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Gaming: Capcom haven’t changed

Click the image for a link to the rather large source file.

One of my earliest posts on this blog, posted just under two years ago, worried about Capcom returning to their old ways and milking their games in an attempt to squeeze as much from the consumer as they could with the least effort. Back then it was prompted by the re-releases of Street Fighter 4 and Resident Evil 5, adding new content that would mean people who already owned the games would need to buy them all over again, at a budget price but still for more than one would pay for a downloadable update.

The new content was fairly substantial and Capcom alleviated my concerns a little more by asking gamers how they would prefer the Resident Evil 5 content to be delivered. Since then Street Fighter 4 received another major update as Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition (the title already getting as unwieldy as the later versions of Street Fighter 2), but that was at least downloadable instead of yet another disc-based re-release.

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Gaming: Sims 3 Generations makes the right noises

Here’s the trailer for the latest expansion pack for The Sims 3, Generations:

In my opinion this is exactly what Electronic Arts should be doing with the expansions for the game. With previous expansions World Adventures and Late Night they made what I consider a silly mistake, and which I covered recently in February’s gaming round-up:

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Gaming: I’m not playing StarCraft 2

July 30, 2010 2 comments

I want to, I really do. Last Sunday I even spent a large portion of the day watching YouTube footage of every cutscene and bit of dialogue from the original StarCraft and the Brood War expansion in order to refresh myself of the story, starting from here:

When I watched them it automatically went to the next in sequence through the entire run, but by the looks of it you can use the video responses if that’s not working.

Going over it all again reminds me that the game did tell a decent story and it wasn’t just my memory that had elevated the scheming of Arcturus Mensk, the bravery and guilt of Jim Raynor, the sacrifice of Kerrigan and the internal conflicts of the Protoss up into something more than it was. So I’m looking forward to continuing with that story and seeing where it leads, even if I have no interest in touching the multiplayer.

There’s a big reason why I don’t have the game yet though and it’s not out of some moral objection to Activision Blizzard or anything like that. No, the reason is simple:

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Gaming: Dante’s Inferno – Visceral Have Learned Their Lesson?

November 15, 2009 1 comment

Dante's Inferno

Wikipedia fact: "The game is loosely based on Inferno, the first book of Dante Alighieri's epic poem, The Divine Comedy. The story of the game is written by Will Rokos, who wrote the film Monster's Ball."

When the demo for Visceral Games’ Dead Space released, I was wholly unimpressed by it.  The ‘Dismemberment ‘ demo pretty much just shoves you in a room to fight off waves of monsters, after which you try to leave and a monster automatically kills you.  There’s no look at the story, no tension because the whole thing is entirely without context (making it impossible to have any investment in events) and it’s difficult to even really get a feel for the combat in the tight confines and multiple respawns of that room.

About all you can tell from it is that, yes, you can shoot off limbs with a selection of weapons that there isn’t really time to learn the nuances of.  As demos go it was a pretty terrible introduction to the game, and ultimately I got the game in spite of the demo rather than because of it. Dead Space turned out to be a very good game that I thoroughly enjoyed , but none of the things I enjoyed about it came across in the demo.  Resident Evil 5 was another one that stripped me of all enthusiasm for the game, and I’ve still not got around to buying that.  The Escapist’s Shamus Young has a good article here on the subject that covers both games, as well as the reasons why this is bad for everybody, players and developers.

For that reason, I was pleased to read that Visceral will this time include the entire opening and first level of their upcoming Dante’s Inferno in the demo they will release in December.  That should give us a good sense of the character and set up the story as well as showing off the combat.  That’s pretty much exactly what a demo should be, in my opinion.

Gaming: MW2 Controversial Footage

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Thanks to VG247, I have a link to footage of the controversial Modern Warfare 2 mission that people are still coming to this blog to find.  So if for some reason you still need to see the footage of the airport level but don’t have the game, click here and enjoy.  There are spoilers in it, obviously.

It’s in English, but at least in the context presented with the video it still doesn’t justify what your character does and why he doesn’t just shoot the enemy there and then instead of going along with something so horrible.  Presumably the game does a better job, but I’ve not played it yet and probably won’t for some time.

Gaming: Modern Warfare 2 releases

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment
MW201

Wikipedia fact: "The original teaser trailer ... confirmed that the game's title of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was officially shortened to just Modern Warfare 2. Activision {then} confirmed that the standard-edition Modern Warfare 2 packaging will feature the Call of Duty brand logo .... It is speculated that the decision was influenced by findings that brand awareness for the game was significantly lower without the Call of Duty brand. The developers however still prefer to simply call it Modern Warfare 2 as they consider it a new IP."

Modern Warfare 2 is out now and looks set to be the game that could finally topple Halo 3‘s sales records in the US NPD sales (which sold 3.3 million in its first few days).  Here’s the trailer (watch it in HD):

It’s a very confident trailer, slick  and loud and undoubtedly a blockbuster, though some have commented that it’s not really similar to the attitude of the original Call of Duty.  The closing comments of Eurogamer’s Call of Duty retrospective is one such example:

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Gaming: Modern Warfare 2: Activision Response

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
MW201

Wikipedia fact: "In response to questions about the length of the single-player campaign, Infinity Ward CCO Jason West stated that Modern Warfare 2 would not be longer than the 6-10 hour-long campaign of Call of Duty 4."

Update: You can see the footage here.

Original Post: VG247 have received confirmation that the footage leaked yesterday is genuine.  They do seem to be aware of how potentially distressing the level could be because it’s apparently entirely optional:

“Yes it is. The scene establishes the depth of evil and the cold bloodedness of a rogue Russian villain and his unit. By establishing that evil, it adds to the urgency of the player’s mission to stop them.

“Players have the option of skipping over the scene. At the beginning of the game, there are two ‘checkpoints’ where the player is advised that some people may find an upcoming segment disturbing. These checkpoints can’t be disabled.

“Modern Warfare 2 is a fantasy action game designed for intense, realistic game play that mirrors real life conflicts, much like epic, action movies. It is appropriately rated 18 for violent scenes, which means it is intended for those who are 18 and older.”