In-depth Interview on the PS3 Exclusive 5 Star Wrestling
How many variations are there going to be? Is it just the normal and tired state?
Well, we have a power state as well for those times at the end of a match when you want to put all you have into the move. Again, going back to the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – At the end of the match, Shawn Michaels is on his feet, barely able to stand and he’s just taunting the Undertaker – eventually Micheals just slaps the Undertaker. Now, the Undertaker just gets pissed off and does a powerful finisher. So that is where we are trying to go with that, you will be able to give it your all.
There is an important gameplay balance here. When you’re momentum maxed out and you gain access to your finishing moves, you have time to do two ‘Quick Finishers’ much like The Undertaker who always did a Choke Slam then a Tombstone, or how Kurt Angle would do an Angle Slam then an Ankle Lock. If you can get both off in succession, chances are you are going to win the match, but there is that added risk factor of your opponent reversing the second finisher. The alternate option is to do a ‘Power Finisher’, it is not quite a powerful as two quick finishers put together but is more powerful than one by itself and your opponent only has one shot at reversing it rather than two.
Now if you try to do the power finisher towards the end of the match, that means putting in too much effort if you are already extremely exhausted, so you might get it but you might be too tired to capitalize on it afterwards.
How do you build up the momentum meter?
Attacking your opponent, taunting him, etc.
Are there tables, ladders, or any of the more popular hardcore aspects that are happening in wrestling?
We can’t discuss weapons right now but we will have some typical wrestling styled things. Our focus currently is on the actual wrestling match itself.
Will you guys have any licensed wrestlers at all?
No, we aren’t attached to any brands out there, there are no real wrestlers in the game, these are all our own characters, etc. Luckily, the flip side to not having a license is that we can actually be more creative. We do not have to pump out sequels and we can iterate on this through DLC, so people won’t feel like they’ve had to buy the same guy over and over again. I’ve bought every wrestling game for the last 20 years, I must have bought HHH like 50 times.
What about ring location aspects, things like touching the ropes?
We have count outs, we have rope breaks, we have all the things you would expect from a standard wrestling game and like I said, the beauty of not having a license is that we can get a little creative with some of that stuff. If we want to let players set ‘Count Outs’ to 20 seconds instead of 10, that’s up to us, we don’t need to get permission to do it, so all our design choices are about ‘what’s good for the game’ rather than limiting ourselves to ‘what fits a brand’.
Are characters able to dive over the ropes, or off the top of the turnbuckle?
Yes, we have move positions from all over the ring. That was one of the big things we looked at early on, and we wanted to make sure that everything was covered. As an example, in TNA games you weren’t able to do back grapples, only front grapples, and WWE All-Stars didn’t have a submission system… We have back grapples, front grapples, top rope, apron grapples, ground grapples, running grapples, a submission system… I mean, of course we have a submission system, it is a wrestling game, submissions are huge part of wrestling. How can you have wrestling without submissions?
When is the release window for the game?
We are looking at summer.
Have you set a price to launch at?
Not yet, we have a rough idea but we are not talking about price just yet.
Will it be retail and on the PSN store, or will it just be digital download?
It’s exclusively on the PlayStation Network. I know some people would prefer to have it on a disc but we’re only a small team and doing retail would mean having to put our resources into getting shelve space in shops rather than building the game.
Anything you would like to add?
I just want to emphasize that we’re all about the wrestling gameplay. I’m really proud of some of the things we’re doing and most of this stuff should have been in this genre for a hell of a long time. When you think about it, Bret Hart dominated the wrestling industry for years and every match he would have a strategy but for what ever reason, the strategy element has been missing from wrestling games. If it wasn’t Bret taking Diesel’s legs out at Rumble 95, it was Angle taking Undertaker’s legs or CM Punk taking Randy’s out which stopped him doing the Punt Kick…Wrestling is about telling stories through actions in the ring, its about David vs. Goliath, Good vs. Evil and above all else it’s about strategy. So that is what we are bringing to the table with 5 Star Wrestling.
It is easy to see that the guys at Serious-Parody are serious wrestling fans, and if they are able to pull off what they are setting out to do, the big boys in the industry will need to take notice. There is a lot to take in, and a lot of potential to be had from this small developer, so make sure to stay tuned to PSLS as we bring you up to the minute updates on this up-and-coming PS3 exclusive. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @Foolsjoker to find out what I will be working on next, or to get live updates on our presence at many of this years industry events.
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