Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

C3 Exclusive Interview | Hudson Talks About its WiiWare Line-Up

Hudson Soft has a strong reputation for working on the likes of Bomberman and the Mario Party series for Nintendo, but the company has delved into its wealth of games from its back catalogue, as well as creating new content, for Nintendo's WiiWare download service. Cubed³ was lucky enough to catch up with the developer to discuss what is currently on offer and what is planned for the future (many thanks to Hiromi Tomisawa for arranging the interview).

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Cubed³'s Adam Riley: First of all, what made you choose to bring Star Soldier R as a launch game on the WiiWare service?

Hudson: Star Soldier R is a game where you play over and over again to try to get the best score possible. We thought that Star Soldier R would be best suited for the launch of WiiWare, with its simplicity in the gameplay along with the use of WiFi Rankings.

AR: How has the game performed so far in terms of download sales Ė has it met its sales target, and how your own personal expectations?

Hudson: WiiWare has just started. It's still a baby, so we think that the sales will continue to climb once the business grows.

AR: What was the reason behind releasing just a Caravan Mode? With full versions of other Soldier games already on the Virtual Console for a similar price, did you not think consumers may feel they were not getting full value for money?

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Hudson: We made it this way to accentuate the characteristics of WiiWare, which are games that are compact and easy to pick up. Also, the graphics for this is a big change from the VC version, so we consider this as a brand new approach.

AR: Is Hudson considering bringing an expanded version of Star Soldier R to WiiWare in the future to satiate fans of this Caravan Mode edition? Or is a full Wii release more likely?

Hudson: We haven't been considering a Full version at this time, but there is always a possibility if there are enough demands from the users.

AR: Was any consideration given to including motion controls in the game? If not, please explain why. Also, why was no two-player co-operative mode added so players could enjoy the game together?

Hudson: We did, in fact, considered WiiĖspecific controls, and the gameplay using both the Nunchuck and the Wiimote was as the result. There were many other controls ideas, but none was implemented due to the fact that it lacks the precise movements that are necessary for a shooting game. Also, we focused mainly on the single player mode because the gameplay consists of scoring as many points as possible and competeing against the world over the Wi-Fi leader boards.

AR: There is currently a competition for the best Star Soldier R players in the US, but will a similar event be available for gamers in Europe and the Australian regions as well?

Hudson: Under consideration at this time.

AR: Considering Shin'en has already released the very impressive Nanostray 2 to DS, Treasure has brought Bangai-o and a port of Cave's Ketsui Death Label is due later in 2008, is Hudson thinking about Star Soldier for DS, taking full advantage of the dual-screens?

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Hudson: It isn't under consideration at this time, but if and when we find a perfect way to present the game that fully incorporates the DS functions, it can definitely be a possibility.

AR: Hudson has already confirmed a large line-up of WiiWare games, with previous reports stating an aim to release one game per month on the service. Is this still the case and what game can we expect next?

Hudson: Of course, we would love to release every month, but truthfully, we are having a difficult time right now, since this a completely new challenge for us. The next title to be released will be one of the disclosed line-up. Currently, we are considering which one would be best suited for the market.

AR: Why has Hudson decided to support WiiWare with such a strong and diverse range of games? Is it believed that the service can be a very strong source of commercial success?

Hudson: We think that the WiiWare-playing field best suits our company because of its idea-centric concept in a compact memory size. Our belief is that Wii will continue to grow in the future along with its users connection through it, so yes, we have very high hopes for this market.

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AR: It was reported that both Bomberman games for Wii and WiiWare have been delayed somewhat. What is the reason behind the delays and can you reveal when they will be released now?

Hudson: In Bomberman a maximum of 8 players can battle via Wi-Fi. In order to make this work as smoothly as possible, we've had to take some time to tweak some minor points of the game. We believe that our efforts have paid off, and that the finished product is the title to fully experience the Hudson Battle, so please be on the lookout for it. (*Please note only Bomberman for WiiWare version will be released in EU, not Wii version.)

AR: Will both support 480p, 16:9, and Dolby Pro Logic II?

Hudson: It is compatible with 480P and 16:9, but not with Dolby Pro Logic ll.

Image for C3 Exclusive Interview | Hudson Talks About its WiiWare Line-Up


AR: Will Nintendo allow Hudson to use Mii characters instead of traditional Bomberman characters in the Battle Mode? This would definitely add to the immersion for gamers and has been a highly requested inclusion from our readers.

Hudson: Yes, Miis will be available once a certain condition is met.

AR: Also, are there any plans to celebrate Bomberman's 25th Anniversary with any special releases?

Hudson: Nothing that I can mention here yet, but many things are currently on the table.

AR: The idea of Joysound is a very entertaining one, but considering the service's Japanese roots will the game be coming out in Western territories?

Hudson: The first release is considered in Japan at this point, but the US & EU version is to be discussed next.

AR: Will the full set of songs already available in Japan come to the WiiWare version and will any songs not on the service be added as WiiWare exclusive tracks?

Hudson: Right now, we are contemplating on the specifications.

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AR: Is Tetris being solely developed by Hudson, or is Nintendo offering a helping hand considering the success it had with Tetris on DS? How many players will the game support for online play, and will there be leader-boards to keep track of high scores as well?

Hudson: We have been fortunate enough to receive advice from them in the past. In terms of online play, we are proceeding with a max player of up to 6 players. It is also included with a ranking board.

AR: What modes will be available other than the traditional Tetris one?

Hudson: We have included various mode and items that players can experience exclusive to Wii. The details will be disclosed in due time, so please stand by for more information.

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AR: What can you tell us about Blue Oasis and Alien Crush?

Hudson: Blue Oasis (= My Aquarium) is a brand new title exclusively for WiiWare. The users will choose their fish or objects of their choice, create the tank, and simply watch them grow. There are various interactive features, like celebration dance conducted by the fishes on the user-set anniversaries, and tank background changing in accordance to the information taken from the Forecast Channel. You can also share the original aquarium that the user has created with your friends.

As for Alien Crush, this will be released as a completely new title, which is played with Wii-centric controls, using both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. The players can have real-time score-attacks online via Wi-Fi with up to 5 players, as well as uploading them to the Wi-Fi ranking to further compete with players around the world.

AR: Are you able to mention, or even give a hint about, what other games we can expect from Hudson on WiiWare? More remakes/sequels in a similar vein to Alien Crush, a new Mario Party or Bonk game perhaps?

Hudson: Unfortunately we cannot go into specifics here, but what we can tell you is that we have lots of brand new titles, as well as revived IP titles exclusively for WiiWare coming your way soon.


AR: Finally, our readers have spotted a game called Pachinder on your Japanese website. Is this set to be a full Wii game or WiiWare, and are there any preliminary details you can reveal about the project?

Hudson: We are currently in production at this time. We will inform you once details are determined.

* * *

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11.07.2008 01:49

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

NOOOOO! I wanted the Wii version of Bomberman Wii! This sucks! Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Hey, thanks again for asking my questions! Smilie

But... is the Wii disc version coming to NA?

Just asking, as that's also the one I want the most!

Odd that some WiiWare games are going retail, or vice versa (World of Goo for example) in EU!

Hope Bomberman will be on both formats here in NA!

I'm glad they said why the game was delayed! Nice to see they won't hesitate to delay a game if it needs to be at it's best! Smilie

Lot's of good stuff. Looking forward to E3 and the future of WiiWare.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Nice interview Adam

Definitely have high hopes for Hudson's offerings in general - a good range of games!

Shame also about the lack of retail bomberman in Europe, though the WiiWare version I'll more than likely buy for a good price! Looks sweet. 8-Player online... orgasm!

Don't see myself getting Tetris, unless the price is right. Sounds pretty decent though.

Alien Crush, visually impressive but not really my kinda game.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Shame this took place before the news of Adventure Island WiiWare broke...but hey they did hint at more than one Hudson classic making a comeback via WiiWare, meaning Bonk could still be on the way!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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