review
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POSTED 16/10/11


SIDEWAY: NEW YORK

Playbrains
PS3/PSN

Feeling flat? Well suck it up dearheart, for we doubt you’re as pancakey as poor Nox. All he wanted to do was rescue his gal from a rival graffitist, only to be slurped into a wall and have a dimension stripped, becoming street art himself. King Robbo vs Banksy’s got nothing on this shit.

Still, at least he remains perambulatory. Nox can run, jump and do most everything another NY native, a certain plumber, can, but within the confines of walls and other flat surfaces. It’s a fabbo twist – quite literally - on 2D platformer schtick, for although Nox is duo-dimensional, the world surrounding him remains steadfastly 3D.

Progress uncovers not only myriad collectibles (some bastardly hidden – sussing the 2D-in-3D thang speedily is essential) but also an increasingly bizarre array of life-eradicating threats. From the stationary, such as spray-brambles, to movey, squirty-blah blobby monsters and giant things that appear to have escaped from a mutant Madden NFL remix, you’ve lots to fear. Especially as tagged re-spawn points are often way back, meaning running over the same old ground just like Pink Floyd repeatedly if you’re roughshod with your running, jumping, kicking, sliding, grenading, upgrading, Bionic Commandoing or boss fighting.

Music’s suitably hippety-hoppy, featuring tracks from Boston’s Mr Lif. It can get repetitive if you’re long-hauling, but that they’re cool choons helps. If it was 'Escape (The Pina Colada Song)', 'Afternoon Delight' or 'Kokomo' over and over we’d hunt down everybody at Playbrains and ever-so-slowly torture them – by playing those three shitballs ad infinitum (wearing industrial-strength earmuffs, natch).

Controls are tight, although the camera can be pernickety. That’s single player. Switch to co-op and it’s messtational – forget friends, go solo to retain any semblance of sanity.

Ah, it’s ace kickin’ it old school again – and punchin’, and slidin’, and jumpin’, and...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.