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Rodea the Sky Soldier: A new hit in the making from the Sonic creator?

The sky's no limit in Yuji Naka's latest...

Yuji Naka is a man on the move. Or rather, a man all about movement. His heroes live for the stuff: sprinting hedgehogs, looping non-gender specific jesters, vine-propelled kiwis.

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Hell, in Let's Tap his kinetic urges spilled from the telly and infected our own digits. Naka's games are in a perpetually breathless state, and evoke similar reactions from the lungs attached to the body playing them.

We wouldn't be surprised if he suffered from Wittmaack-Ekbom syndrome, AKA restless legs, a perpetual bouncing of the leg to alleviate a sense of deep-leg discomfort.

Rodea The Sky Soldier (a rough translation of the Japanese name) returns to the idea of flight explored in NiGHTS. Only Rodea himself refuses to follow anything as stifling as a 2D track, bursting into 3D realms with a quirky control scheme.

This is flight dictated by destination: aim the remote pointer at a solid object and pressing B launches Rodea in an arcing parabola. Aim and fire again and his current arc is interrupted with a fresh one aimed at the new target.

In effect, you pull Rodea through the skies, as opposed to steering him directly.

FLY BABY
The fact this is hard to convey in words is a testament to Rodea's graceful physicality: static words can't keep up. So while we're here fumbling in the third paragraph he's off swooping through a sky temple, launching from pillar to pillar to keep himself aloft.

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Or perhaps he's targeting rocks as they erupt from a lava flow, using each new boulder to launch himself afresh and prevent his body from landing in the magma.

Elsewhere his ability lets him climb a hulking
robot, bounding up its body to a Shadow Of The Colossus-style weak point. The pointer also aims his weapons. Our robotic hero takes to the skies to liberate the land of Garuda from the mechanical forces of Naga - forces best seen off with gunfire and a spin attack.

The latter is very reminiscent of both Sonic and NiGHTS, an attack to weave into move chains so as not to stall the forward momentum. Speed-runners should be dribbling in anticipation, if only to lube up their fingers.

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Everyone else can await a proper slice of gamer's gaming. They'll have to decide between a Wii and 3DS version, too. Rodea's focus on judging aerial distances is a nice fit for the screen's 3D depth, and we can see the slide-pad happily reliving the remote pointer of duty. We've got high hopes for this one.

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