Friday, December 28, 2007

Street Fighter IV Thoughts.

As many may now know Capcom has announced Street Fighter IV the 1st real Street Fighter game in about 10 years. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I got when I heard the news and saw the first teaser trailer of the game. But that has all changed and that excitement has manifested itself into doubt.

Recently on the 1up Show they talked about Street Fighter IV and showed the 1st footage of the game in motion. Now to start things off when I saw the style they were going for in the game from the screen shots I wasn't very happy. However I held off any doubts hoping that the game would look better in motion. Well now that I have seen it in motion I can say I am very very disappointed. The style they seem to be going for is the more American bulky looking fighters look. Hell if it wasn't for the Red and White karate suits that Ken and Ryu wear you wouldn't even know it was them in the video thats how different they look. And when I say different I don't mean in a good way, they look horrid. In addition to Ryu and Ken not looking like Ryu and Ken their bodies when not in movement just seem wrong somehow. It's really hard to explain unless you've seen it.

The thing that saddens me is that Street Fighter IV will most likely be a blast to play because Producer Yoshinori Ono is trying to appeal to all the things that made Street Fighter II the massive hit that it was. However in trying to perfect things like the game play it seems they have completely overlooked the visual appeal that Street Fighter II had with its more anime style.

Being a Street Fighter fan for awhile I am one who believes that Street Fighter IV shouldn't use 3d character models and that Capcom should stay with sprites. With the quality of the hand drawn sprites being done on the PS2 at the end of its life span with games such as Odin Sphere and the Grim Grimore I firmly believe that if they wanted to Capcom could get damn near anime quality sprites out of the Xbox 360 and PS3 hardware.

But I digress. This all may not even end up mattering as some may know a large amount of complaints about certain sprites for Street Fighter II HD was enough to make Capcom redo them and make them better. So who knows maybe Yoshinori Ono will hear the complaints from the fans and they may just end up changing the style of the game. Here's hoping Capcom is listening.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is Duke Finally comming?

As some may know a new teaser trailer for the long in development Duke Nukem Forever has been released today. Which you can find here. After watching this clip which shows little of any real game play I came away kind of confused. I thought shouldn't a game that has been in development for 10 years look a little better then this? While the game doesn't look bad by any stretch of the imagination it just doesn't quite look as good as I had hoped. And whats with the cheesy voice over at the end? I mean I know Duke is supposed to have that somewhat cheesy sense of humor but thats a little much. Hopefully that voice is just a place holder until some real voice over work begins. I guess my problem is that after being in development for 10 years Duke Nukem Forever has so much to live up to and this teaser doesn't show that it will live up to any of that. Heres hoping that this is just a bad trailer and not a bad game.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New FFXIII and FFversusFXIII trailers!!!

For those of you that don't know there are new Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailers up all over the net. While they aren't the newest trailers shown in the Square Enix closed mega theater at this years Tokyo Game Show they are newer then the ones that have been available for awhile now. While the Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer is more or less just a extended version of the fight from the original it's still very much worth a look. The Final Fantasy XIII trailer shows off a lot more then the first trailer. Battle scenes are extended and there are some impressive views of a lush jungle valley. You will also get a peek at Shiva and a new character who to me looks to be inspired by Final Fantasy VIII's Seifer in his Kingdom Hearts 2 form.

One thing that really excites me is a scene in which Lightning throws a grav bomb into a group of enemies and as she dashes toward the enemies the camera pans a bit and then she is in a battle. If this transition is anything like what battles will be like in the final version of the game that really excites me. It makes sense as one of the producers of the game said one of the exciting things about working with the PS3 is that there will be no load times and this could be a way to phase out the shattering glass effect seen in the older FF's. And all this is assuming that Final Fantasy XIII doesn't use the battle system from Final Fantasy XII which some people are assuming is going to happen. However I don't recall Square Enix stating one way or the other.

Either way you can find the trailers here at Final Fantasy or here at N4G and you can always Google them as well. Enjoy.

UPDATE: has released 1080p versions of the new trailers which can be downloaded and watched on your PS3 if you so please. Give them a click as they have done a good job getting the trailers in 1080p you can get them here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Assassin's Repition

When I first saw Assassin's Creed I thought "awesome metal gear solid crusaders style". I was excited for the game but now that I have played it I feel let down.

1st off as some may know there was a much talked about Sci Fi twist to Assassin's Creed now I won't spoil what it is I can tell you that its pointless and out of place in the game.

The game looks great its nothing spectacular but it does its job, it is by no means ugly but its not beautiful either. Not counting NPC's related to the story there seems to be only a few NPC models which is annoying but not to bad. The animation is great it looks very fluid and the way the animations work as you free climb a building just looks awesome.

Now the game breaks down like this. You have 9 targets to assassinate throughout the game 3 per city. Now herein lies the problem in each city you have to investigate before you can have a chance to kill your target. You will be doing tasks like saving citizens, eavs dropping, pick pocketing, beating people for info, scaling tall buildings to reveal more of the map and so on. The problem is you will repeat these tasks endlessly so much it gets to the point where I wanted to just put the game down. Even the NPC's repeat the same few phrases countless times. Its as if they had a few voice actors read the same line off a card and just hit loop. There are NPC's that will follow you around begging for money and they seldom leave you alone. I can't even begin to tell you how annoying it was to hear them say "I need money I'm hungry and sick" 10000 times in 30 minutes. And like I said the tasks you will be doing are mind numbingly repetitive.

The combat system offers up a decent amount of depth but the problem is you will never need any of it. You will simply need to learn to attack and counter and there will never arise a need to use any other combat abilities in the game at all. You will get the ability to use a dagger, Sword, throwing knives, a hidden knife and your fists. However you will only be using the sword and hidden knife as there is no real reason to use anything else. It's disappointing that the game never forces you to take advantage of the many abilities you obtain throughout the game.

The story while I can't say much while somewhat different was rather forgettable. It's sad Assassin's Creed could have been so much more but what it ended up being was a decent game with a few unique twists. At best I would recommend it for a rental. Here's hoping the sequel will get all the problems fixed and be the game that Assassin's Creed could have and should have been.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New GTAIV Trailer impressions.

For those that don't know a new Grand Theft Auto IV trailer was released today, if you haven't seen it yet its up on Xbox Live and you can Google it and probably find it on a million different sites. I checked the trailer out and came away with conflicting thoughts. While the action in the trailer is certainly intense even more so then what we have seen in past GTA games I couldn't help but think "wow is that what it looks like"? It seems to me at least that the 1st trailer for the game was far more graphically impressive. It leaves me wondering is it just me noticing this? Has the games delay perhaps had a effect on the games graphics engine? Or is it just that after playing beautiful games like Mass Effect and Uncharted that the GTA engine just fails to impress?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Vivendi and Activision merger.

The Company that owns the company behind World of Warcraft and the company behind Call of Duty 4 and Guitar Hero 3 are merging. Vivendi and Activision have announced plans for a merger and once complete the company will be known as Activision Blizzard.... someone needs a new creative department... Anyway with this news came news of big Sequels such as Guitar Hero IV and Call Of Duty 5. I personally am excited about this news as some may know Activision was close to beating out EA as the #1 3rd party developer and now with this merger Activision Blizzard may just over take EA after all. And who knows maybe with this merger we will see sequels to long lost games that we have been waiting for such as Diablo III. Time will tell.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Star What?

Star Wars sucks!!! I'm sorry it's true Mass Effect has made such accusations true. Star Wars is little more then a scribbled short story in the back of a 8 year olds notebook. Mass Effect is a game that I didn't expect to like I'll admit I'm not the biggest Bioware fan. I thought the Balder's gate games were simply ok and I'm not a Star Wars fan so I never got into KOTOR and Jade Empire just didn't do it for me. So as you may expect I was fully expecting to hate this game. But I'm glad to report not only am I completely in love with the game but that Mass Effect is one on the best games of all time.

The thing that strikes me most about Mass Effect is the fact that it's all original this isn't something inspired by something else ala KOTOR. Bioware created a insanely in depth and complex universe from the ground up, a universe dare I say more compelling then Star Wars.
Each of the many Alien races are diverse and intriguing and I found myself simply talking to them just to learn more about their species and there culture. And as I said before there is so much depth to this universe it's insane. The story is your classic "stop the big bad guy only to realize there is a bigger bad guy out there" but it's done so well and so polished that you will hardly care. In fact the fact that this story takes place in such a compelling universe will make you forget about the Sci Fi clinches and simply become enthralled with the story. And the greatest part you might ask? Simple this is only part one of what is expected to be a trilogy.

The game looks beautiful the character models are simply stunning. Which is a good thing because it really brings this universe and it's characters to life. The environments are varied the main story line worlds that you visit for the most part are beautiful. However the other planets you can go explore sometimes seem a bit empty but thats completely understandable considering how much is here and hardly takes you out of the experience. And unlike a lot of the bigger games I have seen recently there are hardly any visual bugs in the game.

The much talked about Dialog system while not revolutionary is certainly a step in the right direction. Simply put there is a wheel with 6 options (sometimes less depending on the situation) that you choose at certain points in the conversation. You can choose to be nice and soft on others, you can choose to be mean and speak your mind or you can kinda play in the middle and it really feels like you are the one choosing what to say. What you choose to say will sometimes get you Paragon(good) or Renegade(bad) points which slowly build throughout the game and ultimately decide which kind of hero you will end up being. While you level up you will be given the chance to raise Charm or Intimidation which will open up new options in the dialog wheel further creating new situations you can find yourself in. And the great thing is these new options are not just little show pieces and another random thing to level up they really do help. Later in the game I used my Charm to prevent one of my squad members from going rouge had I not had charm leveled up I may have had to fight him or worse lose him. It's things like these that make Mass Effect so epic and incredible that you can't help but love the game.

The Game play will take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it you will hardly care. The game plays somewhat like a Gears Of War but with RPG elements. You can hide behind cover although I often found myself simply standing behind the cover as the Gears Of War cover system is far superior. You have 4 basic weapons you can customize and add to Shotgun, Assault Rifle, Pistol and Sniper Rifle. You can add upgrades and new ammo to each gun tailoring it to a specific enemy or situation. You will Earn abilities for use in combat as you level up such as the ability to nonstop fire your assault rifle without the decrease of accuracy and without worry of overheating. And you will learn new Abilities for each weapon. You can also control the things your squad does as well. Sadly leeching abilities from your squad is often all they will be good for as the squad AI like in most games isn't that great. Don't get me wrong they will help you out every now and then but don't expect for them to save you or win the war or anything.

So with all these great things you may ask is there anything wrong with Mass Effect? Well yes a few things. There are at times a lot of slowdown it never inhibits the game play but its there. As I mentioned above the squad AI isn't the best in the world but it is by no means the worst either. The soundtrack oddly enough is completely forgettable which is odd for a game where everything else is so epic the soundtrack isn't. I thought the game was a bit to short but that may be a matter of taste and with all the side quests and such that can be done some will hardly think the game is short.

So yeah Star Wars sucks and Mass Effect is now the Sci Fi universe to beat. Great Voice acting, A deep and complex universe, Incredible story, Great alien races, Awesome dialog options. The list goes on. If you are a RPG fan OWN IT!!! If you are a FPS fan check it out. Everyone should at least give Mass Effect a shot and I'm sure everyone will love it.