Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes Del Ring Developer Interview with Immersion Games
By DowntownJimmy (10.15.10)
LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Héroes del Ring puts a spotlight on the Luchador style of wrestling. Representing the Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) wrestling league that is based out of Mexico, Héroes del Ring is set to take on the few other wrestling games that are still hitting the mat. With the recent release of LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Héroes del Ring, Julian Castillo from Immersion Games sits down with Extreme Gamer to dig a little deeper into their mat grappler.
Extreme Gamer - What was the inspiration to develop a Luchador styled wrestling game rather then a traditional North American approach to the sport?
Immersion Games - We wanted to add a breath of fresh air to the wrestling videogame world. Lucha Libre is a very cultural sport. It involves the crowd as much as the luchadores; it all turns around the relation between the luchador, his opponent and the audience. Lucha Libre AAA: Heroes del Ring gives the player the sensation of being a real Luchador in Mexico and that´s what we wanted to showcase in our game.
XG - In gaming, we usually seen Luchador influenced characters playing a comedic role, does Lucha Libre try and draw away from the typical comedic stereotype?
IG - A very famous Luchador in Mexico called Fray Tormenta (the only priest luchador in the world) said once that Lucha Libre is acrobatics, circus and theatre. Not all luchadores play a comic role in the world of Lucha Libre, but there is comedy indeed. Famous luchadores like El Elegido, La Parka, El Brazo, and many others add this aspect to the sport and we have made sure to bring it to the game.
XG - How will the Lucha Libre experience differ from what players can get with the WWE gaming products?
IG - AAA Lucha Libre: Heroes del Ring is a fast paced game with many aerial moves that is also based on popularity. The more popular you are, the more moves you unlock during a match. We concentrated on giving the player the experience of being a luchador by allowing him to choose between a wide array of Lucha Libre styles. You can choose a big slow-but-strong guy who uses blunt force trauma or as a super-fast-aerial luchador who uses his agility and a combination of styles. There are a lot of possibilities based on resistance, strength, agility, popularity, and others, which open the spectrum of Lucha Libre styles and add a wide gamma of characteristics to the luchadores in the game.
We also offer an extensive character and sign editor. The character editor allows you to build from the ground up. Within the character editor you will find the mask editor which gives you thousands of options to create a completely original mask. As you know, masks in Lucha Libre are sacred items. There are famous matches where luchadores wager their mask or hair. Loser has his or her mask torn off in the ring or head shaved. The losing of a mask usually signals the end of a career. And we have included those types of matches in our game, both in online multiplayer modes and in the single player story modes.
XG. Does Lucha Libre go beyond singles wrestling? what other match types can we expect to see?
A4. As in real Lucha Libre, players will be able to fight on 1 vs. 1, 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3 and 2 vs. 2 online and offline matches. Players can modify the rules of the match by selecting Pin only, submission only or both; change the count out to 10 seconds, 20 seconds or none; allowing characters to use weapons without being disqualified, etc. The game offers a very fun Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) up to eight players mode and a very interesting online mode called Mask vs. Hair in which players will bet their masks or hairs online, in order to earn others. If you lose your Mask, you have to win several matches in a row before you earn the right to create a new mask or try to recreate your old one, but you will never get the original one back. It is the ultimate pride battle.
XG - What are some of the unique features, aside from the in-ring grappling?
IG - We have several arcade type elements; one of them is the one single counter button that protects players against strikes and grapples. The popularity system allows players to unlock moves during the match that includes both striking and submission grapples, as well as pin grapples, some of them shared for some characters, some others are exclusively for a specific luchador. Another fun feature is the capability to jump from the turnbuckle and hit your opponents no matter if they are outside of the ring. AAA Lucha Libre: Heroes del Ring is full of these fast paced details that we hope players will enjoy a lot.
XG - Are the wrestlers based off real-life talent? and will the player be able to create their very own Luchador?
IG - All the 31 characters are real luchadores from the AAA league of Lucha Libre. Besides, you will be able to customize your own character from scratch. One of the main features of the game is the ability to create and design your own mask. Our mask editor is a very robust one in which you will be able to change from the design of the mask, to the shape of eyes, mouth, etc, to the accessories you want to add to it.
XG - What modes can the players expect out of Lucha Libre's online component?
IG - Players will be able to fight on 1 vs. 1, 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3 and 2 vs. 2 online ranked or unranked matches. One of our main online features is the Mask vs. Hair mode. In the real Lucha Libre, masks are very important for luchadores, it is not something that you just wear, it is what defines you, what surrounds you with mystery and gives you an identity. When a luchador loses a mask in a match, he has to wait three years to wear another mask, or seven years to recover the lost mask. We really wanted to put that on the game by allowing players to bet their customized masks online, if the player wins the match, it will appear on his online statistics, but if he loses, his mask (or hair) is going to be ripped off, and he will have to fight without his mask and win three ranked matches in order to recover his lost mask. I know I am being a bit repetitive, but this feature is really, really cool.
XG - Since Lucha Libra is launching on multiple platforms, should we expect any major differences between each version?
IG - We at Immersion Games developed the XBOX360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, while Sabarasa Studios developed the Wii, PSP and Nintendo DS versions. All the games share the colorful culture of the Lucha Libre, but there are major differences in gameplay. I cannot tell you much about the Wii version. Here is what I know. The Wii, just like the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, was built from the ground up and is completely original. Both of our versions and the Wii version, which is being developed by Sabarasa, offer unique story player modes and online competitive modes that are completely different from each other. I would say that the Wii version will be a different experience from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.
LUCHA LIBRE AAA: Héroes del Ring is an Sports-Wrestling game up to 4 players that represents in its game play all the spectacle of the world wide famous lucha libre Mexicana. Featuring all the dynamism, the show, the aerial movements and the colorfull characters of the AAA Mexican wrestling league, LUCHA LIBRE: Héroes del Ring offers to the players the experience of living the luchas in the skin of a real gladiator, gaining his popularity among the crowds with each stunning grapple and each action packed match.
- Innovative Scoring System: Unique to Lucha Libre is the fact that wrestlers need to gain the support of the crowd in order to win the match – as players increase their popularity they will be able to unlock progressively more deadly moves which they will be able to inflict upon their opponent.
- Mexican Lucha Libre Based Gameplay: Whether playing as a Tecnico (Good Guy) or a Rudo (Bad Guy), the Lucha Libre style of wrestling features a fast and acrobatic style of gameplay in which gamers employ a sophisticated yet fun system of strikes/counter-strikes, extreme aerial assaults and character-specific specialty moves in order to defeat their foe.
- Real Mexican Luchadores: Gamers may play as any of 30 different real-life luchadores featured in the AAA League. All fighters retain their own signature movements, taunts, and alignment with either the Tecnicos or the Rudos.
- Authentic Mexican Wrestling Venues: In Lucha Libre AAA: Héroes del Ring matches will take place in the same arenas used by the AAA, as well as, locations which are representative of the Mexican culture and Lucha Libre legend.
- Customizable Character Editor: Featuring a never before seen ‘Mask Editor’, the game’s ‘Create a Fighter’ feature allows players to design their own luchador from the mask down while choosing from a massive collection of customizable clothes, accessories, body characteristics and clan allegiance.
- Online Gameplay featuring Mask vs. Hair mode: The game offers intense and competitive online matches for up to four players where users can fight as any of the 30 existing luchadores or as a character which they have created themselves. In this mode, wrestlers wager their mask or hair against their opponents in a winner-take-all battle against humiliation!