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More musical Mizuguchi mayhem materializes


Oh, death by alliteration can be most painful indeed. And yet, it's a risk worth taking when it comes to revealing new PSP and DS games from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the creative, possibly insane game designer behind Space Channel 5 (and it's swinging sequel), Rez, Sega Rally and of course, the criminally addictive Lumines. Featuring heavy musical components that can often be influenced by the player, his recent titles have demonstrated a knack for style and an unusual ability to impart something vaguely resembling inspiration. If you've played through Space Channel 5, you'll know exactly what we mean.

Thankfully abandoning orcs and dynastic warriors for greener and more familiar portable pastures, Mizuguchi is now acting as executive producer on Gunpey-R, short for Gunpey Reverse. Based on an older Wonderswan game, Gunpey-R sees the player -- wait for it -- moving square panels up and down in an effort to create lines running from right to left. Success leads to panels vanishing as ooposed to killing you violently when they claw their way to the top of the screen. The PSP version will feature interactive "skins" (in the same vein as Lumines), whereas the DS version will play different sounds as each panel is cleared.

Namco Bandai is taking care of publishing duties in Japan, with American and European releases still unaccounted for. Given the success of Q Entertainment's previous games, it shouldn't take too long before everyone is pulled back into a mesmerizing music-and-rhythm marathon. With such a widespread appeal, music is most certainly a sound route to the home of that elusive casual gamer.

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