Afrika Is Finally Coming To American PS3s on October 6, 2009!

Jan 29, 2009
7,187
Sony Computer Entertainment and Rhino Studios' safari and photography sim Afrika is finally coming to North America, publisher Natsume has announced, giving PlayStation 3 owners a chance to experience the gorgeous game on Western shores.

According to IGN, Natsume has picked up publishing duties where National Geographic Games and Sony Computer Entertainment America appear to have left off. That doesn't mean the two companies won't be involved, however as both National Geographic and Sony are licensees for the title.

Still no date for the title, but we'll hope for one at E3.

Source: Kotaku
 
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mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI
When it was first unveiled at E3 2006, soon-to-be PlayStation 3 owners marveled at the capability of Sony’s new machine, which launched in the US later that same year. However, Afrika slipped off the radar over the past couple of years for a variety of reasons, and for a time, it didn’t seem likely that it would ever arrive. It somehow found its way to Japan last August but the other major gaming regions have gone without for far too long; thankfully, Natsume is going to change this, and they will finally distribute the game in North America. Rhino Studios is handling the development duties and this project includes licenses from both Sony and National Geographic; you will step into the shoes of a wildlife photographer. …and if, for even a split second, you believe this is some kind of namby-pamby plush job, and one that wouldn’t be entertaining for the player sitting at home on his couch, think again. No, you may not be battling the animals you spot, but all you would-be “photogs” out there can try your steady hand at snapping pictures of some of the world’s most alluring (and dangerous) creatures.

First up will be the Safari mode, which is separated into Safari Game, Photo Gallery and Big Game Trophy Mode, and then you have the GEO Afrika section, which also features three parts: the Afrika Field Guide, the National Geographic Library and the Afrika Viewer. Now, most of these are relatively passive “modes” so the primary focus will rest on Safari Game, which will actually consist of accepting “missions” and stalking your prey, so-to-speak. As we heard from previous eyes-on and hands-on sessions – and now re-confirmed by the hands-on conducted by IGN – you will simply pick a male or female character and head out into the African wilderness. A main tent will act as your base camp, where you can fiddle around with your camera settings and accept e-mails that will give you a set of photography targets. Once you’ve accepted a quest, you’ve got to not only locate the animal(s) in question, but you must also take the best possible picture if you want big rewards. Perhaps you don’t realize that magazines like National Geographic pay good money for beautiful photography…

And it isn’t easy. Nothing about it is easy. And beyond the actual taking of the picture, you will indeed control your character. At first, it was believed that the entire experience would be “on-rails” and the player would only control a camera, but you will have a standard control setting; left analog for character movement, for instance. If you press the Square button, you will enter the camera mode, where the sheer number of options may surprise those of you who aren’t familiar with the art of photography. Want to take a portrait shot rather than a landscaped shot? You can do that with the simple tilt of the controller. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg: there’s zooming, centering, filtering, and any other number of factors that one must consider, and let’s not forget that one must find the ideal position before one can even enter the camera view. You’re pursuing living, breathing animals, many of which are likely camera-shy, so you have to be stealthy and patient to arrive at the perfect spot. You can crouch to minimize sound and visibility on the part of the animals, and if your quarry takes off, you can try to chase it down in a jeep. But that sounds more like Plan B.

Really, the primary appeal of the game centers on the science of photography, which we’re hoping will be extremely realistic and authentic. We want all sorts of cameras that we can unlock and buy, and those picture-taking options better overwhelm us, because that’s kinda what it feels like for amateurs like us. The IGN hands-on hinted at special technology “like trap cameras for snapping a shot of nocturnal creatures and cameras mounted on small remote-control rovers.” So not only will you have to be patient and steady, but you’ll also have to examine the situation ahead of time and determine the best course of action. Of course, the goal is to nab as many great shots of as many exotic animals as you can, and this will result in both cash and “extended information and media” about those creatures, which you’ll be able to find in the GEO Afrika sections. Not surprisingly, the National Geographic Library boasts real photos and video clips – done by professionals – so you can get an idea of how you should perform when in the field. You will also want to check with the Afrika Field Guide every now and then, too, just because it may include some helpful details that could give you the edge in your hunt. It pays to be proactive in your research.

Lastly, players will want to pay close attention to the Big Game Trophy mode, which speeds things up and adds a healthy dose of exhilaration to a game that relies on tense yet mostly quiet interaction. In the aforementioned mode, you will have a certain amount of time to snap a photo of something specific, like a fight scene or a chase-down of some kind. You will be graded on the result, so when a lion has his paw raised and is in the midst of an immense roar, which will be the money shot. If you’re wondering about some intimidating meat-eaters making a dash for you…well, evidently, this is possible. We’re not entirely sure yet how Rhino Studios is going to deal with this (we get the feeling we won’t be armed out there), but it may be a definite concern at certain points in the Safari Game. Beyond this, the game won’t really deal with much else besides the photography angle, but provided it’s done correctly, this won’t bother us in the least. We just love the creativity and originality of Afrika and we can’t wait to give it a try. Artistic games can and do survive; just look at titles like Flower and echochrome.

Afrika is slated to launch some time later this year in the US; we’ll let you know when Natsume issues a concrete release date.

source: psxextreme.com/ps3-previews/328.html
 

mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI

mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI
Afrika Is Like An Ugly Person With No Personality

Afrika Is Like An Ugly Person With No Personality There are times when you’re growing up that you’re told to be wary of certain kinds of people, it works the same way with video games, too: a beautiful person with no personality or depth to their character is a lot like a game with great graphics and not much else (i.e., KillZone 2, Gears of War). Sometimes there are ugly people with great character qualities that truly make them special, (i.e., Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Super Mario 64). Then there are those who fail to meet any good quality. In a way, the upcoming casual photo-game, Afrika, is both ugly and shallow.

Rhino Studios has been working on the game for the past few years and nary would a gamer acquiesce to that kind of development length after seeing the two recently released trailers below.

I’m not sure why Natsume thought this would be a good project to publish on the powerhouse PS3, but that’s exactly what makes this game not look good. In all honesty, it looks like a game that came out of the original Xbox era and would probably be suited better for the Nintendo Wii.

The resolution isn’t particularly good and the pace of the game (though, more appropriately it should be called an interactive photo-simulation program) is so slow that anyone watching is forced to stare down the uncomely visuals and blocky graphics. So far, the sound seems to be extremely well done and the vehicle and environmental effects come off with great quality. However, it doesn’t make up for the long load times, bland aesthetic and uninspiring atmosphere.

If I were Natsume I would make Rhino put in a few more months of visual polish to make up for the lack of actual gameplay. If anyone has to stare at something all day long and it has no personality it should at least look good.

Afrika is due out this August in North America, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. You can check out the two new gameplay trailers below and remember to stay tuned in with Blend Games for more insight, info and updates regarding all things gaming.

source: cinemablend.com/games/Afrika-Is-Like-An-Ugly-Person-With-No-Personality-18435.html
 
Jan 29, 2009
7,187
after watching that video, the camera they give the girl blows... lol, a Digital SLR is 10x better than that, otherwise it looks what i thought it would look like.
 

mobius387

beer snob
Premium Supporter
Feb 16, 2009
4,404
Milwaukee, WI
isnt that what this thread was about?

lol. i finally get what you meant. i was talking about aquanauts holiday. if afrika has success, then maybe they will bring AH over here as well. lol, gotta be careful with those pronouns :p

speaking of aquanauts holiday, im enjoying it a lot right now (THANKS jefXfree!!!). theres a lot more to it than just swimming around and taking pictures of fish. an interesting story and they incorporate some aquatic facts which i find interesting and a fresh dimension to the game (maybe ill write a review for it :cool:). lets hope Afrika does the same thing, if these elements weren't present, or very well done, then it would be a very boring game.
 
Apr 17, 2009
7,731
San Diego, CA
Afrika goes gold

Get your cameras ready!

The team at Natsume have announced that PlayStation 3 safari outing Afrika has gone gold and is on track for its hotly anticipated release on U.S. shores early next month.

Released in Japan back in August 2008, Afrika pits gamers in the shoes of a freelance photographer, allowing users to snap dramatic shots of heaps of wildlife, including Lions, Cheetas, Elephants and Rhinos across meticulously rendered backdrops. You’ll also be able to devourer a plethora of info on the animals in both written and video form, as well as purchase new equipment utilizing the cash earned from lucrative snap shots you've taken.

Natsume CEO and president, Hiro Maekawa, commented: "We are thrilled about Afrika's upcoming release in North America. And it's certainly been a pleasure working with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios on the project.”

"Afrika is a truly unique gaming experience. Anyone can pick it up and enjoy its beauty, but it has enough depth and challenge to satisfy even the most hardcore players."

Afrika will be released exclusively for PS3 on October 6, 2009.