Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sine Mora – review

Sine-Mora-on-the-Xbox-008 Traditionally, 2D shooters have had little truck with the art of storytelling. Since the Space Invaders era, the genre's focus has been all about action – a single vehicle fighting to save the world deemed entirely sufficient as far as plot is concerned.

Sine Mora takes a different approach. While this beautifully illustrated game boasts all the archetypes of the arcade shooter in terms of gameplay – dodging bullets, dogfighting and manipulating scoring mechanics on a scrolling 2D plane – the play is intercut with dialogue and animated sequences.

For those familiar with the norms of 2D shooters, this curious approach to plot can feel jarring. The constant swing back and forth between action and narrative makes for an erratic pace that can be bewildering.

However, the world built for Sine Mora is a place of wonderful detail and atmosphere, and the emphasis on plot and setting, in conjunction with fairly solid gameplay, makes for a unique experience in a genre too often smothered by its own conventions.

Drawing clear inspiration from some of Japan's finest animation houses, Sine Mora – which also features a more traditional arcade mode – is a captivating alternative to the Xbox 360's many generic blockbusters.

The Guardian

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