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This will be the last one for a while, Honest (unless Madworld turns out to be super amazing. Poor thing, a game for the wii “gamers” and not selling well at all. Then there’s the attack from some old fogey group who lamented it’s release as showing that nintendo are abandoning their “family machine” status…)

But this post isn’t to talk about Madworld and the idiocy of the wii users, it’s about Resident evil 5!!!

Now, I’ve been a pretty big fan of the resident evil series, having owned (and completed several times over) every version of the main franchise. From the original PS1 game, to Code veronica on the dreamcast to resi 4 for the Gamecube (as well as PS2 and Wii) I’ve enjoyed each on to varying degrees but I like to think I have a reasonably good idea on what to expect from a resi game.

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And so it’s finally here after years of hype, that disasterous first showing at E3 and a lot to answer.
Sony are still looking for the next big exclusive which will shift consoles. The last one was Metal Gear Solid 4 last year. LittleBigPlanet, for all it’s critical acclaim, solid fanbase and stable sales, failed to grab the hearts and minds of gamers. One could argue that it’s simply because LBP is too bright and lacks guns and explosions to appeal to the lowest common denominator, but I digress. Killzone 2 is meant to address that. A First person shooter exclusive to the PS3, sony are hoping that it will help reverse their systems poor track record.

The first game was released on the PS2 and was touted as a halo killer. It wasn’t. but sony stuck by the game and the sequel plays very much like a mixture of several well received FPS games. There’s a lot of Call of Duty 4 in there, some Gears of War (ok, so that’s really 3rd person. so sue me) and a few others in there. Question is, does this almost frankenstein of a game work well, or does it collapse into a horrible mess? A: works well.

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Lets face it, this mini review is a little redundant because, chances are, you have it already!! But this game has pretty much taken over so it deserves a review of it’s own.

For the entirely clueless, Streetfighter 4 is the latest installment (and no, it isn’t really the 4th one) of the ridiculously famous and much loved franchise and comes 10 years after the last major release, Streetfighter III: 3rd strike.

It seems that Capcom definitely has done something right with regards to this game, considering they have already announced that they have sold 2Million copies worldwide and the game has inevitably hit the top spot in many regions. Rather surprisingly, it has been reported that, in the UK, the PS3 version actually outsold the 360 one. A first I believe. Publications have attributed the shift to the PS3 version as being due to the control pad. Although both are absolutely appaling for a game like this, the PS3 pad can be considered “less bad” due to a slightly better dpad.

So don’t go thinking that this is a turning point for the constantly-under-fire PS3. Killzone 2 may change that tho…

Now Streetfighter III: 3rd strike was quite the game to follow up, seeing as it’s widely regarded as one of, if not the best 2D fighting games ever made!! It also gave us one of the greatest and most famous tournament battles and single round event ever seen. You know the one!!!!
However, there is one flaw which is widely accepted with the game. There are basically main levels of skill in SFIII, good and not good. And the gap between them is HUGE. Streetfighter III is a game which requires an ungodly amount of practice and dedication to get the best out of. Even though the system iteslf is rather simple (esp when compared to the OTT games like Guilty Gear XX, dust attacks, roman cancels, I could go on) to fully get the most out of the parry system and assorted other parts is very difficult. As a result, even though battles are fantastic to watch, a lot of people were put off by the chasm between first timers and high level play.

Streetfighter IV is meant to address this issue by making the game a little easier and more accessible to everyone and provide a more even distribution of player skill instead of simply “the good” and “the rest.”
And, for the most part, they have succeeded. Of course, the best players will still triumph over the bad ones, but you don’t get that feeling that you will never be as good as them.

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A post over at Kotaku confirms an article in famitsu which shows us that Xbox live Arcade is getting cult (and awesome) arcade game Cyber troopers Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram!!

The game is going to be based on the last released version using the traditional 1 vs 1 format (after this one, the next VO game was force and was changed to a 2V2 format) and will include a few extra characters and minor changes not seen in the dreamcast version.  It’s expected to hit in April and will cost 1200 MS points!

Now normally, I would be jumping for joy like I did for the triggerheart exelica annoucement but this time I have some major reservations.

I consider myself a pretty big fan of the game, having owned the original virtual on on the sega saturn, the Japanese version of Oratorio tangram and played through a sizable chunk of Virtual on: Marz on the PS2. Heck, I even own the twin stick controller!!! But I have reservations about the XBLA version. It’s not so much the quality of the game I’m questioning (though excelica sure as hell didn’t feel right compared to the dreamcast version) but rather the control system.

Ignoring the point that, truthfully, Virtual on should ONLY be played with the twin stick controller, The 360 pad is probably not the best choice of controller due to it’s asymetric design and rather awkward shoulder button positioning. the PS2 tried hard to mimic the feel of the twin sticks with the dual shock controller (lets face it, the Dualshock does look like it would do a better job) but even that failed miserably…

Combined with the fact that a lot of moves require pressing both the dash and weapon triggers and I start to worry about how the game will play. Take it from experience, clicking the analogue sticks down to dash doesn’t work as well as you would hope…

Still, it is virtual on, and I have always wanted to play others on it so the question is, can I ignore the obvious failing of the controls and buy the game regardless? Probably…

Lets get the news out of the way first. Last year, Banpresto released a game loosely based on the SRW universe called Endless frontier: Super robot wars OG saga and was developed by monolith (they of Xenosaga and Namco X Capcom fame).

I wrote a mini review (in fact, my first ever) on the game back then for those who are scratching their heads about what the game is. Long story short, it’s a traditional JPRG with an interesting, if flawed combat system and massive difficulty spikes whenever you meet a boss characters.

And Atlas just announced today that it’s coming to the US!!!!

I got pretty far into the game before I was distracted by other things so I have yet to finish it. Guess restarting with the english version won’t be bad (but I do hope they keep the Jap voices).

and a word of advice to newbies to the game. Stock up on a massive number of resurrection items at every opportunity. You’ll need them for the bosses.

Now, everyone pray for a US release of Namco X capcom. And forget about any SRW game which doesn’t have the letters OG in it. it’ll never happen.

And on the other note, the killzone 2 demo is now available for download on the PS store. I’ve been looking forward to this since I was very impressed by the game back in the eurogamer expo last year. definitely one to watch out for!!

SRW games are released almost like clockwork with at least 1 title a year.  It’s almost like the FIFA of Strategy RPGs, it gets an update every year and still everyone buys it, despite being pretty much the same as before. Nobody complains about the annual FIFA game, and it’s the same for SRW.
And so, with the hype surrounding Super robot wars Z dying down and having given gamers enough time to complete it (several times over if you’re that enthusiastic) it’s about time that a new SRW game is announced to satiate the fanbase and get them prepared for yet another adventure. And sticking with the tradition of naming the game by putting a letter on the end which often makes little sense until near the end of the game, Banpresto have announced Super Robot Wars K, on the nintendo DS.

Confirmed to be in the game are:

Haja Tensei Dangaioh
Overman King Gainer
Sokyuu no Fafner
Dennou Senki Virtual On Mars
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED C.E. 73 STARGAZER
Mazinger Z
Gaiking Legend of Daikumaryu
Kotetsu Shin Jeeg
Kijuu Souseiki Zoids Genesis
Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!
Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! Second Season
GunXSword

A lot of new shows making their SRW debut, such as Shin Jeeg, GunXSword, Gaiking (the new legend of Daikyu Maryu one. Looking forward to Gaiking the Great), Fafner and Zoids. Godannar also makes it’s first foray into a true SRW game as it made it’s debut in the scramble commander series.

But I’ll be getting the game for one series and 1 series only!!! Can you guess what it is? That’s right, CROSS FIGHT!!!!!!

The only disappointing thing is that the game has been confirmed to be a handheld game, which instantly relegates it to one of the stand alone “side games” outside of the core series, since the main games are always on a console and not a handheld. SRWZ was a core game but the franchise is now left up in the air as the last generation of consoles are finally fading out and they have yet to announce which console they are moving to. But I hope to god that it’s not the Wii… Or at least that they disown any kind of wiimote controls.

more pics

here

here

here

here

& here

Edit: I was reading through my google reader posts today and found that Kotaku, the gaming blog which I frequent, posted up info on Super robot wars K and referenced my news post on DannyChoo. Not that it has any effect on this blog or the wider picture, but it feels funny seeing your posts being linked into a much larger site like that…

Images courtesy of 4chan and hongfire

I thought that, since it was the new year, I would do a post rating my best 5 shows of the last year, as well as some other bits of news. In the interest of fairness, I also included this seasons show, even if they didn’t finish. They’ll show up for the next seasons preview post as well, but some get to shine now!

So, in a sort of style like Momotato:

Bamboo Blade

Note that the shows weren’t necessarily the show of the season back when they were aired. Chalk it up to perspective.  They just stuck in my head more after a period of time.
Bad luck to True Tears, Kyouran Kazokou Nikki, Toshokan Sensou and Macademi Wasshoi, which all narrowly missed out. But they were unable to defeat the combined powers of Taiga, Ami and Minorin!!!

As for the Figures, don’t worry. I’ll be doing an update for all my completed works and purchases over the last year at a later date.

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Having to spend christmas in the tech shy region known as wales with the family meant that I had some time to put fate/unlimited codes through it’s paces since the Trusty PS2 was all I had access to. Not even some tools for model building! Well, it wasn’t all bad…

The game is a 3D beat-em-up played (mostly) in a 2D plane and uses the cast of fate/stay night as characters. It also shares more than a passing resemblence with the tsukihime fighter, melty blood: act cadanza in terms of how it is played. It’s easy to pick up, special moves are relatively easy to perform and players will be performing combos without too much issue. Unfortunately, it’s not as polished as other fighters and it certainly has it’s fair share of issues.

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I said that there wouldn’t be a weekly post during the Christmas week but it seems that hasn’t stopped other noteworthy stuff from appearing prior…
My long awaited play asia order arrived today, just in time for Christmas, bringing me Fate/Unlimited Codes and a little something else…

Of course, I bought the special edition of unlimted codes, along with Saber Lily. As for the box, It contains a figure which I ordered along with unlimited codes back in July so it’s taken a while to get here.
Both items will get a full review in the new year, but that doesn’t stop me from doing a little preview…

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playstation-home-logo

Yesterday, Sony opened up it’s much vaunted social platform called home to the public.

If you were one of the lucky ones who actually managed to connect last night, the beta gives you a glimpse into what the platform can do and what we can expect. Expectations are still running somewhat high despite the delays to the service as it promises to do far more than what the rival systems can do.

Unfortunately, in that respect, it underperforms. The main problem is that it’s very much unfinished and it shows. Sony did harp on about how it’s only an open Beta but even so, the lack of pretty much anything takes a lot from the experience.

Currently, you have 5 sections to home, your personal space, a social hub to gather, shopping center, cinema and bowling alley. All 5 are solid and the foundations are all there but they all lack content.
Character customisation is deep compared to the miis and, uh, miis, I mean avatars, but home lacks the cartoonish charm of the other 2 and strives for realism.
The wardrobe is also severely limited and controlled by sony so your customisation is no better than with the other 2 rivals.

The cinema allows you to watch movie trailers and the like. When I got on, they were showing the latest trailer for the watchmen (gotta see that film next year!) and a few others. It worked pretty well, but the screen size was on the pretty damn small side.

The hub has a few tables littered around which allows you to play chess or draughts and the shopping center has… nothing really! (sorry, I didn’t check out the bowling alley)

Overall, while technically impressive, there were 3 major faults I found during my limited time there.

1) lack of  features: With very little to buy and see, you will get bored of Home pretty quickly. It also lacks game sections and the ability to start up games in a group.
So all you are left with are little minigames and chatting, but chatting needs work. Without a keyboard, you are limited to a few preset phrases and the onscreen keyboard, not a great way to keep things flowing, though I guess the same thing could be said about xbox live. But at least live gives you a headset for chatting!!!
One thing which is sorely lacking (and what the NXE does very well) is the ability to create parties as well as pop in and out of them easily. Home allows you to form groups, but it’s a far cry from the NXE at this point.

2)  Not integrated with the PSN: As stated above, you cannot start a game while in home for now. You also don’t have access to your trophies and cannot form parties for multiplayer. At the moment, Home is very much stand alone from the rest of the PS3 experience and that may not be exactly a bad thing. It means that you are not forced to use it like you are forced to use the NXE and can ignore it and stick to the XMB if you want. It also means that problems you encounter in home won’t affect the rest of the system, unlike the NXE, which caused my system to crash when I first upgraded and has done so again several times since!!! But overall, the lack of integration severely limits the use of Home.

3) You have to pay for everything: And we’re talking real money here! Want new clothes? fork out 60p. Furniture, more cash, a new pad even more cash (in fact £4).
That was exceptionally annoying. The initial selection of items is pretty damn poor to begin with but being forced to pay for everything is too much. It may not have been so bad if you were able to purchase novelty items but remember, home is geared towards realism so you can only buy hoodies, jeans and other regular pedestrian clothes. I don’t know about you but I don’t feel like forking out real money to clothe my virtual avatar!! And you even have to pay for the privilege of starting a club for like minded individuals, with some talk of there being a monthly subscription fee as well!!

Coupled with the connection issues last night and you can imagine that it was a less that thrilling experience.

I won’t go as far as saying it’s a disappointment though. Just massively unfinished. I remember one of the heads of sony (probably Kaz) saying that home was complete but he didn’t want to release it until there was actually some content in there. I wish he stuck to that.

but at least the loading is fast and it didn’t have any mechanical problems once you got in, unlike the NXE but the experience still leaves you somewhat hollow.

But the foundations are all there and you can see that the platform will grow into something very impressive. It is a whole different experience from the other 2 consoles and I’m certain that the home later down the PS3 and beyond will be unrecognisable compared to what we have been shown now, but the question is “how long will it take to get there?”

For now, I’m more than happy with my XMB