We are huge fans of the hack and slash genre. Stellar titles like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden are insanely exhilarating with their huge arsenal of moves and lightning-fast pace. However, they are not for everyone. What’s more popular today is “strategic action game”, such as Soulslikes and Monster Hunter. They choose to slow things down a notch or two, giving players more time for strategic thinking. But that approach doesn’t convey the kind of action fest we have in mind, namely, the sleek, breathtaking moves in Kungfu movies back in the 1990s.
Lucky for us, during the decade making mobile games, we learned to simplify things in favor of touchscreens, giving players a way to execute elaborate chains of moves with a minimum amount of button-mashing. As it turns out, with some tweaks, this mechanism works just as well on controllers.
And we’re honored to have Mr. Kenji Tanigaki as our action director. Kenji-san is responsible for many mesmerizing fighting scenes in classic Kungfu movies. In fact, many of our ideas are inspired by his early works. In Phantom Blade Zero, his role is to demonstrate each designed move, which is then captured with a camera matrix, for the reference of our animation artists. You’re reading it right. Combat moves in Phantom Blade Zero have to be made with handcrafted animation, because motion capturing can’t do it justice.