January 26, 2012

Review – Haunt

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 8:57 am

Review Haunt
Creating a haunted house game for the Kinect is a noble pursuit. A shaky hand naturally lends itself to acting as a flickering flashlight, and players are forced to open doors that could reveal unspeakable horrors with their own two hands, rather than the press of a button, enhancing the experience of being an active participant versus a passive observer – key to the evolution of the horror genre via the videogame medium.

Last year saw Sega attempt to strike first blood on the peripheral with Rise of Nightmares, a gritty game of bloody nurses and sharp weapons that asked players to use their body to punch and kick the cream-filling out of the undead. The violent workout met with mixed results in the attempt to stretch the narrative and physical experience into a retail release.

Enter NanaOn-Sha, otherwise known as the people who brought you the music rhythm genre with titles like Parappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy, now teaming up with Zoë Mode to bring their own full-body spin on the concept on a smaller scale with the Xbox LIVE Arcade release of Haunt.

Although comparing the two games mechanically is helpful, separating them thematically is essential – where Sega sought a B movie slaughter-fest, Haunt is a more lighthearted horror affair. While the game offers jump-scares that get the blood pumping, the spirit of fascination and charm found within the experience is more apt to leave you smiling by the end instead of covering your eyes.

That said however, the game will ask you to cover your eyes at times, though only when set upon by goggle-wearing ghouls.


June 4, 2010

Masaya Matsuura’s WINtA

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:42 pm

Non-profit publisher OneBigGame has announced a new project in their initiative to work with leading game designers in raising funds for charity, revealing that rhythm master and NanaOn-Sha President Masaya Matsuura will be donating his time, along with Triangle Studios, to create a new music rhythm game for the iPhone / iPod touch, titled WINtA.

As for what to expect from WINtA, the early word is that the title will combine pattern recognition and the tendency to tap along with the rhythm, while also going beyond the “highway of colored symbols” we’ve been living on since the rhythm genre began.

Matsuura’s own words offered a bit more insight,

“…further down the line WINtA will also very much involve music artists, VJs and gamers around the world in this project. I can’t wait to see the creative vision that we have for WINtA finally become a reality later this year.”

So to make a long story short, I have no idea what to expect at the moment. Anything is possible when NanaOn-Sha is involved, so stay tuned.

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