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Overview

Developed by Rhino Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment (in Japan) and Natsume (in the United States). Afrika is a photography simulation game set in an unknown country of Africa. It is often considered a spiritual successor to Pokémon Snap, but with more safari and less track. 
 
First revealed at Sony's E3 2006 press conference (essentially as a tech demo), the game prominently focused on utilizing the PS3 hardware to its full potential to create an extensively life-like experience. The long-awaited game was first released in Japan and Asia in August 2008, followed by North America in October 2009. The game's reception has been, internationally, largely positive.

Gameplay

 Stylin' Profilin'
In Afrika, you play as either Eric, a journalist from France or Anna, a Zoologist from the USA. You have both been hired to explore the Manyanga Conservation Area which is an unspecified region of Africa. While surveying the land, throughout the game you are given tasks via email at your base camp. As the game progresses, the requests become more detailed, forcing you to capture the animals in a specific action: an elephant spraying water, a cheetah taking down a gazelle, etc...

At the beginning of the game, the control of your character is generally limited to binoculars and the camera, while your NPC guide James controls the jeep between locations. However, you're able to stop and/or exit the jeep to get close ups of the animals. Soon you get to have full control of the jeep, and the other character tags along in the back, surveying the land as you continue your quests for those perfect shots.
 There's always a wonderful moment to capture on film.
Occasionally the other character will drive, so you can capture a moment while on the move.  
 
It's not limited to just daytime, as you will later gain the ability to go on a Safari at night. When evening comes and you are back at the Base Camp, exiting will prompt which location you would like to visit. You then quick-jump there, and control of the Jeep goes back to on-rails and AI controlled; you are only allowed to walk a certain distance away from the Jeep, before you are called back. After all, it's dangerous at night and you really shouldn't wander off too far anyway.

Taking pictures makes use of the PS3 Sixaxis control scheme. Allowing you to zoom, focus, and tilt the camera in order to achieve just the right shot. These elements play a significant factor when choosing to sell the photos, as the game rates them based on these specifications, and pays accordingly. Cash earned from selling photos can be used to purchase new supplies or upgrades for your camera, which in turn gives you the chance to take better and better photos.
 

CONTROLS

Jeep Controls
On Foot Controls
Right Stick - Move around
Left Stick - Steer Vehicle
L2 - Stop Vehicle
R2 - Accelerate Vehicle
R1 - Binoculars
Circle - Talk (Use to get a tip on what to do next.)
Triangle - Field Menu Options
Square - Use Camera
X - Exit Vehicle
Start - Change view
Select - GPS
Right Stick - Look around
Left Stick - Move
L3 - Make a Whistling noise
R1 - Binoculars
Triangle - Field Menu Options
Square - Use Camera 
Directional Buttons - Crouch / Peer Left, Right / Stand
Start - Toggle 1st Person / 3rd Person view
Select - GPS
When in Camera Mode, aim with the left stick and Zoom with the right. Fully pressing either R1 or circle will take the picture, pressing the button half way, or L1 will lock the current focus until tripping the shutter. Tilt the controller sideways to take a vertically oriented shot. Pressing triangle will let you play with the camera's options, depending on its configuration, such as changing the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and Color Settings.

Base Camp

You earn money based on how well you take the picture!
Your Headquarters of sorts, at the end of the day everything you need to do business-wise can only be done here.
  • Bed - Of course, at the end of a busy day, sleep is definitely in order. Depending on the mission you'll use it to sleep until night time.
  • Map - A map of every area, also taking note of specific locations from each area (eg. Umbrella Tree, Awali Oasis, Mt. Hakuna Matata...)
  • Bookshelf - On this bookshelf is a Diary that keeps track of specific moments in the game, a book with detailed instructions on how to use the cameras, and magazines and other books given to you as a keepsake that feature your photography.
  • Tools - A look at all the items you have bought and received, can also be done on the field menu.
  • Camera - Customize your camera options, can also be done on the field menu.
  • Picture Frame - Available from the store. Buying it puts it up on the wall in the background. Take one of your favorite photographs and put it in the frame, to cherish it forever.
  • Friend - Either Eric or Anna sits in the tent with you and shares information and advice on playing the game.
  • Laptop PC - All your work is done on your laptop.
    Check your emails, receive tasks and information, send out your work to get paid. TAKE NOTE! Emails with Red Exclamation Points are missions that can only be taken one at a time.
    The Photo Gallery is where you store up to 200 photos you've taken.
    The Shopping option, is your online store to buy new equipment when it becomes available.
    Field Guide
    is detailed information on every animal you encountered, as long as you've taken a picture and sent it in. It has pictures, a detailed 3D model of the animal (from adult to infant), background information, and animal to human size comparison among other things.
    You can also Save your game from here, which is highly advisable as the Autosave is sporadic. You are only allowed one slot (that the autosave also uses), and Afrika save files are 387MB in size so the process takes some time.
  • Exit - Go out and Safari!
Field Camp
If you are far off from Base Camp and you bought a tent, you get the ability to camp in the current area for the night. Options are limited to Tent, Friend and Photos, but the convenience of camping eliminates back and forth traveling, and the chance to take photos early in the morning. Which is a plus for some missions that require a morning shot, or some animals will only be available at this time.

Cameras and Items

Types of Cameras

Body

  • TSETSE TYPE F - A camera with basic features intended for amateurs. The camera you begin with.
  • Sony Alpha 100 - An easy-to-use camera utilizing Super Steady-shot Image Stabilization and Advanced Auto-focus.
  • Sony Alpha 350 - The successor of the Alpha 100, this camera is equipped with the latest in digital technology.
  • Sony Alpha 700 - A versatile camera with superb image quality intended for professional use.

Lens

  •  These cameras are high quality!
    DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 - This standard zoom lens mimics the human eye's field of vision for a true perspective. Not intended for long-distance shots.
  • 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 - A 4.3x zoom lens well suited for snap shots. Equipped with improved long-distance capabilities.
  • DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 - A versatile 11.1x telephoto lens capable of an easy transition between close-up and wide-angle shots.
  • 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 - A telephoto lens well suited for zooming in from a distance.
  • DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 - A wide-angle lens best suited for landscape shots. Also suited for dynamic close-ups.
  • DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 - A truly versatile lens capable of capturing superior long-distance shots. Also allows for a quick transition between a variety of distances.
  • DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 - A telephoto lens equipped with advanced long-distance capabilities. Unsuited for landscape shots.
  • 300mm F2.8 G - A must-have telephoto lens among professionals. Advanced skill is necessary as no zoom function is equipped.

Other equipment used on your Safari

  • Binoculars - With 7 X 50 view. A must for any Safari!
  • Inventory!
    GPS Map - Map tool which uses GPS technology to track your location.
  • Tent - A compact, lightweight dome tent for setting up camp. Useful when you're far from home base and still need to be out to get that perfect shot.
  • Photo Storage 50 - Memory stick for your camera, stores 50 photos.
  • Photo Storage 100 - Stores 100 photos.
  • Vertical Grip - Prevents camera shake for vertical shots. For use, only with the Alpha 700.
  • Trap cam set - Shoot photos from a distance using infrared remote. Custom for TSETSE cameras. (Trap cam can only be used on specific locations.)
  • RC cam set - Attach a TSETSE camera to an RC car for remote controlled photography. (Again, can only be used at specific times.)
  • Night Safari Set - Includes jeep spotlight and LED headlights for night safaris.
  • Gun Mic Set - Gun mic and recorder for audio recording.
  • Transmitter Retrieval Set - Radio wave tracker and remote for Crtittercam retrieval.
  • Crittercam - Self-shooting attachable animal camera for the Crittercam project.

Other customisation

You can buy a different paint job for your jeep, giving you the colors Red, White, Green, Blue and Beige!

Modes

Safari Mode:

  • Start Safari: Explore the Wilderness of Afrika. The core part of the game where you choose a character and venture around various locations, taking pictures of the wildlife.
  • Photo Gallery: A picture viewer of photos you have taken in the game. From here, you can also export any picture you took, for direct access, on the PS3's cross media bar. So if you take any great pictures, you can keep them forever. The max number of photos you can keep at a time is 200, so make sure to get out the ones you really want, before you have to clean house, and make room for more great photos.
  • Big Game Trophy: Replay The more exciting experiences from your Safari with this option, good for when you want to relive those moments and recapture that sweet shot.

Geo Afrika mode:

  • Put on the Afrika viewer, and enjoy the ambiance of Nature.
    Afrika field guide: Read about any of the animals you have discovered in Safari mode. More pictures you take, the more you learn.
  • National Geographic Library: View Photos and videos strait from National Geographic's Archives. The more missions you take throughout the game, the more you unlock.
  • Afrika viewer:  View the habitats of Afrika. A mode with an idle camera looking out to the environment. Different cameras around the area are only available when you've found that landmark, So make sure to explore! Even time of day and background music is changeable. Also Perfect for referencing when and where animals will be, and what they'll be doing.
"MIDNIGHT MODE" in the options, lets you run the game with more vibrant sounds at 5.1 surround.
 
Afrika Is a Single Player game. 
Disk Space Required: 2,334MB Supported HD video output: 480p, 720p Trophy Support: Yes

Trivia

  • The Soundtrack for the game was composed by Wataru Hokoyama.
  • The music was awarded Best Original Video Game Score by The 2008 Hollywood Music Awards.
  • You do not die, if an animal attacks you. You do, however, lose all of the photos in your camera.
  • Various unlockables of real-life footage and photos are featured in the game.
  • The Jeep you drive is a Suzuki Jimny 1300.
  • There's a hot air balloon.

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