We’ll be working on a review for Bat Boy, so I got in touch with Sonzai Games to talk a bit about the game and its development. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Thank you for joining us this morning. Could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about yourself and your work?
Hello! My name is Sergio Matta, and although I am originally from Spain, I have been living in Osaka, Japan, for the last ten years or so.
In Spain, I worked as a programmer for apps not related to gaming while I was dedicated to game development as a hobby. Mainly making 3D maps for games like Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike, and other games based on the Half-Life engine. I decided to come to Japan to focus all my efforts on game development.
After working at a company over here for a few years, I set up my own studio. It’s called Sonzai Games. My first game released under this new studio was Super Sami Roll, and I recently just released Bat Boy. The studio is still very small, though, so it’s basically just me at the moment!
PS4B: Bat Boy is out now on consoles. How would you describe the project to someone who’s never heard about it?
Bat Boy is a fast-paced 2D action game inspired by the 2D platformers from the 8-bit era. While it takes elements from games such as Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, and DuckTales, it also adds modern game design to it, to hopefully make it more enjoyable for a wider audience.
The character Bat Boy can deflect almost any projectile that is thrown toward him, working almost as a parry mechanic. On top of that, he is an extremely fast runner and has tons of mobility options for all kinds of players.
If you want to take it easy, you can. But if you want to go as fast as possible while hitting enemies and deflecting projectiles back and forth, this game will make you feel like a badass! Think of Bat Boy as a very agile ninja with a bat, hehe.
PS4B: How did the game change between the version available in the demo during the Kickstarter campaign and the version we now get to enjoy on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch?
Not much. The original demo was a short section of the beginning of the game. But it was otherwise quite representative of the final product. In the final game, we just added polish on top of that, and of course, a lot more levels!
PS4B: Bat Boy is certainly very different from Super Sami Roll. What drew you to work on a 2D action platformer with an old-school vibe?
With a few exceptions, I don’t really enjoy playing AAA games because of all the narrative content that you have to sit through before you can start moving your character around.
I like the old-school mentality where you are thrown into the action very quickly with minimal exposition. Nintendo still makes games like this, and I love it. In both games, Super Sami Roll and Bat Boy, you will not find groundbreaking storytelling. What you are going to find is very fun and engaging game mechanics from start to finish.
The reason I’m explaining this is because, from my point of view, both Sami and Bat Boy are kind of similar in that sense. They have that retro feel to them. However, they are otherwise quite different, of course. 3D design has always been a hobby of mine, so making Super Sami Roll was a no-brainer. I had a lot of fun developing it (and playing it too).
Super Sami Roll is definitely not for everyone, as it can be quite challenging, but I still love it. Bat Boy, however, is more the type of game I play most often when I get home at night. A retro-style game that, no matter how much time you have to dedicate to it, you’ll have a blast. It also happens to be from a genre of games that is more popular than physics-based 3D platformers (Super Sami Roll), so I knew early on that more people would enjoy it than my previous title.
So, while both games are very different, both are, in a way, what I enjoy the most in gaming. One as a game designer and the other as a player.
PS4B: Are you currently considering working on any DLC for Bat Boy?
That is a consideration, for sure. But there is not much I can say about it right now. It’s something that is not only my decision to make but also for the publisher, X PLUS Games.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
I’m really happy that people are enjoying Bat Boy so much. It’s also been a lot of fun for me to work on it, so I couldn’t have hoped for a better result. Thank you all, and thank you for having me for this interview!