The day is here. As of tomorrow, January 10, publisher XSEED Games will be shipping its first release to retailers all over the freaking place. I had a ripping sweet time with it, so I figured I’d swing by the company President’s place to eat a bucket of chicken and discuss our afterthoughts of the game.

Heath Hindman, Editor*Grabs a piece of chicken*
First, congratulations on your first release being such an excellent title.
Jun Iwasaki, XSEED Games President*Grabs a piece of chicken*
Thank you. I’m glad to have the opportunity to have such a great title for the launch of our XSEED Games brand in the North American market.

Heath Hindman, RPG LandFirst impressions are quite possibly the most important ones that someone can make. Being totally honest here, how confident are you that Wild ARMs 4 is the kind of first impression you want to make as a publisher?
Jun Iwasaki, XSEED GamesSince we believe the overall quality of Wild ARMs to be very good, I am confident that it will appeal to the North American audience and establish XSEED Games as a quality new publisher.

Heath Hindman*Takes a bite of chicken*
So this character in the game…Heath…is a pretty messed up dude. Was his name really “Hiisu” in the Japanese version, or were you guys at XSEED just making fun of me?
Jun IwasakiNo, even in Japan people named “Heath” are known as misfits.
Heath Hindman:O
Jun IwasakiJust kidding, but glad that you caught the backstory about the one member of Brionac that doesn’t actually appear in the game. The story in Wild ARMs 4 has so much backstory to it that the player is only seeing a small part of the great history and events in this land of Filgaia. A lot of the story elements are not prominently displayed so the average fan might not catch everything when playing through the game the first time.
*Takes a bite of chicken*

Heath HindmanYou’ve been personally involved in a lot of huge projects. Where do you feel WA4 stacks up in your library?
*Takes a bite of chicken*
Jun IwasakiThat’s a tough question. When I was with Squaresoft in Japan, I was sent to the US with one mission; to sell one million units of Final Fantasy VII. Achieving that goal was very rewarding, as was the success of the original Kingdom Hearts since a lot of people doubted the sales potential of that title. As rewarding as those achievements were, there’s nothing quite like starting a new publishing company and having the latest chapter in a respected series as my first project, so Wild ARMs 4 has been the most fulfilling in that aspect.

Heath HindmanWhat was the most difficult translation obstacle the team ran into in this game?
Jun IwasakiThe most difficult part of the translation was the actual vocabulary. Media.Vision and Sony Computer Entertainment have created such a rich and complex world that the story sometimes uses some very tough terminology when talking about nanomachines, resistance impulses, political agendas, etc. Even in the Japanese version, the written kanji characters have the easy to read furigana next to them since a lot of kids, and even adults, can’t understand all the complex terminology being used. That’s quite rare for a game in Japan.
*Takes a bite of chicken*

Heath Hindman*Takes a bite of chicken*
What aspects of the game did you personally like most? What are its strong points? I shared mine in review form, now you share yours =)
Jun IwasakiI am a big fan of strategy games. RPG games have good story and exploration elements that I like, but I prefer battle systems with a lot of strategy. The strategic HEX battle system was very attractive to me compared to traditional turn-based battles, as well as the story of Jude being the ray of hope and innocence in an otherwise bleak and dark world.

Heath HindmanWho at Media.Vision designed these characters? They should freelance that guy out, because I can think of a certain few other series that need some better character designs. What do you think?
Jun IwasakiWakako Ooba designed the characters in Wild ARMs 4. If you do convince her to design characters for other titles, just be sure to put in a good word for XSEED as the publisher of any title she works on.

Heath Hindman*Takes a bite of chicken*
At this point in time, is it safe to say that XSEED will be the go-to publishing company for console-based Wild ARMs games? Can you state XSEED’s intentions regarding Wild ARMs 5?
Jun IwasakiTo be honest, we don’t know much about Wild ARMs 5 yet, but that decision is up to the folks at Sony Computer Entertainment and Media.Vision. We hope to get the opportunity from them again.

Heath HindmanAnother company we interviewed said they’d love to publish a handheld Wild ARMs game is such a thing ever happened. If it did, would XSEED also be putting down a bid?
Jun Iwasaki*Takes a bite of chicken*
I think everyone would love to publish a handheld version of Wild ARMs, but once again, that’s not our decision to make. I’ve always personally thought that a PSP version of Wild ARMs would be great.

Heath HindmanIf I may move to a few company-related questions real quick, how many titles are currently under XSEED’s evaluational microscope? Not to say how many are currently on track to be published, but how many are in the testing pool?
Jun IwasakiWe are always evaluating potential titles for the North American market. Currently we are evaluating about 6 titles on various platforms.

Heath HindmanUntil just recently, I forgot that Wild ARMs is close to hitting its 10th anniversary. I thought about this, and quite frankly, I’m glad to see XSEED doing such great things with the series and bringing it to our region. Thanks again for letting me play this excellent game, and for doing what you do. I had a very fun time playing and reviewing this game. Do you have any final words for our readers out there who are about to take the plunge into Wild ARMs 4?
Jun IwasakiWild ARMs 4 is our first title from XSEED Games, and I’m honored to get this opportunity to bring this great game to the North American fans since I believe that everyone will enjoy playing it. Please keep an eye on us here at XSEED Games as we will continue to work hard to localize the best games possible for everyone to enjoy.

Well we’re out of chicken and out of time for this interview. RPG Land thanks President Iwasaki for having this chat with Heath. Be sure to check out the site’s Wild ARMs 4 review and other links below.