Preview: Platinum Life Web Edition

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You may not know it but along with the growing success of IPhone apps and games, is the growing market of social networking games. That’s right, those games you play on Facebook are popular and they bring in the money. Free to play, but if you want more then you’re welcome to insert your credit card number. Heatwave Interactive is hoping to find the same success as Farmville and Mafia Wars with a game that is dedicated to you, the urban gamer. Platinum Life Web Edition will hand you the task of reaching superstardom in the world of hip-hop.

Platinum Life will start you off from the ground up as you become a popular hip-hop artist in the game. You can choose to be a singer, DJ, or a rapper. Along with these choices you can choose your gender and what region you wish to rep. During the closed beta, I could only rep the “Dirty South” so I’m not sure how repping anything else makes a difference but its suppose to. Once that is complete you can dress you character up, change his ethnicity, and change his facial features. Wearing different gear will help you perform better and will also get a better response from the crowd.

Platinum Life isn’t so much about the gameplay as it is about watching your character grow. You can accept to perform at different locations and once you do this will randomly generate an outcome of how that performance went down. Sometime you will find “drama” in a mission, which will then give you three options as to how you want to resolve that issue. Choosing the wrong one will take away some of your fame or rep. As you climb the skill ladder it will take more to get a positive response from the crowd, which I found is almost impossible to do. No mater where I performed and how I looked, the crowd always reacted negatively to my apparel. It was more like they wanted me to insert my credit card just so I could buy the best gear immediately. Platinum Life seems to do this more then a few times especially with the “Juice meter.” This meter serves as your energy bar, doing a show will take away 15 points from the meter or more. Once the meter is empty you can buy more Juice with REAL money or come back to the game hours later. Platinum Life literally makes itself unplayable after a while.

If you continue to play through that issue, you will find some enjoyment watching your character develop. Much of the development features works much life an RPG. Your character will level up after enough performances and when you do, you can add stats to your character. As the progression continues, you’ll be earning more money and more fame eventually landing you better gigs, better gear, an entourage, and more. There’s tons of progress to be made in Platinum Life, reaching the hip-hop mogul part of the game will take some time.

Platinum Life is coming to the three major social networking sites this year; Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. You’re bound to have an account on at least one of these sites, so when Platinum Life hits you should definitely give it a try. It may not be the game we, the urban audience, wanted but its a game that combines two things we love, hip-hop and gaming.

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