By Al Giovetti
Ubi Soft Entertainment, a $60 million European-based software publishing and distribution company, was founded in 1986 in France. Ubi Soft was known for a variety of titles including the first Unreal and Bureau of Astral Trouble Shooters (BAT) in the 1980s. Ubi Soft entered the software development arena in 1993 and is now a leader in the distribution of all entertainment software to the French market. The company is best known in the U.S. for Rayman and Rayman 2, a blockbuster action/adventure game for all ages that debuted in 1995. Ubi Soft has most recently launched POD, a revolutionary hypersonic, sci-fi racing thriller. POD has received widespread acclaim for revolutionizing on-line multi-player gaming possibilities by being the first racing game ever to offer the option to link up to eight simultaneous players directly over the Internet.
Watch out, Earthlings! An endearing alien named Ed is coming soon to gaming screens everywhere in a kooky action-adventure game from Ubi Soft Entertainment named Tonic Trouble.
Designed for all ages, the new game will feature 15 richly detailed 3D worlds, 64 off-the-wall characters and eye-popping animations running at up to 60 frames per second, with more than 3D characters on screen simultaneously than ever before. The game is one of the first being developed specifically for Intel's new Pentium(R) II processor, which will be available on both PC CD-ROM and DVD-ROM as well as the Nintendo 64 platform.
Reprising the playful tone, multiple-worlds-to-conquer format and cross-generational appeal of Ubi-Soft's blockbuster hit Rayman, Tonic Trouble begins when the kind-hearted but clumsy Ed accidentally drops a mysterious can during a scientific exploration of the galaxy. When the can falls to Earth, its contents unleash a series of mutations that affect humans, plants and animals alike.
Ed is ordered to make amends by rescuing the can from Grogh the Hellish, a ne'er-do-well who harnesses the can's powers to declare himself Master of the Earth. Our hero then embarks on a string of adventures that bring him in contact with a CD-worshipping village, strange killer vegetables, an open-air island prison, a desert of upside-down pyramids, an Atlantis-like underwater world and numerous other wonders. As he proceeds from challenge to challenge, the violet-colored extraterrestrial is armed with weapons ranging from a magical bow-tie to a mysterious stick whose secrets are gradually revealed to him by a flower-loving samurai.
Ed has the ability to jump, run, crawl, swim both on the surface and underwater, glide through the air, hang onto the edge of walls, climb up and down a rope, carry, push or pull a variety of objects, and even don a series of disguises.
Ed's friends and foes include a piranha who puffs up like a balloon when his stomach is full, an injured mammoth with a pilot's license, a snail who commands an animal army, villain guards able to fly with the help of helium, and a geisha who must be rescued from the Land of the Dead. There is also a guest appearance by Rayman himself.
There are numerous bonus levels to explore, and new levels and characters will be made available periodically on Ubi Soft's Web site (www.ubisoft.com).
Platforms, Pricing, Availability
Tonic Trouble is first scheduled to appear in late 1997 as an OEM bundle with Pentium(R) II processors, which will combine the powers of Intel's Pentium(R) Pro processor with the multimedia capabilities of Intel's MMX(TM) technology. With this sixth-generation technology, this version will deliver super-fluid animation, rapid-fire renderings, more action on the screen and stunning 3-D audio utilizing real-time mixing of 44 Khz 16-bit Dolby Surround Sound. The PC retail version for the title will be compatible for Pentium processors 120 MHz and higher and is scheduled for early 1998 release at an MSRP of $39.95.
The Nintendo 64 edition will feature the 64-bit graphics, CD quality sound and anti-aliased imaging that have endeared the platform to console gamers worldwide. It will also be released in early 1998 at an MSRP of $69.95.
Ubi Soft Entertainment's products are available through a national network of resellers and distributors. For more information, call Ubi Soft at 415/547-4000 or visit the company Web site at http://www.ubisoft.com . * * *
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ReferencesThe Tonic Chronic Newsletter
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