Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: TBD / TBD
Release: TBD / TBD
The DS boasts an enviable spread of adventure games, and 2008 promises much for the genre. Courtesy of Grasshopper Manufacture, both Flower, Sun and Rain and The Silver Case will be appearing on the handheld in the coming months, and it's fair to say that both reek of awesomeness.
Flower, Sun and Rain puts the player in the shoes of Sumio Mondo, an assassin tasked with defusing a time bomb planted on a plane. Sumio initially fails his mission, only to wake the next morning and find that the explosion has yet to happen. Presented with a second chance to save the stricken plane and redeem himself, Sumio again fails, but wakes the next morning to find himself living the same day over and over, his hotel room becoming more and more warped as he slowly begins to lose his mind from the repetition.
Comparatively little has been revealed about the DS version of The Silver Case, a murder mystery title that originally appeared on the PlayStation back in 1999. Centered around a series of grisly murders, the game is played from two perspectives: that of a leading detective, and of a freelance writer investigating the affair. In the PlayStation original, the story was narrated entirely through a montage of 2D illustrations, 3D CG, live-action images, and motion graphics, but it's not yet known whether the DS version will adopt the same techniques (the presence of two screens would seem like the perfect excuse to mimic this, however).
While both titles are wildly inventive, we feel we should also contribute part of this preview to the man behind them. Here in the DS Fanboy dungeon, our admiration and respect for Goichi Suda knows no end. As the name behind the likes of Killer 7 and No More Heroes, Suda has proven time and again that the punk spirit is alive and well in videogames, and that there remains a place in gaming for the unconventional and the plain bizarre.
As much as it saddens us, Suda won't be making games forever, but we like to think that his eventual successor will keep the punk flame alive in game development by following:
DO pile on the geeks and freaks. Suda is an expert at this, as Flower, Sun and Rain looks set to demonstrate.
DO try and avoid selling very many copies of your game, even if it's completely awesome. Selling games in any great quantity is for those Establishment suckers at EA and Ubisoft. Stick it to The Man through your own low sales!
DO come across as an obnoxious, uncooperative ass in interviews -- think The Sex Pistols and Bill Grundy in 1976 (in a very unpunk fashion, we should warn you that that last link is NSFW). In truth, Suda actually fails to follow this particular rule, as he consistently comes across as the kind of affable, fun-loving fellow you'd quite like to go for a drink with, or at least become friends with over the internet, which could perhaps lead to you both becoming BFF IRL.
DO NOT follow rules or guides -- they just, like, totally pigeonhole you. Except, y'know, this one.