Tecmo's charismatic Tomonobu Itagaki, head of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden dev studio Team Ninja, has taken a pop at Namco's Tekken series, describing the developers as "a pretty weird bunch", labelling the game "prehistoric" and even having a dig at spin-off title Death By Degrees.
At the end of an interview on 1UP.com concerning the Dead or Alive Ultimate tournament that European gamers are inexplicably not allowed to enter, Itagaki-san was asked what he thought of Tekken 5, which has just been released on PS2 in the US; the interviewer no doubt banking on his subject refreshing some of his notorious views on the rival beat-'em-up and giving the piece a nice kicker. Certainly did that.
Not that it was an especially clandestine attempt. When asked whether Namco "chickened out of the online arena", Itagaki-san indicated that Namco's dalliance over online was symptomatic of their "weirdness".
"First they put in all of these half-finished 'features', then they take them right out again. Tag fights, elevation differences, walls. I don't know if it's because they're impatient, or because they lack the ability, but no matter the reason those guys are a pretty weird bunch," he told 1UP.
"Oh, and come on guys, let's quit trying to hide the prehistoric nature of the main product by tacking on some absurd 'bonus game'. I have been saying this for five years, haven't I? If you have the time to make an action-style 'bonus game', why don't you create an honest-to-god action game and sell it as a standalone product?"
"Oh, that's right, I forgot something important. You guys did do a 'bonafide' action game, didn't you? What was it called again? Oh yeah, NINA: Death by Degrees," he added.
Dead or Alive Ultimate, a port of a three-generation-old beat-'em-up packaged with a graphical overhaul of a two-generation-old version, neither of which is apparently prehistoric, is available worldwide.