Boktai

Does this look like the coolest GBA game of the year or what?

http://www.konami.com/boktai/#

I can’t wait to see how it plays with the whole sunlight thing. It’s a great way to innovate with a portable system. Review from Famitsu was pretty good… anyone else excited about this?!

–Dave

The sunlight thing looks like a stupid gimmick, but the fact that it otherwise plays like a 2D Zelda or Landstalker has my interest piqued. Plus, Konami has this ineffable sense of visual bombast such that I can’t help but get some small graphic whore thrills out of their titles.

That said, it’s no Advance Wars 2 or FF Tactics Advance.

It doesn’t really look like Aria of Sorrow, no. But it still looks cool.

Hooray – a game that directly penalizes me for having a job.

And living in Washington!

Like I said, it’s a dumb gimmick; why not just have in-game day/night cycles, or tie it to an internal clock, ala Pokemon?

Are you two typing these posts from the rocking chair on your front porch next to the rake you use to chase those damn kids off your lawn?

I get sunburn pretty easy. I like to pretend it’s because of the Irish half of the family and not because I haven’t been outside during the day for more than five minutes since the 80’s. Anyway, I’m ready to risk it for this game. Looks fun.

Whatcha gonna do in the Winter-time Penn-boy?

Plenty. It’s not Finland, though, we still get some sun here. I’ll just sneak over to the windows for a bit while I’m at work :D

In the game, there are things like sunspots or something, so if you can’t go outside, you can use these. But they are few and far between, so you have to be conservative. Plus there are different Sol guns, and they each use different amounts of sunlight.

Wow, I bet this baby’s gonna sell like hotcakes in England! ^.-

Like Doug, I remain skeptical that the lighting element will be carried off to any great degree of success. The designers have said to magazines when asked why not go with traditional day and night cycles, that the light sensor was Kojima’s idea to facilitate greater differenses between the experiences each player has of a game. I guess what they mean by that is that its easier than making random differences in games (ala Pokemon) and now it depends on where you live somewhat for your experience of the game.

I think I can see that, especially since they say that the light censor is strong enough to pick up light on cloudy days, albiet weaker than direct sunlight. And there seem to be protections in place so the game can still be won years from now when we’re forced to live underground because we’ve destroyed the ozone layer :D.

Should be a solid enough game without the sunlight angle though, so I plan on checking out after I get most of my main interests out of the way (Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Lionheart, Dragon Quest: Caravan Heart, Rockman Zero 2, Shin Megami Tensei III and Tales of Symphonia). I don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on games during the summer, but there sure did release it at a good time if you need sunlight to play it.

BTW, another GBA action RPG that DEFINITELY deserves looking forward to is CIMA: The Enemy. This game is made by an extremely talented team called Neverland, its their first game in seven years, since the enduring classic, their extremely well-received and praised Lufia 2. Since their own Lufia project fell through almost three years ago, this game has been a development for a long time, but it will finally see the light of day this fall. Its a very cool type of action RPG wherein you command a legion of NPCs to do certain actions, fight you, solve puzzles, explore, etc. Its like Pikmin meets Secret of Mana and it looks extremely promising with a heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving, which is Neverland’s greatest strength, as you know, if you’ve played Lufia 2. Its most certainly one to keep your eye on.

BTW, Doug, I heard you played Unlimited Saga and found it much better than others have reported. I still haven’t gotten around to checking it out because of all the hullabaloo since its release, but I still maintain that the systems in place wouldn’t make for a bad game if done right. What’s your take on it? With some more time, is it flawed but pretty good, or all the complaints as off-base as they were about Torneko’s Great Adventure? I would welcome your input, as its really cheap…

-Kitsune, completely psyched about the new Dragon Quest VIII stuff…

So you play this game with a light handy. Inside at night? Want to kill those zombies? No problem! Hold up the cartridge to the desk lamp!

Gimmick.

Then again, I don’t have GBA so its not like I was going to buy this anyway.

So can I hold a flashlight up to the gamepak when I stick it in the GB Player or what?

Has anyone seen this sun catcher thing? If it sticks out at the top of the game, then GBA owners are fine, but that means it whille be hidden by shadow/hands/wrists when I’m playing it on my GBA SP. I guess I’ll just hold it up every 10 minutes.

It needs real sunlight. You can’t get by on indoor lighting. From the Gamespot preview by Ricardo Torres…

While the stealth gameplay in Boktai is nice, the light mechanic is extremely cool. The game detects sunlight via a sensor on the game cartridge. When the game detects light, it changes to reflect that. For example, when you’re in an outdoor environment in the game and are outside with sun hitting the sensor, your gun will slowly recharge its solar battery, or you can speed the process up by forcing a quick charge. When you’re in indoor environments in the game and have sunlight shining on the sensor, shafts of light will appear through windows, skylights, or other holes in the structure, which will let you recharge your gun while indoors. Though, while being able to keep your weapon charged in indoor environments is nice, sunlight plays a vital role when attempting to defeat the immortals. When you engage in a battle with an immortal, after dragging his or her coffin outside, you’ll need sunlight to help power the special weapons needed to win, which pretty much forces you to play at least part of the game outside. While you can make it through the dungeons with judicious use of the Gun Del Sol, you absolutely have to be in the sun for a battle with an immortal. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to fool the sensor, as we discovered in our various attempts to trick it with different light sources. So far, the sensor reacts only to good old-fashioned sunlight, so stock up on that sunscreen.

The stealth gameplay he’s talking about refers to earlier in the article. You can apparently sneak around the vampire lairs and it’s a viable tactic if you don’t have a lot of sunlight power to beat many of them head on.

Now back to your regularly scheduled cynical Qt3 game bashing…

–Dave

If nothing else, its trippy to see in-game graphics change based on real-life conditions, like the Gamespot article mentions, with the shafts of light. If there’s a lot of that type of detail, the game could have a very cool sense of visual variety. Or maybe if you live Hawaii, lack thereof. :D

-Kitsune

Actually, Dave, I’ll almost certainly pick it up – visually, it looks very good, and I’m curious to see how well the sensor thing works. I also suspect that they’ll make very certain that the game is still playable when it’s dark.

Was more just commenting that I’ll rarely get to see the daylight side of things, m’self.

Now, would be VERY cool if it would let me play from the vampire side, given when I usually have time to game :)

Put me down on the gimmick side. I hate games that try to be clever like that, for the most part. Metropolis Street Racer had the time of day determined by the internal clock on the Dreamcast. This meant that whenever I actually got to sit down and play, I always had to race in the middle of the fucking night, which was more difficult. NO FUN. (and anyone who says “change the clock!!!” is missing the point)

I can see this solar-powered game having the same problems. No thanks.

Boktai or … bok choi? You decide.

You can mimic sunlight, though not with a regular incandescent bulb. It probably senses UV light. As gimmicks go, it’s pretty neat, though I’d have to wonder if it might just be annoying in practice.