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BOSTON FIG 2013 | “High Strangeness” Jumps Between Console Generations

By
Posted on September 16, 2013 AT 06:00am

We’ve all seen games showcase the ability to jump between different graphic generations, as evident in the HD remakes of NiGHTS into dreams… and Halo. However until now we haven’t seen a game that takes those jumps and use them as an actual gameplay mechanic. The folks at Barnyard Intelligence have done just that with their upcoming game High Strangeness.

In the game you play a teenager who is on the verge of moving. He finds himself in a dream, where strange beings have appeared in your house and have taken your cat. After defeating them, you come into possession of a red crystal skull that can transport you between two different dimensions: the 8-bit realm and the 16-bit.

The jump between the graphical dimensions serves a higher purpose. For example in one area you need to cross a bridge before it fades away. You cannot go across it when in 8-bit mode, but because you have the ability to run faster in 16-bit you’ll have to use that. Right after that segment you’ll find your path blocked off, until you switch back to 8-bit and discover a small path.

During my play-through of High Strangeness I came in possession of CDs that can be used as weapons, took on evil spooks that stole my cat, and then was shocked to learn that my feline pal could speak. (Yes, talking cats have been used everywhere, but we’ll forgive them for that.) It was interesting to see how the worlds would change in appearance when switching back-to-forth, especially when it came to the character designs. (Why my character’s headband changes from blue to red in-between worlds, I have no idea, but I bet it has something to do with the amount of color palates used back in the day.)

It’s hard to judge a game based on its first 20 minutes, but so far from what I’ve seen in High Strangeness looks impressive. At times it calls back to the SNES Final Fantasy games, whereas other times I couldn’t help but think of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I’m not sure how else the game’s graphical switcheroo will help solve puzzles in the long run, but I am very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

High Strangeness is due on PC in 2014, and is currently being showcased on Steam Greenlight.

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008 where he is a contributing editor and co-host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck


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