Contact made

So I spent yesterday evening in the emergency room after my girlfriend decided to put the old debate about immovable objects versus irresistible forces to the test by using her hand as the object and an X-Acto knife as the force. (Turns out the irresistible force wins, provided it’s sharp enough.) Thankfully, aside from a sore finger and an achey tetanus booster, there was no lasting damage. But we did get a glimpse into the life of an ER tech when she apologized for coming in with “such a stupid injury.”

“No, I’ll tell you what a stupid injury is,” the tech confided. “A stupid injury is when you come into the ER after injecting heroin into your rectum. A stupid injury is when you come here after shoving an object so far up your rectum that it punctures your colon and you have to get a collostomy.”

The lesson learned? Don’t beat yourself up over minor knife accidents. Also, bottoms are not for storage.

I did take advantage of my five-hour waiting room experience to put the wraps on Contact. I’ll save my detailed analysis for the 1UP review, and my very cursory analysis for EGM. I will say that it was everything I had hoped for when I played the import, and unlike a lot of RPG-type games the later areas are actually much more interesting than the first few sections.

I would also like to debunk the mistaken belief that Contact is Earthbound’s Second Coming — once you get past the pixellated Professor, there’s really not that much in common between the two games. There’s actually much more of StarTropics at work: you control a kid who travels from island to island, fighting all manner of monsters and the occasional alien. Fortunately it doesn’t try to be an action game with terrible controls, instantly making it a lot more enjoyable than StarTropics. No yo-yo, either, but so what?

If anything, Contact is basically a big sloppy kiss to 8-bit games ranging from Rally-X to Gauntlet, and it has a certain retro feel to it all the way down to the ending. In fact, the finale left me sitting in contemplation in a way that reminds me of Mega Man 2’s ending; there’s a similar sort of wistful abstraction about it. Well played, Grasshopper, well played indeed.

Anyway, yeah, the review’s probably going to be pretty positive.

25 thoughts on “Contact made

  1. Oh c’mon Parish! You have to say SOMETHING about hte game! I can’t wait for your reviews to find out more details on Contact. How is the battle system? What’s the music like? What is the game about? How badly is the localization butchered?

  2. Tomm sure sounds desperate – you better give in, and tell him everything you can about the game. Such as how many times they spell “the” as “hte” (sorry, couldn’t resist….)

  3. I wish this was coming out soon so I can have a new game to play on plane trip to California.

    Oh well, Dawn of Sorrow to the rescue as usual

  4. Excuse me, mr. toasty, I was wondering about something in Contact. Why is it that the main character’s sprite’s hair is orange/red, but all the art of him has him with black hair? Is he suffering the same purple-hair Link syndrome? Or is there an explanation to all of it?

  5. I’ve definitely been waiting for this one, ever since I heard of it. But any idea when that one kabuki warrior/alien syndrome/etc game is coming out that you hype so much? Because I’ve been waiting forever on that one, so long I forgot what it’s called.

    side-note from Michael C’s comment. I learned last night that the musician behind Jet Set Radio did the soundtrack to Sonic Rush. Today I bought Sonic Rush for my trip to Dallas tomorrow (Quakecon!). It’s very, very good, and the music totally rocks. I’d definitely recommend that one for your flight.

  6. *FALLS DOWN* This is the game that I’ve been waiting for allllll summer. Why did the release date get pushed back? *cry*

  7. the release date never got pushed back. EB computer != actual release date. Until the company says it, don’t believe.

  8. I have no idea why Terry’s sprite has pink hair. Sunbleaching, maybe? It turns white when you wear the Shadow Thief outfit.
    AoF.Squall — the game you’re thinking of is Scurge: Hive. Apparently it’s been done for ages but Orbital is having a hard time getting a publisher to commit. Which is damned heartbreaking.

  9. I’m starting to think that I should get this game. Normally this is the sort of thing where I think “My, how delightful,” and then never actually play it because there are too many other things competing for my attention, but all the good word is building on the intrigue originally generated by hearing that it’s Grasshopper’s work. I figure if anyone is going to get me to play a quirky RPG, it’s them–not that I expect this to be anything like Killer7, but mad brilliance is mad brilliance, and they’ve got it.

  10. I know the controls are a bit clunky, but I’d totally put StarTropics in my top 10 NES games.

  11. I hope that your cut hand/finger/whatever gets better soon, Jeremy!

    I wonder if I would like Contact. You said “Rally-X” so maybe I would…

  12. One of my favorite art school anecdotes was that my hands carried so many craft blade scars that if I were ever to be fingerprinted, the results would read X-ACTO.

    Off to cafepress to create a pair of underpants that read “not for storage” on the ass-side.

  13. Looks like this is actually going to be better than I hoped. The whole EB connection had me worried for a second… not that EB is bad, but it just seemed like the demo was quite a bit different.

    Anyways, glad to see all limbs are still in tact.

  14. Even if it’s simply homage, it’s nice to still see games embracing design schemes of yore without making it a punchline. Man, how’d this game slip under my radar?

    Looking forward to the write-ups, Parish.

  15. Grasshopper are freaking rad. I need to dig into my copy of Flower, Sun, & Rain that I got a couple weeks ago.
    And… TRAVIS TOUCHDOWN. Freaking brilliant.

  16. bottoms are not for storage.
    Gold, man. Gold.
    So I’m happy to see that things are going positively. But I expected as much from Grasshopper. Hot damn I want to play Heroes even more than Contact. Suda 51 is my hero.

  17. I was the project lead of Contact… you have me to thank for EVERYTHING!

    (except the gameplay… that’s Ueda)

  18. Awesomeness. Between this, VP2: Silmeria, Okami, and other assorted goodness, there’s a ton to choose from. Better pick this one up first since it’s an Atlus game.

    BTW Jeremy, the EGM scores for Ultimate Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts (7.5, 6.0, 4.5) were just leaked. Responsible for any of the reviews? I’d probably stay away from NeoGAF if yours was the 4.5.

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