Introducing Unbound Saga

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Unbound Saga screenshot 1

Hi, I’m Mike Kennedy, a Senior Producer at Vogster Entertainment, and I’m here to talk about our upcoming brawler for the PSP titled Unbound Saga. Right off the bat, you’re probably thinking “Vogster who?” A reasonable question, considering we’ve only put out one title so far (a critically praised RTS for the Nintendo DS called Robocalypse), but with several more hot titles in the pipeline (including the persistent-world next-gen Shooter CrimeCraft), you should be hearing about us more in the months to come, starting with Unbound Saga dropping onto the PlayStation Network in July.

In a nugget, Unbound Saga is an old-school, arcade-style brawler that puts you in the shoes of Rick Ajax, a surly comic book tough guy trapped in a world of endless trouble. The thing is, he knows he’s a comic book character, and after 30 years of dealing with one ridiculous plotline after another, he’s had about enough. So you get to take him on an epic adventure to escape the pages of the comic in search of The Maker, the mysterious entity responsible for his daily misadventure.

So why make it a brawler? Well, aside from the logical activity perpetuated by the lead character, we frankly couldn’t get enough brawlers growing up in the 8-bit and 16-bit days, and there doesn’t seem to be enough of ‘em coming out any more these days. We were hooked on games like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, TMNT Arcade, X-men Arcade, Captain American and The Avengers, etc. They were colorful, visceral, over-the-top, and tons of fun. The gameplay was easily accessible, with simple to understand controls — Punch, Kick, Grab, Throw — that could be strung together to pull off easy-to-execute combinations. There were no blocks, counter-blocks, reversals, deflections, none of those thorny hardcore fighting game maneuvers. Just the satisfaction of knocking down bad guy after bad guy in rapid succession. Sure, nobody would credit any of those early-90’s plotlines as any sort of attempt at Shakespeare, but that campiness and Hollywood-style machismo is what made them so magnetic. Mohawked street punks and muscle-bound mafia hitmen wandering gutted city streets and other action-movie settings, occasionally having to fight a kangaroo in colorful boxing shorts or a robot zombie or two… it was that sort of over-the-top unpredictability that made us want to keep playing. That and the endless head-smashing.

Unbound Saga screenshot 2


With Unbound Saga, the team wanted to recapture some of that fun and nostalgia, but with many layers of extra awesomeness. While sticking to an accessible arcade-style control scheme and the fixed left-right perspective, everything has been ramped up with the latest technology: sharp 3D graphics, real-time physics and ragdoll reactions, real-time lighting FX, etc. The gameplay itself has been given some extra strategic depth with the ability to switch between the two main playable characters, either Rick and Lori Machete, on the fly. Each of them has a completely different fighting style, with individual abilities that can complement the other character when things get sticky.

Rick is the muscle, the tank, the heavy hitter who relies on bodyslams and brute smashing strength to get things done. Lori is more about speed, stealth, and her bag of ‘ninja tricks,’ like smoke bombs and gas grenades, to finish the job. Both characters can be upgraded through individual skill trees, allowing the player to tailor their characters with more unlockable powers and moves. Both offer unique gameplay experiences, but you’ll have to take advantage of each one’s strength to get through the campaign.

In the next entry, we’ll talk about bringing the comic book world to life in our game, and how we’ve partnered up with experienced, recognizable industry talent to give our brand some authentic comic-book style.

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48 Comments

22 Author Replies

  • Sounds pretty interesting. I remember playing Streets of Rage :)

  • Coop?…sounds interesting, but I think a game like this needs a partner or even better 4 player coop…instant buy if it does.

  • i think ill pass on this one

  • I love Brawlers, so this sounds very cool. Now, what’s the price going to be?

  • “starting with Unbound Saga dropping onto the PlayStation Network in July”

    So it wont be on UMD as well?

    • Yep, as mentioned a bit further in the thread, this will be download-only via PSN. Perfect for your brand new PSP-GO! Tho don\’t feel any need to wait that long to jump in on the fun… it\’ll work just fine on your current PSP\’s with a memory stick. ~575mb of space should do it, I believe.

  • I’m down with Unbound. I watched a trailer a few months back and was really impressed. When I heard it was going to be downloadable, I was sold. As long as it’s under $30, you can count on a day one purchase from me. :)

  • Great post Mr. Kennedy. An old-school brawler sounds like a perfect fit for the PSP. Will keep an eye on it. Good luck!

  • Cool – hope we’ll see a PSP demo, I love those!

    Also, “CrimeCraft” is this coming to PS platforms?

  • make mine to go please… :D

  • This looks awesome. The fist thing that came to ming was FINAL FIGHT when I saw the pics. I bought that game for the Wii, but I have been unable to play it because it requires the classic controller that I do not own :(. This is a definite purchase for me!

  • How long / how many levels are there in the game?

    • 10 episodes with over 120 environments to smash thru. Depending on your skillz, could take you 6 or more hours to complete a single run of the campaign. But if you wanna unlock all both character\’s upgrades and try out all their tricks, you\’ll have to invest more funtime than that…

  • This looks really good, i love the visiuals on this. Definitly purchase from me when it hits the UK store

  • Sounds….interesting.
    If it has co op then i’m very excited for it.
    If not……well……we’ll see.
    DEMO PLEASE!

  • Also, I hope this will be a downloadable title, because I would like it for the PSP Go. Any word?

  • Dude that game looks ballin’. It captures that old school rough-city aesthetic from all the old brawler hits. Can’t wait to try it out some time.

  • aww make it for the ps3. I’ve given up on the PSP…twice.

  • When I saw this. I was super excited. But that was killed when you said PSP. I was hoping this would be a PSN game :(

    BRING IT TO PSN!!

  • PSN PSN PSN! This is the kind of thing I’d love to buy and play on PS3!

    BTW, it seems to me PS3 could easily emulate PSP games i.e. support playing downloaded games on both platforms.

    I don’t own a PSP.

    • Re: PSN release — To be completely honest, should the title do well enough, there is little reason why it can\’t find new incarnations down the road. An HD version would be AWESOME. But it all rides on how big a splash it makes. Tell your friends and neighbors! :)

  • Yeah, looks great! Buying a new PSP Go @ launch (though i still own a fully functioning PSP 1000) and will be looking forward to this games release.

    Loved streets of rage, still have my mega drive and out of the 3 games i still own for it, Streets of Rage II is one of those.

  • You gained my interest at “Streets of Rage”…

    Consider me curious.

  • Kinda like Fighting Force from the PS1?

  • Looks good, and am interested but having trouble finding info on game and have not seen any of questions above answered and was wondering:
    1. Is there co-op? if so ad-hoc or online or both?
    2. Is this download game only or is UMD version available? Do not see game listed in GameStop or BestBuy.
    3. Will this be able to play on PS3 and PSP?
    4. Will this have any PSP connectivity to PS3 and able to play with PS3 controller like in Resistence Retribution? It is nice to have options :)

    Thank you.

  • Looks VERY interesting… will keep an eye out on your future blog posts :)

  • @5 & 22
    This game was announced as PSN only and if memory serves me an episodic PSN release.

    Do a search for Unbound Saga on the blog they have a few entries already. Search is on the upper right of the page.

    So if you want to play as a Hero named after a cleaning product or an asynchronous component in Javascript you’ll need access to the PSN PS Store to download it.

  • @Mike

    Apparently you guys don’t know the rules of game naming. The word “saga” can only be used for RPGs and RPG hybrids. Vogster Entertainment will suffer two demerits for improper naming convention. :P

    At first glance the game resembles Double Dragon. I played the crap out of that game as a kid. Love when companies look back to something that works and brings it back forward. Keep em coming. :)

  • Streets of Rage and Comix Zone, of course. Sounds good; missing the good ol’ 90’s.

  • Looks cool to me. Loved the old brawlers, miss having these games around. Graphics look nice too. Here’s hoping it turns out well so I can enjoy something else on PSP.

  • You story remind me of Comix Zone from Sega back in the mid-1990’s.

  • looks cool, the name does sound odd though, Sounds like an RPG. So does it have Co-op?

  • Looks promising! Other than the points you already touched on, please remember to do these things:
    1) make the replay value high
    2) keep the price at $30 or less
    3) add some form of co-op multiplayer

    Unbound Saga has definitely gained my attention, so I’ll be looking forward to more updates.

  • Wow looks awesome! Its on my “to buy list” for sure! Add the fact its gonna be on PSN(yes PSPgo support!) is a plus!

    Coop would rock but I’m still buying it. The look of it already sold me!

  • Can’t wait. Been following this spiritual successor to Comix Zone for a while now.

  • SOCOM CONFRONTATION

    Got any info on this game?

    Like why were still playing a beta, or when the patch is coming, or how come 8 months later we still don’t have any DLC when promised by Seth Luisi we would have it on release day…

    “DLC will be available on release day. You will be able to upgrade it and get new customization options and more on release day. We plan to have new DLC every month, and a big package every 3 months”.

    Well congratulations on not delivering any DLC 8 months later, now can you stop ignoring the damn Socom fans and give us something to play already.

    • Er, um… let me ask my friend Roy. Roy? Any info on this? Socom? DLC?

      Sorry, man. Roy knows nothing, and he feels awful about that.

  • HELLYESH!
    i have been waitin for a STREETs of Rage type game to come out! perfect for the psp!
    now if someone could bring back ROAD RASH, i’d be set!
    + a new SMASH TV!

    • Ah yeah, the RASH…! (One of the first games I worked on was an RR title, actually… good times, good times…)

  • looking forward to seeing more. Demo please!

  • Now that’s what I’m talking about. Finally a game that ain’t all that complicated. Whoop @$$ and take no names. I love brawlers too. I hope to see more about you guys and this title. Good stuff

  • Brawlers need to come back, its the perfect genre for CoOp Gameplay.

  • Wow — great to hear from everyone! And great to see there’s lotsa love for the old school brawler! :) This game should not disappoint…

    I’ll respond to a some of the direct questions individually, but to address a few of the common ones:

    – Co-op, sadly, no. :( At least not for the initial release. We’re rocking so much real-time physics and ragdoll that synchronizing those effects via Ad-hoc was turning into a hazardous and unpredictable delay, so we decided to focus on a fun single-player release while our staff of rocket scientists worked on solving that sync issue. If all goes well, you just might see a patch or DLC with some extra goodness down the road. Don’t quote me on that, tho — I’ll plead the great big “IF”! :)

    – Price point hasn’t been set yet, our biz dev gurus are hard at work crunching numbers to come up with what is best for you guys AND us guys. But I feel comfortable saying it will be totally reasonable for the amount of fun you’d be getting. (Is that non-committal and re-assuring enough?)

    – As for the title, “Unbound Saga”, we like to lean on the irony around here. :) Who knows, if it blows up, there’s no end to the adventures these characters can stir up!

  • These psp games should be ps3 playable as well.

    there are a few psp games i would download if they were playable on the ps3 directly.

    my psp was stolen last year and i really am not in a position to buy a new psp.

  • OMG Graphics are awesome! n the game elements seem to be fun!! good work guys! n keep us updated :-)

  • any plans for sequel?? :-)

  • Hello Mike Kennedy is this the first game made by Vogster Entertainment?

    • In terms of previous releases, Vogster developed Robocalypse for the Nintendo DS, published by Tecmo last December. (Can I mention the \”D\” word in this forum…?) But the majority of the company has been focusing on several other really hot titles, such as this one, Robo for the iPhone, CrimeCraft, and some other big things which haven\’t been announced yet. Oh, man, can\’t wait until they are, though…. ;)

  • Woot! More games on the PSN
    Thanks Mr.Kennedy!
    Happy to see early support for the PSP Go
    Hope the price point is between 19.99 & Free (Hopes for dear life)

  • to all the people whining for this to come to ps3…just buy a psp. you can catch up on all the backlog of great games and then be part of all the even better new stuff coming out.

    i for one will be playing this on my 2000

  • OMG I love these ginds of games! TMNT, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, Final Fight typ of beat em ups!!!

    I am buying day 1

  • Sounds cool I miss these kinds of games so hopefully it’s a good one!!!

  • This game sounds awesome! Streets of Rage and those other arcade brawlers were great fun in my younger years. All the touchups and enhancements you’ve added, like ability unlocking and such, make the game that much sweeter. Hopefully there is experience used to unlock abilities.

    I hope to hear more from you soon!

  • hmmm this game seems interesting, especially the hero who knows he’s a comic book character. The inspiration for the hero must be Deadpool right? :p I might buy this game.

    • Deadpool? The Clint Eastwood movie? ;)
      Just kidding — Deadpool\’s great, though he never really came to mind when developing the character. (Wish they portrayed him better in the Wolverine movie, tho…)

  • @Mike Kennedy
    AJAX = Asynchronous Javascript And XML

    It’s what makes things like Facebook possible. Googles GWT has a whole library built around the technology including it’s own library of widgets…. I’ll stop there I just gush over programming tech ^^. Now if i can only get a job that appreciates that I’d be all set.

  • Mike Kennedy,

    Thanks for all your responses and answers to everyones questions. The info is great. Shame about co-op, but still from what I read and seen this is a buy for my psp.

    Also, speaking for myself, if a psn version of this were to be made later down the road and had 2 or even 4 player co-op, I would definately buy and make my friends buy as well so we could all play. Game is looking good, keep up the good work. ^^d

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