Echochrome - PlayStation 3 and PSP
One of this past E3's darlings, Echochrome, was available for play at this year's Tokyo Game Show, and this new MC Escher-esque puzzle game has enough head scratching quandaries to make any respectable video game journalist go a little crazy. But madness aside, the name of the game in Echochrome is perception. It's all about what you see. It's sort of like the 2D/3D dynamic that ruled Super Paper Mario. If you couldn't get across a large valley, flip to 3D and you may find an invisible bridge. But if you don't flip, the bridge won't exist. It's the same thing here, except you've got 360 degrees of rotating power at your disposal. When you're playing, you don't actually control your character, you control the stage. This means that your little guy is perpetually moving forward, so you've got to move the stage before he falls off a cliff, down a hole, or meets some otherwise undesirable fate. And although shifting around a stage sounds like a simple or unimpressive premise, believe me it's not.
This game bends your brain in more ways then you ever thought possible. And even though the demo we got to see looked pretty good, apparently this game is far from being ready to release, because there are still no estimates on a possible release on either the PS3 or the PSP.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PlayStation 3
One of the biggest games coming out next year has to be Metal Gear Solid 4. Hands down, this is the one that Sony is really counting on to make its PS3 the system to have. And finally, after a long and drawn out wait, it was playable at the Tokyo Game Show. TGS revealed more about the premise of the game, including details about Solid Snake's final mission to destroy Liquid Snake, who has taken the form of Liquid Ocelot. Controls for this game are incredibly smooth and great for veterans of the series as well as those who are new. The triangle button is probably the most important facet of the game because it serves as an action button. What I mean by this is that if there is an important item or a hiding spot near you, you use the triangle button. If there is an obstacle in your way, or something else that is otherwise hindering you, you can use the triangle button to get past it. The controls are rounded out by an X-button crouch, a square button aiming system and, of course, the L1 trigger. One thing veterans of the series will be happy to hear is about the improved A.I. alert system. You'll have to use Snake's uncanny methods of stealth to get past even the most unwitting of enemies. Another really cool feature of Metal Gear Solid 4 was the "stress" meter. Whenever Snake gets in a tight situation, his stress will skyrocket. The heightened stress results in better speed and accuracy, but eventually leads to a plummet in other stats. But the good news is that these stats can be recovered. How? By reading a girly mag, of course! There was so much to this game that I have to say it really lends itself to speechlessness. Metal Gear Solid 4 looks to be a definite contender this year for Tokyo Best in Show. I can see nothing but anticipation building for this one as we get closer to its 2008 release for the PlayStation 3.
Metal Gear Online - PlayStation 3
Ever since fans were able to experience the online multiplayer capabilities of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence last year, they've been aching for more. And now fans will be getting the ultimate multiplayer experience in the form of the online-only Metal Gear Online. Designed with an almost MMO-like concept in mind, this game favors substance and strategy over anything else. Sure, you could go all avant-garde and try to kill everyone, but the heart of this game seems to be in its team based mechanics and strategic offerings. But like most online games, the experience is what you make it. In addition to offering unhindered warfare, there's also a SOP system in place that makes it possible for you to enhance certain abilities through linking with friends. The control scheme in Metal Gear Online is essentially the same as the one in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which is great because the controls are completely intuitive and easy to pick up. It looks like this one will definitely have people playing online and enjoying the Metal Gear franchise for quite some time. No word on when this game will actually be releasing, but hopefully it will follow the early 2008 release of Metal Gear Solid 4.
Whew! With so many games on hand to play, who has time for anything else? Well, the Tokyo Game Show had lots more to offer, so we're bringing it straight to you! Keep an eye out for all the information on the biggest announcements, game previews, and fan events, straight from CheatCC!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer