There are literally hundreds of video games released every year, so it’s impossible for gamers to take part in every new gameplay experience available. Even if you were to focus solely on playing high-quality well-reviewed blockbuster titles, there’s no shot you could find the time to play them all. This topic marks the perfect start to a new feature segment here on Daft Bit, called Confession Booth.
Confession Booth will allow our staff to expose a long-hidden personal confession, one which will likely cause high levels of embarrassment or shame. To kick off the new feature, I’m picking a topic that has shame written all over it, one I am confident that every gamer can relate to: lying to friends that you’ve played a game.
Earlier this week, I booted up the ol’ Xbox 360, as I wanted to play Black Ops one last time before placing it in a dusty box as a result of an inevitable Modern Warfare 3 addiction. First thing I noticed after boot up was a different looking dashboard, where only two rows of content were displayed — I quickly realized it was because I was no longer signed in with my gamertag. No big deal. As expected, I booted up Black Ops and figured I’d just sign-in within the game. That is until I was told my gamertag was invalid. Womp.
I’m not sure if I’ve made it clear before, but I’m a huge Zelda fanatic. One of my earliest childhood memories was playing Zelda II: The Adventures of Link on my yellow and white checkered linoleum floor, in a room in my house my brother and I dubbed the “Playroom.”
I was born in 1985, the birth year of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Before I even knew what a video game was, my parents awesomely purchased an Atari and a NES, effectively starting my gaming obsession, at around age three. Sure, Atari had some great arcade games, but NES gave me the Super Mario franchise and two Zelda classics, games that shaped my imagination, creativity, and taught me the ability to conquer any quest. It was Link, however, who would become my personal hero for the next twenty-something years.
I’m not a huge fan of people. Being around the general population for an extended period of time often leaves me feeling irritable, frustrated, and annoyed. After all, it’s the general population that made Susan Boyle relevant, voted Bush into office twice, and thinks “Global Warming” is an actual threat to our future — it’s not. People are the worst.
And while I love conventions that cater to my inner geek, it seems they often bring out thousands of the aforementioned. Even in a city as progressive as New York, the numbest of numbskulls seemingly flock with delight when the Comic-Con circus rolls into town, raining on my parade. Personally, I attend Comic-Con for the video game exhibits, always eager to play the latest builds of upcoming titles from the publishers themselves. I also love seeing the legions of devoted fans dressed in their very best cosplay garb. But it’s around those confined quarters on the show floor that you truly learn about the general population’s take on the industry. Not press, nor cosplayers, nor enthusiasts. I’m talking everyone else, the “casual” crowd if you will.
Capcom’s always been in favor of re-releasing games, whether straight ports, HD remakes, or Super-Turbo-Hyper installments. I’ve never had a problem with it, often finding each release to have its own valid purpose for existence. That was until playing the latest release of Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X, just re-released in HD by Capcom for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
The game follows Claire Redfield, and later her brother Chris Redfield, who’s playable halfway through the title. Claire attempts to rescue her brother from his disappearance by the Umbrella Corporation in Paris, France, but fails in her attempt and is subsequently held prisoner at Rockfort Island.
Throughout the game, you can expect a lot of the traditional elements of the Resident Evil franchise: shooting zombies, collecting items, collecting weaponry, completing puzzles. Instead of the puzzles feeling rewarding, they’re seemingly designed to be nothing more than tedious obstacles holding you up from accomplishing your main objectives. You’re constantly shuffling through inventory, going back and forth between the same locations, and at no time can I say it offered a remotely fun experience.
Resident Evil 4 is a rarity. Titles released within the survival-horror genre seem to have a hard time finding success. Even rarer can one game sustain its popularity through a slew of re-releases across the last 7 years — RE4 was originally released on the GameCube, eventually making its way to PS2, PC, Wii, iPhone… the list goes on. While I live for all things horror, I always avoided the genre in video games, as I never thought games could actually be scary. House of the Dead didn’t scare me. Saw didn’t scare me. Now after playing Resident Evil 4 HD, I’m convinced games can be be downright terrifying.
While the graphics have certainly been cleaned up, RE4 HD features the original animations of the GameCube title, noticeable at times by the last gen look of the on-screen text, menu systems, and the occasional harsh characters or environment textures — nostrils and ears look a bit harsh. Aside from a few flaws, the game looks great, with an overall polished look for a high definition presentation.
The game development process can seem pretty murky at times. Devs spend months, if not years, awarding a title monumental praise — often unwarranted as we come to find out by release time. Understandably, things can go awry during the development process, whether a weak concept, shallow gameplay experience, or the business side of the industry gets in the way of the art. Unfortunately, we’re never really clued into the reality of a project’s fate, as marketing geniuses are paid to make us believe all is well behind the curtain.
Fans were left out in the dark as to why development of Mega Man Legends 3 was canceled in mid-July. Capcom U.S. abruptly decided the game wasn’t worth pursing, while Capcom Europe seemed to blame the fans, releasing the following tweet: “Unfortunately so few fans took part in the creation of the game. It was felt the project was not worthwhile.” The tweet referred to the Devrooms, areas designated for fan input to make MML3 a pure hyrbid of developer and fan ideas.
It’s been over ten years since the original Deus Ex was released, delivering a new benchmark in action/RPG gaming. With a giant world, versatile combat, and a truly unique atmosphere, Deus Ex delivered on all of its lofty promises and then some. Fans have finally received another entry into the Deus Ex franchise with the prequel, Deus Ex Human Revolution.
But can lightning strike twice?
With the tremendous critical success of Deus Ex, it’s hard not to expect great things from Human Revolution. And I’m happy to report that Eidos Montreal delivers. Set in a futuristic Detroit, players control Sarif’s chief of Security Adam Jensen. Sarif is a pioneering corporation in the field of human augmentation, offering cybernetic enhancements (both life saving and cosmetic). Need a new leg? They can do that. Want to increase your brainpower? Have a neural hub installed.
It’s been over a decade since Third Strike graced consoles, Capcom’s third entry in the Street Fighter III series. Each of the SFIII titles seemed like an intentional step away from the familiarity of their predecessor. After all, it’s next to impossible to release any game post Super Street Fighter II (which was fighting perfection) and expect it to be as good. Deliberate steps were taken to make this a different fighting game altogether.
If this is your first time playing a SFIII title, you’re going to be turned off by the lack of SFII challengers. Ken, Ryu, Akuma, and Chun-Li. That’s all you get. There are quite a few likable new characters however, many of which became fan favorites like Hugo, Twelve, and Yun and Yang — the latter two were added to SSFIV’s recent Arcade Edition. After spending some time with the new crew, you’ll quickly note that several characters are seemingly hybrids of familiar players. Dudley for example plays like a cross between Balrog and Sagat. Sean plays much like Ken and Ryu. If you’re capable of swallowing that bitter pill, and accepting a change in roster, there’s a chance you may like what SFIII offers.
Thursday afternoon, Capcom hosted another Fight Club event, this time taking over New York City’s Eyebeam Art and Technology Center to show off some upcoming titles. On hand were next week’s Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition, November’s Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and next year’s much anticipated Street Fighter X Tekken.
You really have to hand it to Capcom for putting together these community events. In an age of online multiplayer, Capcom can rally together hundreds of fans on short notice, all for a chance to play some of their games in development. I was able to play all three titles for a fair amount of time, and grabbed some pictures of the event. Check out the full gallery below, and my game impressions below the break!