If any game company knows how to do stellar fighting game crossovers, it’s Capcom. One needs only to look at crossovers like Marvel vs. Capcom, and the lesser known Tatsunoko vs. Capcom to name a few. With Street Fighter X Tekken ( “X” is pronounced “cross”), Capcom (with Namco’s licensing) has induced a collective fan-gasm for fighting game enthusiasts.
Two random fellows on the street get into a fight right before your eyes. Much to your delight, the two fighters seemed rather adept at fighting as each fighter gracefully unleashes flurries of attacks upon each other. Inevitably, one fighter goes down after an intense battle of give and take with a good bit of mind games thrown in. Now comes the hard part. Do you care as to why these two seemingly random people started fighting each other? Or do you only care that the two put on a very entertaining show of strength and guile? In the case of most fighting games, we don’t care as to why the characters in the roster list decided to pick a fight with the other characters on the roster list, but the SoulCalibur series has a rather special distinction of being a fighting game that had a story underneath it that doesn’t involve a freakin’ combat tournament.
It’s about 1:30 in the morning. Bleary-eyed, I traverse through the rocky, unforgiving terrain with my trusted bodyguard. We’ve seen the horrors of battle together…raiding bandit encampments, taking down giant spiders and brutish frost trolls, and eliminating unspeakable terrors in the deep dungeons of the world.
I was a little tempted to troll my readers and simply repost my old review for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with a few edits, but after rereading it, I realized that most of it doesn’t apply to how I felt about Modern Warfare 3. Gone are the days when pretty graphics and stuff blowing up nice and big before our eyes can satisfy our gaming taste like it did two years ago. Now it just feels rote.
It wasn’t until 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum that the Batman franchise meant anything to gamers. Prior to Arkham Asylum the Batman name had been dragged through the mud with game after game that had no idea how to handle a character so varied as the Dark Knight. Arkham Asylum finally got it right allowing Batman to use both his brain and brawn. The attention to detail and loving care by the team at Rocksteady was incredibly amplified for the sequel Batman: Arkham City. Much like Christopher Nolan, Rocksteady on their second tour of duty with the Caped Crusader have created a masterpiece.
Some of the first trailers of Catherine undoubtedly caught everyone’s attention not so much because it showed off Catherine’s wonderfully sharp animation or the titular seductress, Catherine. Instead, the subject matter probably caught most people off guard. It didn’t show a hero on a hero’s journey to save the world or anything. If anything, it looked more like a trailer for a new Anime drama series instead of the next game from the guys behind the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series. That trailer begs the question of how can you turn such an ordinary, almost mundane drama into a video game? Unfortunately, we still don’t quite know. Catherine comes mighty close, but it still has its share of dissonance.
I’ll only mention Rockstar and Grand Theft Auto once in this review simply for the purpose of putting down any notion that L.A. Noire is “Grand Theft Auto set in the 1940s,” or even that it’s a Rockstar game. It isn’t. Team Bondi developed L.A. Noire and they went for something entirely different. [Read more...]
It’s easy to list games that Outland gets its influence from. It has Metroid style exploration and upgrading, Ikaruga style color switching, Shadow of the Colossus style bosses and N+ or Price of Persia style platforming. And yet, Outland’s unique visual style and beautiful animations stood out to me most the first time I played it. Running and jumping in video games is far from revolutionary, but the fluid motions of your character in Outland and the mix of silhouette and color make Outland’s visual presentation nothing short of stunning.
Portal managed to strike a balance between unique mechanics and polished execution. It did so flawlessly, but Portal 2 faces its own set of challenges. Forced to walk the tightrope of maintaining what made the previous game great while changing it enough to avoid the “1.5” branding, Portal 2 is no doubt a difficult sequel to develop. Luckily, Valve steps up to the plate and delivers one of the most charming games I’ve played since Portal’s initial release in 2007.
Crysis 2 looks good and developer Crytek knows this. The intro credit says “Achieved with CryEngine 3,” and the first achievement you get is called “Can it run Crysis?” However, pretty visuals alone don’t impress me. Luckily, Crysis 2 offers more than just its console-PC flame war inducing graphics. It’s also a fantastic game and a serious contender for the best shooter of 2011.