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Great Details on Smackdown 4 ...Here comes THE PAIN!!!!
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Old 09 Aug 2003, 02:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Great Details on Smackdown 4 ...Here comes THE PAIN!!!!

Following the presentation of SD Here Comes The Pain at the Sports Cafe creative director on all the WWE games Nick Wlodyka was interviewed on the latest game info.
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Question - In the presentation earlier, you spoke about organic gameplay being important to the game - can you expand on that?

Wlodyka: Absolutely. So what organic gameplay is, is making sure the gameplay is different whenever you play. You never want to go into a game and see the same thing that you did the last game you had.

Sports games are especially guilty of that - every game unless you're consciously doing something different - it can all get very similar. So we made an effort to change that with this game - each superstar is really really different, from how fast they move round the ring, what their technique is; if the computer is using a character the AI is such that it will throw in lots of different moves rather than just relying on the same old tired routines.

But the AI will actually use those moves intelligently - if you have a big guy and your opponent starts attacking the lower part of the body on those guys, that's not smart AI.

If the heels [the bad characters] are not using the chairs, running interference with the referee, not generally playing dirty, that's not right. If the animations you see are always the same, that's not quite right. It's everything from the way the superstars sell their animations, to the way they react.

When you get punched in the face you shouldn't always react in the same way. Later on in the match there's little things like what we call idle animations, that come into play when nothing's going on - characters will crouch over or hold their stomach because they've taken a lot of shots to the stomach. That's great stuff, and that in a nutshell, is what we mean by organic gameplay.
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Question - Can you tell us how the new defence system works?

Wlodyka: Well, we call it the countering system. Basically we're going from one button press to a two button system. The idea here is very clear: an easily accessible system where if someone goes to strike you with a punch, you can counter with one button - the other counter button is for crouch.

So you have two opportunities to use it; basically, when you first go into a grapple, you counter that grapple, or if you're facing a punch you can counter that punch. Once you're actually in a grapple you have another opportunity; the user can punch out of the grapple, or he can pull off another move.

So the idea is that there's actually two moments where you can use your counter. Because if you watch wrestling, you don't want to have too many counters, but wrestling is all about momentum.

There's a lot of counters that take place in wrestling, and given this year that we've added so many more moves, last year we had four grapple moves whereas this year we've got 16 moves out of a grapple. That means that you need to have a counter move for every move otherwise the gameplay is unbalanced - so that's what we've done.

We've changed the game from having a counter for certain moves, to counters for every move available. I think it's gonna work out really well.
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Question - Does the season feature only brand new original stories, or is there a combination of new stories and stories from the actual wrestling season?

Wlodyka: No, it's a combination; players love that they get to recreate actual happenings from the season and make their own decision on how things should happen based on what they've seen. Why remove that? They're enjoying it, keep it in there.

We don't have the same stories as last year, but we have what we call the "Best of" stories. So we're looking back at the past year and we're saying: "Hey, what were the great storylines? Oh right, let's use those." And then, hey, you know what? It's great to play original stories, stuff you haven't seen before.

So we're working very closely with the WWE writer in order to get storylines that are meant for the programme but haven't been shown on the programme yet. So there's a very strong likelihood that the stories you'll see in this game are ones you'll see on the WWE sometime next year on the programmes. It's pretty cool.
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Question - Any examples that stand out? Just a hint? Anything real crazy, like guys with rocket launchers or something?

Wlodyka: You'll see everything, all kinds of crazy stuff. There was a storyline back from I think 1985, where it turned out there were two referees, and they were twin brothers.

One referee was against you, so basically you're in a match and you're being successful, but you've got the wrong referee, so he's not counting when you pin somebody. There's a storyline today where you pin somebody, and the lights go out in the arena, and somebody comes in and attacks you.

Next thing you know, you lose the match, so you're getting screwed over. So it's all about those sort of turns and twists, and seeing some of that stuff that we've loved in the past.
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Question - An obvious example of how characters differ is through strength or speed - are there other attributes that vary between wrestlers?

Wlodyka: Yes, we've got speed, we've got power, we've got submissions, we've got technical ability, so if you look at wrestlers like Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, their moves are a lot more complex than a guy like Test. So there's the technical ability, there's countering ability, so a guy like Ray Mysterio, very good defensively, the window of opportunity for him to counter is a lot greater than, hate to pick on him, but Test.
Test is a big strong guy but he doesn't have a lot of exciting moves.

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Question - Can you tell us about the new camera system?

Wlodyka: Basically we're pulling in the cameras close to the atcion, so you feel like you're in the ring, you can see the expressions on the superstars faces.

One of the cool things with wrestling is that there's a second or two delay where there's nothing really happening, so that's when you can use dynamic camera angles to really show off a move; in the game you're seeing all sorts of different camera angles, and the idea is to position the camera where you wouldn't see it on programming, so it's much more of a cinematic experience.

So you're in the ring, but it also feels like a cinematic experience, by slowing down the action and then speeding it up for instance, to really make them feel that impact. So that's only in high impact moves - the camera automatically kicks in with a special effect.

There's going to be all sorts of different special effects but that's one. There are finishing moves, submission holds where we zoom the camera in and show off the facial expressions, so it really depends on the situation, but there's gonna be different cameras for different moves.
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Question - When's the game coming out?

Wlodyka: Ah, I believe it's out in the middle of November here in Europe, a couple of weeks after the US release, probably.

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Question - You spoke about emotional investment in the presentation this morning - can you tell us how that's going to work?

Wlodyka: Absolutely. Emotional investment is all about yelling at your TV, yelling at your friend: take the tug-of-war gameplay mechanic - we actually want to have you and your friend yelling away at each other, both of you really really trying to win. We use cameras to showcase the impacts of moves, we want to make people say: "Oh my god!".

The fact that we're adding all sorts of new high impact moves, so people are like: "cool, did you see that?". That's the best thing when you're actually reacting to what you're seeing happening on the screen.

And the other way you can do that is through camera tricks, when you see the superstars either grimacing in pain, or rolling around after a move, then you can sort of translate what the impact of these moves is.
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Question - What sort of unlockables can you gain access to?

Wlodyka: All I can tell you is that it's characters, environments, attributes to build up your character, new sets; those our pretty much the high level ones. There might be videos, new costumes.
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Question - What would you say is the biggest overall improvement in the title?

Wlodyka: It's hard to pinpoint one thing 'cos there's so many changes that have been made. The first thing, even though we don't judge a book by its cover we still do really - when you look at this game you go: "Wow, it looks good! It looks fantastic!"

So that's your first thing, but that doesn't make a game. So there's the new grappling system, the new submissions system; we've really separated the superstars, so that you make sure you match up accordingly, which character you select will change how you approach a match. All those things have come together to make this a fantastic product - the best wrestling game to date.


I thought they couldn't come better then Shut YOUR MOUTH, but this proves me wrong...I can't fucking wait...Here Comes the PAIN...they should put this on PS2 Online. So i can get Triple H and destroy Rock when he picks that punk Goldberg
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Old 09 Aug 2003, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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that's a great idea truth...
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Old 10 Aug 2003, 06:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sounds great..
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Old 11 Aug 2003, 12:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
One more match
 
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and I'd be Naitch outside making sure that no one came in and interfered so Triple H can mop the floor with him......its going to be bad ass...
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Old 11 Aug 2003, 04:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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the ass this is going to kick is huge.
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Old 11 Aug 2003, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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wrestlemania XIX for the cube will be better
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Old 11 Aug 2003, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Whatever,SD!5 HCTP will be the mack of wrestling games.I have been following this game since March.I cant wait damn it!
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Old 12 Aug 2003, 01:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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you crazy booboo...
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