Starring a character named Shu (not Shuhei Yoshida), Shu is a 2.5D platformer releasing on October 4 for PlayStation 4 and PC, with a PlayStation Vita release happening in Q4 2016. Priced at $11.99/€11.99/£8.99, Shu will include cross-buy and a Platinum Trophy on PlayStation.
In Shu, the goal is to run, jump, glide, and use special abilities gained by saving villagers, as they try to outrun an apocalyptic storm hellbent on consuming the world. Originally planned for 2015, the development team at Coatsink Software decided late last year that they could do better. With the extra time, Coatsink revised the storm’s appearance and behavior, changed the level structures to put a renewed focus on speedrunning, added time trials and leaderboards, overhauled the art, and tweaked how some of the villager powers work.
Inspired by Rayman, Klonoa, and Sonic, Shu also saw some other major gameplay changes, Gameplay Designer Jonathon Wilson reveals:
One major gameplay change is with character deaths. As we’ve said, along Shu’s journey you save villagers, each of which grants you a new ability. Originally these characters also acted as extra lives. If the storm caught up to Shu, it would grab one of the characters and eat them. This would grant the player extra time to escape but deduct that character’s ability from the gameplay thereon. We loved how bittersweet this idea was, but in practice we found it created a whole host of problems. Chiefly, it meant designing multiple paths through each level. You would think variation in this regard would be a bonus, but in practice it meant players could be punished with a duller route than those who managed to keep all of the villagers alive. We’re confident that removing this punishing mechanic has resulted in a more enjoyable experience.
We didn’t just remove features however, we added plenty too. When exhibiting Shu demos at events, we noticed that players were particularly enjoying the time trial competitions we were setting up. This led us to doubling our focus on speedrunning, tweaking the gameplay, achievements, and leaderboards to make the most of this aspect. We hope that this competitive element will give you another layer of enjoyment. We are keen to see who makes it to the top of the boards!
Coatsink is aiming to provide a comparable experience on PS4 and PS Vita (it runs at 60 frames-per-second on both platforms), and the Vita version will have some exclusive content that will be announced in the future.
[Source: PS Blog]