Sideway: New York. Can one fresh idea set this platformer apart from the rest?
By Kevin Douglas Femmel
(Sept.24th, 2011) — Sideway: New York isn’t your average 2D platformer in that it uses on simple game mechanic to differentiate itself from the huge amount of competition it has. It is simple enough, just as easy to understand as any game in its genre. You jump from platform to platform trying to collect items and ultimately get to the end of a stage. You play as a character who is thrown into an odd world with monsters by a mysterious bad guy. Lucky for you, your character is good at tagging surfaces with spray paint.
Stomp enemies heads by jumping on them, shoot them with paint or punch right through them to take them out. If an area is too high for you and your trusty double jump don’t fret. You can spray paint certain areas in the game that will serve as temporary platforms to help you gain new heights or access to different parts of the stage.
Here is where the trippy part comes in. If you approach a wall you will change the plane on which you are walking on. It’s basically like walking on walls. The camera will shift to better your ability to actually see where you’re going. This opens up some neat ways to free fall through previously unattainable destinations.
Controls are pretty responsive, but you can’t die in this game. Plummeting from great heights will not harm you character in any way, so there is little consequence. The enemies themselves were pretty much a cake walk and presented no real challenge. You have two attacks, ranged and melee to defend yourself but you won’t be worrying about doing that much.
The game takes on more of a puzzle game vibe in some spots as it is more important to figure out how you’re going to get to point B then to attack the enemies on screen. One of the developers of the game told me to expect different parts of New York to be playable later in game, as well as he ball parked the length of the game at 6-8 hours with some replay value to extend the experience beyond that. He also confirmed that gamers should be expecting a $10 price point once it hits PSN come October 11th.
While Sideway: New York has a unique twist that sounds great on paper, it didn’t really feel like something I would play for more than an hour or so. It’s the kind of concept I would love in the demo but not want to commit $10 to. Of course, the final game may prove to have even more challenging level design but as it stands right now I believe I may have seen all it has to offer. What it is offering is pretty cool, it just happens to have a lot of competition that may drown it out shortly after its release if there is little more to the game than what I played.
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