Greetings from Guns of the Helghast.
April 5th, 2013, Guns of the Helghast engaged in another PS Home Event; with General Jarhead leading the invasion, we found ourselves atop an elaborate skyrise beset by eye-candy and a couple of cool features.
Konami’s Penthouse found its way onto U.S. servers on November 25th, 2010. This public space is truly developer-centric, showcasing some of the company’s latest games and goods within PlayStation Home. Upon spawning into the Penthouse one finds themself in a well-lit entry-hall.
To either side of the hallway are set figures from such famous franchises as Castlevania, DanceDanceRevolution, Frogger, Gradius, Rocket Knight, and Silent Hill. At the end of the hall on the left is a sales booth giving one a gateway into Konami’s PlayStation Home store, allowing the purchase of clothes, furniture, locomotions, and more. Exiting the entry-hall one reaches the epicenter of activity here, the dance floor.
The ruckus of revellers make it known that this is a party locale as they jive to the fast-paced techno music pumping about the platform. Strobe lights are hung from the girders overhead, flashing and rotating, while the floor illuminates in many color-shifting tiles giving the immediate area an atmosphere of chaotic fun. This piece of scene-decor is more than just a party playmat though, it’s also interactive. By tilting the camera down a bit with the right analog stick one may target the dance floor itself, which reads “DanceDanceRevolution.” Once selected one will have the option of choosing from four unique dance variations specific to this space. By pressing the L2 button these dances are displayed for selection: body-pop, casual, disco, and salsa via large blue orbs to each corner of this mini-game’s HUD. Yes, I said mini-game.
Aside from just dancing the night away one also has the opportunity to engage in Dance-Off mini-games from time to time. Actually, from the moment one enters the space they’ll notice an ocassional ticker pop-up and scroll along the bottom of their screen. It’s this ticker which displays the countdown timer till the next dance-off competition. These competitions are sometimes area-based and sometimes individualized, both are fun. Once a mode is chosen by the space itself the game begins. One is thankfully given a couple of moments to familiarize themselves with how to play this game via a short video and text tutorial before it begins. The name of this game is “Dance Dance Revolution” and is true to its namesake with a Home twist. If one is already familiar with “Dance Dance Revolution” in any of its variations then what comes next should come as no surprise but for the uninitiated I’ll explain. As soon as the game starts one will notice four stationary white arrow outlines atop their screen. Glowing arrows will rise from the bottom of the screen to, very briefly, match perfectly over the four arrow outlines atop the screen. When this happens the player must either press their D-Pad in the direction indicated by the glowing arrow coming into contact with the arrow outline, or press a face button corresponding to a similar D-Pad placement (Triangle = Up, Circle = Right, X = Down, Square = Left). You may use either control set on-the-fly with neither providing any advantage, it’s just a nice preferential option. After a set time the round will end and scores will be tabulated with those scoring below a certain point being ejected from the dance floor for the remainder of the game. These rounds continue until one side (in the case of an area game) or one individual (in the case of an individualized game) is left standing as the game’s champion. And the reward of this game is a large sum of Konami Points.
Think of Konami Points as a form of Penthouse XP. Performing various actions within the space gifts one with this form of xp, from playing the dancing mini-game (by which you get the most points consistently) to more mundane tasks like looking at the posters or statues set about the space. This xp serves two functions:
- The higher one’s xp the higher one’s xp level will become, granting one special items exclusive to this process such as statuettes and clothing items.
- It raises one’s status on the space’s leaderboard.
The leaderboard itself lies to the left of the dancepad in a bar area. This leaderboard gives daily, weekly, and all time totals for both the Dance Dance Revolution game and for Konami Points in-general. Another neat feature in the bar area is a Twitter-feed linked directly to Konami’s Twitter account. In theory this is a very cool feature allowing one to read updates and perhaps user feedback on the company but it didn’t seem to be functioning during our visit. To the right of the dancepad on the opposite side from the bar is a small platform decorated with posters of relatively recently released titles from Konami such as “Silent Hill: Downpour,” “Metal Gear Solid: Peacwalker,” and “Pro-Evolution Soccer 2012.” There’s also a nice upstairs portion with posters promoting various items in Konami’s Home store and there are plenty of places to sit all throughout the space.
It should also be noted that over the railing in the background of the space is a well-designed cityscape with huge billboards of Konami games attached to building sides, and off in the far distance can be spied Dracula’s castle from “Castlevania” lore. As mentioned earlier though, the dance platform is the main attraction of Konami’s Penthouse and it’s where the Guns of the Helghast spent the majority of our night.
General Jarhead of 2nd Division led us through the entry-hall and up the steps to the penthouse peak. Lined along the second story balcony of the penthouse we took our usual commemorative photo as shown in the header image at the top of this post. Afterwards we headed back downstairs to dance the night away, Helghast-style. Dressed in full fatigues we occupied the dance floor with our suite of uniformed dance moves. There were several outsiders present as well, we gave those Vektans a run for their money. Among the stars of the night’s dance champions within our group were General Jarhead of 2nd Division (whom shall be refered to as ‘The Dancing General’ for the remainder of this post) and Needles of 3rd Division, way to strut your stuff you two. After some chatter, some browsing at the nice scenery, and a LOT of dancing we headed back to the clubhouse to rest our weary feet. Thanks go to all participants, to ‘The Dancing General’ for leading us there, and to Konami for giving us a place to prance. Make no mistake, once our heels have healed we’ll be off again on another adventure. Where to? Mosey on down next Monday to find out.