SarahOConnell Interview

Here is the transcript of my interview with , discussing WWE Wrestlemania 21 for Xbox.
WMXXI Interview - English Version

Hello, my name is Michél Henkel and I´m the webmaster of the german wrestlinggame hompage and thank you very much for taking the time.

MOC (Mark O’Connell): Hi Michél, I’m Mark O’Connell - Creative Manager for Wrestlemania 21. Thanks for putting these questions together.

1. How many wrestlers can be in the ring at the same time? WWE RAW 2 could have six wrestlers + one referee for example.

MOC: Due to the greatly increased polygon count on the character models, Wrestlemania 21 supports up to four Superstars and one referee in the ring at once.

2. Will every matchtype be available from the beginning, or do you have to unlock for example Bra & Panties?

MOC: All match types will be available from the beginning, so players can get straight into the action!

3. Will there be backstage areas, which can be entered during a hardcore match or during the story-mode?

MOC: Instead of just standard backstage areas, we have included five exclusive new environments to unlock, including a Gymnasium, Wrestling Club, Training Facility, Civic Centre, and Industrial Basement. There are also various interactive elements, including destructible windows, security cameras, punch bags, and television sets. Some of the debris can even be used as weapons to inflict even more damage.

4. If a wrestler gets beaten up during the story-mode with a steel-chair, will this affect his condition for the next match or will he even be injured?

MOC: There are situations in Career Mode that will have a huge impact on forthcoming weeks, but general damage is not carried over from week to week.

5. IGN mentioned, that not every wrestler will have a second attire. May you tell us, which wrestlers have a second attire?

MOC: Rey Mysterio features two attires, but our primary focus was to spend time making Superstars as detailed and realistic as possible, rather then working on multiple costumes.

6. Will the legends be available from the beginning, or do you have to unlock them by playing the story-mode?

MOC: Legends can be purchased from the WWEShop, once you have earned enough money. Also available to purchase is a huge variety of Create-A-Superstar parts, weapons, arenas, attributes, Movies, Images and much more...

7. How many table ladders and chairs will be available during a TLC-match? In the videos we have seen so far, was only one ladder for example.

MOC: I am pleased to report that TLC Matches will feature two ladders at once, plus two chairs, a table, and two announcers tables for extra destruction!

8. Some rumors came up, about Stone Cold being in the game, after the first screenshots for WrestleMania XXI were released, because the audience was filled with Stone Cold-signs like in this picture (lower right corner). After released the complete roster, the fans were a little disappointed about being The Big Show the last legend. Will Stone Cold be easily re-creatable in the CaW-mode?

MOC: The Stone-Cold signs served simply as placeholders early in production, and were replaced as soon as the actual crowd signs were created. While Steve Austin is not part of the roster, he can be easily created using our extensive Create-A-Superstar Mode.

9. While performing the finisher, you will get a closer look at the wrestlers facial animations. Some of the fans liked it, like I do, but some of them asked about an option to turn this close up off. Is there an option, where you can turn this close up off?

MOC: There is an option to turn camera cuts off, in addition to being able to change the camera orientation from Broadcast (crowd view) to Game (entrance ramp view).

10. What are you excited about the most, when it comes to WrestleMania XXI and what do you think, could have been done better?

MOC: I’m really excited about Wrestlemania 21’s extensive online features and voice chat support. The Pro-reversal system is another great feature that incorporates a specific reversal for each and every attacking move. I also think that the new motion-captured cut-scenes during Career Mode are mind-blowing!

11. After more and more news about WMXXI were released, the fans got more excited and impressed. A lot of people think, that finally the SmackDown!-series will get some real competition. What game do you like better? SmackDown! vs. RAW or do you think, that WrestleMania XXI will beat SvR and become the new "King of the Ring"?

MOC: Wrestlemania 21 has made a number of advancements over previous products. With over twice the voice-over support of Smackdown Vs. Raw, realistic animation, two-button grappling system, and unrivalled online support, this game is in a league of it’s own.

12. Could you include everything you wanted to have in the game, or did you have to put a feature out of the game, because it would have taken to long to do it right? If yes, what was it and will we see this feature in the next WWE game?

MOC: We are pleased to have achieved all of our planned features, including our ambitious level of Online Support, which was undoubtedly our greatest challenge during production.

13. Was it fun to create this game, or did you think, that it was a lot of hard work to do it, because you had to do everything from the ground up?

MOC: Wrestlemania 21 was very rewarding to work on, and the final product is testament to how much work we put in to making this the greatest Wrestling game on Xbox.

14. If a fan would ask you, why he should buy this game, what would you tell him? Why is WrestleMania XXI so special?

MOC: With unparalleled graphics, motion-captured animation, over 45 Superstars including Divas and Legends, exclusive environments and music, a wealth of unlockables, 4-player online support for a variety of match-types, Superstar voice over and commentary, Online Create-A-Belt, character development, voice chat support, and a new pro-reversal system, Wrestlemania 21 is a must-own title for all Xbox owners!

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