'Kingspray Graffiti Simulator' highlights appeal of gaming niche


  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Upcoming virtual reality title Kingspray Graffiti Simulator is benefiting from a round of good buzz ahead of its release this week. Put it in context with this mini-primer on essential wall-art-centric games. 

Kingspray Graffiti Simulator is the sequel to a 2010 Xbox download, the Xbox Live Indie Games store's US$3 (RM12) King Spray

Created by Australian microstudio electronicshed, this glossy 2016 successor is almost a world away in terms of production values and realized ambition, with a score of spray cans, colours, and techniques at players' disposal. 

Optimised for the HTC Vive and its VR controllers, Kingspray invites would-be graffiti artists to dream up anything from simple tags to epic murals, and with several early beta versions available via Facebook, the full game is expected to drop on Steam in the week before May 15. 

 

Splatoon arrived on the Wii U in May 2015 and Nintendo's bright, breezy and successfully idiosyncratic take on team-based online shooters soon established itself as one of the console's must-haves. 

Armed with rollers, buckets, brushes and paint guns, two teams set out to cover each other's territory – and each other – in paint before the round ends. 

Though the artistic aspect is rather broad-strokes, an in-game chat function enables players to sketch up an array of elaborate images. 

Marc Ecko's Getting Up might be at the other end of the tonal scale: dark, dystopian, with plenty of what was then seen as on-trend urban grit. 

Released in early 2006 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, at a time when game stores were saturated with extreme sports tie-ins, and many enthusiasts moving onto the PS3 and Xbox 360, its namesake was by then better known as a fashion designer than a street art icon. 

Even so, despite awkward timing and middling reviews, action adventure Getting Up gained a cult following in the years since, respected for its efforts to leverage graffiti culture in an authentic manner. It was re-released for Windows PCs in 2013, with Ecko mentioning a work-in-progress sequel. 

But it's Jet Set Radio that remains gaming's graffiti reference to this day, blending vibrancy and rebellion, employing street art as both self-expression and political statement; its rollerblading protagonist zipping from spot to spot, tagging them in a flowing display of frenzied athleticism before the authorities catch on. 

And thanks to a slew of re-releases, the June 2000 Dreamcast classic has been made available on everything from PlayStation and Xbox's digital stores to Steam, Android and iOS. — AFP Relaxnews

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