Everyone love music and rhythmic games right? The latest to arrive on the Vita is Superbeat Xonic, so we caught up with the Michael Yum from the game’s developer, PM Studios, to find out more.
Hello PM Studios, Thanks for talking to us. Can you tell us a little bit about PM Studios and how you got into developing games?
It’s very nice to meet you guys. We are a small independent development studio that was formed in 2008. We are mostly known for developing and publishing a rhythm game known as DJMAX for the PlayStation, Arcade and Mobile platforms. In recent years we have been developing a lot of mobile games and applications and finally came back to our grass roots with SUPERBEAT: XONiC.
Superbeat Xonic looks very interesting. Can you explain to those not familiar with it what it’s all about?
SBX is a rhythm game similar to our work in the past. There’s some techno, electronic, rock, kpop soundtracks and the players time and match the beat with the corresponding buttons and notes.
What was the inspiration behind the game? What games would you describe it as a mix of?
The inspiration behind the game was DJMAX and Touch Interface. Almost all of the current handheld devices are all touch based and we knew that we had to work with it. So we combined DJMAX with a Touch Interface and came up with something new.
It’s been described by many as a “spiritual successor to DJ Max.” How do you feel about that statement?
I feel that is correct. Its made by the same people, it features the same musicians, and the interface might be different but the gameplay will feel natural to DJMAX Veterans.
How many different music tracks are in the game? Is there a mix of different genres?
I don’t want to give an exact number because there are some surprises. But there are over 40 tracks. It features electronic, rock, techno, kpop and a FEW SURPRISES!
Is there anything you can tell us about the game that isn’t already known?
The thing that makes me the happiest is that I read all about the game and what people have been commenting on. We purposely did not show some stuff and I’m sure it’ll surprise people. I wish I could tell you but I think the experience will be better when you unlock the surprises.
What made you want to bring the game to the Vita?
The goal was to make a game in the same spirit as DJMAX, which meant it was a hardcore game for hardcore rhythm fans. We knew we had to work with the Touch Screen. The Vita was the only system that could handle what we wanted to make. This isn’t a game that you could play with the stylus and multitouch is a huge part of the difficulty that we wanted.
What challenges, if any, did you have to face with Vita development?
Honestly not much. The team has had experience with Sony and PlayStation development for a very long time. If anything the machine is so amazing that its become easier to develop for. Its truly an underrated machine and deserves much better.
It is being reported that the game will work with the PSTV. Is that true, and how will it work differently?
So when we made this game, we wanted to make sure it played like DJMAX and also fit the Vita’s touch screen. So the game was carefully designed to work with both the Controller and Touch Screen. I think Veterans will prefer the controller while newcomers and casual players will prefer the Touch Screen. I also think its safe to say that the PSTV is for the core market. So there you have it, we always had the intent for it to work with PSTV.
Are there any games that stand out for you on the Vita? What are your favourites?
As huge PlayStation fans and as a trophy whores I absolutely love the Vita. To this date my favourite Vita game is still Lumines. However other favourites are Tearaway, Gravity Rush, Muramasa and Persona 4 Golden. There are a lot more but they aren’t exclusive.
What’s next for PM Studios, and would you want to develop for the Vita again?
We currently have a few apps in the Market right now called Nitty and E-Sports FTW. We are working on a few new mobile games that should be out in the near future. And of course we had a great experience with SBX so we definitely want to work with Vita again. But as another hint, we are working on something new that should make people very, very happy.
We would like to thank Michael and PM Studios for their time with this interview, and Tyrone from Rising Star Games for arranging it! Superbeat Xonic is available now.
This interview first appeared in Issue 7 of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Stay tuned to the magazine for more new interviews soon!