Like a man leaping unexpectedly from a cardboard box in a corner, Koei this month unveiled Opoona - a lovely-looking Wii "lifestyle RPG" from the people behind Japanese mega-RPG Dragon Quest. It's an intriguing mash-up of Final Fantasy and Animal Crossing, with the bobble-headed star (Opoona himself) both engaging in nunchuk-controlled combat - throwing "Energy Bonbons" at enemies - and taking on jobs that provide cash for household item shopping. No US date has been announced yet, but in the meantime, we spoke to Shintaro Majima and Sachiko Sugimura from developer ArtePiazza to find out more.
That name… it must mean something… right?
Majima: I imagined the letter "o" in Opoona as an Energy Bonbon. These are the weapons Opoona and his brothers use in battle - the energy that comes from inside them. As you see in the logo, the small letter "o" looks like the Energy Bonbon. When it is spelled as "o-p-o-o-n-a," it looks like a child shooting an Energy Bonbon briskly. I wanted to evoke that image.
Battles are controlled entirely with the nunchuk - so we won't be using the Wii remote at all?
Majima: You may play the whole game with the nunchuk, but you can also use the Wii remote if it helps. And the controls are the same for all of the three characters. There's no need for different controls.
To what extent can you use the nunchuk to manipulate the trajectories of your Energy Bonbons in battle?
Majima: They're directed at your chosen enemy target, but you can manipulate the orbit (strength, speed and course) by changing the length of time and the angle with which you pull the nunchuk. You can also power up the attack by attaching various kinds of options to the Energy Bonbon - auto-aim to the targeted enemy, multiple-hits or strike the whole line of enemies.