E3 06: Lunar Knights First Look

The disease: a world ruled by vampires. The cure: two dandy knights, a Nintendo DS, and Kojima Productions at the helm.

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LOS ANGELES--First let's start with a bit of a tease. What would you say to a new game from Kojima Productions, specifically designed for the Nintendo DS? Sorry Metal Gear fans, we're not talking about a new Snake game. We're referring to Lunar Knights, one of the just-announced new projects from Kojima Productions and Konami. We got an early look at this Nintendo DS action adventure game at tonight's Konami press conference and came away impressed with where it's heading so far.

The storyline of Lunar Knights takes place in a world that has been overrun by vampires, and it's up to the titular heroic duo to take on the forces of evil. It just so happens, the pair are vampire hunters with a bunch of powers perfectly suited to whipping vampire tail--Aaron is a sharpshooter, while Lucian is more suited to melee weapons such as swords. Furthermore, both heroes are powered by the sun and the moon, respectively, and they can harness the two celestial bodies to give them enhanced powers. During one segment of the demo movie, for example, we watched as Aaron burst into flames and took out the entire room full of bad guys with his deadly solar powers.

Beyond the duo's powers, one of the most intriguing aspects of Lunar Knights is the interesting split between the upper and lower screens of the Nintendo DS. An active and dynamic weather system on the top screen, for example, will affect the gameplay happening on the lower screen. While we didn't get any specific examples of how this would happen, the possibilities are fun to ponder--perhaps during heavy rain showers the characters will slow down in the bog, or slip around the environments during icy snowstorms. Even cooler were the interactions with the action on the lower screen--particularly using the stylus to control a rocket ship during 3D shooter sequences. By grabbing hold of the ship and moving it around the screen, players will be able to dodge incoming obstacles such as meteors or enemy fire. You'll also be able to blast objects on the lower screen by pointing and touching them with the stylus--it sounds simplistic, sure, but it looked like a heck of a lot of fun up there on the screen. Finally, the game will also make use of the DS's built-in microphone in order to execute burst attacks to commit maximum casualties on the hordes of undead baddies.

The overall look of the game is decidedly gothic--both Aaron and Lucian are fancy with their flowing locks and outlandish garb. You can expect to go up against plenty of creepy monsters as you work your way through the game's elaborate levels and tricky puzzles. There's still a lot to learn about this Konami game, but with Kojima Productions heading development, we've got high hopes. We'll have more on the game, which should be heading to store shelves this winter, in the coming months.

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