Namco x Capcom Press Conference Report
01.29.05 - 2:09 AM

Namco and Capcom held a joint press conference today, announcing their upcoming PlayStation 2 title Namco x Capcom. Two key members of the development team at Namco subsidiary Monolith Soft were attending the conference: the game's director Souichi Morizumi and its producer Kouji Ishitani, who has served as production manager and assitant director on the development teams of Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht and Baten Kaitos. Namco executive director Youichi Haraguchi explained that Namco has been developing the game for two years. Originally it only featured about 100 characters from various Namco franchises, but to create a more exciting product, the company approached Capcom, asking for the permission to use their characters. No other than Megaman and Onimusha mastermind Keiji Inafune then took the stage. Inafune explained that the current woes of the industry could be overcome by developers working together across company lines. Hence Capcom would like to engage in more joint projects such as Namco x Capcom in the future.

The game's story goes as follows: In the year 20XX space-time shifts appear at various locations on earth. This leads to authorities shutting down major cities around the globe. This also happens in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. Hence Reiji Arisu, an agent affiliated with Shinra, a government agency set up to deal with such phenomens and Shao Muu are dispatched to the site. At the time of their arrival, a huge shift has occured, resulting in Shion, M.O.M.O., KOS-MOS and Gnosis all arriving in downtown Tokyo. While Reiji and Co manage to deal with the Gnosis, the shift leads to villains from many differnt worlds appearing. Reiji and his new friends now have to ensure that those bad guys are taken care of and investigate what is causing the space-time shifts to occur.

In addition to the initially announced characters, Namco and Capcom used today's press conference to add some more virtual stars to the growing list: King (Tekken series), Taki (Soul Calibur series), Shion Uzuki (Xenosaga series), Tarosuke (Youkai Douchuuki), Rock Volnut (Rockman Dash series), Felicia, Sabel (both Darkstalkers series), Captain Commando (Captain Commando), Hideo Shimazu, Kyoko Minazuki (both Rival Schools series).

Players will either control single characters or groups of two. Upon running into an enemy on the map, the game will switch into battle mode. In battle, the main objective is to ponder your opponents with as many special techniques and deathblows as possible. Players will only need to use the circle button and directional pad to fire off their attacks, the right timing provided. In fact, the game will combine strategy RPG elements with classic fighting game elements.
Namco x Capcom will be released in Japan this May for 6,800 yen ($65.96 US).

Chris Winkler