Starshot Preview

Starshot isInforgrames' upcoming, quirky, internally-developed 3D platform adventure.

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It's cute, quirky, and French-inspired; it's platformer Starshot (formerly Space Circus) for the N64 from Infogrames.

Starshot tells the story of Starshot, a space circus juggler who's combing the galaxies searching for acts for his circus. He's competing with another space circus, trying to get the same acts. And while every level may not have a circus act for you to convince to come back with you, each one does have its fair share of puzzles to solve, ledges to jump, and enemies to fight.

Starshot has only one weapon to combat enemies - the one that gave him his name: star shots. You'll be able to fire stars at incoming enemies, and, as is rapidly becoming de rigueur for video game weaponry, you'll be able to independently control the shot until it reaches its final destination. While power-ups don't give you better weapons, they do give you things like refills on star shots and bonuses like the ability to fly. Pick up a lovely yellow arrow-like power-up and you'll gain two seconds of flight time, flight time that is invariably needed to cross some difficult ledges or escape to higher ground in some levels - like the one where the floor suddenly begins following you and breaking up, almost as if it were trying to eat you.

Originally intended for a younger audience, Starshot has, as it developed, taken on a bit of an older edge, with more challenging bosses. But the skew is still cute and young: The sharks in the lovely blue water aren't particularly scary - though they will kill you - and the game environments are very bright and cheery. Among the levels we saw were a beach, a strange lava-filled area with twisting igneous formations that rose slowly up and down (and looked like the alien spacecraft from Buckaroo Bonzai), a strategic area with warring groups where you had to pick a side and help one defeat the other in order to win their loyalties and gain access to a necessary boat, and the aforementioned boss level where the floor rises to eat you.

Starshot is due out this March.

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