Cookie and Cream – Combining platforms and puzzles

While graphics and gameplay advancements have been mostly anemic, quite a few of the games we’ve seen for the PS2 offer new depths of control and greater challenges for the player. Cookie and Cream pushes this envelope to the extreme — in one direction only, but certainly to the extreme. The game is a forward-scrolling, top-down action-puzzler hybrid that’s sure to test even the most nimble-fingered of gamers. The first game to enable gamers to control a character with each of the Dual Shock’s analog sticks, Cookie and Cream is cute, quirky and one hell of a brain-teaser.

The game stars two rabbits, the titular bread-and-butter duo of cute mascots with unflappable aplomb. Cookie (the boy rabbit) is the adventurous type, with an easygoing personality, who’s delighted to be thrust into an adventure. His companion Cream (the girl rabbit) is the impatient type — she just wants to get home as quickly as possible. How can you tell them apart? Cookie has a flowerpot nestled on top of his head, while Cream has an umbrella for a hat. It’s that kind of game for Fifa 17 Generateur fans.

The story goes something like this: Trouble’s brewing for the Rabbit Clan on the eve of the Moon Festival. No moon’s in sight, and the Festival has been cancelled. On their way home, Cookie and Cream are beseeched by a messenger (in the form of a white rooster) to seek out the errant heavenly body; he then gives them the aforementioned “crowns” to wear as badges of courage before whisking them away to a mysterious island.

Of course, this is just the window dressing, and a way to slip some decidedly trippy intro movies into the game. The island is split into eight zones (such as a musically themed world, an icy level, etc.), each of which features four levels and a boss. Most of the actual game is spent maneuvering both of the rabbits along a forward-scrolling screen from point A to point B. Sounds easy enough, but throw in jumping, interacting with the environment and plenty of attackers, and a vicious time limit, and this splitscreen joyride fast becomes a pressure cooker of gaming goodness.

While the heroic pair shares the same screen, it’s split down the middle, and neither of them can cross from one side to the other. Similarly, when one gets too far apart from the other, the screen effectively shifts to follow their respective actions — which is key, because not only do they both have to get to the end of the level, cooperation is of the utmost importance. Jumping and action are relegated to the shoulder buttons, so players will essentially have to play ambidextrously in order to succeed — it’s not easy, and less than intuitive at first, but mastery leads to a sensation of utmost satisfaction.

Along the way, the two rabbits are beset by all manner of obstacles, both living and environmental. Enemies are appropriate to their respective environments, and come in two main types. Land-bound enemies such as scorpions and moles are easily dispatched with a double jump, while the aerial attackers are a bigger problem. Either birds (the Jungle level) or floating bells (the Music level), these foes latch onto the heads of one or both rabbits, sucking away at the precious shared time limit. Fortunately, these only appear when either Cookie or Cream remains stationary for too long, so quick thinking and reaction time are crucial.

The real meat of each level, however, is the various mechanisms and devices that need to be dealt with along the way. Pulleys, levers, ropes and buttons dot each landscape, and most of these can only be dealt with by means of the action button. One example might involve Cookie jumping and grabbing a rope hanging from a beam, which Cream must then safely maneuver over a river by means of a crank. Of course the clock is always ticking, and the occasional attacker doesn’t make things easier — put another way, this game can be very, very challenging.

Of course, two players can also enjoy the game, and it’s an equally challenging experience. The obstacles and barriers are split evenly, so you’ll be relying as much on the other player as they are on you — fuzzy animals aside, this is not the sort of game to be played with a temperamental significant other. A thorough versus mode with support for four players is also included and — in the classic style of the genre(s) — there are plenty of cursory objectives to be fulfilled and characters to be unlocked.

We’ll have more on this addictive puzzler/platformer hybrid soon; in the meantime enjoy these screens and movies, and keep twiddling those thumbs — or whatever it takes to whip them into shape. You’re going to need the practice.

Run Like HELL – A FEATURED GAME

Details have been scarce, but since the E3 announcement and first details of Interplay’s PS2 sci-fi stress-fest RLH (formerly known as Run Like Hell,) gamers have been quaking in their boots — and we are, of course, talking quaking with anticipation. Combining the moody suspense of the fast-stagnating survival horror genre with plenty of ingenuity, the game casts players as one Captain Nick Conner, an ex-soldier who’s about to have the worst week of his life.

Exiled to the space-faring Science Station Forseti, Conner returns from an away mission to find that every person on the ship has been killed — or at least will be shortly. A particularly vicious horde of aliens — dubbed “The Race” — is killing with impunity, playing god with crewmembers’ parts and otherwise tearing things up. Naturally, it’s up to the player to guide Conner through seven harrowing days of action, adventure, running like hell and, ultimately, escape.

Killing aliens is all fine and good, but these aliens are particularly nasty, fast and determined — they even open doors. Scouts, warriors, bruisers and other variants exist, and many of the more dangerous creatures can easily lop off a human head. As if that weren’t gross enough, this head can then be attached to the alien’s own body, allowing it to jack into and lift the human’s memories (we’re guessing they won’t need them anymore, anyway.) Craftier aliens will be able to put discarded human arms to good use — such as typing. Yech.

With fully 3D environments and dynamic camera work, the game already looks fantastic — and truly frightening to boot. Rounding out the game’s amazing visuals is some top-notch sound and voice talent, including beloved sci-fi movie great Lance Henriksen as Nick, Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek: Voyager fame, and popular Paul Verhoeven movie standby Michael Ironside. Rounding out this considerable crew are Brad Dourif, soon to be starring in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and Clancy Brown, who’s made appearances in such sci-fi greats as Starship Troopers and Highlander. .

In development by the good people at Digital Mayhem, Interplay’s action game division, the game’s been pushed back for a September release. But with that is the release of. Here’s hoping it won’t get delayed any further — you might say the suspense is killing us. Run like Hell is an old game but if you want something new, you can try Clash Royale. This is a new game. A game by SuperCell. Click here for more.