Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: etc, etc, etc

In a sentence, imagine Street Fighter II with slightly nicer graphics and hyper combos.

In more than a sentence, why is it that Capcom’s fighting games are allowed to be so lazy and yet get relatively good reviews? Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and the 1.1 versions of both of those. Shallow and lazy. Particularly the versus series. Great potential for some kind of interesting story mode reduced to a handful of cool cutscenes.

So. What do you get in Tats vs Caps? Not a lot. Punch people in the head on seven stages in Arcade Mode. Punch people in the ahead against the clock in survival mode and punch as many people in the head before your life runs out in Survival Mode. Even for a Capcom game there is a paucity of unlockables. →  Sly 3: Honor Among Reads

Street Fighter Folks

Yesterday was the release date for Street Fighter 4, at least if you’re being technical. Most every store in the nation won’t be offering it until today, but if you had a preorder, or a lucky store, then your local Gamestop may have been your potential source for a Tuesday pickup. When it comes to broken street dates and flaky launches, the Maryland area seems neither particularly lucky nor unlucky. Furthermore, these days my buying habits are such that I never pick up a new game the week of its release, so I avoid such flaky launches.

I knew I should wait until today to find Street Fighter 4, yet I found myself ignoring my bus to the metro station, instead taking the 40 minute walk so I could stop by the Gamestop and scout their stock. →  Read more? No, I’ll read it all.

Review – Street Fighter II HD

The number of permutations of Street Fighter 2 is one of gaming’s oldest punchlines. Though the joke still has teeth due to plain old nostalgia, savvy gamers now realize that the arcade revisions of Street Fighter added important tweaks and upgrades (and the console versions were various attempts at porting them to limited hardware). This slow burn through the 90’s finally culminated with Super SF2 Turbo, the last major revision and a game still played today in the tournament scene thanks to its familiarity and balance. The fact that fighting game fans won’t let go of Street Fighter 2 is a testament to its quality, and is the justification for why Capcom chose to make yet another major revision after years of silence. SF2 HD Remix (the full name is much too long) is a landmark release in the series, made exactly the way it should be at this point in the series’ life. →  Up to 6 billion readers.

Rearmed and Ready – Are you?

Bionic Commando: Rearmed is now out in all intended formats. If you have one of these formats, and you love the challenge and the feel of classic 2d games, I hope you have it already. If you don’t, might I suggest you give it a download? Until Mega Man 9 hopefully rocks our socks, this is the best thing to come around this year for retro enthusiasts, except for maybe Space Invaders Extreme or Bangai-O Spirits. I don’t want to go too far into discussion (save that for the review!), but suffice it to say that this is a remake that gets it. It feels right, both old and new, careful and bold. Its the kind of game where just seeing it in action makes me happy.

In any case, it is still too early to say how well it has sold, but something tells me that neither I nor Capcom is going to like it. →  18 Wheeler American Pro Reader

Review of an Insecticide interview

Insecticide is a recently released adventure game featuring shooting levels. It was developed by a team composed of several of the people responsible for some of the great adventure games produced by LucasArts over the years.

And it got some pretty bad reviews. With a Metacritic score of 55/100, it’s looking less and less like an overlooked gem. Reviews so far have tended to enjoy the adventure aspects, and have almost universally panned the action/shooter sequences.

IGN offered Mike Levine (who worked on The Dig, Sam and Max Hit the Road, and The Curse of Monkey Island among others) a chance to respond to the negative reviews. The interview is available here, and reading it was one of the more disillusioning experiences of my gaming career.

Now I want to be clear. →  May God smite me if I stop reading here!

Memorial Day Post

A couple of things on my mind that I decided to condense into a tidy post for you to ponder over the weekend.

-First of all, the biggest piece of gaming news on videolamer for 2008 – I bought Zak and Wiki. For $20 new! I know taking a risk and waiting for a price drop was suicide with this game, but everyone gets lucky sometimes. Now I am part of the club, and can smoke with all the cool kids in the bathroom.

I’ll be honest with you – I think part of the reason I did not jump for the game immediately was my own inability to read more on the subject. I had no idea the game used crazy wii-motions to help solve puzzles. That makes it a little more exciting! →  The King of Articles 2002: Unlimited Match

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.26.07

Skies 2 on Wii?
This may be old, but it’s too amazing to not mention. EGM reported a rumor that Skies of Arcadia 2 is in development for the Wii.

An interview with Will Wright
Will Wright may be a genius. His games are all brilliant, despite always leaving me feeling empty and suicidal. When he speaks, people listen. And then complain if he offended their company loyalties.

Will thinks the Wii is the only next gen console. It’s noble of him to defend ingenuity but I think the higher ground is to simply dismiss next gen chest thumping entirely. In my experience, generations are measured in time and progeny, not progress. My father does not consider me to be in his generation simply because I am as slow, weak and annoying as he. →  Professor Layton and the Diabolical Post

Requiem for a Dreamcast

I used to think I was pretty clever when I told folks that “Nintendo made me a gamer. Ocarina of Time made me hardcore”. I kept thinking this for quite some time, but eventually realized that pre-OOT, I wasn’t really a “gamer”, just a kid whose game experience consisted of little more than a string of Nintendo consoles, a few hours on the Genesis, and a dusty old 486 PC. This was a time when fresh games came to my house twice a year if I was lucky.

After Zelda I truly became a “gamer”, though now I think it had less to with that game in particular and more to do with the fact that around that time I was introduced to a modern day computer, Next Generation Magazine, and a Sony Playstation. →  Lame is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Is E3 Dead?

The gaming community received a harsh slap in the face last year when ESA, the organization that is behind the megaton-laden E3, decided to completely change the way the yearly venue is run. They drastically reduced the number of reporters that were allowed to attend to around 20,000 (from last year’s 60,000), and turned it into a more intimate affair for the actual publishers/developers to showcase their games without having to scream over loud, thumping techno music.

In unison, developers around the world bowed down and gave thanks to the merciful Gamer Gods. Now they wouldn’t have to break their asses to create a (hopefully) bug-free demo that would probably get swept up in all the hustle and bustle anyway. The gamers themselves, on the other hand, found it hard to believe that the mecca of all things gaming was being changed into something that they would never have the opportunity to experience. →  While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not gaming.

Microsoft to Buy Capcom: Tssyeah, Right!

Rumors were running rampant this week with the prospect that Microsoft (i.e., evil-incarnate) was going to buy Capcom, developer of the Resident Evil series and this week’s big 360 release, Lost Planet. This rumor is, in fact, not new. It was first started almost three years ago when Msoft was looking to get a better foothold in the Japanese market. They still need the foothold over there, but Capcom has been out its sights for sometime now. So once again, no, Microsoft is not buying Capcom.

But let’s think about that for a second.

Obviously, Msoft would get a huge surge in the popularity rankings by having Capcom in its portfolio. They’d get the rights to Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Dead Rising, Phoenix Wright, Megaman, Devil May Cry, and one of my personal favorites, UN Squadron. →  I’m gonna take you for a read.

Street Fighter Alpha 3

Street Fighter Alpha 3 is considered by the majority to be the pinnacle of the series, and is very often called the best Street Fighter game in existence. It certainly is the most popular, having been ported to four consoles and two handhelds since the days of the Saturn, and is usually the recipient of the highest scores among Capcom fighters.

My own obsessive collecting of 2d fighters over the last five years can be directly attributed to the day a good friend of mine brought it over for an afternoon. It was the first time I had sat down with a 2d fighter since the old days when I rented Super Street Fighter 2 on the SNES once a month. Things had certainly changed since then. The super combos, the beautiful sprites, the multitude of backgrounds… Alpha 3 showed me that the genre still had a lot to offer. →  Go ahead, read my day.

Street Fighter Alpha 2

Much like you can tell that Alpha 1 was a rush job, so too can you see that Alpha 2 is the game that Capcom intended to make all along. The select screen is eerily similar, while the segues and sounds between fights are identical. The same core cast remains, while the few additions to the roster (which is now 18 strong) are careful and deliberate (spunky little Sakura makes her debut here, while classic characters Dhalsim and Zangief make a return). Tweaks and improvements make the combat deeper, faster and less obtuse. Capcom has even gone so far as to declare that the story of Alpha 2 replaces the one in Alpha as official canon in the SF universe.

SFA 2 makes its predecessor just about obsolete, and represents one side of the Alpha coin (the other side being A3 of course). →  Virtua Poster 4: Evolution

Review – Street Fighter Alpha Anthology

Yeah, the menus are that simple.

The last few years have been tough for Street Fighter fans. As 2d gaming continues to wane, Capcom is far too wary to release anything new, for fear that even something as big as Street Fighter 4 would not sell enough to warrant the cost of development. Instead, they’ve decided to take the conservative route with their 2d offerings, either by cobbling together something quick and dirty like Capcom Fighting Jam, or by releasing compilations of their older stuff. Many people frown at the concept, since Capcom rarely give fans what they want (even though they’re the target audience) and because the games exist solely for the company to milk its prize franchises as much as possible

Of course this is all true, but I don’t really mind the idea of compilations. →  Jesus: Readful Bio Monster

For absolutely no reason, here is Golden Axe

Axe Machine
Why yes, that is a Van Gogh to the right of the machine. Thanks for noticing.

I learned how to ride a bike at 13, so it should be no surprise that it’s 2006 and I have now had my first experience with a digital camera. At this rate, I’ll kiss a girl by the early 2060s. Sadly, I do not own the camera, it belongs to my girlfriend (I know, that could easily ruin the last joke, but luckily for us, and Jesus, we believe in no touch love) but that hasn’t stopped me from taking as many stupid pictures as possible. The first pictures I took were of my video game collection, my crotch (soon to be featured on this site), and then my Golden Axe machine.

Having an arcade machine in a small apartment sounds like a great idea, but is it really? →  In all ages, hypocrites, called producers, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called publishers.