Tomonobu Itagaki: Interview Summer 06

Our regular meeting with Itagaki to talk about the finer points of drinking-inspired creativity, DOA Xtreme 2, and more. Fantastic HD version of the DOAX2 trailer included!

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You know the drill by now. We hunt down Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden creator, Tomonobu Itagaki, then talk about anything and everything, and maybe talk a bit about games as well. After the pleasing results of Dead or Alive 4, but before his next truly massive projects are unveiled, Itagaki has decided to chill for bit with the 'hobby' game development task that is Dead or Alive Xtreme 2.

Of course, we don't let that stop us from going off-topic. The first part of the interview is without a translator in English. Enjoy... oh, and remember to check out the superlative HD version of the DOAX2 trailer below!

Itagaki: Sorry [about the delay while we wait for the interpreter]. So, four years we've been meeting up now!

Kikizo: Yeah, although of course our other staff meet with you sometimes as well...

Itagaki: Ah yes, Heidi. In Japanese, "Heijii". Heidi is a very popular name in Japan, because about twenty years ago, there was a very popular, famous animation, Alps no Shoujo Heidi.

Kikizo: Japanese name their children Heidi because of this?

Itagaki: No, haha! But a very popular character's name, everyone knows it because of this.

Kikizo: So is it busy for you right now?

Itagaki: This year is a relaxed year! Fighting, katana slash, and beach volleyball! Those are my three [series]. The first two are very serious games. DOA4 is not that serious for the audience, but it is very serious for me, as it's tough to develop. Of course, Ninja Gaiden 2 is tough for me also. But DOA Xtreme series is just a hobby for me. So this year is a very relaxed.

Kikizo: So this year it's all about just DOAX2?

Itagaki: Yes - mainly.

Kikizo: And so Kikuchi-san [fellow Tecmo producer] is busier than you?

Itagaki: Haha, yes! He is busier than me this year!

Kikizo: That makes a change then. So yeah. I played quite a lot of DOA4 when it came out. Then I saw videos of you playing the game on Xbox Live, so I see a good player and realise I am a poor player!

[Interpreter now joins us].

Itagaki: So you get the world exclusive - well not really, but you know - as this is the very first interview for DOAX2.

Kikizo: That did cross my mind, I felt quite pleased about that.

Itagaki: World number one! You can claim you were the first.

Kikizo: So you were saying that DOAX2 is more of a hobby project for you. How do you find your daily schedule working on a title that is more of a laid-back thing?

Itagaki: It's a very busy hobby! But it's not tough, like some of the other projects. So of course, the action movie... action games and fighting games are tough, and hard. But making this game is tough and fun.

Kikizo: So how do the sizes of the teams compare roughly, say DOA4 versus DOAX2?

Itagaki: Well you don't need as many people as on DOA4. Everyone wants to work on a fighting or action game, but a game like this - a hobby-based game - the staff usually separates into two groups, one that wants to continue to make a serious game, and one that enjoys making a fun game.

Kikizo: So can you tell us about some of the gameplay we have in Xtreme 2? We saw Jet Ski and water chute races in the trailer.

Itagaki: I am working on the Jet Ski part of it very seriously, because I like Jet Ski games. There are two types of gameplay with the Jet Ski. One is the racing, where you compete on the difference of one hundredth of a second. And the others are more about riding the waves with good style.

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Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
Direct feed trailer (HD version, for some reason slightly shorter than previous SD versions below, but looks awesome)  
01:07 82MB DF, HD, 16:9
Previous Videos
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
Direct feed trailer   (X360 - Tecmo)
01:45 62MB DF, ED, 16:9
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
Direct feed trailer (regular)   (X360 - Tecmo)
01:45 29MB DF, SD, 16:9

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