Tag Archive: capcom


You’d be hard-pressed to convince me that I didn’t grow up in a golden age of cartoons, as there was always animation inspired by video games, movies, comic books, and action figures to be found. Shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros., Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, GI Joe, Transformers, and more would serve as constant imagination fuel, but often only in half-hour increments at a time. Because of this, there was a clear king of the animated landscape: the Disney Afternoon block. Not only was the animation and antics top-notch, but we also got shows for two solid hours. Four different cartoons crammed back-to-back, and we didn’t have to wait until Saturday morning for it—we got it daily. Since a lot of animation at the time took inspiration from other media, it should come as no surprise that the osmosis worked both ways, and it wasn’t long before Capcom was working with Disney to crank out games based on the Afternoon shows. Those days of my childhood are long gone, and those cartoons can no longer be found on TV. But the games—the games are back.

The Disney Afternoon Collection takes six of the most beloved NES-era side-scrolling video games inspired by the Disney Afternoon block, polishes them up real nice, and presents them to us in a single package. DuckTales, DuckTales 2, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers 2, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck all make triumphant returns on modern day consoles with an assortment of bells and whistles, including an HD coat of paint or the option to stick an old-school CRT TV grain filter over everything.

Each one of the six games is basically a side-scroller with minor variations thrown in. For example, DuckTales is primarily a platformer and TaleSpin a shooter, while Darkwing Duck is both. Whatever the case may be, I always consider myself a bit of a savant when it comes to these old-school games, and if you’re like me, you’ll be thrilled to know that all the challenge and difficulty that these titles were known for back in the day remains largely intact. Enemies will respawn when you walk off screen and then back, collapsing platforms still only give you the narrowest windows for success, and health recovery items are as hard to find as health bar extenders. But, if you’re also like me, you’re big enough to admit when you’re a little rusty, and everything might not be exactly in the same spot mentally as it was nearly 30 years ago.

Luckily, in case you’ve never played these games before, or you just need that gentle nudge in the right direction until your timing comes back, there’s a brand new “rewind” feature. By tapping a bumper button, you can reverse time and save yourself from a perilous pitfall, sharp spikes, or bouncing baddie that just won’t get out of your way. Each game also has a single save state, so you can save mid-playthrough if you need to turn the game off for some reason. Of course, both of these remove a lot of the original challenge, thereby shortening each of the six games to an under two-hour experience should you resort to using those options. And I will say, removing the challenge of these games is like sucking the life out of the games themselves, since it’s not exactly like you got a ton of story back in the days of the NES. The choice of how you play is entirely up to you, though, and that is always appreciated.

If you want your initial playthrough to be about re-learning the games without the temptation of using these tools, Time Attack mode removes all potential assists. Here, all that’s changed is the addition of a clock, pushing you and your reflexes back to the 80s and taunting you with leaderboards to see just how skilled you are. If replaying the entire game sounds like a bit of a time sink, there’s then the Boss Rush mode, which also removes assists and touts leaderboards while catapulting you right into (arguably) the most memorable parts of each level. It’s still so satisfying beating that damn Moon Rat in DuckTales.

There are a few other downsides to the rewind feature beyond the lessening of the challenge, however. Sometimes, if you don’t hold it down for long enough, or if you use it in short bursts in quick succession, the entire game you’re playing will slow down (because it’s trying to catch up to the changes you’re making, but you’re making them too quickly). I actually had Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers 2 completely freeze up on me while rewinding during the final boss against Robot Fat Cat, because I was micromanaging the battle in preparation for my Boss Rush run (which I was going to do afterwards while the boss fights were fresh in my mind). So, that is definitely something to keep an eye out for.

If you are at all a Disney nerd, the biggest addition The Disney Afternoon Collection might bring isn’t even in any of the six games. Instead, it’s the Museum mode, where design documents, box art, never-before-seen concept art, and all the music for each game is available for you to check out at your convenience. Seeing the access Capcom had to the Disney vault, and now finally being able to share in some of that, is really something special.

Whatever served as imagination fuel for you as a kid tends to turn to nostalgia fuel as an adult—kind of like how dinosaur bones turn into oil. It’s clear that a huge part of the appeal of The Disney Afternoon Collection for a gamer such as myself is that I get the chance to relive a large part of my gaming childhood with this assortment of games, and even get to play some of them for the first time (I missed out on the sequels originally because I had already switched to the SNES by then). Besides a few hiccups with the rewind feature and the occasional crash, this is a great way to relive the past or to use it as an introduction to a new generation of Disney fans—as long as they can appreciate the 8-bit “vintage” look.

Publisher: Capcom • Developer: Digital Eclipse • ESRB: E10+ – Everyone 10 and up • Release Date: 04.18.17
7.5
It’s pure nostalgia, but if you loved these games as a kid, there’s just enough new features to bring you back to it again—and they hold up well enough if you have someone you’d like to introduce these games to for the first time
The Good New optional rewind features and save states serve as nice crutches while you shake the rust off.
The Bad Occasional crashes and lag caused by liberal use of the rewind feature.
The Ugly Your realization of how skewed time was as a child, when you find out none of these cartoons made it more than 100 episodes (DuckTales’ 100th was its final, while no others made it that far).
The Disney Afternoon Collection is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for Xbox One. Review code was provided by Capcom for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.
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Even though it is looked at as the father of the “survival horror” genre, the only thing scary about Resident Evil in recent years is how much it had unabashedly transformed into just another action series—as if it had been infected with the video game equivalent of one of Umbrella’s viruses. Resident Evil 5 and 6 in particular are guilty of this. They may have had many of our favorite characters, but the sense of suspense and tension was completely gone. Recognizing this, the minds now in charge of the series made a conscious effort to get back to what made Resident Evil the gaming icon it is, and I can attest that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is easily the best game the series has seen in years—if not ever.

Resident Evil 7 begins with a new hero to the series—a man by the name of Ethan Winters—getting a mysterious message from his wife, Mia, who has been missing for three years. Instructed to come find her in the fictional city of Dulvey, Louisiana, Ethan makes a beeline for the address he’s given, where he comes upon a derelict plantation home belonging to the Baker family. As Ethan begins to explore the property, though, he’ll find a lot more is going on down in Dulvey than anyone realizes.

Isolation. Darkness. Disbelief. Insurmountable odds. I was bombarded with all of these elements almost right from the get-go in Resident Evil 7 as it set a tone that would carry the entire way throughout this adventure. A large part of this has to do with the fact that the game features a first-person camera view for the first time. Much in the way that Resident Evil 4 was lauded for giving us a more traditional over-the-shoulder third-person camera as compared to early games in the series, this decision again changes the entire dynamic of how you experience a Resident Evil game. It left me feeling incredibly tense with each step I took through the Baker residence, as the creepiness of the setting—with mutilated dolls, rotting meat, and bugs everywhere—was always right in my face.

Some of these feelings come directly from the aesthetics of the game. The muted earth tones of the massive Baker plantation just scream of rot and decay, while each building on the property—of which there are several and they are large—still have a clear theme around them. Barns, greenhouses, and guest homes all have secrets, and will require careful exploration if you are to find them all. That is, if you’re brave enough to go looking, considering you never know what lurks behind each and every locked door.

RE7Marguerite

The only thing crisper than the visuals is the audio design. While the dialogue definitely isn’t the best, occasionally reeking of B-movie level inspiration, the voice actors do a great job with it—especially with the southern drawls of the Baker family. The sounds of a storm battering the buildings, unseen enemies crawling within the walls, the heavy breathing of Ethan after a fight, and even the crunch of his shoes as he slowly tries to move around undetected only add a level of detail that cranks the immersion up even further.

Another element that helps drive home the horror atmosphere was the fact that the story isn’t afraid to work at a slow boil in the beginning. I didn’t meet my first NPC until around 30 minutes into the game, didn’t get my first weapon/meet my first enemy until almost an hour in, and didn’t finally face off against my first true BOW until almost two hours in. This established a mood that had me jumping at my own shadow, and shouting at the TV when the jump scares the original games were known for finally came into full effect with the horrifying Baker family. This is where Resident Evil 7 may shine brightest: it walks a fine line between Eastern horror elements (mood, atmosphere, tension) with more Western ones (gore, grossness, jump-scares) to give an experience reminiscent of those early games in the series, and that sent chills down my spine.

This sort of pacing also made it so I couldn’t stop playing. Once the questions started piling up around the Baker family—even if some of the answers were a tad predictable as they relate to previous games in the series—I couldn’t put my controller down, and this is another mark of a great horror game. As much as I wanted to crap my pants not knowing what was lurking just down the hall, I needed to solve the mystery, no matter the cost. Sometimes answers would come from an intense boss fight in cramped quarters, while other times it would be a brilliantly concocted puzzle offering a reprieve to the tension I often felt while exploring. The only downside to all this is that the game’s replayability takes a serious knock once you know how it will all end, even with the hard “Madhouse” difficulty unlocking after your first completion of the game.

The slow build of the narrative also had the added bonus of giving tremendous weight to the biggest moments when they did happen. Seeing this game’s first BOW was a truly terrifying revelation, and instead of Capcom sending a shooting gallery worth of enemies at me after that, or giving me a machine gun right from the onset, they made it a punishing encounter that would also set the tone for the game’s combat.

RE7Molded

Ethan is not the trained hero that Leon, Chris, or other early Resident Evil protagonists have become for the series, and many times when encountering an enemy of any sort, keeping your wits about you and managing your ammunition becomes paramount. Scrounging for scattered bullets, taking careful aim, relying on melee weapons, or even running away are all viable strategies when the ammo runs out and your foes keeps coming. Ethan can’t just spin kick a foe to the ground and curb stomp them into submission; in fact, without upgrades, he won’t survive more than a couple hits against most enemies, turning every confrontation into a truly stressful moment as you fight to survive.

Speaking of upgrades, now is a good time to mention my one real complaint about Resident Evil 7, and that comes with the game’s inventory system. Managing inventory has been a chore in Resident Evil for as long as I can remember, but this game might take the cake. Ethan can’t carry a lot, which makes sense as we’ve established. You can find bigger backpacks hidden over the course of the game that adds four new slots to your inventory page, but my real issue is that collectible coins, photographs showing treasure locations, and critical items like keys and keycards all take up the exact same amount of space as ammunition and your guns. There are a lot of different keys to the Baker residence, and while you can go and store things in linked ammo crates, never knowing just which key you’ll need means you might end up struggling to juggle everything like I did. This was originally an issue that was fixed in Resident Evil 4 where the series finally had items taking up a logical amount of room in your inventory based on size/shape. I don’t know why Resident Evil 7 is going backwards in progress with something already fixed three games ago, but I spent way too much time in my inventory as it became quite the chore to manage it all.

One last interesting wrinkle for Resident Evil 7 is that if you’re playing on PlayStation 4, you’ll have a chance to play the game in VR if you own a PlayStation VR headset. Simply turn the VR support on in the menu screen’s options, and suddenly you’ll be dropped right into Ethan’s shoes. While I didn’t give the entire game a virtual reality playthrough, I do admit in the couple hours I did play with the headset on, it’s probably one of the best representations of VR we’ve gotten thus far.

Exploring the Baker plantation in VR is even more frightening than doing it normally. And, with the story playing out entirely the same in and out of VR, even knowing what was coming I still got chills just being immersed in that atmosphere. My only hope is that, in the future, we get the option to aim our guns with the right stick instead of having to move our heads, and that we get a full body representation of Ethan instead of floating hands. Otherwise, this is a nice added bonus for PS VR owners, but definitely not necessary in order to enjoy this game.

RE7Grandma

Resident Evil 7 might be the first must-own game of 2017. If you’re a fan of survival horror, then you’ll recognize the tremendous return to form this was for Capcom’s legendary series, and be equally thrilled and terrified by the atmosphere and level of immersion this experience provides. The narrative is driven by a pair of underdogs in Ethan and Mia Winters that you can’t help but root for, and the mystery of the Baker plantation will keep you pushing on well after your voice has gone hoarse from screaming so much at your TV. Resident Evil is back—and I don’t think it gets better than this.

Publisher: Capcom • Developer: Capcom • ESRB: M – Mature • Release Date: 01.24.17
9.5
This is easily the best Resident Evil game in years. It masterfully blends Eastern and Western horror sensibilities into a truly terrifying package that also harkens back to the series’ roots.
The Good A brilliantly crafted rabbit hole that constantly pulls you deeper no matter how scared you get.
The Bad Oh that pesky inventory management.
The Ugly The constant stream of swears that came out of my mouth after every jump-scare.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for PS4. A review copy was provided by Capcom for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.

Introduction

There were a lot of good games in 2013. For me, however, there weren’t a lot of great games, ones that were clearly head and shoulders above the pack and got me excited every time I talked about them.Aside from some Nintendo titles, the end of the year was surprisingly dull, due to the less-than-stellar launch lineups of the PS4 and Xbox One. Because of that, half my list is comprised of games that surprisingly came from the first six months of 2013. But when I look back, these are the five games I’d sit down and play again more than any others. Enjoy!

Ray’s Top Five Games for 2013

#05: Fire Emblem: Awakening

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Platforms: 3DS

Ray’s Take

Until Marth and Roy made their appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee, I’d never heard of Fire Emblem, since it had only been released in Japan at that point. I personally didn’t get into the series until Path of Radiance a few years later, but since then, I’ve been hooked. The story and strategy is everything I could ever want from a game, and Awakening miraculously finds a way to raise what was already a high bar. Elements like character customization are also introduced to the States for the first time here, and pairing units adds another nuance that can’t be ignored when playing.

#04: Remember Me

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Ray’s Take

Some games take you by surprise so much that you can’t help but fall in love with them. Remember Me is one of those games for me. From futuristic high rises that pierce the clouds to the seedy sewers comprising Neo-Paris’ underbelly, Nilin’s world pulled me in, with no small effort from our dear protagonist herself. The unique memory remixes and combo-creation gameplay elements stoked my fire as I spent way too much time exploring every second of people’s pasts or playing with my Pressens in the Combo Lab.

#03: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Ray’s Take

Few games were able to just straight up impress me more than Assassin’s Creed IV did this year. The amount of freedom I felt on the open sea was unparalleled, and I’d lose hours on end just boarding enemy ships or diving beneath the waves to unearth some long-sunken treasure. I’m genuinely amazed at the progress made between this and Assassin’s Creed III, and I’m of the opinion that Black Flag is the best Assassin’s Creed since we first met Ezio back in Assassin’s Creed II.

#02: Injustice: Gods Among Us

Publisher:Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Platforms: PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC

Ray’s Take

I have to play a lot of games over the course of a given year. I’m not complaining, but the only bad thing about this is that I rarely can find the time to go back to the games I truly enjoy. The one game I constantly found myself coming back to when I did find the time, however, was Injustice. I loved the story, I loved the mechanics, and I even loved playing online with other people—an activity that usually has me smashing controllers and living-room furniture left and right.

#01: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platforms: 3DS

Ray’s Take

A Link Between Worlds is simply the best handheld Zelda game ever. Sorry, Link’s Awakening, but your 20-year title reign is at an end. The subtle changes to the classic Zelda formula, like having all the items at the beginning of the game, admittedly took some getting used to. But in the end, none of those changes stopped me from enjoying the game—and I couldn’t put my 3DS down until the adventure was over. In regards to the greatest Zelda games ever conversation, I wouldn’t put A Link Between Worlds past A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time, but it’s not far off either.

Ray’s Off-Topic Awards for 2013

The Razor Ramon Award for Best Bad Guy
Jacob Danik
A lot of games this year tried to offer up some shades of gray to the black-and-white conflicts we normally expect. And while plot twists and grandiose questions about morality are fun, sometimes you just want someone you can hate. A bad guy you love because he’s bad. This year had a few candidates, but in the end, I chose Jacob Danik from Dead Space 3. He was a religious zealot willing to sacrifice the entire human race for what he believed to be salvation, and Simon Templeman played him brilliantly, projecting a cold ruthlessness akin to space itself.
Popsicle’s “The Colors, Duke! The Colors!” Award for Most Colorful Game
Super Mario 3D World
This one’s become sort of a tradition, so I figured I should continue it. It was a close call between several games this year, but I had to go with Super Mario 3D World. This particular Mario outing may have been a bit too easy and a bit too short for my tastes, but there’s no denying how gorgeous it was because of the variety of levels Mario was able to traverse for the first time in full HD. From purple ponds of poison and snowcapped summits down to the shine on the buttons of Mario’s overalls, a Mario game has never looked so good.
The Best Co-Op Gaming with Your Girlfriend Award
BattleBlock Theater
I play a fair amount of games with my girlfriend, but she only ends up happy that she joined in on a few of them. So, I figured I’d give a little recognition to the game she had the most fun co-op marathoning this year: BattleBlock Theater. She still talks about that game to this day, and it remains the only game where it’s OK to tell your significant other to go kill themselves, as we’d often sacrifice one another on floor spikes to serve as makeshift platforms to get across gaps.

Going Deep

One of the big surprises of Sony’s February PS4 reveal was when Capcom showed off their new online multiplayer medieval fantasy game, Deep Down. At least, we thought it was a medieval fantasy game—until, during the events leading up to Tokyo Game Show, we learned that we should maybe stop with all the Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma comparisons, and instead look more to Assassin’s Creed.

While much of the game’s action will indeed be set in the past, your character is actually part of Ravens, a special team of people living in 2094 New York. These individuals have the ability to travel back in time to explore eras of interest, although nothing (as of yet) has been said as to why these time periods are on the Ravens’ radar, or how the Ravens actually time travel. So, while a medieval setting will surely be included, that’s not to say the American Revolution or the Renaissance are off the table either.

Deep Down wasn’t done showing itself off, however, and at TGS I was lucky enough to actually get my hands on this fascinating new title while at Sony’s booth.

I began by selecting one of two lance-wielding medieval knights, whose only real differences on the surface seemed to be cosmetic (with one wearing silver armor and the other clad in gold). I chose the more traditional silver, and was brought to a character customization screen with three branches of abilities set before me. I admit my lack of understanding Japanese left me a disadvantage here, but I was able to select three abilities from the first tree, and two more abilities from each of the following two trees.

I was then teleported to what I can only assume to be a level specifically designed for the demo, as the lack of complexity left it wanting, with only a few corridors and enemies to speak of. The level’s detail, however, was a fine testament to next-gen hardware, as every stone in the wall seemed to exist on its own and dynamic lighting and dust particles galore gave me the sense that I was indeed exploring a small section of some ancient dungeon.

As I slowly proceeded down the first corridor—avoiding the fire spewing stone turrets placed at regular intervals—I was confronted by a creature that could best be described as a hairless Rodent of Unusual Size from The Princess Bride standing on its hindquarters. Where the look of the game had first wowed me (and actually continued to do so with how grotesque the creature standing in front of me was), the controls knocked me back down a level as they felt clunky and slow in regards to the combat. I could swing my lance wildly directly in front of me, or aim and thrust forward with the triggers, but I felt like I was fighting both methods as much as I was the ROUS (Rodents of Unusual Size).

The magic spells I blindly picked at least helped, as I could perform a strong 360 degree spin with my lance with one, or throw a variety of magical grenades with another. One grenade was made of light, and exploded after a delay; the other seemed to be a spirit scroll, releasing ethereal energy from its enchanted pages after contacting the ground.

As I continued to explore the level, I stumbled across a couple of hidden passageways that served as shortcuts and slayed another half dozen or so ROUSs before reaching the end goal, marked by a teleportation dais. As I approached the dais, however, a motherly voice began coming through the headset, seemingly speaking to my character. Whether this was a memory of the Raven or of someone from the time period, I’m not really sure, but the voice seemed to haunt me as I drew closer to the demo’s end and added a necessary layer of intrigue for the story.

When all was said and done, the demo was probably less than 15 minutes long—but it gave me a decent idea of what I could expect from combat, regular enemies (no dragons like those pictured above quite yet), and magical powers. The story could potentially be a huge selling point once more details emerge about the Ravens and their purpose. I think the game is visually stunning, and the magic is cool, but melee combat definitely needs more work if Deep Down’s going to be a hit.

I really wish I had gotten more than a thrown-together demo level. I’m curious as to why I was allowed to play something that feels so incomplete and yet clearly will have the complexity you’d expect from most RPGs (at least we hope) in the final product. This isn’t to say I’m disappointed, but I feel like the more I learn about Deep Down, the more questions I have. Only time will tell if the answers are worth the wait.

In order to celebrate their 10th anniversary and continuing relationship with Capcom, as well as mark the publishing of their 150th original book, UDON Entertainment has released Street Fighter Origins: Akuma.

One of the most feared fighters in the world, Akuma, Master of the Fist and wielder of the Dark Hado, has always been a Street Fighter fan favorite. Never before though have we been able to learn just how Akuma came to be and what drove him down his sinister path. Following him from his youth in rural Japan, we see how this once innocent boy becomes trapped on the path of chaos.

Even if you’re not a big fan of Street Fighter, at the very least you can always appreciate UDON’s high quality work. Artist Joe Ng delivers the kind of breathtaking visuals that define UDON books, and Chris Sarracini’s story makes sure there’s plenty of action, which you’d expect would punctuate the early life of someone as destructive as Akuma.

Street Fighter Origins: Akuma is a 128-page, 8” x 11” hardcover graphic novel retailing for $34.95. The title is available now wherever comic books are sold.

In anticipation of next week’s release of DuckTales: Remastered on PSN, Nintendo eShop, and Steam, and next month’s release on XBLA, Capcom sent a special package out to remind some of us of those great childhood memories we might’ve had playing the game.

At first we here at the EGM office thought it was just a lunchbox with the sweet art for DuckTales: Remastered plastered on the front. A fine piece of swag in and of itself. But, as I am wont to do with most packages that come into the EGM office, I gave it a good hearty shake before placing it down and realized there was something inside the tin bin.

Upon opening it, to our joyful surprise, we found the contents of the box were possibly as valuable as the whole of Scrooge’s moneybin. The lunchbox had been holding a limited edition golden NES cartridge for DuckTales (ours was numbered 107 of 150). Now, we don’t know if the cartridge is actually a legitimate, playable cartridge, but it has contacts and is well put together enough that we at least vow to bring an NES into the office tomorrow to try it out.

Along with the cartridge came a certificate of authenticity, several Duckburg themed coupons similar to those that you might find in an old school NES box, and advertisements from Capcom to check out some of their other classic games like MegaMan, Bionic Commando, and Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins.

You can check out the fully laid out contents of the box in the pictures below. Woo-oo!

UPDATE:

The NES cartridge does indeed work after some tests (and several NES’s) and is the 1989 version of the game.

Don’t forget to bring an Umbrella

Serving as a refresher course on the bulk of the Resident Evil series before Resident Evil 6 hits this October, Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection pairs the previously released Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles for the Wii, gives them an HD facelift, and delivers them on a silver platter for less than $30 on the PS3. And, considering the amount of content here, if you haven’t played these on-rails renditions of the original classic Resident Evil game—or the originals, period—you should definitely jump on this bargain.

But if you’ve played these titles previously and remember all the way back to 1996 (when the first Resident Evil released), there really isn’t much here that you haven’t already seen. Not to mention that if you lack a Move controller, you’re out of luck altogether. Sure, seeing the original Resident Evil titles from a first-person, on-rails arcade-shooter perspective might be interesting, as they offer slightly different takes on the in-game events. Aside from reliving the major beats of this iconic survival-horror franchise from a different viewpoint, though, there’s just nothing new to suck you in.

Umbrella Chronicles follows Resident Evil Zero, the original Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. What’s interesting here, though, is that the between-level narration comes via the viewpoint of the franchise’s longtime antagonist, Albert Wesker. The final level is original to Umbrella Chronicles (though not the collection) and offers you the chance to play as Wesker as he attempts to remove Umbrella’s most important files from a Russian stronghold while Chris and Jill try to take it down.

Darkside Chronicles follows Resident Evil 2 and Code: Veronica and also sees its own original chapter (again, not original to the collection) that centers around the personal loss of many of the series’ more popular protagonists.

I will say that if you’ve never played these games before, there’s a chance you could easily get addicted if you’re a lightgun fiend. The action plays out like a classic arcade game, with plenty of collectibles in each level that help flesh out the Resident Evil backstory. And, much like the Wiimote did during these games’ first run, the Move controller works perfectly for on-rails action like this, especially if you’ve got the Sharp Shooter attachment.

Again, the major drawback here is that if you’ve played these games before, there’s really no point in picking them up again aside from the promise of crisper graphics—and this isn’t a title that, by itself, is going to sell you on a Move controller. But if you haven’t played these games and have a Move controller, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking to kill a few hours with some classic arcade lightgun action based on a story millions of gamers already know and love.

SUMMARY: Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection is a solid pairing considering the price tag, but with nothing new besides the HD facelift, there’s little here to entice veteran players.  

  • THE GOOD: Plenty of content for the low price point.
  • THE BAD: Nothing new aside from the improved graphics.
  • THE UGLY: Nemesis is even uglier in HD.

SCORE: 7.0

Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection is a PS3 exclusive.

The Son of Sparda Returns

It has been over a decade since Devil May Cry smashed its way onto the gaming scene with fast paced, highly stylized action sequences, and introduced us all to our favorite half-demon, half-human, Dante, with his dual pistols and giant sword. And in honor of the new game that is supposed to launch later this year, Capcom has decided to bundle together the first three chapters of Dante’s video game life and give us the Devil May Cry: HD Collection.

Now, the name obviously denotes that this collection sees the first three games get a new coat of paint and now can all be played in stunning HD graphics. But aside from this, Capcom has also introduced some extra behind the scenes bonus content for the diehard fan base and almost 100 achievements/trophies between the three games that should keep all you completionists out there busy long into the night.

Unfortunately, since the game is mostly just a port though, we also get to see many of those last-generation games’ flaws. Compared to what we’ve gotten in this current console generation, Dante has not aged well at all. The cameras, the controls, and a lot of other very basic elements that may have been on par 10 years ago, are now null and void. Not to say they make the game unplayable, but anyone who hoped to use this as a way to catch up on the series incase you missed a title here or there may be in for a rude awakening and it may take even those who played the games the first time around a little while longer to re-adjust than they might expect.

But once you do get used to it again, all the great action and things that made this series great to begin with will rise up. The style meter, Devil Trigger, combo and mid-air attacks, and Devil Arms are all right where you left them and so if you’re looking for an excuse to replay these games, this is it. Not to mention that with the suggested retail price of $40 for the disc, you’re looking at less than $15 per game, which is the same as a XBLA or PSN title and Dante, even an older, less cutting-edge Dante, is still worth that much. So, even though it may show its age compared to what we’ve become used to, if you are a diehard fan of Devil May Cry or a newcomer looking to see what it’s all about, this is a solid time killer that is worth its price of admission.

SUMMARY: Although the games may not have aged as well as hoped, fans of the series are still going to be getting their money worth with the convenience of having three games on one disc, nearly 100 achievements, and some behind the scenes bonus content.

  • THE GOOD: HD graphics, achievements, bonus content, and all for less than $15 per title
  • THE BAD: Technically speaking, none of the games have held up as well as we may have hoped
  • THE UGLY: My fighting ability according to the style meter

SCORE: 7.0

Devil May Cry: HD Collection is available on Xbox 360 and PS3. Primary version reviewed was on the Xbox 360.

It’s déjà vu all over again

It was one of last year’s premiere fighting games and it is a franchise that arcade fighting fans absolutely can’t get enough of. So, much in the same vein of how the Nintendo 3DS had Super Street Fighter IV at their handheld system launch, Sony wanted to make sure they had a premiere fighting game to go along with their handheld on launch day as well.

That game, of course, is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But with a game already heralded as a superior fighting product that gave fans everything they wanted and then some, what could they possibly do with their port to the PS Vita? Nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true, but relatively speaking Capcom did very little with this latest version of the game that makes it stand out from its console brethren.

And this can be a good thing because why mess with something if isn’t broken? The game still has stunning visuals due to Vita’s processing power and the full 48-character roster of fighters remains completely in tact. The arcade, training, mission, and versus modes all return as nothing content wise was cut to facilitate the small size of the Vita’s cartridge. The voice acting and original music is still all there, the story cut scenes done in a style similar to comic book panels, the hyper combos, Galactus as the final boss, and even personalizing your online card is still present. All of the patches and balancing tweaks that console players had to wait for are all packaged in the game and because of it you still get one of the premiere fighting experiences of 2011 available to you.

The problem is that now it is 2012. And most people who were going to buy this game already have. And the major negative of making little to no changes with the game is now evident. If the audience has already been tapped, who is going to buy the exact same game twice?

Sure, it’s portable now and you can link up with friends to get in some quick versus matches. That’s a cool feature, but again, most people won’t have need of it really if they already bought the game unless they are so hardcore that this game is the center of their entire gaming universe and must have it with them AT ALL TIMES. But for the rest of us, what might sell us on this? Will a new touch screen system make us want to pick this game up? No. Especially since the touch screen is mostly pointless as it is crucial to actually see the screen when playing a fighting game to learn hit boxes, range, patterns, and other critical elements to victory and so you can’t have your fingers constantly getting in the way of that.

And speaking of fingers, it does become a bit harder to pull off a lot of the moves you’re accustomed to with the smaller joystick and buttons of the Vita. And the one thing the Vita version of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 does lack isn’t a shortcoming with the game itself, but with the hardware as you only have two shoulder buttons to try to pull off moves that were originally mapped to four. This can lead to some unnecessary button mashing that changes the game play for the worse.

But, aside from that, if you should pick this game up again, you’ll get everything you would expect from the console version. And if you missed it the first time around on a console, then picking it up for the Vita will definitely be money well-spent. There just isn’t enough of a positive difference though between the console and Vita versions to warrant owning both in most cases.

SUMMARY: Still a stellar fighting game, but if you already have it on a console, there’s no point in picking it up again.

  • THE GOOD: Basically the same game as on consoles
  • THE BAD: Pointless touch controls, lack of shoulder buttons sacrifices move list
  • THE UGLY: Tiny buttons and joysticks make button mashing more difficult

SCORE: 8.0

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PS VITA. This review was based on the PS VITA version of the game.

THE BUZZ: Capcom has announced they are looking for participants in an internet reality show dubbed “Cross Assault” that will center around a Street Fighter X Tekken tournament with the winner receiving $25,000.

EGM’S TAKE: Announced over at Capcom-Unity.com, Capcom’s official forums for everything about their brand, this internet reality show is looking for 10 participants, five to represent Tekken and five to represent Street Fighter. The participants will compete over the course of a week in late February with the finalists fighting it out on stage at fighting game tournament Final Round 15 in Atlanta in mid-March.

The show will require contestants to participate in various team and individual challenges on the way to eliminating the competition. Along with this, they will likely be a part of the reality show staple “confessionals” as well as have many of their team practice sessions taped for the sake of the show.

In order to enter, you need to create a video blog and submit it to Capcom by February 5th, and let them know why you deserve to be a part of one of the respective teams. It is highly recommended for fighting game veterans only as the competition for both the show and tournament looks to be fierce. For all the details and to sign up, here’s a direct link to the “Cross Assault” page. http://www.capcom-unity.com/go/crossassault/signup

With all the hype that e-sports and video game tournaments like those held at EVO have been getting in recent years, it is always great to hear about more and more events like this as video games continue to work hard on being accepted by the main stream. I think this is also a great move by Capcom as they are sure to know that Street Fighter X Tekken will likely be featured in many of those fighting tournaments in the years to come. Building your fan base early is also always a smart business move, although with Street Fighter and Tekken already having pretty established fan bases, this may just be stirring the pot before the March 6th launch date. And, of course, $25,000 isn’t exactly chump change for a couple of weeks worth of work if you win.

What do you folks think? Is this something you’d be interested enough in to post a vlog on YouTube, gushing about your love of Street Fighter or Tekken? Are you anticipating Street Fighter X Tekken’s March 6th release? Is this a show you might actually watch? Let us know your thoughts with comments below!