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Boktai 2: Hands-on, plus Kojima speaks

The Metal Gear Solid creator debuts new Solar Boy adventure - hands-on impressions, plus full transcript of Kojima presentation

While virtually all the hype surrounding gaming genius Hideo Kojima was rightly directed at the astounding Metal Gear Solid 3, Kojima-san also had another game to show at E3 2004.

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django is the sequel to the original Boktai and Kojima-san began by revealing that it fits in perfectly with his current game design ethos which is, "To live positively."

But a quick rewind for a moment and for those of you not in the know, the original Boktai was an innovative GBA offering with a unique spin, as it used a solar sensor on the game cartridge which incorporated actual sunlight into gameplay.

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Now Kojima-san is ready to unleash Boktai 2 and all the signs are that it's another miniature work of genius. Even the slightly cheesy theme music doesn't detract and the hot news is that your vampire and demon-slaying antics will once again harness the power of the sun.

Over sixty new weapons await and if you befriend the solar smith, you'll be able to fuse them into powerful new combos and enhance their abilities for even more gratuitous slaying. Provided of course there's plenty of sun, so what hope for the English summer?

However multiplayer hasn't been neglected this time and Boktai 2 will also feature a more advanced multiplayer mode, with up to four players able to hook up via link cable to determine who is the greatest vampire hunter.

But don't take our word for it, check out this fantastic array of new Boktai 2 screens and then check out Kojima-san's thoughts, which we've faithfully transcribed for your delectation below.

Hideo Kojima: "It's a sequel and just like its prequel, the ROM comes with a solar sensor which means you can use sunlight to fight enemies.

"The game flow is the same as last time, you infiltrate enemy strongholds and dungeons, confront the boss, beat the boss, then throw the boss into a coffin and drag him outside and purify him by burning him under daylight.

"Now let me talk about some of the new actions. In the previous game there was a solar gun, but in addition to that, you now have three types of weapons, you have swords, spears and you have axes and hammers.

"One advantage of these new weapons is that you don't need sunlight, so you can play during the day, you can play during the night, or you can even play in Scandinavia [laughs].

"I said you don't necessarily need sunlight but there's a guy called the solar smith, like a blacksmith. If you take your weapons to the solar smith he strengthens your weapons using sunlight. If there's a lot of sunlight, your weapons will become much stronger, so sunlight still plays an important role in the game.

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"The game's genre is a kind of solar-action-RPG but we've enhanced the RPG elements. There was some last time, but this time there's more of the growing and developing element of your main character. There was puzzle solving last time, but this time the puzzle element will be enhanced even more.

"And when you think of RPGs there's always magic and we've added magic spells, so you can enjoy using these solar magical spells.

"Most of the story takes place in the city of San Miguel, the City of the Sun; this city appeared in the previous game as well and you can see it's part of a larger map, which is the overall [playing] field of the game.

"There'll also be familiar characters from the previous game. You've got Solar Boy Django with Master Otenko, and we're also introducing new characters, for example the sunflower girl. With all these new and existing characters we hope you'll be experiencing a real sense of drama.

"Dark Boy Sabata who appeared in the previous game as your main rival will also be appearing again and he'll be playing a very important role in this game as well.

"That's the end of my thoughts on Boktai 2, because we're not getting any sunlight in this room!"

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