When discussing tag-team publisher, Tecmo KOEI, it’s hard not to focus on their three dominant flagships. For over a decade, the name “KOEI” has been synonymous with the Warriors franchise: an IP that, despite innovating only marginally each year, still draws in a loyal following. Similarly, Tecmo has also recoiled over the past decade, dedicating itself to Ninja Gaiden and body bouncing beat ’em up, Dead Or Alive.
Although fairly conservative, the publisher has gradually begun to reach out, formulating new and exciting games while giving older, lesser known ones a second wind. Last week saw the launch of Bladestorm: Nightmare on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (our review). It’s an obscure title and one Tecmo KOEI was keen to put in the spotlight once more. We recently interviewed the game’s producer Akihiro Suzuki, who talks more about the game as well as TK’s decision to revive the IP after almost eight years.
TSA: Why has Tecmo KOEI decided to revisit Bladestorm seven years after the game’s original release?
Akihiro Suzuki: It has been several years since the original Bladestorm was released. We had planned to launch a sequel but due to certain circumstances we weren’t able to actually kick start the project. We’ve kept on receiving feedback from our fans who have wanted a sequel throughout the years, so one of the reasons for [Bladestorm: Nightmare] is our core fans who wanted to see another game created.
On top of that we saw the current gen consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with their capabilities in terms of hardware and specifications. The graphical capability of these two systems was high enough so that the team were able to consider creating what they initially planned to do so from eight years ago.
TSA: What was the biggest challenge bringing Bladestorm: Nightmare to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One?
Akihiro Suzuki: Looking at the history of the consoles to start with, the current-gen consoles offer an update with the PlayStation 4 being an upgrade from the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox One being an upgrade from the Xbox 360. The team were able to create the game quite smoothly and the development cycle for Bladestorm: Nightmare was under a year.
TSA: How much of the original game is present in Bladestorm: Nightmare?
Akihiro Suzuki: Comparing the original Bladestorm and Bladestorm: Nightmare, pretty much everything is now available in Nightmare as well, in terms of content that was available in the previous game. Obviously, we’ve added new features and elements while enhancing the graphics and core gameplay itself. First time players will be able to enjoy the game in full with the original Hundred Years War story and players of the previous instalment will also be able to enjoy carrying on from the original Bladestorm in Nightmare as well.
TSA: What do you consider to be the biggest new feature in Bladestorm: Nightmare?
Akihiro Suzuki: If we had to choose one from the many updates and features available in Bladestorm: Nightmare, it would be the new storyline. It is a more fantasy styled storyline compared to the original Hundred Years War, that sees the game world destroyed. Joan D’Arc plays a pivotal role as the story progresses in the Nightmare mode, so hopefully players will enjoy and be surprised how the Nightmare storyline unfolds.
TSA: Can fans expect to see more Bladestorm in future? Will Tecmo KOEI continue to support the series alongside its Warriors franchises?
Akihiro Suzuki: Currently we have a long running franchise in the shape of Dynasty Warriors, for example. Saying that, we do look into other areas when it comes to other gameplay so we have been working on challenging new titles like, for example, Toukiden. That’s why we decided to reboot Bladestorm in the form of Bladestorm: Nightmare. Obviously, our intention is to grow the IP in the long run.
We would like to thank Suzuki-san for taking the time to speak with us. Bladestorm: Nightmare is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and you can read our review here.