With the launch of the Playstation 3, many fans were anxious to see how their favorite PS2 games would fare on a next-gen console, myself included. The PS2 is one of the greatest video game systems ever, producing countless quality games across different genres. Seeing a sequel to a personal favorite game leaves one with anticipation and hype, and companies spend years crafting sequels to make that "next-gen leap".
Enter Capcom, creator of complete awesomeness like Viewtiful Joe, Godhand, Devil May Cry, Street Fighter, and yes, Resident Evil. Capcom had quite the legacy to live up to; RE4 was a masterpiece. A huge commercial success and winner of many GOTY awards, Resident Evil 4 took a stale, tired series and made it arguably better than its ever been. Resident Evil 5, released in March 2009, was a "success"(it sold millions of copies and got mostly good reviews). Unfortunately, it was nowhere near as good as RE4(and here's why!).
10. RE5 DOESN'T HAVE THE MERCHANT!
Leon does a lot of shooting in RE4, so he's gonna need a shop, and that shop is The Merchant. Throughout the game, usually at save points, The Merchant will be standing by his trademark blue lights, ready to get to business. You can sell weapons/treasures/items, buy weapons/gear/first aid spray/maps/etc, and upgrade your weapons(at a fair price, of course!). While you browse the menus, he regularly spouts his trademark lines that every RE4 fan have burned in their heads: "What r ya buyin'?" "What are ya sellin'?" "Is that all, stranger?". Don't get the smart idea to shoot him and steal his stuff; you do that, and he'll never be in that spot again! Even if you shoot him in the toe, its insta-death! Its the Merchant, with his memorable catchphrases, funny accent, and the ability to be ANYWHERE(even at the bottom of a pit full of spikes and dead bodies!), who made shopping a fun activity.
RE5 ditches this, instead having a plain boring shop being available at the end of each level. Sure, it basically serves the same function as the Merchant, but having some dull, automated shop thats only available at the end of the level really robbed the fun from the Merchant and his antics, and makes the world of RE5 seem smaller and less interconnected. In my book, the Merchant can "come back any time".
9. RE4 HAS A BETTER OPENING SCENE!
I stare through my binoculars and see one of the cops from earlier has been killed. I try to avoid the scene and move to the left, behind the houses. A woman is tending to some hay. As I approach, she turns and looks over her shoulder at me. She screams and stabs me with her pitchfork. I shoot her in the shoulder twice, then in the head, finally delivering a kick that shatters her skull, sending blood flying everywhere. A guy on the roof throws an ax at me that I narrowly dodge. I make my way to the middle of the village, fighting my way through the various townfolk. My health in the yellow, I manage to trigger a cutscene by entering a two-story house, showing the villagers preparing to invade and someone revving a chainsaw. Pushing the dresser in front of the door, I race upstairs to find a shotgun. Yes! No zombie can stand up this! I jump out of the window, ignore that buzzing noise and start blowing through groups of people. I'm invincible! That buzzing noise gets louder and louder, to the point where I feel like its on top of me. I do a 180 andHOLYSHITMYHEADJUSTGOTSAWEDOFFHOLYFUCKINGSHIT.
I then spent the better part of the next hour repeating the Village opening scene, and I know I'm not alone in admiring it. Resident Evil 4 introduces the gamer to the tension of battle, the fear of death around any corner, that no house is safe for long, that despite your weapons you can still get completely OWNED if you're not on the ball. Its a great opening set piece that really sets the tone of the game, as an action-packed ride of awesome that can be stopped by one sole Ganado or bad strategy.
RE5 tries to duplicate this opening, to little success. The insane, bewildered looks of the Majin are definitely scary, but they lack the "common folk turned crazy" persona that the villagers had. The area you fight in is smaller than the village and incredibly bright, destroying any sense of tension as you move around the level. The come-out-of-nowhere, HOLYSHITAAAAHHH chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador was replaced with the Executioner, who while certainly menacing looking, is also very slow and deliberate with his actions. The fact that he and his attacks are plain as day makes him lose all the terror Dr. Salvador and his fast insta-death attack had. RE5 misinterpreted the things that made the Village opening great, and squanders its potential. Sadly this is a theme that will repeat quite a bit.
8. RE4 HAS A BETTER MERCENARIES MODE!
In RE4/5, Mercenaries is a fun extra mode unlocked after beating the game. It allows the player to choose different characters(all with their own melees, speed, and weapons) and go through select, closed off areas of the game and get as many points as possible. Combo streaks, bonus time and extra time are the keys to victory, and the score is ranked from 1-to-5 stars. Its a brilliant, addictive mode that some players play more than the actual main game, and naturally, RE4 does it better.
For one, it has better characters. HUNK, big fan favorite of RE minigames, is not the strongest guy in the world. However, his insta-death "Necksnapper" melee attack and plentiful ammo make him a high scoring machine. Krauser is a complete monster, and I don't just mean that "Kill everything it touches" super attack of his. His melee roundhouse is incredible with great range, his Rambo-style arrows are powerful, his flash grenades plentiful, and he even has a very useful knife. And I can't forget Wesker, who has this awesome Thrust Punch and a great selection of weapons. Besides Wesker, RE5's cast just pales in comparison(although it now has Barry Burton, so perhaps its up to snuff now).
Another thing that annoys me is that everyone gets the same theme music. RE4 had individual themes for every character, including the totally kick-ass theme for Wesker. In RE5, its the one generic song for EVERY character on EVERY level. Ugh.
7. RE4 HAS BETTER DEATHS!
Resident Evil 4 can be a challenging game. There's a large variety of zombies, monsters, religious zealots, and crazy truck drivers just waiting to end Leon's journey prematurely, each with their own way of doing it. This leads to a variety of death animations Capcom has put into the game, and boy is there a lot of them. So much so, many players would purposely die just to see how Leon is gonna get owned by a new particular enemy(poor guy). Seriously, the amount of death scenes in this game are amazing! Here's 9 minutes worth of them!
Here's a comparison video with RE5's deaths:
Now, to be fair, RE5 does have a few cool ones(the mutant dog biting your head off, Wesker twisting Chris neck in mid-air, and the body get bitten in half are awesome!), but I can't shake the feeling that they've been neutered and toned down. When Leon gets impaled in RE4, you can clearly see the giant claws through his head. When Sheva gets impaled by Wesker near the end, he lifts her body so the death is off-screen. WTF? In RE4, Leon's head goes flying off a dozen different ways. In RE5, the head only comes off with the chainsaw(not even the giant Executioner blade can do it :/) and the kill is once again off-screen! No Chris or Sheva head sent flying with blood going everywhere!
This is a M-rated game Capcom! Why would you tone down the awesome deaths of RE4!? Seeing Leon get grabbed and spikes being impaled through his whole body by a Regenerator was my personal favorite death in RE4, and RE5 doesn't have any that come close.
6. RE4 HAS A BETTER STORY!
Note I didn't say "plot", but RE4 is better in that area too. When I say "story", I mean the plot, the characters, the storytelling, all those things that form the narrative. Resident Evil 4 doesn't ditch its B-movie roots, but it does it with flair, style, and(for the first time in a RE game) good voice acting. Leon is an endearing action hero, with all his cheesy one-liners("Saddler, you're small time." "Where'd everybody go, bingo?"). Luis is a charming companion who trying to right the wrongs he has set in motion. Salazar is the annoying little snake in the grass who gets more and more irritated by Leon's constant escape of death. The game is filled with lots of great characters, and seeing them interact is a treat. Even better, there's MGS-style codecs, where Leon trades barbs with Salazar/Saddler, ever increasing the tension and connection the player has to these villains and the desire to take them down.
In RE5, damn near every line is so generic. 90% of Chris' lines are about "keep moving", "Let's go", "We gotta stop him!" "Jill!". RE4's Leon is a character you could come to admire by his personality and attitude, and I have a hard time thinking anybody felt the same way about Chris Redfield from RE5. All the player gets to know about Sheva is that she is in the military and she learned everything from Josh Stone, and all the player knows about Josh is that HE is the military and he considers Sheva the little sister of the team. There's no memorable lines, interesting personality traits, or strong characters to be found in the game. Well, on the whole anyway; there is ONE person who rises above the rest, but we'll get to that later.
RE5's actual story is very weak as well. Through most of the game, the player doesn't really know what the heck they're trying to do. They're fighting zombies and they're appearently going after Irving, and that's about it. Its not until 2/3rds through the game does Wesker make himself known and the player is actually aware of who the antagonist is. There's no codec scenes with Chris verbally facing off with Irving or Wesker, and they both rely on odd flashback cutscenes to provide interesting traits(or in Irving case, not at all). RE4 had several big bads, each with their own awesomeness through the story. Mendez, Salazar, Krauser, and Saddler himself all make their own impression, and are unique adversaries throughout the game; something that RE5 fails to duplicate.
5. RE4 DOESN'T HAVE SHEVA!
Sheva is a zero-personality, completely stupid bitch who is responsible for many a game over for single player campaigns. Its not unusual for her to walk straight into enemy fire, use up all the health items, and then not come save you when you're dying. It's made even worse that she doesn't matter in the plot one iota. This is clearly Chris' story, as the two most important characters in the end, Wesker and Jill, are clearly focused on him. Taking Sheva out of the story would lose no significance whatsoever(except Josh would be even MORE generic, somehow). She's a complete waste of space, an irritating object players have to look out for in single player, and is duller than watching paint dry.
"But wait!" some D-Toid commenter thinks, "What about Ashley in RE4? Wasn't she annoying and something the player has to look after?" Yes she was, but she is definitely the lesser of the two evils. There aren't any boss fights in RE4 where I need her help or she'll stand right next to the deadly instant kill attack. She's not even with Leon for most of the game, and the player controls whether she stands still or follows behind him. Its your own fault if you allow her to be killed or captured, wheres its not unlike Sheva to rush ahead on her own and get hurt like a complete dumbass. Plus, Ashley actually has a personality, the scared little girl who wants to get the hell of this place. She can be a bit of pain, but it works as a good challenge and never hinders the gameplay. Sheva, on the other hand, needs to go die in a fire as soon as possible.
4. RE4 HAS ACTUAL TENSION AND HORROR!
Some RE fans have claimed that RE4 has turned their beloved series into an action game, forgetting the roots of the series to try and appeal to the mainstream. On the contrary, RE4 takes the best of both survival horror and action games and fuses them for remarkable results. From the beginning scene of the Village to scrambling around from the final boss, the player is constantly on edge, knowing that he has to be aware of everything or be quickly killed. This is aided by a wonderful atmosphere throughout the game. RE4 has a variety of locations, but the lighting, aesthetic details, ambient music, and dark tone always provide the sense of dread that drives the earlier RE games. Not to mention its actually, legitimately scary at times, like the SURPRISE flaming guy who bursts out of the oven, or the creepy as hell Regenerators stumbling and crawling their way towards Leon to kill him. Best of all, the game is challenging. Its not unlikely to be run low on ammo and health pick-ups, and have to rethink your strategy and scurry around for herbs. Its a new kind of "survival horror", one that ups the ante in terms of action and weaponry, but doesn't lose the feeling of "Holy shit I just beat that thing with two shotgun shells left and my health in the red aw yeah!".
RE5, on the other hand, goes completely overboard into action movie territory. Bright, sunny locales, constant explosions, and craploads of ammo seriously undermine the "survival horror" Resident Evil was suppose to stand for. I seriously used these two machine guns the ENTIRE GAME, with the occasional shotgun for boss fights and tougher opponents. I was never really in much danger, especially with my partner who could magically heal you when you're near death(which doesn't happen very often). Chris is a hulking, steroid machine who guzzles four dozen eggs and punches boulders for breakfast, he's never in any danger or barely gets by adversaries by the skin of his teeth like Leon. RE5 is the game that RE4 complainers should be bitching about disregarding the series' genre and origins.
3. RE4 HAS BETTER LEVEL DESIGN!
RE4 has a variety of great set pieces throughout its gametime. The village, the house defense with Luis, the minecart racing, the truck defense, the jetski escape, the first encounter with Iron Maidens, Regenerators, kicking giant bugs in the face, finding your way through the garden maze, "Hey its that dog!", doing the Matrix on some lasers, having a helicopter provide back-up on your assault on the enemy base(the pilot has more character than pretty much everybody in RE5, in about 15 minutes of screen time), avoiding giant dragon fire, there's even an Ashley level! Like Half-Life 2 before it, RE4 is a game that spent many years in the making, filled with incredible imagination and crazy ideas, throwing one cool set piece after another at the player for the entirety of the almost 20 hour game length.
RE5 isn't even HALF the length of RE4, and doesn't have nearly as many great memorable scenes. Most of the game revolves around getting this item for that door, shooting people in the face, and moving forward to the next area. For "variety", RE5 is contend with settling on the occasional "hold this lantern while I shoot" scene(which SUCKS with computer AI/stupid partners), or dull on-rails shooter sections. The one chapter where RE5 tries to match up with RE4 is in Chapter 4. This "Temple of Doom" style area has a variety of things that take the core gameplay and put interesting twists on them. Deadly lasers from the sun, guiding light around the room, pulling switches around giant ruins, avoiding giant balls of fire, and running from falling statues. However, at its best, they're only up to par with some of RE4's "B-tier" of set pieces, like the giant Salazar statue scene or guiding the light to get through the first big door on the Island. Doesn't help that right after this chapter, its back to the whiz-bang-bore of the majority of RE5.
2. RE4 HAS BETTER BOSS FIGHTS!
RE4 has an incredible group of boss encounters; I'm talking Treasure game quality here. Dozens of tough, creative encounters that test the player's survival skills. Who could forget the first time fighting Del Lago pictured above? Its a gimmicky boss, but its a great one, where you need to steer out of the way of debris and Lago himself, or you'll have to frantically swim your way to safety. The first encounter with El Gigante is intimidating, but hopefully "that dog!" you saved from earlier in the game will be there to help you out! U-3(the boss pictured on number 4) requires a variety of backflipping QTE skills, quick thinking, and utilizing the environment to help with the battle. Two Gigantes is unfair, so you can zipline down to a switch and throw one of them into a giant pit of lava. From beginning to end, RE4's boss fights provide entertaining gameplay sections that challenge the gamer in variety of ways. And, when theres a rare boss fight that ISN'T that great(I'm looking at you, tedious boss fight with Salazar), you can just buy a rocket launcher for 30,000 gold and blow them away! I think every game should have a costly but effective "skip crappy fight" weapon ^_^
Of course if you did that in RE5, you'd be skipping pretty much every single one. Every boss fight in RE5 relies on some sort of gimmick, whether it be getting this ugly unimaginative monster trapped in the room of fire, or using a flamethrower to kill the same bigger ugly unimaginative monster, or slowly waiting for the laser to load so you can kill the even bigger ugly unimaginative monster. They're not interesting, they certainly aren't scary, and just aren't any fun. There's one guy who stops the game from being completely mediocre, but even he doesn't have shit on the number one reason.
1. RE4 HAS JACK MOTHAFUCKIN' KRAUSER!
Jack Krauser is the fucking MAN. He's the guy Rambo wishes he could be. He's a complete commando badass with a huge freakin' mutant arm that you do NOT want to mess with. As mentioned above, he's probably the best Mercenary character; an absolute beast who can destroy anything and everything. However, its in the main story where he really shines. Krauser is seen in cutscenes with Saddler and Ada, but not much is said about him, 'cept that he's appearently working for Wesker and he's pretty badass. He really comes into his own in his incredible two-part boss fight late in the game. The first half is the incredible knife fight he has with Leon. Instead of just being some cool scene, the game requires the player to press the right buttons half a dozen times through the fight. It keeps you on edge throughout the scene, making you watch Krauser closely so he doesn't slit your neck or catch you by surprise(there's also a "checkpoint" halfway through the scene, so if you screw up near the end you don't have to start all over again). When Krauser is about to kill Leon, the "bitch in the red dress" Ada shows up to bail him out. Krauser does this awesome fucking backflip like 20 feet in the air and leaves Leon with a message: "You may be able to prolong your life, but its not like you can escape your inevitable death, is it?"
A bit later, Leon meets a now shirtless, more manly Krauser in a huge area. Leon has to grab three insignias to open the next gate, with Krauser having the last one. As the player runs around trying to get these, Krauser is doing everything he can to prevent Leon from succeeding. He ambushes him from behind, licking his knife and requiring a QTE to avoid your neck being sliced. He gets up in your face, requiring you to dodge and counter his knife slashes. He "can see your every move", mocking you with machine gun fire from afar. There's even one part where he's perched on a roof as you move behind pillars to avoid his exploding arrows(eat your heart out, Rambo). Sometimes, when you're battling his little robots he spreads around the area or dodging his attacks, he'll jump up to a perch and ask you a question, which you can actually respond to. Its a fight littered with lots of cool moments, requiring the player to use a quick wit and a crapload of shotgun shells to fend Krauser off. After getting two insignias, Krauser sets the area to self-denote in 3 minutes, and you have to finish him and his now monstrous mutant arm off and escape in time. Luckily for us, Krauser is hilariously weak to knifes, so you can stand right next to him and slice him up.
But besides that embarrassingly easy finale, Krauser is completely amazing in every aspect, and beats the shit out of anything RE5 has to offer.
And just because he's so good, he deserves his own reason!
0. RE4 HAS LEON S. MOTHA FUCKIN' KENNEDY!
Leon has got to be one of the most likable characters in video game history. He has a great design, being a cross between DMC's Dante, Leonardo DiCaprio, and James Bond. He has a rather good voice actor in Paul Mercier, who delivers every line with skill, no matter how crazy it sounds. One of his best aspects is all his great, corny lines that somehow become good just because Leon said them.
Its some kinda of strange, Star Fox 64 effect, where lines that sound stupid have just the right kind of voice acting so they come out awesome and memorable. Leon has tapped into that intangible power source and uses it the whole way through. "Where's everyone going? Bingo?" "You're right hand comes off?" "Can't remember the name? A senior moment perhaps...". I mean when a regular person's comeback is "You're smalltime!" it sounds stupid. When Leon does it though,
But best of it, Leon just fucking kicks ass. His Chuck Norris roundhouse smashes people's heads, his suplexs are brain-shattering, his costumes(pictured above) are oh so stylish, he is able to quickly react and defeat hundreds of crazy ass monsters all by himself, and oh course THIS scene:
So Leon, now we're done here you wanna go play some RE5 with me?
THAT said, there is that one person that keeps RE5 decent, who saves the game from being complete garbage.
His name is Albert Wesker.
For one, he looks and talks exactly like David Bowie, so he's already amazing. He has the only memorable lines in the game, including the now infamous "COMPLETE GLOBAL SATURATION". He has the one almost-decent boss fight in the game when you first meet him("Seven minutes. Seven minutes is all I can spare to play with you"). He's incredibly awesome in Mercnaries, with his powerful Hydra shotgun, badass melees, and that great running dash-to-Tiger Knee move. Wesker takes RE5 and carries it on his back. Quite frankly, he deserved a better game.
Was it unrealistic to think RE5 could be as good as the complete masterpiece of RE4? Perhaps, but even RE5 fans will admit there's a large gulf in quality here, and all leads back to the reason they were developed. Resident Evil 4 was a game born out of a desire for innovation, re-invention, and pure imagination. Resident Evil 5 was a game born out of a desire to cash in on RE4's success, trying to make it "bigger and louder" but ended up being empty and dull. Its much shorter, much safer, much easier(and then harder for all the wrong reasons, thanks Sheva), much dumber, less scarier and fun that its predecessor. I hope that Capcom tries to do something really new with RE6, because it appears as if the series has run right back into the pit of tired gameplay mechanics that plagued the series pre-RE4.
Thank you for reading, and come back next week for the "Top ten reasons why DMC3 is SO much better than DMC4".
So, you've all seen the trailer and read the title; Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 is coming out this summer for XBLA, PSN, Wiiware, and even the iPhone! Some people are happy, others enraged. Some see this as a return to form for the series, why others think this gonna be just another nail in the coffin that is the Sonic franchise. You're probably wondering what I think, since you've gone to the trouble of reading my little blog. Well to get into that, first we need a little history lesson.
The original Sonic 1 was the first video game I ever played. As a kid, I fell in love with the character, his need for speed, and his quest to defeat Dr. Robotnik and save the world. I played the game so much, I knew the level layouts more than the insides of my own house. The music was forever burned into my head, and it wasn't unusual for me to hum the beat to Green Hill Zone during the various hours of kindergarten. I had other Genesis games, sure(don't ask me why I had Hard Drivin', its terrible), but Sonic 1 was the one I came back to the most.
Ya know, until Sonic 2 that is. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 took the original Sonic formula and polished it to a shine. More levels, more secrets, more pathways, heck, more playable characters! Yes, Sonic's first playable friend Tails is introduced in this entry of the series. I remember many times my little brother would grab the second controller to play as Sonic's furry fox friend, trying to keep up with me, dying in some crazy way, and then flying down to join me again. I remember the first time I beat the three act monstrosity that was Metropolis zone(no thanks to those freaking annoying grasshoppers), and was taken to Sky Chase zone. Then, I lost a dozen lives trying to make it through the perilous Wing Fortress zone, jumping on airplane flaps and utilizing giant fans. But the biggest, craziest memory of all was that Death Egg zone, a giant rip-off of the Death Star, battling Silver Sonic, chasing after Robotnik(seriously, how is he faster than Sonic!?), defeating his giant mech, and watching that lovely ending. It was at that point that I realized Sonic 2 was my favorite game EVER.
Until, of course, the next game came out(you seeing a pattern here?). On my birthday(I can't quite remember which one), I remember getting both Sonic 3 AND Sonic and Knuckles for presents(best B-Day ever!). Before I even put the game in, it blew my mind that you can stack the games on top of each other(OMG WHAT THE HECK AWESOME). From the beginning, everything about it seemed like a steroid version of Sonic 2. There were a bunch of saves, which is good because theres over a dozen levels with both games, and the levels are HUGE. Giant, beautiful stages with multiple paths and fantastic music. The bonus stages were actually fun(sorry Sonic 2 turbo tunnel :/), there was multiple shield types, minibosses in every level, and actual story with this Knuckles the Echidna guy(who was a complete dick, but was totally awesome and cooler than Sonic at the time, IMO). I have so many great memories of this game(and a few not so great; I'm looking at you CARNIVAL NIGHT BARREL THAT TOOK ME AND MY BROTHER 30 MINUTES TO FIGURE OUT), and it has a permanent spot in my top ten favorite games of all time.
Then a long time passed without any real Sonic games. I was ok with that, I still had that great SatAM cartoon, I had still had that little anime OVA that did, my various Sonic figures to make up my own stories, and the old classic trilogy on my Genesis; I can wait a few years for another great Sonic game!
Pay no attention to the whale no-clipping that rock!
I remember first playing Sonic Adventure 1 on a Dreamcast kiosk at EBGames or Electronic Boutique as it were back then. I remember yelling at the top of my little 10 year lungs could do. Holy shit, Sonic was in 3d! And he was super fast! And holy crap I'm running on the side of a wall and blowing away everything haha this is super fun awesome! When I actually got the game, however, it was troubling how small these fun sections were. To get to them you had to run around this bare bones free-roaming area, and there was this non-nonsensical story about the Chao, and Chaos, and Knuckles turning into a dumbass suddenly. And then, if you want to get the actual ending, you gotta go through the game with all the characters. That means running around haphazardly looking for emerald shards, retreading the same damn stages with Tails and Gamma, playing through the poorly executed Amy levels, and FISHING.
Sonic Adventure 2 wasn't much better in this respect either, as the fun, fast-paced Sonic levels were constantly interrupted by the world's most boring, tedious mech levels and once again haphazardly running around looking for emerald shards(now with God awful rap music looping every 30 seconds!). This is all the game that introduced Shadow to the world, an unspeakable evil that to this day it amazes me Sega hasn't been brought up on charges for war crimes against humanity.
As the series moved on, I felt more and more turned off from it. Sure, I played Sonic Heroes and Sonic Advance series, but it felt like such a huge drop in quality from the Genesis originals. Even the 2d games like the Advance and Rush series, they were suddenly all about SPEEDSPEEDSPEED and beating the level in two minutes. Sure, the original Sonic games had speed too, but it was earned through momentum, and there was just as much platforming/light puzzle solving in there as well(something the recent games have no idea how to do). Hell, the only challenge they have is putting random pit falls in your path, artificially increasing the difficulty. I was so turned off the by the series that I didn't even play Sonic '06 and Shadow the Hedgehog(appearently, I'm not missing much).
Then all this news about Project Needlemouse came out. Well, perhaps that an overstatement, since there wasn't a whole lot of info, but I liked what I heard. Little be little, news came out about it. Its a 2d HD all new adventure. It focused on Sonic. It had Badniks again(yes, even those freaking annoying grasshoppers). The gameplay was momentum based again. Power-ups/Shields were returning. And today, we finally got a trailer and a name, something we all hoped it was called but didn't say it out loud: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is real, and its coming this summer. And, from what I can tell, it could be really good! It looks gorgeous in motion(has a NSMBW vibe to it), although that running animation is a bit odd. It has all those returned elements, and theres promise of more to come.
A friend of mine asked me why I still like Sonic. Theres plenty of reasons not to; he hasn't had a great game in over 15 years, the large cast of irritating friends, the worst fanbase in gaming, convoluted storytelling, annoying voice acting and attitude, etc. But to me, Sonic IS gaming. He was there at the beginning, and now, almost 20 years later, he's still here, racing around the world and trying to stop Robotnik/Eggman. Even though I haven't loved one of his games in a really long time, I will always love the character. Turning my back on Sonic would be like going against my childhood.
When I see the video and info above, the long-awaited Sonic 4 I've always wanted, the cynical, older gamer in me scoffs at the idea and goes back to Mass Effect 2. And yet, the inner kid in me is uncontrollable in his excitement. I always tell myself not to get hyped, look at the Sonic Cycle, this isn't gonna live up to your expectations, but some things defy logic and reason. My undying love for the character of Sonic the Hedgehog refuses to ever fully give up on him getting a great game again, something that can be one of the best titles of the year. Something I can point out to my friend and say, "This is why I still like Sonic".
They are arguably the most infamous and evil group in human existence. The kind of guys who steal candy from babies, and then kill the little runt if he's Jewish(yes, even Holocaust jokes aren't off-limits on THIS blog). Because of their much-loathed position in the annals of history, they are easy victims for antagonists. When the Thuggee Indians of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are shown as chilled monkey brain eating cultists, people get offended and write angry letters. When Indy smacks around Nazis and plays them for fools, its a get out of jail-free card.
This film portrays us in a negative light! You'll hear from our lawyers! - Nazi Party Inc.
Naturally, this translates to video games very well. Ever since Wolfenstien has us blasting Socialists and fighting Robo-Hitler, they've been cannon fodder for many years. This post will focus on a few of the more memorable encounters with those damn dirty Nazis.
Now of some of you may know the history behind this little entry, but I'll give you the details anyway. Bionic Commando is a Capcom NES title. Super Joe apparently wasn't that Super, because he gets kidnapped, and now Radd Spencer(thats you) has to go behind enemy lines, exploring(read: stealing from) neutral zones, and try to go as fast as you can through the occasional tedious overhead minigame. The thing is, you can't jump. "What good is a platformer if you can't jump?" Never fear, Capcom has installed a brilliantly inventive mechanic that gives meaning to the title of the game: your Bionic Arm. With it, you can climb and swing your way through the game's various and difficult levels. Its all pretty genius(and actually somewhat improved in several spots in the remake, Bionic Commando Rearmed), and I highly recommend you leave this blog now if you haven't played(1. because its "AMAZING" as a fellow retro game-loving/Indiana Jones fan would say, and 2. SPOILERS!).
Now, in the Japanese version of the game, the enemies are all Nazis and the final boss is Hitler. Capcom USA thought "Whoa, Nazis might offend somebody, so instead of having people shoot them, we're going to change them all to generic goons!". Which is what they did, and Hitler became "Master D". Yeah, good job localization team. Luckily, the actual final boss of Hitler stayed intact at the end of the game, where you have to fire a rocket at the cockpit of the ship he's in, causing HIS HEAD TO EXPLODE IN M-RATED VIOLENCE!
This is somewhat improved in the remake, where it explodes in 3d!
Props to the remake guys for keeping this classic scene in(its the only reason the game got a M-rating too), because any game that gives you the ability to blow up Hitler's head is awesome in my book.
Actually I can put about just every World War Two shooter here, and maybe Wolfenstein might have been more appropriated as the originator, but this one is the most recent. In the campaign mode for Call of Duty: World at War, you take on the role as various soldiers in the last stages of WWII, specifically the Pacific Island battles between USA and Japan. When you're not dodging Banzai attacks from those wacky Japs, you over in Soviet Russia, taking back the Motherland with fellow comrade-in-arms and all-around badass Reznov. The fights are intense, the action is constant, and Reznov's affection for your character is just a tad bit disturbing, but the final stage delivers.
You, Rez, and the Russian army rush the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany. The battle is bloody and vicious, but by the end you and your boys still stand on the roof of the building. You grab the Russian flag, and make your way to the front to plant it, when a stray Nazi shoots you! You fall to the ground, but Reznov jumps in with a HUGE machete he must have borrowed from Jason Vorhees. He then proceeds to RAPE that damn Nazi in 300-style comic booky gore! He then helps you up as you plan the flag, as he shouts to sky that the heart of the army can never be broken, and they we will return to Russia as heroes. Its Super Epic.
In 1996, SNK decided to make the most awesome series of 2d run'n'gun shooters ever(sorry Contra/Gunstar Heroes). The games are like everything awesome about 2d action games: GORGEOUS graphics(some of the greatest spritework ever still, to this day, even a single explosion has several detailed frames of animation), lots of weapons of mass destruction, memorable songs that drive you into battle, easy to play controls, addictive high scoring challenging gameplay, and a big dose of cartoony comedy.
The enemies of the series range from giant enemy crabs to vomit-spewing zombies, but the original game is all about Nazis. Well to be fair, they're called "Rebels", but thats some Bionic Commando-style localization; its pretty clear by the flag insignias and their general attire of the enemies' outfits who they are. The thing about Metal Slug, is that all the above I mentioned comes together in a beautiful, funny package of destruction for the cannon fodder you'll be facing. For about every single way you can kill, SNK seems to have put an animation in. Rockets cause the enemies to fly through the air, screaming like a little girl. Shotguns literally evaporate them, and lasers cut them in half. The best is when your commando grabs a Flame Shot, hits a Nazi with a ball of fire, and he proceeds to burst aflame waving his arms in the air as he crumbles to the ground. And its funny!
In conclusion, Nazis will always be the best enemies. They have funny accents and cool outfits. Whether they are part robot, part zombie, or just really stupid, defeating them will never go out of style.
^This is a post detailing the games that will be played at the EVO tournament this year. Scroll down in the topic a little bit and you have Mr.Wizard on post #16(the owner of the website and one of the main people in charge of the tournament), saying "Well we cant come right out and say it, or we will get in trouble, so we just cover our basis by saying its on the ESRB site. "
EVO is in June, so MvC2 might come out sooner than we think. Hopefully it comes out on the 360 as well.