Lot of old-school gamers will remember Paperboy in its original iteration, which was an arcade cabinet with a unique handlebar controller. A few updates have come out in the modern era but none have been able match the physicality of tilting and steering of the arcade version.
Get ready to dodge those crazy poodles, weirdo punk unicyclists and brats on big wheels all over again because Paperboy’s coming back. When I got my hands on Playstation Move last month, Paperboy: A Fistful of Newsprint was the one game that I wasn’t allowed to talk about. Well, screw that NDA. I spent some significant time with the in-progress remake and am thrilled to say that the Move will simulate that original handlebar set-up pretty well. You’ll be holding two Move controllers horizontally to mimic the handlebars and will turn them in order to steer your bike. Throwing papers can be mapped to a button-press or you can fling them at your customers’ houses in real-time by performing a throwing motion with the Move.
Sony Santa Monica Studio head John Hight championed the remake of the Atari classic for very personal reasons. “My roots are in old-school garage development and I used to fund all my early game projects with the money I earned from my paper route,” says Hight. However, for all the old-school love powering this Paperboy remake, it’ll harbor some innovative next-gen features. The Playstation Eye will scan a user’s face and use a proprietary de-aging algorithm to create a 12-year-old version of the player. Does it work? Let’s just say I was really skinny in 1984. But that’s not all. “Players will be able to use Google Maps integration to choose from some iconic suburban locations,” says Hight. “We’ve got agreements with Garden City in Long Island, New York, Marin County in California’s Bay Area and Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod so far.” Hight also added thatthe Google Street View data lets the developers reproduce every uneven sidewalk and pothole of these communities.
Rumors are also surfacing that A Fistful of Newsprint may be have some inter-operability with the skateboard controller released with Tony Hawk Ride last year. Hight offers, “There were a few kids on my block who used to deliver to their customers on skateboards.” “Besides,” he adds, “it’s not like people are using those Tony Hawk boards for anything else.”