3rd Birthday Developers Interview: Overdive into Clothing Health Meters

In an interview with Famitsu, four developers of The 3rd Birthday – Yoshinori Kitase, Hajime Tabata, Motomu Toriyama, and Iasmu Kamikokuryo – broke down a few of the more interesting features of the upcoming PSP action RPG. Creative producer Tetsuya Nomura had a few things to say as well, in a separate interview that was otherwise centered around Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Of particular interest are the following bullet points:

  • Initially planned as a cell phone game, The 3rd Birthday was moved to the PSP to take better advantage of the hardware, and to make the game more accessible worldwide.
  • Toriyama mentioned an “episodic” nature to the story layout, in a similar vein to US TV shows; Lost, Heroes, and 24 were referenced in particular.
  • The game’s visual style has been adjusted from the original cell phone concept, shifting from a relatively unscathed Manhattan at the onset to the more ruined cityscape depicted in previews so far. Essentially, the PSP version starts further along in the story than was first intended.
  • Aya’s “Overdive” ability lets her take command of various soldiers in the field and directly battle the Twisted, the otherworldly force assaulting downtown NYC. In this fashion she can not only attack Twisted, but also position soldiers intelligently and shift bodies as necessary, even if whoever she’s inhabiting is killed.  Rather than simply hopping bodies when one dies, she can initiate flanking maneuvers and other group tactics against more dangerous enemies.
  • As far as equipment goes, she’s generally limited to whatever the NPC she inhabits is carrying. However, she can customize her own weapons, which can be brought into the fight somehow; it’s not specified if these are brought with you between bodies or dropped into a combat zone in advance.
  • Some customization of Aya has been hinted at, but not explained. Tabata mentioned a similarity with Aya’s powers in past Parasite Eve games, but did not elaborate.
  • Aya’s clothing will confer defensive bonuses depending on how much, or little, she is wearing. Her outfits will tear and become more tattered as she takes damage; Nomura is credited for the idea. A sizable portion of the interview seemed to focus on the degree of nudity in the game, and Toriyama did confirm that Aya appeared naked during Overdive prior to inhabiting a body; upon possession, she appears as normal.
  • As the game displays Aya in an NPC’s body for convenience, it’s unclear how her outfit can affect a soldier’s defense.  When asked whether Aya’s torn clothes represent her own state, Tabata replied “No, it’s probably just our image.”
  • The Twisted are designed to run counter to traditional monster appearances – they have no concrete form, per se – and will be difficult to predict simply by virtue of being so utterly alien.  Their environments may be similarly bizarre and unpredictable.  In-game, the FBI speculates that the Twisted have somehow come from the future.
  • The developers hinted that a future console adaptation is being considered, and that The 3rd Birthday might be the start of a new series.
  • Nomura directly stated that The 3rd Birthday is not a sequel to the Parasite Eve series, but rather “a new piece of content.” What place it has alongside Parasite Eve was not explained.
  • Regarding Aya, Nomura commented that she’s meant to be a fairly normal character; not really a warrior, her cool-headed demeanor masks someone trying to “accept her fate.” Emphasis will be placed on her internal conflicts throughout the game.

Source: Famitsu

Translation: andriasang

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