Episode Four: Designed for Battle
Hello again to those of you who know me. And, “Nice to meet you,” to those of you who don’t. I’m the Director/Producer of “Phantom Breaker: Omnia,” most commonly known as Sakari “P.”
Continuing off of our last episode, today we’ll be discussing the mechanics of Phantom Breaker: Omnia’s battle system. To help us, I’ve brought the Battle Designer, Imaizumi.
Sakari P: Could you start by introducing yourself?
Imaizumi: My name is Imaizumi and I’m in charge of the Battle Systems for Phantom Breaker: Omnia. In the past I’ve worked primarily on action games and fighters for consoles, including the first “Phantom Breaker,” “Phantom Breaker: Extra” and “Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds.” Recently, I’ve released some of my past games on a Megadrive compatible machine.
Sakari P: In terms of actual work, Imaizumi-kun comes up with the fundamental mechanics we want to implement into the game, then I work with him to determine if those systems are good or bad. I also help out when Imaizumi is having trouble deciding between different mechanics.
Now, I’d like to begin this little discussion in a Q&A format:
Sakari P: With all the different fighting games out in the wild right now, what would you say are some factors that differentiate Phantom Breaker from the others?
Imaizumi: I’d say a characteristic that has persisted through the different Phantom Breakers is the “Accessibility” and “Dynamic outcomes” that result from gameplay. In “Omnia,” I was sure to accentuate those characteristics even more. Especially in “Omnia” style.
Sakari P: Oh! (to the audience) we will be updating the official homepage very soon with details on Omnia Style, so stay tuned!
Now, for the next question. How has Omnia’s battle mechanics evolved from the original game and Extra?
Imaizumi: I wanted to follow the precedent of the previous iterations of the game, while improving the controls and input feel to make it a little lighter overall. Any area that could be improved across the entire game, I improved, so there are lots of smaller adjustments and changes that you might notice if you’ve played the past games.
In order to emphasize the dynamicness of attacks, I’ve adjusted all the hit-stops and Overdrives (Clock-up / Solid Armor) had too many actively powerful properties, so I’ve shifted a lot of those to a more passive role in the gameplay. I believe this will improve the learning curve for Phantom Breaker’s mechanics.
There are also lots of changes to one of Phantom Breaker’s defining characteristics, the style variants. The basic functions have been brought closer to the original Phantom Breaker, while mechanics such as Reflection and Critical Burst are now usable across all styles.
Sakari P: In Extra, you simplified the universal mechanics and separated toolkits like Reflection and Critical Burst across the different styles. But in Omnia, you’ve made those systems more like the original Phantom Breaker, right? What would you say are some of the changes per style?
Imaizumi: Changes in Quick Style were mainly minor adjustments. Whereas in Hard Style, I’ve reduced the number of combos, and added directional attacks. Additionally, I’ve increased the damage on individual attacks and added some adjustments to certain special attacks.
Sakari P: So, you’ve added new elements to ensure the styles still had a bit of their own flare. I’d like to switch gears and talk about something a lot of our fans have been asking. In Omnia, it looks like the screen has been zoomed out (you can see more of the map), but what is the logic behind this?
Imaizumi: Until now, I’ve placed more emphasis on dynamic visuals and a lot of screen movement, so the standard game screen was a lot more zoomed-in. In contrast, with Omnia, improvements to the gameplay and increased character movements, in addition to the characters being rendered in 1080p, I decided to give a wider perspective of the entire screen and improve overall visibility.
With the increased mobility of the characters, the larger on-screen real estate will help for a stress-free experience.
Sakari P: That… makes a lot of sense.
Lastly, could you share some closing thoughts to all the fans looking forward to Phantom Breaker: Omnia?
Imaizumi: For fans just now discovering the Phantom Breaker franchise, we’ve included both the ‘vanilla’ and Extra stories to make sure no one gets left behind.
And for the fans who have played past versions of Phantom Breaker, I believe I’ve done a lot of fine-tuning so that you can feel the changes once you hold the controller in your hands.
Please stay tuned and look forward to more updates!
Sakari P: And there you have it. Thank you very much, Imaizumi-kun. Until next time, everyone!