, though. One corner displays an image of your body. As you incur damage in four areas (head, arm, etc.) the color of the area will change. This is useful because your character incurs positional damage, and you'll be able to tell when you're about to have your guard broken in particular areas.
Once you've cleared battle, you have the choice of making your fallen foe into an ally. You can head to your very own room in Kamurocho to manage your ally list. You can also manage your item list and read various bits of info here.
Outside of the combat details, the site was able to confirm that the game is compatible with data install.
As with those past demo sessions, certain areas of Kamurocho were locked off for this demo. This makes it sound like Sega put some effort into creating the demo, so perhaps we can expect a PSN download.
Speaking with the press following the demo session, Nagoshi said that he's always worried that no one will show up at these demo events, so he was relieved to see so many people for today's event.
Perhaps because it was summer break time, were many junior high kids in attendance, something that made Nagoshi particularly happy because he wants younger players to play the game. When asked about what areas he was challenging in making the new PSP title, Nagoshi said that the game's drama has been created with young players in mind. The game's wireless component, where the allies you've gathered from around Kamurocho can be used for multiplayer combat, is another system made with the younger generation in mind.
We haven't heard all there is to hear about Black Panther yet. In a closing message, Nagoshi promised new details and announcements leading up to the Tokyo Game Show. The game sees release the following week, on September 22.