If you read about how other game developers feel about working with their Xbox development kits, you will notice one similar line of conversation -- they usually all like developing for it. So how does Itagaki like developing for the Xbox? "The Xbox is wonderful," explains Itagaki, "of course everyone says so, but it truly is wonderful. The power level is great -- in the graphics and the hard drive. The graphics speak for itself, but the HD makes gameplay that much faster." So what about the competition? What about the other fighting games? While we were in Tokyo, we went to the local arcades to check out the competition, mainly Tekken 4 from Namco and Virtua Fighter 4 from Sega. When we brought these games up with Itagaki, he was more than willing to talk openly about them. "Tekken 4 is a piece of shit," says Itagaki, "one of the worst things about Tekken 4 is the concept planning. It's really half-ass. Tekken 4 attempts 3D environments, like I did in DOA 2, but they failed miserably. advertisement They should've stayed in a 2D world. To be quite honest, I don't think they have the technique to go to 3D from 2D." What about the graphics? "Graphics look very cheap," continues Itagaki, "the people who made the platform (Tekken) will be angry as to the end result of Tekken 4." And the gameplay? "The gameplay is very slow -- very incomplete feeling while playing. The game balance is also way off." He concludes his Tekken 4 talk by saying, "I really hope when they start to work on the home console version of Tekken 4, they will fix these problems and make a better game. With the game in its present state, right now I don't see them as my competition. What about Virtua Fighter 4? "I have to be careful how I say this," explains Itagaki, "VF4 is a very well-made game. The biggest problem is that it's old. They only were partially able to catch up with what DOA 2 was doing." One area that DOA 2 and DOA 3 have over the competition is the size of the arenas; Itagaki was quick to point out VF4's shortcomings in this area. "Even though the fighting worlds are good looking, they're very tight and constricting. DOA 3 has multi-leveled terrain that is more realistic -- where players have to adapt to different situations." Itagaki's final thought on VF4, "From a developer's point of view, VF4 was a bit of a disappointment, from a gamer's point of view, it's just a fun game to play."