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Monster Hunter photo
Monster Hunter

This Hong Kong restaurant chain is running a Monster Hunter promo


Be right back getting on a plane
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
Capcom and Square Enix are God-tier marketers, with new video game themed events seemingly every week in Japan. But Hong Kong is getting the latest one by way of the Satay King restaurant chain, as Capcom is promoting the rec...
Mario Party Arcade photo
Mario Party Arcade

Now you can throw a fit in public with Mario Party Arcade


A joint venture with Capcom
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
You're leading by four Stars in Mario Party -- it's down to the final few turns -- and you've won most of the minigames so far so you're pretty sure the Minigame Star in the bag. Then your friend uncovers a hidden Star, ...
RE4 on Wii U photo
RE4 on Wii U

Resident Evil 4 hits Wii U in North America this week


A re-release of the stellar Wii Edition
Feb 01
// Jordan Devore
How many ports does Resident Evil 4 warrant? All of them. Forever. Those of us in North America will have another chance to nab the best-playing version, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, when it comes to the Wii U eShop this Thursday, February 4. I'm not sure what took so long, as European players have had it since last October. Weird.
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

This Mega Man 2 concert kicks ass


Of course it has the Wily theme
Feb 01
// Chris Carter
Over in Chiba, Japan last weekend at the Makuhari Messe (hey that's where TGS is!), a Mega Man concert was held -- specifically, of the Mega Man 2 variety. If you're into game music at all it's worth checking o...
SFV mode trailer photo
SFV mode trailer

Street Fighter V trailer shows off new modes and training options


Put baby in the corner
Jan 30
// Nic Rowen
If there is one thing you can say about the Street Fighter series, it knows how to make attractive trailers out of boring info. I've enjoyed watching slickly produced videos about training mode options and network settings si...

Lupe Fiasco is going to kick Daigo's ass in Street Fighter V

Jan 29 // Steven Hansen
And, finally, onto our story, our ostensible reason for reading (you) and writing (me) this article, other than to put content online for pay, to pal around with my friends about music on a lazy Friday, but mostly to talk about Kanye lying about not liking his ass eaten. Rapper Lupe Fiasco's last album, a return to form, is called Tetsuo & Youth if you want to check the standard millennial nerd bonafides. He also he drops Lupin the III and Thundercats references in his verse on Kanye's "Touch the Sky" over a decade ago. Someone asked Lupe on Twitter if he watches EVO, to which he replied, "Only to study Daigo..." Mad Catz' Mark Julio -- who loved my recent dispatch from the Mad Catz Street Fighter V tournament, by the way -- asked Lupe if he was down to fight Daigo, who is sponsored by Mad Catz, in Street Fighter V. Lupe confirmed, "It would be an honor to lose to Daigo-San." Good week, all. See you Monday. [embed]337545:62043:0[/embed] [embed]337545:62044:0[/embed]
Rapper v pro gamer photo
This is Rocky VIII
Things are popping off in the hip hop world this week. Kanye lied about not liking his ass eaten after a deluge of tweet beef with Wiz Khalifa. Kanye eventually deleted the 20 or so tweets aimed at Khalifa, but they still ex...

Breath of Fire PSP photo
Breath of Fire PSP

Wow! Breath of Fire III is headed to PSN


The re-release is finally coming to NA
Jan 28
// Jordan Devore
Years ago, we ran a post about an effort to bring Breath of Fire III's PlayStation Portable version to North America. It began with the phrase "Never give up hope!" Truly words to live by. It's happening! Capcom has announced...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Mega Man Legacy Collection Special Edition spotted


But it's apparently not official
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
The physical editions of the Mega Man Legacy Collection are coming next month, and Amazon has just sprung a brand new bundle on us. It comes with a Mega Man statue and collectible E-Tank. If the former meets the latter, ...

Nintendo 3DS's spring is an oasis of JRPGs

Jan 26 // Steven Hansen
Project X Zone 2 is full Japanese gaming fan service with appearances by the likes of anyone from Street Fighter's Ryu to Devil May Cry's Dante and Vergil to Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki to SPace Channel 5's Ulala. It's coming to 3DS February 16. Bravely Second: End Layer hits Europe on February 26 and the states on April 15. There are 12 new jobs in this old school JRPG from Square Enix, including Catmancer, a class that trains cats to use enemies' skills (like the past game's Vampire). Another involves throwing cake at people. It also tried to "take the pain out of the grinding" with a "let it ride" system where random battles will flow into one another so you don't have to run back and forth to trigger another. The caveat is that if you finally lose, there goes all the accumulated experience from those battles. It also "might be longer than Bravely Default." Plus, here are some actual lines of dialogue from Bravely Second: End Layer. Note: "Ba'als" is pronounced "balls." Like balls. "She studies Ba'als." "Ba'al buster Magnolia Arch is on the job." "A new Ba'al is headed this way and it's my job to bust it." "It's...it's huge [referring to a Ba'al]." "I'm Magnolia Arch and it's time to bust some Ba'als." The localization team went Ba'als to the wall with this joke. Oh, hey, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow -- yes, the originals -- are coming to the 3DS eShop on February 27? Time to find out how well that game is actually balanced 20 years later. Also to argue over which version's sprites were best. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past are also coming to 3DS in 2016, with Dragon Quest VII coming first. It won't have random battles, instead getting treats like Dragon Quest VIII with enemies on a world map and other additions.
JRPG spring lineup photo
Six within a month
Fire Emblem Fates is just a few weeks away (February 19) and I'll finally have a reason to re-glue my face to my 3DS and play nosy match-maker. But the two versions of Fates are just, uh, two of the JRPGs (and adjacent genres...

Umbrella Corps photo
Umbrella Corps

Umbrella Corps is coming in May, looks more mod than Resident Evil game


I hear it's alright
Jan 26
// Chris Carter
Capcom has revealed the release date for Umbrella Corps -- May 2016. It'll be released digitally on the PC and PS4. Can I just pause for a second to say how odd that is, despite the fact that we knew the platform and dig...

Ono: Street Fighter won't see a SFIII-style reboot 'as long as I'm involved'

Jan 25 // Steven Hansen
"What we actually learned through from Street Fighter III and putting in all those new characters we found out that the really hardcore people really enjoy it," Ono said through a translator, though pantomiming enough that I understood about 30% of every answer before the English came in. "They really enjoyed playing all the new characters and figuring out how to use them, but it was very difficult to bring back the old generation of players who played Street Fighter II because they weren't sure, 'Who is this character? Why should I care about them? Why should I play this game?' "Now I've reached this super high point in the Street Fighter series...I can very safely say that as long as I'm involved in the game we won't be taking that approach, of a lot of brand new characters." Hopes dashed. The me who sells his last good kidney for a PlayStation 5 is going to be crestfallen. Still, fair. Ono helped resuscitate the franchise with SFIV and the steps forward with SFV are all admirable. There's the "completely different direction" for post-launch content. Balance updates are all free for everyone, forever instead of tied to a new release with more confusing naming conventions ("it ended up segmenting everyone"). The first of six DLC characters is coming in March and playing through all characters' stories, survival, or online should earn enough Fight Money to get that first character for free. Then the in-game store opens up for the first time ("SFV does not have any day one DLC") along with new "Daily Challenges," the long-term method for players to generate Fight Money. It's a straightforward system that's good on paper, one instance where "games-as-service" doesn't leave me shuddering. The big news today is that there are individual character stories, per usual ("we always felt that that was kind of enough"), but also a big story with over an hour of in-engine cinematics coming in June as free DLC. "In Street Fighter IV we set out to try and bring everything together," Ono said. "We wrote each of the character's stories so it all kind of makes sense. But even after doing that there was a lot space in between where we finished off in Street Fighter IV and where Street Fighter III was. We're finally going to be encapsulating the entire Street Fighter universe." While the pro scene helped carry Street Fighter IV further than those of us who sniffed around its first iteration based on name alone, "a lot of the casual fans were speaking up" with regards to more story (be it in a new game or as a new anime series). "We came back with that feedback and thought about it," Ono said. "We saw that Ubisoft's got these immersive, awesome story experiences like with Assassin's Creed; we have it with Resident Evil; and looking at Mortal Kombat in recent history, they're trending that way as well." Erhm -- Assassin's Creed's story? Ok. That's where the June story expansion comes in to offer "a very clear picture of the Street Fighter universe" up to that point, with characters' individual stories cluing them in on other finer details. "We're really hoping people are going to become new Street Fighter fans throughout that process." A story isn't the only consideration for new players, for new potential fans. The word the team most frequently uses to describe Street Fighter V is a "reset," an even playing field. Ono notes that the SFIV player base "narrowed very quickly," likening it to the best baseball players working their way into the pros, and other onetime-players petering out. So you get characters like Rashid, meant to be an easy choice for new players. "The director was nice enough to design the character that way," Ono said. "After he designed Rashid he came up to me and said, 'Oh, I think this is someone even Ono-san will be able to use.'" It goes beyond that, though. There are the new V-Skills, which are unique to each fighter, opening up a network of metagame possibilities. Parrying was a core mechanic in Street Fighter III. Here, that entire mechanic is only used by Ryu.  "How do we keep Street Fighter's DNA and at the same time have characters have their own personality," Ono asked rhetorically. "This time, in order for Ryu to have his own personality" beyond the classic signifiers of hadoken et al, it's the parry. "Adding personality to the characters was a really big deal for us." In Ryu's case, that's provided you can execute. "Even for somebody like me, or Matt sitting next to me, [the Mind's Eye parrying] is also too hard for us to use," Ono giggled. The point, though, is not just accessibility, but to "reset the playing field and invite as many new players as possible." The V-Skills offer opportunity beyond that, "we understand that there are people who are out there who are playing neighborhood baseball." There will also be leagues in online play to try and keep matches competitive by skill level. Of course, Street Fighter V is also the "first product developed from the ground up with eSports in mind," according to Capcom's Matt Dahlgren. It will be balanced around the Capcom pro tour (where the game will run on PS4), meaning large balance updates will come during the offseason (January-February), giving pros enough time to react and train for EVO and the following Capcom tour. The goal is to, "stick to our guns for a whole season," though if any particularly egregious balancing problem presents itself (complete leaderboard and tournament dominance), there are quick fixes. "Knee-jerk reactions can stifle the community, it doesn't give the respect it deserves to players who came up with those tactics, and it prevents the meta game from forming where players can come up with counter tactics," Dahlgren said. I asked Ono if the individual V-Skills made this the hardest Street Fighter to balance and they did seem to be a factor, but "balancing is always hard. It's hard every single time." Especially with the lack of an arcade release this time around. Ono sees Street Fighter as a "a fighting tool" where the one on one battling reigns despite more effort put into single-player content. And so from designing characters that are a bit easier to use to, "input leniency we put in place so people feel like they can do what they're trying to do with their characters," the feel is important. "We're offering bats, balls, and gloves," Ono explained, with what must've been the fourth baseball metaphor, at which point I had to veer off course and ask if it was pure idiom or if Ono loved baseball. "I really like baseball," he laughed "It just happens to be that Capcom is moving offices next door to AT&T Park [in San Francisco, where the Giants play] and as a result I'm super-looking forward to this move because now I'm going to have even more chances to see baseball games here in the US. But if this gets out into this article and people from Capcom USA read this then people internally at Capcom might think, 'Hey, man, we got to do this freaking move just because Ono likes baseball!?' So there's a potential where I could be getting some complaints internally." The metaphors do go beyond a love for the sport a bit, though, as Ono praised the Major Leagues (be it Major League Baseball or the National Football League), which have done well in cultivating "sports as entertainment." Versus shit people do for sport, like hunting or seeing how long they can look at local real estate pricing without eating a gun. And Street Fighter can be entertaining to watch. Especially if Ono gets his R. Mika wish. "I kind of bought her way into this game by paying a bonus to the director and telling him, 'Put R. Mika in,'" Ono laughed. He is "really looking forward to, at next year's Capcom Cup, someone using R. Mika and doing the mic performance long enough to unleash the super powerful move to beat their opponent. Everyone's going to get up and cheer, but at the same time they're cheering they'll be laughing their asses off." Just about the only people not cheering and laughing are folks carrying water for characters that have yet to be announced. Skullomania. Q. Sakura. Dan. Dudley. Blanka. Ono talked about unveiling Laura at the Brazil Game Show where, "everyone realized, 'Oh, so, Blanka really isn't in the game, is he?'" He gets the question more often than any snub, likely because of the toy Blanka he carries around. Whether Blanka even fits in the Street Fighter V roster is, apparently, "quite uncertain because Laura herself has electric-based attacks so it maybe doesn't leave a whole lot of room." Ono picked up the Blanka figure from the table and asked: "Is there any hope for you?"
Yoshinori Ono interview photo
His fav fighter, reason for Capcom move
Aside from the immortal Street Fighter II and the clever (in a "Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie" kind of way) Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo nod, Street Fighter III is probably my favorite in the series. The number of ...

Street Fighter V story photo
Street Fighter V story

Street Fighter V's full story will be post-launch DLC


Free story expansion coming in summer
Jan 25
// Steven Hansen
Street Fighter IV had a good grip of 2D animated cutscenes providing some closure to individual characters' Arcade mode arcs, but as a whole the series has been spinning its wheels in that department, especially compared to ...
Capcom photo
Capcom

Do you want a new Rival Schools or Capcom vs. SNK 3?


Show your interest, says Capcom's Ono
Jan 24
// Kyle MacGregor
At one point a few years ago, it seemed as though Capcom might make a new Darkstalkers game. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass. After years of teasing fans, the company decided to test the waters with Darkstalkers Resur...

Experience Points .30: Dragon's Dogma

Jan 23 // Ben Davis
Mount your foes Ever since Shadow of the Colossus came out, I've always wondered why climbing on monsters never really became a thing. It's an effective strategy for dealing with massive enemies, and it really opens up options for interesting combat as well. But these days, it seems like monster climbing is relegated to quick time events, like in God of War and Bayonetta, where the majority of combat takes place on the ground or in the air, but every once in a while Kratos or Bayonetta jump up onto a giant foe to chop off its body parts, as long as the player remembers to press X at the right moment.Dragon's Dogma revisits the idea presented by Shadow of the Colossus, allowing players to grab onto enemies and climb around them in the heat of combat. This often makes it easier to deal tons of damage in a short amount of time. I could just latch onto one of that Hydra's heads and hack away for as long as my stamina allowed, or until the creature decides it's tired of being poked by some insect and tries to dislodge me. Even smaller enemies could be grabbed, but usually this was only useful for holding them in place while the pawns attacked freely. My favorite thing to do is to climb atop a flying enemy, such as a Griffin, so that I could keep stabbing it even when it tries to fly away. Some of my most thrilling moments involved slashing away at a vicious Griffin's back as it soared through the sky, its feathers catching fire thanks to my mages, until it finally plummeted back to the ground all bloody, singed, and ragged as I hopped off triumphantly to finish the deed. Those kills were always the most satisfying! Pawn to King 4 The pawn mechanic is an idea unique to Dragon's Dogma, or at least I can't think of another game that has done something similar in quite the same way. Along with creating a main character (the Arisen), players also get to create a pawn, their primary sidekick throughout the game. Pawns act on their own, but the player can choose their equipment, combat strategies, personalities, and so forth. And for a game with such a robust character creator, being able to make two different characters in any given playthrough was a godsend. I made my fighter pawn, Demetrius, a thin, muscular, bald man with a full beard. Eventually, I got him equipped with a huge, rather intimidating spiked mace, and gave him an incognito mask and a golden belt. He basically looked like an executioner who had just won a wrestling championship. Not sure what I was going for, but I thought he looked pretty cool anyway.Pawns also act as the primary way to interact with other people online. By entering a Rift Stone, players can browse through pawns created by others and enlist up to two into their own party. These pawns will have all the equipment and stats provided by their creators, and they might even know some strategies for defeating certain enemies or info about specific quests that the player has yet to encounter. Once a player is done using someone else's pawn, they can send along ratings, messages, and gifts to the original creator. I had a lot of fun simply viewing everyone's pawns to see what they came up with, from the beautiful to the grotesque.I always enjoyed logging back in every now and then to see how my own pawn was doing and find out whether or not he had been helping other people on their adventures. Demetrius received above average ratings and seemed to come back with a lot of different gifts for me, so I'm glad at least a few people got some use out of him. I figured his wrestler/executioner style might get him noticed in the Rift due to his bizarre, yet menacing demeanor. I wonder if someone is still using him today. Three heads are better than one I'm very fond of the enemy designs in Dragon's Dogma. They're based on classic depictions of mythical beasts, so even though they're not particularly fantastic or unique, they have a certain traditional charm to them. They almost look unusually realistic, at least compared to most other video games that contain the same types of monsters. My favorite enemy was the Chimera, one of the more common giant beasts to be found in the game. A chimera is simply a hybrid monster made up of different parts from more than one kind of animal, most commonly depicted as a lion with a goat's head protruding from its back and a snake for a tail. And that's exactly what the Chimera in Dragon's Dogma looks like.Chimeras are so fun to fight because of all the different tactics that can be used to defeat them. Each of its three heads have their own specialties; the lion primarily uses physical attacks, the goat casts magic, and the snake can inflict poison. Each head can also be “killed” independently, so its up to the player to decide which part of the Chimera to destroy first. Personally, I liked to take out the snake first, followed by the goat, and finish with the lion. The best part is seeing the effects of damage in action. The snake head can be chopped off entirely, leaving a severed, bloody stump of a tail flailing around. The goat head will remain attached to the body, but once it's been defeated, it comically flops around like a limp rubber toy. It's even possible to kill the lion head first, in which case it sort of droops and rolls around sadly while the goat and snake keep up the attack. It's a bit unsettling how much I enjoy watching a Chimera suffer, really. Your Dragon Aside from the pawns, another way for players to interact with others online was through the dreaded Ur-Dragon. This massive, undead dragon is the most powerful enemy in the game. While playing online, it's simply not feasible for any one player to defeat it on their own. Instead, the battle employs an asynchronous cooperative component, meaning players from around the world will be working together to slay the beast. Damage from each individual player will slowly stack over time until the Ur-Dragon has finally been defeated. Players lucky enough to be fighting during the killing blow will have the chance to earn some nice rewards, and any other player who contributed to the Ur-Dragon's death can enter the Chamber of Lament later to claim some loot as well. Afterwards, the next generation of the Ur-Dragon will spawn as an even more powerful foe than the last. This type of idea isn't anything new, as similar things have been done in some MMOs, but they're still fun to participate in every now and then. I fought a few of the earlier generations of Ur-Dragons, but never managed to land a killing blow (aside from offline). Last I checked, the PlayStation 3 Ur-Dragon was around Generation 800, so it's pretty cool that people are still fighting them. The legendary Hot Pants, forged in dragon's flame This one may seem a bit random at first, but it has to do with one of my funniest moments. There is a ton of equipment to choose from in Dragon's Dogma, ranging from practical, to stylish, to revealing. While there is some gender-specific clothing, most pieces can be worn by either gender – even some of the more revealing ones. Whenever I play games like this, I tend to choose equipment that I think looks good on my character, so I go for the highest possible stats while still trying to look nice.In my first playthrough, I left the first town with not much armor to speak of, since the shops didn't really have much to offer. Since I was playing a Strider, I wanted light armor anyway, so I was dressed in cloth wrappings and a pair of short pants, which basically look like denim hot pants. Not gonna lie, my beefy adventurer could really rock those short pants! I figured I would find better armor later, but eventually I was in Gran Soren and still wearing those short pants. Everything else I could find was either worse stats-wise or just plain ugly. And then I began adventuring farther north and encountered my first Drake. Why mention the Drake? Well, upon defeating a Drake, or any other dragon-type enemy, there is a chance for a piece of equipment to become “dragon forged,” meaning it automatically reaches the highest level of enhancement, past the normal three-star level. And it just so happened that the one piece of equipement to become dragon forged was my pair of short pants. Suddenly, this silly piece of sexy clothing was one of my most powerful possessions. It was a sign – my Arisen was born to wear these short pants. I never switched them out for the remainder of the game, because it was too perfect that they were the first thing to become dragon forged. Plus, by that point, they basically provided more defense than the majority of other pants anyway. My Arisen gets to show off his well-toned legs and can still take a beating doing it. That's definitely a win-win in my book! What is love? Romance options in games have never really interested me all that much. This is partly because there are usually no gay options, but even when it is an option (Mass Effect, Dragon Age), the romance subplots still feel weird, stiff, and out of place in context with the rest of the game for whatever reason. Romance in Dragon's Dogma is also really weird. Like, super weird. So weird that I actually kind of enjoyed it. You see, at a certain point in the game, a character is chosen as the player's “beloved.” Grigori, the antagonistic dragon (dragon-tagonist, if you will), kidnaps the beloved, supposedly as a way to get the player all fired up for revenge and rescue of the character they love most. However, most players won't know who they'll be rescuing until the big reveal. It's like a surprise love interest, and given the romance options provided by the game, the results can be hilarious.Almost any character in Dragon's Dogma can become the beloved. This includes characters of any gender or age, even children and the elderly. That's right, a player might get to the end of the game only to find out that their handsome, burly Arisen is in love with a frail, elderly woman. Or a small child. Or the court jester who bears a striking resemblance to The Legend of Zelda's Tingle (*shiver*). The perceived randomness of it all, while surely annoying to some, was very entertaining to me. I never knew who I was going to romance, and I always looked forward to the eventual reveal.Of course, there are ways to increase the chances of getting a specific beloved, primarily by completing certain quests and giving lots of gifts to increase affinity. However, even knowing that, it's still rather difficult to get who you want. I always had my beefy, bearded Arisen flirt with the armory merchant, Caxton. He may have some annoying catch phrases, but at least he has a nice beard! Apparently, my copious amount of gifts were not enough to woo him, though, because I always ended up with either the young witch, Selene, or the sultry merchant, Madeleine. Dammit, Caxton, quit leaving me with all these ladies! They're nice people, I'm sure, but you're the masterwork of my heart! Where did I go wrong? Past Experience Points Level 1: .01 - .20 .21: Katamari Damacy.22: Tomb Raider.23: Mother 3.24: Deadly Premonition.25: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.26: Dark Souls.27: GoldenEye 007 .28: Pokémon Red/Blue .29: Skies of Arcadia
Dragon's Dogma photo
Masterworks all, you can't go wrong!
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

SFV GAME tournament photo
SFV GAME tournament

GAME SFV tournament is making players qualify against CPU opponents


A single-player tournament?
Jan 23
// Nic Rowen
UK retail chain GAME is holding a Street Fighter V tournament beginning on January 26 across more than 300 stores. The elimination series will eventually winnow players down to a final set of matches competing at Insomnia for...
Got hype photo
Got hype

Handsome Street Fighter V fans raise good points during Mad Catz tourney


Reporting from the Mad Catz V Cup
Jan 22
// Steven Hansen
Wednesday and Thursday nights were host to the Mad Catz V Cup, a Street Fighter V tournament in San Francisco using a F.A.N.G-free build of the upcoming Capcom fighter. Premier Street Fighter players were in attendance, inclu...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Mega Man stickers invade Japanese messaging app Line


Alright!
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
When I visited Japan for the first time last year, I was surprised to find that everyone used basically one messaging app -- Line. Literally, every person I met used it, even writers who were there on assignment and were in t...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

More alternate costumes emerge from the Street Fighter V beta


I'll take them
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
You want more Street Fighter V costumes? You got 'em! As a result of the new beta recently, players have uncovered a bunch of new outfits, most of which look pretty awesome or worth using. This video from rKappasvoice ba...
Zack & Wiki photo
Zack & Wiki

Zack & Wiki is launching on Wii U today in the US


Finally
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
Third-party support was off the chain on the Wii for a while, and that includes the amazing Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros’ Treasure from Capcom. I mean truly, I can't say enough awesome things about this game...

Review: Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster

Jan 18 // Chris Carter
Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: CapcomPublisher: CapcomReleased: January 19, 2016MSRP: $19.99 Zero begins with a rather interesting setpiece: a moving train. Rebecca Chambers, a member of S.T.A.R.S., is sent to investigate crimes in the Arklay Mountains -- conveniently located (and thus, linked) near Raccoon City and the original game's mansion. Here she meets Billy Coen, an alleged murderer and ex-Marine, and starts an "unlikely" partnership. You can probably tell from the setup that the tale is a pastiche of cheesy horror not unlike past games, but it's done just as effectively as before. Sure, the story never really makes much sense, even after the final credits roll, but you'll have a good time while you're along for the ride. Rebecca and Billy have a fun dynamic that is extended throughout Zero. The former can combine herbs and story-related chemicals, and the latter can take more of a beating and move heavy objects. It's not an original concept even for the era it was released in, but it works. This is mostly because of the "zap" partner system that allows both characters to be on-screen at the same time. You can opt to have your AI partner attack or stay idle, which is great if you don't want them wasting ammo. Swapping is as easy as pressing a button to start a second-long heartbeat transition to the other character. You can also control the AI with the right analog stick, which comes in handy for moving them out of harm's way. This idea is used in many different ways that chop up the game's pacing for the better. In some zones, Rebecca and Billy are split, working separately to exchange key items with one another through special devices like service elevators. In other areas, they're working in tandem to solve those wonderful box puzzles, where Billy is moving cubes and Rebecca is operating a device of some sort. Given that so many of Resident Evil's puzzles feature solutions born out of just one avatar, I like that Capcom went with something different here. There's another huge difference when it comes to Zero and all of the games before it: item management. In the past, players would mostly store their items in a magical gamey storage box of sorts, where you could access your armory and inventory wherever a box was located. Now, you can place items on the ground and store them anywhere on the map, no questions asked (well, outside of the single room item limit, which is inexplicably still in this remake). For instance, if you want to split a few typewriter ribbons off a stack of 10 and place them in a save room, you can. The same goes for weapons and herbs, or any key items you may pick up. [embed]332496:61804:0[/embed] Items now show up on the map, so there's no guessing as to where you put them. It's a more challenging system, for sure -- you don't have the infinite box to rely on, and sometimes you'll have to run through gauntlets of enemies if you happen to stash a key item and are required to run back for it. Its use does start to grate mid-way through the game, as it can get rather tedious to juggle everything. The mechanic isn't really re-used, but it helps cement Zero's unique identity (for better and worse) along with zapping, and the level designs mostly accommodate it. This is an old-school Resident Evil game at heart, back when "survival" was still a key factor of the series. Zero features limited ammo, save ribbons, and a lot of decision making, mostly in regards to inventory management. This is especially true given the zapping, because at any moment one character may be forced to fight a boss without the help of another, so ensuring that both cast members are fully equipped is key to your success. In terms of the actual "Remaster" moniker, a lot of the technical details are the same as before. The visuals and framerate have been updated, there's a new non-tank modern control method available, and you can swap between 16:9 and 4:3 resolution (even on consoles) -- but the cheesy FMVs remain untouched. Capcom really could bring back every entry pre-Resident Evil 4 just like this and I'd be happy. Thankfully though, it's slightly more than just a straight touch-up due to the addition of Wesker mode. In this special gametype only found in the remake (that's acquired by beating the game once), Billy is shoved to the side in favor of Wesker, who operates as Rebecca's partner throughout the game. This mode is meant to be silly. Wesker can use his superhuman powers he's flaunted since Code Veronica, including the ability to quickly dash across the room, and use a special energy attack to pop zombie's heads off. He can also mix herbs and doesn't have many limitations. They didn't go the full mile -- Billy is still present in cutscenes, as is his voice -- but it's a meaty enough change.  All of the old unlocks are also present, including additional costumes, weapons, and the Mercenaries-like "Leech Hunter." The latter is a mini-game of sorts that tasks players with escaping a modified version of the Research Center, and gets tougher as you play it. It's not as memorable as some of the true Mercenary modes in other games, but it's worth clearing at least once and should adequately test the mettle of series veterans. As a whole, Resident Evil Zero isn't one of my favorite entries, but with the amount of care that went into this remake, like Resident Evil HD Remaster before it, I'm really coming around. In fact, just get both if you don't have them already. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Resident Evil 0 HD review photo
Welcome, Wesker
For whatever reason, I didn't end up completing Resident Evil Zero back when it was released in 2002 -- in fact, it took me 10 years to truly dive into it. I think it just flew under the radar, but thankfully Capcom has opted...

Dragon's Dogma photo
Dragon's Dogma

I'm surprised Dragon's Dogma runs as smooth as it does on PC


Out now
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
I'm falling in love with Dragon's Dogma all over again with the PC port. It's not just the fact that it fixes the framerate issues of the console original, but the fact that the updated visuals make everything look new ...
Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Project X Zone 2 is getting a 3DS demo later this month


Right on, demos
Jan 15
// Chris Carter
Did the holidays completely warp your sense of time? Because Project X Zone 2 is coming out next month internationally. And before it's out, you'll have a chance to play its demo in North America. It'll arrive on January 26, ...

PC Port Report: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Jan 15 // Patrick Hancock
Tested on: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, Geforce GTX 970, Windows 10. Framerate measured with RivaTuner. First thing's first: the PC version has an option to turn off all Pawn banter completely. In case you think you might be missing something, just know that its gibberish like "IT'S WEAK TO FIRE" and probably also "A FORMIDABLE FOE!" As an aside, I kind of like how annoying the Pawns are. For whatever reason, I get a huge chuckle out of their loud, uncalled for shouts. The PC Port also supports 4k resolution, but as I do not have the capabilities to test this, I cannot comment on how it looks. My bet is that it looks very good. Most players who have played before will have one thing on their mind when it comes to the PC Port: the framerate. While I have not played the original, the framerate was evidently awful. There are three options for framerate in the options: 30, 60, and Variable. The PC port runs smooth as butter on my rig, easily going above 60 framer-per-second in towns and hovering around 60 FPS outside and in combat. The texture quality is, well, the game is from 2012 and it shows. They're a bit muddy, especially when viewed up close. Comparing screenshots and videos, I can't say they are much better than the original, but it's hard to tell without playing the other version myself. Regardless, I wouldn't say it looks bad. Just...not great. There's also some noticeable pop-in with objects. Generally they appear off in the distance, but occasionally when turning a corner, an NPC will magically appear right in front of your very eyes. Damn, this game does have some fancy magic! Key bindings can be remapped to your heart's content, but the same is not true when using a (non-Steam) controller. There are six different presets for controllers though, and you're bound to find something that fits your playstyle between them. The Steam controller works just fine, either using it as a traditional controller or rebinding the keys to your heart's content. I've found that binding "grab" to a back grip paddle makes fighting monsters as melee way more entertaining. It really feels like grabbing! Consumables can be assigned to hotkeys, but only numbers 1-5. It's incredibly simple to do: open up your inventory, select the consumable, then press the number key to assign it. Done! This makes things like pulling out a lantern or using flasks a breeze and is also an incentive to use a keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse controls feel very tight, and aiming bows has never been easier. When switching between keyboard controls and a controller, the game automatically changes the on-screen prompts and recognizes the new input device. I've tested with with both the Steam Controller and a wired Xbox One controller. There are plenty of graphics options, including the ability to change the field-of-view, something not seen too often in PC ports, let alone ports of third-person action games! Regardless of FOV, the camera pans out while a weapon is active, so there's always plenty of room to see what is happening on screen; the FOV slider affects non-combat view more than it does combat view, from what I can tell. Other graphical options that PC players have come to expect are here and can be tuned to fits any player's setup. Remember, Dragon's Dogma is a few years old at this point and shouldn't really be taxing to most gaming PCs these days. One issue is that the graphics can only be changed from the main menu. Once you load a save, most graphics settings are locked in. As for the "double dippers" who are curious if this is worth a second investment, it depends. If you bought it and never spent much time with it because of technical issues, definitely pick it up again. The same goes if you never got a chance to play the Dark Arisen content for whatever reason. If you've had your fill of the game and its expansion originally, then I'm not sure there is much here, except the opportunity to play a smooth game and not a PowerPoint presentation. This is a wonderful port from Capcom. It could have just easily just plopped this on the new platform with little to no care and called it a day. The fact is though, there are many features that are exclusive to the PC version and it runs at a stable framerate. Plus, it's not being released at full price! No, it's not perfect, but for $30 it's hard to say no to such a great RPG. [This PC Port Report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dragon's Dogma PC photo
They hold the advantage!
Why didn't anyone tell me Dragon's Dogma was so amazing?! I missed out on the original back in 2012, and I hadn't really heard much about it in the first place. I knew, vaguely, what it was, and had even downloaded it vi...

Capcom Vancouver photo
Capcom Vancouver

Dead Rising studio shifts to Unreal Engine for upcoming games


Capcom Vancouver is hiring
Jan 13
// Jordan Devore
Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, best known for the Dead Rising series, is expanding. A number of full-time positions are now open as the team focuses its efforts on Unreal Engine 4 going forward. "We have some ambitious visions...
Weird Mega Man stickers photo
Weird Mega Man stickers

I need these weird Mega Man stickers in my life


Bad Art Mega Man is my spirit animal
Jan 13
// Nic Rowen
Well aren't these just the best reason to break your old Trapper Keeper out of retirement? Straight out of the Japanese Capcom store in collaboration with B-Side Label, this collection of, um, eccentric, stickers of...
Livestream preview photo
Livestream preview

Live streaming an early look at Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster


My first time ever playing RE:0
Jan 11
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: The stream has now ended.] I got my hands on an early copy of Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster for Xbox One, one of the only games in the Resident Evil series that I haven't played, so I'm going in blind. A...
Monster Hunter X photo
Monster Hunter X

Mega Man is coming to Monster Hunter X


It's another hit
Jan 11
// Chris Carter
Where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's a Monster Hunter game, there's free promotional DLC. Capcom has just announced the latest add-on for Monster Hunter X (their new 3DS game that launched recently), and s...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

These official Mega Man headphones are sexy


Officially official
Jan 11
// Chris Carter
If Mega Man merch can be made, Capcom will either make it, or allow someone else to make it. It's the eleventh commandment. Look it up. The next piece of merch on the block is the official Mega Man headset, complete with...
DEALS photo
DEALS

25 percent plunge on Rise of the Tomb Raider PC port


Weekend deals to dive into
Jan 10
// Dealzon
Did you run out and buy an Xbox One just for Rise of the Tomb Raider? Our magic eight ball says: "Probably not." The timed exclusive heads to the PC later this month (January 27) and Lara's latest escapade on Steam can curren...
Dragon's Dogma photo
Dragon's Dogma

Capcom is listening to requests for a Dragon's Dogma sequel


Dark Arisen PC port feedback matters
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
We're a week out from the PC release of Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. Capcom also has the free-to-play Dragon's Dogma Online (in Japan, anyway) for PC, PS3, and PS4. What are the odds we'll get a full-fledged sequel? Better th...

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