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PSN Review: Rochard

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Rochard, is the tale of John Rochard, a space miner who travels from asteroid to asteroid, mining ore. John takes his job very seriously as he is in charge of the operation and unfortunately things haven’t been going too well lately for his crew as they’ve been coming up empty.

Luckily for them, a mysterious glowing rock is found but unfortunately, while trying to investigate, a group of space pirates shows up. The ore, is not just ore, underneath it houses a temple that could show some hints on alien life.  Your job is pretty much to work it all out.

The tools that John are able to use are his trusty G-Lifter and Rock Blaster. The G-Lifter is a gun that controls the gravity of objects. These objects can be thrown and carried in the fight against the pirates. John also has the ability to control the gravity in an entire room my creating a low gravity area.  The Rock Blaster has the ability to shoot a laser beam that fries objects and blow up doors.  Using these items in combination to solve puzzles and defeat enemies can be very rewarding.

Rochard plays like a very well developed 2D platformer. Each room has a puzzle and enemies, and it never becomes boring. While there aren’t many differences between space pirates, there are different challenges that are set up to aid the space pirates. Throughout the game, force fields start show up and must be activated or deactivated. Turrets also appear, but they only target John (the same is true for the electric traps on floor panels). While there are no boss fights in the game, the level challenges more than enough make up for it.

The game’s controls are very responsive and solid. The character moves with the right stick and the gun is operated with the left stick. Firing and controlling gravity are the shoulder buttons. The developers have created a very clever tutorial at the beginning of the game, but it does not feel like a tutorial due to it blending in with the story so well.

The art style goes well with the game. There is a sense of a fun, cartoonish tone through the audio, and visually it matches perfectly. Players are able to get a feeling of being in space on a mining ship.  The voice actor understands that the character is a space cowboy and nails it spot on. The musical score is genius, getting some ’80s rock bands in the background and even mixing it up with some disco depending on the level. 

Rochard is a great game, and it is made for multiple playthroughs. The levels are fun the first or the second time through. There is a trophy for making it through the game in less than three hours. Trying to remember the puzzles and where to find everything in a hurry adds fun. Additionally, are a lot of different areas to explore.

Rochard is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for suggestive themes, mild language and fantasy violence. This game can only be found on the Playstation 3.

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