This week’s instalment in our on-going Behind The Classics series takes us to the weird and wonderful land of Oddworld. It might not have sold 20 million copies but few games released in the PlayStation era have such a loyal following as Abe’s Oddysee and its sequels. And with good reason – Lorne Lanning’s beautiful side-scrolling fantasy adventure is one of the richest, most singular game worlds ever created and its hero, Abe, one of gaming’s most eccentric protagonists.
With an HD remake currently in development, we caught up with the game’s creator to find out how the 1997 original came into being. Sit back and enjoy – and if you’re new to the title remember that it’s available to download on the PS Store.
Make no mistake, the Japanese know how to queue. In the bowels of the PlayStation stand at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, countless orderly lines of patient gamers snake neatly through a maze of white chain-link barriers, intersecting each other like the world’s most organised spaghetti junction. At the start of each queue stands an official with a whiteboard and a marker pen, methodically updating the estimated waiting time for each game. Of all the games on show at PlayStation’s booth, which boasted the longest line? PS Vita action title Soul Sacrifice, with show-goers having to wait well over an hour for a chance to try it out.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that it’s the center of attention. After a series of intriguing trailers, TGS presented the first opportunity to actually go hands-on with Mega Man creator and former Capcom R&D chief Keiji Inafune’s dark fantasy action title.
Puppeteer’s Gamescom reveal last month was a real joy to behold – a bright, bold new PlayStation IP promising primary-colored platforming fun with some deliciously dark trimmings. A month or two on, last week PlayStation.Blog had the opportunity to actually sit down with a controller and see if it delivers on that pledge.
High up in Sony Japan Studio’s towering Tokyo HQ, creator Gavin Moore walked us through the game’s opening chapter, which sees a hapless young lad called Kutaro enslaved by the impossibly evil Moon Bear King and transformed into a puppet. But steel yourselves – this isn’t a cozy Pinocchio-esque tale of a plucky hero embarking on a cheerful quest to (re)gain human form. Far from it – Puppeteer’s opening minutes sees poor Kutaro’s head brutally torn off by our antagonist and his body nonchalantly tossed into a dank, gloomy cellar.
This week saw the keenly anticipated digital release of one of the most off-the-wall games you’ll play this year – Sony Japan Studio’s lunatic action title TOKYO JUNGLE.
For the uninitiated, it plays out in a post-apocalyptic vision of Japan’s sprawling metropolis where humans are extinct and the streets are fought over by gangs of animals. At its core, it’s a survival game that lets you answer that rarely posed question: what would happen if a gang of Pomeranians went toe-to-toe with a velociraptor, while a posse of baby chickens waited in the wings ready peck the victor to death? It’s mad as a proverbial badger, but it’s immensely enjoyable to play.
The second entry in our Behind the Classics series is a real lost gem – SCE Cambridge Studios’ wild, wacky supernatural adventure MediEvil. First released on PSone back in 1998, it put you in the shoes of Sir Daniel Fortesque – an undead knight unwittingly reanimated by the evil sorcerer Zarok who embarks on a quest to liberate the kingdom of Gallowmere.
A sequel followed in 2000, with a PSP remake also popping up on PSP in 2005, however, it’s the original game that remains most embedded in the memory. With Sir Dan soon to enjoy a comeback of sorts as a playable character in PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale, we sat down with original designer Chris Sorrell to find out more about the game’s development.
When I took over the SCEE PlayStation Blog a month or two back, I promised you a few new regular features. Today, I’m happy to unveil the first of them: Behind The Classics. Every fortnight (well, that’s the plan at least), we’ll be talking to the creative force behind a vintage PS One or PlayStation 2 title. To kick things off, Naughty Dog co-founder Andy Gavin was kind enough to lend us his time to discuss the making of seminal 2001 PS2 platformer Jak & Daxter.
We’ve got the next few entries in the series lined up, but please feel free to leave your suggestions for future interview subjects below. Manage your expectations – these people aren’t always easy to track down – but we’ll do our best.
Outside of PlayStation’s own announcements, the indisputable big-buzz game of Gamescom 2012 was Dishonored, the upcoming PS3 first-person stealth adventure from Bethesda. With relatively low-key showings in Cologne from many of the other major third party publishers, Dishonored really got its chance to shine last week and it duly dazzled all comers.
For the uninitiated, the game puts you in the shoes of wronged assassin Corvo Atano who is framed for the murder of an Empress – his former lover. You’ll be sneaking around a dark, atmospheric steampunk world, combining supernatural powers and a range of weaponry to avenge her death and unmask those who’ve conspired against you.
To be clear, when we say stealth we don’t mean the signposted sneaking of, say, recent Splinter Cell titles. The AI here is unforgivingly old school – more redolent of the likes of Thief.
While Book of Spells led off our Wonderbook announcement at E3 earlier this year, there are plenty more projects in the works for the forthcoming PlayStation 3 augmented reality platform, including Walking With Dinosaurs from the BBC, and an exciting partnership with Disney Interactive Studios. Diggs: Nightcrawler is a little different, however – unlike Book of Spells and Dinosaurs, it’s a brand new IP, promising quirky detective noir with style to spare.
Less than 24 hours after the game’s new trailer debuted during the Sony press conference at gamescom last week, we sat down with Adam Volker from Oscar-winning animation studio turned game developer Moonbot to find out what it has in store.
“So, Diggs is a detective bookworm and he’s really good at what he does,” he explained.