"Who?", you ask. Well Frédérick Raynal (pictured here with his medal for the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) is as close as I have to a gaming hero. Little Big Adventure 1 and 2 (no relation to Little Big Planet) and the Dreamcast game Toy Commander are among my very favourite games of all time. He also created the original Alone in the Dark (though he isn't to blame for anything that has happened with that since). His Adeline Studios were bought by SEGA and became No Cliché in 1997 and after the amazing Toy Commander, and a budget spin-off called Toy Racer (which retailed for about £5), a new survival horror game called Agartha was sadly cancelled and No Cliché were no more. For whatever reason, he hasn't been able to make a game since then. Raynal worked as a consultant at Ubi Soft and helped with the design of the charming DS game Soul Bubbles, but that was all he did for video games in the best part of the last ten years. Until now!
This morning I read a news story on Eurogamer which reveals that there is a new game (format and genre yet unknown, but it isn't LBA 3) coming out this year. I suspect it will be a low-budget DS game or a download title, but if someone has given Raynal the money to make a big new game, then his track record suggests it will be awesome. Does anyone else remember when all the best games were French (Michel Ancel's Rayman and Beyond Good and Evil, for example)? What happened Ubi Soft? Hopefully this new Raynal game will make up for all the Imagine Tom Clancy rubbish.I am going to be following this one with interest.
Check out Raynal's personal website for a full gameography here. Also, come back in the week for my report on Rock Band night!