Thanks to CoreMagazine.com for the translation, and whoever it was that pointed this article out (elsewhere). It's such a good interview I decided to repost here for everyone's benefit. <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr> Sega-AM2 producers Yu Suzuki and Hiroshi Kataoka recently went on record with Dengeki PS2 in Japan to discuss the PlayStation2 version of Virtua Fighter 4. Scheduled for release on January 31 in Japan, the game is already being acclaimed as one of the most accurate translations in the history of the series. Dengeki PS2: What problems did you encounter when translating Virtua Fighter 4 to the PlayStation2? Suzuki-san: There's always problems when translating an arcade game to a console, but we had no significant trouble with the PlayStation2. It's always difficult working on new hardware, but since this was our first PS2 title, we wanted to make our fans proud. Dengeki PS2: When did development actually begin on the PS2 version? Kataoka-san: We did preliminary research on the PlayStation2 more than a year ago, before the arcade version of Virtua Fighter 4. Actual development began once the arcade version was finished. Dengeki PS2: So the translation took about six months then? Kataoka-san: About that [smiles..] If we simply wanted a direct port of the arcade version we could have released it in mid-December, it was technically finished then. Since then we've focused on adding new features to the PlayStation2 version, making sure it's 120% done. Suzuki-san: There was another arcade project planned, but the staff decided this was our highest priority. Dengeki PS2: The training mode in the PlayStation2 version features three separate subsystems; freestyle, trial and command. Can you explain that? Kataoka-san: Several members of the development team had their own ideas for the training mode. We decided to include three different styles so we could help people who prefer each style. Many aspects are now visualized including the length of executing a command. That way players won't make timing mistakes. Players can also record a series of moves which the computer will mimic. So you can learn how to avoid and guard against even your best attacks. Dengeki PS2: What was the inspiration behind the 'AI' mode in the PlayStation2 version of VF4? Kataoka-san: It's based on something we tried in Virtua Fighter 2. Our programmers liked it so much they dedicated to make it a separate mode this time. Suzuki-san: I like to think of the AI mode as involving more thought in terms of the player rather than straightforward action. Dengeki PS2: So characters can increase AI levels and become stronger? Kataoka-san: While AI levels aren't exactly linked to strength, you can build them up. You can also fight against your friends saved characters in AI mode. Suzuki-san: Building your AI levels can help considerably in Kumite mode as well. Dengeki: Can your characters raise their AI level or learn new moves by watching replay data? Kataoka-san: Yes, your character can learn from replay data in Arcade, Kumite and Versus modes. Your characters can also benefit from replay data of other characters. Suzuki-san: Replays from tournaments can provide precious data. I wonder if the exchange of replay data will become popular on the PlayStation2 because of that. Dengeki PS2: Like the arcade version, an item collection system is included in the PlayStation2 edition of Virtua Fighter 4. Was that something you originally planned to incorporate? Kataoka-san: Yes, for the core VF4 players it provides an extra incentive to practice. It also provides a reward for casual players. Suzuki-san: I think it's a great way to enjoy the PlayStation2 with friends and practice your skills. Players can collect items in the versus and sparring modes. Dengeki PS2: What do you think is the true charm of the Virtua Fighter series? Kataoka-san: I think of Virtua Fighter as a sport. There are people who travel around the world to play in tournaments. People don't consider the strength of the characters anymore, but the strength of the player. -- Translation Asst. Tsuno Okashi <hr></blockquote> Isn't the AI mode kinda creepy considering the whole basis of Dural was to collect data from the fighters? LOL.