N+ - NDS - Preview
E3 2008 Preview
At E3, we journalists see a lot of different games. The problem is, many aren't really that different from each other. Some don't even feel like games. Thus, when a publisher or developer shows us something that truly stands out, we can't wait to talk about it. N+ is one such game. Already available for Xbox Live Arcade, this action/platformer is a genius mix of impeccable level design and top-notch platforming action. It looks basic -- each level is dressed in a similar, highly simplified color scheme. The lead character is merely known as a ninja. He (or could it be a she?) doesn't have the history of other action games to back him up. His appearance is nothing more than a silhouette. And it doesn't matter -- N+ isn't about the story, the characters, or some other external element. It's all about the gameplay.
Everyone knows that Spider-Man can climb walls. But can he slingshot himself off of walls, slide down the sides, hop over landmines, and dodge a heat-seeking laser blast? Alright, maybe he could. But in video game form, it'd never be as fun as doing it in N+.
The seamless control scheme is a tad deceiving. It's used to lure the player into the experience, which includes 350 single-player levels. The Nintendo DS levels differ from those on PSP, giving players of both access to 700 different levels. You'll also be able to create your own stages and share them online. And in a Nintendo DS first, the developers have managed to avoid the default "friend code" system. This forced them to come up with their own way of uploading content, which was exactly what they wanted. Now you'll be able to upload and retrieve the goods to a real server.
There will also be 150 multiplayer stages, and though not all of them are unique to the DS or PSP versions (some are shared among them), that's still a lot of gameplay for a $20 title.