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Drawn From Memory

CiNG is spearheading a revival in adventure gaming

Nintendo is famed the world over for ushering in a new age of gaming with motion and touch screen controls. And making absolutely incredible video games for over 25 years, of course. But alongside introducing huge changes in how we all play games in recent years, the company's attitude toward how its games are made has changed too.

Nintendo has started to reach outside the confines of its own corridors and find external game makers that share its values - that of making ground-breaking, high quality videogames that everyone can play.

Among these chosen few is CiNG, an adventure gaming specialist based in Fukuoka, Japan that you may have come across from its previous releases Hotel Dusk and Another Code on DS. As one of Nintendo's favoured studios, it now works extremely closely with the geniuses at Nintendo HQ to create new adventure games and make the genre its own.

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Before CiNG's first Wii game, Another Code R: A Journey Into Lost Memories, was released in the UK (it came out on Friday), we flew out to the land of the rising sun to interview the team behind the game (pictured here with Another Code star Ashley) and find out why they love storytelling, puzzles and point 'n click gaming...

Memory is a fitting theme for a point and click adventure - only older readers will be able to recall the golden age of games like The Secret Of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones And The Fate of Atlantis, Broken Sword, Sam & Max and Grim Fandango back in the mid '90s. Back then, titles like these gave PC owners a wealth of compelling adventures to embark upon. But as Nintendo and other console formats leapfrogged PC gaming in popularity and joypads became the de facto control method, point and click adventures became yesterday's news.

Then Nintendo shook everything up with the DS and Wii. Many changes have taken place across the gaming landscape since these two consoles arrived on the scene, but one you may not have noticed is a revival in point and click adventures.

Broken Sword recently returned on both Wii and DS, Sam & Max have starred in a new compilation of adventures on Wii, and even Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis is coming back, albeit as an unlockable bonus within the new Staff Of Kings whipcracker.

The company taking this adventure genre revival by the scruff of the neck is CiNG. It's the studio responsible for acclaimed DS adventures Another Code and Hotel Dusk, and now it has developed Another Code R for the Wii. The original was received with modest fanfare by gamers in the UK, but it made a huge impact in its native Japan, says CiNG vice president Rika Suzuki. "One thing that I am particularly proud of is that if you go into a games shop in Japan now there is an adventure corner, and that's something that we feel we've contributed to coming back," she told ONM. "It's a nice feeling. We feel that with our games you don't need the special skills required to play other games. There is no gender or age classification, it's just you and the story."

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Telling Stories

Such is her passion for the genre, Suzuki believes that these kinds of games are becoming an art form of their own. "Another interesting thing in Japan currently is that with the re-birth of adventure games, people who have talent in other areas - artists, writers and novelists, for example - are finding that they want to get involved in making games too. The adventure game is the perfect way of getting into telling interactive stories. This is the platform for someone who can write well and tell a story."

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3 comments so far...
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  1. FriarLawrenceIII Monday 29th Jun 2009 at 15:42

    It's too story driven to be called a true point'n'click adventure.

  2. Gavin Rozee Tuesday 30th Jun 2009 at 01:50

    Cing are my favourite developers. Another Code: Two Memories, Hotel Dusk and Another Code R are all incredible. They have fantastic stories, brilliant, believable locations and atmosphere, and really memorable characters. No other games touch me in the same way as Cing's do. As dumb as it sounds, memories I have of playing through Another Code/Hotel Dusk sometimes even feel like real memories of experiences in my own life. Maybe I'm just insane, but I believe if a game can affect you in this way, then it's had a lot of love put into it by the developers. I'll be buying everything Cing release in the future, they're just amazing.

    PS - Cing also did a bit of work on the brilliant Little Kings Story.

  3. bobmarleypeople Friday 3rd Jul 2009 at 17:17

    @Gavin Rozee I agree with you! After a year of having a Wii, Nintendo lost their place as my favourite developer. I haven't had one since then. That is, until Cing came along and made "Another Code: R". I've played (and completed) both "Another Code" and "Hotel Dusk" and loved them both. With the release of the latest another code, they have officially earned the slot of favourite developer.

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