As I lamented in early January, the future of the PSN was essentially off-limits from prying eyes outside a few notable exceptions (including thatgamecompany’s just-released Flower [more on that soon]), but
Sony have just let loose with a number of upcoming game announcements that will see us through the end of Spring.
There’s the obvious ones: I’m sure I don’t need to reiterate that Keita Takahashi’s Noby Noby Boy is due for a release in less than a week after endlessly pumping videos through the site for the past several days. There’s also the self-explanatory ones — Jeopardy needs little introduction — and the ones announced well ahead of time: Capcom’s brilliant looking Flock (YouTube) and multiplayer arena shooter The Punisher: No Mercy from Zen Studios.
And then there’s the rest, which I’ll break down here.
That blog post was the first time Sony’s mentioned No Gravity, but it’s a game that’s been in development for some time from French studio (and former demoscene coders) Realtech VR. As above, the game’s a 360 degree first- or third- person PSP space shooter which you don’t need to wait to try: there’s a free PC/Mac version already available from the developer.
They’re no strangers to the PSP, though, they’ve actually got a healthy lineup of homebrew PSP games available for free download as well, and No Gravity itself started life as PSP homebrew demo (which can, if you know where to look, still be downloaded). The company also has pushed onto the iPhone in recent months, most notably with a ‘version’ (put gently) of obscure Bandai/Q-Entertainment puzzler Gunpey (designed by and named in tribute of late Game Boy/Virtual Boy/WonderSwan creator Gunpei Yokoi) called LaserLink.
Burn Zombie Burn is another PSN game only recently revealed, this time from Kuju’s Doublesix Studios (also working on an Xbox Live Arcade game based on South Park). As shown above, what could easily have been a simple dual-stick Robotron-meets-Gauntlet shooter turns out to be significantly more thoughtful and strategic with a torch to soften up the ever-advancing zombie hordes, and combos/multipliers based on more significantly gruesome group-kills.
Ragdoll Kung Fu might already be a familiar name to PC players, as it’s a game that first saw release in late 2005 and later became one of Steam’s first third-party titles. Its move to PS3, though, isn’t much of a surprise: the PC original was designed as an off-time project of then-Lionhead-employed Mark Healey, who would later leave the studio to co-found LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule.
How Fists of Plastic will fare dual analog style is yet to be seen: the PC game’s hook was that all of its high-wire kung fu action was controlled by dragging each fighter’s limbs with the mouse, though having toyed with LittleBigPlanet‘s digital puppetry, it might actually be a quite logical leap.
Interestingly, the game is being developed by Sweden’s Tarsier Studios, who you may remember from the teaser trailer of their never-completed original steampunk platformer Metronome: here’s hoping a Ragdoll success might give them the push they need to see that one through.
Only briefly mentioned in the blog post was another name, Comet Crash, that turns out to be another downloadable tower defense game (following PixelJunk Monsters and the recently released Savage Moon) for the PSN. This time, though, developer Pelfast says the game will “blend classical tower defense gameplay with offensive counterattacks and dynamic AI,” and, from the trailer available on the game’s website, will allow up to four people to play.
Not mentioned in the blog post but instead in a potentially unreliable press release, Sony have also let slip a few extra titles coming soon to the PSN this Spring, most notably Cellfactor: Revolution, the first person shooter originally developed to show off Ageia’s physics processing hardware (and now published by Ubisoft), and several other PC/Xbox Live Arcade ports like Zen Pinball, perennial classic Worms, genre-defining casual game Diner Dash, Underfire (another Doublesix title), and a port of Hammerfall, the obscure physics-based Russian body-flinging combat game covered in greater detail via Fun-Motion (or viewed here).
And, as noted before, beyond spring there’s still Titan Studios’ mutliplayer strategy Fat Princess, Boolat’s spinning-top platformer Topatoi, the ‘two or three’ subsequent PixelJunk games Q-Games recently teased, and SCEJ original garbage-piling puzzler GomiBako all in the works, as well as an alleged PSN port of Secret Exit’s IGF-finalist music puzzler Cinnamon Beats.
As it turns out, then, there’s quite a bit more to look forward to beyond Noby‘s spectacular stretch.
Close out the Winter with PSN’s Spring Fever [PlayStation.Blog]
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