review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
Grab your black suit and your Ray-Ban(R) sunglasses. SouthPeak Interactive and Sony Signatures are calling you to serve as planet Earth's best, last and only defense against alien lowlifes in "Men in Black(TM): The Game," an animated, action-adventure Windows(R) 95 game available this November.
"The future of the human race is in jeopardy," exclaimed Armistead Sapp, president of SouthPeak. "We're looking for a few good women and men to step forward, grab a Series 4 De-Atomizer, and wipe out the scum of the universe."
"As the most popular film of the year, 'Men in Black' really struck a chord with moviegoers of all ages," said Mark Caplan, account manager for Sony Signatures. "Now MiB fans can continue the excitement and fun of the film by immersing themselves in a game that really places them in the thick of the action. SouthPeak Interactive has really met the challenge head-on with what we believe will be a success with consumers."
The "Men in Black" game features the same main characters from the film - grizzled veteran Agent K (played in the film by Tommy Lee Jones), hot-shot newcomer Agent J (played by Will Smith in the movie) and former coroner - and first "Woman in Black" - Agent L (played on film by Linda Fiorentino).
The first episode of the game loosely follows the set-up for the movie, where players adopt the role of New York City cop James Edwards and must eliminate bad guys - and disguised aliens - to become one of the Men in Black. Players can then choose to adopt the role of Agent K, Agent J or Agent L when moving through three brand-new Men in Black missions - to the Arctic Circle, the Amazon River Valley, and the Island of computer mogul Skip Frales.
"Men in Black: The Game" brings together elements from two distinct genres in gaming: the classic graphic adventure where players must solve puzzles and problems to advance along a story line, and the fast-paced action shooter where a sharp eye and quick reflexes are a must for survival.
The game, based on the summer blockbuster from Columbia Pictures that has grossed more than $385 million worldwide to date, was developed by brothers David and Yoni Koenig at Gigawatt Studios of Hollywood, CA. The pair has collaborated on award-winning games including Virgin Sound and Vision's "One Small Square: Seashore" and Electronic Arts' "Millennium Auction" series.
"Designing and developing the 'Men in Black' game brought a tremendous responsibility," said Gigawatt CEO David Koenig. "We worked hard to make sure that this first game based on the movie was not only a believable add-on to the existing 'Men in Black' universe, but that it also would be fun for gamers."
"By utilizing a mixture of adventure and action gameplay in the same title," added Yoni Koenig, president of Gigawatt, "we've created a game based on a movie that can be enjoyed by fans of the 'Men in Black' movie and hard-core gamers alike - a feat that most other games based on movies couldn't accomplish."
Based in Cary, N.C., SouthPeak Interactive is a multimedia entertainment company that develops, publishes and markets quality CD-ROM entertainment products. SouthPeak develops PC games utilizing Video Reality(TM), a revolutionary new way of planning and developing computer games that results in stunningly detailed environments where gamers are free to control where they want to go, when they want to go, and what they want to look at - and interact with - on the way there. Gigawatt Studios is a digital production studio with the technical, creative and production facilities to create a new generation of interactive game entertainment, multimedia and web site development. Gigawatt's objective is to develop and produce quality interactive experiences that appeal to audiences of all ages.
Sony Signatures is the consumer products division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), whose global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment technologies and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Signatures' Los Angeles-based Film and Television Licensing division manages the merchandising and branding efforts for some of the most recognized properties in film and television, including "Men in Black: the Series," Starship Troopers, Zorro, "Extreme Ghostbusters" and "I Dream of Jeannie." Sony Signatures can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.spe.sony.com.
SouthPeak is a trademark of SouthPeak Interactive LLC. Video Reality is a trademark of SAS Institute Inc., used under license. MiB and Men in Black are trademarks of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.. Ray-Ban is a registered trademark of Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. All other tradenames referenced are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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