Another forgotten category is making it’s triumphant return to the blog! In my first 7/10 Game-a-thon review in almost exactly a year! Expect more of these categories to make a comeback, it’ll help keep our content fresh! You’re welcome!
‘Murasaki Baby’ follows the story of a little girl known only as “Baby” and you are tasked with guiding her through a nightmarish landscape full of spikes, tentacled creatures and other children who will all pop her balloon at a moments notice. You are not in direct control of Baby however, you use the touch screen to take her hand and guide her through the levels!
At first she is reluctant to go with you, she is obviously frightened but a few levels in she begins to trust you unquestionably and follow your gentle prods even as far as falling over! It is in this simple mechanic that leads to the games’ greatest strength.
The game is quite obviously a metaphor for parental trust. You assume the role of primary care giver to Baby and you are responsible for keeping her and her balloon safe. At points in the game you will meet other children who are in danger, they are being chased by their biggest fear. Baby will communicate to you that she wants to help these children the same way she is being helped…
…and you will help them get over their fear, but the resolutions are never good ones per’say. You pop their balloons in order to gain their abilities to allow baby to progress through the game.
As a game that is exploring emotional responses ‘Murasaki Baby’ is a huge success. Guiding Baby through the levels, meeting the other children, helping them and progressing is undoubtedly affecting. By the end (which comes after only 2 hours) you feel a genuine connection to Baby on a level you never felt possible in a video game. She becomes a child to you – you will not want any harm to come of her and when you succeed in your quest you WILL feel a huge swell of relief and pride. Not in yourself though, in Baby, she is the one who has faced her fears, grown as a person and become a heroine!
It is a magnificent experiment of a game!
‘Murasaki Baby’ always looked an interesting proposition, it was blessed with a stunning aesthetic reminiscent of Tim Burton’s movies, gifted a magnificent score and it was built from the ground up for the PSVita. So you would expect it to take full advantage of the hardware, and it does!
‘Murasaki Baby’ uses every trick in the VITAs repertoire to great effect although there are times when the game simply asks too much of the player. You will be expected to have two fingers on the screen, one on the rear pad and use the gyroscope at the same time in order to pass a few puzzles! The touch screen controls are excellent most of the time but they are prone to randomly failing you and causing frustration – this is a shame but it is an understandable trade off for the emotional connection it affords the player.
Overall ‘Murasaki Baby’ is a wonderful experience that stays with the player long after they have seen the final credits – but the experience is streets ahead of the actual game-play here.