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Marc Ecko's Getting Up [MOBILE]

Marc Ecko's Getting Up Updated Hands-on

"We take an updated look at Glu Mobile's tagging saga."

Marc Ecko's Getting Up has been a long time coming, especially for mobile. In fact, the last time we checked the game, Glu Mobile was still called Sorrent, and the game still had the Contents Under Pressure moniker attached to it. Those weren't the only aspects of the game that were undecided. Our pre-E3 run through Marc Ecko's Getting Up was basically with a concept version, since it was only one level long and certainly didn't contain all the features. After a few more months in the hopper, though, Getting Up has changed a lot, and it's starting to round into form for its mid-September release.

Marc Ecko's Getting Up focuses on Trane, a hoodie-clad antihero who's really handy with a spray can, and his quest to become the king of the taggers. Glu Mobile has finalized the underlying structure of the game, which is made up of about 27 stages on nine distinct maps. These maps are laid out on a subway diagram, which serves as a kind of world map. The idea is to transit back and forth between locations, picking up as many spray paint cans as you can find. The more cans you gather, the higher your "rep" will climb, which in turn unlocks new, more-challenging routes through the maps.

Trane's been training hard to accurately train his spray cans on this city's walls.

Trane's been training hard to accurately train his spray cans on this city's walls.

There are three levels of difficulty in each map, including toy, writer, and king. A toy-grade level might be a straight shot through the map to your tagging location, which serves as a kind of boss fight between levels. On your way to the location, though, you'll notice gates that are closed, or ledges that you can't quite reach. Later in the game, you'll revisit these areas on writer and king levels, where doors that were previously locked may open up, and trampolines might appear to help you reach those ledges. The boss tags, for their part, are enabled when you snag an orange X symbol toward the end of the level. Once you do this, the level background goes dark, music blares, and you fill in the tag by snagging a bunch of cans in a row. Some tags take multiple passes to fill in all the way, since they use different colors and have ornamental flourishes. Once a tag is filled in, a particular graffiti goes into your "black book," where you can view it from the title screen. There are nine regular tags--one for each level--as well as three unlockable bonus tags that were designed by real-life graffiti artists.

The game's basic elements have been fleshed out, too. We knew that Getting Up was going to have enemies of some sort, but we had no details other than that Trane would have to contend with "guards." Now we've seen that these guards are in fact mechanical in nature. Fixed security cameras and drones will come after Trane and try to bash into him, or shoot him with lasers, bullets, or missiles. Trane has no offensive moves, but he's an adept dodger--and if your footwork is fancy enough, you'll be able to make the robot guards blow each other up. Some levels also feature spotlights, which dispatch killer drones if disturbed. A true connoisseur like Trane uses more than one type of spray can, too. In addition to the basic cans, there are cans you must pick up in a certain sequence: proximity cans that take a few seconds to grab, and timed cans that only stick around for a certain amount of time. Your total rep score, which is the percentage of cans you pick up over the 27 levels, is posted to an online board. Scoring the full 2700 points will be "very difficult," according to the game's producer, since more than a few of them will be deviously hidden.

We wonder what kind of phone Marc Ecko uses.

We wonder what kind of phone Marc Ecko uses.

At this stage, Marc Ecko's Getting Up looks and sounds almost like a finished product. A bumpin' MIDI tune, liberally adapted from the atonal electronic stylings of RJD2, plays at the beginning of each level, and some crisp hissing effects accompany the bursting spray cans. In terms of graphics, the game's even more colorful than it was several months ago, and the animation's looking smoother, too.

We've now seen enough of Marc Ecko's Getting Up to see that all of the fundamentals of a fun platforming game are present. All that's required now is a fair amount of bug squashing and polishing. We'll have the full review ready once the game hits the carriers, so stay tuned to this gamespace for more coverage

Posted on Aug 02, 2005