Before you stands a tower, and upon that tower stands an angry bowman, shooting wave upon wave of arrows in your direction. He’s far out of reach, and the tower completely blocks your path, so you’re forced to deal with this situation in order to proceed – but how do you go about it?
You could always hack at the tower’s support structure with your sword, wearing it away bit by bit until the whole thing comes tumbling to the ground…but that might take a while, and the bowman would be shooting you in the head repeatedly the whole time. Maybe you’d be better off taking out your paintbrush and drawing a sloped platform up, over and around the tower, creating a bridge to guide you past it safely. Or perhaps you could set the tower (and its occupant) ablaze, or spawn a lightning-spewing thundercloud above it and let Mother Nature handle the rest.
Or, if you’re feeling particularly frisky, how about summoning a phoenix or a sacred lion and directing it to spew waves of holy energy at the tower, instantly reducing it and any threats beyond it to ashes?
In the world of Sumioni: Demon Arts, an ink-themed 2D action platformer coming to the PS Vita this spring, any or all of the above solutions lie at your fingertips. As long as you have enough ink stored up, you can enact endless miracles upon your environment. Need to cross a bed of spikes? Use the touchscreen to draw a platform over them. Flames coming toward you? Douse them with water – and try to time it so the steam this produces burns an enemy soldier.
There are many ways to overcome virtually any obstacle in your path, and most of them make judicious use of PS Vita’s beautiful touchscreen. Should you find yourself too low on ink to employ these features, you can always create more by furiously rubbing the rear touch pad with every available appendage – but of course, you’ll be left defenseless while doing so, so timing these ink-padding sessions is of the utmost importance.
At the end of most stages stands a tall pagoda, from which enemy agents emerge endlessly. It must be destroyed, but not only is it built of sterner stuff than the many watchtowers dotting the land, it also comes equipped with cannons, automated razor arms, flamethrowers and other nasty surprises that won’t make the going particularly easy. But then, you have ink, fire, water and enormous, godly familiars at your disposal, so no one can accuse you of rushing into battle unprepared!
Sometimes, you’ll encounter an enemy who’s simply out of your league and you’ll have no choice but to outrun it. In these situations, you’ll need to use your considerable arsenal of inky abilities to circumnavigate obstacles and enemy fire ASAP, lest you wind up as paste beneath a gargantuan demon’s ugly big toe.
And other times, you’ll be tasked with hunkering down in an open field and fending off waves of hostile attackers, awaiting the opening of an inevitable escape route that always seems another few seconds off.
Sumioni: Demon Arts is developed by Acquire (of Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls and Class of Heroes fame) and will be released on the PS Vita in North America as a launch window title through XSEED Games (yay, us!). Fun, fast, frenetic and fetching, the traditional Japanese “sumi-e” ink art style perfectly augments Sumioni’s fluid animations and diverse gameplay, giving it a one-of-a-kind look and feel on a one-of-a-kind system.
So next time you’re surrounded by deadly foes, just remember: Always bet on ink!