I like to believe that I was one of a dedicated handful of people genuinely thrilled from the beginning that Ninja Theory was collaborating with Capcom on DmC, its upcoming Devil May Cry reboot/prequel. I like to believe this because while the internet was collapsing on itself like a dead star in its death throes after the initial announcement, I was waving the flag for people threatening all sorts of real life bad things on Capcom and Ninja Theory to shut it and wait for at least a demo to hit before running off at the mouth. I certainly didn’t mind the mug shot of the “emo” Dante or the screenshots and later game movies that showed things shaping up quite well, but still the skeptics railed on. As i didn’t go to E3 this year, as soon as I heard Capcom was dropping into NYC with four upcoming titles, you know I was there in a heartbeat…
As much as I’m not so crazy about pricey collector’s editions these days, this one’s actually a nice buy for the sole reason it’s got an ACTUAL 300-page hardbound book as part of the deal. Namco Bandai’s Club Namco online shop is the first to offer up this $99.99 pre-order, so definitely book it on over there if you want one, as I expect these to sell out FAST. The other stuff in the package is pretty cool as well, but it’s absolutely awesome to see Namco Bandai doing a limited edition that has something players can actually use as they play the game that gives them a bit more of an attachment to the main character.
OK, it’s worth a hundred bucks, but it’s still not a PERFECT package for some people. If I had to complain about something, it would be the addition of DLC characters in a single player RPG (what if a gamer doesn’t have/want a PSN account or lives in an area where they can’t access broadband?) and the plain US package art which actually manages to make the import version’s lovely but dull cover look absolutely thrilling in comparison. Anyway, start saving up those pennies or if you have them saved, go grab yourself one of these sets ASAP.
For the three boobs out there who wanted to see that three-boobed lady of the evening in the new film: here you go. Actually, I like Colin Farrell’s reaction and the way the scene is played in the trailer, so hopefully it’ll be as brief in the final cut. The one thing I’m concerned about is I can pretty clearly see who the bad guys are in this remake because the trailer gives them away or hell, the casting is just too obvious. Then again, I’ll prepare to be surprised if I’m wrong. Maybe.
Hmmm… Let’s see now… Swarzenegger Negation Remake Project tally: Conan, Total Recall, (some would say) Predators. At this point, all we need are reboots of The Running Man, The Terminator and maybe one or two of his better action films. Commando and Raw Deal are high comedies with gunplay to me, it’s too early to remake True Lies (which is too much fun to remake anyway) and no, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Eraser or Collateral Damage reboots I’d not even want to see no matter who made them. Of course, I’m kidding (but then again, maybe Hollywood isn’t)…
As great fun as Disney Epic Mickey was on the Wii, the game did have a few issues. Granted, the innovative gameplay that allowed players to paint in or remove chunks of the game world meant the Wii was doing some spectacular calculations behind the scenes, but the game camera suffered in too many areas. That and the game could have used a bit more in the way of actual voices for its cast, especially as it captured a wide range of Disney history that demanded to be heard as well as seen. Yes, James Dooley’s fantastic score carried the aural experience to new heights, but something was still missing. For the sequel, I’m happy to report that not only are PS3 and Xbox 360 owners going to get in on the fun, those camera and sound problems are gone and Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two should be on your list of games to dive into when it hits retail in mid-November. I finally got to play the E3 demo of the PS3 version at a Disney event here in NYC and as good as the first game was on the Wii, the new camera system absolutely sings using the Move and /Navigation Controller setup.
Yeesh, now I’ve seen everything. Still, you KNEW this was coming, right? That said, The ride is officially shut for the winter, kids. Show’s over, monkey’s dead, and he ain’t gettin’ up anytime soon. Go on home, now… git! Resident Evil kicked off the zombies thing in games for many and after over 15 years of assorted games featuring the undead in all sorts of genres from nearly every major and plenty of smaller publishers, here we are at Zombeer: Zombies & Beer. Which means (to me, at least) this is the end of the line for anything original and undead-related in gaming. Of course, I could be dead (or undead) wrong, but that title makes my stomach churn for some reason (and not in a good way). All I’m saying is this had better be the best horror comedy first person shooter ever made AND it better be a bit scary too. That awful pun-wreck of a title nearly made me want to poke my eye out with a cold spoon. Anyway, I have a the fingers on one hand crossed that this one doesn’t stink as much as the title and concept do. Eh, maybe I’m in a crappy mood today or something, as stuff like this usually makes me crack up…
I hadn’t thought about this much as frankly speaking, I’ve actually not been paying too much attention to the classics I grew up with until recently. They can take care of themselves in terms of their familiar gameplay and assorted visual styles holding up, but things are certainly a lot more grim on the technical side. Nostalgia is indeed wonderful when it does what it does and makes you smile, but today’s gamers are getting the shorter end of the stick despite having better, faster (and yes, more expensive) ways to play games.
Sure, today’s fast-moving technology is great and all, but sometimes “vintage” is more acceptable for some things for a few very key reasons. According to a press release I got from the fine folks at Dream Arcades yesterday, the lack of new CRT’s is probably going to affect their bottom line at some point (and sooner that they’d like) and will probably signal the death of another central core of vintage gaming history…
In case you’ve missed them, here are some rather nice trailers for four new or incoming titles from the publisher. First up is Mistwalker’s epic JRPG, The Last Story, which is looking to be one of the last, great Wii RPGs (and another good reason to own the console). Given that it’s a summer release, it looks as if I won’t be getting much son when it drops into stores.
Next up is FuRyu’s Unchained Blades, another PSN download for the PSP that JRPG fans should be thrilled about. Featuring character art from a wide range of top Japanese illustrators such as Pako (Shining Force), Toshiyuki Kubooka (Lunar), Shinichiro Otsuka (Summon Night), Kazushi Hagiwara (Bastard!!) and more. I’m thrilled about this one because it’s an old-school dungeon crawler in the Wizardry vein, which usually means plenty of great fun and challenge. There’s a 3DS version coming as well, but I’m not sure if it’s a retail package or download-only title like the PSP game.
Finally, two games from Nihon Falcom’s long-running Y’s series: Ys: Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin, both coming to Valve’s Steam download service with some great visual updates and running at a lovely 60 frames per second. Buy them, I say. Still, I also have to ask if Xseed can make these available as direct downloads or set them up as DRM-free on gog.com or some other site. While I do have a Steam account, I can’t use it on my terminally slow connection at all because of the update process that slows everything to a crawl. My gog.com account, on the other hand, is pretty smooth going and I haven’t had any major issues with it. of course, I’d prefer these on a UMD or even better, a Vita card as part of an Ys Collection with an art book that happens to fit inside a Vita case and perhaps a soundtrack and wallpaper on that game card, but that’s just my wishful thinking that SOME publisher would maximize that over-sized case Vita games come in.
OK, enough reading – go play (or pre-order) some games!
One of the annoying trends I’ve seen grow far out of hand over the last decade plus is the issue of griping about longevity in games, or more precisely, the overemphasis on criticizing length versus cost divided by quality. Pop onto any games review site or message board and you’ll see whining about games being too short for what they cost (no matter what they cost) or worse, too many posts about people who play certain types of games ONCE and immediately trade or resell them, often for far less than what they paid. This is dumb, and thanks to too many reviewers who write as if they’ve never set foot inside an actual arcade (or even if they haven’t, fail to understand that most games are made to be replayed), this trend of limited thinking and under-appreciation will keep thriving. For me, unless a game is so terrible that it HAS to be removed from one’s sight as soon as possible after a single play-through, it’s worth replaying… and in many cases, keeping.
As I predicted, here’s what’s coming in the retail version of Journey: Collector’s Edition, coming soon to the PS3. The only things missing are more PSN demos, but Sony is offering up a PlayStation Plus subscription for those of you who want to check out the service and see what’s what. Granted, this means not a thing to games without the means to go online at all, but hey, I guess SCEA will figure that out at some point. Still, this is a must purchase collection and heck, will make a great gift for any gamer out there who hasn’t tried these gems yet.
Developer: Blizzard North
# of Players: 1 – 2
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
With no reliable internet connection and no desire to play any game with a solo mode that demands one, no matter the reasoning, I’m exactly the sort of gamer Blizzard doesn’t want playing Diablo III, and that’s a shame. No one asked the many thousands of folks like me who happen to love the series what our thoughts were on an online-only Diablo experience, and the fact remains that not everyone who wanted a straightforward campaign is some sort of pirate or cheat-happy coder out to break the game up into pieces and make our own content or whatever else Blizzard was fearful of. That said, last year when I heard about the game being online only, I automatically thought I’d never get the chance to review it. However, I was able to wrangle a deal with a friend where in case a copy DID magically show up, I’d use his spiffy, always updated gaming rig in trade for the game if he set up an account just so I could at least play through it to see how it turned out.
Amusingly enough (and much to my surprise) a review copy showed up two days before the launch and after letting out a nicely demonic laugh (you should hear it – your spine will rattle), I made a phone call and set aside what I thought would be enough quality time to go through the game. Let’s just say that everything I was concerned about came to bear in a few ridiculously annoying ways, but when the game works, it’s addictive as ever (despite some changes made for the casual crowd) and about as good as I’d hoped. The caveat being WHEN it worked…