Posts Tagged ‘Capcom’

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Don’t let the understated and almost mute appearance of Strider fool you in the opening of this game. What is about to follow is one of the most explosive and action packed metroidvania games released in recent memory.

Developed by Double Helix Games, the people who also bought you the Killer Instinct reboot on Xbox One, players once again assume the role of Strider Hiryu in this revisiting of the classic 1989 arcade game. However Double Helix have done more than just take the original and slap a new coat of paint on it. Rather than do that they have completely rebuilt and refocused the game from the ground up.

As I mentioned, Strider is now a metroidvania type game. And why is this a good thing? Well apart from being possibly the greatest videogame genre out there, it now gives us a chance to experience being Strider in his purest form. With the amount of backtracking, exploration and combat now implemented in to the game you really get a feel for being the all-powerful ninja like never before.

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For the first few minutes of the game it’s business as usual. You run from left to right, spamming the attack button. Don’t worry folks, Strider’s trusty Cypher is still in play, and his trademark laser katana makes very short and satisfying work of many of the cyber enemies you face early on. However after a few of the early bosses have been vanquished and you’ve upgraded you’re Cypher and abilities a little, you suddenly realise that this isn’t the Strider of old. As you cast cursory glances over your map you can see that various areas that were previously inaccessible you can now gain access to. Perhaps you had the wrong element Cypher for a certain door that you can now smash through. Or maybe that double jump ability you just acquired will now let you reach an impossible looking ledge from earlier. And this exploration is really where the meat of the game is. Straying from the path is a fun, and to be quite honest, necessary past time. Doing this will gift your Strider with a whole host of new upgrades. Be it energy tanks, health increases or just different costumes. Oh and did I mention that some of the unlockables offer up new bonus challenges outside of the main game? Well they do. These range from timing based platform sections where your nimbleness will really be put to the test. And combat challenges that pit you against ever difficult and challenging enemies.

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Now I say that backtracking is necessary as the difficulty in this game can spike in a couple of places. After you’ve played the game for a couple of hours you will really be getting into the swing of things, annihilating enemies with absolute ease, only to suddenly come up against an insurmountable boss who can obliterate you in a couple of screen filling hits. Now like I said this only happens in a couple of places and can be frustrating even with a fully upgraded Strider. However I believe that it is important to remember that this is and old school game with old school sensibilities. Perseverance and pattern memorisation is the key. Stick with it and the sense of achievement is palpable.

I think that the real place where Strider stumbles is in the music department. The whole affair is a rather muted one, with only a couple of little jingles and sound effects standing out. Honestly if you asked me to hum a tune from the game I couldn’t. Even with the music turned right up to the max in the settings it just seems to fade into the background.

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But with that being said that is the only quibble that I have with what I consider to be a phenomenal reboot. If you had played the Vita or 3DS versions of Batman Arkham Origins earlier on last year but found it to be a bit plodding, dull and trite, then believe me Strider is the shot of adrenaline you need. The well-paced gameplay is perfectly balanced with the, mostly, challenging difficulty curve. Bombastic, crazy, hard and always beautiful to look at it is a game that can without a doubt stand side by side with the likes of Guacamelee!, Metroid and Symphony of the Night.

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When you think of Resident Evil what do you crave? Limited ammunition? Tough creative bosses? A whole complex to explore with plenty of backtracking and a secret underground lab? Silly dialogue? Crazy buildings designed by insane architects with a fascination for weird keys?

Then stop right there! You are obviously an old school RE fan who has been left wanting a classic feeling RE game since Resident Evil 4. If you do fall into this category then I strongly urge you to go out now and pick up a copy of Resident Evil Revelations HD and enjoy the best RE game this generation! Everything I mentioned in the list above is here in this game, whole and intact!

Whoever it was at Capcom that suggested that the series returned to its roots needs a goddamn raise. Everything about this game feels like classic Resi!

The game is set in-between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5, and you will get to experience play as Jill Valentine for the most part whilst occasionally jumping into Chris Redfield’s shoes and a few other forgettable characters. The main game itself is set on the SS Queen Zenobia. A huge abandoned pleasure ship where Chris Redfield’s tracker went dark. So it’s up to the other protagonist from the original Resident Evil and her partner Parker Luciani (the least annoying of the new characters) to track down the ship and find Chris.

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Like I said the majority of the game is set on the Zenobia, and acts as a huge explorable environment just like the mansion or RCPD police department from previous games. But fear not, the environments are just as varied as the review scores for RE6. You will be exploring abandoned casinos, wartorn shopping malls to grand brightly lit halls. The narrative will occasionally take you to some other environments such as a snowy mountain range or a Hunter infested Office block. As I said these areas aren’t as much fun as the boat. Mainly because it detracts from the main story and you just find yourself wanting it to be over as soon as possible so you can get back to the fun of exploring the Zenobia with Jill.

And boy oh boy exploring the Zenobia feels GREAT! It is classic hardcore RE down to a T! In place of generic zombies are a whole new plethora of tough slimy enemies created by the new T-Abyss Virus (yeah, I know). You will constantly be on edge as these slippery bastards can appear from anywhere! Another welcome trope that returns is the scarcity of ammo. In many a chapter I found myself completely out of bullets with only a knife to defend myself. I personally loved this as I had to re teach myself the joys of ammo conservation.

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Furthermore in relation to the exploration, SILLY KEYS ARE BACK! And they all have a navel theme (anchor key etc). You will find yourself on many an occasion, as you wade through old reports and journal entries, chuckling to yourself as you read about why certain mechanisms and keys were necessary in the creation of this ship. It’s just all so dumb but never the rubbish Michale Bay dumb that 6 aspired to. It’s more of an endearing dumb. Think if Amanda Bynes was a computer game.

Combat is fine. More along the lines of Resident Evils 4 and 5 than 6. Nothing to write home about but it does the job perfectly. One noticeable change to proceedings is the Genesis Scanner. Pressing the appropriate button will let you scan the immediate area for hidden items and clues. You can also scan enemies and after a certain amount of them have been scanned you will be rewarded with a green herb. This is neither here nor there for the most part as herbs aren’t that uncommon but it is an invaluable tactic during the games ultra-tough boss battles.

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Then after you have exhausted everything the Zenobia has to offer there is Raid mode to tackle. This is a mode that can be done either in single player or multiplayer form and is pretty comprehensive and deep. Think of this as mercenaries with a bit more bite and varying objectives. You have a vast array of characters to choose from, all with their plusses and negatives. For example Jill is an expert with a pistol but won’t wield a shotgun as effectively as Chris. All characters can be leveled up, as well as equipped with their own individual loadouts. BP (the currency used in Raid mode) can be used to buy new weapons, ammunition, upgrades and buffs. My one major gripe with Raid mode is that ammo does not reset for each match. So say, for example, you use start a match with 8 magnum rounds and use them all in that match, when you start a new match you will still have no magnum rounds. You either have to spend BP on replenishing your ammo or wait until you find some in a game.

Finally a quick shout out for the score of the game. In a word, brilliant. Suitably eerie, sweeping orchestral music haunts your ears as you search the dilapidated surroundings of your sea bound tomb. Always managing to keep you on the edge of your seat without ever feeling like it’s intruding on the experience. It spookily echoes the genius that was the music score of the original RE.

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And talking about echoing the series roots, the game does end with a hint that Jill and Chris will be returning for another outing in a similar vein to Revelations. ONLY THIS TIME IN A MANSION! If that’s not reason to get hype bananas up to the eye holes then I don’t know what is!!!

So there you have it, a fantastic, but not perfect, return to form for a beloved and cherished franchise. This may not be the absolute return to form that die-hard fans have been wanting for so long. But it is without a doubt a step in the right direction! Go and buy this game and step once again into the world of survival horror.

The wait is finally over for what is not only one of the most anticipated sequels of this generation, proudly planting itself alongside the likes of Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4, but also, the sequel to what many consider to be the best game of the last generation and in some cases of all time. Not many games can make this claim and the people at Capcom must surely have been feeling the pressure to deliver over the last couple of years of development. However, has taking the Resident Evil Franchise out of its familiar gloomy settings and placing it in the sun-drenched landscapes of Africa helped improve a winning formula? Or changed it in to an entirely different beast?

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The first thing you are going to notice about protagonist of old, Chris Redfield, as soon as you take control of him is that he is a far cry, visually, from his PS1 or even Gamecube counterparts. Capcom obviously deciding that to compete with the likes of Gears of War, Chris has needed to go on a course of steroids. Indeed with his gruff voice and bulky exterior he wouldn’t look entirely out of place in Cog body armour.

This is when you realise Resi 5 has changed. Resi 5 is, pause for effect, no longer a survival horror. With the game split up into comfortable bite size chapters, an AI or humanly controlled partner constantly with you and an almost arcade like pick up and play vibe Resident Evil 5 is dipping its toes into the water of action shooters. That’s not to say this isn’t still a game about tension, ammo reservation and tight shootouts. It still encompasses these, just not to the same level as prior games, especially Resi 4.

However Capcom has also decided to keep one element of their beloved franchise firmly in place. The archaic control system. There was no problem with this last time around and I think people were more willing to forgive as they were playing such a groundbreaking game. Unfortunately after playing the likes of Dead Space and Gears 2, two games that prove you can still be tense, scary AND still aim and move, you can’t help but wonder why this control scheme was implemented.

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There is no denying though that this is one gorgeous looking game and Capcom are clearly squeezing every bit of processing power out of the machine. Cut scenes are sexy and dialogue is up to the standard of cheese the Resi franchise is renowned for. The story and few plot twists are likely to keep you coming back for more. And this is a game that demands a fair few completions. Again, picking up on the arcade like vibe, you can carry over all your upgraded weapons and experience to the harder difficulty settings, another first for the series. As this is the only way you will be able to obtain the rarer weapons, such as a bow and arrow for partner Sheva and a hefty rail gun for Chris. Not to mention the treasure trove of other unlockables available to you.

Capcom have clearly made a lot of deliberate changes to their baby. Some for the best and others maybe not so wise. There is no debate though, this is an amazing game. It may not be the Resi of old or even the massive innovation many were expecting, but truly great third person shooters are far and few between and Resident Evil 5 can proudly sit somewhere between Dead Space and Gears 2 on that front. So sit down. Cock your boom sticks and prepare to take the ride of your life because this is one game that will grab you and won’t let you go, even after the credits have rolled.