What E3 would be complete without a big, fat interview with Team NINJA's Tomonobu Itagaki? We met up with Itagaki-san to chat about his team's newest title, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, his influences in creating a game with jet-skiing (he mentions Wave Race 64), and the status of Ninja Gaiden 2. You can download the two-minute DOAX2 trailer on Gamevideos.com and if you want to check it out on your TV or HDTV, via Xbox Live right now. Itagaki hopes that everyone checks it out on XBL, because it was optimized for being viewed on a television as opposed to a computer monitor. But for now, since you're looking at your PC monitor anyway, read and on catch up with Team NINJA's boss-man.
1UP: So the focus is on jet-skiing this time, like volleyball was last time, or is it an equal part of the game experience. Tomunobo Itagaki: The main focus is for the player to have fun with the girls.

1UP: Since jet-skiing is such a big part of the game though, what are you modeling the gameplay after? Wave Race 64, or something completely different?
TI: Of course Wave Race 64 is a great game. I racked up over 100 hours playing that game. During that time, Sega and Namco created games on the arcade side with a jet-skiing theme, but then Nintendo put one out for the Nintendo 64 that was significantly better.

1UP: So you'd say that was your core inspiration or influence in DOAX2's jet-skiing?
TI: I don't know if "inspiration" is the right word, but I can say I wouldn't have even had an interest in jet-skiing if it hadn't been for Wave Race 64. So for a while now I've been thinking about making a game that makes me feel as good as that game did, and I think that now is the right time.

1UP: How closely are you paying attention to the game mechanics? Nintendo managed to screw up their own game by adding only a single game mechanic to Wave Race: Blue Storm on GameCube and that screwed everything up.
TI: Of course I was just playing the game for my personal enjoyment, so I didn't analyze the difference between the original Wave Race and its sequel, so I don't know the exact differences between those two. It's similar to Pikmin 1 and 2, I just play them for enjoyment and don't analyze them in that way. What I remember was the announcement, the voice-over was much better in the original than the sequel.
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