mercoledì 20 maggio 2009

Project Trico

I saw this a few months ago and got way excited, and never dreamed that i would actually see any output of this project so soon.

The reasons for Loving team Ico are many. This is the first video, that i've ever seen, for the newest installment since Shandows of the collossus. I gotta say that Team Ico is on my list of favorite game designers/designers in general, up there with Kojima and Suda 51, who are also considered somewhere in the genre of art games. 'Art games' are not really a genre but the level of beauty and personality in these games usually far exceed the standard.

Both Ico and Shadows featured a young boy as the protagonist, traveling perilous terrain for ambiguous but noble reasons. The thing that they succeeded at the most, for me, is pulling off an amazing amount of charm and sophistication in the design, almost effortlessly, and an amazing level of immersion which comes with the highly contrasting sense of scale; in Ico you were a little boy attempting to escape a gargantuan castle, waving a stick at giant shadow monsters while trying to escort a very frail princess, and in Shadows you played a slightly older boy single handedly felling skyscraper sized demon-beasts, scattered about a lush and diverse landscape [which you navigate on horseback].

I think all fans of the first two games have all been pondering on what they would do next, and I for one am a happy camper. Ico and Shadows both took [most likely] the same world and used it to create very different gameplay mechanics.
The style of Team Ico is reminiscent of cinematic platformers out of this world, Flashback, and Heart of Darkness; with the memorable visual detail and lack of heavily descriptive written narrative, or in game HUDs (which gives alot to the imagination).
Trico seems to combine elements of Ico and shadows, but twists them just so. This is one of the rare cases where a creative interesting game gets sequeled not due to its selling power, They've always been 'cult favorites', but i guess it gets reiterations because of just how good its been at making Sony look good.
Once again, the playable character seems to be a young boy [without horns], and once again seems to travel with a friend who doesn't talk much. The friend this time around is some kind of giant kitten/griffin/possum thing which will easily become one of the most loved characters in cult gaming next to the companion cube. The trailer seems to show the two protagonists escaping some sort of castle/fortress [which seems to be held within a larger city of similar architecture], and for some reason the giant catbird befriends the boy.
This time, it uses Shadows' system of clinging to the fur of a giant except as a mode of transportation. i also think its hilarious that as helpful as having a giant flyying/swimming/running kittenbird could be in terms of getting around a fantasy worldscape, its inclusion in navigating claustrophobic dungeon areas is so laughable that it's genius (in most games, your transportation, horse, chocobo, etc. has to wait outside, these games never even had to justify it, it just wasn't part of the game, it was a standard that they just didn't go indoors/ past loading screens).
I think that human enemies might make an appearance, as in some screens of the trailer show a bunch of arrows sticking out of your kittenhawk's hide. It also seems that feeding your cute monstrosity is somehow linked to the gameplay. Hrmm, and now that I think about it, if there is a baby kitten/bird/thing, maybe there are adult ones, which could be very frightening or unbelievably cool. This game just oozes awesome, and i can't wait for Team Ico's next masterpiece.

[note: trailer was apparently made over a year ago, shown, behind closed doors, at last year's E3 to a very select audience, Imagine what this game must look like now?!]

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