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There was once a time when titles like Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and Double Dragon were the biggest draws in gaming, but the side-scrolling fighting genre has been unfairly sidelined of late. Thankfully, Singapore-based PD Design Studio is doing its best to turn things around, and we're proud to exclusively reveal that the company has been officially approved as a Wii U eShop developer — and that its side-scrolling fighter Dusty Raging Fist is coming to the Wii U eShop later this year.

Based in the same universe as Mac-based fighter Dusty Revenge — which is currently on Steam Greenlight and can be seen in the trailer below — Dusty Raging Fist is shaping up to be quite an experience, with three player action and a trio of unique characters to command. We sat down with PD Design Studio's Keng Jin to talk about the game.

Nintendo Life: Can you give us a little background information about your company? What other projects have you worked on?

Keng Jin: PD Design Studio started in 2006 providing multimedia services. We found ourselves working on plenty of Flash Games for clients. Over the years, we developed a couple of prototypes, and in 2010 we decided to take the plunge and focus on making games. We have a couple of small iOS titles as experiments, but Dusty Revenge is our main title. It will be released on the Mac platform in Q2 2013, with a PC release to follow. Dusty Raging Fist will be our second main title.

NL: How are Dusty Revenge and Dusty Raging Fist connected in terms of story?

KJ: Dusty Raging Fist actually takes place prior to Dusty Revenge’s timeline. As such, you will not be seeing the characters Rondel and McCoy, but some other playable characters.

NL: What titles have provided inspiration for Dusty Revenge and Dusty Raging Fist?

KJ: We are fans of modern hack’n slash games. Onimusha, God of War, DmC, you name it. But we also grew up with games like Bare Knuckle/Streets of Rage and Double Dragon. And all these games are the basis of our inspiration. Good old action, but re-done in a modern art style with a dash of innovation — this is what we are trying to achieve.

NL: What unique features can we expect from Dusty Raging Fist?

KJ: We’ll be bringing back the unique supporting character mechanics in Dusty Revenge, but in a more casual manner.

NL: What are your thoughts on the Wii U hardware?

KJ: The hardware is actually very new to us, so we are still exploring it. I think the Wii U GamePad is really cool and innovative.

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NL: What kind of multiplayer features are you looking to include?

KJ:3 Players can team up together to play Dusty Raging Fist. We’ll be incorporating co-op elements rather than just to have the players fight alongside one another. Simple resurrection can be performed by the other players. Players can also team up to execute more powerful moves.

NL: How does developing for the Wii U eShop differ from developing for other platforms, like Steam?

KJ: In terms of development, we don’t see a huge difference. But due to the nature of GamePad, in terms of game design and user interaction, it does require some new thoughts. And that provides new and exciting ground for us to work on.

NL: How will the game make use of the Wii U GamePad controller?

KJ: Like I said, the Wii U GamePad is really cool and innovative, but it’s very new to us. We’ll have to spend more time with it before we can determine how it will integrates in a natural manner.

NL: When can we expect to see the game hit the Wii U eShop?

KJ: We hope to launch it in late Q3 or early Q4.

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NL: Do you intend to bring any other titles to the Wii U eShop?

KJ: Now that we are registered developers for the console, we definitely want to capitalize on it. Having said that, we’ll only do so if the game is suitable for it. And right now, we want to focus on our current projects.

Thanks to Keng for taking the time to answer our questions, and to the ever-resourceful Emily Rogers for arranging this interview.