In 2002 a very different PC and Mac indie fighting game was released by relatively unknown developer Creative Edge Studios. It used digitalized films of actors fighting in 2D environments with several game modes available. It was reportedly a solid seller despite mostly poor reviews and it got quite a bit of media attention. Now the sequel to the game is getting close to its own release with plans for lots of improvements and additions.
The original game's title? Bikini Karate Babes.
Yes, the fairly infamous game is getting a follow up later this year called Warriors of Elysia. While an early look at the game makes it look like it takes itself more seriously than Bikini Karate Babes, even the game's main developer, Creative Edge Studios' Travis Riggs, admits to Big Download, "When it comes down to it, it's another fighting game with female characters in bikinis, but with a higher production value."
And that may be the biggest appeal to Bikini Karate Babes and its upcoming sequel. Both games don't pretend to be anything else other than what they actually are; PC fighting games centered on women in bikinis. In fact the creators called the original a satire on the fighting game genre. But will the sequel, Warriors of Elysia, be worth your time and money? That remains to be seen. However, Big Download did get some early details on the game from Riggs. In the following interview he reveals the game's release date for the first time and other info about Warriors of Elysia, including how you might be able to get an early playable demo. We also have an exclusive trailer that shows off gameplay as well as live action cut scenes from the game:
Download the Warriors of Elysia trailer (68 MB)
First, we understand you guys finally have a release date in mind for Warriors of Elysia. Can you reveal that release date to us now and what platforms will it be released for?
We plan to make a special announcement this Saturday, along with a variety of promotional activities on our game's website. However, for your readers, I can tell you ahead of time that the official release date for Warriors of Elysia is October 5, 2010.
How will the game be distributed and how much will it cost? Also will there be any extras for people who pre-order the game?
Originally, we are taking pre-orders on our website (beginning this weekend). There will indeed be special extras for people who pre-order the game. The game will sell for $29.95.
A lot of people might remember the original Bikini Karate Babes. What are the big differences between that game and Warriors of Elysia?
There are tremendous differences between the two games. The original Bikini Karate Babes was intended to poke fun at the state of fighting games of the day. Women fighters were wearing less and less, while the male fighters were wearing full body armor. We thought Bikini Karate Babes would be a funny take on the whole genre of fighting games. We didn't realize it would become so popular. There has been considerable interest in a sequel, and of course after the success of BKB, we were in a much better position to produce the sequel with a higher production value. Among the improvements are: 32 bit display (instead of 8 bit), 3D environment (instead of 2D), the soundtrack is excellent (instead of just good), the video cut scenes are much more in-depth, much stronger character development, better animation, better visual effects, better game play (controls, collision detection, AI, etc.), and improved play modes. The martial arts exhibited by the cast are much superior to the game's predecessor, and the action is much more natural looking. When it comes down to it, it's another fighting game with female characters in bikinis, but with a higher production value.
How many characters will the game have and what are some of their special fighting moves?
The game has some hidden characters, so I can't reveal them all. However, there is a great variety of character looks and fighting styles. I really enjoy the grab moves from the new game. Now that the characters are interacting within a 3D environment, we have been able to do some amazing things with grabs, breaks, take-downs, counters, etc. and make it all look very cinematic.
What can you tell us about the various gameplay modes?
There are several single and multiplayer modes. Some are hidden, and some are passive. For example, instead of controlling the characters, some passive modes will allow you to simply watch the action and make decisions between rounds on how to proceed. Among some of the unlocked modes are: Arcade, Battle (2 player), Team fight, and Challenge (where you can unlock prizes from each computer controlled opponent).
Will there be support for online multiplayer?
Sort of, but not inclusive within the game, and not in the traditional sense. I can't say more as we are currently in negotiations for this specific aspect.
What other features can you tell us about at this time?
There are a ton of extra features, videos, photos, trivia, cast and crew bios, virtual tours, and many other things that add significant value to this title beyond just the game play itself. We put a lot of work into making this game fun and enjoyable. Is it the world's greatest fighting game? No, of course not. But is it fun and entertaining? Absolutely!
Will there be a demo released for the game and if so what will it contain?
Yes. We have plans to make the demo available to the fans who have been supporting us over the years beginning this Saturday. The demo will feature four of the characters and multiple environments.
Some people might feel that even though Warriors of Elysia is supposed to be more serious than the original game its still focuses on women in bikinis fighting each other. Some might even call the game exploitative because of that. What would your be your response to those kind of comments?
The original BKB game was supposed to be a spoof on the fighting genre at the time. There are plenty of other games can you go back and point to and reference ridiculous attire for the female characters. We took it to the extreme with BKB in order to illustrate the state of the genre. Of course, it's easy to look at BKB at face value say "Hey, that seems exploitative", but in reality we were making fun of a wide spectrum of games at the time. Warriors of Elysia simply builds on this franchise. However, we've made it a bit more dramatic and action-oriented than BKB. Given our added resources and experience, we were able to accomplish quite a bit more with Warriors of Elysia than we were with BKB.
Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Warriors of Elysia now that you have a release date?
I really want to thank our fans who have been so supportive. BKB came out 8 years ago, and our online game community is thriving to this day. How many other specific game sites exist with that kind of popularity 8 years after the game it was based upon has come out? This game is for all the fans who stuck with us, ignored the critics who only looked at the surface of the game, and genuinely grasped what we were trying to do with the concept. We have even bigger plans for this franchise that I wish I could discuss at the moment. But when I'm allowed, I will be sure to share it with your readers.