As is often the case with trade show events prior to a game’s release, Bandai Namco took the opportunity during this year’s Tokyo Game Show to solicit feedback from players regarding the in-developed God Eater 2: Rage Burst, with developers present on the stage floor in person to hear their opinions. Having had time to mull things over and start investigating what can be done to improve the game, the development team has posted a blog entry about the changes that they’ve made to the Blood Rage system, translated summaries of which you can find below.
Point 1: The vow selection menu has been made less intrusive.
Like we’ve detailed previously, part of the Blood Rage system entails players making specific vows to accomplish something in-game within a time limit, at which point point the perks of the Blood Rage system are unlocked. The menu for doing so crops up during gameplay and numerous players felt that its design impeded their field of vision as they fought. As such, the development team has striven to reduce the interference “as much as possible,” in their words. Check out the differences for yourself, with the original version of the menu on the left and the revised one on the
Point 2: The tone of the vow selection menu and tempo of the countdown are being improved.
The first half of that point is mainly concerned with Japanese linguistics that don’t really impact those who speak the language; essentially, players took umbrage at having the contents of vows expressed in a brusquely commanding tone. Bandai Namco says the intention of this in the TGS demo was for that language to tutorialize what to do for different vow types, but has nonetheless said that after the vow mechanic is initially introduced, those explanations are turned off by default, replaced by more general terminology for those already familiar with what to do. This can, however, be turned back on in the options menu.
As for the countdown timer that takes place in the game prior to the vow fulfillment phase actually occurring, Bandai Namco says that the intention of its inclusion is to give players time to mentally prepare themselves, as well as get into an ideal position to start fulfilling their vows. Aware of concerns that the timer disrupts gameplay flow, however, the development team has stated its intent to continue to work with the fan community up until the game’s release to find a happy medium.
Point 3: Vow selections can now be done entirely with the right hand on the touch screen.
In the original rendition of the Blood Rage system, players had to move their left thumb to open up the menu and then pick a choice with their right thumb. This was ultimately deemed to result in pacing problems, given that the process would initially require players to give up temporary control of character movement with their left hand and then actual combat actions with their right. As player maneuverability is a high priority in the game, the development team opted to move the on-screen prompt that opens up the menu to the right-hand side of the screen, leaving players free to continue moving as they engaging in the vow process.
Complimenting this change is a shift of the Awakening Gauge to a circular bar that now hugs the mini-map on the upper-right region of the screen, as well as numerical display of the current percentage. As has been the case before, the size of the mini-map can be changed in the options menu. Additionally, efforts are being made to improve the responsiveness in the touch screen controls, given the reliance on players sliding their fingers to make choices, and as with the countdown timer, the development team intends to keep refining this until the game is out. The team is also aware about the potential downside of moving the vow interface solely to the right side of the screen when it comes to left-handed players and as such is striving to “make the touch controls feel like a natural extension of pressing the physical buttons to perform attacks and heal.”
Check out the comparison shots below. The original TGS version is on the left, while the new version is on the right.
Point 4: Players can toggle temporary invincibility for the duration of vow pledging, but at the cost of their Awakening Gauge and the inability to attack during the process.
Building off of the initial set of points concerning players’ confidence in their own ability to make vows wisely under pressure, the development team has implemented an optional system that can be toggled at any time in the options menu whereby players are rendered momentarily invincible during the vow selection process, as signified by a special glow that appears around their character. However, to prevent this system from being abused, enabling this system drains the Awakening Gauge and also prevents players form attacking in exchange for the perk of not having to content with blows from Aragami. Naturally, the system is also turned off once players have made their choice and the countdown commences.
Point 5: Players can now dash continuously during Blood Rage mode.
In addition to the previously implemented attack buffs, reduced stamina decrease, and lessened flinching/damage from enemy attacks, entering Blood Rage proper now allows players to dash around the battlefield to their heart’s content for the duration of the mode. This is has been predominantly as a means of upping the sense of exhiliration that the developers want to impress upon players when triggering it in response to some feedback from a minority of players received at the show that contended that Blood Rage mode felt underwhelming. This, too, can be seen in the video during the last portion, starting at approximately 1:10.
To better demonstrate some of these points, particularly those lacking comparison shots, Bandai Namco has released a short video showcasing the changes in action. The very beginning of the video focuses on Point 2. Then, starting at around 0:36, the changes brought about by Point 4 are seen. It then concludes with Point 5, which begins at around 1:10. Check it out below.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst is due out this winter in Japan for PS Vita and PlayStation 4.