Def Jam PSP Q&A

Producer Seth Immell speaks.

Here at Eurogamer, we've long enjoyed beating people up whilst bellowing abuse at them, so when EA asked us if we'd like to give you the rundown on Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover for PSP, with a bit of help from an internally produced Q&A with producer Seth Immell, we punched them in the face and said "yeah bitch come on bitch make your move bitch".

Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover is due out on PSP on July 21st. Read on to learn about the game from scratch, its various fighting styles, and, for those of you who know your Def Jams from your Death Rows, what it's been like translating the game to PSP.

Q: Can you give us an overview of this year's game?

Seth Immell: Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover on PSP brings the hip hop stars and music from the PS2 to the PSP so it can be played anywhere and with a friend. We've kept the elements we felt made the PS2 version great such as the large number of fighters, different fighting styles, interactive venues, weapons and the extensive create a character. And we've added some depth with the theme of fight dirty. Now, before some matches even begin, the fighters will trade a few blows. This will randomly give either the player or the opponent a small advantage as they start the fight. You'll be able to throw sand in the eyes of your opponent and do nasty moves even when getting up off the ground. You'll be able to pin a player down to the ground and pummel them even while they're down. But we've also increased the ability for the player to catch and reverse moves to balance this out. We've added an extensive tutorial to help the player know and practice all the moves. But we've intentionally made some of them tough to pull off. You'll have a full arsenal of offensive and defensive moves but they won't all be easy.

A whole new story has been created and adapted to the PSP. You'll still earn cash and development points to buy new moves, increase your attributes. There will now be random events and the players can get jumped by another fighter when they least expect it. Another new feature is that the user will be able to recruit their own crew members about halfway through the story. This will give the ability to fight using chosen Def Jam characters in story mode rather than just the created character. So, if you're having a tough time with a particular fighter, possibly a different member of your crew with a different style might be able to win instead.

There will be a ton of unlockable characters, venues and music. We're also quite happy to include a gallery of unlockable art with original pictures of many of the hip hop artists and the in-game characters. Five specialty matches in addition to regular One on One will be included in both stand alone and Ad Hoc modes.

Q: Tell us about the new fighting styles.

Seth Immell: Almost all the styles will have access to a new core set of dirty moves previously mentioned. And we've kept as many of the PS2 moves the same as we could. The big difference can be seen in the way we've implemented styles. We've carried over the fighting styles from the PS2 but with a twist. You'll still have your streetfighting, wrestling, martial arts, kickboxing and submissions styles. And you'll still be able to choose an initial fighting style plus purchase two more. But now you'll be able to concentrate on one style by filling up all three slots with the same style. For example, you'll be able to fill all three slots with the streetfighting style and have access to new moves and many more moves that will do a KO. By choosing to concentrate on one style you can also maximize certain attribute bonuses. We've thrown in a few new Blazin' moves. And also new is that damage to your arms and legs impacts your fight. If you can damage your opponent's leg enough, running isn't an option anymore. But the same is true for you. It's harder to block if you've got a damaged arm.

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Q: What is the storyline like?

Seth Immell: We wanted to bring in aspects and characters from the previous two Def Jam titles but keep it individual for the PSP players. We didn't want to port the same exact story from the PS2 version of Fight for New York and the technical limitations of the PSP didn't allow us to use the really cool cinematics from the PS2. So you'll see friends and foes from both Vendetta and Fight for New York. The story is a prequel to Vendetta but is a standalone story. You'll start out as a new fighter being able to choose your own hood from the choices of Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. You'll need to move up the ranks and gain respect and grow your skills until you become the O.G. - the boss - of your Hood. But then you'll need to face the greater challenge of conquering each of the hoods in turn. With each Hood you conquer, you'll get a choice of the fighters to add to your crew. Only after you conquer all the Hoods and deal with some surprising enemies will you finish the game. And we're tuning things so that we hope players will be encouraged to play through more than once.

Q: How many new venues are there?

Seth Immell: We've got 4 new venues all with key points for environmental attacks and different sizes. We've also now included two venues that are "inside" venues that can't be accessed until the outside venue is conquered. My favorite new venue is the Barge. It's a fight on a boat and if you KO your opponent using a Blazin' move, you'll trigger a special sequence where you throw your opponent overboard and can see the splash. Most players probably won't even trigger it but we're proud to have a few extras in that might surprise our players.

Q: Who is your favorite fighter to play with?

Seth Immell: I'm a big fan of speed and the martial arts style. Crazy Legs and Crow both are strong here. I like the ability to run towards a wall and then kick off it to do a flying attack against the opponent. And just the wild moves that both have are fun. But honestly, my favorite players are my created characters. I've always enjoyed the ability to massively customize the character and we've added a few new options to choose from. Being able to build up exactly the fighting styles and attributes I want gives me a bit more ownership, especially when I'm playing Ad Hoc against others. And I really like the new suit we've put in the store. I always wanted it from when I saw D-Mob in one in FFNY. It hides most of the tattoos but I like the style.

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Q: How does the Def Jam series translate to the PSP? Are there special modes you would not get on a console version?

Seth Immell: It is up to the players if they feel we've been able to translate it successfully. I think we have. The hip hop stars are here on the PSP with their fun moves in a ton of venues and excellent music. We've kept their trash talking intros and outros so the personality of each character is still there. The PSP has graphic limitations compared to the PS2 but our developer, AKI, has been able to get the game looking good. I also think that although the controls on the PSP are different from the PS2, the player will find them comfortable and easy to use. The two on two matches from the PS2 just didn't work on the smaller PSP screen so we've concentrated on the One on One matches.

Ad Hoc is obviously the special mode we're excited to offer on the PSP. It has been a challenge but we're very happy that players will have access to all the fighters and venues. You'll be able to use weapons and use your created character. So you'll be able to have a few quick matches with your friend wherever you might be.

Q: How has Def Jam been to partner with?

Seth Immell: Exciting. The Def Jam franchise is one of the most important franchises to EA. Our previous two Def Jam titles have been big successes and I think part of that is because of the high energy level and personality that the Def Jam brand and artists bring to the games. We're already working with Def Jam for future titles. The staff at Def Jam Enterprises have been very supportive of the project and are anxious to get it out to the players on PSP. And one of the really nice things about working on a Def Jam game is that even after months of working on the project, I'm still enjoying the music.

Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover is due out on PSP from 21st July.

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