There is one PSP game in everyone's mind here at the Game Developer's Conference: it's called Crush. Kuju Entertainment's revolutionary puzzle-platformer was highlighted in an experimental games panel, due to its highly innovative gameplay concept.
One of the greatest challenges of creating such a unique project is trying to predict how the player will respond to it. Will they be able to understand how the gameplay works? Will they get too confused? Stuck? Through endless hours of QA & debugging, the team decided that the game has to explain to the player why one failed: it becomes a learning process, rather than a frustrating, alienating one.
Although Crush hasn't been released yet, Kuju's Alex Butterfield wasn't afraid to think of other possibilities to expand the Crush idea: What if you could crush time? (For example, a block could turn into a bridge; a cockroach into a centipede.) What if you could crush multiple realities, in multiplayer? Would each player have their own reality? The questions become far more challenging to answer, but much more exciting at the same time. Hopefully, Crush will meet an appreciative audience when it debuts on the PSP--I'd love to see a sequel that explores these mind-numbing concepts.
We've talked a hell of a lot about the inventive platformer/puzzler Crush already, but it looks like not just the game is creative. Kuju Brighton has decided to change their name to Zoë Mode. The new developer had this to say about their new name, "We've created Zoë Mode; she is the personality that reflects our in-house philosophy of accessible, fun gaming for everyone." I've heard of naming a boat after a woman, but this is the first time I've ever seen it happen to a company. Let's just hope Zoë has the skills to go along with her good looks.
Continue after the break to see the original press release.
Wow, you absolutely MUST check out this video of Crush Sega and Kuju's upcoming psychadelic dimension-destroying puzzler. Not just because it's Crush (which looks awesome), but because it has a new "Sega loves your PSP" logo. Hey Sega, we love you too. Just don't make another Shadow the Hedgehog game ever again, okay?
Once you're done watching, you can do a little bit of reading at 1UP. They have a pretty detailed preview for you too.
Cynics complain that the PSP has no innovative games. However, do their complaints have validity in the face of the upcoming PSP-exclusive Crush? This recently revealed title combines 2D and 3D gameplay through the innovative "crush" mechanic, and Paul Mottram spoke to Pocket Gamer about the challenges in creating the game. Mottram notes that the game was built with the PSP specifically in mind: the PSP was the only system to offer the horsepower and portability needed for this quick-thinking game.
The unique art style of the game takes its inspiration from a variety of sources. Mottram explains, "Our lead artist, Jon Taylor, worked closely with Sega's creative department to come up with a unique style. Influences ranged from Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Mike Mignola, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst (or any of the surrealists), and Escher. We wanted to have a darker side to the game which carries through into the art style and even music. The main character, Danny, isn't a superhero; he's a sarcastic miserable everyday guy who just wants to get some sleep."
Read the full interview at Pocket Gamer.
Download the trailer:
PSP Fanboy Theatre: Volume 4
SEGA wants PSP players to prepare for a head trip. IGN is reporting that this summer SEGA will release a psychological puzzle game called Crush. Created by Kuju Brighton, Crush is about a man named Dan who is haunted by his past and suffers from chronic insomnia. To try and cure this problem, Dan turns to hypnosis. If that doesn't sound unique, just wait until you hear about the gameplay.
Crush takes place in a complex 3D world where players have to "crush" environments, which makes them then become 2D space. At this point the layout is like that of a 2D platformer. Because of the altering of the world, you're able to solve puzzles, access new areas and gain reach to secret items.
Sounds ridiculously creative. I can't wait to get my hands on it! See trailer after the cut.
[Update 1: Fixed formatting issues.]
A few days ago, an IGN staff member wrote about how an upcoming music game, Traxion, might have been canned. GI.biz reports that Kuju, the developers of the Traxion project have ended their relationship with the game's publisher, LucasArts. "Kuju can confirm that we have agreed to sever the development relationship with LucasArts in respect of the Traxion game shown at E3 last year," said Ed Daly, studio head of Kuju Brighton.
While this means that Traxion is canceled, we can only hope that a similar project will take its place. The game earned praise for its innovative technology that allowed you to play with music stored on the PSP's Memory Stick. "We can say that Kuju Brighton is committed to continue developing innovative lifestyle and music-based games, and we hope to be able to make a more specific announcement about the future of games based on our award-winning music analysis technology in the near future."
For those too impatient to wait for Planet Moon's Afterburner update, soon you'll be able to get your mach speed on with M.A.C.H. According to Gamespot the game is set to be on store shelves in the US on February 20th for $39.99. Developed by Kuju Entertainment and to be published by Sierra, the game has you flying in underground competitions and customizing your flying death machine all the while hoping to keep down your lunch. It also allows for game sharing with the multiplayer, so you can still play the game even if your friends are cheap.
The game is rated E10+ which means even if you can't legally pilot a real plane, you can substitute that desire with the game.