Tag Archive: 3D

Originally Published: June 28, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

More mindless than the zombies you’ll be shooting

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: 3DS

Release: 06.28.11

Players: Singe Player, 2-player Co-op

ESRB Rating: M – Mature

The Good: Beautiful graphics
The Bad: We’ve seen this all before in Resident Evil 4 and 5
The Ugly: Time is your greatest threat, not your enemies

Every fan of the Resident Evil franchise has been waiting with baited breath to see if it could make a successful transition to portable gaming with a pair of titles coming to the 3DS. The first of those titles, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D may have the diehards worrying a little.

Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is the attempted expansion and combination of the Mercenaries mini-games found in Resident Evil 4 and 5. Although the graphics for the game are crisp, the character models look nearly as good as they did on a console, and the use of the bottom screen for your inventory and map are nice touches, there is little beyond these features to make the game worthwhile.

The point of Mercenaries is to play as one of eight different characters from the series that are randomly inserted into various familiar locations from the Resident Evil 4 and 5 games. Whether in Europe taking on cultists or in Africa taking on the Majini, the object of the game revolves around an arcade style time-trial where you try to get the highest score possible in the time allotted while also building up combos by quickly dispatching several foes in a row.

Unfortunately, even with 30 possible missions, RPG-like powering up of your favorite Resident Evil characters, and some stellar graphics, the game gets repetitive and boring quickly. There is an overall lack of enemy variety with nothing you haven’t already seen in previous Resident Evil games and because of limited enemy A.I. and the powering up feature, where any character can equip up to three upgrades once they’re unlocked, your greatest threat against getting a high score does not come from the infected but from the clock on the top of the screen.

A nice feature to try to add some replayability to the game is that Mercenaries does feature a co-op mode for a friend with a 3DS, but then you’ll have two people getting bored after a handful of missions instead of just yourself. Add in poor controls that will take a lot of time to get used to as the most often used actions for this game, shooting and reloading, require not one, but two buttons to be pressed or held at a time and overall, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D just lacks the substance necessary to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Score: 4.0/10

By: Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: March 8, 2011, on Original-Gamer.com

I had a chance to head to the Sega Spring Showcase this year in New York City and got a hands on preview of Super Monkey Ball 3D. Classic Monkey Ball action will find itself as one of the launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS on March 27, 2011, and will feature brand new multiplayer modes as well as utilize all of the 3DS’s new social features.

Originally Published: December 13, 2010, on Youtube.com/CGRUndertow

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed one of Sonic’s better forays into the 3D realm with Sonic and the Secret Rings for the Nintendo Wii.

Originally Published: August 11, 2010 on ClassicGameRoom.com

There was a time when the sports gaming market wasn’t as one-sided as it is nowadays with EA Sports cornering three of the five (football, hockey, soccer) big worldwide sports. The market used to be flooded with would be contenders and fierce competition, especially in the late 90s-early 2000s, between any and every game developer as sports games were seen as low–risk, high reward if a developer was to strike gold and garner a following . One of these contenders for hockey, a sport that EA Sports hands down owns now, was the short-lived Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey series.

Putting the name of superstar athletes and coaches onto video games was a common practice back then what with Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball, Kobe Bryant’s NBA Courtside, and the godfather of them all (and the only one to survive) Madden NFL Football. So it only made sense to take “The Great One” and give him his own hockey title. The problem with it compared to those other titles was that it originated as an arcade style game made in the same vein as Midway’s NFL Blitz series. With flaming hockey pucks, a goalie morphing into a net encompassing brick wall, and every hit a bone-crunching one, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey was not expected to make a heavy splash in the simulation heavy market.

In order to help counteract this, it included the 3-v-3 arcade style that put the brand on the map, but also tried sporting a simulation mode that took a player through an entire 82 game season. Unfortunately, the simulation mode was still heavily arcade influenced and scores of 10-9 were much more common than a 2-1 nail biter. The simulation mode was also faulty for this initial offering in the series in that it did not keep track of player stats beyond position in the standings. This would doom the series in the future as even though it would be fixed in the ’98 version; the fan base had all but jumped ship to the EA brand by this point. I still have fond memories though of replaying every goal I scored in simulation mode in order to mark down goals and assists as I kept my own pen and paper stats for those 1997 New York Rangers. If anything, this was just proof positive that the game was still overly arcade skewed though when I scored my 300th goal as Gretzky himself towards the end of the regular season.

At the time, even with its many faults, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey was still revolutionary. It was the first N64 game to utilize all four controller ports on the console, having two players on each team. It was also the first hockey game to have the players all be polygonal based instead of using sprites like those seen in old school NES games like Blades of Steel.

With tremendous special effects and the largest cache of commentator lines at the time, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey at least succeeded in giving you a pretty game that stimulated your senses and was one of the first games to give you a true sense of the speed of the game of hockey. Unfortunately, William’s Entertainment Inc., best known for producing license based pinball and slot machines, should have realized that trying to get high scores in hockey was not the way to go when trying to get into the home console gaming market. For what it was though, Wayne Gretzky’s 3D Hockey was a fun, arcade style hockey game that was good for casual fans of the sport or fans of hat tricks galore.

– Ray Carsillo

Developer: William’s Entertainment Inc.
Publisher: Midway Games (consoles), Atari Games (arcade unit)
Platform(s): Arcade, N64, PlayStation 1

Looking Through 3D Glasses

Originally Published: December 23, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (Now ESPNNewYork.com)

It is the most hyped movie of the holiday season with one of the most acclaimed directors of our time (James Cameron) and a $500 million dollar budget. Could it possibly live up to all this hype though or is it just a lot of bright colors and flashing lights?

The first thing I have to explain, due to many people asking me about how much money Nickelodeon put up for this, is that this is NOT the same property as the Nickelodeon cartoon of the same name! Nickelodeon’s Avatar will have its own movie in 2010 and it will be directed by M. Night Shyamalan. James Cameron’s Avatar has blue aliens and amazing visuals. Nickelodeon’s Avatar deals with monks who control the four main elements (earth, wind, water, fire).

Now that we have cleared that up, James Cameron’s Avatar deals with a human mining company trying to rip out special ore (imaginatively named “unobtainium”) from the crust of a jungle planet called Pandora. The indigenous people of this planet though refuse to let their land simply be cultivated or embrace the human culture that is being forced upon them.

In order to help bridge the gap between the two species, Dr. Grace Augustine (played by sci-fi staple Sigourney Weaver; if you want to have a successful sci-fi movie, you need Sigourney!) develops something called the “avatar” program where she melds human DNA with the alien DNA. The human who had their DNA harvested can then plug into the avatar body mentally via a machine that is safe back at the human mining colony.

This is where Jake Sully comes in (played by Sam Worthington, another sci-fi vet after his major role in Terminator: Salvation). His twin brother helped Dr. Augustine with the avatar program, but was murdered in cold blood and thus his avatar was left in storage. Since the avatar-human hybrids cost millions to cultivate, instead of throwing it away, the government contracted Jake due to his similar DNA.

Thus begins an epic, action-packed drama that really takes about 20 minutes too long to unfold and tries to cover up slow moments with some cheesy 3D special effects and a light show that would be too intense for most raves. Really, this was a very good movie, but it just dragged at a couple of points that helped shake you out of the world that James Cameron tried so hard (and spent so much money) to bring us into.

The South Park episode that summed it up as “Dancing with Smurfs” was very spot-on. This movie is basically the thought that a people who are one with nature are forced to leave their homes and fight against foreign invaders and their culture after bringing one of these foreigners into their fold and way of life. Instead of Native Americans and settlers though like in Dances with Wolves, it is blue aliens and humans.

The movie’s visuals were brilliant (and the creature that was a hammerhead shark crossed with a rhinoceros was awesome) and it should win a Visual Effects Oscar hands down. Anything beyond that would be a stretch and the fact that 7-10 Oscar nominations have been predicted for this is a joke. There was some good acting from those involved with a plot that has shown worth before with some simple twists and special effects to make it look new again, but this isn’t a ground-breaking feature film. Of course, with worldwide numbers, it should make back the $500 million dollar investment.

A visually beautiful film with a solid plot makes this probably worth a viewing in the theatre and maybe even a special edition DVD buy because it will probably have some sweet special features (it better with that budget), but I saw it once and that was enough for me.

James Cameron’s Avatar gets 3.5 out of 5 as a solid, but not special, movie worth one, but not multiple, movie theatre viewings.

-Ray Carsillo