Hands-onRoll-O-Rama GameCube

We went hands-on with a playable version of the GameCube game originally being developed as Kirby's Tilt 'n' Tumble 2.

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At this year's E3, we were able to get our hands on a playable version of Nintendo's upcoming GameCube game, Roll-O-Rama. Originally being developed as Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble 2, Roll-O-Rama makes full use of the connectivity features between the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance by using the handheld system as a tilting, motion-sensor-driven controller.

Playing much like the original Marble Madness, Roll-O-Rama places players in control of a large marble, which must be maneuvered across a number of whimsically designed levels toward an end goal. By tilting the controller back, forward, and side to side, the ball can be nudged in any direction, while progress can be slowly rolled to a halt by moving the Game Boy Advance in the opposite direction. The ball you control doesn't simply move--it also has the ability to dash in any direction if you press in the shoulder button. This dash can be used to leap over barriers by using ramps or to smash items open, such as the self-promoting GameCubes and Game Boy Advance obstacles, all of which Nintendo has littered across the playfields we explored. When broken open, many of the game's obstacles leave behind coins, which are collected to achieve each level's goal.

The most interesting feature of Roll-O-Rama, aside from its innovative control mechanisms, is the way that gameplay shifts back and forth between the onscreen GameCube display and that of the Game Boy Advance. At certain key points, specifically the entrances to secret warp areas, an indicator onscreen flashes "Check!" When this occurs, play commences on the opposite system so that players of the GameCube game will roll through a short secret area on their GBA screen--that way, they can pick up bonus coins or other power-ups. At the end of each of these bonus levels is another checkpoint area, which shifts the gameplay back to the GameCube and main screen.

Roll-O-Rama was shown for the first time in its new form at E3 2002, and we'll have more details as the game approaches its release date.

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