SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy - Yasuyuki Oda (Producer) Interview

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 
Order Diamond Dream Edition here.


In late July, we sat down with SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy producer Yasuyuki Oda to discuss all things about the unique tag-team team fighter. Check out the first part of our interview below to learn more about SNK's latest release, dood!

 Even though SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy is a new title, does it borrow elements or take inspiration from previous SNK titles apart from the character roster?

Oda: Yes it does! A long time ago there was a game called Kizuna Encounter, which released on the arcade and Neo Geo. It didn't sell very well, but this game is something we looked at for inspiration when developing SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy.

With the wide range of female characters from all of the SNK properties to choose from, what were the criteria for the characters selected for SNK HEROINES Tag Team?

Oda: The character roster for SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy was chosen based on three categories; popular characters, characters we want to grow and make more popular and lastly the “special group”, which was really just a way for us to sneak in Shermie.


How difficult was it translating the 2D move-sets of characters in the 3D models?

Oda: We’ve made all the characters complex move-sets achievable with the use of a single button, so players are able to create combos much easier with this control system.

In other fighting games opponents are defeated when their HP reaches 0, which can be done by using normal attacks, specials etc.… But in SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy you have to defeat opponents using a “Dream Finish” to win, why is that? 

Firstly, in order to emphasise that this is a tag-team based game, we wanted to make sure that players were using their tag partner appropriately. For example, one of the team members “Dream Finish” gauge could be filled up and the other might not be, so this encourages players to know when to switch characters and to utilise it. This is a key aspect we want players to really focus on when playing the game. Secondly, by using the “Dream Finish” every battle ends in a flashy way.
Is the “Dream Finishes” unique to each character?

: Yes! Every heroine has two Dream Finishes, which showcases their personality when used.
Characters already have three costume options (alternate, heroine and classic), which players can change throughout the game. What then led to the decision to also add an option to customise your character's costume and accessories? 

Actually, this is due to some of the feedback we got from King of Fighters XIV. A lot of users kept on saying “It’d be great if you could add more costumes!” But rather than just add more costumes into King of Fighters XIV, we thought it’d be really cool to take that concept and expand on it, which is one of the reasons SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy has a number of costumes.

We noticed that the 2D art & expressions for each character changes depending on the costume they are wearing. Do these new costumes and expressions add previously unseen depths to these characters personalities? 

Oda: This was done on purposes to show off their personalities, so every character has three fully drawn expressions to reflect how the character feels in each of their costumes.

How many accessories for customisation are there for players to interact with?

Oda: There are more than 130 accessories.

How do you express a character's personality through animation – Could you give some examples?

Oda: Well, it’s a lot of thought and hard work! Honestly speaking, not every animation we come up with ends up showcasing a character’s personality, so we only end up using the ones that do turn out well. To explain it a little further, even simple movements like walking, crouching and jumping are very difficult to do because they need to show off exactly how the character would carry out such an action based on their personality.

Can you share the challenges of animating a character like Athena in 3D compared to 2D?

Oda: It’s really important for a character like Athena’s animations to be close to their 2D origins as possible. Even though the game is in 3D, the camera of the game is in a stationary 2D view, so players don’t get a view of every angle. We make all the movements in 3D, however, the interesting thing is, if you moved the camera to a different viewpoint the character animations would look really awkward.

Does that mean we’ll never see a fully 3 Dimensional KOF game in the future?

Oda: If it did happen it would definitely be along the lines of a game like TEKKEN.


Did animating the characters in 3D allow the heroines to express their personalities in new ways that weren’t possible in 2D?

Oda: Definitely! One thing is that it allowed us to do more things with costumes, as it’s harder to do things with costumes changes in 2D. Another thing is to use 3D effectively to show moves and effects, it allowed us to further express the characters in ways that weren’t possible in 2D. 

With the characters revealed so far, who is your favourite and why?

Oda: Ahhhh, it would have to be Love Heart! That’s because she’s really cool!
With the characters revealed so far, who is your favourite and why?

Oda: Ahhhh, it would have to be Love Heart! That’s because she’s really cool!
Were there interesting challenges in setting a fighting game within a Mansion rather than setting stages? 

Oda: In normal fighting games you have a broad choice of stages to fight in, but we had to think carefully on how to make the mansion setting really interesting, so the team thought of all kinds of stage ideas that could be showcased in such a setting. We might have received some inspiration from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in how some of the areas are laid out.
Will players be able to interact with objects in the background, stage hazards or anything within that manner when fighting?

Oda: There’s nothing in the background of the stages, but there are items that pop up during the battle, that you can use.
What game modes can players expect when the game launches?

Oda: There’s story mode, vs mode, online mode, customisation mode and a gallery. 

NISA Europe: 
I’ll be looking forward to the gallery!

There’s a lot of content in it, so please look forward to it.

NISA Europe: 
In fact, my brother will be looking forward to it more than me.

SNK games are known for their music by fans, what can you tell us about the sound direction this game takes?

Oda: This time, because it’s a kind of an anime-game, we used vocal tracks for 3 songs in the game. Up until now, we used a lot of heavy based rock tracks, but SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy has a lot of whimsical and mysterious feelings in terms of music direction.
End of Interview
Translation by: Alan Costa

Order the SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy Diamond Dream Edition today from the NISA European Online Store, dood!