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Capcom snubs Onimusha/Dino Crisis, wants new IP


Old franchises unlikely, new franchises desired
Feb 01
// Jim Sterling
Resident Evil Revelations producer Masachika Kawata has admitted Capcom isn't too hot on the idea of returning to Onimusha or Dino Crisis anytime soon. According to the developer, Capcom's more interested in brand new IP righ...
Disgaea 2 photo
Disgaea 2

Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories comes to PSN today


Cool, dood!
Jan 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Because you spent every waking moment gorging on Disgaea: Hour of Darkness since its digital re-release on last week, NIS America is dishing out seconds. Tactical role-playing game Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories&nb...

100% Series Retrospective: Devil May Cry

Jan 16 // Chris Carter
Why Devil May Cry?All things considered, Devil May Cry is probably my favorite action franchise ever. The series is particularly close to my heart, as I remember when each game came out, and it's one of the only franchises where I rushed to buy every single game day one. I vividly remember the first time I played the original game, the first time I played the standard version of Devil May Cry 3 and struggled on the first boss (because normal mode was secretly hard mode in the original), and the many times I watched the same clip of Devil May Cry 4's first gameplay video.The DMC series does action right, simply put. It's the perfect technical action series, that essentially functions as a fighting game in an action-adventure's body. There's cancelling, split-second timing considerations, a heavy emphasis on combos, and a strong sense of urgency with the game's challenging difficulty levels. It has memorable boss fights, amazingly cool weapons, sick cheesy '90s action cutscenes, tons of unlockables, and solid anime-style voice acting.People are quick to note that the new DmC is more welcoming to newer players. I heavily agree with that, but the secret is, Devil May Cry was always welcoming. In fact, it was one of the only action games ever to put in an "Easy Automatic" mode that allowed you to turn it down a notch if you died too many times. It was a perfect compromise, as it allowed you to execute advanced moves with the press of a button. It's a shame so many people have been turned away by a promise of an "impossible" barrier of entry.I figured with the recent release of DmC: Devil May Cry, it would be a great time to dive into the series again, and see how the new game stacks up directly. For those of you who aren't aware, the series is widely popular, spawning a few novels, manga, an anime series, a US comic series, and a potential feature film.Dante himself as appeared in many other games, including the Viewtiful Joe series, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (with Vergil), and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. If you haven't joined me on my Quests before, the way they work is pretty simple. It's kind of like a retrospective, but rather than just give you an overview of a franchise, I'll generally let you know what I thought of the game when it was released, and what I think of it now. If I didn't provide a complete vision of what the game is like before I replay it, I'll provide an "extended thoughts" section below each applicable entry. I'll update my progress in real time through my blog, and after I finish the entire Quest, I'll share it with you guys on the front page.For this particular Quest, I actually finished everything in rapid succession over the course of a few days, so I skipped the c-blog portion and got right into it.Let's go!Devil May Cry - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3 (HD Collection), Xbox 360 (HD Collection) [Owned]COMPLETEDAt the time, the first Devil May Cry game was extremely fresh and unique. The simple premise of a cocky Devil Hunter engaging in demon hunting was a match made in anime heaven, and it worked. Although the game has started out as Resident Evil 4, it was eventually turned into something else entirely after the fixed camera from previous Resident Evil games was dropped for a more dynamic view. After the development team traveled across Europe in an attempt to inject some gothic influence into the game, the project was changed entirely: the outcome was Devil May Cry.I vividly remember seeing the first screenshots for the game, and getting extremely excited at nearly every picture. I loved the deep reds and purple color schemes of Dante and the Marionette enemies, and the ability to juggle enemies with your twin pistols was pretty unreal. Funnily enough, the concept of air juggling was inspired by a glitch in another Capcom game, Onimusha.Devil May Cry was unique in that it was one of the only games ever to feature a "style" (scoring) system that made you self aware of your gameplay, and always challenged you to play better. But that wasn't the only challenge of mixing attacks up and not getting hit -- it was difficult in general to boot!Starting the series tradition of unlockable difficulties and costumes, Devil May Cry was also one of the first games to offer an "extreme" difficulty mode, in this case, titled "Dante Must Die."  It was very challenging, and naturally, very rewarding to complete -- and unlike many retro games that featured a "fake difficulty" (through bad design or software limitations), this challenge was legitimate, which made it all the more reason to power through it.So how was my replay of the game? Well, the PS2 original is pretty choppy by today's standards, but the HD version feels just fine. While a lot of the elements found in the first game have been eclipsed (either copied, or bested by later games in its own series), it's still an enjoyable action game even to this day.Devil May Cry 2 - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3 (HD Collection), Xbox 360 (HD Collection) [Owned]COMPLETEDA common joke I like to make in Devil May Cry posts is "Yes, of course, Devil May Cry 4, the oddly named third Devil May Cry game" -- in reference to the fact that the black sheep of the franchise, 2, is generally shunned by fans into a non-existent state.While I've beaten the other games at least ten times each (DMC 3 a lot more than that), I've only beaten DMC 2 a scant few times. So imagine my excitement going into it, seeing if it was truly as bad as I remembered.And...it basically is. So many changes were made that weren't really necessary. For one, a side character named Lucia is introduced, and...she's not very compelling. Unlike Kat from the new DmC though, she isn't just an ancillary addition -- oh no -- she's basically forced into every facet of the game as a playable character.On top of that, Dante changes into a less interesting, darker version of his previous happy-go-lucky self, and it isn't really fun to watch. The difficulty (a staple of the series) was also lowered, and weapons weren't as nuanced. Everything seemed to sort of blend together -- whether it was the very samey weapon collection or the similar-looking levels (there's far too much open space and not enough memorable environments).The point is, it didn't stand out, which is generally what the Devil May Cry series makes its money on. Boss battles are extremely dull and forgettable.If you're going to brave this, try it on the HD collection. Don't bother hunting it down and paying money for it individually. Besides, the first and third games are worth the price of entry alone for the package.Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 2 (Special Edition) [Owned], PC, PlayStation 3 (HD Collection), Xbox 360 (HD Collection) [Owned]COMPLETEDDevil May Cry 3 is an interesting and storied release. The very first iteration (the standard edition) featured the Hard difficulty as a standard. Meaning, Hard was actually Very Hard. As a result, I remember dying a number of times on the first sub-boss of the game (which is like five minutes in). That's a challenge, my friends, and one of the many reasons why I was immediately enamored by this game.Some time later, a "Special Edition" was released, with new encounters, tweaked difficulty levels (it shifted every mode down one peg to understandably make it more accessible), and added the ability to play as Vergil. Yep, one of the biggest badasses in all of gaming was finally playable, and it was glorious. In fact, a playable Vergil is so appealing that Capcom opted to include a playable Vergil campaign as DLC in the new DmC.But enough about Vergil; the game itself, even the non-special edition, is my favorite action game ever. The crux is due to two things: swappable weapons, and styles. While the new DmC has the ability to switch weapons mid-combat, it isn't instantaneous -- Devil May Cry 3's system was. Two weapons each were assigned to slots on the left and right, which would be switched using L2 and R2, respectively. As a result, you could utilize combos with *four* weapons in them at once. The kicker? All of the weapons were fine tuned, and fun to use.Styles were another thing entirely that allowed you to play the game the way you wanted to play it. If you preferred a more defensive play-style, Royal Guard was your huckleberry. It allowed you to use split second timing and guard attacks in a traditional manner, in addition to the standard dodge mechanic. There are suitable styles for melee weapons and ranged as well, but my absolute favorite is the Trickster style, which improves your speed, maneuverability, and jumping abilities. All of these styles level up, RPG style, and can be brought across difficulty levels, allowing you to replay the game as many times as you want to max everything out. It was a ton of fun, and there were a few nights where I'd beat the game twice in a row -- it was that enjoyable.Of course, it also contained some of the best boss fights in all of gaming. Which brings us to the final battle -- Dante's epic showdown with Vergil. I mean, what can I say about this fight that hasn't been said a million times over? It truly is worthy of the term "epic." On higher difficulty levels, it's one of the most intense, and mesmerizing fights in all of action games (it might even be my number-one choice).If you haven't experienced Devil May Cry 3 yet, you need to. If I had to summarize the third game into one word, it would be "gunchucks."Devil May Cry 4 - PlayStation 3, PC, iOS [Owned], Xbox 360 [Owned]COMPLETEDThe fourth Devil May Cry game had one of the best core action engines of all time -- but you wouldn't know it, because the actual campaign had a heap of problems. Backtracking, pacing issues, and an all around lack of a compelling narrative hurt this game. The chief complaint for me was backtracking, so much in that it basically expected you to beat the same game twice (and even fight many of the same exact bosses) with two different characters.Like Devil May Cry 2, DMC 4 featured two characters. This time around I actually liked the newcomer (Nero), and enjoyed his different play-style, but the fact remains that the campaign itself is very uninteresting at points. It's a shame, because it's one of the best-looking games on the PS3/360.Despite those issues though, Devil May Cry 4 shines brightest when you're playing as Dante, and switching between all four styles at will in the game's Bloody Palace mode. It's combat bliss, despite its fleeting nature. Don't let anyone tell you Devil May Cry 4 is a bad game. It's not. It also sold very well, which makes the decision to go with a completely new studio all the more puzzling for fans.DmC: Devil May Cry - PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360 [Owned]COMPLETEDSo we've come full circle now. We're past the fully Capcom developed titles and we're onto Ninja Theory.As everyone knows, I'm not the biggest NT fan. Back when they were known as Just Add Monsters, they made a game called Kung Fu Chaos, which was basically an uninspired (and very racially charged) Smash Bros. clone for the Xbox.Surprisingly, I found out four years later that they developed Heavenly Sword for the PS3, and went to check it out. While it had the machinations of a cool-looking game, I thought it was a pretty basic and uninspired God of War tech demo. But still, Ninja Theory trucked on, and released Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, which was probably their most successful game to date from a critical standpoint. Even then, I still wasn't impressed. Although Enslaved contains some of the best imagery I've ever seen in a videogame, the combat system was probably one of the worst I've ever experienced, and platforming basically consisted of "hold forward, press a button occasionally."So naturally, I was a little skeptical of DmC: Devil May Cry. But even as Ninja Theory had hundreds of insults thrown their way, I remained steadfast, and always said I would give it a shot, because at the end of the day, I'll give anything a chance. I'm glad I did. As Jim stated in his review, the game has many redeeming qualities.Although it isn't as innovative as the first game was for the time, and isn't up to snuff combat-wise like 3 and 4 were, I enjoyed DmC for what it was. The platforming was actually pretty good (and probably the best in the entire series), and the premise transcended a '90s action movie to the point where it would be (somewhat) universally appealing.Despite the fact that I really didn't like the new characters for the most part, including Dante (no, not because of his hair -- I just felt like he was almost painfully generic), the world was something I could get into. Plus the combat wasn't bad at all, and is Ninja Theory's best effort to date in terms of straight gameplay mechanics. In terms of difficulty, DmC was a bit of a letdown (like 2), and you really need to play it on the game's Son of Sparda mode (Very Hard) to get a true Devil May Cry experience -- you just have to beat the game once to unlock it.While I wouldn't recommend the game to absolutely everyone, I would recommend it to most action fans. You might not be as wowed by it as some people, but you'll most likely enjoy it more than the average action-adventure.Collection Photo: Final thoughts:Devil May Cry is a pretty weird series. It starts off with a bang, regresses, peaks, regresses a bit again, and reinvents itself over five short games. Honestly, not a lot of series have that storied a history with this kind of reputation.Although the collection of games is far from what I'd call a "troubled" past (every game but the second has universal acclaim from fans of the genre), it is an interesting one, and one I enjoyed reliving on this Quest.Devil May Cry 3's brilliance was no surprise discovery here, but rediscovering why Devil May Cry 4 was such a shame was a bit jarring, and disappointing. I was expecting the first game to not hold up well, but if you play the HD collection, it's just fine. DmC impressed me more than I thought it would, but there's a lot of issues that hold it back from greatness -- kind of like Devil May Cry 4.As for recommendations, I'd probably tell newcomers to give the HD Collection a try and test out easy automatic if Normal is too troubling, and the new game, with a price cut.So now we're in an odd spot. Capcom has a franchise that upped its presentation, but regressed a bit gameplay-wise. It's a give and take for fans, and something not all fans were willing to give.The good news is, Capcom hasn't closed the door on an internally developed Devil May Cry 5. I mean, these two sub-franchises can coexist, right?Right?
100% Devil May Cry photo
Carter's Quest
[Read on for a description of every Devil May Cry game ever released in the US, and my completion of them all in 2013.]2013 is going to be an exciting year. Now that I know you guys enjoy reading my Quests, I'm going to make ...

PS2 Classics photo
PS2 Classics

PS2 Classics Siren and Disgaea now available on PSN


Hooray, actual honest-to-goodness PS2 games!
Jan 15
// Kyle MacGregor
This week's PlayStation Store Update is now live and a pair of classic PS2 titles have arrived on PlayStation Network. Unlike last week's nonessentials, (sorry to any Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go! fans out there) to...
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Disgaea 2 is coming to the PSN's PS2 Classics lineup


Check the PSN January 22nd
Jan 12
// Chris Carter
Get ready to join forces with Adell and Rozalin once again, as Nippon Ichi Software has announced that Disgaea 2 will be hitting the PS2 Classics lineup on the PSN come January 22nd. It'll be priced at $9.99, which ...
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Hanna writer chosen for Shadow of the Colossus movie


If nothing else, maybe it will get more people to play the game
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
Sorry to remind you that a Shadow of the Colossus film is in the pipeline, but a new writer has been brought on. Seth Lochhead (Hanna) will be joining Chronicle director Josh Trank for this adaptation of the beloved PlayStati...
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The Question: What was your favorite PlayStation 2 game?


Let's remember the good times
Jan 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
[Every Friday (or whenever), Destructoid will pose topical a question to the community. Answer it if you want!] As you may have heard, the PlayStation 2 is officially dead. Sony has halted all production of the console worldw...
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End of an era!
Last week we found out that PlayStation 2s had stopped shipping in Japan. Sony has now officially announced that PlayStation 2 production has stopped worldwide, according to The Guardian. Yes, it's truly an end of an era. Har...

PS2 discontinued photo
PS2 discontinued

End of an Era: PS2 stops shipping in Japan


You'll be missed
Dec 28
// Dale North
Sony has ceased shipping of the PlayStation 2 console in Japan this week, bringing an end a 13-year lifespan. Whatever is out there on shelves is what's left. That's it. According to Famitsu, more than 150 mill...
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Capcom vs. SNK 2 PS2 Classic news is coming next year


Ken and Joe for life
Dec 20
// Chris Carter
Capcom vs. SNK 2 is one of my most played fighting games of all time (and was probably my best game, tourney wise). The cast of characters is diverse, the controls were tight, and it had a ton of content to keep you going (cu...
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Screw the Classic Controller, use a DualShock instead


A third party peripheral that actually looks worth having, imagine that
Dec 01
// Kyle MacGregor
I'm not fond of the Classic Controller. Not in the slightest. And as much as I love the Wii remote and nunchuk set-up for some games, it's far from the ideal way to play titles like Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Super Smash Bros. ...
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Classic make out sim Chulip is poised for a comeback


Pucker up!
Nov 25
// Jonathan Holmes
One of the things that I love about the Japanese school of game development is that it allows for retail based home console titles to be about anything. It's similar to the difference between Manga and Western comi...
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GTA: Vice City pulled digitally from Steam, other outlets


Mamma say mamma saw mamaco saw
Nov 16
// Chris Carter
It looks like due to an issue with the licensing of Michael Jackson's classic hit "Wanna Be Startin' Something," GTA: Vice City has been pulled from pretty much every digital PC outlet out there, including Steam. As any Vice ...
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Second chance: One-week PSN sale on Odin Sphere


PS2 Greatest Hit title goes half price
Oct 17
// Jordan Devore
Vanillaware's Odin Sphere is priced to sell right now on PlayStation Network. You can pick up a digital copy of the PlayStation 2 action-RPG for five bucks this week. Half price sounds pretty good, but more than that, the sal...

100% Series Retrospective: Resident Evil

Oct 02 // Chris Carter
Resident Evil - PlayStation [Owned], PC, Saturn, PSN [Owned] COMPLETED Resident Evil is where it all started. Gaming legend Shinji Mikami created a game that was not only an homage to Sweet Home, but also a great survival horror companion to Alone in the Dark. Unlike most games at the time, you simply didn't know what to expect next -- literally anything could jump out and try and bite your head off. Moments like the first time you experienced zombie dogs jumping through a window, or the famous first-person Hunter scene are burned into my memory. Despite the low-budget voice acting (which only added a campy, enjoyable Evil Dead feel to it), Resident Evil is a pure classic, even today.  Resident Evil 2 - PlayStation, PC, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube, PSN [Owned] COMPLETED Resident Evil 2 took the first iteration's mansion setting, and turned it to 11. It wasn't just "The Mansion" anymore -- your playground was an entire city. Somehow, someway, Resident Evil 2 filled this city with secrets, story, and tons of character. Costume changes and hidden modes became more of a big deal, and started shaping up Resident Evil's trademark of packing in tons of content. The unique "two-disc" approach, in which the game was basically two games, was also rarely done at the time, and was a testament to the sheer undertaking that this year-and-nine-month project really was. The dynamic "Zapping System" mechanic that changed your story was pretty much unheard of at the time, and still is today. While I don't think Resident Evil 2 was as fun as the original, one thing's for sure: it's one of the most technically impressive games of all time.  Resident Evil 3 - PlayStation, PC, Dreamcast, GameCube, PSN [Owned] COMPLETED "3" was unique in that it had a big bad boss enemy stalk you the entire game -- basically right from the very beginning. It also introduced a mechanic that I was extremely grateful for, and rarely re-used: dodging. After the main game was completed, you could access the first true Mercenaries mode, entitled "Operation: Mad Jackal." RE3's variation was much more fleshed out than the prior installments' "Survivor" or "Battle Game" gametypes. Quite honestly, Mad Jackal set me up for my rabid love of the Mercenaries gametype. In fact, for a few titles, I would play Mercenaries for considerably longer than the actual core game -- Resident Evil 3 was one such example.  Resident Evil Survivor - PlayStation [Owned], PC COMPLETED My recollection of Survivor is vague at best: I remember renting it with my little brother, and beating it in an afternoon. The only specific thing I really remember about it is that it's basically Doom in Resident Evil form, and you literally cannot save the game, ever. While you're able to keep any weapons and items after death, you have to restart from the beginning if you die: considering is is around 1-3 hours, that might suck. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Survivor is what it is. It's not a terrible "lightgun game," but it isn't great, either. One of the biggest punches in the face is the fact that it feels like a straight arcade port (even though it's not) given the fact that there are no continue points. It's hard to recommend for that reason alone, but if you're a Resident Evil fanatic, you may as well track this one down.  Resident Evil Code: Veronica - Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 [Owned], GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [Owned] COMPLETED Code Veronica was formerly my favorite game in the series, before REmake and RE5 came along. It was the first game to offer semi-fixed angles for the camera, instead of pre-rendered backgrounds, which was partly due to the upgrade in hardware to the PlayStation 2. It also offered a first-person view for a few weapons, and an amalgamation of various Resident Evil games, such as the 180-degree turn, upgradeable weapons, and explosive scenery. Simply put, it was just a clean, fun Resident Evil game. In the PS2 version, there were a few ham-fisted action scenes involving Wesker, but they were good fun too and helped add to the game's enjoyment. In addition to the normal game (Code: Veronica X), I completed battle mode with every character.  Resident Evil Gaiden - Game Boy Color [Owned] COMPLETED Gaiden ("side-story" in Japanese), is probably the only "bad" Resident Evil game in the entire franchise. While a few others were extremely average, Gaiden is borderline unplayable. Strangely enough, it's a top down/rhythm game hybrid -- the results are disastrous, and not even Leon and Barry can save this one. Combat is done in a turn-based game style, where contact with an enemy initiates a mini-game similar to the "field goal kick" bar from the popular Madden NFL series. To be blunt, combat just wasn't scary, and it wasn't much fun either. Resident Evil REmake - GameCube, Wii [Owned] COMPLETED RE1's GameCube REmake is possibly the best remake of all time, for any series. Capcom pulled out all the stops for this one, when they could have easily just re-released the game à la the RE GameCube collection. The graphics are updated, the voice acting is improved, and the game is overhauled so much that fans will barely recognize some parts of it (among a few new areas). The REmake offers up classic RE1 gameplay with a brand new veneer -- personally, while it's not my favorite, I think it's technically the best game in the series.  Resident Evil Zero - GameCube [Owned], Wii [Owned] COMPLETED Resident Evil Zero is one of the only games I haven't completed in the series before this Quest. While I had a GameCube, I was too busy playing other stuff at the time (including the GameCube's REmake), and just missed this one. I've heard mixed reactions -- both that it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, and that it's a solid entry to the franchise. Either way, I'm excited to jump into one this year with the Wii re-release. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: I'm not a huge fan of Zero, but that's mostly due to the two title characters involved. As the main series precursor to RE, I think Zero falls short in many respects. I didn't really feel connected to Rebecca or Billy nearly as much as I did with any previous character in the series, and considering they hardly ever make a re-appearance, I can only assume many people felt the same. I applaud Capcom for bringing us back to the Spencer Mansion and giving us a bit of insight into the mystery there, but honestly, REmake did all of this and more (I can't say enough good things about that game).  Resident Evil: Dead Aim - PlayStation 2 [Owned] COMPLETED Dead Aim is easily the best light-gun game in the series, especially for its time. Movement was shown in a third-person view like standard Resident Evil games, but it switched to first-person for shooting purposes. This basically created a hybrid shooting/adventure game that at least allowed you to pick your fights during most instances, instead of being forced to battle every single enemy on-rails. Why Capcom didn't follow this formula further, I'll never know, as it made for a really interesting game. It also offered up a few new characters that, while forgettable, show Capcom was at least trying something different instead of putting Leon and Chris into a game for the hundredth time.  Resident Evil Outbreak - PlayStation 2 [Owned] COMPLETED Outbreak was a fan's dream: for the first time, Resident Evil was truly multiplayer! You could cooperate or betray your teammates, just like a real zombie apocalypse. There were plenty of "How could you leave me behind!" and "It was both of us or one of us!" moments, and this made for a unique experience that hasn't really been matched yet, even with Left 4 Dead. Outbreak served up classic hopeless Resident Evil tension with heated multiplayer gameplay, and it's a shame so many people missed out on it (mostly due to the haphazard marketing of the PS2's HDD and Internet accessory).  Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 - PlayStation 2 [Owned] COMPLETED Strangely enough, Outbreak 2 was the first Resident Evil game to allow people to move and shoot. Since it wasn't as popular in America, however, no one really talks about it. Part of the reason for the lack of popularity was the fact that it was basically a carbon-copy of Outbreak 1, with a few different scenarios. The game added an extra communication system that allowed people to talk to one another despite the region, and a few other small additions, but it wasn't really enough to show up on most people's radars. Personally, I wasn't upset with more of the same, as I enjoyed the original Outbreak.  Resident Evil 4 - GameCube, PlayStation 2 [Owned], PC, Wii [Owned]*, iPhone [Owned], iPad, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [Owned] COMPLETED Many fans are upset at Resident Evil 4 for spearheading the series into an action-oriented direction. Personally, I see it as a natural evolution of the series. The behind-the-back camera and aiming mechanics are a much better alternative than anything previously offered, and the enemy variety lends itself well to the new direction. For whatever reason, people never seem to fault Resident Evil 4 for a more action-centric focus, instead choosing Resident Evil 5 as the sacrificial lamb. Personally, I never saw it: I was already ready for action ever since Code Veronica X. The Mercenaries mode also takes a further step forward, and offers up even more additional content than ever before -- most notably the ability to select multiple stages, and the inability to actually complete it. Resident Evil 4 was also insanely popular, and helped revitalize the series.  Resident Evil: Deadly Silence - DS [Owned] COMPLETED Deadly Silence. DS. Get it?! One of the cool things about this version of Resident Evil is that the top screen of the DS is used as a map, and a health indicator at all times. Additionally, the game is pretty much a spot-on port of the PS1 game, voice acting and all, which is pretty impressive given the DS' general lack of horsepower. It also has a multiplayer mode; it's kind of weak, given that you and your friends never actually see each other in different parts of the mansion, but it's a free addition nonetheless. To differentiate this playthrough from my original RE run, I'm playing the "REbirth mode," which adds a ton of unique first-person action scenes, and DS-centric additions/re-arrangements. Even though the game is basically a port, touch screen-specific puzzles and changes are enough to justify another playthrough here. All in all, Deadly Silence is about what you'd expect out of an above average portable port, and a solid addition to any RE fan's collection.  Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles - Wii [Owned], PlayStation 3 COMPLETED Umbrella Chronicles is an on-rails shooter for the Wii. That's about all I can say about it, honestly, before I head into this one. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort or time to complete it, and cooperative gameplay is kind of shoe-horned in. Thankfully, it has a decent amount of unlockable content. While I have played Umbrella Chronicles, I haven't tackled it as much as Darkside Chronicles, so I'll be sure and post extended thoughts below. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: If you like light-gun games, be sure and check this one out. It offers pretty standard, enjoyable light-gun arcade-y fun over the backdrop of a few past Resident Evil titles. Umbrella Chronicles is a good way to get a refresher for Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 1, and Resident Evil 3. Although, despite how fun it can be, I'd highly recommend playing it with a partner, as it enhances the enjoyment tenfold. Resident Evil 5 - Xbox 360 [Owned], PlayStation 3 [Owned], PC COMPLETED I make it no secret that Resident Evil 5 is my favorite game of all time (emphasis on personal favorite). The day I got it at midnight, I took off work the next day, and beat it sometime in the morning. The next day, my wife and I started a co-op campaign that would last about a week -- after that, I grinded through another playthrough to get some cash for extra weapons; I just couldn't get enough. To put it simply, I think RE5 is the most fun game in the entire series. There's a hefty campaign, tons of extra content, co-op, and for the first time, there's co-op Mercenaries -- what more could you want? I literally played RE5 for months on end, and ate up all the DLC possible. I can't say enough good things about this game. For my 2012 playthrough, I'm either going to tackle the PlayStation Move version of the game, or replay it with my wife. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - Wii [Owned], PlayStation 3 COMPLETED Darkside Chronicles is a considerable improvement upon Umbrella Chronicles. There's a new evade move and it offers a dynamic difficulty setting, along with an improved co-op mode. Like the other light-gun titles in the series, Darkside Chronicles is basically a love-it-or-hate-it kind of game. It doesn't really offer a whole lot more than most other on-rail shooters. If you're a Resident Evil fan, however, you may want to put up with it just for the extra story bits. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Out of the two light-gun Wii titles, Darkside Chronicles is the better game; especially for two players. The developers make a much better effort to accommodate co-op play, and the new mechanics make gameplay smoother. You also get crucial backstory on Leon and Krauser, which helps make Resident Evil 4's Krauser encounters that much more enjoyable. If you have to choose one of the two Wii light-gun games, make it Darkside -- but getting both isn't a bad idea.  Resident Evil: Deck Building Game - [Owned] COMPLETED If you haven't played a deck-building game before, the concept is pretty simple. There are a bunch of stacks of static cards in the center of the play area. You have one giant deck, of which you draw five cards at a time from. With those five cards, you can perform a number of actions depending on what you randomly drew -- you can buy cards from the middle or perform actions to either draw more cards or modify your deck. Resident Evil's deck-building variant adds another new concept: fighting infected. On any given turn, you're allowed one buy, one action, and one "exploration" that allows you to take a door card and explore the Spencer Mansion. In the mansion you can find items or battle infected for trophies -- depending on the gametype, the player with the most trophies (kills) wins. I've played a number of deck-building games before such as Dominion, but Resident Evil is one of my favorites. Each player gets assigned a unique character that changes your abilities, which helps add to the characterization and uniqueness of the game. Also, it's a delight to take down the Nemesis with a bunch of knife cards as Krauser. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D - 3DS [Owned] COMPLETED Mercenaries 3D is a very niche title. If you love the Mercenaries mini-games from other titles, you may like Mercs 3D. If you loathe them -- well, that's kind of the entire game here. Mercs 3D made waves in the gaming community at release due to the inability to delete saves, and its incredibly short length (it can be beaten in a few hours). It also had a few other problems like the short draw distance, among other graphical glitches. Personally, I thought the game was acceptable, and played it for quite a while before putting it down. While it may seem like a cash grab at first, there are a decent amount of scenarios included, and Mercs fanatics will be sure to come back to it occasionally.  Resident Evil: Revelations - 3DS [Owned] COMPLETED Did the mysteriously abandoned Resident Evil PSP game end up as Revelations? Does it really matter at this point? Early previews are calling this "one of the best Resident Evils in a long time, and possibly the best Resident Evil ever." The demo is great, the visuals are great, and there's really no reason to doubt this entry, despite the fact that it's on a portable. I plan on getting this game day one and ripping through it in a few days. I'll be sure and post my thoughts after completion. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: After playing the final release, I felt like the demo was a bait and switch of sorts. The fact of the matter is, without going into spoiler territory, at least half of the game is not the tight-knit claustrophobic experience the demo made it out to be. A lot of Revelations is spent with an AI partner clunking around, or in open areas fighting non-stop enemies in a full-out actionfest -- the switch between the Cruise Ship sections and everywhere else is jarring, and the story isn't the greatest to boot. Thankfully, the game looked great, controlled great, and Raid Mode is pretty fun solo or with a friend. I hope that Capcom puts this new engine to good use, and expands upon a lot of concepts with Revelations. It's not one of my favorite Resident Evil games for sure, but it's not bad, either.  Resident Evil Game Boy Color - Game Boy Color ROM [Owned] COMPLETED This previously unreleased title has finally been given to the public by an anonymous source. While it evidently isn't possible to beat the game in its current state, I'll still attempt to complete as much as possible. Up until 2012, no one has had a chance to play this missing piece of history, so I'm pretty excited to see what we've been missing all these years. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Considering Resident Evil GBC is only available as a free ROM, you aren't really risking anything financially to try it. There isn't a whole lot to say about this one that can't really be said by looking at the screenshot above. It's a very simplistic version of Resident Evil, distilled into a tiny cartridge-size package. The ROM isn't complete, but at least you can get a taste of this lost game. While it isn't ideal, I would have salivated at the prospect of a portable Resident Evil game for car trips as a child.  Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - Xbox 360 [Owned], PlayStation 3, PC COMPLETED I honestly have no idea what to expect from Raccoon City. I'm not the biggest fan of Slant Six, and I'm not too keen on the possible idea of shooting down Resident Evil's heroes and heroines. Additionally, based on rumors, the game may not have a split-screen mode, which would hinder my ability to play with my wife. Regardless, I'll be picking up Raccoon City this year on my 360, and I'm eager to see what it can offer to the series. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Raccoon City is a disappointment. While fun, the game has a heap of issues, from online stability, to numerous gamebreaking glitches. Players have been known to fall through the floor, turn into ghosts, and all sorts of other mishaps. It's a shame, because for Resident Evil fans, the game is a fun little romp through the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. You get to see pretty much every major monster from the series (Nemesis included!), and some familiar faces like Birkin, Leon, and Hunk. If done correctly -- and possibly as canon -- this could have been a really worthwhile entry into the franchise. As it stands, it's a hard recommendation  Resident Evil 6 - Xbox 360 [Owned], PlayStation 3, PC COMPLETED I could not be more excited for Resident Evil 6. From the rumors offered so far, it looks to have a full Mercenaries mode with multiplayer, story mode co-op, and a single-player campaign without an AI partner. In short, it apparently offers more content than RE5. I'm excited for the new setting, and hopefully the story will be interesting this time around without Wesker (presumably, provided he isn't cloned). Although the series is decidedly more action-oriented, there are also rumors of more claustrophobic areas and slower-moving zombies having a part in RE6 -- if they can do it right, I say bring it on. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Despite my initial excitement, over time, I came into Resident Evil 6 expecting to be disappointed. I had heard so many bad things from my friends and colleagues who have played it at various events like E3 and TGS. I had personally bought Dragon's Dogma primarily for early access to the Resident Evil 6 demo, and came away fairly unimpressed. I played the Resident Evil 5 demo for hours on end (over twenty hours in fact) -- with the Resident Evil 6 demo, I literally played it once and deleted it. So with all this in mind, I came into Resident Evil 6 very skeptical, and left mostly impressed. Mostly. Spreading apart all three (four, if you count Ada) stories was a ballsy move. With Resident Evil 5, it was enjoyable to play as Chris and Sheva the entire game, as the story wasn't all over the place, and you were grounded in both characters, which made it easy to learn their nuances and melee abilities. With Resident Evil 6, you're jumping all over the place at times, and it can be jarring. Not only does every character handle differently, but everyone has a different UI to boot. Given the mostly fast-paced action the game spews at you constantly, design choices like the inability to pause the game in co-op just feel weird, as do QTEs that only involve one player, wrapped up in such unexciting things as starting a car. Still, I found myself enjoying the game the more I played it. (I'm talking ten hours of learning the nuances of combat). I'll fully admit, Mercenaries -- which you all know I'm a giant fan of -- really helped me grasp said nuances much quicker than the campaign, and bolstered my enjoyment tenfold. As you can see in this video, combat is more than meets the eye in Resident Evil 6. There's sliding, counters, quick-shotting, and contextual melee moves. It's like a complex fighting game in a sense, but integrated into one of my favorite franchises of all time. Naturally, since it's done well, I'm enjoying myself. RE6 also has a ton of content provided that you're ready to embrace the action-oriented gameplay (which has been a staple since RE4). There's an Ada campaign, a handful of online modes, a meta-game involving skill XP in both the campaign and Mercenaries, tons of unlocks and some costumes for Mercs, and more. Like RE5, there's enough here to keep you playing well into 2013. While it isn't one of my favorite games in the franchise by far, I think it's a fairly solid action game (what immediately comes to mind is my opinion of Skyward Sword: great action-RPG, alright Zelda game). Just like RE5, your mileage will vary depending on how fun your co-op partner is -- just know, however, that the co-op AI is not nearly as frustrating as Sheva was. Collection Photo:  Final thoughts: The Resident Evil series has certainly had its ups and downs. From its horror roots to a metamorphosis of action to the chagrin of many fans, everyone has to admit that the franchise is interesting, if nothing else. As a whole, I found myself not enjoying this Quest nearly as much as the other ones, and I can't really put my finger on why, as I still like the series overall. While I was truly eager to rip into Tony Hawk, Kingdom Hearts, and Zelda almost immediately, I took a long break in between some of the games here, as I found it fairly tough to continue on. Perhaps it's because of the slow-moving nature of many of the earlier games, and when played in rapid succession, it can get a bit grating? I don't know for sure. Thankfully, the multiplayer iterations kept me going, as it was a blast to, well, blast away the undead with my wife or with a friend.    
100% Resident Evil photo
Carter's Quest
[Read on for a description of every Resident Evil game ever released in the US, and my completion of them all in 2012.] Why Resident Evil? This year, Capcom is pushing out three entirely new Resident Evil games -- it's also t...

100% Kingdom Hearts photo
100% Kingdom Hearts

100% Series Retrospective: Kingdom Hearts


Carter's Quest
Sep 26
// Chris Carter
[Read on for a description of every Kingdom Hearts game ever released in the US, and my completion of all of them in 2012.] So I kind of realized that I was powering through both the Resident Evil and Tony Hawk...
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Jimquisition: Crying Through The Laughs


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Sep 17
// Jim Sterling
Most games are depressed and miserable, but are they truly tragic? Of course not, otherwise there wouldn't be a video asking such a deliberately leading question. The trouble with most games today is that they rush to the sa...
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La Pucelle: Tactics is heading to the PSN this week


Sep 10
// Chris Carter
I first heard of this news a few days ago, but I held off on posting it until I could get more concrete information. Thankfully, it looks like the internet rumblings have been correct, as La Pucelle: Tactics is going to be a ...
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Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box announced


Thirteen games for the price of thirteen games!
Aug 31
// Jim Sterling
It's Final Fantasy's 25th anniversary this year, and you better believe Square Enix won't pass up the chance to sell things it's sold before in celebration. Still, when it's packaged this nicely, it's easy to see why folks'll...

Getting It Right: Klonoa 2

Aug 27 // Allistair Pinsof
Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil (PlayStation 2)Developer: NamcoPublisher: NamcoReleased: March 18, 2003 In a nutshell: Klonoa 2 is the follow-up to the 1997 cult hit that paired a colorful, dreamlike world with fluid platforming and clever puzzles. Klonoa uses his over-sized ring (the Wind Bullet) to grab enemies and toss them. After a portal shoots Klonoa into the world of Lunatea, he joins a priestess in training and her adorable pet as they try to put a stop to a bell that is spawning evil creatures into the world. Makes sense, right? A detailed, unique look Despite playing a ten-year-old game on a standard TV, I am still mesmerized by Klonoa 2’s visuals and often catch myself smiling for no good reason. Perhaps it is for a good reason. That reason being that it’s rare to find such a detailed, imaginative, and colorful setting in games today. Shackled by HD demands and misguided by market research, the time modern developers put into creating a distinct look and world isn’t equal to the time spent tweaking lighting systems and visual filters. Our expectations are so low that just making a game on Unreal Engine 3 not look completely brown and grey is enough to earn praise. The world of Klonoa is one of pure whimsy and delight. It’s a world made of primary colors, fantastical locales, and places we would want to visit even if we weren’t tasked with throwing baddies all day. Amusement parks have detailed roller coasters in the distance and fireworks exploding in the sky, European-esque cities are detailed with train systems and ornamental detail on war-torn homes, and natural environments (woodlands, caverns, cliff sides) are brought to life through intricate backdrops and foregrounds. All of these thoughtfully composed levels are complemented by one of the earliest and best uses of cel shading and some stellar proto-furries character design. Each of the game’s areas are so distinct and detailed that you never know what to expect next, other than more eye-candy. Puzzles make everything better Some say 2D Mario hasn’t changed since Super Mario World, but it has and not for the better. SMW had puzzles to go along with the platforming. Sure, finding every coin and secret is a puzzle in their own way, but SMW was much more direct with its approach to puzzles. This soon fell out of favor, not only in future entries, but in the genre as a whole. The puzzles of Klonoa are what makes the games so unique and well paced. Sometimes, you are surfing down a half-pipe, but other times, you just need to stop and use your brain for a bit. Admittedly, these puzzles won’t stump anyone who got past the first Klonoa but their inclusion is appreciated, nonetheless. Every game could benefit from some puzzles that break up the action from time to time. This is just one of the few things that makes Half-Life so much more enjoyable than Call of Duty and Super Mario World a bit more special than New Super Mario Bros. The feeling of being on an adventure Platformers’ stories are typically only present to provide backstory and bridge the action, but Klonoa’s characters and dialog do a bit more than this. They give the game some heart. Klonoa 2’s dialogue is badly paced and simplistic to a fault, but it helps give a sense of adventure and progress within the world of Lunatea. You won’t even mind (heavily redesigned) recycled levels because it fits within the context of the plot and even makes it exciting to revisit an earlier area to discover how it changed. 16-bit platformers gave us the sense that one day we’d be playing our Saturday morning cartoons instead of watching them -- an idea that Klonoa 2 delivers on, if only for a couple hours. Escaping from a crumbling city, chasing the bad guy across the map, and heading into unknown territory with Klonoa and company is a fun trip. The game hits a sweet spot between giving scenarios more impact through storytelling without drowning the player in Kingdom Hearts-levels of insular nonsense. A one-of-a-kind world The personified hills and fluffy clouds of Mario may be surreal by design, but they have become normalized through familiarity over the years. The rules of the 2D platformer are so simple -- you run and jump with rarely more than two buttons required -- it opens the door to all sorts of possibilities in presentation and world-building that developers never seem to capitalize on. Most are content to follow Nintendo's legacy and play it safe. Klonoa is the exception to the rule. Klonoa goes to some weird places in both its visuals and story, but it grounds them all through its cast’s goals and desires. Yeah, you are fighting in the Kingdom of Joy as you try to put an end to the King of Sorrow, but it kind of just works despite how ridiculous it sounds. Everything in the game’s design builds this strange, magical world that isn’t quite like anything else. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Klonoa’s ears or why the King of Sorrow is such a cry-baby, but it doesn’t really matter. The game never begs that you take its bizarre fiction seriously. It’s all secondary to the action but the surreal story does a great job of providing some awesome visuals, settings, and moments through it. Melancholy music and story Klonoa 2 is sappy -- even more so than the original -- but it’s a good kind of sappy that makes the ending pull on the heartstrings in an unexpected way. The game starts in a strange, sentimental space and plunges deeper down the rabbit hole until its finale when all is revealed and the “Dream Traveler” must face his fate. Along with the imaginative art direction, it’s the music that really pulls me into Klonoa’s melancholic world. The game often reminds me of Chrono Cross at times. Here you are on this grand adventure in a colorful place, but it all feels a bit sad for some reason. Klonoa has no real identity, everything is in disorder, and your adventure is complemented by one of the prettiest, saddest soundtracks to grace a sidescroller since Donkey Kong Country. There is a sweetness and sadness to Klonoa's second outing that makes the game all the more memorable for it. In a medium where anything is possible, most games seem uninspired, gloomy, and self-important. Klonoa 2 stands in strong contrast with its bubblegum world and feel-good atmosphere. It may be a bit too simple and rest heavily on the mechanics established in the first entry, but this sequel is manufactured joy for anyone seeking an off-the-beaten-path platformer with a lot of wit and heart. Even without the HD upgrade (this game is non-emulator friendly), Klonoa 2's world still pops thanks to its incredible art direction. It's a real testament that visuals and audio can immerse the player without resorting to gritty realism or familiar genre tropes. If there is one game begging for a current- (next- ?) gen sequel, it's Klonoa. C'mon, Namco! Stop being jerks! [Image source]
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[Getting It Right is a monthly series in which I take a look at the elements that make up a classic game. What were the key ingredients that set it apart and make it hold up to this day? Read on to find out.] Did the 2D pla...

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Gungrave: Overdose launches as a PS2 Classics title


Aug 22
// Dale North
Do you remember Gungrave: Overdose? This crazy, stylish third-person shooter (run-and-gun?) was originally released back in 2004 for the PS2. I remember nice animated cutscenes breaking up crazy shooting and bashing enemies w...
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Grasshopper says it's Killer7's seven-year anniversary!


Jul 09
// Jim Sterling
Today has been officially recognized as the seven-year anniversary of Killer7, one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful videogames ever created. Seven years ago today, the game launched in Japan. It actually came to North ...
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PS2 games coming to PSN next month (in Japan)


Jul 03
// Dale North
This is what I've always wanted Sony to do. There are tons of great PS2 games out there that are sitting and rotting. Why not re-release them digitally for the PS3?  They're doing exactly that in Japan, starting July 25....
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Sources have indicated to GamesIndustry International that Sony has made a deal with Gaikai to offer first- and third-party PlayStation and PS2 games on PS3 via streaming. Presumably, we'll hear the official details about thi...

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Clock Tower 3, land of the f*cked up cutscene


May 25
// Jim Sterling
Clock Tower 3 wasn't exactly the greatest game in the world, but it did one thing perfectly, one thing that has kept it stuck in my mind for years -- cutscenes. To many, the art of the cutscene is worth more sneering than pr...
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PS2 classic Persona 3: FES hits PSN tomorrow


Apr 09
// Dale North
Persona 3 is still one of my favorite games of all-time. I've played it so many times now that it's bordering on crazy, but I may give it another go on my PS3 as it's being re-released as a PlayStation 2 Classic tomorrow on ...
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Live show: Zone of the Enders on Mash Tactics


Mar 29
// Bill Zoeker
Today is "Throwback Thurday" on Mash Tactics, and King Foom is cutting it close. Zone of the Enders is slated for the HD treatment this year, but until that actually happens, it still counts as a throwback, dammit! Konami's c...
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Primal comes to PSN's PS2 Classics this week


Feb 27
// Jim Sterling
Primal is one of those games that not too many people remember, but those that do remember it very fondly indeed. It's not even a very good game, but its engaging story and interesting concepts turned what could have been a f...
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Live show: WTF? Under the Skin on Mash Tactics


Feb 22
// Bill Zoeker
It's another odd edition of 'WTF Wednesdays' on Mash Tactics. King Foom is going to be playing Under the Skin on PlayStation 2. This Capcom gem has the player take the role of a toddler alien, born for mischief, causing havoc...
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Rare no more: Digital Devil Saga series coming to PSN


Feb 20
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. Produced back in the pre-Persona craze days, when Atlus USA could only afford to do one print run of any given series (a rep they still hold today, though t...

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