News Article

Hudson Interview - Alien Crush, Bomberman, Tetris, Blue Oasis

Posted by Damien McFerran

Hudson is a company that needs little introduction. One of the first publishers to flock to the legendary NES console, Hudson has continued to be a solid Nintendo supporter and has recently opened its WiiWare account with the enjoyable Star Soldier R. Needless to say, the veteran publisher also has several other interesting titles on the horizon.

With this in mind, we spoke to Hudson Japan to get the lowdown on the company's plans for the service.

WiiWare World: Could you tell us what attracted you to developing for WiiWare?

Hudson: We felt that there were huge opportunities in the fact that all the users who purchase the games are connected via network. Especially appropriate was the ability to spread simultaneous worldwide delivery.

WW: Alien Crush is a surprising choice for WiiWare, given the cult status of the PC Engine original. What inspired you to revisit the game?

H: Given the fact that pinball is a game that is loved and favoured throughout the world, along with it being the best candidate to implement the Hudson style, this really was a no-brainer.

WW: The original Alien Crush was developed by Naxatsoft – are any of the original developers involved with this update?

H: Unfortunately, none of the original developers were included for the WiiWare version, but we constantly encourage the developers to go back to the original, sort of as a guideline.

WW: Alien Crush WiiWare has been called a ‘remake’ of the original, but do you intend to include any new features, such as new bonus rooms or new table designs?

H: The boards and stages are completely new, along with additional aspects as Special Ball actions and a new concept in Tilting, which we will be adding on a regular basis, also with various Wi-Fi features, but the thing that developers pride themselves most are the major graphic enhancement that reminisce the original, as well as showing the whole new world.

WW: Will Alien Crush game feature any online elements?

H: Yes, it will. It will feature online battles as well as rankings.

WW: Is it true that the WiiWare version of Tetris will support the Wii Balance Board? Can you tell us how this would work?

H: Yes, it does. Currently, we are testing various ways of controls. I think it’s something to look forward to.

Please note Hudson is the developer for the Tetris and the Publisher in Japan, but not the Publisher in Europe and US.

WW: Can you tell us about any other features that make WiiWare Tetris stand out from previous versions of the game?

H: There are new rules, along with items that fully utilize the nature of the Wii Remote.
Aside from multiplayer battles, there is also a co-op mode.

WW: It was recently revealed that the WiiWare version of Bomberman is basically the Battle Mode from the full retail version. Why did you choose to release the game this way, and do you see the WiiWare version to be a ‘demo’ for people to try out before purchasing the full retail version?

H: As I said in the first question, we believe the network aspect of WiiWare is the next frontier in the gaming community. With that in mind, we thought that the gameplay for Bomberman battles were the perfect candidate for fully incorporating that feature.

In Japan, a package version, including the WiiWare Battle mode and the single player mode, will be released soon after the WiiWare version. These versions can be connected via Wi-Fi to Battle with each other.

Please note the Europe and US release date of the package version is TBA.

WW: Are there any elements of WiiWare Bomberman that will be new to fans of the series?

H: There are the obvious ones, such as additions of rules and stages, along with items specific to Wii remote, but the one that should be anticipated the most is the fact that it is compatible with Miis.

WW: Could you tell us a bit about Blue Oasis? Is it just a simple pet simulator or will the game have solid objectives and goals?

H: You can say that it’s a simulator, but interactive aspects are also included. Example
of such feature include celebration dance from the fishes when an anniversary is
specified, or sharing your aquarium with your friend via Wi-Fi. It is also connected
with the Weather Channel, so that the atmosphere of the tank changes accordingly.

WW: What has the critical and commercial response been like for Star Soldier R so far? Do you have any plans for a Star Soldier title that isn’t time-limited?

H: We would suspect that there were some who were concerned about the volume, but they soon realize that the main point of the game is to play it over and over again to find the hidden bonuses on their own.

As for the Star Soldier R without the time limit, it is currently not yet in development, but will be considered if the public demands it.

WW: Do you have any other WiiWare titles in development that you can tell us about?

H: Yes, we have several in development at this time, but none that I can officially mention yet. Sorry.

WW: Hudson is a company with a proud lineage of fine videogame releases; are there any other classic Hudson franchises that might be updated for WiiWare?

H: We do have some in consideration. Please be on the lookout for them!

WW: Do you think WiiWare will change the way Hudson publishes games? Will the company be more willing to experiment with more original concepts, given the relatively low-risk option that WiiWare provides?

H: Truthfully, no. We’d like to think of WiiWare as a brand new chance & challenge for us to pursue and incorporate, instead of an element that may change our ways. We expect WiiWare will be a good way, for Hudson doesn’t have a locally-incorporated company in Europe.

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User Comments (27)

DEMON212

#3

DEMON212 said:

Really wish I'd posted what I wanted to yesterday. Because of all the exclusive interviews I was going to post how impressed I was and then say "Who's next, Hudson Soft?".

ESP!

Liking what I'm reading though, however worried that not once did I see the words "Classic Controller" Wii Remote has killed many a game, don't let it claim these!

KnucklesSonic8

#4

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Alien Crush = Online Battles - New news. ;)
And I'm still looking fwd to seeing how they incorporate Balance Board support for Tetris. :o

Bomberman, ftw :D

Big_Sexy

#5

Big_Sexy said:

The online factor for Tetris isn't enough to make me want it, as I already have Tetris DS. If they include something Tetris DS doesn't have, I'll probably check it out.
Then again, my family might force my hand on that, too, since they might prefer a fullscreen Tetris over the DS one...

Bomberman looks great. I can't wait to finally have an online vs. that doesn't consist of empty rooms and dropped matches.

Alien Crush... I don't know. I always preferred Devil's Crush over it, because of its style. If this is just as good then I should probably grab this, too.

Still, good to hear Hudson is considering its old franchises that are not Bomberman! Personally hoping for a new look at Bonk.

AND WE ALL WANT A FULL FLEDGED STAR SOLDIER!

thewiirocks

#6

thewiirocks said:

@DEMON212 sez... Liking what I'm reading though, however worried that not once did I see the words "Classic Controller" Wii Remote has killed many a game, don't let it claim these!

I can't say I can think of a single time the Wii Remote has "killed" a game that was designed for it. In many cases, it has made them better! Where things tend to fall down is with games that were never designed for the Wii Remote have waggle controls shoe-horned in anyway.

Since WiiWare is a service that is exclusive to the Wii, I doubt we have much to worry about. Lost Winds used the remote to good effect, Pop couldn't be done without it, Star Soldier R offers some great control options (both old and new!), and Defend Your Castle is greatly enhanced by the acceleration information provided by the remote. As a result, I'm not too worried about these titles.

In the case of Alien Crush, I hope they follow the lead of Pinball Classics: The Williams Collection. The controls in that game are PERFECT! (Z/B for flippers, control stick for plunger, and jerk the remotes to bump the table.) I have never felt a video-game control system that has felt more like an actual pinball table. Hopefully, Hudson will learn from their success. :)

@Big=Sexy - Amen on Star Soldier.

CorbsAdmin

#8

Corbs said:

Great interview. And put me in the "yes" column for a full-version Star Soldier R.

Rawk_Hawk

#9

Rawk_Hawk said:

Playing Star Soldier R really makes me want a full fledged title. Also Alien Crush sounds pretty cool.

Pedro_UK

#10

Pedro_UK said:

Yeah, it would be good to get full version of Star Soldier...
But it is nice to see that in the revealed games there is quite a bit of variety so far. :)

CorbsAdmin

#11

Corbs said:

Here's hoping for a remake of Gate of Thunder or Lords of Thunder. Now that's a game I'd pay some serious money for. :)

Tides_of_Chaos

#15

Tides_of_Chaos said:

I'll probably get the Bomberman online as long as it isn't overpriced. After playing 93 with some friends, it would be nice to try a newer version.

Clayfrd

#17

Clayfrd said:

I really only want Alien Crush. I love the original, and I would love to see a new table(s). I like Bomberman '93 enough to stick with it. On a side note, I have a better completion time on Super Mario Advance 2 than the Guinness world record holder. Unfortunately, I didn't have any witnesses, full DVD recording, pictures, two witnesses of provable integrity over eighteen, OR a witness that is in a gaming related profession. Jeez, I left all of those in my OTHER wallet before I left the house.

thewiirocks

#19

thewiirocks said:

@DEMON212 - That's what I was responding to. The only games "killed" by the Wii Remote are ones that weren't designed to use it in the first place. WiiWare is special, though, because all the games are designed for the Wii.

Objection

#20

Objection said:

Um...yeah...full fledged Star Soldier please...but how much would they charge when they charged 800 points for just time mode!!

CorbsAdmin

#21

Corbs said:

I would bet that a full-blown Star Soldier release would be on a Wii disc anyway. I can't see them fitting the whole game in the size limit of the WiiWare games. So we'd probably pay the $50 or so that we pay for regular Wii releases. Maybe they would cut us a break and price it at $40. :)

thewiirocks

#22

thewiirocks said:

@Corbie sez - I can't see them fitting the whole game in the size limit of the WiiWare games.

Why not? Most of the modeling and textures were already there. Since that cost was already eaten, adding more levels would not have caused the size to balloon. You also need to consider that SSR was one of the smaller WiiWare games, coming in at ~1/2 the size of the larger titles.

As long as they didn't go hog-wild with the content, I don't see there being a problem. Especially given that if they want people to purchase on disc, they'd need to go hog-wild and then some to make them happy. Expectations are lower for WiiWare, thus making the bar easier to reach.

ChocoDK

#23

ChocoDK said:

Very intersting interview and I found the Tetris using the Wii Fit board interesting. I wonder how it would actually be done.

CorbsAdmin

#24

Corbs said:

Well they could cut it down I'm sure, but if you wanted a different musical track for each level, that alone would add quite a bit to the mix. I guess it could be done. I just don't think Hudson has those types of elaborate plans for the WiiWare. But we can always hope.

Bananiac

#25

Bananiac said:

@Danaran:
I believe reading somewhere aroundahere that this will be with online, and that you can play also against people with the full (disc) version, the versions are compatible.

Hyper_Metal_Sonic

#26

Hyper_Metal_Sonic said:

I have SSR and it's great, but I would kill for one that isn't time based! As for Bomberman. . .I'm still not sure if I'll waste money on it when I'm just going to get it for Wii in disc form, and it even has so much more on the disc version. . .Oh well, as long as I get online Bomberman action!

KnucklesSonic8

#27

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Bananiac: Yes, much like Dr. Mario and owners of the demo, too. I think it's great companies are doing this.

Does anyone think the SNES SSR is worth more than the WiiWare one?

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