In terms of upcoming Wii U eShop games that we're keen to play and learn more about, Dakko Dakko's Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails is certainly on the list. It's a relatively rare example of an exclusive, too, in an age where so many small developers are using flexible tools to port games to multiple platforms, and as a result it's a title that's received plenty of backing from Nintendo.
A little while ago we spoke to designer Rhodri Broadbent and producer Dan Croucher about the upcoming release, taking the chance to learn a lot more about a game that, based on footage and screens to date, may scratch an itch in retro gamers, as well as those more familiar and comfortable with modern-day efforts. Arcade action seems to be the focus, as Croucher explained.
It’s a top-down, half-shooter half-platformer. The primary concept of the game is that you’re looking down and are attached to these rails; each surface is like a platform in any direction. Then there’s shooting as well, so there’s lots of enemies; it’s very similar to traditional shooters but with platforming and exploration, upgrading of weapons and so on. So it’s an arcade game really, and it’s got a lot of retro elements in the style of the game. Not just graphically but also in the ethos of how it plays — it’s very arcade-like, very quick, fast and runs really smoothly, it’s all about the input. It’s like a game of old done in a modern way, using the power of the Wii U and the extra screen.
With both interviewees clearly long-term enthusiastic gamers, and with such retro vibes positively bursting at the seams of their game, we asked Rhodri Broadbent to go out on a limb and list sources of inspiration for the title, something that naturally brings pressures of its own.
(laughs) The thing is, it’s a little bit dangerous for us to say this sort of thing, because the games we use for our influence and inspiration are incredibly brilliant games, so then we get hit with counterpoints. But we are big lovers of Gunstar Heroes, we love Ikaruga, we use Smash TV as a reference because we have a lot of hordeing enemies that come swarming towards you.
The way the gameplay works, because you’re attached to rails in everything you do, it depends on the current rail you’re on, it means that you really have to think about where you are in the room to efficiently dispatch the enemies. So it has parallels to Smash TV, which I loved playing when I was a kid, and Bangai-O as well, because you have a lot of missiles flying around. So those are our main influences and great games, and hopefully we can have a piece of that.
Be sure to check back on Nintendo Life later today for the full interview, in which the Dakko Dakko team discusses utilising the Wii U hardware, their views on the Wii U eShop and it's growing development community and more.