Joystick: “Child of Eden” is a wonder
Published 11:33 am Friday, September 30, 2011
“Child of Eden”
Rated E 10+: 360, PS3
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By the time you read this, I may have bought a 60 inch flatscreen TV. That could be the best way to experience what a marvel “Child of Eden” is.
CoE is an incredible visual and audio display and a shining example of what video games can accomplish with the right idea. The brain child of visionary Tetsuya Mizuguchi, CoE feels a lot like an updated version of “Rez,” the PS2 music game that put Mizuguchi on the map. The story isn’t terribly important (you have to rescue the princess who’s stuck in the Internet), but the way the game leads you along is wonderful.
Picture this: You’re in a first person shoot ’em up, and you’re blowing away vivid crystaloid creatures against a polygonal environment. If the graphics weren’t so stunning, you’d think you were stuck in Johnny Mneumonic. All of a sudden, pulsing electronic music pumps through, and suddenly a cacaphony of sound explodes through your speakers. Every missile you shoot is electronic noise, every laser a drum beat. Before you know it, the enemies you’re blasting are notes to the song you’re composing, based on your accuracy and timing. Suddenly, the shifting environment and neon colors (think Blade Runner meets Tron) turns into a sensory masterpiece and an emotional rollercoaster. There is no shoot ’em up any more. There is only the music you create and add on to.
This is a powerfully simple game and far too short. With only five levels, the game may feel like a jip at $50, but there’s plenty to explore using the game’s free mode, which allows you to play without dying.
That’s not to say this game is perfect. It’s way too short and would have been amazing if the developers included multiplayer. Though it’s pretty safe using a standard controller, at times CoE feels a little clunky with the Move or the Kinect, so peripheral users beware.CoE pretty much rips off a lot of “Rez” concepts, but this game feels so much more well-done than its predecessor. Though “Rez” didn’t invent the music game genre, it had a hand in revolutionizing it, and a lot of music games (DDR, DJ Max, Audiosurf, etc.) continued its aesthetic. CoE feels like the culmination of a good music game.
CoE is an incredible experience and is by far the most emotionally stunning game of the year. I hope this game sells a ton of copies, because it’s creative games like these that will spearhead gaming into an art form. Though CoE may feel like a “Rez” rehash, it’s simply the next step in the evolution of great gaming.
—Stunning music game masquerades as an arcade shooter.
—Beautiful visuals, even better audio.
—Way too short for such a great game.