The Silent Hill series, despite saying all it really had to say in Silent Hill 2 (and arguably, 3), is still trucking along, desperately trying to stay relevant by doing confusing things no one who gives one whit about the franchise would like. Like hiring Korn to do the new theme song. Or eschewing long-time producer-slash-composer Akira Yamaoka, who stuck through the series thick and thin since the beginning. Climax Games, who finally delivered in a worthy successor in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, is nowhere to be seen either. Vatra Games is in charge now, and though they’ve taken a few cues from past games, it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better for the once venerable horror series.
I can’t believe it.
What happens after Tomonobu Itagaki leaves Team Ninja?
They turn Ninja Gaiden into a casualized button-masher. A rep assured me they would keep the bone-crushing difficulty of the previous games, though the E3 demo indicated otherwise. Throughout the short one-level demonstration I button mashed my through each enemy easily. In previous games I would’ve been decimated immediately. Beating the previous games, even playing through half of them, was a badge honor. They were like playing fighting games, with each button press made a deliberate, conscious strategy. They (and the original 8-bit trilogy) were games to conquer. Instead I casually strolled my way through the entire level of this, mashing the Square button for each and every minute. The game even took control away from me to have Ryu Hayabusa perform scripted kills at random times. If I initiated those automatic attacks then I have no idea how I did so.
Looks like Resident Evil’s gone the way of Kingdom Hearts. With the future of its main numbered series of games in question, Capcom took the franchise on the “spin-off” and “spin-off on handhelds” route while the brass flounders about with what they need to do to make Resident Evil 6 a success. I offer one tip: Don’t make it like Operation Raccoon City.
Nintendo’s cute ball of murderous fluff returns. Kirby, Nintendo’s cute ball of murderous pink fluff, returns in a more traditional take than last year’s Epic Yarn. Less yarn, more difficulty and more friends find their way into Kirby Wii, a fun four-player action platformer that hews closer to Kirby Superstar and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
SEGA may have created a nice amount of buzz at its E3 2011 booth with a stacked lineup that included Anarchy Reigns, Sonic Genetations, and other choice titles, but it was the company’s Sonic Boom party/celebration that was the highlight of the show. Located inside Downtown L.A.’s Club Nokia, Sonic Boom celebrated the Blue Blur’s 20 years of existence via a party, rockin’ concert, costume contest, and all around video game shenanigans.
Ladies and gentlemen who have played SEGA’s smash Sonic the Hedgehog franchise from his ‘tude filled beginnings on the Genesis/Mega Drive, prepare to feel old: The blue blur turns 20 years old this year. As you apply for AARP membership, smile a little knowing that the hedgehog is on solid ground in 2012 courtesy of Sonic Generations, an upcoming video game that caters to both old school and new school Sonic fans.
SEGA’s large E3 2011 booth featured a nice cross-section of titles (Sonic Generations, Binary Domain) but the game that appealed the most to my sensibilities was Anarchy Reigns, Platinum Game’s new multiplayer beat ‘em up. I’ve followed the game for some time now, attempting to suss out its gameplay mechanics from a string of videos and screen shots, but it wasn’t until hands-on time this week that I was able to experience it. And I walked away more than a little impressed.
At first glance, I wasn’t even aware I was looking at Final Fantasy XIII-2. The incredibly bland character design of Serah and Noel, the new character who tags along with Lightning’s sister, made me think I was looking at some B-tier Tales game, not a AAA Final Fantasy title. But it ain’t the’ 90s anymore, so Final Fantasy probably belongs with the rest of the second stringers at this point. I doubt XIII-2, which now has More Stuff to Do than its predecessor, will change that.
VanillaWare, the company behind the 2D love letters that are Odin Sphere and Muramasa, plan to bring another pixel treat to the gamingverse with Dragon’s Crown. Published by UTV Ignition Games, this beautiful sidescrolling action title is poised to hit the PS3 and PS Vita in 2010.
The first HD VanillaWare title, Dragon’s Crown will feature four-player cooperative onscreen action, and realtime online battles set in a medieval universe. The goal is to dive into the dungeons for smiting of monsters and looting of wealth. The game will also feature six characters (ranging from the statuesque Amazon to the shady-looking Thief) and deep character customization.
Armed with a classical button arrangement, D-pad, four buttons, and two joysticks, the Wii U controller will allow gamers to play without having to adjust to an overly awkward stance as was true with the Wiimote. Located in the middle is an ample touchscreen; a camera is embedded above it.
The demo showcasing the Wii U’s abilities did not fail to impress. It began by showing turning off a TV during a video game session. Normally, this would cause the gaming to stop, but not so with the Wii U controller–you continue to play on the screen that’s located on your controller.
Perhaps one of the best new features is how you interact with the device. Its versatility allows it to go from being a shield to webcam, to catchers mitt, to golf tee, to table–at least in the demo video. It appears to be used for practically anything.