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GN Think Tank: Red Entertainment

We recently caught up with Red Entertainment to discuss their recent release of Gungrave: Overdose. For our first community think tank session, we offered readers the chance to offer some burning questions about Red's latest action installment. Got Next would like to thank everyone who participated and for being so patient in presenting this highly-awaited feature. Below, you'll find the questions asked by our participants, followed by the answers provided by the Red Entertainment team.


What problems with the original have been addressed in the sequel?

We got quite a few requests for more volume. When we sat down to plan Overdose, we decided that we shouldn't be going just for longer playtime, but should be also increase replayability. So we put in some elements to achieve that goal, to get a game that would give the players more satisfaction.

Was it difficult to figure out how to improve things with this installment?

We weren't going to do things like simply increasing difficulty to get longer playtime. What we did instead were things like adding more action types (this will vary gameplay), variation in landscape to give variety to the battles, and increase the number of destructible objects (for added exhilaration). Of course, adding to the number of stages was something we thought about first. And last but not least, introducing two extra player characters. This lead to a tougher development period for us, though…


Have the original Japanese voiceovers been retained in the English version of the game?

Do you really want that? I mean, the Japanese version doesn't have English, you know… [grin]

The plot and setting of the anime differed from the game in many important ways. Gungrave OD seems to be similar to the original game's style, but have any changes been influenced by the anime?

When we make anime, we let the genre guide the production to some extent. There are things that anime expresses better. It is not like we have different worlds set up for the game and for the anime.

The game is all about being able to be inside the environment and control it. The first Gungrave game was a total action game, with minimum storytelling and situation explanation. Of course, that approach left a lot unsaid, which got elaborated in the anime. The anime and the game are both born of the same foundation.

Gungrave Overdose, on the other hand, is a true sequel. It was planned after these two, and the story also starts a few years later from where the first game departed.

We hope the audience will enjoy all of them.

Is Gungrave OD left open ended like the original game, for the possibility of future sequels?

Naturally we want to make more of this. All we can say at the moment is that there has been nothing much decided. Want to invest in the next version?

Why has the voice of the laughing kid been deleted from the logo screen of Red's games? Will he ever make a return?

That was the logo of our precursor, Red Company. I liked it personally, but when a company changes its name and refreshes its image, the logo gets changed, too.

Now that Mastiff is handling the publishing rights to Gungrave: Overdose, can you confirm the possibility of a Sakura Taisen localization for North America?

Again, we'd love to do it. Can't say anything about the future, but for now, nothing has been decided.


What originally inspired you to create the Gungrave series and games?

I don't recall anything specific, but the connection between myself and Yasuhiro Nightow has a lot to do with it. We met when we fought over an action figure at a ToysRUs in LA. We have similar tastes in entertainment, and soon started talking about what we'd like to make together. That lead to the idea of a gun action game that goes all the way.

Gungrave is very similar to Devil May Cry and the anime Hellsing in mood. Did either of these two have have any influence on Gungrave: Overdose or its predecessor?

These two had zero impact. The reason is the timeline. Gungrave's original schedule was to be released a full year before Devil May Cry! There was no way it could have influenced us. We were originally making Gungrave for a different client. Many things have happened since then...

SEGA's Crazy Taxi was the game we looked up to. That's a great title. We liked it so much we decided to put Gungrave in the same genre. We wanted Gungrave to have the same kind of speed and excitement.

Gungrave has strong Western and U.S. organize crime overtones in its art direction. Does this come from current Japanese trends in fashion or from less obvious sources?

Actually, there is very little connection there. We were thinking more along the lines of Hong Kong Noir. Both Naito-san and I were describing it as "John-Woo like". Other than that, Godfather is definitely a distant influence, and poses from Desperado are undeniably there.

What made you decide on a offering Gungrave: Overdose around $15.00?

Mastiff says: We thought Gungrave: Overdose was a fantastic title and wanted as many fans as possible to experience it.

In the first Gungrave game, why was the last level so different from the other levels? The final level was both different in design and detail as compared to the others. Can you elaborate on the cause for this?

This is a bit hard to explain… The "thing" Harry got was actually an alien technology, and that was part of Yasuhiro Nightow's character design, which we honored. The image is of the inner workings of a really huge alien, or maybe the inside of his suit. The last boss, Alien Head, is actually an alien head, as the name suggests. I'm sure you saw the little gray alien around the forehead. So, if the audience was puzzled, um, we don't know what to say… but we were doing what we thought we should be doing!

Got Next would like to thank Red Entertainment and Michael Myers Public Relations for taking the time to answer all of our participants questions. Stay tuned for our upcoming full review on Gungrave: Overdose!

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