July 8, 2012

Demo Report – Resident Evil 6

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jason Westhaver @ 7:43 pm

Demo Report Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 5 was just a God awful game. Terrible plot, terrible characters, illogical progression, rail shooting, a heavy focus on combat with a control system clearly not set up for it and AI so bad that it made your average “Escort Mission” NPC seem like an expert tactician. That’s not even counting the superfluous little details like Chris Redfield being a roid-raging monkey and blonde Jill.

It was a game that offered a giant middle-finger to long-time fans, and an awkward experience to players new to the series. Even if one looks at it objectively as a standalone game and ignores the “Resident Evil” association, it’s still an unpleasant experience if for no reason other than the fact that having to stand still to shoot doesn’t work in an action game. With such an opinion of RE5 I’m sure you can all imagine how I felt about the prospect of having to play through a sixth entry, but after having a chance to play around with the RE6 demo, I can safely say my cold heart has warmed, ever so slightly.


January 20, 2012

Demo Report – Resident Evil: Revelations

Demo Report Resident Evil Revelations
Waking up in the cabin section of a derelict ocean liner, Jill Valentine expresses a feeling of déjà vu, which I certainly share in as the opening of the Revelations’ demo feels very much like a homecoming, stirring some equally pleasant and terrifying memories. The gloom of ruined rooms is occasionally broken by the shimmer of essential supplies, and also the continual arrival of humanoid biohazards that are largely featureless, save for the spiky limbs slapping out at players before these creatures close in for a more intimate attempt at feasting on Jill’s blood.

Clutching the 3DS and lurching forward through the ship is a very intimate experience, bringing back unnerving sensations and a slower pace of traditional horror the mainline series has largely moved away from in the pursuit of high-grade action. Entering a dining hall where food is rotting on tables and a strange vapor hugs the floor finds me several shades hesitant about the prospect of moving forward any further, and it’s rather terrific being gripped by that feeling of apprehension again.


January 12, 2012

The Asura’s Wrath Demo – What Just Happened? Edition

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 11:06 pm

Asuras Wrath Demo
I just finished doing something with the Asura’s Wrath demo. I don’t wholly know what it is that I did, and really, I’m not sure what kind of thing I did it with.

Ostensibly, Asura’s Wrath is a beat ‘em up—except, I think I maybe beat up three guys in the course of the demo, for a total of perhaps ninety seconds of gameplay.

The demo chiefly consists of cut-scenes and quick-time events; it plays like an interactive episode of Dragonball Z, where following the prompts progresses the story, chiefly by causing Asura to get angry and hit things harder.

Interspersed were a few brief gameplay interludes, where I actually had some limited freedom to move Asura and do what I would typically describe as “playing the game.”

These sequences involved A) running and blasting things, or B) running and punching things. In the latter section, I fought what would, in any other game, be called a boss battle—but strangely, even this brawl felt suspiciously as if it were on rails. Not that it was, not truly, but there was a pattern, there were prompts—and eventually, I understood that the game was trying to make me play out a cinematic with my own two hands. If the boss knocked me back, I could tap quickly and recover—if I advanced perfectly through his assault, I could attack. If I was exactly skilled enough, I would use all the right moves and the battle would simply look like a cut-scene.

It would look like a good one, too. The aesthetic of Asura’s Wrath is, in a word, brilliant. I’ve never seen a videogame look like this—like a painting come to life. What’s accomplished here is what so many games struggle endlessly with and never achieve; a true visual dynamism where the nature of the image can change, like a brush stroke, becoming smooth and calming or stressed and furious. The visuals alone demand attention, insisting the game be played.

If there is a game, that is. At the end of the demo, a title screen thanked me for playing, and I sat there, wondering: had I played? I had mashed some buttons, sure—but whether there’s a game here? Whether this is a videogame? I really don’t know.

I do want to find out.

January 11, 2012

Demo Report – Asura’s Wrath

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 4:13 pm

Demo Report Asuras Wrath
Swinging the many furious fists of an angry stone God can now be sampled on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, courtesy of a demo for CyberConnect 2’s upcoming Asura’s Wrath, which appears to pioneer the genre of Anime-Action-Space-God-Epic.

If you don’t find some mix of humor and awe in that bold new label, stepping into Asura’s heavy shoes may require checking a certain amount of reason at the door – this demo provides access to two separate chapters that are both heavy on chaos and light on narrative explanation. And as much as I favor firm narrative ground, there’s an abstract sense of sense to appreciate all the same here in addition to the ludicrous lengths the game goes to in order to tickle your “hey ain’t that cool” bone.

Both sample chapters also present breaks with title cards, as if I were actually watching an anime series on television – color me intrigued as to how that might play out further in the presentation.

As for the mix of gameplay offered – and it is mixed – there’s a definite sense of two streams converging into one enthusiastic hyper-thread attempting to build on existing real estate. That’s my way of suggesting that whilst playing, one certainly feels the Platinum Games’ philosophy of ever increasing moments of insanely impossible but irrefutably amazing feats, such as flinging a God into space only to have him return larger than the planet you just tossed his ass off of, or being stabbed by an extending sword that pushes you off one planet and into space only to then push you through the core of an entirely new planet. These things happen in Asura’s Wrath, presenting a new benchmark for ridiculous over-the-top action that I want to lamely label anime-approved-cool or some such nonsense.

But there’s also a bit of Ninja Blade’s determination to make something more useful of those pesky quick-time button prompts, which Asura’s Wrath also has plenty of – many of them attempting to draw a connection between cinematic styled sequences and your existence as a player versus a spectator, adding some ground by having you push the analog sticks to make Asura literally stand his ground during an attack for instance. There are also moments where you attempt to press buttons at the right time, mash buttons, and curse while rotating an analog stick in a fashion that seems to fly in the face of how normal humanoids hold controllers.

There are times when the experience is more traditional, dodging bullets from an overhead ship and getting in front of missiles for a chance to throw them back comes to mind. Boss encounters also present familiar patterns for dodging, with a bit of button mashing attached at the confrontation mark. But the rhythm is constantly shifting here, always looking for the next new plateau to separate the current action from a previous one.

The much shorter appraisal is that Asura is a God who spends a great deal of time being pummeled by other Gods until reaching his Hulk factor and filling the screen with explosive rage. How could you not want to break from listening to me and go check that out for yourself?

Oh hey and if you do, be sure to swing back around and let me know what you think.

June 8, 2011

E3 2011 – Eyes On Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , , , , — Mister Raroo @ 10:09 pm

Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City
Judging by the long line required to play Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (I’m going to call it ORC for short), people must really like it. Or maybe they think they’re going to like it before they play it. One person told me he waited two hours to have a turn. When I asked him how it was, he said, “It was pretty good, I guess.” Not quite a glowing endorsement!

And that’s kind of the vibe I got from watching it: It seems pretty good, but not great.

I didn’t want to wait in line to play, so I just took some time to do an extended “eyes on” with the title, watching a number of multiplayer matches. I’m not so hip on the types of games where you run around with guns and kill things, unless they’re totally crazy like Gungrave. Remember Gungrave? The words “Kick Their Ass!” displayed on the screen before every stage. That was awesome, even if the game wasn’t the greatest.


February 7, 2011

The Fifteen Dollar Man

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 4:59 pm

bionic commando rearmed 2 review
Despite intending to spend a healthy slice of the weekend devouring Nathan “Rad” Spencer’s latest mission in Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, bite-sized doses became the norm, strongly encouraged by the volume of stages, which vary greatly in scale and often left me questioning whether I wanted to chew on another right away.

Granted it’s hard for any game to compete for my affection the same weekend that the Puppy Bowl airs.


January 11, 2011

Review – Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:09 am

Review Ghost Trick Phantom Detective
Death is only the beginning in Capcom’s latest DS release, which begins with the demise of its protagonist, Sissel, only to start a spiritual adventure that finds him making plenty of new friends and influencing people – despite the handicap of being deceased. The first of Sissel’s new acquaintances is a possessed lamp, which kindly introduces him to a ghost world overlapping the land of the living and allows Sissel a means of moving the story forward by unraveling the multiple threads that comprise it.

Capable of switching between these two spheres, Sissel is able to possess and manipulate inanimate objects, a skill key toward solving the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death – though this ability results in him helping plenty of others along the way, like a phantom littlest hobo.


Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress