Late Night Consoling

By Chris Remo, Apr 14, 2006 8:05pm PDT Hope you saw that news today about Another World/Out of this World getting rereleased. I'm glad to see Eric Chahi getting back into game development. It really is amazing how frequently I hear from developers that his game was a huge influence on their work. One great thing about the game is that since it is so successfully told entirely without dialogue and depicted in such an accessible yet arresting visual style, it seems to cross cultural boundaries as well. Goichi Suda, the rather insane Japanese designer behind Killer 7 (PS2, GCN) recently stated that Eric Chahi is the game industry figure with whom he would most like to work, and Another World is the game most meaningful to him.

I also wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that Fumito Ueda took some degree of inspiration from Another World when designing Ico (PS2). Having played Ico then going back to Another World was a crazy sensation; there are some really strong parallels in the way the games present their characters and story in an entirely suggestive way that truly suits the game medium. Even the control methods share something in common, with no onscreen interface, and the context-sensitive actions frequently mapped to directional buttons in a way that is instantly intuitive. That sort of thing really goes a long way towards creating a true sense of immersion in a game. It's a bit disappointing sometimes that there aren't more games taking that kind of completely ground-up approach, considering every aspect of interface and design in ways that organically mesh with the presentation and storytelling. Let's hope Chahi's next effort is just as memorable!

  • Clover Reveals God Hand

    [ps2]

    Capcom-funded dev house Clover Studio has announced the development of PlayStation 2 game entitled God Hand. The game is apparently a beat-em-up title with comical undercurrents, in which the protagonist forgoes the use of weapons such as guns or swords and fights entirely hand-to-hand with his transforming "god hand." A few early screenshots are shown on the game's recently launched official site.

    Japanese publication Famitsu reports that longtime Clover producer and director Shinji Mikami, formerly of Capcom, is directing the project. As the creator of Resident Evil, Mikami has directed several series entries, including the original and the recent Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GCN), and produced a great number of other titles. Heading up production duties will be Clover president and CEO Atsushi Inaba, producer on series such as Gyakuten Saiban (aka Phoenix Wright) and Viewtiful Joe.

    God Hand will be released later in 2006. Clover is also responsible for the upcoming title Okami (PS2), which ships in North America this September and will be amazing.

  • GTA:LCS PS2 Delayed

    [ps2]

    Rockstar's PS2 version of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, which debuted on PSP, has been delayed, according to Eurogamer. The game was previously expected some time this month, but it appears that it will not be shipping until some time after Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis (X360) is released on May 26. Surprisingly little has been heard about the game since its announcement several months ago, which may be explained by this postponement.

  • Ooh, Gitaroo-Man

    [psp]

    A new Gitaroo-Man title has been discovered for PSP, courtesy of a description on Sony Computer Entertainment's Japanese website. Developed by rhythm game veterans iNiS Corporation and entitled Gitaroo-Man Live, it is a followup to iNiS' original surreal rhythm game Gitaroo-Man (PS2). Live will feature two different multiplayer modes via local wireless, a versus mode and a duet mode. It will be released at the end of May in Japan.

    No North American release has yet been announced, and realistically the chances of the game making it to Western shores seem quite small for two reasons. Firstly, the original game undeservedly sold approximately three copies upon its 2002 release despite strong critical reception. Secondly, the studio's other recent rhythm title, the excellent Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! (DS) has still had no mention of a North American release despite equally strong critical acclaim.

    The company is also currently working on an advanced 3D platformer engine for Xbox 360, though any details about a specific game using the engine have not yet been revealed.

  • More Live Content Live

    [xbox360]

    Will I ever get tired of that "Live" pun? Unfortunately, probably not. The paid "Speed Pack" and free autoupdate for Bizarre Creations' Project Gotham 3 (X360) announced earlier this week has been made available via Xbox Live, a weekend before its previously scheduled April 17 release. For 400 Marketplace points ($5), players can access a dozen new cars; specific cars can be purcased for 60 Marketplace points ($.75) each. The free autoupdate contains tournament access, some interface improvements, and one new car. Xbox Live's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has all the details.

    Electronic Arts has also released an Xbox 360 demo of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 over Xbox Live. It is available for free download.

    Finally, six new cars have also been made available via Xbox Live for the Xbox 360 version of Criterion's Burnout Revenge. They can now be unlocked for free in the Xbox Live Marketplace.

  • MLB 2K6 360 Issues

    [xbox360]

    Those of you who own the Xbox 360 version of Kush Games' Major League Baseball 2K6 and have been experiencing freezing problems in the game should head over to 2K Sports' official forums. A forum admin stated that 2K has acknowledged the problem and is working on a solution. The post includes an email address gamers can use to receive word of any official fixes.

    Forum members have also discovered what appears to be a temporary workaround for the problem, involving clearing the game's cache memory.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    GameSpot has a developer interview regarding Capcom's Power Stone Collection (PSP).

    Game Informer has coverage on Capcom's Pre-E3 Lineup.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2/PS3

Eurogamer checks out Clover Studio's Okami (PS2). IGN takes an early look at Artificial Studios' Monster Madness (PS3).

Xbox/X360

IGN checks up on Capcom's Dead Rising (X360) and Lost Planet (X360) (so does GameSpot).

Movies: Chromehounds (X360).

Portable

IGN takes a look at Capcom's Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded (PSP), Power Stone Collection (PSP), Capcom Puzzle World (PSP), and Ultimate Ghosts N' Goblins (PSP) (so does GameSpot). Game Informer has impressions of Taito's LostMagic (DS).

Screenshots: Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar (GBA). Mega Man Battle Network 6 Cybeast Falzar (GBA).

Movies: Brain Age (DS).

Multi

GameSpot goes hands on with Rebellion's Rogue Trooper (PS2, Xbox).

Screenshots: Rampage: Total Destruction (PS2, GCN).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Spiritual Warriors for the NES. "You were armed with the Breastplate of Righteousness and threw "fruits of faith" at pimps and drug dealers to convert them (watch out for the demons you expose!)" (submitted by wild falcon)

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