Huge AAA games may be all the rage at E3, with massive banners and booths getting all of the attention, but one of the most pleasant surprises was when I was stopped by Ripstone’s Michelle Senior and Zoink Games’ Klaus Lyngeled in the Sony booth. They were marketing for the PlayStation 3 and Vita title Stick It To The Man. Aside from a single demo station on the Vita and the trailer occasionally appearing on the massive projectors, Stick It To The Man had a very low profile at E3, so I almost didn’t notice it – little did I know that I would have been missing out on something great.
Stick It To The Man is about Ray, who exists in a two dimensional world made of paper and stickers. Ray wakes up one morning to find that he has a “pink spaghetti” coming out of his head. I know, it sounds weird, but bear with me for a second, it gets weirder. This pink thing coming out of Ray’s head can grab onto the paper and stickers in the environment. Ray can peel things back to reveal secrets or can pick up stickers to add to his inventory. These stickers can then be placed in other places to solve puzzles.
Did I mention that Ray has the odd ability to read minds? With over 100 unique mind-readable characters and over 10 hours of unique dialogue written by Adventure Time writer Ryan North, Stick It To The Man is sure to meet your quota of weirdly hilarious scenarios. Reading minds is crucial to figuring out how to solve certain puzzles and even to obtaining some items contained within the thoughts of characters.
After briefly talking about the game, Ripstone’s Marketing Manager pulled out a Vita to let me try it because the only demo station on the show floor was in use. I was able to experience it with the CEO of Zoink Games walking me through the demo and telling me about various aspects of the game in real time. The artistic direction is very well done, with a unique style that reminds me of watching really odd cartoons on Nickelodeon as a kid and looks great on the Vita. The 2D platformer style works perfectly as well, with Ray’s “pink spaghetti” helping him to traverse the environment.
The most common comparison being made to Stick It To The Man is Psychonauts, which readers of PlayStation LifeStyle will recognize as being one of my absolute favorite games on the PlayStation 2. Delving into the weird and twisted minds of the various characters that I met in my preview was a joy, from the crazy lady who thought she was from space, to the depressed guy trying to dig his way into the asylum. Planting stickers on the characters or in their minds is vital to solving puzzles and helping the characters out.
The most disappointing part of my personalized preview of Stick It To The Man was when I realized that time was short and I needed to make my way to my next appointment. I reluctantly handed the Vita back, making a mental note to continue to keep an eye on Stick It To The Man. If Ray had read my mind right then, he would have seen himself on the Vita screen and a sticker of a big smile. Coming to the PS3 and Vita later this year (no word on cross-buy or cross-save yet), this is another one of those extremely unique titles hitting Sony platforms that gamers ought to check out.