Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Aozora's Wars, That Crossover Game of my teenage years. (Part 2)

So after some time waiting, I'm finally ready to spill some more beans on Aozora's Wars. I've already talked about the focus if this fangame, and it's roster of characters, so now I'm going to discuss the gameplay.

For the most part, it sticks true to the gameplay of the originals, although there are some large changes to the format. I'll list a few.

*The Koma Battle System is not present, so that means players cannot build teams of multiple fighters, supporters, and helpers. Here's how it will work in Aozora's Wars:

-Each player is limited to selecting one character, which can be given one of three different fighting styles: Alpha (Balance), Delta (Speed), and Omega (Power). These styles influence (some, if not all of) the character's special/super/fatal attacks, and in some cases, their strength (No fighting style is weak to another). That character can then be given one of eight different color variations, however if playing in team mode, or if two players control the same character, the character is forced to a alternative color.
-Then, the player chooses two support characters, and can mix them up to their liking. Each one can be configured to either a Heta type, or an "Attack Type" where their main focus is to attack enemies and cause status effects, or a Zeta Type, or "Helper Type" whom deals with restoring the player's health and causing positive status effects to the user. Each supporter can only be called thrice per battle. On the first call, after they perform their task, they will be shown on the bottom of the screen sleeping. After 30 seconds (for Heta types) or 50 seconds (for Zeta types), they can then be called on again two more times in battle, and then they will be shown sleeping again, but with a dark blue color palette, making that character "locked" for the remainder of the fight.

*As the bottom screen is no longer used for the Koma Battle System, it instead shows the current statics of the match (score and current amount of hit points per player), and where the player can call upon his/her supporters. Like in Bleach: the Blade of Fate and Dark Souls, the player can change the statics menu to a shortcut menu where a player can perform a character's special/super attacks without having to input a combination of buttons. The Supporters can still be summoned in this shortcut menu.

*There is the usual "Power" meter that is standard for tournament fighter games, that goes for up to three levels. One level is needed for performing Supers A and B, two for Super C, and three for Supers D and E. For characters that have alternative forms, like Ichigo Kurosaki and Masane Amaha, losing half of the player's HP then performing Super F will trigger a transformation sequence, power-uping the player's skill levels. This transformation will last for 60 seconds before the player returns to normal. A rarer type of Super move, called a Fatal Super, needs the SP meter to be full, and the player only down to 3 HP or lower. Then, he/she performs Super F, which causes a powerful attack/event to engage, instantly KO'ing one or all the opposing fighters. (These KO's are dubbed "Fatal KO's", after the Hokuto No Ken/Fist of the North Star fighting game on PS2)

*No stage takes place inside a page of Weekly Shonen Jump; everything is out of the opening. These include stages that are enhanced from Jump Super/Ultimate Stars, whom lack their destroyable/solid walls from the source.

*by default, one character from each series are available from the start. The characters can be unlocked by first meeting specific requirements in the game, then spending a pre-determined amount of currency (Yen, and gems) to unlock them, which can be earned by playing various modes, the one that awards the most is the online mode, where you can also advance ranks.

*The main single-player game is dubbed the "Campaign" mode, and while in other modes you start with a large roster of default characters, in this one you only begin with the lead character of the series of your choice. The overworld is not a series of galaxies ala Ultiamte Stars, but rather a series of islands with several areas, sort of like Super Stars. You move across the island Super Mario World style. There are four types of areas of interest per each of the seven islands. First is the HQ, where you can change your character and preferred teamates and supporters. The teammates are the computer players that ally with you for the entire match(es), and can have their preferred playstyle changed, such as to focus on attacking enemies alone with brute force, a balanced all-around behavior, or to stick close with other teammates and protect them. Their skills are moderate to begin with, and later in the game, their AI will improve drastically (same goes for standard VS matches with computer players, where their skill levels can be changed). The second type of location is the shop, where players can buy items that can boost a character's stats (one category) or adds a special trait to the character, like a triple or wall jump for one round, unlock transformations, and special bonus content to customize the game's menus and HUD, and unlock things in the museum mode. This is not done the same pathway-purchasing method as in Ultimate Stars, though buying some items will allow other items to be found.
The third type of building is a fight zone, the actual aspect of the game, where all the ass-kicking is done. In each zone, you can partake in a tournament where you fight characters in locations themed after the island the area is located, sometimes partnered with characters that have been recruited onto your team of characters. Here, you take one character into the tournament fighting across several rounds, where the goal is simply to come or tie in first every round (you have the three different modes of Ultimate Stars, scoring, survival, and star hunter, and failure requires the use of one of three continues to resume midway via a tournament, otherwise the player must start over) with one character and reach the end. afterwards, you are given one of six different medals based on your performance: (from worst to best) Stone, Bronze, Sliver, Gold, Platinum, and Pure Platinum. You get Stone just for simply finishing the tournament, and higher ranks for better performances. Depending on what medal you also earn, you'll win from one to six rewards, although you cannot get rewarded the same thing twice, so if you want more from the same tournament, you have to improve your result and best your previous score. With each reward, you will get one of the following:

-Yen, Gemstones, or a combination of both (these can also be collected during matches, but Yen is more common). Gemstones exist as Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds (common gemstones), Topazes, Amethysts, and Diamonds (rare gemstones). On top of that, there is also a special type of gemstone called the Spectrum Pearl that adds one of every gemstone type.
-One to three supporters are added to your roster of supporters.
-One fighter is recruited onto your team of playable characters. For unlockable characters, they too can be recruited, but you must purchase them with Yen and/or gems to unlock them for use outside the campaign mode.

In some cases, getting Platinums and Pure Platinums may cause some character to be recruited to the team earlier than usual.

Missions return in Jump Ultimate Stars format, and are separate from the tournament sections, in that they only last one battle long, and for each mission, the player must complete the first task to win and receive reward(s). Four (and in some cases one secret) side quests can also be attempted for each mission as well, and they too also net rewards. Prizes are the same as clearing the tournament mode, and multiple side-quests can be won at once, providing the first task is cleared successfully.

The fourth and final building is a "boss" building, that in order to access, a certain number of tournaments and missions must be conquered. Then, the player goes in and fights an over-powered, and sometimes over-sized opponent, with a limited stock of (three) lives. Like the missions from the basic fight zones, the player can attempt several side-missions while fighting the boss. The first mission, which is simply to beat the boss, nets a pass to access the next island, while the four side-quests reward gems.

*The Power, Knowledge, and Laughter elements are discarded for this title. So no character type is weak to another. Gone is also the different character levels/variants (aside from the in-game transformation).

*As for menus, they are for the most part going to be Japanese, but unlike Super and Ultimate Stars, the player can change them to English, Chinese (both simple and traditional), and Korean (though the title download will be Japanese).

*Combos can now be performed, by tapping the soft attack or hard attack button multiple times. Not to mention button combinations, several unique for each character. The "super" meter, as I had mentioned, only goes up to three, not nine (or was it ten?)

*When the character runs low on HP, they do not change to grayscale, they just begin to pant/act weak/tired when immobile.

*Characters can now execute a grabbing command, and can hold onto characters and pound them for a few seconds, causing damage. He/she can also do another move while having a steady grip on the enemy, but cannot do a pound and grabbing attack in one routine.

Well that's all I can talk about for now on Aozora's Wars. I believed I've discussed enough of the title, the rest you can probably figure out if you're familiar with crossover fighters, and/or have played Jump Super/Ultimate Stars. Again, it's not in production, but if I do become a doujin videogame developer and round up a decent team and supporters, then this will be a major project of mine. And besides, I'm not going to be using it for money. I just want to receive feedback with it and have people enjoy it. It probably won't be a homebrew DS title, I'll probably just make it a free for Windows/Mac OS X. I'm giving absolute full credit to every character and series represented, and if you think I'm not going to, feel free to start a riot with me.

Peace out.

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