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TGS 2007: Hands-on: Echochrome

7:18 PM on 09.28.2007 // Nick Chester

Dude, bro -- I'm not so sure about this Echochrome game. It's totally trippy. It's like one of those drawings by that rapper dude who also does those posters I had hanging on my wall in college -- what's his name? M.C. Escher? Seriously, man, I've been twisting my mind around this game since Sony first revealed it at this year's E3. And to make matters even worse, bro, they're saying it's going to be out on both the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Network. Woah!

Japan's a crazy place, too! There were so many people at the Tokyo Game Show, and when some of them spoke, I didn't understand a word that was coming out of their mouths! I know, right!? A total mind melter, bro. I'm glad that they had a playable concept demonstration (that's what they were calling it, but it was just like a regular game demo) of Echochrome running on the PlayStation 3, and that it was narrated an English-speaking chick. She sounded kind of hot, too, bro.

It was kind of wild, man, but I'm going to work this one out in my head if it kills me.

First thing's first -- not only was the controller a bit heavier, but I swear to God, when the first "round" of Echochrome started, it rumbled. Dude, the PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS controller does not rumble, man! It was wild. It turns out, this was the Dual Shock 3 ... it wasn't a SIXAXIS at all, it just looked like one. Perception, man, it's totally wild.

And that's what Echochrome is all about ... perception and like, reality. The demo starts off with a few laws about the game's reality, and how they'll apply to the gameplay. The first law I learned was about "subjective translation," and as I moved the right analog stick to change the angle of the platforms visible, my little marionette dude was totally able to walk from one platform to the other ... as long as they look like they were attached! But they were totally not -- but what you see is what's reality! Woah!

Next up was something they called "subjective landing," which is totally dangerous, but also really mind blowing when it works. Again, I moved the camera angle, changing what I saw. As long as it appeared that there was a platform below my little marionette dude when he fell through the black holes in the floor, it was all good. At this point, I kind of zoned out (long night, dude), but I guess they talked about a few more laws, "subjective existence" and "subjective absence."

Come to think of it, this game is totally a rip off, bro! I saw this on the Internet already, and it was almost the same thing, except there was no actual game. Seriously, you can see the video here, and it's totally identical to what I played. Except, you know, you can only watch the video, and you'll be able to play the game. That's the main difference between games and videos, man.

There was a game here though, and once I learned the laws, they finally set me free on a level of my own ... it was a total mindf**k, bro! The goal was to follow a shadow version of the marionette, and it simply involved applying all of those wild perspective laws in order to get it done. This was only a demo, bro, but I have to tell you -- this isn't as easy as it looks. Not only did I have to think (which hurt my brain worse than that one time that party animal Melvin Kelly made me do a beer bong full of absinthe -- not cool, bro, but I love you, man!), but the pressure is really on here. The camera moves too slow when I move the sticks, man; it's so much stress trying to get the perspective right for my little dude.

A lot of people think I'm dumb because I speak slowly, but it's all good. Because I was able to prove to myself (and all of Japan, who I swear were watching me, bro) that I was the sharpest tack in the shed. I moved the camera to make my little dude fall on the right platforms, walk over gaps, reach new heights, and more. It was totally sweet ... it would be crazy to play while on recreationals, if you know what I mean.

And I have to say, I think a game like this will really help exercise my brain. I can't be a vegetable all of the time, man, and at least when my 'rents are yelling at me to get a job, I can say "Hey, man, get off my back -- I'm changing reality here." That's pretty deep for a PlayStation 3 game, man.
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Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
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