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Gish: A Tar Load of Fun

Santa Cruz based independent gaming developer Chronic Logic set out to create a one-of-a-kind 2D side-scroller PC title named “Gish”. The result is a an original adventure which stars a 12 pound ball of tar that shares the same name as the game’s title.

Chronic Logic isn’t a newcomer to the video game scene as it was responsible for the popular bridge construction title “Bridge It” and its sequel “Pontifex”. The team is poised for mainstream success thanks to the introduction of Gish.

To run Gish, a PC with a 1 GHz processor equipped with a 32MB video card and 256MB of memory is required. The game is currently available for the Windows platform with Linux and Mac OS X versions on the way. A joystick is not required to play the game, but it does make it easier for you to maneuver your character.

The game’s story follows the classic 80’s video game cliché where the main character must rescue the damsel in distress, in this case his girlfriend Brea, after she’s been kidnapped by a group of unknown assailants. The game takes place in the sewers of Dross, a forgotten maze-like city with many traps and obstacles for our main character to surpass. And to make things worst, he must face a group of demented creatures that will stop at nothing to make sure his objectives never get accomplished.

This game doesn’t handle like your typical side-scroller either. Instead of your usual run and jump controls, our hero must bounce, slide, stick and crush his way through various obstacles. The real novelty here is that your actions are based entirely on physics.

The game also contains some puzzle elements that will have you putting on your thinking cap. For example, some levels require you to complete some specific tasks before you’re able to progress. The puzzles can be quite challenging and will require some strategic planning to get through many of the obstacles that present themselves throughout the game.

One of the best things about Gish is that it looks stunning. The game contains dynamic lighting and shadows that compliment the title’s cartoony 2D look. To add an even more Sat. morning cartoon feel to the game, the developers utilized cell shading effects to give the game a hand drawn feel.

Gish features a total of 34 levels spread out into five chapters. The title also comes loaded with five multiplayer modes that add to the game’s replay value. Gish contains enough content to satisfy all of your gaming needs.

To try it out for yourself, head on over to www.chroniclogic.com/demo/gishdemo.exe and try out the 8MB demo. You can also purchase the full version for a mere $19.95US directly from the official website at www.chroniclogic.com/gish. Be warned, Gish is an addictive and entertaining title that will surely have you coming back for more. Who would have ever thought that a playing with a ball of tar could be so amusing?

Andre Barriault lives in Dieppe and is co-editor at the gaming website www.XGR.com – Originally published in the Metro Marquee in May 2004

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The Most Important Week in Gaming (E3 2004)

This week, the Los Angeles Convention Center is host to the biggest and most exciting gaming event of the year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Each year the trade event serves as launching pad for publishers and developers to reveal and showcase their upcoming products to the media. In short, E3 is as important to the gaming industry as the Academy Awards are to films.

This year’s event will be particularly special as the big three console makers (better known as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) are expected to unveil crucial information about their next generation of gaming consoles, which are expected to launch in early 2006. During the last couple of months, the Internet has been running rampant with rumours of what to expect out of these upcoming couch potato enhancers.

Nintendo and Sony will also use the event to showcase their upcoming handheld devices. The big “N” will be showcasing its dual screen product aptly known as the “Nintendo DS”. While Japanese rival Sony will take the stage with its media centric iPod killer the PSP. Both companies are expected to have working prototypes on display at the show. So far, most major developers have pledged their support to both units.

Two other companies will attempt to enter the crowded console market with new innovative, but pricey units. Digital Interactive Systems will be at the show demonstrating their DISCover console and Infinium Labs will have its Phantom Console on exhibit. It’s believed that both companies will be brandishing their devices with fully functioning units.

On the software side of things, publishers will be on hand with a complete list of their forthcoming titles. Canadian developers Bioware and Digital Extremes will be showcasing two of the most anticipated titles of the year in the form of Jade Empire and Pariah, respectively. Many significant releases such as Doom 3, Half-Life 2, Metroid Prime 2, Final Fantasy XII, Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid 3 should be among the most sought-after titles on the show floor.

It’s also interesting to note that software developer SEGA has promised that it will make a shocking announcement on May 12. Revealed by the company as “big news you’d never guess,” its still unclear whether or not the announcement is software or hardware based. SEGA’s last hardware venture was the Dreamcast, which was discontinued in 2001. It’s highly doubtful though that SEGA will make a return on the hardware scene. Expect an announcement to be in the form of a merger or an acquisition.

It remains to be seen whether or not their will be any surprises at the event, but rest assured that this year’s event will surely be the talk of the industry for months to come. If all the hype turns out to be true, this year’s E3 trade event will end-up being one of the most interesting trade events in recent years. And don’t forget to pick-up next week’s issue of the Metro Marquee for a complete rundown of the event.

Andre Barriault lives in Dieppe and is co-editor at the gaming website www.XGR.com – Originally published in the Metro Marquee in May 2004

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