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Namco Announces Space Shooter PowerUp Forever

by Nick Breckon, Apr 16, 2008 5:00pm PDT

Namco Bandai yesterday announced a new downloadable game titled PowerUp Forever at its press event in San Francisco. The space shooter is set for a summer release on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.

While I didn't get my hands on the Stardust HD-esque title, I did get to see an alpha version of it being played. From what I saw, I would judge it as one of the most promising titles within the Namco lineup.

Players will steer a fractal-based ship around a procedurally-generated level, firing away at various enemies. The visual style was very impressive, featuring whispy fluid dynamic-based shield effects that swished around the ship and the various enemies. Combat consists of shooting standard space shooter lasers and triple-shot guns using the right analog stick, with a full 360 degree field of fire. Nothing too exciting yet, but wait--there's more.

In a fantastic twist, as the player takes down parasitic monsters and bosses, the fractal ship grows in size. And while the ship may increase in volume, the level itself stays the same--the camera simply zooms out a little bit more after each growth. Taking notice of the larger target, objects that previously seemed like walls or asteroids show their true identities as gigantic monsters, coming alive to attack the player. It's Katamari Damacy meets Spore, and a really great effect at that.

The single player game will be continuously played on one "level," with only the background art and enemy encounters changing as the world becomes larger.

PowerUp Forever is set for release this summer on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.





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