Do you remember when screenshots were still in any way indicative of gameplaying fun? I’m sure this stopped in the hiatus of videogaming between my Master System and tempramental second-hand PS1 (for Dance Dance Revolution). New screens from the latest driving games are a non-stop snoozefest. “O, that looks more like a car than the one on the other page!” – big wow. Yet another FPS and there’ll be a screenshot of an explosion. You guys – I can blur a few red and yellow triangles together too you know. Ah – and here’s another plasticised and elongated Pussycat Doll-esque female leering suggestively at any passing pixels that might promise an attempt to beat her up for extra pimp points (ooh get ME with my POINTED COMMENTS)!

 A welcome distraction from blah, blah, blah is CONTACT for the DS – which going on visual appeal from screenshots only might be my favourite use of the dual screens yet! One screen appears to feature a flawless looking cartoon pixelated world, whereas the other features Monkey Island-esque richer features, think deep dark cloudy skies and the tropical beaches you might see in a typical stroll through RPG locations. A light playground world promises fun, enjoyable gaming moments and the more complex images evoke a longer and more immersive gaming experience. Clean, attractive pictures that tempt you into exploring more? I gather this isn’t new fare to Grasshopper, the infamous developers who People Who Do Videogames talk of in hushed tones, but it’s new to my weary eyes and yet another game to be added to the list of DS Desires. Screenshot under the read more bit, taken from

So what does it take to pique intrigue in a game? The magazine review I’m basing this post on is frustratingly sparse as to what the actual STORY is within the game, concentrating on ease of gameplay, presence of roleplaying elements, satisfaction of side-quests and completion. Personally, I’m sold majorly on the graphics, and have been since I saw this graphical style appear elsewhere online (can’t remember where and I want to go to bed soon) – as a big reader and consumer of visual media, it strikes me hard to think that plot isn’t the only main draw where it comes to videogames – but perhaps it hasn’t been for a while? I mean, I hardly bought Sonic or Golden Axe for the plot… so I can’t deny that it’s the looks of the game which have a huge impact. Yet another reason not to get the dull and repititive graphics of your latest 360 elasticised gun-slinger (I mean YOU, Saints Row – would you believe this pile of pish is down for a retail price of £50??). In a market satured with samey imagery, can we expect the next gen PS3 and Wiii to bring a bright new dawn of artwork – or will they just make shinier and shinier cars?

Contact screenshot

Skinny: Contact is out in October in the UK, and already released in the US and Japan. So, will someone buy this for me? Sometimes it’s hard for FT’s skint games correspondent to even afford Edge magazine (where the info from this review comes from) never mind trips to the friendly import store (location available on request + bribe) :)