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Introducing Unbound Saga

Mike Kennedy's Avatar Posted by Mike Kennedy on Jun 17, 2009 // Senior Producer, Vogster Entertainment

Unbound Saga screenshot 1

Hi, I’m Mike Kennedy, a Senior Producer at Vogster Entertainment, and I’m here to talk about our upcoming brawler for the PSP titled Unbound Saga. Right off the bat, you’re probably thinking “Vogster who?” A reasonable question, considering we’ve only put out one title so far (a critically praised RTS for the Nintendo DS called Robocalypse), but with several more hot titles in the pipeline (including the persistent-world next-gen Shooter CrimeCraft), you should be hearing about us more in the months to come, starting with Unbound Saga dropping onto the PlayStation Network in July.

In a nugget, Unbound Saga is an old-school, arcade-style brawler that puts you in the shoes of Rick Ajax, a surly comic book tough guy trapped in a world of endless trouble. The thing is, he knows he’s a comic book character, and after 30 years of dealing with one ridiculous plotline after another, he’s had about enough. So you get to take him on an epic adventure to escape the pages of the comic in search of The Maker, the mysterious entity responsible for his daily misadventure.

So why make it a brawler? Well, aside from the logical activity perpetuated by the lead character, we frankly couldn’t get enough brawlers growing up in the 8-bit and 16-bit days, and there doesn’t seem to be enough of ‘em coming out any more these days. We were hooked on games like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, TMNT Arcade, X-men Arcade, Captain American and The Avengers, etc. They were colorful, visceral, over-the-top, and tons of fun. The gameplay was easily accessible, with simple to understand controls — Punch, Kick, Grab, Throw — that could be strung together to pull off easy-to-execute combinations. There were no blocks, counter-blocks, reversals, deflections, none of those thorny hardcore fighting game maneuvers. Just the satisfaction of knocking down bad guy after bad guy in rapid succession. Sure, nobody would credit any of those early-90’s plotlines as any sort of attempt at Shakespeare, but that campiness and Hollywood-style machismo is what made them so magnetic. Mohawked street punks and muscle-bound mafia hitmen wandering gutted city streets and other action-movie settings, occasionally having to fight a kangaroo in colorful boxing shorts or a robot zombie or two… it was that sort of over-the-top unpredictability that made us want to keep playing. That and the endless head-smashing.

Unbound Saga screenshot 2

With Unbound Saga, the team wanted to recapture some of that fun and nostalgia, but with many layers of extra awesomeness. While sticking to an accessible arcade-style control scheme and the fixed left-right perspective, everything has been ramped up with the latest technology: sharp 3D graphics, real-time physics and ragdoll reactions, real-time lighting FX, etc. The gameplay itself has been given some extra strategic depth with the ability to switch between the two main playable characters, either Rick and Lori Machete, on the fly. Each of them has a completely different fighting style, with individual abilities that can complement the other character when things get sticky.

Rick is the muscle, the tank, the heavy hitter who relies on bodyslams and brute smashing strength to get things done. Lori is more about speed, stealth, and her bag of ‘ninja tricks,’ like smoke bombs and gas grenades, to finish the job. Both characters can be upgraded through individual skill trees, allowing the player to tailor their characters with more unlockable powers and moves. Both offer unique gameplay experiences, but you’ll have to take advantage of each one’s strength to get through the campaign.

In the next entry, we’ll talk about bringing the comic book world to life in our game, and how we’ve partnered up with experienced, recognizable industry talent to give our brand some authentic comic-book style.

//Add Your Own

49 Comments   21 Replies

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+ sam_i_jam on June 17th, 2009 at 9:31 am said:

You gained my interest at “Streets of Rage”…

Consider me curious.


+ ThanatosDMC on June 17th, 2009 at 9:34 am said:

Kinda like Fighting Force from the PS1?


+ soysauce on June 17th, 2009 at 9:43 am said:

Looks good, and am interested but having trouble finding info on game and have not seen any of questions above answered and was wondering:
1. Is there co-op? if so ad-hoc or online or both?
2. Is this download game only or is UMD version available? Do not see game listed in GameStop or BestBuy.
3. Will this be able to play on PS3 and PSP?
4. Will this have any PSP connectivity to PS3 and able to play with PS3 controller like in Resistence Retribution? It is nice to have options :)

Thank you.

    Mike Kennedy's Avatar


    + Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:36 am said:

    All great Q\’s and suggestions, hopefully answered somewhere in this thread… If not, ask em again!


+ depward on June 17th, 2009 at 9:57 am said:

Looks VERY interesting… will keep an eye out on your future blog posts :)


+ KazeEternal on June 17th, 2009 at 9:58 am said:

@5 & 22
This game was announced as PSN only and if memory serves me an episodic PSN release.

Do a search for Unbound Saga on the blog they have a few entries already. Search is on the upper right of the page.

So if you want to play as a Hero named after a cleaning product or an asynchronous component in Javascript you’ll need access to the PSN PS Store to download it.

    Mike Kennedy's Avatar


    + Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:37 am said:

    asynchronous component in Javascript…? I was always bad at word puzzles….


+ LokeSTL on June 17th, 2009 at 10:01 am said:


Apparently you guys don’t know the rules of game naming. The word “saga” can only be used for RPGs and RPG hybrids. Vogster Entertainment will suffer two demerits for improper naming convention. :P

At first glance the game resembles Double Dragon. I played the crap out of that game as a kid. Love when companies look back to something that works and brings it back forward. Keep em coming. :)

    Mike Kennedy's Avatar


    + Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:38 am said:

    Will do!


+ SkyNet003 on June 17th, 2009 at 10:02 am said:

Streets of Rage and Comix Zone, of course. Sounds good; missing the good ol’ 90’s.


+ CmdrSinclair on June 17th, 2009 at 10:03 am said:

Looks cool to me. Loved the old brawlers, miss having these games around. Graphics look nice too. Here’s hoping it turns out well so I can enjoy something else on PSP.


+ BlooodyCow on June 17th, 2009 at 10:07 am said:

You story remind me of Comix Zone from Sega back in the mid-1990’s.


+ Jon_Mclane on June 17th, 2009 at 10:20 am said:

looks cool, the name does sound odd though, Sounds like an RPG. So does it have Co-op?


+ AwRy108 on June 17th, 2009 at 10:24 am said:

Looks promising! Other than the points you already touched on, please remember to do these things:
1) make the replay value high
2) keep the price at $30 or less
3) add some form of co-op multiplayer

Unbound Saga has definitely gained my attention, so I’ll be looking forward to more updates.


+ CruzaderXL on June 17th, 2009 at 10:26 am said:

Wow looks awesome! Its on my “to buy list” for sure! Add the fact its gonna be on PSN(yes PSPgo support!) is a plus!

Coop would rock but I’m still buying it. The look of it already sold me!


+ Sindred on June 17th, 2009 at 10:36 am said:

Can’t wait. Been following this spiritual successor to Comix Zone for a while now.


+ C-DaBurna-B on June 17th, 2009 at 10:39 am said:


Got any info on this game?

Like why were still playing a beta, or when the patch is coming, or how come 8 months later we still don’t have any DLC when promised by Seth Luisi we would have it on release day…

“DLC will be available on release day. You will be able to upgrade it and get new customization options and more on release day. We plan to have new DLC every month, and a big package every 3 months”.

Well congratulations on not delivering any DLC 8 months later, now can you stop ignoring the damn Socom fans and give us something to play already.

    Mike Kennedy's Avatar


    + Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:40 am said:

    Er, um… let me ask my friend Roy. Roy? Any info on this? Socom? DLC?

    Sorry, man. Roy knows nothing, and he feels awful about that.


+ xpl0d3y on June 17th, 2009 at 10:42 am said:

i have been waitin for a STREETs of Rage type game to come out! perfect for the psp!
now if someone could bring back ROAD RASH, i’d be set!
+ a new SMASH TV!

    Mike Kennedy's Avatar


    + Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:42 am said:

    Ah yeah, the RASH…! (One of the first games I worked on was an RR title, actually… good times, good times…)


+ DonnyG on June 17th, 2009 at 10:50 am said:

looking forward to seeing more. Demo please!


+ Ruffday on June 17th, 2009 at 10:59 am said:

Now that’s what I’m talking about. Finally a game that ain’t all that complicated. Whoop @$$ and take no names. I love brawlers too. I hope to see more about you guys and this title. Good stuff


+ Fersis on June 17th, 2009 at 11:12 am said:

Brawlers need to come back, its the perfect genre for CoOp Gameplay.

Mike Kennedy's Avatar


+ Mike Kennedy on June 17th, 2009 at 11:18 am said:

Wow — great to hear from everyone! And great to see there’s lotsa love for the old school brawler! :) This game should not disappoint…

I’ll respond to a some of the direct questions individually, but to address a few of the common ones:

– Co-op, sadly, no. :( At least not for the initial release. We’re rocking so much real-time physics and ragdoll that synchronizing those effects via Ad-hoc was turning into a hazardous and unpredictable delay, so we decided to focus on a fun single-player release while our staff of rocket scientists worked on solving that sync issue. If all goes well, you just might see a patch or DLC with some extra goodness down the road. Don’t quote me on that, tho — I’ll plead the great big “IF”! :)

– Price point hasn’t been set yet, our biz dev gurus are hard at work crunching numbers to come up with what is best for you guys AND us guys. But I feel comfortable saying it will be totally reasonable for the amount of fun you’d be getting. (Is that non-committal and re-assuring enough?)

– As for the title, “Unbound Saga”, we like to lean on the irony around here. :) Who knows, if it blows up, there’s no end to the adventures these characters can stir up!


+ LordRaoh on June 17th, 2009 at 11:21 am said:

These psp games should be ps3 playable as well.

there are a few psp games i would download if they were playable on the ps3 directly.

my psp was stolen last year and i really am not in a position to buy a new psp.

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