Summary: John's interview frenzy strikes blood with Mortal Kombat Armageddon for the Wii.
FiringSquad: First, was it always the plan to port Mortal Kombat: Armaggedon to the Wii or did Midway decide to bring the game to the console after its huge reception at E3 2006?
Shaun Himmerick: When we first started designing MK Armageddon we didn’t know much about the Wii, let alone have development systems. So we didn’t always have a plan to do Armageddon for the Wii. However, after we got our hands on one, we realized we had the opportunity to make something really unique. The fact that the Wii is selling so well really kind of sealed the deal.
FiringSquad: How hard was it to get the Wiimote to work with a game that was originally designed for conventional controllers?
Shaun Himmerick: This was the biggest challenge in the game. We could not approach this as a port or as “just make it work”. We approached it as a redesign of the controls, basically as if the Wii version was its own game. The Wii system was so new that the biggest difficulty we had with the controller was learning what it could and could not do in the game. We went though quite a few experiments before deciding on the final system we use.
FiringSquad: How much of the special combos can be handled just with movements of the Wiimote?
Shaun Himmerick: Every single special move in the game can be done with our Wii-Remote gesture system. There are 8 different gestures in the game for Super moves, and every super move can be done with those 8 gestures. We also made sure to take into account the people who like the old controllers. So, we support the Classic Controller and Gamecube Controller and the moves can be done with the button combos as the game has always done. Also every one of our fatalities can be done with our Wii-Remote gesture system. There are more than just the 8 gestures from the super moves, that way we could make the motions feel as if you are doing the Fatalities.
FiringSquad: At Midway's press event earlier this year, Ed Boon stated that the Wii port of Armageddon would make special moves so easy his grandmother could do it. Was that part of the reason to bring this game to the Wii so that a wider audience would appreciate it?
Shaun Himmerick: The Wii is so friendly to many skill levels of users, that we wanted to make sure we took that into account when designing the controls, while still not forgetting what Mortal Kombat has always been. We really wanted the super moves to be easy for anyone who picks up the Wii-Remote to do and immediately start fighting.
FiringSquad: Besides the Wiimote features, what other content and extra features will the Wii port of Armageddon have?
Shaun Himmerick: Besides the controls for MKA Wii being completely redesigned for this version, we also added in some additional Kontent. There is an “Endurance” mode that allows a player to take on opponent after opponent in single round battles with only one life bar. There are some health bonuses along the way, but it is quite the single player challenge. Additionally we will have an extra character exclusive to the Wii.
FiringSquad: Have there been any graphical tweaks made to the game?
Shaun Himmerick: There are some things that the Wii naturally does better than other platforms and we benefit from that. I believe that MK: Armageddon on the Wii will be one of the best looking Wii titles out there when we launch.
FiringSquad: The Wii port will not have any online multiplayer features, unlike the PS2 and Xbox ports. Was it a dissapointment not to be able to bring that feature to the Wii?
Shaun Himmerick: It was a disappointment for us as obviously we had online working on previous platforms so it wasn’t going to be a technology issue for us, but Nintendo just didn’t have their online system ready for us when we would have needed it. That is one reason we focused on giving the single player experience even more attention with things like the addition of Endurance mode and an additional Kharacter.
FiringSquad: Looking to the future, can we expect more Mortal Kombat games to be made for the Wii in the future and if so will those games be made for the console from the ground up?
Shaun Himmerick: We are not committed to any plans right now for future Mortal Kombat titles. It will be interesting to see what can be done with the Wii as the platform evolves. I expect that anything in the future for MK on the Wii will be a very unique experience.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about the Wii port of Mortal Kombat Armageddon?
Shaun Himmerick: Mortal Kombat Armageddon for the Wii is so much more than a port. This experience will be something like you’ve never had with Mortal Kombat. If you could not play Mortal Kombat before, you will be able to now. If you have always been good at Mortal Kombat, you will be amazed at what you can do now with the new controls. Tell your friends.
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