Archive for the ‘Xbox 360’ Category
Rise Of Nightmares
The Xbox Kinect 1.0. Yes I’m talking about Microsoft’s first attempt at motion controls on the fantastic Xbox 360 console. The device actually sold pretty well to begin with people seemed to buy into Microsoft’s marketing for the device for about 5 minutes and then people left it on the side lines only to pull it out from the dusty corner of the living room when a new entry in the Dance Central series released. Then Kinect 2.0 happened and no one cared, so the real horror here is Kinect’s failure to capture an audience. Of course you’d have seen the title and you know that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No horror fans, today we are going to talk about the reason I kinda wanted to buy a Kinect for the Xbox 360 in the first place a little Sega title called Rise of Nightmares.
Rise of Nightmares to me is House of the Dead for the Kinect. Now I know that’s an incredibly bold statement to make since the House of the Dead series is just light gun zombie shooting bliss and Rise of Nightmares, well its a Kinect game and that just makes people just groan generally. We’re gamers right? we don’t like standing up and flailing our arms around we like to sit on sofa and be lazy. Unless of course your like Fred and you stand up to play games anyway in which case buy this game and enjoy.
For whatever reason, the West gave up on the scrolling shooter genre back in the 90s. Sure, games came and went after the 32-bit generation, but for the most part series that had existed for decades like Gradius, Darius, and even R-Type ceased development. In Japan, however, the shooter – sometimes called shoot-em-up or the divisive shorthand of shmup – has evolved along with new franchises and coveted developers. Otaku, weeaboo (foreigners obsessed with Japanese culture), and shoot-em-up fans like myself remain aware and hungry for the new and challenging titles that come from the East. Of those modern franchises, there are few developers more notable than Cave and there are few franchises more recognizable than DoDonPachi. The name is a pun on both the literal meaning, angry leader bee, and the fact that “don” is onomatopoeia with bullet fire in Japanese. The story is somewhat irrelevant at this point, mostly because we never saw a release of any of the DoDonPachi series outside of limited release in arcades, but suffice to say it revolves around fighting various human fighters under the control of a large bee set on world domination. The “don” is fitting as well because your ship will be putting out literally hundreds of bullets every second and a sea of bright pink and blue bullet-fire will be coming back at you in retort. This sub-genre is known as danmaku (“bullet hell”), which is a fitting name given the minute-by-minute gameplay. Why does any of this matter? Because we’re finally getting a Western release of DoDonPachi DaiFakkatsu (aka Resurrection) on Steam that is part of an impressive resurgence of the genre for this region. DoDonPachi Resurrection is gorgeous, brutal, and feature packed to the point that both the veteran shooter fan and newcomers can find plenty to do and enjoy every potentially frustrating second.
DoDonPachi Resurrection will premiere on Steam October 14, a title previously exclusive to Japan. Here Fred takes a look at the initial stages and describes basic gameplay. This footage was captured at 4K/UHD resolution (3840×2160) and then downsampled to 1080p.
This quick look was originally posted on The B-Team Podcast (www.thebteampodcast.com) and have partial co-ownership with this site. This is re-posted with permission.
In the first game club for the new format Fred, Jam, and guest Fortengard jump into the ambitious world of Nier. Developed by dissolved developer Cavia and published by Square Enix, this is one of the oddest titles to appear last generation. In this episode the hosts dissect the development, campaign, gameplay, and audio/visuals of this divisive cult favorite.
Opening: Snow in Summer
Fishing: Song of the Ancients Fate
Town: Song of the Ancients (Devola)
Open Area: Hills of Radiant Winds
Dungeon: The Wrecked Automatons
Closing: Yona (Piano Version)
Trying something new here. Dishonored is a game I (Fred) have not been able to play properly and the first video in this series shows why. As a result, I’m trying to be more laid back and complete the title without worrying about perfect stealth and perfect pacifism. Instead of a “Let’s Play” I’ve decided to do a new type of series called a “Play Diary” and here’s what these will be. This video series currently only has one video, but will update as it grows. No new posting will be created for each video. If you want updates, I recommend subscribing to Fred’s channel.
Let’s Play videos are tough because the person playing them has to constantly be speaking to an audience, it stifles gameplay, and it’s a bunch of work to get live. A longplay is easy because you just capture and upload, but only a handful of people watch it. We’ve noticed that the commentary gets more views, but that people watch them for short periods, whereas a longplay is only seen by a smaller group but they watch often to entirety. The Play Diary starts with a full length “quick look” of an hour or two with commentary followed by update videos that are about 5-15 minutes that cover several hours of gameplay and commentary. In addition, the entire longplay is uploaded as a playlist for those that want to see the full playthrough. Hopefully this is a more user friendly way for everyone to see what they want. This will not completely replace my “Let’s Play” videos because certain rare games will want to be viewed from start to finish. The video below is the playlist for the diary and the longplay playlist can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlLaoX7aLm9_32Aqpog3OgW2ZenWg_mV8
As I said in a previous article regarding Wolfenstein 3D, “Wolfenstein 3D did it first and Doom did it best.” The same team, id Software, created both games so it’s less of a competition and more of an evolution. While I agree that all games are a team effort, the technology that runs these games can sometimes be credited to one person. In the case of Doom that one person is none other than John D. Carmack. By this point most of us are aware of John Carmack and what he’s contributed to video games as a whole, but back in 1992 he was the guy creating a new engine for a new game. That engine was called the Doom Engine. Carmack claims the name Doom came from the movie The Color of Money in which Tom Cruise describes a custom pool cue as “doom” when questioned as to what’s in his case. It was created to enhance the first person shooter to include different heights, distances, and even sound effects in stereo for a more realistic type of game. In truth the hardware of the time couldn’t handle rendering a 3D world so the game is actually all on a flat plane in the code, which is why rooms never overlap and you can shoot a guy on a ledge by just aiming at the wall beneath him. I don’t know about the rest of you, but in 1993 I hardly noticed. Doom had positional breathing of mutant men, lighting effects (including dark rooms), a hybrid cyberpunk and distopian Hell setting, and a ton of violence. It was the rock star of the video game world.
Formerly known as “Is it Kusoge?” the series has changed to “How Bad Could It Be?” and we’re playing notoriously bad games. In addition, these videos are more brief cut together highlight reels to determine what Fred thinks of the game. This time he’s looking at the 2006 release of Sonic the Hedgehog on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. How bad could it be?
Warning: This video contains adult language.
You know, I was actually really looking forward to playing through Resident Evil 0 HD Remaster. I thought to myself, “sure I’ll be part of the problem and buy this game I already own,” and the fact that the physical copy also came with Resident Evil Remake (in glorious HD) only sweetened the deal. I am a Resident Evil fan and I am not ashamed to a admit it. Has time been good to Resident Evil 0? This review will explore how the game stacks up on today’s consoles.
The background of this game is something that has always fascinated me mostly surrounding its release and how things in gaming were back then. Originally pitched for the N64 and getting as far as a prototype being made for the train segment of the game, this was Nintendo inviting Capcom to team up for the first time since those cool Mega Man games and Disney titles on the NES/SNES. In an offered deal, the two companies had planned for a Resident Evil game that will come out nowhere else. Well this invitation did intrigue Capcom and especially sat well with Shinji Mikami (the creator of the series). Capcom would go on to develop three exclusive Resident Evil games for the Gamecube as well as release three other cannon titles on the platform as well. The exclusives were Resident Evil Remake and Resident Evil 4, arguably two titles that became incredibly memorable, and inbetween this we saw the release of Resident Evil 0 (Zero). This game really was Capcom’s last hurrah of the pre-rendered background style game with a fixed camera and those tank controls which we all just love to joke about today. It was also the last game in the series where you could get mad about a key taking up an entire slot in our inventory. After this game things changed dramatically with Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 0 was released at a time were people were a little burned out on the traditional style of the series (and it had been in development almost 5 years when it came out) so although it received decent reviews, it is often considered a low point.
When Grand Theft Auto III hit the Playstation 2 in 2001 it was unlike anything we had seen before. Sure, the sandbox concept had been dabbled with from time to time and by the name alone it’s clear that Grand Theft Auto had been an established franchise, car stealing and hooker beating included. It was GTA III that put everything together and re-established the concept of 3D world building and open variety of player choice. Despite all the freedom of GTA III – not to mention the fact that most of my friends have explored Liberty City and put tens of hours into the game but never played more than the first handful of missions – it’s a very linear game. Not only that, but as missions progress the game gets quite difficult and the open alive city is a drawback to completing missions. That’s where Volition and Saint’s Row step in to attempt the next step: an open world where everything you do from running around to side missions affect the main story.
Saint’s Row began life in 2003 as a PS2 game called Bling Bling. Senior producer Greg Donovan discussed the genesis of the title at GDC 2014 and the difficulty of pitching the game to THQ, which up to this point had not published anything like it. Donovan and his team envisioned a game about a free world and all the minutia that make up that open world to recreate the gangster lifestyle. The actual phrasing from the pitch video was, “Bling Bling is a third person action game about style, music, gangs, and guns. It is the video game equivalent to a rap music video.” Donovan and developer interviews since haven’t been too forthcoming with how the game eventually became a sandbox open world game, but given that both GTA III and Vice City were already out when Bling Bling began development it almost makes sense that it would take on the same style.