Five years ago, I had the pleasure of listening to the music of Nobuo Uematsu at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. The concert, entitled Dear Friends–The Music of Final Fantasy, was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. I sat right behind the orchestra and geeked out for the entire performance. So when MTO USA asked me to help market their upcoming PSP game featuring Uematsu’s music, of course I said I would love to.
Kurulin Fusion turned out to be a cool little game, and what it lacks in Moogles and Chocobos it makes up for with futuristic graphics and a musical score directed by maestro Uematsu-san. But what makes the music even more of an exception is that every song is a variation of a classical composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. Believe me, when you listen to this game’s soundtrack you are in the company of giants. Two giants, in fact. With seven tracks and over 40 minutes of heavenly tunes, Kurulin Fusion is almost as big a deal for music fans as it is for puzzle/action fans.
Did I mention we’re selling it for a low, low, low price of just $4.99. (That’s the marketing pitch. Had to say it to get paid. Sorry.)
For me, the game itself is a bit hypnotizing; the glowing graphics and music can put a spell on you…and it just keeps getting harder. In Arcade mode, there are 100 levels of difficulty, and the gameplay goes on for flipping ever. Score Attack is the mode most likely to get your heart racing, though; with one minute or three minutes to ratchet up a high score, every second counts.
At the heart of Kurulin Fusion is a fairly recognizable game mechanic. Pairs of objects fall from the top of a well and it’s up to you to control them through rotations and sideways movements so that you set up opportunities to clear objects or, better yet, create chains and combos. Fusion Blocks (the square guys) trigger clearing events when they touch an Energy Orb (that’s our clever name for the round objects) of the same color. All the other adjacent Energy Orbs will clear and add to your score. If other objects fall into place to create more clearing events you’ve made a chain–congratulations!–which translates into serious point accrual. You can “fuse” Fusion Blocks together as well — as many as nine in a big square — and that creates a combo that will have you singing “Hallelujah!”
Let’s see, other cool ways to play Kurulin Fusion include Mission mode–thirty missions and an unlockable prize if you beat them all. And Multiplayer (a one-on-one wireless match with another local Kurulin Fusion player) is cool and, incidentally, a really good reason to tell your friends to get a copy of the game. (Okay, that’s marketing, but it’s also practical.)
Did I mention the music? I did? Well, it’s so great I built the website around it. (Did I mention that I built the official Kurulin Fusion web site at www.kurulinfusion.com? A labor of love. Please check it out, listen to the sample tunes, write to your congressperson about how awesome it is. Tell your friends. I also do lawns.)
So, you’re probably asking yourself what “kurulin” means? Am I right? Is that what you were asking yourself just then? Well, if you were, you’ll be really happy to learn that it means “spinning” in Japanese. Spinning Fusion! We think this may be the energy source of the future. But the funny thing is that MTO originally created a version of the game with cute doggies in it. We took one look at it at MTO USA and said it sort of looked like something that might appeal to a Hello Kitty fan. (Sorry HK fans, we love you, too, but kitties and doggies just aren’t cool enough for your average PSP player.) So they went back to the drawing board and came up with the nuclear, glowing esthetic that radiates excitement, challenge, addictive appeal and value.
Did I mention that the game is now available for a mere $4.99? Let’s put that into perspective. That’s less than the cost of a ham sandwich here in Seattle. So, the question really is this; would you rather play an engaging game with world-class, imaginative music and endless replay value…or have a sandwich?
I vote GAME, and I’ve been a huge freaking sandwich fan for years — but I’d rather have fun than be fat.
So that’s our marketing message: Have fun. Don’t eat.
We want to hear from you if you think you’ve got a better marketing message for Kurulin Fusion…it’s hard to conceive that any could be worse, but maybe you’re having an off day. How am I supposed to know unless you comment on the post.
Oh, and of course you can buy the game at the PlayStation Store starting today. Go. Now. Buy. Have fun!!! Lovely talking to you.