Herdy Gerdy  
Do you have what it takes to become a herder?

PanuruHerdy Gerdy will probably be one of the most interesting and anticipated games coming on PS2. Developed by Core Design and published by Eidos, this title seems to have what it takes to become one of the best adventure games ever. Previously a N64 game, then a Dreamcast game, finally it became a PS2 game: developers thought PS2 was the best system to bring life to their ambitions. Adding to these premises, the fact that on Herdy Gerdy worked a team of cartoons animators from Disney and Warner Studios, together with experts of 3D animation.

Very often a comparison between Klonoa 2 and Herdy Gerdy popped up, and the reason is that creators of those two games succeeded in a quite difficult task: making a 3D cartoon. Herdy Gerdy will be interesting both from the graphical aspect and for the originality of the story. In fact, as you can guess by the weird title, Herdy Gerdy will be focused on herding!

The Story
Seven Elders created an island with all species of creatures and, in order to keep peace and harmony in it, they elected Master Herder one of their apprentices, with the intention of choosing the next Master Herder at a great Herding Tournament. The Tournament was considered the best way to find a skilled herder with all the necessary qualities to become Master. Gerdyís father was the best herder of the whole island, so the first Master Herder, called Zadorf, to keep his power and continue to rule the island and all its creatures, casts a terrible curse on Gerdyís father. After this disaster, itís up to Gerdy to wake up his father, defeat Zadorf and win the Tournament. But Gerdy, at the beginning of the game, isnít a skilled herder: not yet! Heís only a sort of apprentice at his fatherís farm. So, itís up to you to guide Gerdy through his world and help him to gain all the useful abilities, the tools, the skills to become a complete herder.

The Gameplay
Hearing the story, it may seem to you itís not so exciting to pass the time herding animals to beat a Master Herder. In the reality, in this game thereís much more, and also herding animals from different species (nearly 300 different species in Herdy Gerdyís world; youíll have more or less 20 species to herd in order to gain ability and finish the game) is not simple as it seems. You will have to collect tools, also magic tools, find the right way to herd each species, using various tactics, solve difficult puzzles and explore the huge world of the game. There are 30 different amazing levels to pass before you can become a perfect herder! Itís a long way to run, baby! Maybe you will discover that herderís job is not so boring and easy as it seems!

The Graphics
The most astonishing aspect of Herdy Gerdy regards the marvellous graphics. Youíll be amazed and shocked by the variety of environments, light effects and colors of this game. In fact, as I said before, Gerdyís world is vast and various. For each of the 30 locations youíll need to visit to complete the game, youíll notice the fantastic and rich atmosphere, created using a wide range of shades, colors and special weather effects. For example, there will be a great difference between the surrounding area of Gerdyís farm, in which warm colors as red, yellow and orange suggest the magnificent autumnal season, forests and mountains where cold (blue and green) colors suggest a more mysterious and hostile atmosphere, or the city where Master Herder lives, where dark colors underline the impersonal feeling given by the big metropolis. Adding to them detailed textures, shades and lights, to create one of the most awesome worlds ever.

Also the variety of creatures and their animation (Gerdy himself is a perfect example) is smooth and extremely realistic, according to the global cartoon style of the game. In particular your attention will be attracted by characters design, so varied for each species of creatures, at the same time fanciful and detailed. Gerdyís movements are excellent, as the ones of a cartoon show hero, thanks to the expert hands of both Disney and Warner animators and 3D artists.

It seems Herdy Gerdy will be an amazing game, one of the best to come on Ps2, especially for adventure games lovers. Not only for graphics which will be an eyecandy, but also for the original idea which stands behind the whole project, and also because itís certain that Herdy Gerdy wonít leave the player annoyed after few hours.


- Panuru (December 11th, 2001)