Tag Archives: Capcom

Street Fighter V Review

SF5Street Fighter V (Available on PC and PlayStation 4)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Dimps & Capcom
Release Date: February 16th, 2016

Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Street Fighter V T for teens because of suggestive themes, violence, and mild language. The series has its own unique art style, and isn’t overly realistic in its depictions of violence and everything is over the top. The suggestive themes are mainly because of the scantily clad female fighters, but that too isn’t as far reaching as some other fighters out there. Honestly if you’re old enough to understand how to play fighting games, you’re old enough for Street Fighter V.

Plays Like: I’d hate to say that if you’ve played one Street Fighter you’ve played them all because that would be a flat out lie, but the core gameplay mechanics and structure have remained largely the same since the original Street Fighter II. Yes the series has greatly evolved since then to introduce advanced combos, parrying, and so many other concepts, but those original gameplay mechanics like best of three rounds, unique joystick motions to pull off special moves, and more are still featured here. Street Fighter V is a wonderfully compelling game that will take hours upon hours of your time to get competent at, and will takes years to master.

Review Basis: Sony sent us a review copy to play in advance of the official release date. I played through the entire story mode, I played a bunch of versus matches locally, and got destroyed online.

It has been since the Super Nintendo that a Street Fighter was exclusive to a home console. That sure didn’t last long back then before the series hit the Genesis, and every other platform known to man shortly afterwards, but for a short period of time Street Fighter II was only available on the SNES, and that changed the landscape of the console wars forever considering how big of a success Street Fighter II was in the arcades.

Today Capcom and Sony have partnered up to bring Street Fighter V exclusively to the PlayStation 4. Yes it’s also getting released on PC at the same time, but having console exclusivity is a really big deal. Whether or not it helps further the divide between the PS4 and Xbox One is up for debate, but the fact that the PS4 will now become the de facto fighting game system of choice for fighting game fans the world over speaks volumes.

Having sat out Street Fighter IV for most of its existence means I’m reviewing this game having stepped away from the series after the Street Fighter II, III, and the Alpha series. Those series were incredibly influential in my understanding and enjoyment of fighting games. So does V have enough special to make me want to devote time, effort, and energy into the latest Capcom fighter? Let’s find out together!

SF5_5The Great:

The complete package. That’s the first thing I think of when I think of Street Fighter V. There were four different versions of Street Fighter IV, the original release also known as vanilla Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, and Ultra Street Fighter IV. Each of these games added new characters, costumes, backgrounds, and gameplay tweaks. The problem was, and one of the key reasons why I stayed away from that game for so long, is that if you missed out on the original release, you always felt like you were playing catch up. If you wanted the complete experience, it always felt like it was just out of reach.

With Street Fighter V, it’s clear that Capcom designed the game from the ground up to be upgradable. Capcom has built a game that will allow players to constantly add new characters, new costumes, new gameplay tweaks, and even new gameplay modes, without forcing the player to purchase an entirely new game. New gameplay features will be free to everyone via downloadable patches. Characters, costumes, and stages will be purchasable DLC, however you can use the in-game currency, Fight Money, to purchase these goods. Yes you can purchase the goods via the Season Pass, or real-world money (Zenny), but the fact the option is there to use an in-game currency makes all the difference in the world.

At launch Street Fighter V has 16 playable characters, with a nice roster of new characters and returning favorites from previous games in the series dating back all the way to the original Street Fighter. The line-up includes Ryu, Chun-Li, Nash, M. Bison, Cammy, Birdie, Ken, Necalli, Vega, R. Mika, Rashid, Karin, Zangief, Laura, Dhalsim, and F.A.N.G. First year DLC characters have been confirmed to include Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri, and Urien. That’s quite a nice roster if I do say so myself, and who knows how this will play out in the years ahead.

The current gameplay modes include a Story Mode, Versus, Survival, Challenges, Training, Ranked Match, and Casual Match, but as I said before, there’s room for additional gameplay modes in the future. Capcom has already confirmed a Cinematic Story expansion will hit in June for free to all players. It’s what’s available right now, plus the promise of future support that ultimately makes this an exceptional fighter. The future looks exceptionally bright for this one.

SF5_4The Good:

  • Interesting story mode. Unlike traditional story modes where you fight through a lengthy roster of characters, here you battle your way through three or four opponents and that’s it. Each character has a very detailed, almost comic-book style infused cutscene-based storyline that details some part of their past leading up to the current events of the game. The overall storyline will be fleshed out in an update coming out this June, but it does act as a nice starter. The artwork is also fantastic, and will tickle the nostalgia bone of long-time fans of the series.
  • Online play is very responsive and the net code is great. Playing this prior to launch I had very little problems connecting to online matches, and there wasn’t any noticeable lag. I played through a bunch of matches and they all went off without a hitch.
  • The Capcom Fighters Network is awesome! It highlights where battles are happening all over the world, you can view player profiles, match statistics, designate rivals which allows you to keep an eye on their performance, register your friends and follow your favorite players. You can even find out about the latest tournament news, watch replays, and best of all, send battle invites out. Overall, this is a phenomenal way to keep everyone connected and up-to-date, which is crucial considering this is supposed to be the only version of Street Fighter V ever released. With this system, Capcom has created a key way of allowing them to update everyone in a nice, clean, and elegant manner. Hardcore fighting game fans are going to absolutely love this.
  • Combat is smooth, with good weight to the various characters, and the fighting feels tight and responsive. Classic Street Fighter moves are present throughout, however the new aspect to this iteration is the Variable or V-system. Each character has a V-Trigger, a V-Skill, and a V-Reversal. The V-Skill is completely different based on the character, some perform an offensive, defensive, or mobility enhancing move. V-Reversals are very similar to Alpha Counters in the Street Fighter Alpha series and allow a player to counter an incoming attack. They take some time to master, but can allow you a chance to start up a wicked combo. The V-Trigger works like Ultras from Street Fighter IV in that they’re designed to allow one player to turn the tide on the other. Once triggered they unlock a character’s true potential. They can make standard moves more powerful, and they can turn a super special move into an ultra-move. Take Ryu for example, if you have full V-stock and EX stock, you can trigger a Denjin Hadouken, by far his most powerful singular move. You may have noticed I said EX stock, and that’s right, you can keep stock of EX as well, which allow for more powerful version of standard special moves. Overall the system is fairly easy to get into, and robust enough that when coupled with the deep combo system, players should be able to spend countless hours seeing what’s possible.
  • The audio visual presentation is excellent. You can really tell they put the Unreal Engine 4.0 to good use here, and yes it’s true there’s a distinct style to the game that doesn’t go for realistic fighters, this is still the prettiest Street Fighter ever made. The backgrounds in particular look great, and the comic book-style cutscenes in the story mode are just great. The most important part, the entire game is running at 60 frames-per-second in wonderful 1080p resolution. The soundtrack is fantastic, and the new renditions of some of the classic tunes sound wonderful. Even the voice acting is pretty good, which really surprised me. Overall, it’s Street Fighter you know and love, but in glorious next-gen HD.
  • PS3 arcade sticks work! That may not be a big deal to some, but considering professional sticks are often around $150 and up, I can tell you many people will be extremely pleased with this aspect of the game.

SF5_3The So-So:

+/- The training mode is your basic training mode, where you can set some features like move displays, frame boxes, command inputs, etc. What it lacks is what made the training mode in Killer Instinct so exceptional on the Xbox One, it fails to teach you how to string combos together, or how to understand the fundamentals of the game. This won’t even be a blip on the radar of series veterans, but it is an important element missing for brand new players to the genre. Understanding the basics before getting online is crucial.

SF5_2The Bad:

  • While the game does offer a lot of options for fighting game fans, it feels a bit barebones at launch. The roster is nice, the backgrounds are great, however the story mode is over in a flash, and there’s not much else here except for online combat, the survival mode, or local versus multiplayer. Sure the future promises to increase the content dramatically, but for now, there’s nothing to unlock, and thus very little else to chew into outside online play. Mortal Kombat X felt much richer in terms of sheer content at launch.

SF5_1The Lowdown:

I have to admit that it was really nice being able to sit down, whip out the old arcade stick, and just lose myself to a fantastic Street Fighter. It feels like I haven’t done that in far too long, and that’s the truth. This is one I want to devote more time, effort, and energy on because it feels like it deserves it. This is an absolutely excellent game that is well worth the price of admission, and with the promise of no new Street Fighter V releases, and loads future content delivered directly through this one game, fans of the series may have just found the ultimate Street Fighter experience. If you like fighting games, honestly, this one’s a no-brainer and is likely already on your pre-order list.

Final Score: 9/10

Street Fighter II Champion Edition Review

Here’s a fantastic port of Street Fighter II for the PC Engine. While not perfect, it is a great port that fans of the series should check out just to see what makes it unique.

Resident Evil Review

Resident EvilResident Evil (Available on the SEGA Saturn, and Sony PlayStation)
ESRB Rating: M
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Survival Horror
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
PS1 Release Date: March 30th, 1996
Saturn Release Date: August 31st, 1997

Parent Talk: The original Resident Evil was rated M for mature because of animated violence and animated blood and gore. You’re in a mansion filled with zombies, need I say more? Ok, I will say more, this mansion also has dogs that have returned from the dead, and all manner of other disgusting and decaying creatures. That’s not the only aspect that makes this a mature game, it will actually scare you. There are cheap scares all over the place with things jumping out at you, and the fixed camera angles mean you never know what lies directly in front of you.

Plays Like: The concept here is that you’re trying to locate your missing team member within a giant mansion. The catch is that zombies are everywhere in the mansion, hell hounds are outside preventing you from leaving, and you honestly have no clue what’s going on. By finding clues, solving puzzles, and combating the undead, you just might make it out alive.

Review Basis: Having played this one since 1996, I have completed it on every difficulty level, and multiple times across every platform it has ever been released on. It remains one of my favorite videogames of all time. No bias here.

I’m going to be completely honest with all of you, Resident Evil is one of my favorite videogames of all time. Back when this game came out I had never heard of a ‘Survival Horror’ game before, and I most certainly hadn’t played the Famicom-exclusive Sweet Home so I had never even thought of this wild concept before. You want to lock me inside some giant open 3D area with limited ammo, have me solve puzzles, and try and locate my missing teammate? How am I supposed to do that when the mansion is crawling with all manner of evilness? Therein lies the appeal, and within only a few short minutes of playing, I immediately fell in love. It didn’t hurt that I got the living crap scared out of me within ten minutes of playing. That was the very first time that ever happened to me before, and to be really honest, that feeling has never happened again. It’s Resident Evil on the original PlayStation.

RE1The Great:

‘You’re Dead Scared’ was the original tagline for Resident Evil and boy what a fitting line. I remember way back in April 1996 when a group of my friends were sitting in a basement with the lights out, as we had always done before, and we decided to pop in this new Capcom game. There were four of us there that night, and all four of us would have our gaming lives changed forever thanks to a few cheap scares. If there’s one thing the original Resident Evil did, is it lived up to its namesake, it really did scare everyone who played it. It didn’t matter if you were the biggest fan of horror films, or if you hated them, the minute you grabbed the controller and started to move around the various hallways, you knew anything could be around the next corner, and that feeling of dread slowly crept in. Before you knew it, you were jumping with every new sound you heard. That’s how classics are born, and to this very day, some 18 years after its release, it still proves to be every bit as creepy.

RE2The Good:

+ You all know the story, you know the mansion, and you know the characters, but what you might not realize is that the ultra-cheesy voice acting, and dialogue actually give this game it’s charm. Returning to this legendary game today I thought for sure it would be cringe worthy, but perhaps I’ve got my rose-tinted glasses on, but I found all of these different elements are what makes this game so special. It feels as though you’re playing a cheap b-movie, and that’s exactly what Capcom was going for. This was long before the John Woo-inspired moments from Resident Evil 6.

+ Core gameplay is broken down into solving puzzles, piecing together the story by locating journals or diaries, and combat. Often you’ll have to travel from one portion of the mansion to the next looking for a specific key, or a crest to access further into the depths of the mansion. Puzzles might seem simplistic by today’s standards, and they certainly aren’t logical, but again, they play into the game’s charm. One moment you’re trying to reach a map, the next you’re flipping switches on a series of painting in order to open a chest.

+ Combat is rather simple. Armed with a select few weapons, such as a knife, a handgun, a shotgun, bazooka, and a few others, you’re tasked with exploring each and every room in the mansion, not knowing exactly what enemies are inside. There might be zombies, there might be hell hounds, there might be crows, or there might be something else entirely. The catch is that there are typically more enemies in the mansion than you have the ammo to dispose of. This plays into the whole ‘survival’ aspect of the freshly coined term ‘Survival Horror’. You’re constantly weighing your options of using your ammo to take out the slow moving zombies, or saving said ammo for more powerful enemies you might run into later on. Health is also not easy to come by, so this juggling act is always on your mind. When you do leave enemies behind, odds are very good you won’t remember which room you left them in so be prepared to get scared all over again the hour or two later when you come by this way again.

+ Item management is also an extremely important element of Resident Evil. Not only do you have to conserve ammo, and health, but you need to make use of special storage units in order to keep additional items you can’t carry. At any given moment you can hold only eight items, and you don’t have the option of dropping items on the ground to pick them up later on. This means you’re going to have to make proper use of the storage units in order to keep everything you happen to find. Thankfully the storage units are magically connected to one another so you don’t need to backtrack all through the mansion to get your items, all you have to do is find another safe room with another storage unit and you’ll have full access to all your goodies.

+ Fixed camera angles were a genius way of solving crazy camera problems that were plaguing many early 3D games of the time. If you didn’t have a camera to worry about, the thought was you could just enjoy the experience, and for the most part that’s true. The camera angles only enhance the fear factor because you never know what’s going to pop out in front of you. On the downside though there are situations where you’ll be attacked by an enemy you never knew was even there.

+ The audio holds up perfectly, with crisp and clear music playing during key scenes, but for the most part the audio takes a backseat to the ambient noises. This was one of the first games I can remember of that really emphasized background noise. You wanted to have complete quiet because you needed to hear the moaning of the zombies, or the pitter patter of…something else. The voice acting as also brilliant.

RE3The So-So:

+/- Resident Evil was one of the first big console games to utilize ‘tank controls’ meaning your character always moves forward with up on the d-pad, and left and right will pivot their position in the 3D space in the appropriate direction. These controls have been blasted by reviewers, and gamers alike, although personally I’ve never had issues with them.

+/- The pre-rendered graphics still look fairly decent, although the character models are extremely rough around the edges. Enemies are also made up of low polygon counts. But you can easily make out what they’re supposed to be. I like the nostalgic looks, but certainly others who have never played the game before will most likely think the dated visuals distract from the overall package.

RE4The Lowdown:

Resident Evil was a landmark videogame. It was one of the first games that really scared people, it ushered in this new approach to action games, hell it even ushered in the whole ‘Survival Horror’ sub-genre, which is still going strong almost twenty years later. Most people who are new to gaming, or who have never played this version of the game and are curious to see what all the fuss is about, can easily find a copy on the PlayStation Network, or they can try their hand on the radically improved GameCube remake, which just so happens to be the very best remake of all time, but that’s for another review.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Strider Review

StriderStrider (Available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Double Helix Games & Capcom Osaka Studio
Release Date: February 18th, 2014
Price: $14.99

Parent Talk: The ESRB Rates Strider E10+, for all those over ten years old. The content warning is for mild language and blood, and fantasy violence. The violence is much like the 1989 arcade game, fast and frantic, without being realistic. While players are cutting down everything in their way, there is very little in the way of blood. I’d say that almost anyone could play this game given the mild tone.

Plays Like: Players take on the role of Strider Hiryu, a ninja assassin like no other. With his Cypher (wicked looking sword), he chops down absolutely everything in his path. Unlike the previous games in the series, which were primarily level-based, this new reimagining plays like a Metroidvania game, where new items unlock previously inaccessible areas. Thankfully the action remains completely 2D so longtime fans of the series should have a lot to look forward to here.

Review Basis: I played through the PlayStation 4 version of the game, and had a real blast doing so.

GRIN, the developer behind Bionic Commando Rearmed, was set to make a Strider reboot in 2009, but when the company went bankrupt those plans were obviously scrapped. What we didn’t know was that Capcom was very serious about remaking Strider, so much so that they hooked up with Double Helix Games, the developer of the excellent Killer Instinct remakefor the Xbox One. What’s interesting is that Double Helix has gone on record as saying they were heavily inspired by Shadow Complex, which is a fantastic game to take inspiration from. So how has this reboot turned out? Is it worth the $15 asking price?

Strider1The Great:

Above all else what I enjoyed most about Strider was the fact that it’s always fun to play. Did you enjoy the 2D Metroid series? Did you love Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or the other Metroidvania Castlevania games? Were you a fan of Shadow Complex and Guacamelee? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you will absolutely adore Strider. By infusing rich and classic arcade action with Metroidvania-style gameplay, Strider has reached new levels of awesome. Not only do you get more powerful by finding new Cypher enhancements, but if you explore enough you can also find energy tanks, which allow you to use your option attacks more frequently. There are also rejuvenation and health tanks to find as well. Eventually Strider will be the ultimate bad ass, able to reflect enemy projectiles, call forth three option attacks (panther, droid, and hawk), and scale even the largest obstacle.

Strider2The Good:

+ Superb controls. At no point does Strider ever feel loose, which is important as he scales the side of a building or comes sliding through an open grate. He’s always responsive, and pulling off a dazzling array of special attacks is only a few button presses away.

+ The Cypher can now be upgraded. As you progress Strider will learn the ability to freeze his enemies, repel incoming projectiles and so much more. What I thoroughly enjoyed was that Strider’s famous scarf, or in this version his plasma trail, will turn a different color based on which Cypher you have equipped. It’s a nice touch.

+ Color system works great for both combat. Certain enemies will have yellow, red, or purples shields, which tells you which Cypher you need to switch to in order to take them down. Certain enemies are only weak to one Cypher, and switching back and forth is done by a simply tap of the d-pad.

+ Classic Metroid-inspiredmap system. The map is extremely detailed, allowing you to see where upgrades are located, which Cypher is required to open colored doors, etc.

+ Unlockable extra modes are a blast to play through. These might include racing through certain areas as quickly as possible, or sometimes something a little more violent.

+ The perfect download title. Weighing in at around six hours or so, give or take based on how much you explore, Strider is a wonderful reimagining of an arcade classic.

+ Excellent graphics. The game may take place in one giant environment, but the characters, animation, and level of detail is excellent for a digital-only release. Strider himself looks fantastic, and while I would have liked to have seen a little more color, I like how Strider and the bosses contrast so well with the backgrounds.

+ The soundtrack and sound effects are also very impressive. The music can be rip-roaring when the action cranks up, and the Cypher sounds as powerful as it should as you swing it around in front of you. The voice acting is fairly decent, although a few characters are a little cringe-worthy.

Strider3The So-So:

+/- There are some repeated level design elements that can make exploration a little off-putting because you might think you’re in one area, when you’re actually somewhere completely different. A little more variety in the environments would have been appreciated.

Strider4The Lowdown:

If you’ve got $15 and are looking for a great way to spend some time over the weekend, look no further than Strider. It’s an excellent reboot which should appeal to longtime fans and newcomers alike. The nice mix between action and exploration feels like a natural fit for the series, and I can only hope this is only the beginning of a brand new series of Strider games. Go download this one right now!

Final Score: 8.8/10

Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies Review

Phoenix-Wright-Ace-Attorney-Dual-Destinies-logo

Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies (Available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating: M
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/Visual Novel
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: October 24th, 2013

Parent Talk: Phoenix Wright is rated M for Mature because of mature themes—it’s a murder mystery, after all. There are some scenes of killing and splattering of blood, but the level of violence in this game is significantly different than something like Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row. The rating is deceptive, because if anything, the dialog and scenario are actually appropriate for younger audiences, and the game could have easily gotten away with a T rating.

Phoenix Wright Athena

Plays Like: The previous games in the Phoenix Wright series; that is, a point-and-click style adventure game or visual novel. Most of the game consists of reading. You read story scenes, watch cutscenes, analyze witness testimony, and then find contradictions by presenting the appropriate evidence at the right time.

Review Basis: Completed all cases.

Phoenix Wright games are basically “visual novels.” It’s a nebulous genre term at best, so if you’re not familiar with it, here’s what you’re in for: you read witness testimony and present evidence when you read something that you think is contradictory. Most of the game is reading. There is a lot of story text and dialog. You are able to move around and collect evidence in certain scenes, much akin to a point-and-click style adventure game, but you don’t really change the flow of the story nor do different scenarios. Yet, the series is loved by many because of its tightly-wounded narratives, memorable characters, and great music. It’s basically a courtroom drama and murder mystery.

The Great: A dramatic story. Phoenix Wright is all about the dramatic turnabouts. Heck, the original Japanese title for the series is “Turnabout Courtroom” (Gyakuten Saiban 逆転裁判). This game exemplifies that spirit perfectly. All of the games in the series have jaw-dropping moments of ridiculous drama and the games have done an excellent job of straddling the line between comedy and tragedy. It’s arguably the most consistently good series that Capcom has created, or any company for that matter. Each game in the series stands well on its own, with tightly wound narratives that are incredibly fun to unravel. Dual Destinies has one of the most engaging stories of the series, weaving in nods to the past games and establishing new characters and plot threads in expert fashion. Newcomer Athena has a genuinely intriguing backstory and this game’s finale really brought me back to the original title’s landmark DL-6 case.  Do yourself a favor: do not read walkthroughs on how to solve the cases and do not spoil the last case for yourself. I almost dropped my 3DS in shock when I got to the end!

Phoenix Wright Payne

The Good:

  • Excellent characters, both old and new. Phoenix Wright is one of Capcom’s best characters, in my opinion. He’s eminently likable because of his awkward charms, so it’s great to see him back in full force (though to be fair, he was still a major presence in Apollo Justice). Speaking of Apollo, he also gets a major role in this game, making this feel like a true sequel, one that honors what the fourth game set out to do. Some past characters come back to make you feel nostalgic, and the new characters fit in quite well with the series cast. Simon Blackquill may remind many of prosecutors Von Karma or Godot from the original games, and Athena has quickly become a fan-favorite because of her excellent character design and well-written dialog. She’s a strong-headed young woman with a strong sense of justice. Even when the game comes off as cliché, it still manages to be sincere and genuine.
  • Perfect transition from 2D to 3D. Capturing Phoenix Wright in 3D is a tall order. The games are so well-known for the somewhat choppy sprite-based graphics of the original and it would be a shame to sacrifice the game’s visual flair. However, Capcom managed to capture the essence of Phoenix Wright’s look exceedingly well in this game. The characters are all spot on and the witness breakdowns are just as memorable as ever. It’s unfortunate that the iOS version of the games didn’t go this route, because it looks magnificent, and even better in 3D. The added depth works well in the visually busy courtroom.  I played through the entire game in 3D because I couldn’t get enough of looking at it.

  • An excellent soundtrack. Phoenix Wright games are typically known for the dramatic turnabouts, but what really makes those moments stand out is the music. When you start to go on the offensive and point out holes in the witness testimony, the game sets the stage perfectly with great songs. My personal favorite tracks are this game’s version of “Announcing the Truth” and “Running Wild ~ Mood Matrix.”

  • The Mood Matrix, Apollo’s super eyesight, and Phoenix’s Psyche Locks. During most of the game, you have to present the correct evidence at the right time to point out holes in witness testimony—that much is a given. But the series also has other gimmicks that make things interesting, and this game incorporates a lot of them. Phoenix has his magatama, a mystical item given to him by the Fey family, which allows him to see the “locks” around a person’s heart. In short, he can know when someone is keeping a secret. Apollo, on the other hand, has a bracelet on his wrist that reacts when someone lies. Then, using his hyper-sensitive eyesight, he can spot the small twitches and quirks that witnesses have when they lie. Athena uses a device and her knowledge of Analytical Psychology to basically walk the witness through their testimony, identifying how they are feeling and calming them down enough to divulge more details. It makes the courtroom scenes more interesting and fun. The Mood Matrix system starts simply, but becomes more interesting in later cases when you have more challenging witnesses.

Phoenix Wright Jumiper

The So/So:

+/-It’s a linear game. This is complaint that I always see plastered on Phoenix Wright reviews, so I debated on pointing it out at all, but figured that I may as well. It’s somewhat pointless to complain about this in a visual novel type game, especially because the entire premise is to go through the story. To me, it’s like complaining that a book is linear. It simply comes with the territory. Nevertheless, if you don’t like a game that you can’t change the direction of, this may not be for you. Phoenix Wright isn’t about diverging plotlines or multiple scenarios; nor is it a game that you really play through multiple times in a row. Most of the enjoyment comes from seeing plot revelations unfold for the first time and figuring things out on your own.

The Bad:

-Not much use of the touch screen or other features, aside from menus. In the bonus case of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, you got to use various forensic tools with Emma Skye (and later in Apollo Justice). It was a neat way of exploiting some of the DS’s touch features, so I was hoping that we would see more of that in Dual Destinies. While the menus and interface has been significantly improved, there isn’t much forensic analysis in this game. You do have to “select” the right areas for certain pieces of evidence, but I do miss checking for fingerprints, testing for blood, etc. This is a minor nitpick at best though.

-Only minor cameos from certain characters and others don’t make an appearance. I wanted to see more of the cast! Where’s Franziska von Karma?!

-If you’re not a longtime fan, you won’t get as much out of the story. It’s still easy to play and enjoy, but there are many subtle nods to the previous games. There aren’t any strongly overt ties to the past games, so you can still jump in to this knowing simply that Phoenix and Apollo know each other from long ago and both are defense lawyers they have been fighting the xarelto lawsuits. You don’t need to know about how Phoenix defended his rival Miles Edgeworth in a landmark case in the first game, but it does help you understand the significance when he arrives in this game. It helps you understand why he’s indebted to Phoenix. The narrative weaves in a lot of references to the previous games and that significantly increases your enjoyment.

The Lowdown:

Dual Destinies is not to be missed. It’s an excellent game through-and-through and continues the series tradition quite admirably. It reaffirms my belief that Phoenix Wright is Capcom’s most consistently great series, because each game can stand on its own as an excellent adventure. If you absolutely cannot stand reading in games and you don’t like a game that doesn’t offer replay value, it may not be for you, but if you’re interested in playing something different from the mainstream and something with a great story, you should definitely get this. And parents, don’t let the M-for-mature rating fool you; this game is easily appropriate for teens to play. Download this one whenever you can!

Score: 9/10

Vampire Chronicle for Matching Service Review

Vampire ChronicleVampire Chronicle for Matching Service (Available exclusively on SEGA Dreamcast)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: August 10th, 2000

Parent Talk: The ESRB didn’t rate Vampire Chronicle as the game was released exclusively in Japan. It also doesn’t feature a CERO rating, because the rating board only went into effect sometime in 2002-2003. If you’ve ever played any of the original Street Fighter II games, you know what to expect in terms of animated violence, suggestive themes, and some animated blood. While this game is technically aimed at an older demograph it really isn’t very damaging at all. It was heavily featured in the arcade scene back in the mid-90s, and most people who played it where ten and above. It’s Street Fighter II meets the classic monsters of Hollywood. You can expect to play as a character that look like Frankenstein’s monster, a vampire, and even little red riding hood.

Plays Like: The original game in the series, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Vampire in Japan), was a Street Fighter II clone, except with lush visuals and really unique character models and arenas. The gameplay was virtually identical to that of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Its sequel, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge (Vampire Hunter in Japan) mixed things up a bit by introducing Enhanced Special (ES) moves and Extra Special moves (EX), which were all based your use of the Special meter. While the special meter was featured in the first game, the sequel changed how it was used. For Darkstalkers 3 (Vampire Savior in Japan) the core gameplay from Night Warriors remained intact, but new characters were added and the way rounds were handled was changed. Sadly Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2 never made it outside Japan, although both games only tweaked some of the moves from Vampire Savior, and adjusted the roster.

Review Basis: I played this game quite a bit back in the day. For this review I simply played enough to refresh my memory, and had a blast doing so.

The Darkstalkers series has never been too popular on this side of the world. For whatever reason Capcom’s other fighting franchise has always been king. Over in Japan though the Vampire series, as it’s known there, became quite popular towards the end of the Street Fighter II craze. The first game in the series hit right after Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Vampire featured some of the most incredible character designs of the time. While still running on the CPS II arcade board, the game looked noticeably better than Street Fighter II. It would go on to spawn four official sequels in Japanese arcades, and while only three of the five games would ever make their way to North America, this Dreamcast compilation title sadly missed the boat. At one point it was the most sought after Dreamcast import, fetching upwards of $150 on eBay and other sites because of how rare it was. Only 5,000 discs were ever pressed, and the only way to purchase the game was directly through SEGA. So how has it held up, and is it worth trying to hunt down today? The short answer is it’s held up supremely well and hell yes it’s worth hunting down.

Vampire Chronicle5The Great:

One of the best compilation titles ever released. Vampire Chronicle isn’t your typical compilation title though. You don’t just select the game you want to play and away you go, no some real thought was put into this game. Instead what you do is select which Game Mode you want to use. Your options are Vampire, Vampire Hunter, and Vampire Savior.

For those that known nothing of the series, Vampire features a special meter which you can fill up to perform unique or enhanced special attacks. The meter constantly drains itself forcing you to keep on the offensive. Once filled you only have a short period of time to perform your special attack. There were two basic types of attacks, a unique special move, and a slightly enhanced version of your regular special moves.

Vampire Hunter changes things up by allowing you to stock the special meter. That means you decide when you want to use your special moves. It also introduced what were called ES (Enhanced Special) moves, which you do by performing your character’s regular special moves, but using two punch or kick buttons instead of the one. This would eat up some of the special meter though. The other big addition was the EX or Extra Special moves, which would require a unique button input to pull off and were extremely animated and fun to watch.

Vampire Savior followed Vampire Hunter’s system except made some modifications to the way rounds were handled. Instead of having a winning pose, and a round change when one character’s health was depleted, the game essentially continues to play out through one giant round. It’s an interesting mechanic because the winning player retains their health from the previous “round.”

After you’ve selected your play style it’s off to the character selection screen where you can choose one of 18 possible characters. From there you have the option to select your speed between normal and turbo. After that another choice opens up, which is to decide which character type you wish to play as from Vampire, Hunter, Savior, and Savior 2. Long story short, each of these types limits your character’s available combos and special moves to whatever they were in the respective game you select. In other words if you select Vampire, your character is only going to have access to the moves they had in that game.

Add all of this together, plus much, much more which I haven’t discussed and you have yourself a fantastic compilation game that is just as fun today as it was when it hit the Dreamcast in 2000. The fact that so many options are available is what really sets this game apart. It might sound complicated, but once you actually play it for yourself you can easily figure out which systems work for you.

Vampire Chronicle1The Good:

+ All 18 characters are available regardless of which mode you select. That means you can experience a character that was introduced much later on as if they were actually in the first game. It makes for a truly unique experience.

+ All the various modes allow players to experience the game as they wish. New players might want to play with very few mechanics to worry about, so they can easily start with the Vampire mode and work their way up. More advanced fighting game fans will clearly want to keep it locked to the Savior mode.

+ For its age the game looks fantastic via a VGA-cable. Sure it doesn’t look quite as smooth as some of the NAOMI-based Dreamcast games, but for a CPS II game it has never looked as lush and fluid on a console before. Every single frame of animation is present, and the character designs and stages look utterly fantastic. If you’re going to experience one Darkstalkers game on a retro platform, this is the one to get.

+ The audio is equally impressive featuring every soundtrack from each of the arcade games. What’s not to love about that?

Vampire Chronicle3The So-So:

+/- Old-school modes may throw some modern gamers for a loop. Featuring only an arcade and practice mode, where the moves aren’t even displayed, might be a little underwhelming for many. The thing is that’s how videogames were made back then. The versus mode is built into the arcade mode, and the online portion of the game has long been taken offline. If you have a group of buddies over though, this is truly all you need.

Vampire Chronicle2The Lowdown:

If you don’t feel like hunting down the Dreamcast version, there is a port called Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower for the PSP, although the load times were exceptionally bad compared to the non-existent ones on the Dreamcast version. For the asking price of about $40 to $80 I feel it’s well worth it. This is the very best Darkstalkers game ever made, and it’s one of the very best compilation titles of all time. The fact you can mix and match different gameplay styles, move-sets, and characters between all three core games is awesome.

Final Score: 9/10

Resident Evil: Code Veronica Review

RE CVResident Evil: Code Veronica (Available on Dreamcast, GameCube, and PlayStation 2)
ESRB Rating: M
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Survival Horror
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Dreamcast Version Release Date: February 29th, 2000
PlayStation 2 Version Release Date: August 21st, 2001
GameCube Version Release Date: December 3rd, 2003

ESRB Rating: The ESRB rates Resident Evil: Code Veronica M for mature because of animated violence and blood and gore. As per every entry in the RE series, you can expect tons of zombies, lots of blood, and some truly disturbing scenes. Keep young players very far away from this one.

Plays Like: Code Veronica plays exactly like the Resident Evil trilogy on the original PlayStation. The infamous tank controls are here in their full glory, as are all the classic gameplay mechanics you either love or hate.

Review Basis: For this retro-review I played the original Dreamcast version. If you’re curious how the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions hold up, they’re more or less exactly the same except they feature additional bonus content.

Capcom and SEGA had a great thing going back in the mid-to-late 90s. The SEGA Saturn was a huge success in Japan, and Capcom was making a mint off their arcade-perfect ports of classic titles like X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and Street Fighter Zero 3. It wasn’t too surprising that Capcom announced a brand new and ‘exclusive’ Resident Evil game for SEGA’s upcoming at-the-time Dreamcast hardware. Industry analysts considered this a huge coup for SEGA and it was marketed as the next evolution of the Resident Evil series. Sadly we all know how this story ends. SEGA would exit the hardware business, Code Veronica would be ported to the PS2 where it would go on to sell well over two million units, whereas the Dreamcast original sold just over a million. Eventually there would even be a GameCube port, and just recently Capcom released an HD re-release for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This review is going to look at the version that started it all.

The Great:

The atmosphere still shines through. Code Veronica was the first entry in the Resident Evil series to go “full 3D”. Instead of using pre-rendered backgrounds, everything here is textured polygons, and remarkably the game still looks impressive some 13 years after its original release. It’s a little known fact that SEGA actually helped Capcom make the game a reality on the Dreamcast by aiding in the technical side of development. Resident Evil: Code Veronica remains a moody, atmospheric and chilling videogame that everyone should experience at least once.

From the fog and fire effects, to the intricate details in the buildings and environments, everything feels much more alive than the original RE trilogy on the PS1. Character animations and zombie designs also look superb for such an old game. Coming off the original PlayStation, this was an incredible sight to see, and even today the visual presentation holds up perfectly.

RE CV1The Good:

+ Cheap scares never get old. Having not played Code Veronica in a decade I was surprised just how many times the game made me jump. Sure the scares are all reactive, this isn’t a game that gets in your head and terrorizes you, but the fact I genuinely jumped proves the age-old mechanic continues to work well.

+ The introduction of somewhat logical puzzles. While emblems remains, there are a lot of puzzles that actually make some sort of sense like the obstacle-based puzzles, where you need to move blocks or use a crane to move objects out of the way so you can access a new area. Compared to what came before, this was leagues better.

+ Core gameplay remains exactly the same as the original trilogy. Players solve puzzles, battle the undead, all while trying to escape from a research facility on some remote island. A wide array of weapons are available for players to use, weapon boxes that magically transport your gear to other locations are back, as are the first-aid spray and medical herbs. This is the RE you know and love, but slightly evolved thanks to the power of the Dreamcast.

+ The outstanding audio the series is known for returns. From classical pieces of music to the eery sounds of footsteps somewhere off in the distance, Code Veronica was masterfully crafted and it shows. It does a superb job of creating tension or building players nerves up when they have to traverse a dark and foggy area.

+ This game features one of the more interesting tales in the Resident Evil series, and while it’s goofy, and illogical most of the time, it’s remains enjoyable throughout. Claire Redfield is looking for her brother Chris, and along the way she gets incarcerated, finds out about the history of the T-virus, and eventually her big brother storms in to the rescue.

RE CV2The So-So:

+/- Love ’em or hate ’em Code Veronica uses the infamous tank controls. This means that at no point in the game do you ever feel like you’re 100% in control. I started with the original RE and worked my way through the series, so for me I have no problems with them at all, but I’m sure more of you will despise the controls than like them.

+/- Much more freedom has been offered to the camera system thanks to the removal of pre-rendered backgrounds. The camera as a whole is much more dynamic than ever before. That said, fixed camera angles are still the name of the game here, and as such often times it can be hard to see exactly what is attacking you depending on where you happen to be standing at the time.

The Bad:

– Laughably bad voice acting. Steve in particular sounds complete uninspired. Even as a character he never did anything but annoy me.

RE CV3The Lowdown:

Resident Evil: Code Veronica was a big deal back in 2000, and it remains a really fun survival horror game in 2013. Sure the tank controls might grate on your nerves, and the cheap scares will be old once you’ve experienced them for the first time, but it’s the type of game that you’ll want to return to in years to come just to re-experience everything all over again. I was extremely impressed by just how much fun I had with the game, and it sort of made me sad to think how far off the beaten path Capcom has taken the series today. If you’re looking for something frighting to play this Halloween, Resident Evil: Code Veronica is certainly a game worth digging out your Dreamcast for.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Mars Matrix Review

Mars MatrixMars Matrix (Available exclusively on the SEGA Dreamcast)
ESRB Rating: E
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Shmup
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Takumi Corporation
Release Date: April 30th, 2001

Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Mars Matrix E for everyone and lists animated violence in the warning box. Like all arcade shmups (shoot ’em ups) of the time, the action is 2D sprite-based with a mix of 3D polygons, so you’re going to see lots and lots of ships exploding…mainly yours. This is the type of game I loved when I was younger, classics like Gradius and Life Force were just as violent as Mars Matrix and I turned out just fine…depending on who talk to.

Plays Like: Mars Matrix is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up that takes no prisoners. It’s a simple to learn, impossible to master shooter. Make no mistake about it, if you’re new to the genre DO NOT start here. This game will literally destroy you. Gameplay is simple, you have one of two projectiles you can shoot, you don’t explode when smashing into enemy ships, and you can level up your craft by collecting experience cubes. Finally there’s an absorption barrier you can use if the GHB (Gravity Hole Bomb) gauge is full, which protects you for a short period of time, and can also be used to detonate a powerful screen-clearing bomb.

Review Basis: While I’d love to say I finished the game, that would be a flat-out lie. This is an early bullet hell shmup, meaning there are literally hundreds if not thousands of bullets on the screen at any given time. Like most shooters in the sub-genre, the first level is manageable, but by level two the game hand’s you your ass. If by some miracle you make it to level three, the difficulty only increases from there. I managed to make it to the fourth boss on four stars, which is the default difficulty level. Like I do with most of these retro reviews, I only played for a short period of time to reflect on a classic gem from the past. That said, I have every intention of finish all six stages.

Sometimes your mind plays tricks on you. I thought I had played Mars Matrix before, but apparently I was wrong. Steven sent me the game to review and I ended up playing it for about four hours straight after just wanting to try it out and capture a little footage for my video review. That’s always an excellent sign when a game does that to you. I was stunned by the game’s overall difficulty. Make no mistake about it, this is a shooter for fans of the genre or veterans; newbies look elsewhere. Even on easy you won’t make it very far. Since I have quite a bit of experience with shmups I stuck to the four-star difficulty, and got destroyed time and time again, loving every minute of it. I will be looking for a copy on eBay once I return the game to Steven as I really want to dig deeper into the game.

The Great:

Excellent combat system. Here’s the rundown, you can select two different ships or Mosquitos as they’re called here. The red one has normal speed, but a wideblaster or spread-shot weapon. The blue Mosquito is faster, but has a laser shot that only shoots in a straight line. Regardless of the ship you’re using, you can fire a regular shot, rapid fire, or the piercing cannon. The piercing cannon is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, but requires you get up close and personal with enemies, not always a great idea, although if your ship comes in contact with an enemy it doesn’t mean instant-death like virtually all other shmups out there. Finally there’s the Gravity Hole Bomb (GHB) gauge which slowly fills over time. Once maxed out you can activate an absorption barrier that will both absorb and reflect incoming enemy fire. If you hold down the button until the gauge is completely empty you can release a gravity hole bomb which clears the screen. It might sound like you’ve got enough behind you to stand a chance, but you’re outnumbered about a hundred-billion to one.

Mars Matrix1The Good:

+ Combo/evolving system. Destroyed enemies typically drop gold Experience Cubes. These cubes not only gives you experience, but act as a combo multiplier. The quicker you collect Experience Cubes, the more your score will increase, but so will your craft’s level. It’s possible to raise your level to eight, and in doing so your standard regular shot will also increase in power, which perfectly ties the two systems together.

+ Heavy emphasis on strategy. While it might not appear as such at first, you can actually project where enemy fire will reflect while using the GHB system. Not only that, but you don’t always have to use the full meter and deploy a bomb. Instead you can simply reflect shots back towards enemies and let go of the button. This way the meter fills up quicker.

+ Lots of replay value. Not only will it take you a long time just to finish the Arcade Mode, but then there’s the Elite Mode, which replaces enemy positions. There’s also a Score Challenge Mode which challenges you to continuously beat your previous high score.

+ One of my favorite features of the game is the store. Everything you do in the game nets you points, and all these points are tallied together and converted to cash. While the prices might seem ridiculously high at first, you quickly realize after an hour of playing that they’re just right. Not only can you unlock the art gallery, which is awesome, but also gameplay features like additional credits (continues), strategies (actual video tutorials showing a perfect play-through of the level), and much, much more. This extends the replay value astronomically.

+ Audio visual presentation holds up surprisingly well even some 12 years after the game’s release. I played this with my VGA-to-HDMI upscaler and the game looked great. Sprites popped from the screen, there were lots of fancy special effects thrown in for good measure, and only minimal slow-down, and slight pixelation here and there. Overall, it’s one highly detailed shmup. The audio is also rocking, with great techno music and strong sound effects.

The So-So:

+/- While not really falling in a good or bad category, Mars Matrix is a one-credit scorer. What does that mean, it means that once you’ve used up all your lives your high-score will be registered. It is replaced the second you hit the continue or credit button. The continues basically let you progress just a bit further and practice, but for the high scores to count, you need to go back to the beginning and try all over again.

Mars Matrix2The Lowdown:

Most people will find Mars Matrix way too hard, but therein lies its charm. It forces you to keep playing in order to unlock more continues from the store. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. The store adds new gameplay tweaks, there’s the Elite Mode to tackle, and much, much more. For a game released at the tail end of the Dreamcast’s life, it holds up supremely well. If you enjoy shmups, and are just starting to collect for the Dreamcast, this is one you need to have in your collection. It’s fantastic fun that will keep you coming back for more.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Mega Man and DuckTales Return!

Capcom has finally announced a brand new game in the Mega Man franchise, well sorta.  Here’s the scoop.  Today at PAX East Capcom confirmed the studio is in development of a brand new Mega Man game, but failed to release any further information.  Literally all we know is that a new game is in development, and that’s all she wrote.

The second piece of news is that WarForward and Capcom are bringing back the 1989 NES classicDuckTales for a new generation of gamers to enjoy.  Titled DuckTales Remastered the game will be available later this summer for Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and the Wii U’s eShop for $14.99.  The game will feature hand-drawn character sprites in a 3D world, and the Disney voice-actors are currently recording their lines, while the classic music also gets the remastered treatment.

We’ll have more info on both titles as we get it.

Updated by Ahmed Mosly: here’s the trailer for DuckTales, guys. Holy crap! It looks freakin’ awesome. I feel my childhood rushing back to me.

Mega Man’s 25th Anniversary

Mega Man, and the franchise’s parent company Capcom, have had it rough for the past few years.

Mega-Man-25th-Anniversary

Mega Man has not had not a retail release for a major home console since Mega Man X8 back in 2005 on the PlayStation 2, a game which sold poorly (though I personally adored). The series, according to Capcom’s investor relations page, has managed to sell 29 million total units. However, that number should be considered in context—there are 129 total releases for the franchise and the series is now 25 years old. To put that in perspective, Pokémon Red and Blue have sold approximately 31 million units in their lifetime alone. That’s right; the entire Mega Man franchise collectively can’t stand up to the first generation of Nintendo’s collect-a-monster RPG series. Even though Mega Man 9 was an 8-bit masterpiece and helped reinvigorate interest in the series in the public eye, the franchise’s troubles were far from over. An uncertain future, a fragmented brand identity, a convoluted canon, and a difficult position in the market meant trouble for the blue bomber. So, Capcom had cancelled its projects for the year. Among those was Mega Man Legends 3, a game that I, like many other fans, was eagerly waiting for with rabid enthusiasm. Cancelling that game was simply the last straw for the fan base.

What's next for the series?
What’s next for the series?

Perhaps it’s a good thing though. Because of that cancellation (among cancellations for the promising Mega Man Universe and the interesting Mega Man Online), the fan response has been significant. It would be fair to point out that the level of hatred aimed at Capcom is, most of the time, rather unwarranted. Fans were willing to find fault in everything that the company did, taking any available opportunity to voice their disgust. However, considering everything that has happened, the company has tried to gamble on the blue bomber a lot. The games in the series have not typically sold well. The original games were not on par with Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, yet Capcom pursued it. We’ve even seen several spinoffs and reinventions, including the fan-favorite Mega Man Legends and the Mega Man Battle Network series (which is still rather unique and unorthodox).

This has been the best time ever for Mega Man merchandise.
This has been the best time ever for Mega Man merchandise.

With the fan response, Capcom has re-evaluated their position on Mega Man. Hopefully now the series might be taken seriously again and a full, retail, console release might be in the realm of possibility. The series has certainly not died out among its fans and this has been the best time ever for merchandise based on the franchise. The excellent comic adaptation from Archie, the great English-adaptations of the Megamix and Gigamix manga series, and of course, the thoroughly awesome D-Arts line of collectible figures have been real treat for fans. December 17th is Mega Man’s official birthday, and this year marks the 25th anniversary for the franchise. To commemorate this event, Capcom has released Street Fighter X Mega Man, a company-backed fan project. The game can be downloaded now directly from Capcom’s website, for free.

Download this game immediately!
Download this game immediately!

This game is a real treat for fans of both series. It’s a labor of love from fans to the rest of the fan base—and it’s great to see that the Company has recognized and supported this project.  Zong Hui and A_Rival deserve large amounts of praise for working on this game. Capcom has been a rather supportive company, even in times that fans would like to claim otherwise. What other company gives fans an early look into the development process? Reaches out so well online, via blogs and forums? Actively pursues user content and feedback? While there are many fair criticisms that can be leveled against the company, they have frequently sought innovation, tried new things, partnered with other companies, and done everything to reach out to fans and others in the industry.

Download Street Fighter X Mega Man and give it a try. Even if 2D side-scrolling isn’t your thing, it’s an excellent project, and one worth supporting. The game plays like every other in the classic Mega Man series, with simple jump and shoot mechanics. The charge shot and slide mechanics seem like they were ripped directly out of Mega Man 4. The game is certainly challenging. The level design is simplistic and can appear rough around the edges, but the game has some clever ideas and fun enemies to face. Hopefully after this, Capcom will start to look into other games to release. Mega Man 1 through 6 are being prepared for release on the 3DS eShop and some new merchandise is in the pipeline.

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What’s next for Mega Man? As a fan, there are many projects I would love to see. A revival of the Legends series and Mega Man X9 are the games I would most like to play. Some new games on the home console and new innovations in the franchise would also be appreciated. If I had to make some predictions about what may come out for Mega Man’s 25th anniversary, I would place my bet on some kind of ultimate anthology collection. I’m also willing to bet that the company is looking at a franchise reboot, to try and provide some innovation for a series that many accuse of growing stagnant. Perhaps it is the right time, as well. Mega Man X reinvigorated interest in Mega Man after people grew tired of the 8-bit adventures. Mega Man Legends brought the series into 3D, infused it with adventure gameplay a la Legend of Zelda and even some trace elements of sandbox gameplay. Mega Man Battle Network dramatically altered the face of Mega Man and was one of the franchise’s more notable successes. Maybe it’s time for a new series to help bring it back into the spotlight.

NOTE: You can download Street Fighter X Mega Man here. This game is only available for the PC at this time, though it may come to consoles at a later date. It is completely free! Gamepad controls are supported during play and it is highly recommended that you use a USB controller rather than a keyboard.

Capcom Announces Release Date for Marvel vs. Capcom Origins

Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, which collects Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, will be available to download in North America on PlayStation Network on September 25th for $14.99 and on Xbox LIVE Arcade on September 26th for 1200 Microsoft Points.  I already informed you all of this game a while back, but at least now we have a release date :)  Here’s a little tidbit Capcom wanted me to pass along.

These two classic games are kept arcade-perfect, while adding a host of features sure to tap into arcade nostalgia while meeting today’s online needs.  MARVEL VS. CAPCOM ORIGINS is jam-packed with Marvel and Capcom fan-favorite characters and crazy, beloved gameplay that throws a powerful punch.

MARVEL VS. CAPCOM ORIGINS offers both the one-on-one gameplay of Marvel Super Heroes with its unique Infinity Gem system and the two-on-two carnage of the original Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, featuring a tag system, assists, and the wild Duo Team Attack. Bringing forth a host of features never before seen in these games, MARVEL VS. CAPCOM ORIGINS adds GGPO-enhanced online play with 8-player lobbies and spectator mode, HD graphical upgrades, dynamic challenges and replay saving.

How many of you are looking forward to capcom’s latest brawler?

A New Mega Man Game?!

CAPCOM has not enjoyed the best relationship with its fanbase for the last year or so, especially with the Mega Man faithful. Following the cancellation of Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3, fans are feeling particularly sour. Some people look for any reason to be upset, whether it’s the inclusion of hilarious Bad Box Art Mega Man in Street Fighter X Tekken (which is so radical I’d buy the game just for him), the lack of Mega Man in Ultimate Marvel vs. CAPCOM 3 (the way he was butchered in Marvel vs. CAPCOM 1 and 2 makes me grateful he wasn’t in, to be honest), and the frankly lazy iOS port of Mega Man X. But some fans will be very justified in their dissatisfaction with CAPCOM’s latest announcement, Rockman Xover (pronounced “cross over”).

The concept made me excited beyond words at first. According to the translated description posted on sites like The Mega Man Network, the story goes: “It’s a world where all the worlds of Rockman have crossed over. The gulf of space-time has been closed thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wily, Sigma and other villains to Rockman and co.! Dr Light and Dr. Cossack work together in creating a new robot to oppose this crisis. A production model, this robot uses “battle memory” that has been scattered over the world, and possesses infinite potential to transform and increase his power. The player battles evil as this new type robot. Create your own Rockman, and battle with others to protect peace!”

A crossover game putting together every series in the Mega Man franchise? That sounds amazing! I would’ve loved to see all of the Mega Man characters team up to take down villains from the franchise. The description, however, leads me to believe that it isn’t really “all” of the games, but rather the classic and X series respectively, given the inclusion of Dr. Light and Dr. Cossack, as well as Sigma. What could possibly be so bad about this? Well, it’s a Social RPG for iOS. I can’t say I’m too excited for the idea. Actual game mechanic details are slim at this point, so it’s probably too early to make a judgment call, but I just can’t shake this feeling of disappointment. Some fans are obviously taking this too far, claiming that CAPCOM intends to kill the franchise intentionally–which is just silly and misguided. Hopefully more games will be announced as part of the 25th anniversary and this is just a taste of things to come, and for what it’s worth, this may end up being a fun and addictive little diversion.

 

 

As a quick disclaimer about compatibility,  it will run on iPhone 3GS/4/4S, and iPod Touch models beyond generation 3. It is playable on iPad, but the game is not designed for the iPad’s resolution. The game is currently set for release in Japan this Fall. CAPCOM has already confirmed that this will be released in the US and European markets. Thanks to 4Gamer.net for posting the original story.

 

Capcom Announces Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (Trailer Inside)

Two of my favourite fighting games of all time are getting the HD remaster treatment and will arrive on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade this September for $14.99/1,200 MS Points.  Which two games?  Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom!  The compilation will see both games remastered in 1080p, feature online gameplay and a wealth of new gameplay modes and unlockables.

Looks pretty awesome, no?  Capcom’s been getting a lot of flack these past few years for some questionable business practices (multiple releases of slightly tweaked fighting games, on-disc DLC, etc.), so it’s nice to see a little fan service.  While I think it would have been even better to include X-Men: Children of the Atom or X-Men vs. Street Fighter, I’ll gladly accept this compilation.

Who else is interested in this one out there?