Johnny Whatever E3 2005 Hands-On Report

We get our hands on a playable version of Johnny Whatever at E3 2005.

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Johnny Whatever is a rhythm game with attitude for the Gizmondo. It takes place in a dystopic future, where disputes can be settled by a few guitar chords, and where punks still look exactly like Sid Vicious. You navigate Johnny from the third-person through city environments, engaging in guitar battles and unlocking new city locales. Although it's still early in development and not all set in stone at the moment, the loose storyline is that you are trying to prevent the robots from taking over the city, and you must release the true queen from her imprisonment within a vat of mustard. Right.

As you wander the city streets, punk-rock style, you follow an arrow indicator to various pedestrians who have been taken over by robots, body snatchers-style. Once near them, you can engage in a guitar battle, where you must simply follow a pattern of notes, like any other rhythm game, in order to beat them and go on. Beating characters in this way not only frees them from their robot shackles, but also opens up sections of the environment. You do have a minimal ability to roam freely as you're navigating through the level, but there also seems to be a pretty standard path for you to follow, at least for storyline purposes. The battle we fought just consisted of a few notes, but later battles promise to be much more complicated, and there will also be a slew of boss battles as well.

The potential for the guitar battles is endless, and it will certainly play a role in not only freeing citizens, but also breaking through environmental barriers. The game seems to have a lot of personality so far, and it looks both technically and artistically sound. Punks-in-training should look for Johnny Whatever sometime at the end of this year.

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