Thursday, January 28, 2010

How did...but isn't that...huh? Awesome.

Among a bunch of amazing announcements from Capcom two days ago, Monster Hunter Frontier on the 360, Super Street Fighter 4 being released April 27th, They still had one in store, curiously about Lost Planet 2, and it was more than its May 18th release date.

There aren't words. Though YouTube's own embedding scheme already ruins my buildup, you're still going to watch. Because it truly has to be seen to be believed.

(I love how sure of themselves they are. Pff. Not that they're strangers to battling monsters that are several stories tall)

THIS is why I tell anyone who will listen that the 360 is the successor to the Dreamcast, and Capcom's open love/support for the system is similarly indicative of this.

Just look at the signs like this one.

I never would've guessed.

Continue Reading..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gameplay demo of...Bioshock 2?

While I realize this may make me seem like a huge hypocrite in retrospect, in the passing months, I've found much to be excited about.

Mind you, my opinion hasn't changed, but a revised direction in the story on the developers' side, plus a very recent playthrough of the original on mine has much to do with why February 9th seems so far away.

I don't expect the same impact as the original. That may be unreasonable. But if you can bring me back to Rapture in 1970 and have me feel it, well..

Then I can't wait.

Continue Reading..

Friday, January 22, 2010

Innovative black sheep..of COURSE it'll continue!

Despite the naysayers (but really, wasn't it a bit much calling it out that early on it's October sales numbers when it was out for THREE days of the entire month?) and even somewhat underwhelming sales numbers, DJ Hero is apparently the highest grossing new IP of 2009, according to a press release from Activision themselves.

While the announcement in itself is a bit skewed given the right perspective (it's the highest grossing, not selling, and the entry fee for the game stands at $120), I for one think it's great that the game is getting the respect I feel it deserves instead of being written off as another soulless Activision-styled regurgitation of the music genre. The game rightfully earned a few 'Best of' awards last year despite its weak sales numbers, and this announcement among others just ensures that a bigger, better sequel is pretty much a given.

This is great news in my book, not just for the franchise, but in general. The IP not making any money should've been a death knell for the series, innovation be damned. Personally, I found it more entertaining than another game you might've heard of that released from Activision these past holidays, what was it...Modern Warfare 2?

Forget the profits, (even though they'll be MUCH more important this time around) here's hoping Freestyle Games can strike gold once again and come up with something even better this year that doesn't feel like a completely phoned-in, soulless add-on to what has been a fresh new start for the genre.

Yeah. I went there.

Continue Reading..

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why....what's this?

To me, that looks like a screenshot of some crafty individual about to get himself some Sonic Adventure on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

This excites me. The first game was obviously the high point of Sonic Team's many attempts to translate Sonic in 3D, and with a pretty decent cast of characters aside from himself featuring gameplay types ranging from pursuit to fishing(?!) to round out Sonic's breakneck speed (and it DIDN'T interfere with Sonic's quest, they had stories of their own), it was actually...good. Imagine that.

I know I can't wait to play this. Even watching it makes me feel like I'm 13 all over again. I loved Sonic's gameplay. His was nothing but breakneck speed across a variety of stages filled with shortcuts, hidden paths, and ridiculous setpieces like running down the side of a skyscraper, or escaping the jaws of a killer whale on a bridge being reduced to splinters by the second.

As far as 1999 was concerned, they were the coolest things I'd ever seen in a game.

Sega, please announce this soon. You've already been caught with your pants down.

Continue Reading..

Monday, January 18, 2010

Definition of Awesome - II

Awesome is when a game's visuals are so stunning, you take the subtleties and intricacies of its little details for granted because things look the way they are supposed to.

As humans, our eyes discern things to scale. It's easy to spot good graphics in a game and acknowledge it as simply a good looking game. It's even easier to spot flaws and inconsistencies when a game falls short of the realism it's attempting. But when a game simply looks so good, so realistic, so organic, so...right that the little details, like overturned chairs, debris strewn about, wallpaper textures that are so varied you never see them duplicate, even flags flapping in the breeze are taken for granted, that's something.

It's why, humorously, among your other stats, there's one counting the amount of playing time you've simply stood still. Awe is inevitable.

Even when you're inside a building while it's collapsing. Everything looks, and moves, and behaves the way it's supposed to, to such an insane degree that you stop questioning the nature of the game, forget you are playing a game at all, and just want to get out of the fucking building before it kills you.

That is something special.

Continue Reading..

Friday, January 15, 2010


Capcom paying tribute to itself is always so much fun to watch. No really. The construction stage in Super Street Fighter IV is awesome, and one of many reasons I'll be picking up the game in the upcoming months, my love for fighters notwithstanding. The game just oozes personality and style so much that it actually outdid The King of Fighters in terms of characterization.

One of the best ways this is shown is through the characters' explosive Ultra specials. While the scene seems to be a bit divided as to the actual usefulness of most of said specials, one thing I think everyone can agree on is that they looked friggin' GREAT. Powerful, brutal, and sometimes even hilarious, to say that they're the icing on top of SFIV's presentation is an understatement. Unfortunately, in the original there was only one to be had for each character.

SSFIV has even more of them.

Every time someone asks me why this game isn't a piece of DLC, I look at them like they're nuts. As if an overwhelming amount of content in the form of new characters, more (and better!) online modes, more stages, updated graphics, rebalancing, new SP modes, new specials, and new ultras isn't enough of a reason in itself.

..Yes, I said new ultras. Of COURSE you're going to see them.

Some random internet denizen compiled a video of 'em. Just about every (announced) character is showcased here, and among the new ones, there's one for Dhalsim that I have personally coined the "Yoga Teabag". You'll understand when you see it.

Foul on the Zangief AIR GRAB though...WHO thought he needed that? Someone at Capcom needs to stop having drinks with the guy who keeps "rebalancing" Potemkin in Guilty Gear XX..

Continue Reading..

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I've got your Dark Void..

..Right here. Or there. Somewhere. It's a bit difficult to tell.

So I played the Dark Void demo, and that header picture is actually a pretty damn close representation of my experience with it.

I wish I were kidding, but when I wasn't being taken aback by the 2nd gen Xbox 1 graphics, spotty framerate, milquetoast gunplay that oh-so-desperately wanted to be like Gears of War, and art direction strangely derivative of Mass Effect, I was wrestling with the loose feeling, slippery jetpack controls. Careening into mountains and narrowly avoiding being an occeanic skipping stone has never been so much fun.

Or not. Is it any wonder that following this title, Capcom no longer wants to outsource titles to western developers? Between this and the ill recieved Bionic Commando reboot, I get where they're coming from. They've been pulling out all the stops, releasing some of the most gorgeous games this gen and these random duds are just an annoying stain if not anything else.

Ironically enough, just like Bionic Commando before it, a "classic" 2D version of the game looks like it's going to be MUCH better than its next-gen source material.

No, really. The DSiWare-bound Dark Void: Zero looks terribly hilarious, in a good way. Intentionally done up to look like it debuted on the NES, and featuring all the shooting and jetpacking of it's brother, albeit in 2D form, I think I'll play this one long before I ever touch the console version.

Ah, sprites..

Continue Reading..

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Real God of War Stands Up..

Why yes, that is a realtime screenshot of our man Kratos.

It's no secret by now that God of War III is going to be amazing. I'm really trying to maintain this guise I have of being a raging skeptic, but it's things like what I found today that really disarm me. Being fully aware of the fact that neither David Jaffe (creator), or Cory Barlog (art lead\director of the second) are working on this one, what could've been enough to knock me from my stubborn post?

Well, aside from that screenshot above speaking a thousand words in visual fidelity..

It might've been the demo. The demo really was something else. It sounded amazing, played like a dream, and the graphics, heh. I know the team has been saying for well over half a year that the game looks significantly better than this demo, but I can't imagine how. Textures were incredible, lighting was fantastic, and the animation was superb, somehow making Kratos' movements and combat feel even more brutal and covincing.

My ravings aside, it was a hoot. But they've kept surprisingly mum about things since E3. I've heard literally nothing other than the groan-inducing statement that comes with each PS3 exclusive ("This isn't possible on any other console!"), but apparently...Japan knows something we don't.

A bit of sniffing around the internet at large revealed a MASSIVE spread in the latest Famitsu that tells a bunch about our impending epic. Have a look see, even if you may not be able to read it. Click to enlarge, even. The pictures themselves say more than enough.

...Yes, that is Kratos fighting Poseidon on the sixth page. I believe that was my tipping point.

Continue Reading..

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Definition of Awesome - I

Awesome is getting a Big Daddy stuck on a desk, and having him try to charge at you for so long that the particle effects from all the dust he's kicked up makes the framerate drop to ungodly levels.

Killing him in his frenzy and having the game return to normal is the icing on the cake.

While bending a game's world to your will is one of the most fun things a gamer can accomplish, sometimes the undesired result is the most memorable. I simply wanted to bottleneck the guy in a tight space so I could wear him down. Not cause a graphical meltdown.

Bonus, eh?...

Continue Reading..