Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

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Electronic Theatre ImageUrban culture has always been a difficult subject to keep track of, as it’s always the underground culture, so once the general public know about it its old hat anywhere that it matters. This has been proven with underground music, all through the late 1980’s the only music you’d hear  on any underground video, be it skate, surf or simply messing around was Rap or Hip-Hop, now this is all you’ll hear in the Pop culture, the underground has chosen Electronica and more variable versions of Hip-Hop to vent its identity. This is visible even in life-styles; the skateboarding craze has to be one of the biggest underground success stories since the French Revolution: in the way that it started from a couple of guy’s hobby and expanded to be a universally recognised sport in a similar way to football and skiing. This was greatly help by one man, who performed something never thought possible by the skateboarding crew, doing a nine-hundred-degree spin on a skateboard; the publicity the media gave this event not only helped the man who did it but the whole of the skateboarding culture as well, but it wasn’t until this man put his name to a well know skateboarding game, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skateboarding, that the effect on the skateboarding industry was really seen.

So now the once underground hobby has become Pop, and the Tony Hawk’s series has seenElectronic Theatre Image several releases across more than twenty formats, it’s time for a new underground to take it place. A recent, little known hobby that has made the massive jump from obscurity to one mans international stardom is the art of graffiti; this gentleman has just released a game. Mark Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, and this could rock the world.

Now don’t worry; this isn’t a simple game based, like Tony Hawk’s, on doing as many Tag’s in one area in the given time as possible then going on to the next Level. The title features a very in-depth story, set slightly further in the future, but portraying exactly what the ideals  of Graffiti are based around. You are Trane, a young man living in the deprived areas of a dictatorship state where freedom of speech is outlawed. Trane expresses himself with art, but is harried by his grandmother about it until he leaves home, forcing him and his art onto the streets to fend for himself, but the streets are where expression isn’t just frowned upon, it’s forbidden.

            The game starts in a subway station, from here you can choose to go to catch one of the trains and start a Level from a new or loaded game or go and browse the stores and see what options and extra’s are available. If you go down to catch the trainElectronic Theatre Image you will be given the option of what stop, or Level, you want to stop at and, once you have chosen a stop you can choose from up to four unlocked Sub-Levels in that Chapter. Before you go anywhere though you get the option to organize your Black Book – the graffiti artists bible – every piece of work you do, see and like or think-up is in this book. When you open it before a Level you get to organize your Pieces and your Free-Form, your pieces are the massive bits of artwork that you put in Sweet-Spots around the areas, these are Throw-Ups; quick and easy pieces, Murals – more intricate artwork, Roll-Ups; set pieces you just roll-up the wall and Wheat Paste – a quick a easy big piece. You get to choose four out of the massive selection to take with you to the Level. The Free-Form artwork is the Tagging you Electronic Theatre Image do to earn yourself extra Rep on a Level, there are five different styles at the start and many more to unlock; marker pen, aerosol, posters, stickers and stencils. You can choose four different media to take to the Level with you.

            Once you’re in the Level you are left to go around where you like and complete the various tasks at your leisure, though you do have to work out how to get to them first – which is a big part of the game. Being a graffiti artist means you have to put your Tags in the most visible places you can, but unfortunately these places don’t have elevators to get to them, so you have to par-take in quite a lot of Free-Running; wall-jumping to high ledges, balancing on impossibly small ledges, shimmying along pipes and remembering to roll when you land. But once you’re at the place where the graffiti sweet spot is, it’s just a simple task covering the entire chalk outline with spray, going over each area thoroughly and lightly making sure that there aren’t any drips from staying over one area too long as these look bad and decrease your Rep.

            Your Rep is used as a gauge to how other artists respect you and to unlock things through the game, you can get through many various ways, from completing the tasks to simply avoiding the cops, or CCK as they are. Getting more Rep will also unlock more attacks to use in the fighting-side of the game. Giving you a set of combo’s based around the Square and Triangle Buttons, and additional Throw manoeuvres by pressing both Buttons Electronic Theatre Image together – your Special Finishers are executed by holding down to button at the end of a combo – the combat featured in the title is little more than competent, but never falls below the level of decency. There’s also Taunt moves you can unlock where you double-tap towards the opponent then press one of the attack buttons to stun them, then hold a button down next to them to perform a vicious Taunt move.

            The one thing this game keeps coming back to is the storyline: it’s the basis of the entire game. You learn more and more graffiti Tags as you take advice from the graffiti legends and spend time learning new things, you learn new ways of spreading your word as people come to see you because your name has got bigger, like abseiling Tagging. The story’s really engrossing a gets deeper and darker the further you go into it, to start you are just another guy on the street but soon you start to see how deep the underground really goes, until it’s way above your head and you just have to carry on.

            Looking at the general set-up of the game it’s a lovely complete package, from the moment you enter the Splash Screens you are immersed in their fictitious world – every Level starts from the Subway Station that you travelled into, and there are very few glitches in the title; apart from the occasional freezing. Graphically the game is highly competent, looking like a very polished Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, with brilliant vision effects and really polished facial features, the night-time city effects look awesome too. But one big problem this game has are the camera angles, it does have a Free-Roaming position where you can position the camera: apart from when it’s important. When trying to Tag an awkward spot, the camera will fix itself to a top corner somewhere leaving you only able to Electronic Theatre Image see the side of the Tag whilst the rest is a distant memory. This doesn’t happen when you’re Free-Running though which is a great relief, as that would destroy the game.

            Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, is a brilliant attempt to give the underground a new lease of life in videogaming, but ultimately is defeated before it starts – as simply by creating such a mainstream game of underground culture brings it to light. Apart from the odd glitch and camera angles this game will give a great amount of joy to anyone currently enjoying the graffiti culture or looking to get into it. Not entirely original, but a veritable composition of many genres more refined elements.Electronic Theatre Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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