E3 2011: Mr. Ink Jet Hands-On Preview

We play through a brief demo of this newly announced and very unusual PlayStation Vita game.

Immediately following Sony's E3 2011 press conference, we had an opportunity to get our hands on a number of upcoming PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games. Among them was the previously unannounced Mr. Ink Jet from developer AQ Interactive. Initially, the game caught our eye because it was being shown alongside a book containing illustrations of luchadors, robots, and the like, but that wasn't the only interesting thing that Mr Ink Jet had going for it.

Upon picking up the PlayStation Vita, we were told that Mr Ink Jet is played using only the new handheld's rear touch pad and that before we started playing, we needed to use the Vita's cameras to design our character. That's why there was a book of illustrations next to the game; we had to take two photos that, once cut into appropriate shapes, would serve as our character's body and head. Using the rear camera, we took a photo of a robot illustration, and then, using the front camera, we stuck our own head on top of it. It was an interesting look, for sure, and once animated, the effect was more than a little reminiscent of that in Rag Doll Kung Fu.

The level select screen indicated that the finished game will boast dozens of levels, but only three were included in the E3 demo. In all of them, we had to use four fingers on the rear touch pad to control our character's hands and feet. In the first level, we were being hoisted up the side of a building on a cable. Simply by moving our limbs, we had to avoid laser security systems and falling sticks of dynamite while reaching out to grab falling pieces of paper. It was tricky, but mistakes didn't appear to carry any serious consequences--perhaps because Mr Ink Jet is still in the early concept stages of development at this point. That might also be why the second level involved nothing more than jumping between two buildings (admittedly more than a mile apart) with just one simple gesture on the touch pad.

Following levels in which we had scaled one building and then leapt to another, it made sense that the third and final level saw us descending back to the ground. As we fell down the side of the building, flashing arrows alerted us when we needed to move left or right to avoid signs, and we had to move our limbs quickly to punch and kick enemies who showed up alongside us from time to time. This level was undoubtedly the best of the three on show, and after finishing it, we definitely wanted to see more. Hopefully, it won't be too long before we get to do so.

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