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Zoe Mode further explains their name

We've talked about Kuju Brighton's Zoe Mode name change before, but a new interview with studio head Ed Daly sheds even more light on the decision. Ed knew that some gamers (and even some staff members) would find a girl's name as company moniker a bit silly, but he wanted to have a drastic re-branding. A name that would have gamers sit up and take notice. The decision to use the image of a real model as the company icon was done because Zoe Mode wanted to emphasize that they were real, and their games were for real people. How did the female embodiment influence their game creating decisions? "We make games for Zoe and her family. Zoe is our conscience that signs off on what we do. We ask 'What would Zoe do? and 'Would Zoe like that?' kind of questions. It does help have a reference point, even if she's imaginary" claims Ed.

We don't mean to judge, but maybe Ed and his team are as crazy as the world they created in Crush.

[Via Gamespot]

Crush wins Develop Award, is best New Handheld IP

Congratulations to Zoe Mode and Crush -- the game just scored the best New Handheld IP award from the Develop Awards. The Develop Awards are focused on European companies and were judged by almost 100 "industry experts."

In addition to Crush, PSP fans will be glad to hear that Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe (SCEE) picked up the biggest award of the evening: the Grand Prix award for their efforts with PlayStation 3.

[Via PS3 Fanboy]

Metareview: Crush

It's obvious from our review of Crush, that we think it'll be a worthwhile experience. Does the game press agree with us, or do they think Crush is a bomb? Let's find out!
  • GameSpy (90/100) got certifiably addicted: "With levels that build on each other in terms of complexity (and, thusly, difficulty), the game inspires that kind of 'just one more level' feeling of addiction that may result in you freeing Dan from his insomnia but earning yourself a nasty case in return."
  • 1UP (95/100) loves the originality: "Most games can be described as an amalgam of others, as borrowed game mechanics and thematic elements bounce from game to game within a genre. Crush might have a recognizable aesthetic (think Psychonauts in a dark alley), but it's gameplay is wholly -- and compellingly it's own."
  • EuroGamer (80/100) appreciates the challenge: "There's a genuine sense of achievement and enjoyment when a seemingly impossible level suddenly clicks (or crushes into place, and the confident way the game uses its central conceit as more than just a gimmick is undeniably reassuring and appealing."

If only being correct on game quality was like unhatching an evil plan, we'd laugh maniacally right now. Heck, we'll do it anyway. We were right! MWA HA HA HA HA!

Level editor abandoned in Crush (but could appear in sequel)

This awkwardly-worded headline does a horrible job at conveying the incredible excitement that surged through me when reading Sega Nerds' interview with Zoe Mode. Paul Mottram, producer of Crush, revealed that there was an in-game level editor used by the developers, but it couldn't be finished in time:

"We have a terrific in-game level editor running on the PSP which our designers used to create all the levels in the game. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to get this running on a commercial PSP or implement all the necessary user friendly features we would have needed if it was to be shipped with the game. As you could imagine designing Crush levels can be tricky at times."

Of course, the developers would have more time to work on such a mind-blowing feature in a potential sequel ... something Zoe Mode isn't denying. "It's something we'd all love to do since there are so many features we didn't get the opportunity to put into this version."

Video walkthrough reveals answers to Crush

Crushed about one of Crush's more diabolical levels? Don't feel too bad -- you're not alone. Many gamers have found the innovative 2D/3D puzzle game to be maniacally difficult. For better or worse, longtime PSP Fanboy reader JIMMY has provided some incredible video walkthroughs for the game. Each video will reveal, step by step, how to get to the exit. But, beware! While we're incredibly grateful for these guides, they may defeat the incredible sense of accomplishment one can get for getting to the end successfully. Do you want to risk that?

Of course, finding the answer certainly beats being stuck on a single level for hours on end.

See also:
Complete Loco Roco guide for download

Crush gets Develop Award nomination

While PSP is home to many great PlayStation franchises, it's also where many exciting, new and innovative IPs have taken off. Crush is yet another example of a great original PSP title, and it's already getting the attention of critics and developers alike. The Develop Conference has announced its nominations for award recipients, and Crush stands as the easy favorite in the "New Handheld IP" category.

Awards will be announced on July 25th. Will the unanimously beloved Crush get a win?

[Via Joystiq]

PSP Fanboy review: Crush

Crush is many things. It looks and sounds great, is very competent technically and is incredibly difficult. It comes packed with style, innovation and replay value. Not to mention it has a genuinely compelling story, told through the use of atmospheric and well-acted cutscenes. Puzzle games - even those that pretend not to be puzzle games, such as Crush - don't come much better than this. If this sounds like something you want in a game, then pick up Crush. Now.

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Crush

One more look at Crush

Crush is already being enjoyed by the lucky Europeans that received the game a week earlier than the rest of us. While Jem is already prepping his review of the game, we wanted to take one more look at Sega's innovative dimension-twisting puzzle game. Check out this new trailer, and some new images in our updated gallery.

Gallery: Crush

SGD '07: Crush

Sega's psychadelic dimension-bending puzzler Crush is due in just a few day's time. However, that didn't stop Sega from releasing a few new screens to tease us just a little bit more. Of particular note is the creepy box art: what's that guy wearing?

Gallery: Crush

Newest Crush video creeps us out

We knew Crush was going to be a little crazy. We didn't know it was going to be this crazy, though. GameTrailers is showing off one gameplay footage from Sega's hotly anticipated puzzler, and we have to say that it looks somewhat creepy. The random murmurs, creepy music, and surreal art all intertwine to create a somewhat Hitchcockian gaming experience.

Who thought a puzzle game could do that?

Crush dev talks about the complexities of simplicity

The ideas behind Crush are deep, man. It's clear from the experimental games panel at GDC that Zoe Mode has a unique perspective on game design. In a new video interview with Gamespot, they reveal the aesthetic challenges of going from 2D to 3D. Simple design choices had to made, from darkening the background, to removing shadows, to brightening colors. Any fan of Crush will want to see the interview, if only for the tantalizing gameplay.

Another video of Crush's mind-numbing gameplay

Many have been eager to compare the upcoming Crush to Wii's Super Paper Mario. While it's true that both feature dimension-shifting gameplay, the two are taking very different approaches to the concept. This PSP-exclusive puzzler has players going through a beautiful, dream-like world, looking for a way out. This new video from GameVideos.com showcases more gameplay--and we're psyched.

Crush will land on PSP this June.

The puzzling items of Crush

Sega has released a new video, and a few tidbits about their upcoming PSP-exclusive Crush in their latest press release. Considering how awesome the game looks, I can't really complain. The video showcases some of the truly surreal puzzles you'll be tackling in this dimension-bending puzzler/platformer. The puzzles themselves are based on a few unique items, described after the break.

Continue reading The puzzling items of Crush

GDC 07: Crush highlights experimental design panel

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.

Crush developer turns into a woman

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.

[Via Kotaku]

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