Q : Who has the honor to speak with us? State your name, rank and occupation!? What was your involvement in the development? How many people are part of the development team and how long has it been in the works?
AR : My name is Aaron Rigby, Senior Producer at Phantagram Interactive. I was lucky enough to work as one of the producers on the title. There were roughly 20 people at Genki who worked on the game for almost 2 years. Genki is a Japanese developer known for such games as Tokyo Xtreme Racer and Rally Challenge 2000.
Q :What graphics are you using? Licensed or Homemade?
AR : Everything you see is homemade. Genki handled both the engine and the detailed graphics.
Q : How many levels/arenas are you planning to have in Phantom Crash?
AR : There are three ruined battle areas in the game, along with a practice arena to test out your skills.
Q : Can you give us some info on the single player aspect? What is the story behind this game?
AR : The year is 2025, and the Japanese government, in order to cope with the massive air pollution and Tokyo’s massive economic losses, has transferred the capital to “Neo Tokyo,” a dome city built on the Tokyo Harbor. Abandoned “Old Tokyo” becomes the battleground for “Rumbling,” a popular new sport. In Rumbling, contenders face each other while riding highly mobile armored land vehicles called “Scoobees,” and receive fortune and fame by destroying others.
Q : Will you have any sort of multiplayer options? i.e. 4 players for you and your mates? Are you planning to support Xbox Live?
AR : There is support for four players in Phantom Crash. Sorry, no Live support, though.
Q : How many classes of mech will there be? Will every part of your mech be customizable?
AR : Players have three different Scoobee (mech) manufacturers to choose from, each with their own unique look and performance. Once owned, everything from the weapons to the armor to the decals can be swapped, added, or enhanced until you create a mech that works just right for you.
Q : Will you be able to select different characters that pilot the mech? Will there be any difference between each character?
AR : No, the pilot is always the avatar of the player. However, there are different AI chips available for purchase that can assist you in battle.
Q : Will the arena be destructible? Can buildings be knocked over; shot through, blown up etc…
AR : The core structures of the areas are indestructible, but most objects within the levels are not. You’ll find that some objects don’t really provide much protection after they’ve been hit by a few missiles.
Q : Will any of the mechs be transformable?
AR : No, these mechs can jump, run, and attack in the same configuration. The only transformation done is between the missions when the player adds or removes equipment.
Q : Will we see this title on any other platform or is this Xbox exclusive?
AR : Phantom Crash is an Xbox exclusive at this point.
Q : Are you planning any sequels to this game?
AR : We have no sequels planned right now, but who knows.
Q : What has been the fans reaction over in Japan to this game? Are you expecting the same reaction in the U.S.?
AR : Phantom Crash was very well received in Japan, and we expect similar success in the U.S.
Q : Is there a European release planned?
A Absolutely. The European release is scheduled for the end of 2002.
Q : With the fact that MechAssault was released shortly after the release of Phantom Crash, what do you hope Phantom Crash will offer the die-hard fans of the established Fasa/Mechwarrior universe that will encourage them to buy this game?
AR : The infinite combinations of weapons, equipment and armor is a big point. Moreover, Phantom Crash offers a more fast-paced action style game than other mech games. It’s a great adrenaline rush.