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Project Zero: Interview to Tecmo
Tecmo is an hystorical brand in the videogame industry, starting its business in the Arcades to arrive, lately, on all major consoles (surely a bigger market these days). For players, Tecmo means fighting (Dead Or Alive) and breeding games (Monster Rancher) but it could also mean, if all goes well, survival horrors. Answers and revelations in the following interview...
Nextgame.it: Project Zero's graphics appear to have dim colors and very light in contrast: did you use this technique to enhance darkness and unsettlement?
Tecmo: This game is designed to stimulate players' imagination. As one of the measures to achieve such purpose, we created a very unique game screen with various screen effects and noises, taking advantage of PS2's machine power. This is the area we had paid our attention the most up to the master-completion, adding various effects each other and adjusting their parameters.
Nextgame.it: The adventure takes place in a Japanese background, full of elements strictly linked to that cultural environment. Did you find big difficulties translating this content? Do you think the European audience will appreciate them anyway?
Tecmo: Frankly, I wasn't sure if this Japanese Horror would be accepted outside Japan. However, in America, many players highly appreciated "Zero" and even DreamWorks became interested in making a movie based on our game. Considering such facts, I think "horror" is a very basic and universal feeling. We've already received very good evaluation from people in Europe who reviewed "Zero". So, I expect you also enjoy "Zero" and its horror very much.
Nextgame.it: Considering the lack of action in the game, which are the main objectives to complete during the adventure?
Tecmo: The objective of the game is to seek for the missing brother, obtaining hints as clues. Those hints are found at certain places or appear on the photos of a suspicious place you shoot with your camera. Sometimes, those hints are also given when you beat enemy ghosts.
Nextgame.it: The next step in horror gaming will be in graphics, narrative or simple violence thrown to the player?
Tecmo: I think graphics and sound will evolve naturally along with the progress of technology. However, they are only a part of elements that consist of a game. If the violence is too much presented, you may feel disgust rather than horror. I think "interactivity" is the most essential element which differentiates videogames from movies. So, I believe we will be able to create more interesting products if we concentrate on the horror to be created by having a player operate his character positively.
Nextgame.it: If Resident Evil evocates some horror movies, Silent Hill is more like a terror film. Which cinematic genre would you associate to Project Zero?
Tecmo: Neither of them don't associate to Project Zero. Zero is more like terror rather than horror. But, we tried to create an environment that makes you feel horrible just because you are there rather than creating something grotesque or surprising. It may be called as "Japanese terror".
Nextgame.it: If you had to choose a direct "rival" for Project Zero, which one would it be: Silent Hill, Resident Evil or Eternal Darkness (and why)?
Tecmo: We cannot call none of them as a rival title since we are pursuing different type of horror. However, they are very good games and enjoyable. I hope "Zero" will sell as many as "Resident Evil" did.
Nextgame.it: A silly question: why did you change the title from Fatal Frame to Project Zero for the European market?
Tecmo: "Project Zero" was our original codename for this project. "Zero" is vacant existence. That is a very important element in this game, "a spirit", which can't be seen by ordinary people. So, we named the title of Japanese version as "Zero". In America, we adopted "Fatal Frame", taking recommendation by the marketing Team of Tecmo Inc. For the European market, after several discussions with our partner, Wanadoo Edition, we decided to adopt "Project Zero".
Nextgame.it: Is Project Zero conceived to be a long series with many sequels? What will change in the Xbox version o Project Zero?
Tecmo: We are now reviewing the concept of the sequel based on the response from players in Japan and the USA. I am very interested in how the players in Europe will find a Japanese Horror we created. If we create the sequel of "ZERO", it will surely make people all over the world feel more frightened with a totally new story and gimmicks. The spec for Xbox version is still open and I cannot make comment at this moment.
You can come back to the FIRST PAGE of the interview.