For those of you who didn't register with the thatgamecalledrez.com during the "Free game giveaway" back when the site went live, here's some excerpts from the mailer recently sent out to Rez fans.
Hello from Tokyo!
First, I'd like thank you for taking the time to sign up at the Rez HD website, which we launched back in January. It took us a little while, but we are excited to bring you our first ever newsletter and hope that you will enjoy your time with us.
As many of you know, Rez holds an extra special meaning for me...so special that I knew I would go back to work on the "complete Rez" at some point in the future. It was a thought that never left my mind. Well, on January 30, that became a reality when Rez HD was released for the Xbox LIVE Arcade...have you already had a chance to play what I consider the "complete Rez"? (I hope so!)
Back in 2001, when working on the original Rez, I was confident but yet worried. "Why?" you may ask...the truth is that since both games and music have no borderlines, by combining those two into an interactive form, I had a certain level of expectation from gamers around the world. But at the same time, I feared that this concept may not be fully understood by both gamers and music lovers. The one thing I did know though was that games were ever-changing and I was determined to create a game that was an indication of a future game. I wanted to make a game that was unheard of - something completely different. The result was Rez, a project that was made like a road film through traveling around the world and meeting people along the way.
Fast forward 7 years and a new Rez is born! Now in hi-def, wide-screen format, you will see no jaggies and I guarantee you will get sucked right into the game. I'm just amazed and impressed at how much of a difference the resolution makes; it makes it that much more exciting to play! Plus, by digitally distributing this game (= being environmentally friendly), I feel as if we are in some ways conforming to its theme of "restoring the beauty of the world..."
In addition to the visuals, the sound component - what I consider the root of this game - has been enhanced significantly thanks to the surround sound technology. You should be able to feel, not just hear, the sounds as they are made...the role that it plays in this game is extremely important. For those of you who are set up with 5.1 surround, I hope you were able to feel the sounds, in detail, approaching in three-dimension - you should also be able to get the same experience through 5.1 surround headphones.
I've seen some people post their Rez HD impressions on the forums, but I look forward to hearing more about your own experience. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your experience with other Rez fans!
With Rez HD, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I am also very fortunate to have been able to recreate something that takes us beyond the experience of the original Rez and present Rez in the quality and form that is very close to what I had envisioned back then. I will take what I have learned from this experience and apply whatever I can to my other projects...in fact, I'm SO ready to move onto my next project! What am I waiting for!?
I look forward to the day when I can share that new experience with all of you...!
Until next time,
There was a lot more to the newsletter, but in order to keep up with DMCA policy and such, I will only quote that. I'm lead to believe if you follow this link you may be able to read the rest of the newsletter.
There was also mention of "Quiz the Miz", where you can post questions to the man himself on the official forums and he may answer them in the next news letter! Sign up at http://thatgamecalledrez.com/ today to receive further newsletters and also check out the official forums and post your questions to the genius behind the multimedia experience Rez!
Remember, Ikaruga is pronounced "Rape". Don't make the same mistake I did.
EDIT: Transcript for the youtube impaired.
There are games, there are gods, and then there are games that gods are made from. Treasure's Ikaruga just happens to fall into that third catagory.
Originally on the Arcade and Dreamcast back in 2001, Ikaruga has caused many gamers a great deal of frustration, while others study the game carefully, learning the complex patterns of the waves of enemies and frightening amount of bullets. You play as the ship "Ikaruga", and your goal is to stay alive, take out the bad guys, and rack up your score by linking combos. Sounds simple enough, right?
What makes Ikaruga stand apart from other shooting games of its kind, is the "Polarity" system. Some enemies are colored black/red, others are white/blue. Your ship has the ability to switch between both black and white, and you can absorb bullets of the same color as your ship. These bullets are then converted into a large enemy seeking bullets. The more you absorb, the more you can fire (though there is a limit). Just don't let an enemy bullet hit you that is not the same color as your ship, or you will die. And lives are a precious resource. However, if you shoot an enemy with an opposite color bullet than they are, they will die faster. There are 5 stages in all, which may not seem like much but they will keep you occupied. This game is still as hard as ever, and may leave some of you in tears as the game makes you its bitch. You will definitely be seeing a lot of deaths.
For those of you who owned the Dreamcast or Gamecube release will notice that this game is practically the same. Gameplay is the same, graphics are for the most part the same, though now in HD resolutions, sound is the same, etc. The only major difference is your menu options. Conquest mode and Practice mode from the gamecube game are gone, though the "Prototype" game mode can be unlocked. The game will let you choose any level you've been to previously even if you didn't beat it, so you can still practice that level you can't get past. The mode select screen from the gamecube version is gone, instead replaced with a simple menu that lets you get straight to the action. You can also change your screen settings, allowing you to set your zoom level, screen orientation, and your HUD position.
New to the Xbox 360 version is Online Co-Op, which is relatively lag free, Achievements, Replays, and leaderboards. Also, unlike the gamecube version which had text untranslated and removed from some parts, this game has all text intact, in all of its engrish glory.
For 800 MS Points ($10) you are getting the same game you've been playing which may turn off some players but there is no doubt this kind of release will bring the game to a slew of new players who were unable to find or afford a dreamcast or gamecube copy. Ikaruga is as great a game as ever, and feels right at home on the Xbox Live Arcade roster and is no doubt worth your money. Just remember, don't let the game get to you too much.
New batch of screens/videos and hands on preview within. Some excerpts:
Speaking of guns, Metal Gear Solid 4's arsenal options are already setting new standards. The game includes over 70 unique firearms, with an array of pistols, sub-machineguns, rifles, shotguns, and far, far more. Gun modifications are another bright spot in MGS4. Through a sleek 3D interface, we outfitted a basic M4 assault rifle with a laser sight, red-dot scope, flashlight, under-barrel grenade launcher (shotgun also available), plus a silencer. That's five upgrades attached to one gun -- astonishing! It's a minor miracle that the aging Snake is able to even heft that bulky, do-it-all firearm, let alone shoulder and fire it. In another realistic touch, you can set automatic weapons to single-shot, triple burst, and full-auto modes. Naturally, Snake's still got a full repertoire of close-quarters maneuvers, from basic hand-to-hand combos to silent strangleholds a la MGS3. The end result is an extremely versatile combat system that's loaded with replay value.
Playing a nearly complete build of Metal Gear Solid 4 running on the PlayStation 3 was a revelatory experience. The graphics looked sensational, the sound effects and music sounded magnificently epic, and the interface felt sleek and simple. In short, it's becoming increasingly clear that Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the rare game to live up to its own massive hype. We feel confident that MGS4 is the game PlayStation 3 owners (and Metal Gear fans) have been waiting years to play.
*inserts comment about 360 version here*
EDIT: To hell with it, here's 1up's hands on as well.
Pentium 4 @ 2.4 ghz
GeForce FX5200 256MB
2 gigs of some random Korean brand RAM
Built in sound card
CD Drive (separate)
40 GB main HDD
80 GB 2nd HDD
The whole side panel has to be removed for proper ventilation, the floppy drive was also removed to allow for further ventilation from the front. Not pictured is the 1024x768 monitor with faded colors from being used for almost 6 years. She ain't purdy, but at least she turns on. I think.