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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: GungHo Online Entertainment America
Developed By: Game Arts
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Players: 1
Rated: E10+ (Suggestive Themes, Mild Fantasy Violence)
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Price: $19.99
Written By: Matthew Prunty

November 17, 2012 Ė There is a rare occurrence in life where art mimicís life. Where you can live out a chapter of oneís life through a video game. Such is the case with GungHo Online Entertainment Americaís ďDokuroĒ for the PlayStation Vita. While on the surface you are looking a quirky platformer with an artistic flare and loaded with puzzles; dig a little deeper and you are witness to a love story that mimics so many peopleís lives. While early into the lifecycle of the PlayStation Vita, it seems there is a publisher/developer duo that understands the capabilities of the Vita and is utilizing them to create a unique experience for all to enjoy. For those who donít know what Iím talking about, continue reading on to find out about to majestic entity that is Dokuro.

The main character in this romp is Dokuro, a mere peon within the vast army controlled by a demonic monarch known as the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord is used to getting any and everything he wants without question. One eventful day, he became infatuated with a young Princess that he had to have all to himself. Without hesitation, the Dark Lord abducts the fair maiden in an attempt to wed. Smitten by the Princessís beauty, Dokuro frees the young lady from the grasp of the Dark Lord and must guide in order to see her freedom granted.

You know how I mentioned earlier about art imitating life; well here is where it ties into the gameplay. Have you ever been one of those guys (or girls) who were attracted to someone; however that other individual didnít even notice you were alive? Thatís how Steven Q. Urkel felt when trying to win the affections of Laura Winslow. But once he transformed into Stefan Urquelle, it was an internally different matter. Thatís the same type of situation that Dokuro currently faces as he tries to help the Princess escape the Dark Lordís castle. He must become someone else; a handsome Prince, in order for the Princess to recognize him. This morphing ability will help you navigate the Princess through a myriad of puzzles/traps that lye before you. However keep in mind, like Stefan Urquelle, this transformation is only temporary and you will revert by your skeleton form.

Dokuro isnít the first and wonít be the last game that blends puzzle mechanics with platforming elements. The castle of the Dark Lord is broken down into several distingue stages, which are then broken down into 10 unique puzzles. Just from this setup alone, you can easily see that there is a wealth of content to explore within Dokuro. Each puzzle, each stage will require you to utilizes the tools you have at your disposal in order to see the Princess through safely. There are several instances within the game where the level itself isnít your biggest threat, but that of the Princessís tendencies. The Princess will always try to press forward, resulting in you having to think on your feet in order to keep her alive. If there is an enemy present, she will attempt to flee, but even then you need to keep an eye on her because she can run right into a trap, requiring replaying that section of the level again.

With each no puzzle you come across, you skills at will certainly be tested. Failing to figure out a certain part of a puzzle will result in you having to restart that section over. However, if you simply come across one thatís too much of a brain teaser for your, you are given two options. You can restart the level from the beginning in order to take a different approach to the mind-twister. You are also given the ability to skip ahead a limited amount of times in order for you to keep the on-screen action flowing, instead of being stuck at a roadblock. Some will have the capabilities to work their way through the game without the need of this feature, while some like me will dabble with it here and there in order to keep our journey going. Dokuro does a great job of balancing accessibility and difficulty in order to provide an experience that is challenge and rewarding at the same time.

As soon as you fire up your copy of Dokuro, you will be immediately introduced to the intricate art stylingís of Dokuro. Your attention focuses immediately on visual nature that is brought to life via the gorgeous 5Ē OLED screen of the PlayStation Vita. While playing this game, I couldnít help but thing of the various movies that Tim Burton produced within a similar design. Just like Burtonís files, you can help but marvel at the simplicity of the styling and the intricate detailing that spills out of every corner of the game. No corner is left unturned and as a result you have a game that not only intrigues the mind on a technical level, but a piece of art that showcases the diverse nature of visual representation.

For those who champion Dokuro, there are several reason presented to you in order to take a trip back down memory lane. I know there are a lot of us out there that are not happy with simply beating a game. If you need a 100% completion in order to feel good about yourself, look towards jumping back into the game in order to complete every single puzzle on every single level. Not stopping there, you can attempt to collect every single hidden coin within the game. If you have already done that, you can look towards acquiring every single trophy in the game which includes platinum. If you really think you are ďthe man,Ē try your hand at replaying the various levels and figure out the different ways you can complete them.

Dokuro is one of those games; no work of arts, that intrigues the person to the point where you simply canít put it down. With more than 30 hours logged into the game, Iím still funding enjoyment within the experience. There are moments where I want to throw my Vita against the wall (just kidding!!!) due to some puzzles simply being out of my scope of thought, but when a calm down think out of the box, I realize the answer to my problems are right in front of me. I want to thank a good friend of mind for turning me on to Vita title.

Though not a year on the market, you can easily see the game library for the PlayStation Vita is growing and growing with one solid hit after another. The wealth of content thatís packed into this digital title for only $19.99 is one heck of a steal. If you havenít already picked up this game, you owe it to yourself to stop playing whatís considered the ďstatus quoĒ and experience of the most interesting titles of 2012.


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