Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jumping The Gun

What's the first button you instinctively reach for when you want the character to jump?

It's usually the lowest button on the controller regardless of what system or generation, that's how buttons are normally mapped to by default. You don't go against the system especially if it's a technical action game like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.

The first Devil May Cry game mapped the jump action to the Triangle button. That's right, it's on the highest button on the gamepad for reasons I failed to understand. The buttons also cannot be re-configured so you are basically stuck with unlearning what you learnt through years of playing these games.

Thankfully as I tend to have multiple copies of these games, I discovered that the Japanese version of Devil May Cry doesn't have this type of insane button mapping. Jump is actually mapped to the X button like how it usually is. For once, owning multiple copies of the same game actually paid off and I can put this import copy to use despite have to start all over. Or if you are not the nostalgic type, you can always pick up the HD collection as it's seems they have fixed this problem on the HD reissue.

This anniversary re-issue is actually pretty sweet, it comes with a bonus soundtrack disc and a nice new cover art. When I first bought it, I even got a bonus DVD of the wesker report and trailers for other Capcom games. Those were good times, too bad it never lasts as with all good thing.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Crossroads

As a consumer, cross generation games have really put me in a dilemma.

On one hand, I don't want buy a new hardware to play games that I can also play on my old system.

On the other, I don't want buy an inferior version (last gen) of a game that I know will undoubtedly look better on newer consoles.

Yes the old master race. Yet I find myself buying PS3 games lately that contradicts myself. Partly some are for collection purposes which I will gladly buy the PS4 version as well. But mostly it's also because the price drop is sufficient to the point where I think it's justifiable for a last gen version. 

You see I could never understand why the pricing of cross-generation games are roughly about the same. There is no logic to that, yes it's the same product but not exactly the same quality (in terms of aesthetic not the actual quality). If the pricing was adjusted to reflected that maybe it would make things easier. Then again, nobody will upgrade their hardware if games cost less and are still available on old consoles. 

I also realised the game itself is more important winning the master race. RE4 on the Playstation 2 was a pretty inferior port but it didn't diminished the greatness of that game. Everyone had good memories of it despite the fact that the inferior port was probably the most played version. 

In the end a great game will undoubtedly a great game, everything else is just superficial. 

Unless we are talking about RE4 Iphone edition or Dead Rising Wii.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Double Dragon

Importing the Yakuza games has been a sound decision so far. I started with a late purchase of Kenzan and never looked back. At first I had doubts as I didn't want to double dip but looking at the trend, I might never had to. I finished Kenzan and RGG5 this way and was planning to start Ishin soon. Now maybe I will play Zero first.

There is one thing I didn't count on that is the online guides won't be online forever. It daunted on me when some translators took their RGG5 guides down after the English version was announced. It's a strange feeling. It's almost like owning a digital copy of the game but not having it on your HD and not knowing how long it would remain on the servers. Ishin and RGG5 aren't so bad because I still have the chinese scriptbooks but not Zero and Kenzan. It's impossible to archive the entire guide as different translators have their own way of expressing them with most using subtitled videos.I don't have the greatest memory either so it's not like I can remember every dialogue after finishing it once.

Maybe I do have the buy these games twice after all but the real question is, are there more localisation on the way?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why So Serious?

We all know at least one in our life.

The one who overreacts and stops you when you get to spoiler territory. You know, the one who starts covering their ears and singing to themselves to avoid being spoil. Some people just take their entertainment way too serious.

I find spoilers part of the perils of being a latecomer. It doesn't bother me as much as the next guy. Sure sometimes I get disappointed when I stumbled into one but in this age, it's hard to avoid spoilers.

I found out John Marston dies at the end of Red Dead while I was still playing the GOTY edition. As you know the GOTY edition took forever to come out and I was taking my sweet time playing it. In this case, I was actually intrigued how he dies and the ending certainly didn't disappoint. There is a silver lining I guess but of course if it was really lame ending then a spoiler could quickly defused all interest.

If you really want to avoid spoilers then join the master race and be the first to play everything. Very difficult task as even when I buy a game on the first day, I still take my time and never finish it in one go. So don't blame the guy who tells you Brad Pitt is actually Edward's imaginary friend. Blame yourself for not getting around to watching it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Zap from the Past

Now I already pointed out that Revelations 2 is very similar to Zero in terms of gameplay. That nostalgic call back is ultimately its main downfall. 

As RE fans are aware, there are two types of RE games – the early fixed camera angle games and the RE4 styled games. Zero lets you control your both characters at the same time which works well in the early fixed camera angle games. You could separate both characters and place them in in different rooms. You determind which character goes to which path and does what. In that aspect, the game is light years ahead of RE5 or Revelations 2. The two characters never felt like they were attached at the hip like in the latter games.

In Revelations 2, you can’t separate the two characters and one of them is helpless but not completely unarmed. You have separate inventory for each character even though they can never be apart and one don’t actually use firearms.Online co-op would have be nice though it’s hard to imagine how much fun it is controlling a character that doesn’t fight. Using the second character to wave the flashlight around is as boring as it sounds.

Capcom wisely put the RE0 remaster on hold as they didn't want to saturate the market with another game. In retrospect they should have just remaster that and forget about this lame sequel. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Need More Controller

Devil May Cry is never far from gamers' minds despite not having a proper sequel for more than 5 years. It's a cult series for sure and cult followers expect more. Like retail copy more, I get that because I'm one of those too. DMC4 SE will be released strictly through digital distribution on current hardware. Looking back at DMC3 SE, it's unreasonable to think that Capcom would do more than distribute this on the digital medium.

This reissue looks largely the same as DMC3 SE in terms of content except it took 7 years to arrive. DMC3 SE only had a Greatest Hits cover despite being a year apart. I remember importing the japanese edition of DMC3 SE just for the new cover art. I dusted off the game to play recently after a bit of Bayonetta fatigue and the game still holds up remarkably well. Of course, it claimed the life of another dualshock2 controller but these imitation stuff never do last anyway.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Death Don't Come Cheap

The Evil Within is a pretty brutal game. The manual even warns you that death will come often and when you least expect it. I probably had a dozen retries on the prologue alone before the title sequence rolled. I would say the prologue is the weakest part of the game. It gave a really bad impression of what the game isn't actually about. 

Apart from the prologue, this isn't an unfair game and the death count can certainly be cut down. I think making the game any easier removes a lot of tension within the game. Mikami pacing and structure of the game is excellent, he creates space for tension and also the big payoff moments. It's never one element for too long , this isn't strictly a stealth game that seems to be trend after the emergence of The Last of Us.

Even the active cinematic moments that looked cool in other games but really all you are doing is just pushing a button or holding down the analog stick to run is different here. I won't spoil it but rest assured you need some skill and quick wits to survive these moments.