Karthik Bala on Spider-Man 2 DS

The Spider-Man 2 movie game, developed by Vicarious Visions, will be released for the Nintendo DS next week. Based on this summer’s blockbuster feature film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel, the game leverages the new system’s processing power and dual-screens to deliver an entirely new gameplay experience.

Players assume the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and re-live the movie experience through all new missions featuring unique enemies, objectives and combat maneuvers. Utilizing the touch screen and new controller layout, players can quickly swing, run, jump, solve puzzles, engage in combat and switch to an arsenal of moves on the fly, while patrolling and protecting the city of Manhattan from the nefarious Doc Ock.

Superhero Hype! got a chance to talk to Vicarious Visions CEO Karthik Bala about the anticipated release:

SHH!: Can you tell us a little about your team’s background? What games have you worked on in the past?

Bala: Vicarious Visions got its start creating original PC titles, like Terminus, which won multiple awards at the 1999 Independent Games Festival. We’re probably best known for our work on some of the most popular handheld games such as the Tony Hawk, Crash Bandicoot, Spongebob series’ on the GBA, as well as some great console titles including Crash Nitro Kart and the Jedi Knight series (Xbox). We are currently developing Doom 3 for Xbox, Spider-Man 2 for PSP, and Batman Begins for a variety of handheld gaming systems. We just recently finished Spider-Man 2 for Nintendo DS, which is scheduled for release on the launch of the DS handheld.

SHH!: How does the dual screen technology fit into a game like Spider-Man 2?

Bala: The dual screen/touch screen of the DS allows us to create a really unique Spider-Man experience. For instance, in main gameplay, the top screen displays all the action in a 3D world and the bottom screen showcases a “Buffet of Moves”, which are special combat moves unlocked throughout the game. We also tried some new things with how the dual screen can be used to provide the player with information and feedback. Having that extra screen real estate allows some innovative alternatives to the standard HUD. Last but not least, on the touch screen, we added touch screens-specific challenge elements to every boss fight, which breaks up the action and keeps your thumbs tingling!

SHH!: What type of special moves can Spider-Man do now that he’s on a dual screen? What’s the combat system like?

Bala: The extra animation capabilities of the system let our designers go wild. Spider-Man can do all sorts of cool moves including web swinging and zip lining in any direction, standing and advancing punches and kicks, web yanking, impact webbing, back flips, slide kicks, split kicks and many others.

The really unique and addictive part of the game though comes from the array of special Spider-Man moves that unlock and appear on the touch screen. Players can use their thumb to instantly select a special move by touching the screen and then execute the move with the R (right shoulder) button. This simple, but effective combat system allows you to switch fighting styles on the fly – without memorizing any combos, and execute them effortlessly with precision. Everyone will be hooked on this!

SHH!: Without giving away too much of the story, besides Doc Ock, which other villains can we expect to see?

Bala: In addition to the movie villain Doc Ock, Spider-Man will go up against classic villains such as the Vulture and Mysterio.

SHH!: Does Spider-Man 2 DS follow the same storyline as the console version of Spider-Man 2?

Bala: Although based on the same movie story at a high level, Spider-Man 2 DS is a unique game, developed from the ground up for the Nintendo DS. The story line takes key scenes from the movie and expands the game experience with a larger plot involving the Vulture and Mysterio.

SHH!: Spider-Man 2 for the consoles provided a very long game play experience. How long of a game is Spider-Man 2 DS?

Bala: Spider-Man 2 DS offers a great deal of replayability. Each chapter in the game (14 in all) has primary and secondary objectives. Players will be able to get through the game by just completing the primary objectives. Completing the game 100-percent and unlocking all the secrets will take many hours. It’s a deep and rich handheld experience, which Spider-Man fans of all ages will get many hours of enjoyment out of.

SHH!: What is your favorite thing to do in Spider-Man 2 DS?

Bala: Everyone on the team has his or her own favorite Spider-Man move. One of my favorite moves is without a doubt the “web yank”. Spider-Man can swing across rooftops, snare a bad guy with his web, and toss him off the roof. It’s really a lot of fun to do, and adds some creativity and style to how you beat the bad guys!

Superhero Hype! would like to thank Karthik Bala for participating in this interview.

Source: Superhero Hype!