By Jeriaska . November 1, 2008 . 12:16pm
As the player progresses through the game, the stages build in scope, starting off with collecting pocket-sized objects disposed inside an office cubicle’s waste basket. Stage 3, demoed at TGS, invites you to fill a gas station silo with motorcyles, lamp posts, and fire hydrants. Real-world objects fall from the sky, hoisted there on a moving conveyor belt by a crane in the background. You receive a cheer for moves that deftly compact your waste, although the positive feedback is hardly needed—there is something to the primal satisfaction of smashing a violin into the side of an upturned linoleum toilet that is its own reward. Attending the raw joy of destruction is the reasonably appropriate eco-friendly theme, the balance of which makes it clear that there is a lot working in GOMIBAKO’s favor.
The object of the game is to pile up as much stuff as possible without letting the junk spill out over the sides. You have obstacles standing in your way, such as stone statues that cannot be split in two, along with the occasional flaming sword that you can use to your advantage by setting ablaze flammable objects in your heap. Biodegradable items rot, water splashes and drips, while flames leap and fizzle out. Each stage culminates in with the appearance of a “boss,” a large ungainly object that threatens to lead to a swift game over. For the gas station stage, a school bus drops into your stack, and must be swiftly crushed with falling objects before it spills the contents of the canister onto the road. While breaking wooden barrels in half against the side of an iron pole, the soundtrack works in tandem to reflect the game’s gradual build up in scope and intensity.
The Playstation Network has hosted a number of out-of-the ordinary game soundtracks, from the string quartet score of Echochrome to the minimalistic techno of PixelJunk Eden. Taro Fujikado, GOMIBAKO’s lead composer, states that he is interested in matching the inventiveness of the premise with his game score. A member of Mega-Alpha Inc., he has contributed to the production of Noriyuki Asakura’s score for Tenchu 4. Within the frame of an assortment of pop and hip hop songs, the composer got the idea of heaping up a mix of sound samples into an elaborate and pleasurable design. The score uses an integrated MIDI and audio sequencer called Mark of the Unicorn by Digital Performer, along with Qbase to build its complexly layered sound.
Six stages are planned for GOMIBAKO. A release date for Japan has yet to be announced.
Images courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment. Photo credit: Jeriaska/ Siliconera.