Weekly Preview | GiFTPiA

By James Temperton 27.06.2003 1

Image for Weekly Preview | GiFTPiA

If a game looks like Animal Crossing, and, plays like Animal Crossing then isn't it Animal Crossing?

Preview by James Hanson

Game Information

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Skip Ltd.
Genre: Adventure/RPG
Players: 1
Origin: Japan

Release Data
Image for Weekly Preview | GiFTPiA
Image for Weekly Preview | GiFTPiA
Image for Weekly Preview | GiFTPiA

To start off, this is a very different type of game to anything you will have played before. It does follow the same ideas and principals of Animal Crossing but is a very different game when looked further into. Now don't get us wrong, originality is very good and innovative bold ideas are where the gaming industry should be going but it isn't. In an industry where law-breaking, controversial, annual sport churn outs and rip off film licenses being used to rake in more money regardless of the game. Originality may be good but with games like Doshin the Giant with a very different theme just don't get in the sales they should. It just doesn't add up...

So, what does Giftpia involve, just what type of game is this? Well Giftpia doesn't belong in any specific genre just to fit in with the rest. It is a totally new experience, although it does borrow a lot from Animal Crossing. You play the game as young Islander known as Pockle who lives on the small island known as Nanashi. Pockle is having a birthday, he unlike most people wakes up late on his birthday and misses his great coming of age ceremony and party. A typhoon wrecks havoc on the little native island and, the islanders are not happy. The weight of the blame is spread mainly on Pockle's small shoulders. He is then sent to jail for a long time, only for the ruling to be overturned because he is too young as he never had his ceremony. Pockle manages to worm his way out of jail due to this, and, happening to be going out with the Mayors daughter. He is then ordered to do his part and earn freedom by helping out throughout the neighbourhood and doing lots of hours for community service.

The aim of the game for Pockle is to get off of his community service bindings and begins to earn some real money and pay for another party and ceremony. Pockle can undertake many activities on the rather small island of Nanashi. He can fish, dig for gold and other types of stone, find fruit and sell some of the items he finds at the local stores. Pockle has a fridge and many other items in his house. The fridge, obviously being used to retain the goodness and freshness of his food. Pockle has a rather large inventory so there isn't too much need for worry. Pockle is very human- in that he will moan and become rather bolshy and tired when he doesn't have any food. He won't be able to continue his quest and move around the island. He also needs a fair bit of shut-eye as well, if you find Pockle getting weary in the streets his money and items are liable to be stolen, although he does have a handy swipe card that can be easily used for depositi
ng money for a while. Pockle also has to help people in his quest. For example, taking your girlfriend to the other, more adult side of the island that she otherwise wouldn't be able to go to. Some of these tasks can be frustrating, hard and complex whereas others can be very simple. He can collect various different and unique items as well such as Photographs to Mushrooms. Handing over some Mushrooms to a deranged, crazy old man will result in him preparing a nice stew for him. Not just any type of stew in particular but a magic stew that totally changes Pockle making him not so argumentative, tired and unhappy. Now, after having eaten the stew, he will go about trying to complete various tasks set by the islanders who have many personal errands for you to undertake.

The graphics are very nice indeed. The landscapes are filled to the brim with loud, vibrant colours that make this look somewhat like a true Nintendo game full with fun and adventure. And, that is really what this game is all about. It would be correct to say that it has an Animal Crossing look to it but there looks to be much more attention to detail in the island and in the characters. The graphics are certainly very quirky and imaginative and should please Nintendo gamers who enjoyed the style of Animal Crossing. There are many different textures and patterns such as the patio, water, grass and nice textures on the houses in general. The camera maybe fixed but that doesn't stop you from exploring the island to the full. There are neat touches as well that give it a hint of realism and life such as the trees swaying to the air, when hot being distorted around the areas of great heat.

Like in the Sims, the voice-overs are not in English, or for that matter any language. You may hear the odd word that is but it will be your ears deceiving you. The diversity in the words the characters say is pretty small and you'll grow to hate the word 'Papereng.'

The music is a total mix of styles. These ranging from rap to techno music, opera and even rock music. You won't be stuck for something you like listening to in this as there is music for all tastes. All this comes from popular, and not so popular Japanese bands such as Snoweffect. Nanashi Island has its own radio station which pumps out these tunes all the way round the island.

Cubed3 Official Verdict
Giftpia will offer an experience totally unique and something everyone can enjoy. Giftpia, or GiFTPiA could be one of the games that could possibly surprise us all with its originality and unique style. The game is looking to be shaping up very nice and is one that all Nintendo fans should consider. Hopefully it will establish itself as something for casual Nintendo gamers to look into and spend 40 notes on. Giftpia should turn out to be a very good game offering something different from the now somewhat dated Animal Crossing, and, no need to worry about it being canned for Europe as it has already been announced and is very much officially coming to Great Britain's shores.

[Anticipation Rating: 3/5]


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