Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gamescom News Dump - PS3 Edition

As with the Vita news from Gamescom, there was quite a hefty bit of news for the Playstation 3, and it came in all sorts of delicious flavors.  The best one of them all was the one we don't get a taste off too often:  New IP, as no less than three new IPs for the PS3 were revealed and shown off some.  Two of them are rather tantalizing at the very least, and should prove to be quite the games when they come out with the meantime serving quite well as a time to properly await them.  At least, hopefully the wait won't be too long, as I'm not quite sure we got much beyond announcement trailers for the bulk of them - nothing in terms of release windows or the like, but I wouldn't expect them anytime soon, of course.  Middle of next year at the earliest is my bet, perhaps even part of next years PSN Play thing for the PSN release(s), if they decide to do that again.  Or...something like it but with a different theme and/or name.

The first title is the above-pictured Puppeteer, which seems to be a rather magical platformer that is a little bit LittleBigPlanet and a little bit Dynamite Headdy if I'm not mistaken from the trailer for the game.  At least, it certainly looks like the main character switches out his head for various things that also somewhat serve as a head, but more importantly perform a function.    If I'm reading things correctly, this is all in an effort for the boy who is the main character to not only reclaim his -actual- head (I guess the one he has is a....dummy....head?  Urgh, I'm sorry.) so that he can then try and turn back into a real boy as well.  Oh, yeah, that's kind of an important thing to mention, I should think.  The whole....set up and story bit of it, since it is sort of vital to the game.

It starts with a young boy being kidnapped by "the maleficent Moon Bear King" to be taken to the castle where he is then turned into a puppet.  I am not sure if the boy is -real- before he is brought into the puppet show, or if the boy is a real boy puppet and is then turned into a puppet boy puppet.  When the entire thing is puppets and it's -about- puppets, introducing a non-puppet makes things a little confusing.  As a puppet, his head is devoured by said Moon Bear King and the boy, now headless, discovers a magical pair of scissors that is to be the main tool of the game, I would imagine.  As you might have seen in the trailer, it does sort of serve as a zipline sort of deal at one point, cutting along tapestries as he moves forward in his journey.  It is certainly a thing of magic and whimsy if nothing else, and despite my slightly tepid reaction here, I am definitely looking forward to it.  It has the right amounts of looking fantastic and charming as well as different, and the angle of the stage moving around you is wonderful if not just directly ripped from Dynamite Headdy.

Now, being a 2D Platformer, some might think it's relegated to a PSN Only release, but Puppeteer will be a fully-fledged Disk-based retail release.  This means that I will actually be able to buy this game when it comes out which pleases me because I certainly intend to do just that.  I'm too curious about the art style and the what seems to be the gameplay style to -not- intend to pick it up at this point.  Whether or not that changes as more and more information comes out is yet to be seen, but I highly doubt it.  We need more of these types of neat games, so any support that they get is a good thing, provided it's worthy.  Any new news about the game that comes out will be in the 'near future', so we'll just have to see what pops up; hopefully a little more gameplay footage will come out, or at least something that more easily explains the whole puppet, non-puppet thing.

Next up is Until Dawn, which is a game that I have mentioned before, but when I did mention them, it was impossible to know just what kind of game it was.  Now, most people would think that, upon expecting a game that could have possibly been a Vita game after mentioning handhelds in the information, finding out that it was a Move Title would be a disappointment.  Most people....would not be too far off.  I have made my enjoyment of the Move peripheral (if nothing else but conceptually) fairly known and don't impulsively roll my eyes at everything planned for it.  However, I'm just not quite sure what the experience you're meant to take away from Until Dawn is, and I'm not too sure it will be able to effectively sell itself (especially against the unnecessary splash-back from being a Move game and not a Wii game since apparently the difference is between one being cheap and a bad idea, and the other being on the Wii) whenever it releases.  (Smart money is on October...but we'll see.)

What Until Dawn -seems- to be is a campy Horror movie based on jump scares and the like turned video game.  And it acknowledges this, which is refreshing, though it still seems to expect to be able to scare you which is, I'm sure, a challenge many would be willing to take.  In....again, entirely different circumstances that are not playing this game on the PS3 with the Move which is honestly a shame.  The sheer level of negativity that the Move carries across the internet is baffling when you think about it; so much so that I debated talking about the game because of it.  Of course, I realized that I actually do care a little about the project here, and figured that I could go off of that if nothing else.  I was really excited about Datura after all, even though I haven't so much as looked around for the demo of that yet.  Doesn't mean I don't care, though.

So, why should you care about the game?  Well, just think about it this way for a moment; picture this game on the Wii instead if that helps with the knee-jerk reaction (and doesn't inspire another one, of course).  Remember when Silent Hill:  Shattered Memories was being showed off, and the main thing was using the Wiimote as a flashlight and that was legitimately awesome?  That is what this game does.  It likely does not have a story that is anywhere near as dumb as Shattered Memories is purported to be, even though what story it does have will likely be delivered as poorly.  So you have a legitimately cool game mechanic, you have a situation in which it is useful to the mood of the game itself, and if it was on the console that 'started' the motion gaming thing, you can bet that it would be shouted about from the rooftops.  That it's on a different system means nothing, so if this is a thing that appeals to you on any level, just run with that.  You are likely not going to buy a Move for this game, but that doesn't mean you cannot be civil and level-headed about it, now does it?

Last up is 'rain' which is a game that I was completely and utterly wrong about, as was another website that I will certainly not be putting any stock into any time in the future.  And it's totally not because I am very, very bummed that the game is, in fact, not a game by Sucker Punch nor does it even look anywhere near like it was, -nor- does it have any cyberpunk elements in it whatsoever.  Not at all.  However, what 'rain' -does- have is precious enough, because the game has style, much like the above-mentioned Puppeteer.  Unsurprisingly, both games seem to come from some of Sony's Japanese studios if I'm not mistaken, and they both really seem to carry a wonderful amount of charm as well as the ability to completely set the mood that they are going for.  Where Puppeteer is light, cheery, but with an air of mystery and adventure, rain seems to be the antithesis of that - moody and low-key, perhaps even melancholic at times if the story and vibe match up with what the game will end up as.

The story behind rain seems to be that a boy who is invisible in a dark, dreary world where it seems to rain quite often.  The boy, because of this, can only be seen while it's raining, as shown above, because the water helps define his form for the eyes.  Based on what the trailer itself says, the boy is in this world for reasons that aren't immediately known and sees the silhouette of a girl that seems to be invisible.  He is lost and eventually becomes invisible himself, still searching for a way out of this world that is strange and different from the real world.  At least, the real world is inhabited by people and things who are not completely invisible.  It's a very unique concept and does carry the chance of being something truly brilliant and/or beautiful in the way that such games are considered to be.  Games like Ico, where their strength is truly the simplicity and the ability to truly embrace that, those are the games that tend to leave an impact larger than most, and rain seems to have the makings of one of those types of games.

Without hyping it up too much, of course, I'm certain that a lot of people will be looking forward to this one, frantically pawing around the internet for any news that comes of it.  It has been announced as a PSN Exclusive and, being a first-party developed title, will assuredly stay that way, with only a Vita version really being a possibility outside the announced PS3 version, I'd say.  And really, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see this again for months and have it sort of drawn out to eventually be released as one of the 'headliners' for the next PSN Play or equivalent promotion.  Certainly it'd be fantastic and would get a lot of pickups no matter when it comes about, but throwing it into a promotion like that will only sell it that much more.  Regardless, if anything, this is probably -the- game to watch out for, even if you're not really interested in basically anything else that was announced at Gamescom.  Of course, if you weren't, then I don't know what to tell you because Seriously, Tearaway, but the announcements really point to something for everybody I think, so it should be easy enough to pick -something- out.

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