Tagged "Capcom"

Jun 18
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

As much as we admired the concept behind Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it was still a vastly familiar experience under the neon-hued exterior. That’s to say, the AI routines, vehicle handling and even some of the mission objectives were identical to its full-price counterpart.

Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha – to use its delightfully elongated full title – is the franchise equivalent of Ubisoft’s unexpected spin-off, featuring a far brighter colour palette and a strong dose of ‘90s nostalgia, including a faux arcade cabinet start-up sequence. There’s one major difference between this and Blood Dragon though – just like a hapless zombie caught in one of Haggar’s spinning piledrivers, the source material has been turned upside down completely.

UltraDeadRising31

Don’t come to Ultra Dead Rising 3 expecting anything resembling a plot. There is a (very) loose premise however – series protagonists Chuck, Nick, Frank and Annie stumble across a store selling ‘cosplay’ props, and so after dressing up as characters from Street Fighter, Power Stone, Final Fight, Dino Crisis and more they take to the streets to indulge in light-hearted zombie-bashing horseplay. It’s a right old Capcom love-in – Forgotten World’s ‘Zenny’ is used as currency, while power-ups include Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins’ golden armour and the chance to call in the planes from 1942 for an air-strike.

It’s a right old Capcom love-in

Although it’s possible to play by your lonesome, Ultra Dead Rising 3 is at its best with three others. The focus is on notching up the highest score while cooperatively killing certain amounts of zombies, destroying super-sized bombs, racing around the city and rescuing survivors within time-limits.

Twenty missions feature in total, spread across four districts of increasing difficulty. Each district is based on a location from Dead Rising 3, but there’s no lazy recycling going on here – bright blue skies, neon lights, huge spinning collectables and colourful billboards featuring artwork from various Capcom hits render some locations almost unrecognisable. There’s a filter of sorts in place too – characters now have a thick black outline, giving the game a more cartoon-like appearance.

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Aug 13
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

With Capcom’s DuckTales Remastered and Sega’s Castle of Illusion remake leaping onto the download services soon, a classic Disney platformer revival is almost upon us.

We could celebrate with a look at some of best Disney games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, but we think it’s safe to say that your average gamer knows full well that the likes of Aladdin, Castle of Illusion, Quackshot and Capcom’s Magical Quest series could hold their own against even some of Sega and Nintendo’s platformers.

It’s a testament to how brilliant these games were that all of the aforementioned have stood the test of time. Animation still impresses – particularly where the 16-bit era games are concerned – and their difficultly levels remain exemplary. Challenging, but not unforgivably so.

Instead of ten of the best, we’re going to look back at a handful of dusty old Disney games that have long been forgotten. Be warned though, in the case of most they’ve been forgotten for a reason.

DuckTales: The Quest for Gold – 1990

Ducktales3

Seeing as DuckTales Remastered is arriving on PSN and the Wii U eShop this week, it makes sense to start with this avian romp first even though it has very little resemblance to Capcom’s classic.

Released on Amiga, Apple II, C64 and PC, it offered some nice looking cut-scenes but very little else. Scrooge’s adventure began with a horrible flying section that was practically impossible to fail – crash into the ground, or even a cloud, and the Gyro Gearloose’s red hued plane would simply bounce off as if the world were made of rubber. Platforming sections were slow and sluggish, while the rest of the game – we kid you not – was comprised of some awful animal photography sections. Just like the cartoon, eh?

Developer Incredible Technologies even managed to mess up the legendary theme-tune by turning down the tempo to the point where it was no longer toe-tapping.

Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul’s Castle – 1990

ChipDale

This PC-only platformer wasn’t exactly a floppy disk full of fun either. The plot saw Chip and Dale out to rescue Monterey Jack, who’d got himself caught in a mouse trap deep inside a castle.

Well, perhaps ‘deep’ wasn’t the correct word to use there – those experienced with the game can whiz through it in less than ten minutes. Just three different single-screen locations were on offer – a short jaunt over some potholes outside the castle, a quest to navigate the castle’s staircase while avoiding flames that bellowed from candles, and then a mission to collect screws while avoiding the grasp of a giant mechanical machine.

Presentation was as bare boned as possible – no music or speech samples and the dullest title screen you could imagine. Maybe it was a good thing that it could be completed so quickly.

Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse – 1994

Legend

Although Castle of Illusion and its follow up Land of Illusion are very well known, the third and final part of Sega’s Illusion series passed a lot of people by. It’s a bit of a shame as it’s a really neat little platformer which put the Game Gear through its paces.

One of the reasons that it looked so good is that it was originally intended to be a Game Gear-exclusive, whereas the previous two Illusion games were also available on Master System. The Game Gear had a larger colour palette than that of the Master System, and boy did Sega put it to good use here. It looked utterly charming, with one early boss battle featuring parallax scrolling in the backgrounds along with a glorious multi-coloured sunset. Enemies too were creative, including snakes that were able to fly by using their tails as propellers.

A Master System version was released eventually, but only in Brazil. Funnily enough, the next game on our list is also stars Mickey, and was the last ever game to be officially released on Master System.

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Sega, Akihabara
Apr 26
By Jake In Street Viewtiful 2 Comments

Let’s go to Japan! Not literally of course, the last minute flights would be cripplingly expensive.

But it has been a while since Street Viewtiful – our regular jaunt around the world of games via the medium of Google Street View – went to Japan. For many it’s the spiritual home of the video game, not to mention the spiritual home of crazy – so there must be plenty of sights to choose from, right?

Not so much when it comes to games companies, because Japan is also the spiritual home of conservative corporate culture. Step forward Capcom, with their staggeringly anonymous Osaka HQ. Namco Bandai‘s big trapezoidal Tokyo building is a little more fun.

But let’s focus on Sega, and their Japanese HQ, also in Tokyo.


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Not the most exciting of buildings in and of itself, but observe how the Sega logo on a building over the road is reflected in the shiny exterior. It’s that sort of detail that makes you glad to be alive.

Thanks, Sega.

Oct 17
By Matt Gander In Features 2 Comments

Back in March we dug out some older Xbox 360 games to see if anybody was still playing them online. The results were surprising – we found nobody playing Turok, Shaun White Skateboarding or Perfect Dark Zero but found people still playing Forza 2, Halo Wars and Sega’s Japan-only Cyber Troopers: Virtual-On Force.

The article proved to be one of our more popular ones, so it’s time to dust off some other older Xbox 360 games for round two.

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland (2005)

We’re not sure what shocked us more here – the fact that this game is now seven years old and the severs are still up, or that there are still people playing online. Yes – we managed to enter an online game instantly where we found three other skaters to play against, which is handy as most of the achievements are linked to playing online.

Tom Clancy’s End War (2008)

Time hasn’t been too kind to this game. It wasn’t anything too special upon release so as you can imagine it looks even rougher now. We played a few of the single-player missions in order to refresh ourselves with the voice-activated controls and then headed to the online lobbies. There we waited, and waited, until deciding about ten minutes later it was time to try something else.

Brunswick Pro Bowling (2011)

The achievements are ridiculously named in this Kinect-only bowling sim. One is called ‘Hat’ and is gained for unlocking a hat while another is called ‘Pants’ for unlocking… well, you can guess. There are also achievements called ‘Shirt’, ‘Ball’, ‘Wrist Guard’ and ‘Shoes’. Creativity in this game isn’t exactly high and neither is the amount of online players. We did though get a message about a week after playing the game from a random person on Xbox Live saying “Wanna get bowling cheev?”

Band Hero (2009)

The online lobbies aren’t too easy to find in this Guitar Hero spin-off. You have to pick a mode and then on the character select screen press a button to search for online players. Despite costing next to nothing these days (our copy cost £1.50 from CeX) it would appear that most gamers have hung up their plastic guitars for good. Ours was so dusty that we were able to write the word ‘bacon’ in the dust.

Tron: Evolution (2010)

We’ve seen the review scores for this game and all we can say is that those who reviewed it must have played a different version to what we played. It’s stinking terrible – one of the worst games we’ve played this generation. There are lots of players online though, all of which are pre-teens by the sound of their high-pitched voices. Just to highlight how poor this game is when we started a deathmatch one enemy player spawned in a tank – the only tank on a the map, no less – while all other players were on foot. Now that’s an unfair advantage.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (2011)

From bad to good. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon exceeded all our expectations – a brilliant shooter that we now regret not buying at launch. The game does appear to have some fans – getting into an online game took a few minutes or so, but the magic did happen and we were able to bag an achievement for playing in co-op.

Capcom Digitial Collection (Various)

As we mentioned in our review of this oft-forgotten XBLA collection, one of the few downers about it is that the severs are mostly ghost towns due to the age of the games it contains. We don’t think we’re ever going to find somebody to play the four year old 1942: Joint Strike with despite staying in a lobby for half an hour or so but we did find a virtual pal to play Final Fight: Double Impact. We missed out on the achievement for finishing the game with Cody all the way through though as we accidentally selected Guy to continue with. Screw you, Guy.

We’ll do another ‘server stalking’ feature in a few months – perhaps after the January sales if we mange to find some older games for next to nothing.

Mar 29
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 2 Comments

There’s a slight retro theme running through this week’s new releases – a new Silent Hill along with the anticipated HD collection, a Ridge Racer revamp, this year’s Tiger Woods and a load of Capcom classics on one handy disk. The emphasis is obviously on the word ‘slight’ there.

Silent Hill HD Collection angered fans the moment it was announced due to the original Silent Hill (which is on PSN) and Silent Hill 4 not being included. Reviews have also revealed that the developers have removed the fog which was not only used to mask graphical glitches but to help create an atmosphere too. Destructoid’s 3/10 review is worth a read if you’re considering it.

Silent Hill Downpour doesn’t quite restore the series to a former glory either. gamesTM sums it up quite nicely in their 6/10 review: “Silent Hill: Downpour frustrates and irritates, it confuses and confounds. It doesn’t scare as much as it should and it doesn’t impress as much as we wanted. But there’s no denying its ability to keep you playing; to push through to the end.”

Faring better with review scores is Ridge Racer Unbounded. EDGE seemingly fell in love with it, awarding it a 9. “One of the most subversive, sublime street-racing games ever made,” they said. Other reviews have been less positive such as CVG’s 6.4 and gamesTM’s 6. It certainly looks the part, you can’t argue that.

We swear the Tiger Woods games arrive earlier every year. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 still sounds like a decent package though with Kinect controls on offer for the first time. GamesRadar gave it a 7. It’s a good review – very well thought out. And remember, if you buy it from Blockbuster you can play as Wayne Rooney.

If none of these take your fancy then Capcom Digital Collection might do. It contains eight of Capcom’s Xbox Live Arcade games including Final Fight, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 and Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. £17.99 on Play doesn’t sound a bad deal to us.

Or if tending to crops is more of your thing then there’s always Farming Simulator 3D. I think the blurb pretty much says it all: “The “Farming Simulator” and the Nintendo 3DS console are a great match: experience a high quality 3D-graphic which supports the 3D-effect of the console perfectly. You will be able to explore an open world, play with a day-night-cycle and chose a free-to-play mode on your way to become a successful farmer. The game addresses both kids and male adults and hence makes it a great expansion of the Nintendo 3DS family.”

So female adults won’t be able to play it then? Righty ho.

Next week: Devil May Cry HD Collection (PS3, 360), Kinect Star Wars (360), Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure (3DS), Top Gun: Hard Lock (PS3, 360, PC), Warriors Orochi 3 (PS3, 360), Alvin & the Chipmunks (360, Wii, DS) and Jewel Quest V: The Sleepless Star (DS).

Nov 01
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Publishers tend to be a predictable bunch, releasing sequels and yearly sports updates, snapping up cartoon and movie licenses, and occasionally setting up new studios while closing down older ones.

It’s a little odd, then, that when a publisher does something out of the ordinary it often goes unnoticed. A little research into the subject reveals a whole host of games published by very unlikely candidates.

Only recently Sega announced that they’re publishing a few EA games in Japan including FIFA 12, Shadows of the Damned and Battlefield 3. You may wonder what the point of releasing a FPS in Japan is, seeing as the nation isn’t fond of first person games, but there is a rather unknown cult following out there who purchase western titles much like the way certain UK gamers will buy every Japanese RPG that comes along.

It’s this reason that we assume Capcom took up the chance to release Grand Theft Auto in Japan. They must have done well as they ended up publishing four of them – GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV.

Square-Enix even managed to find solace in publishing Activision’s James Bond: Quantum of Solace. Again, this must have done rather well as they more recently released James Bond: Blood Stone.

Going several years back, EA released a 2D shooter Soukyugurentai on Sega Saturn in Japan. If only they had been so brave with their western Sega Saturn games – all we saw were multi-format releases.

Microsoft’s publishing past is curious too. The Game Boy Color saw the dully titled The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack which contained dozens of games which were first released on Windows including SkiFree and FreeCell.

Sony meanwhile got their gaming feet wet prior to PlayStation with a range of games on the generation before under the moniker of Sony Imagesoft. Some of these were pretty good, like Mickey Madness, but others such as The Last Action Hero and Cliffhanger weren’t so great.

Especially when it comes to Japanese outputs, perhaps publishers aren’t quite as predictable after all.

Oct 06
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

The front cover for Dead Rising 2 shows humble hero Chuck Greene brandishing a handmade weapon consisting of two chainsaws strapped to a canoe paddle. It’s one of the cooler weapons that can be made in the game, but it’s not the coolest. That accolade goes to the shower head – an item so simple looking that many probably think of it as being useless. Once in Chuck’s hands though it becomes just as deadly as an axe or piece of lead piping. Behold as Chuck strolls confidently up to a zombie and then crams it into their rotting skull. They then stumble around, wondering what the heck has just happened, with blood gushing all over the place before falling to the floor. Just think how many other games could be spiced up by having a shower head included into their arsenal. Call of Duty, perhaps? Or maybe FIFA?

Weapon making is the big new thing here giving photography – which was the focus in the first game – the boot. The setting isn’t quite as new as promised, however – although it’s set in a different city you still spend most of the time looking around shopping malls for survivors. There are actually two malls this time, plus four casinos, an arena and a food court. Although there has been a good four years between this and the original the visuals aren’t a massive leap but the amount of zombies on the screen does often impress. Character design is brilliant too; especially some of the psychopaths Chuck comes across while waiting to be rescued.

Although bashing zombies and mowing them down with various vehicles provides countless hours of fun, Dead Rising 2 does have some schisophrenic game design behind it. You’re free to pick and choose missions, with five or six available during a day, but if you aren’t back at the safe house by a certain time then the story line can’t be continued. Chuck’s daughter needs a Zombrex injection every morning too, so not only do you have to give yourself time to finish off any missions you’ve accepted and head back but Zombrex has to be sourced as well. If you haven’t found any hidden around then you can always pay for it at one of the pawn shops, but it comes at a high price.

Fortunately cash can be easily gained by playing Terror is Reality – a series of online-only multiplayer mini games. Based around a tacky gameshow (think American Gladiators, only with zombies), the mini-games here include sniping zombies, cutting up as many zombies as you can while on a motorbike and, well, just general zombie harming. Online co-op play is a little disappointing as you can’t save your progress – Left 4 Dead it certainly isn’t. Fruit machines are also a good source for cash while some of the survivors will give you monetary rewards for taking them back to the safe house.

Speaking of the safe house, it does get a little tedious having to travel back and forth from there every half an hour or so. I can’t think of any other recent game that forces you to do so much backtracking. It’s also quite easy to screw up missions, loose survivors or simply run out of time. Smart players will quickly realise that it’s worth creating more than one save file. Another reason to do this is because the bosses are a right pain to kill until you’ve leveled up a bit. If you start a new game then your existing character is carried over, extended health bars and all, which is handy as it’ll take more than one play through to see and do everything.

Even with its faults Dead Rising 2 still manages feels like a real gamer’s game. There are references to other Capcom titles, tonnes of hidden passages and secrets to find, a pleasingly surreal sense of humour throughout and the boss battles feel very traditional. Weapon crafting encourages experimentation too, which can only be a good thing. And need I remind you, it gives you the chance to kill zombies with a shower head.

A shower head!

Jan 06
By Matt Gander In Blog 6 Comments

Mature Wii games don’t sell. This isn’t new news, but a recent interview with Capcom also reveals that so-called ‘gamers’ games aren’t shifting either with many ‘hardcore’ gamers putting down their Wii remotes and reaching out for their Xbox and PlayStation joypads instead.

The low sales of the recent Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles on Wii, compared to Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, were used as an example. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles has only shifted 16,000 copies in three weeks whereas Resident Evil 4 sold 140,000 in the same amount of time.

“Two years ago, there were still gamers on the Wii, Nintendo loyalists who – a priori – have turned their backs on this console in favour of the next generation,” said Capcom’s French general director Antoine Seux.

This doesn’t mean that we’re only going to see mass-market tiles on Wii from Capcom; Monster Hunter Tri is out in a few months time. Seux does point out though that its success will depend on how well it will be advertised.

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