December 11, 2012

Welcome to the Jungle

Review Tokyo Jungle


A fresh litter of calico kittens play atop the deserted shops of Shibuya, soon abandoning the safety to follow the lead of their most curious sibling into the rainy streets below. The pack quickly tests their claws and teeth against the helpless chickens and pigs that scatter in panic at the sudden emergence of the newly born predators.

Though the kittens will quickly grow larger from the feast, the never-ending red pangs of hunger and scarcity of prey will drive the pack from the shops of their youth toward the broken streets of Shibuya Station. The young cats push forward while claiming the stray rabbits and chicks seeking shelter in the patches of forest slowly reclaiming the land through cracking cement and decaying automobiles.

Marking their territory along the way, the cats could easily choose to settle into their nest atop the train tracks and relinquish the fight for survival to a new generation. But youthful exuberance and curiosity causes them to follow their pack leader further in the search for new prey and territory to conquer. And as the swarm reaches Dogenzaka, the prey becomes dangerously scarce, changing the balance of this struggle as they encounter a cougar seeking to feed the same need.

Despite their numbers, several of the cats immediately fall to the wild swipes of this predator. Though two escape down a narrow alley, the beat of hunger pounds in rhythm with falling health to see them surrender to the scavengers overhead as they lay down in the street and lose their bid for rule over the Tokyo Jungle.


July 6, 2012

Review – Gravity Rush

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:20 am

Review Gravity Rush
Sony Japan’s effort to leave an early and definitive mark on the Vita begins rather simply, asking players to poke the touchscreen of the hardware in order to nudge an apple. It isn’t long for breaking from the stem and falling to the ground, only to roll off the floating island where the tree has grown, falling to the unseen depths below.

If you enjoy reading into such things, there’s room to suggest that letting that forbidden fruit fall away without taking a bite invites the idea that the player should abandon knowledge, that they should forget everything they know before stepping into this gravity shifting playground – that this experience is unlike any other to come before it.

And I rather like this idea.

It’s certainly the type of bold statement one expects from Sony, and Gravity Rush does indeed fight to turn the familiar upside-down, creating a play space where the often wasted space above one’s head becomes as important as the ground beneath their feet.

But Gravity Rush is also a prisoner of gravity and circumstance, struggling with the structure of that space and occasionally bumping against the ever present walls that contain it, and further burdened by a need to justify the Vita release by making the most of hardware features makes for some hard landings here.


February 23, 2010

It’s The Little Things…

Filed under: Archives — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:28 pm

Ghost in the Shell
Moving boxes around yesterday turned up more than a few PS1 games I hadn’t seen in awhile – my life is mostly comprised of boxes in case you’re curious, and every so often I turn them over instead of writing semi-cohesive paragraphs about how important videogames are. Along the way I found the original Ghost in the Shell, which often gets labeled as a mediocre licensed title by people who haven’t played it.

In actuality the game is several shades of meeting and beating expectations, tossing players into a nimble tank, your trusty Fuchikoma, and offering up animation work from Production I.G – essentially making the game a precursor to all the work done on the Stand Alone Complex series.

The game was made by Exact in Japan, an internal Sony Japan studio that became Sugar & Rockets (the studio that inspired this site’s name) for awhile before apparently vanishing – but I’ve pieced that last bit together mostly from sugar packets given the fleeting and scarce nature of information regarding internal Sony Japan.

Anyway, what’s particularly special about this copy I turned up is that it’s an import from Japan. Not surprisingly, I’m a bit obsessive about collecting import copies of games whenever possible, but PS1 titles are one of the sweetest in my opinion. So long story short, I’ve tossed together some pictures of what certainly isn’t the rarest, but does qualify as one of the most impressively packaged games I own, which you can catch after the break if you’re into that sort of thing.


Powered by WordPress