First Crop of NGP Titles Unveiled

While we are practically assured of additional NGP info from E3 next week – here’s hoping for release window details and the device’s official name – today Sony pulled back the curtain on a few key titles for its PSP successor. They announced seven titles: Hustle Kings, Little Deviants, Reality Fighters, Sound Shapes, Super StarDust Delta, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Wipeout 2048. Allow me to introduce you to the most promising of these upcoming games.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Uncharted, a series that many Sony and PlayStation fans would consider the companies crown jewel, is coming to NGP as Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Nathan Drake’s first handheld adventure really shows off how developers can utilize the various input interfaces to augment standard button-based controls. Need Drake to swing across a series of beams like they were monkey bars, just drag your finger along the touch screen and watch Nathan go. Make sure to keep our hero balanced on a narrow board while crossing a chasm by using the tilt-based controls to keep him upright. Even using a sniper rifles zoom function is based on flicking the touch screen. With Golden Abyss, developers Sony Bend are demonstrating that even though the NGP may have fewer buttons than the PS3 controller, inventive game creators can utilize NGP’s unique features to offer controls that rival any console title.

Super StarDust Delta

PSN is also brining its best and brightest to the NGP, most notably with Super StarDust Delta. Housemarque, Delta’s developer and creators of the original Super Stardust HD and Dead Nation, are bringing new weapons and features to the latest offering in their critically acclaimed twin stick shooter series. Each of your primary weapons now has a powerful secondary function, add in two new weapons, the Laser Melter and Ice Laser (names not finalized), and you can unleash some amazing devastation. For example, use the Laser Melter’s secondary function to drop a black hole to suck up your opponents, and even your ship if you don’t stay clear. Also, Delta utilizes the NGP’s tilt controls to allow players to scan the far side of a planet so you can scope out what baddies are headed your way. If things get too hairy just give the NGP a quick shake to unleash the new Shockwave attack that will devastate your opponents and give you the breathing room you need.

Wipeout 2048

Wipeout 2048 builds upon the success and features of its console big brother, Wipeout HD. Boasting ten new tracks and twenty new ships the developers at Sony Entertainment Europe are quick to point out that this latest version of the long-running racing franchise is a full-fledged sequel. In addition, Wipeout 2048 offers three different control methods: touch and tilt controls, classic Wipeout controls, and a more standard set of race controls, allowing racing fans unfamiliar with Wipeout to jump right in. The most exciting additions to Wipeout 2048 are how it interfaces with Wipeout HD on PS3. Multiplayer races allow for up to 8 players to compete against each other with any combination of PS3s and NGPs. This gives you the opportunity to be sitting on a bus racing on your NGP against your buddy who’s at home playing on his PS3 in 3D. Also, Wipeout 2048 makes use of the two cameras in the NGP, taking photos of race winners and sends your victoriously smug mug to the opponents you just trounced. The camera is also used for an augmented reality interface that allows you to examine highly detailed ship models.

Sound Shapes

The announced NGP titles aren’t only sequels to existing franchises. One of the most conceptually interesting games shown for the NGP is Sound Shapes, the latest title from Jonathan Mak. For those fans who sunk numerous hours into Mak’s last Sony title, Everyday Shooter, simply having a new game from the maestro of sound-integrated game design may be enough to pique your interest. In addition, Sound Shapes appears to have recaptured the insanity that made Everyday Shooter such an offbeat, critical success. Ostensibly Sound Shapes is a platformer with the player taking control of a LocoRoco-esque ball that rolls through the environment and sticks to various surfaces to traverse the level. However, the levels themselves are intimately tied to music. Each item you collect in a level will add notes to the in game soundtrack. The level editor, which will allow players to create their own maps to hop around, has similar music integration with each element you add to the level environment adding a note to the soundtrack. This editing interface looks to be clean and simple, allowing players to add and delete elements simply and easily. Everyday Shooter was a simple concept with a gorgeous execution and Sound Shapes looks poised to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps.

Combining the best of established console and PSN franchises, with new titles from some of gaming’s most creative minds, the announced titles for NGP provide a compelling argument for Sony’s upcoming handheld. We will keep you posted as more NGP news and game information should arrive along with E3 this coming week.

Written by Justin Spielmann

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