Today's Goodwill Hunting involves a 64-bit system, a photography simulator, and a couple Rare games that aren't too hard to find.
A Nintendo 64 system, Pokemon Snap, Goldeneye, and Perfect Dark have all been spotted and purchased by myself at a local Goodwill. A nice catch, I say. A nice catch indeed.
System: Nintendo 64
Developer: HAL Laboratory, Inc
Release Date: 1999
Going Amazon Price w/ Shipping: $8.00
Pokemon Snap is a photography game that's played kind of similar to an on-rails light gun game. You ride around in a cart whiling aiming your camera around trying to take the best pictures of the various pokemon in the level. It was developed by HAL Laboratory, Inc, who have made a ton of games, but you may now them for the Mother and Earthbound series.
Game play in Pokemon Snap mainly consists of you taking photos and using a selection of three items to interact with the pokemon. By holding down the Z button you aim your camera and then press A to take a photo. When not holding Z the A button throws an apple, the B button throws a Pester Ball, and the C Down button plays a flute. All of these items have to be unlocked and do various things to catch the Pokemons' attention or make them act differently. You are scored based on the size of the Pokemon in the photo, if the Pokemon is centered, the pose of the Pokemon, and how many of that Pokemon that are in the frame.
I went into Pokemon Snap not expecting much. I knew a little about it and I've never been impressed with any console Pokemon games. I was wrong. This game is really fun. The feeling of seeing a Pokemon quickly peek out from behind a bush and quickly snapping a perfect photo is rewarding. Also, the interactions with the Pokemon and environments using the various items makes for some fun "I wonder what this will do" moments. Throwing an apple at Charmander causing him to fall in a lava pit and burst out as Charizard is one of many examples.
There are a couple downsides to the game. For one it only features 63 of the original 151 Pokemon. It's kind of disappointing that many people will missing out on seeing some of their favorite Pokemon. The game is also very short and can be beat in a couple hour sitting. There are seven levels and they only last a few minutes each. Factor in the amount of Pokemon and you'll probably be done with the game after replaying each level a few times.
Overall, Pokemon Snap is a fun and unique game. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Pokemon or just a unique take on a on-rails "shooter". I haven't played a Pokemon game since the original game boy and I still had fun so being a diehard Pokemon fan is not a requirement. You can also purchase the game on Virtual Console for $10 if you don't own a Nintendo 64.
System: Nintendo 64
Release Date: 1997
Going Amazon Price w/ Shipping: $13.00
Oh, GoldenEye, do I even need to explain you? An extremely popular FPS for the Nintendo 64 developed by Rare. It's also based on a Bond move, or so I've heard.
By now, most people have played this game or know what it is. I've never owned a Nintendo 64 so my experience with the game is limited to playing multiplayer with friends a couple time. I've never played the single player so this is my first experience with that.
The game is still fun today, although, being used to high-res graphics and dual sticks does make it a little harder to enjoy. I do believe Rare did the best anyone could possible do with FPS controls on the Nintendo 64. They kept the controls fairly simple and I started to move around fairly naturally after getting used to the strafing and movement control layout. The best thing about GoldenEye has to be it's level design and objectives. The majority of first-person shooters at this point were shoot everything, get keycards, and get to the exit door. GoldenEye gives you several goals per level and lets you accomplish them how you want. The levels themselves are all unique and interesting and it's fun finding your way around while silently picking off the enemies one by one.
The only negatives to the game are the primitive controls and graphics. When turning corners or aiming up or down a staircase I would often become disoriented for a few seconds. Many textures are so muddy that it can be hard to tell what you're looking at up close and the controls certainly don't help the situation. The game does seem to understand that it can be hard to aim, which, is why there is the auto-aim option making the game a little less frustrating for those who have trouble. Also, the mission goals are sometimes a little vague and I failed quite a few times because I got to the end of a mission but missed talking to one person or doing one little objective.
Overall, GoldenEye stands the test of time. If you don't own it and have a Nintendo 64 I would still recommend it. The single player and multiplayer modes are still fun and enjoyable and it's a great piece of gaming history.
System: Nintendo 64
Publisher: Rare & Nintendo
Release Date: 2000
Going Amazon Price w/ Shipping: $8.00
Perfect Dark is Rare's "spiritual successor" to GoldenEye. Using what made GoldenEye so great and updating it with better graphics and more advanced game play, Rare tried to improve on their original formula. Whether or not their attempt was a success is debatable.
The main difference between GoldenEye and Perfect Dark is the setting and Perfect Dark's stronger focus on stealth and gadgets. Perfect Dark also required the expansion RAM cartridge for the game to be playable. Overall, the two games are very similar with the same control setup and similar single player mission structure and multiplayer.
To me GoldenEye does a better job on the single player but Perfect Dark adds some really inventive and fun multiplayer modes to the mix. Let's talk about the counter-op mode! Why don't more games have this?! What it is is one player plays the main character and plays the single player mission as they normally would alone. The second player controls the enemies in the level. His goal is to stop the first player from completing the mission objectives. It's extremely fun and addicting and I don't know of a single other game with a mode like this. Perfect Dark also adds a co-op mode, which, GoldenEye lacks.
The big downside to Perfect Dark is slowdown. It seems Rare tried to push the Nintendo 64 hardware too hard and even with the expansion RAM there are moments in levels where the frames-per-second get pretty low. This is especially true in multiplayer. It also suffers a little from poor controls and some muddy graphics at times just like it's predecessor.
Overall, I would recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of GoldenEye or wants some interesting multiplayer gaming. It's a little harder to play now because of the slowdown issue, but I was still able to enjoy it. Luckily, an XBLA port is coming next month and I'm going to guess that it won't have the same issues. It might be the first time Perfect Dark will actually be played the way it was meant to be played.
Released last month, Bayonetta, appears to have been a big success for Sega and Platinum Games. This is really good news, especially, for a new IP and it's very likely that a sequel will be developed.
Bayonetta, was an excellent game and easily one of the best action games I've ever played. This does not mean it was a perfect game by any means. In fact, there are quite a few ways I feel Bayonetta could be improved. With the following design changes Sega could make Bayonetta 2 not only the best action game ever made but the best piece of digital entertainment ever conceived!
Just a note there may be mild spoilers in this article. If spoilers scare you in any way and you haven't finished Bayonetta continue with caution.
First off, I'm a firm believer that game developer's should avoid using cutscenes at all costs. If they are used they should be so amazing that it feels like a reward when you get to view one. Most games don't do this. I"m usually impatiently waiting for cutscenes to end to get back to the game play. It's especially jarring in Bayonetta because the game play is so fast paced and frantic that the cutscenes take away all the momentum. I don't mind the occasional choreographed fight scene but hearing generic characters talk about a plot I'm not interested in is not my idea of fun. The strange thing is Bayonetta has some breathtaking interactive moments (like the opening scene) that many developers would have created a cutscene for. Why they decided to put so much effort into all the cutscenes is difficult to comprehend.
The story itself was way too complex and Bayonetta could have benefitted from a more minimalist approach. Look at games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. They aren't filling your head with all these names and plot points and they're story is much more affecting then Bayonetta's. Leave the player to start to question and try and develop what's going on rather than have them get confused and frustrated because they aren't understanding everything that's being told to them. I for one barely understood what was going on. Bayonetta has you killing off all these majestic angelic beasts and it is kind of interesting as to whether you are actually the "good guy" or not. The potential for the player to try and figure out the story is there.
A lot of people complained about the various minigames in Bayonetta. I agree with the complaints but I also loved the random nods to various Sega titles. The motorcycle (Hang-On?) section and the bullet riding (Space Harrier) portions went on way too long but for the first couple minutes I loved them. They felt like a little reward that broke up the gameplay for a little bit until diving back into the intense action. Unfortunately, there were only those two moments, which, actually made them feel kind of out of place with the rest of the game. There's so many interesting things they could do with the idea that I hope to see more if a sequel is developed. A 2D sidescroller like Shinobi? An arcade driving portion like Outrun? Streets of Rage? Virtua Fighter? Sonic?
Get rid of Angel Attack though. That was lame.
The store in Bayonetta felt unnecessary. I never used the weapons I bought as they felt underdeveloped when compared to the default weapons. Usually, I would stock up on the extra life item and some potions and occasionally buy a new move. I bought the same things almost every visit. The thing is all of the items and techniques the store offers could be integrated into the gameplay.
Collecting halos would be entirely for unlocking new techniques. Similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum when you obtained enough halos you'd be able to go into the upgrade menu and select what new move you'd want to learn.
The potions and extra lives could all be found in the environment, rewarding exploration. I liked the herb mixing element of Bayonetta and if all items could be obtained by different combinations of herbs it would give the player the choice of what item they wanted. No more going to the store and buying one of each before entering the next level.
I would remove the ability to buy and equip new weapons and accessories entirely. This would give the developers the ability to focus all their attention on making the default weaponry as good as they can. Keep Bayonetta's ability to temporarily obtain enemy weapons, though, as they were a little more powerful and added a little strategy when deciding how you used them. Plus, some of them just looked cool.
The torture attacks in Bayonetta are fun to watch the first few times you see them but, when you've seen the same attack over ten times it starts to slow the action down. Part way through the game I started intentionally not doing the torture attacks sometimes because I didn't feel like watching the same animation everytime and repeatedly pressing a button.
A better solution would be to give the player some choice in the torture attack that gets performed. When the player hits the buttons required to start a torture attack give the player a limited amount of time to enter a sequence of buttons. Depending on the complexity of buttons and what moves the player had unlocked a quick torture attack would be performed. The more complex the attack the more halos the player gets out of it. Remove the mindless tapping of a single button completely.
The final hair attacks during boss fights could also be improved. They all look amazing but the fact that your interaction with them is hitting Y as fast as you can seems to ruin the potential. Even something as simple as guiding their mouth, talon, fist, etc., similar to guiding the bullet at the end of the game would make the player feel like they were actually doing something. The reward of defeating a boss as Bayonetta and then temporarily gaining control of this giant hair beast would give the player a much bigger sense of accomplishment. The game would acknowledge the fact that you've mastered the techniques needed to defeat the boss, and in return give you control over a creature who's only purpose is to destroy the boss in the most satisfying way possible.
Two of my favorite parts of Bayonetta were moments when I didn't even expect to be interactive. Controlling the bullet to finish off the final boss was extremely cool. Then, during the credits little scenes in the background would randomly become playable. I wasn't even holding the controller at first and quickly grabbed the controller after I noticed that Bayonetta was getting the crap beat out of her. If the developers are able to think of more creative moments for interactivity and game play the game will be that much more memorable. Of all the moments in Bayonetta the bullet scene will probably be the one that sticks with me the longest.
So, Destructoid, I need your thoughts and suggestions. A Sega-themed podcast is coming in March and a name is being chosen.
The name being contemplated right now is: SEGAddicts
What do you think of the name? Does it work? You like?
If you don't like or you have some other ideas for names please post them in the comments. If we like it we may choose it and you'll go down in podcast history. Your kids may learn about you in school one day. You want to make them proud, don't you?
Other suggestions are welcome as well. What you'd like to hear about in the podcast: topics, segments, etc.
Also, if you know a lot of Sega things and want to be a member of the cast or a possible guest member someday just mention it in the comments. Right now, I might potentially have a full cast but there may be a time in the future when I need to find a new member.
To end this post I will reveal to you the greatest podcast name ever conceived. It was too good though and be warned it has caused certain people to throw up all over their hands and computer desk without warning.
Sega of America has posted a big Q&A with Rebellion on their blog. All of the questions came from the community and it makes for a good read if you have any interest in the game. I'll paste the text into this blog but if you want to visit the original post go here.
"AlienTechProductions - Will you make more classes or is there just a standard class for each faction?
Tim Jones- We’ve focused on balancing each species/faction so that each one has a fighting chance in a one-on-one grudge match against any other, so we have no immediate plans for more classes.
Filthy Blood Junkie – Does AvP3 use ragdoll physics in multiplayer?
Tim Jones- Yes, ragdoll physics are very much in evidence when you die in multiplayer.
VEF214 – Will marines have access to any kind of “equipment”? (Sentry turrets, barricades)?
Tim Jones- There are a number of sequences in the single player campaigns where Marines will be using Sentry Guns to defend themselves. Some of the other “equipment” the Marines get to use include their torch, flares, hacking tool, Motion Tracker, and of course the Smart Gun which automatically targets enemies and tears them apart with ammunition at the push of a button
Leventa – The whole game just screams AvP, from the font of the letters denoting the various colony blocks, to the sounds of the doors and pulse rifles. Even the elephantine shrieks of wounded aliens. I even noticed the amazing detail paid to the translucent head on the Runner aliens shown in the Survivor mode promotion video, and all the creepy details beneath it when the light hits it just right.
All this in mind, I’d like to ask you this Tim: How much of a labor of love is this game for you and your team?
Tim Jones- Well I think you just answered that question yourself! This game has been an obsessive passion for us and we constantly strive to make it as authentic as it can be. It’s a genuine thrill when fans like yourself pick up on the love we’ve poured into it!
Uyuyuy – will be future missions as DLC ??? Does the game support split screen ?
Tim Jones – AvP does not support split-screen but you can expect further Survivor Mode missions as DLC.
Blooddrunk – Does the Smart-Gun have the same sound like in the movie, because in trailers I saw it sounds completely different?
Tim Jones- Well spotted! We have updated the sound of the Smart Gun, so you are right – it isn’t exactly the same as in the movies. We gave it a heavier sound – a little more like the Mini-gun in Predator.
xXMinionXx – How will the weapons be implemented into the multiplayer in modes like predator hunt or infestation?
Tim Jones- Marines spawn with Pistols and Pulse Rifles in their inventory. Other weapons, they have to find and pick up around the Maps as they play. In Predator Hunt, the Predator player spawns with just Wrist-Blades — they have to seek out the more powerful weapons like the Plasma-Caster or the Smart Disc if they really want to dominate the hunt!
JaHawk – Can you choose the killmove initiated or is it determined by a random generator?
Tim Jones- You have a certain amount of control over how you finish your enemies: if you initiate a finishing move from behind, it will be a stealth kill – i.e. silent and unnoticed by other enemies unless they see it directly. If you initiate a finishing move from the front, while your opponent is stunned it will be… not so stealthy! The exact finishing move animation that you see is randomized. Of course, you always have the option to finish your enemy with standard melee strikes, which is faster and involves less risk to you as a player.
Wraith King – Will you be able to use the Alien Queen in multiplayer?
Tim Jones- No, sorry!
emc – How do TK’s work in MP? Are they easy to pull off? What happens when two people TK at the same time? Is there a mechanic?
Tim Jones- TK’s? Do you mean finishing moves? They are initiated in exactly the same way as in single player: from behind, or from the front if your opponent is stunned or knocked-down. You are vulnerable to attack during a finishing move so you have to pick your moment carefully!
Wicked Sick – Why the decision to remove player controlled facehuggers (aka Lifecycle) and Predaliens from the game? These two classes put the Alien in Alien vs. Predator.
Tim Jones- Creating a compelling experience for each of the three main species (Marine, Predator and Alien) is essentially like making three very different games at the same time. If we were to make the Face Huggers and Predaliens playable with the same attention to detail (that they would deserve), it would be like adding another two game types to what is already an ambitious project!
JAGX – How will Aliens work given that they have only skins and no classes?
Tim Jones- Aliens have the advantage of superior speed, agility and melee strength. Trust me, it’s a new kind of experience but it’ll make sense when you play it!
bent toe – Will there be a lobby where you can set up map rotations, invite friends, talk before the match start, set all options etc… AND, will it be MATCHMAKING or SERVER BROWSER?
Tim Jones- There is a lobby where you can set up the game details and collect your friends before starting the match. We use a combination of matchmaking and server browsers.
Nosugora – The addition of Corporates as a playable faction in Aliens vs. Predator 2 added a whole new aspect to the multiplayer. Corporates vs. Marines servers were quite common. Can we expect any form of Human vs. Human game modes besides standard deathmatch?
Tim Jones- We have no immediate plans for Human vs. Human game modes.
Che_Guevara – What prompted you to decide to downgrade the movement speed of the Xenomorphs as seen in AVP 1999?
Tim Jones- We have upgraded the abilities of the Xenomorph to include a higher level of fluid, graceful agility and variation in realistic movement speed consistent with what is seen in the movies. The Xenomorphs in AvP use a combination of movement speeds – from slow, sneaky prowling to rapid sprinting to lightning fast pounces. This is true for both the computer controlled AI and for the player Aliens.
dchalfont – My question: Why were bots not included, and will we ever see them in AVP. For people with slow internet, or who do not like to play online they would have added significant replay value.
Tim Jones- The Aliens in online Survivor Mode are essentially “bots” and those without an internet connection are able to play this mode in Single Player too.
ORCA_DA_BOMA – one of the things that some of our members were wondering about is how you balanced the stealth kill system?
Tim Jones- Every species has the ability to spot the other species if they keep their wits about them — the Marine has the Motion Tracker, the Predator has his Vision Modes, the Alien can sense pheromones — if someone manages to exectute a stealth kill on you, it is because you weren’t paying attention!
predpwnage - how many species will there be during deathmatch team deathmath etc….?
Tim Jones- All three species will be able to play in Deathmatch and Species Team Deathmatch modes.
lessthankiwi - Will trophy kills be blockable in multiplayer, like they are in singleplayer?
Tim Jones- Every species is able to block or counter melee combat moves in multiplayer if they react fast enough…
no1phil - How many players will each game support and what modes will be included in multiplayer?
Tim Jones- Multiplayer supports up to 18 players in a game at one time. The exception to this is Survivor mode which supports up to 4 Marine players. The multiplayer modes include are: Survivor, Infestation, Predator Hunt, Domination, Deathmatch, Species Team Deathmatch, and Mixed Species Team Deathmatch.
AdamXENO - I would like to ask if the Survivor Edition/Hunter Edition multiplayer maps will be available later in the future to those who buy the Standard version?
Tim Jones- Yes they will, as Downloadable Content.
Theo - Do you intend to include more skins for multiplayer use?
Tim Jones- No current plans for further multiplayer skins, but you can unlock quite a variety by playing Ranked Matches and working up your XP.
Nathan J – Will there be Play Against A Developer Day?
Tim Jones- Maybe… we’ll look into it.
Maxwell - What skins will we see in multiplayer?
Tim Jones- There are a variety for each species, and one or two surprises for fans of the AvP movies!
PredatorWorld - Will Rebellion create Female Predator skins for multiplayer in the future?
Tim Jones- Never say never…
Jonas – Just wondering if it will be possible to enter vents as the alien without having to press a button to do so? Like you can run into the vent like it was an open door (how I personally think it should be). And can you enter vents as a marine?
Tim Jones- You have to actively choose to enter vents as an Alien – we did this to make it easier for the player to navigate the environment smoothly, so they can run straight over a vent without entering it if they want to, and also we can ensure they are facing in the right direction when they actually do deliberately enter a vent. The Marine will find themselves in all sorts of unpleasant places in the single player campaign…
Doc Mesa – How exactly will the ìInfectionî game mode work? I understand that it begins with one Alien vs. 20ish Marines but what stops those Marines from bunching together and creating an impenetrable wall of lead for the Alien?
Tim Jones- Infestation Mode starts with everyone as Marines. One player is picked at random to be an Alien. When a Marine is killed, they come back as an Alien. As a Marine, if you find yourself as the last man standing, you may be lucky enough to find a Smart Gun and take down a bunch of the Aliens before you finally buy the farm… A well-organized team of Marines may be able to defend themselves for a while against the first Alien, but sooner or later, someone always makes a mistake and gets picked off…
Tony – will the PC version be any different in terms of Alien control? IE, will free crawling be possible, or will we have to use the transition button every time?
Tim Jones- There is an option in the controls menus on both console and PC to “free crawl” and remove the need to use the Transition Button.
DJ Fob Fresh – How are the three species balanced for multi-player play in the various game modes?
Tim Jones- Each species has their own advantages and disadvantages which all help balance the experience: The Alien lacks ranged weapons but has speed, agility, melee strength and powerful senses; the Predator has lots of gadgets, jumping ability and melee strength but lacks rapid-fire ranged weaponry; the Marine is least agile and lacks melee strength, but has the Motion Tracker and powerful rapid fire ranged weaponry.
Bob – Is AVP focus more on the console pr pc version??? And which version is better
Tim Jones- Every format of AvP has equal care and attention given to it to make sure it is everything it can be. It’s up to you to pick the version which suits your set-up… you won’t be disappointed!
Jay223 – About having Hicks and Hudson in multiplayer ñ will there be taunts? I would love to run around as Hudson saying game over, Man
Tim Jones- You are free to taunt however you choose over voice-coms!
Franco Roman – And are there going to be any new things you can do in AvP 3 that you couldn’t do in AvP 2.
Tim Jones- There are, of course, countless improvements across the board, but a few highlights include: We’ve added significant depth to the melee combat for all species, the Predator has considerably more agility than previously, and the Alien has the ability to sense its victims through walls.
Josh – will the x and y be balanced this time and will we have a numerical value for the level of mouse sensitivity (PC)?
Tim Jones- We’ve put a lot of effort into tuning the camera movement to be accessible and responsive for all players. There are options to adjust it to your preferences so I hope you will be happy with the results.
Genozide - I saw in a recent vid the smartgun targeting system looks very innovative.. But with a keyboard and mouse how do you move and turn if mouse is in the smartguns small box or is that area autoaiming?
Tim Jones- The box indicates the autoaim area for the Smart Gun — you can still turn and move (though you can’t sprint while using it). You can also toggle the auto-targeting function off with the secondary fire button.
Professor Pickle - How much does this game harkens back to the originals?
Tim Jones- If you loved the originals, you should love this one!
Lasse – How is death handled? Will the player stay dead for the rest of the game or will he respawn? If so, when?
Tim Jones- In most modes you respawn after a couple of seconds, though in Infestation if you die as a Marine, you will come back as an Alien… In Survivor mode, if you die, you remain dead until the end of the round.
Kontra Komando – Will you be able to have multiple teams duke it out for supremacy in online team deathmatch? i.e. 4 teams of 4 players each.
Tim Jones- Species Team Deathmatch allows up to three teams to battle it out simultaneously.
Lord Daxtrovian – My question is the following: Weíve seen many modes in multiplayer, but will there be special options to play to our preference? For example, I dunnoÖ maybe disable 1 hit kills, or predators starting with a certain range of weapons.
Tim Jones- The host can adjust a number of settings, depending on the game mode – map choice, score limits, time limits, player limits and friendly fire etc.
XxDarkspacexX – when you kill a alien when you walk over it will you still get damaged by the acid?
Tim Jones- Yes you will!
James - Will the PC version allow for the use of say, an Xbox 360 controller? I know the mouse and keyboard set up is better etc etc (before I get flamed), but sometimes after 10 hours of work behind a PC using a mouse and keyboard, it’s nice to use a controller. Thanks.
Tim Jones- Yep, Xbox 360 controller is fully supported on PC.
Randy K – I see a lot of finishing attacks being performed on humans in the videos I’ve seen, where the predator or alien are the executors, giving me a feeling that the colonial marines are squishy and non-threatening, What would by my incentive to actively play a human character? what’s the trade-off?
Tim Jones- The Marines have a formidable arsenal, and there are few things more satisfying than tearing apart an Alien or a Predator with a Pulse Rifle!
Nathan – I hope this works. but I wanna know how leap attack works. does it just do damage or does it cause anything special for aliens
Tim Jones- It will do damage, and if done over a long enough distance, you will knock your target to the floor too, leaving them vulnerable for a few seconds…
Robert – How many Predator weapons will we have access to?
Tim Jones- The Predator has his Wrist Blades, Shoulder Cannon, Smart Disc, Throwing Spear, Proximity Mines, Vision Modes, Distraction Mode, and Zoom — plenty for you to play with…
Anna – Will people without the 4 exclusive maps be able to play the maps if they’re playing with people who do have the maps?
Tim Jones- You will have to have the maps if you are to play them. They will become available to all players as downloadable content in the near future.
Tyler – Is this game going to be tied in the movie series’?
Tim Jones- The story is consistent with the continuity established in the movie series — it takes place around 30 years after the events in Alien 3.
Peter – How often will Skins in Multiplayer be unlocked and will any Skins be unlocked in campaign and or survivor?
Tim Jones- Multiplayer Skins are unlocked through progress in Ranked multiplayer matches and increasing your XP level.
Daniel – How much dx11 features is in the game? Like is everything using tesselation and how does it affect performance if using a radeon HD5850 Card?
Tim Jones- DirectX 11 has dynamic tesselation on the Aliens, full-screen anti-aliasing, numerous performance benefits and support for multiple monitors amongst other features. It’s a great way to show off the power of your state-of-the-art PC setup!
Alex – Even though you’ve said there will be no predalien in the game, will there still be a predalien skin in multiplayer?
Tim Jones- I’m afraid no Predalien in multiplayer, but he makes a significant contribution as a formidable enemy in the single player campaign.
James – Is the campaign mode co-op? Or any hint of Co-op at all?
Tim Jones- The campaign is focused on a single player experience – it’s the best way to maintain the atmosphere and tension in the narrative for AvP. You can, however, play cooperatively with up to four Marines online in the Survivor Mode against waves of AI controlled Aliens which a truly nerve-wracking experience!
David – will the focus leap for the Aliens be similar to the predator setup? if not how does it work?
Tim Jones- Yes – it’s very similar to that for the Predator so the controls should feel intuitive. Of course, the Alien is able to do it from any angle!
Scabs all over - how many different alien and predator types may I play as? Is the “Alien/predator” from AVP-R in the game? How about Bishop?
Tim Jones- There should be plenty of variety of skins in multiplayer to keep you entertained — fans of the Predator in AvP-R should be particularly pleased!
theramsfan39 – Why is there no ability for iron sights for the marine players?
Tim Jones- It’s a feature that we found players just didn’t make much use of against the kinds of foes we have in the game. We do however have a Scoped Rifle for the Marine which offers similar functionality."
The official Sonic the Hedgehog 4 site has revealed the first enemy that will be in the game. I guess, they're called "Badniks", which, I never knew. Have all the Sonic games called the enemies Badniks?
Anyway, the enemy is the Motobug, the first enemy type Sonic meets in the original game. Although, I was disappointed at first when I saw the new Sonic was using 3D models, I really like the clean and sharp-edged look the Motobug model has. I think 3D is going to be alright after all.
It's going to be interesting to see the rest of the enemy models that get revealed. Head to the website to see the model in motion.
I download the Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing demo today.
It was over 1 GB and took forever. I did stuff as I waited.
Then it was complete. 7:30 PM, my brother came over. The demo was started.
AND WAS ENJOYED BY ALL!
Now, it's not without it's flaws and the game was specifically designed to please Sega fans, such as myself, but I can tell a crappy kart racer when I see one.
Let's start with the good, eh:
The main thing that Sumo Digital got right with SSASR (I'm not going to type that name everytime) was keeping it simple. Three buttons, that's all. Go, drift, and use item. There is barely any learning curve besides understanding the powerups and memorizing the tracks. The first race I did with my brother was instantly fun and neither of us experienced any frustration or confusion to lessen our enjoyment. This is incredibly important in a game designed for players of completely different skill levels. It's going to be easier to convince your non-gaming friends/significant others/family to play with you if that first minute of play is easy to understand and fun.
Another positive game design choice was the lack of a brake button. Instead of slowing down you have to figure out how to drift around the twists and turns keeping the speed of the game up. It's similar to Sumo Digital's Outrun 2 but to an even greater extent. Outrun 2 had some moments where braking was necessary, SSASR does not. It gives the player one less thing to think about and makes the game more exciting in the process. What's more fun: braking or drifting around corners and instantly boosting into the next straightaway?
Keeping with the simplicity all the power-ups I've found in the game have been easy to understand and use. Rockets shoot, bombs get thrown and blow up, traffic cones are basically banana peels, etc. A couple power-ups take a couple uses to understand mainly because they aren't something found in other games but after one or two uses you'll be able to properly use any item.
The game also has Ryo from Shenmue. He hasn't aged a bit since Shenmue 2. Maybe a little more polygons but that's all.
For the Sega fans, it seems that Sumo Digital has found a great assortment of characters many, of which, I'm sure we don't know about yet. The Sonic level in the demo is great, as well, and hopefully the variety of levels are as strong as the one level in the demo.
Now the not-so-greats:
Since when did Billy Hatcher become a staple Sega character?
Also, do we really need so many side characters from the more recent Sonic games? Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik are understandable but Amy and Big the Cat? That's two characters that could have been removed to provide space for some Sega characters from games that didn't get any representation. It would have been really interesting to have someone from Altered Beast, Phantasy Star, Bayonetta, Virtua Fighter, Yakuza, and the list goes on and on. One of the best aspects of these mashup games is seeing characters from completely different games together. Ryo from Shenmue is a great start but the majority of the characters are very brightly colored and cartoony. I want to be a muscular homoerotic male whose special ability is turning into a hairy manbeast racing against a monkey with a square head who plays maracas!
I'm also worried about the track selection. In the demo most the locked tracks seem to be from the same handful of games. I can understand having a bunch based on Sonic levels but we don't need several levels based on Billy Hatcher. Hopefully, in the full game we get some Shenmue, Crazy Taxi, Alex Kidd, etc. The House of the Dead levels should be interesting though.
The last thing I noticed was the opponent's AI seemed way above average. I played several matches and rarely came close to first place. Maybe I just suck but something never felt quite fair to me and the AI didn't really make for a great opponent. For a multiplayer based game this isn't a huge deal and the full game could fix this with different difficulties but it's worth mentioning. Especially, since to unlock everything you'll probably have to play through the whole single-player campaign.
Update: Sega has announced that by default the demo is automatically set to Advanced difficulty mode. So, that's why I always lose. I'm not advanced enough. You can go into the options and change the difficulty if you desire to.
Overall, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing seems like it will be a great kart racer. It's easy to play, fun, and addicting and also throws in a lot of fan service. Now I'm off to find an extra $50.