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Metamorphosing Beast Center-stage In Sony Game


TOKYO (AP) a¿¿ Knack was created to be the perfect beast to show off the spectacularly vamped up visual powers of the PlayStation 4 game console. The hero of the game, which is also called "Knack," is made up of 5,000 parts that cluster together and hang in the air to shape its ever-metamorphosing form.

Each part a¿¿ a metallic gold cube here, a rolling eyeball there, brown triangular fur everywhere a¿¿ moves distinctly, rattling on roads, bursting into fiery explosions, changing textures and colors.

"Knack" was designed by the special game studio of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., the electronics and entertainment company that also makes Bravia TVs and "Spider-Man" movies.

It's the first time a game from Sony's Japan Studio is part of the launch lineup of a PlayStation console. The PS4 goes on sale Nov. 15 in the U.S. for $399, and Nov. 29 in Europe for 399 euros. It won't sell in Japan until February. But unlike other regions, "Knack" will be bundled with the machine's 39,980 yen ($400) price tag here.

Usually, video games start out with a story idea. Designers then come up with the characters to fit the scenario.

What's unique about "Knack" is that, instead, it all started with the main character. The story-line, which centers on the journey of a young boy and a scientist intent on saving the world from an invasion of evil goblins, came later. Knack is their assistant.

The developers brain-stormed for more than a year on the best character to utilize the graphic prowess of the PlayStation 4. Other ideas were considered, such as a character composed entirely of dots or one made of sand. The team finally settled on the idea of multiple parts, called "relics" in the game, a reference to archaeological finds.

Mark Cerny, an American and creative director of "Knack," said such a character was chosen because marketing studies showed it would likely have international appeal than one with a specific human look.

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