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Introducing Unbound Saga

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Hi, I’m Mike Kennedy, a Senior Producer at Vogster Entertainment, and I’m here to talk about our 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 prior to Unbound Saga (a critically praised RTS for the Nintendo DS called Robocalypse), but with several more hot titles in the pipeline, you should be hearing about us more in the months to come.

Unbound Saga 2

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 colourful, 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 colourful 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 1

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, recognisable industry talent to give our brand some authentic comic-book style.

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16 Comments

  • Sounds seriously cool guys, ill watch for unbound saga in the coming months most def.

    I too loved the old 2d beat em ups.

  • Looks fantastic!

    I miss the days of Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. It’s high tide they made a return, great to see you guys have picked up the mantle!

    Will there be any multiplayer options?
    Reason I ask is playing these types of games with friends or family makes it 1000% more enjoyable.

    Anyways, just want to say from what I have seen here so far I am very interested! :)

  • Mike Kebby

    Just to let you guys know – this title is available on PSP via the PlayStation Store already!

  • I’ve seen this on the store for a while, but never took the plunge. Looks like a mix of Comix Zone and Streets of Rage…

  • I would agree that it is very much like comix zone and streets of rage. If your a fan of the beat em up genre, then I would recomend it.

  • Wow, awesome it’s up now, good thing you took the time to talk about it guys, otherwise i would never have known it existed! I’ll grab it right now!

  • Yee’Ha!!!:-)
    I love these oldschool beat’m ups, I was addicted of this game-style like … e.g.:

    “GOLDEN AXE” or “DUBBLE DRAGON”!!!.
    And to turn it into a comic version like this game is a genius idea.
    I hope that’s soon available for the PS3 too ’cause I don’t have a PSP :-( .

    So … Greetings from Oktoberfest-City (Munich) lol & bye.

  • This looks pretty cool it kinda reminds me of the Streets of rage games which were awesome :P

  • Rick Ajax! Is that the best you could come up with! :)

  • Hey mike we getting ps1 classics tomz? i know the US are getting ABE ODDWORLD!!!!!

  • Yeah… they are -_-

    I’d love it on the EU store. But Sony wont let me buy it. Well I expect that’ll be the case. I doubt we’ll get it. Steam has them available to buy in the UK. How come the EU PSN wont?

    I have £20 in my PSN wallet. And it’s not getting spent. All I buy off the PSN is classics for the PSP usually. But they’re not coming. And no one is even telling anyone the situation.

  • Double comment. Sorry! But I asked on the US blog about Oddworld. This is what I got:

    MadmanButter | October 20th, 2009 at 6:59 am
    I’ve got to ask! (Hopefully you’re still there to answer LL haha!)
    Is this coming to the UK PSN store as well?

    Lorne Lanning replied on October 20, 2009 at 11:32 pm
    Hopefully, but that’s a PSN decision. Fingers crossed.

    So…. it’s down to SCEE? Um I though Mike said it was down to the publishers to sort it out? Whos is it? >.<

  • I just looked for this on the PSN store and couldn’t find it any where. MAybe its not on the finnish store :(

  • I would prefer to play this on the PS3 with a large screen with friends. PSP screen is just to small, and since the iPhone, i did not use the psp anymore. For me, handheld games consoles are dead. The future is the mobile phone.

  • Hi Mike,

    quick question. why did the price of the game drop in the US and EU but it stayed at 11.99 in the UK?

    story linked for reference (http://ie.psp.ign.com/articles/102/1025916p1.html)

    personally, i was interested in the game but dont agree with the way UK customers get shafted when it comes to price matching. I’d be very interested in hearing why the price never got dropped here.

    Many thanks

  • Mike,

    We still don’t have this on the Australian Playstation Store.

    Any chance you will bring it down under?

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