Features

I-Mockery At E3 2009 - The Electronics Entertainment Expo!
by: Dr. Boogie and -RoG-

As part of our joint coverage of E3, I went a day later than -RoG- to make sure that I-Mockery's huge presence at the event did not overshadow the event itself. Going in, I was a bit concerned that I would have to stand in long lines to try out the demos that were setup, but luckily, most of the attendees were industry types who didn't really care all that much about playing the games. More for me, my friends. More for me.

The very first one I came across was the new 3D Samurai Showdown game, Edge of Destiny. It seemed to me that they were following in the footsteps of Capcom with Street Fighter IV. When I actually got into it, however, I was disappointed. SF IV managed to go 3D without losing the feel of the original 2D games. By comparison, Edge of Destiny felt like just a generic fighting game that just happened to have the Samurai Showdown characters rendered in 3D. RoG is a better judge of the series than I, and he wasn't too impressed by the series' transition to 3D either. The demo they had also sported some pretty ridiculous load times, too. Maybe they'll have that fixed by release. I guess there's always the Live Arcade ports of the original games.

Next up was Muramasa: The Demon Blade, a 2D platformer by Vanillaware, the people who brought us Odin Sphere, Grim Grimoire, and a host of other games in glorious 2D. Those of you who played Odin Sphere (there's got to be at least one of you out there) will be pleasantly surprised to see that your character in Muramasa takes up a much smaller portion of the screen, making it much easier to move around and fight without running into any enemies attacking you from off-camera. The combat was performed with combination of button mashing and hitting directions while holding the attack button, with a few magical attacks thrown in for good measure. It was pretty easy to get a handle on it, though at times, I seemed to be flipping out of control, but hey, at least I wasn't getting hit!

The only problem I had with it was during the boss encounter. Bosses have a huge health bar, along with a smaller health bar that indicates roughly how many times that huge health bar will be refilled once you drain it. Maybe it didn't take that long to kill the guy, but he must've refilled his health at least five times. And he's the first boss of the game!

Elsewhere at the Atlus booth, I had a chance to try their new action RPG, Demon's Souls. I'm not sure what the actual premise is for the game, but it has you stepping into the plate boots of a knight and fighting off all manner of things. I was intrigued by the game's medieval Europe setting, as Atlus typically turns out games that, if they aren't specifically Japanese, at least bear some anime sensibilities (giant swords being swung around like nothing at all, teenagers in brightly-colored clothing, Jack Frost, etc). In fact, combat had your character performing the kind of sword swing/thrusting you'd expect from a real swordsman.

The other side of that, unfortunately, is that the stronger attacks take some real timing to pull off without getting reamed. The guy in charge of the demo assured me that later, your character can use the souls he steals from dead enemies to buy new skills, and get lighter armor so he doesn't move around like such a slowpoke. Still, it was funny watching him try to roll in full platemail: the "roll" consisted of him jumping forward, landing on his back two feet away, and then slowly getting to his feet.

There was one DC game I was looking forward to trying, but DC Universe was on display, too. I didn't get to this one, but it seems like they're trying to make a console version of the City of Heroes MMORPG, only set in the DC universe. You can't actually be the DC characters, but you could make your own hero and send him off to push around generic thugs. Suffice to say, I remain skeptical.

I stopped to check out this poster for a game that wasn't actually at the show because I thought it was for a new Punisher game using the Ray Stephenson version of the character. But no, they just happened to make a poster with a remarkably similar guy:


The Rogue Warrior does have a beard, and no skull on his black shirt. Maybe that'll be a fun game.
(A reader has informed us that the game will be based off of real-life Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko and some of the books he's written. So
if you're reading this, Mr. Marcinko, know that the comparison with the Punisher was meant to be a favorable one... please don't kill us!)

Lost Planet 2 was on display over at the Capcom booth. The first game was a solid shooter with a nice giant robot component to it, so why not build off of that for the sequel? The demo showed off the new focus on teamwork in bringing down especially troublesome enemies, with some players being able to setup defensive positions with special devices they carried around. That's all well and good, but having to rely on your teammates too often can be problematic, especially if the AI is no good. When I tried the game, there were a handful of other people working with me, and we just managed to get through it. Hopefully, the AI for the single player game will be helpful enough, or at the very least far enough out of the way.

Activision had a super big display setup that was just noisy as hell. It drew in a fair amount of people, but they didn't have any demos setup. Pretty weenie, if you ask me. I got out of there before all the explosions and car crashes made me deaf.

One modest display had the upcoming WiiWare version of Cave Story. This version will include some new music and character designs, along with the option to revert back the originals if you like. First off, if you've never played Cave Story, go do that right now. It's an awesome game, and it doesn't cost a penny. And that's why I'm wondering how well this version will do. It's worth saying again that the PC version of the game is available for free, but then again, that fact didn't hurt sales of N+ when it was released on Live Arcade. In any case, I'm just glad to see the game's designer, "Pixel," getting more recognition for his work. Awesome game.

There was some new version of Dance Dance Revolution that was up for display, too. Or maybe it was an old version that was up so fans could do something when they got tired of playing real games. I kid, though. It's a great game. I just don't enjoy the smells that linger around the DDR machines at my local arcade.

Another Silent Hill game was up for show, this time for the Wii. As you can guess from the huge banner, ice seems to play a part in how the scares come at you this time. I guess you could make a case for that being kind of scary, but meh. The last Silent Hill just didn't work because it abandoned most of what made the original games so scary, such the monsters being manifestations of facets of the protagonist's psyche, in favor of heedlessly throwing the more iconic monsters together in one game. Maybe things will be different with Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, but things have been going downhill for the series ever since The Room.

As you can imagine, the new Saw game uses puzzle-solving elements in addition to survival horror. More importantly, though, what's with the banner? Look, I get that Jigsaw uses this dummy whenever he communicates to his victims, but come on. The dummy by itself is not that scary. My prediction: some naive parent buys this game, thinking it will be a cute children's game, then we all have to endure another month of video game-induced moral panic. Stay tuned, folks.

I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was off about this banner. I had to give it a try. It turns out that Miami Law is a new DS game that happens to play a lot like the old Konami game, Snatcher: an adventure game with some shooting and action sequences sandwiched in between investigation portions. The male character is named "Law Martin", so I can only assume the blonde chick is named "Miami" something.

Another poster, this time for a Brazilian MMO called "Taikodom". There's nothing really compelling about this, except that the guy in the poster reminded me of the bad guy from The Fifth Element:


I'll bet his name in Portuguese means "Zorg".

In one of the far off parts of the event was a huge video wall setup for professional gamer, "Fatal1ty", and his new line of computer parts and accessories. The man himself might have been there, too, but I have I no idea what he looks like. I assume he was one of the two guys in the deathmatch being displayed on the wall. At one point, an announcer guy was tossing out t-shirts, but then he picked up a hefty Fatal1ty-brand computer power supply. I didn't want a two-pound metal box catching me in the dome, so I decided to leave.

Among the better demos running at the show was the one for Batman: Arkham Asylum. The Joker gets sent to Gotham City's number one jail for criminals and supervillains, and wouldn't you know it, he gets out and gets the other prisoners to help out. You've got to wonder how many times something like this can happen before Batman will finally decide that maybe he should start killing at least some of big names in his rogue's gallery. Anyway, the game looks great. There's an impressive amount of detail put into the all the characters, not just the ones with the trademarked names. I was initially skeptical about the game because good stealth games tend to focus on avoiding direct combat. On trying the demo, however, it did seem like the developers had managed to pull off a decent stealth system, relying largely on hiding atop the myriad gargoyle heads built into the walls of Arkham, and coupled it with a decent combat system without shortchanging either one. There's also a "detective mode", wherein Batman's cowl can be used to highlight enemies and useful environmental objects, but I didn't get the chance to see much of it in the demo.

Even so, I'm optimistic about the game's August release. Here's hoping it doesn't get pushed back again.

Remember when the Wii first came out, and everyone was going crazy about how the wiimote simulated actual movement? Remember how the most obvious use of this was to make a game where your character has a sword that you fully control? Remember how Red Steel almost nailed this concept? That's where Ubisoft is hoping to pick things up with Red Steel 2. This time, you're some sort of sword-wielding cowboy in a futuristic old west town, and everything is cel-shaded. Maybe there's more to the story, maybe not. The point is that you have a sword in one hand and a gun in the other. Aiming the guns doesn't seem to have changed all that much. The problem is that all the enemies in the demo wore steel faceplates so that headshots were even less effective that torso shots. I guess they don't want you using the guns?

One of the big complaints in the original was the actual turning. You did seem to turn slightly faster in RS2, but I didn't see much of this in combat because most of the enemies appeared and attacked directly in front of you. I still had to drag the aiming reticule to the edge of the screen to drag the view around, but whenever someone hit me, the view would shift to that person, assuming I wasn't already locked onto something. It's hard to say without trying it in more varied scenarios.

The one thing that seemed odd about the demo was how hard your character was on his nice katana. You would occasionally fight enemies in heavy armor, but rather than looking for a weak point, the secret to defeating them was to wind up and hammer them with your sword until their armor fell off. On a weirder note, I came across a sliding metal door I needed to open. Instead of grabbing the handle and pulling it open, your character pushes the door open by hammering the edge with his sword until the door is pushed all the way to one side. That's certainly how the cavemen samurai did it. Maybe that's the big reveal at the end of the game: your character is a time-traveling Neanderthal samurai. Sounds cool.

For once, the blurring on screen images were not the result of my crappy camera. The display with the running demo of Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao, was also showing the game in 3D, complete with a handful of glasses for the curious. The 3D effect was a nice bonus, but I was more interested in the game itself. It's a 2D brawler wherein you control a martial arts master who fights off hordes of soldiers, ninjas, sumos, and more in a setting right out of an old kung fu movie. Certain environmental objects like flowerpots and low-hanging branches can be worked into your fights as well. Plus, it's a 2D platformer, and I'm a sucker for just about anything 2D. I wanted to give this one a shot, but the guy running the demo didn't seem ready to share. I was with a group of other curious game dorks who wanted to play, but after ten minutes or so, we all gave up on getting our shot. And all without saying anything to the guy, because we're pusses.

One of the larger displays with an actual demo tied to it was for Bayonetta, Sega's upcoming title from the creator of the Devil May Cry series. I didn't think it was possible to make a game more over-the-top and ridiculously stylized as some of the later Devil May Cry games, but damned if Bayonetta didn't surpass it. You control the titular (innuendo intended) Bayonetta, a witch who fights her enemies with, among other things, a sword, a pair of pistols, a second pair of pistols attached to her ankles, and a whole host of other weapons that can be stolen from the many enemies you encounter.

The old adage "sex sells" was definitely being put into effect for the game, with both the presence of a booth babe in an uncomfortable-looking Bayonetta costume:

And in the demo's odd subtitle:

Even so, the gameplay was surprisingly fun. There was the presence of some of that infamous Devil May Cry difficulty, but it was overshadowed by the sheer amount of stuff going on in each scene. I'd have taken some pictures, but I was having a hard enough time keeping track of all the different things popping up during the demo. Add to that a little blurriness from my old camera, and you have an indistinct, brightly-colored rectangle to look at. Just take my word for it: it was fun.

Memorable moments from the demo include:

- Stealing a giant trumpet from an angel and using it to blow up another angel.
- Killing enemies with a combo that summons a giant magical boot.
- Gaining magical power by creating an iron maiden and then throwing an enemy into it.
- Fighting a giant monster, and ending the fight with Bayonetta's hair turning into an even larger monster that then eats the smaller monster.

The other thing I noticed about halfway through the demo was that as you performed longer combos, Bayonetta's outfit would quickly start to disintegrate. It's a genius move on the part of the developers, particularly because you only need to have one hand on the controller to perform said combos!

Last but not least, at the end of the day I just happened to catch a trailer for the new next gen Castlevania game, Lords of Shadow. If you want to know anything about me, know that Castlevania is by far my favorite game series. That said, when I hear there's a new 2D Metroid-vania game coming out, I rejoice. On the other hand, when I hear there's a new 3D game coming out, I am considerably less optimistic. The two 3D games for the Nintendo 64 didn't start things off well, but Lament of Innocence for the PS2 did regain some ground. Curse of Darkness went a little more in the right direction, too, but then Judgment came out for the Wii, and everything went in the crapper. Will this new one follow suit and give the 3D Castlevanias a final flush?

There are three big reasons that lead me to believe so:

1. The game didn't originally have anything to do with Castlevania. At one point, the game was simply "Lords of Shadow". The Castlevania bit just happened to come about later, and I have to wonder about the game's current connection to the Castlevania universe. Sure, it has a medieval Europe setting, and the main character Gabriel wields curiously whip-like "combat cross", but if that's all they have to connect it with Castlevania, why not just keep it an independent title?

2. Mercurysteam, one of the developers of the game, has two other titles under their belt. I didn't play much of Scrapland, but I did play through Clive Barker's Jericho. On the one hand, the ability to instantly resurrect all your AI-controlled friends almost made up for the terrible AI in the game. On the other hand, the game was boring, the characters were lame, and there was so much use of the colors red and black you'd swear it was a title for the Virtual Boy. But maybe they'll have things figured out come 2010.

3. The other developer attached to the game is Kojima Productions, the development studio of Metal Gear series creator, Hideo Kojima. Don't get me wrong, the guy did some great work with the Metal Gear series. I just wonder if it's a good idea to take the game away from Koji Igarashi, the guy who helped make Symphony of the Night arguably the best game on the original Playstation, and who actually cobbled together a coherent timeline from the myriad Castlevania games. Sure, he's made some bad decisions, like periodically ditching the series' most well-known character designer in favor of people who can barely draw, and Castlevania Judgment as a whole, but still. Here's a fun fact: when Konami sent out pre-release copies of Metal Gear Solid 4 to reviewers, the company actually had to forbid reviewers from mentioning the ratio of cutscenes to actual gameplay (I believe it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 1). With Kojima at the helm, Lords of Shadow might cease to be a game, and instead wind up being that Castlevania movie we thought was canceled.

So I nerded out a little there, but hey, E3 huh? Pretty nifty overall. Got a handful of titles to look forward to in the near future, and at least as many to pass on. Ah, video games.

I now turn you over to -RoG- as he shares with you his extensive photo gallery of the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo:

There's still more to see from
I-Mockery's coverage of E3 2009!

Click here to continue onward to page 2!

 

Reader Comments

taco loving zombie
Jun 5th, 2009, 11:35 PM
really great article i loved it
Riot Control
Jun 5th, 2009, 11:39 PM
Impressive article, guys. Despite it amazes me how many Mario games can come from Nintendo's ass, that version of the classic Super Mario Bros. makes yet another big attempt in order to convince to sell my XBox 360 and get a Wii.

Hey, -RoG-, you should be careful while taking photographs with nurses who are not Ms. Diagnosis!
LOVES the tubal ligation!
Jun 6th, 2009, 12:15 AM
"Because I can't tell you how many years I've waited to shoot the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the dick with a proton pack."

Best sentence known to man.
Amicable Herculean
Jun 6th, 2009, 12:57 AM
Looking foward to that Batman game. That Bayoneta thing looks fun too.
pickled
Jun 6th, 2009, 02:42 AM
Looks like you guys had a lot of fun at E3. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us!
Is a thin donkey
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:18 AM
Great article guys!

They also had people trained to run up and wave their hands in front of your camera if you dared to take a photograph. Why show something at a giant media event if you're not going to allow the press to take photos? Genius.

Yeah, great work, E3. Keep this up, & PAX will eat you alive.

You'll always be the true King of Kong in my book Steve.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we glady accept Steve as the King of Kongs, instead of that fucking douchebag Billy Mitchell.

I agree with Dimnos about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man line.

Don't be so surprised about the booth babes, RoG. You are a sexy beast. (For the record, I'm NOT homosexual (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course)).
Crazed Techno-Biologist
Jun 6th, 2009, 03:32 AM
This looks like a really good E3, not as plagued with horror as the last few times and pretty fun. Im glad you wrote this article, its been a while since ive seen this and i was beginning to think you gave up on covering events.
Forum Virgin
Jun 6th, 2009, 04:48 AM
I love Castlevania too, but I'm very intrigued to see where Kojima takes it. IGA has always said that he loves 2D games and he's good at making them. However, even the 3D games he has worked on haven't been great. Lament of Innocence was decent, the second PS2 game completely escapes me other than Trevor was in it and even he admitted that Judgment had no chance of being good. I think if Konami wants to make Castlevania into a successful 3D series they should split the franchise between IGA and Kojima. Let IGA make the 2D games and Kojima make the 3D ones.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 6th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Of the three reasons I had for doubting the new game, Kojima's involvement was probably the one that's worrying me the least. The developer's shoddy track record, and the potential lack of a meaningful connection to the other games are what has me the most concerned. But it is early on, I suppose.
Esq.
Jun 6th, 2009, 11:22 AM
As always the pictures made me feel like I was there. Good job!
Member
Jun 6th, 2009, 12:45 PM
Bayonetta Babe's head looks too small for her body.
☆☆☆☆☆
Jun 6th, 2009, 02:33 PM
Why are girls always attracted to pickles?
Cat Scratch Fever!
Jun 6th, 2009, 02:46 PM
Hmm its funny but Bayoneta has a striking resemblance to a certain senator we got to know last year.

Rog with two hot nurses yet no Ms. Diagnosis? What's up with that?
Funky Dynamite
Jun 6th, 2009, 08:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeowMixMaster View Post
Hmm its funny but Bayoneta has a striking resemblance to a certain senator we got to know last year.
I almost made that comparison, but I decided not to because I enjoyed the demo.
The Mighty One
Jun 6th, 2009, 10:35 PM
Nice write-up. Here are my thoughts on what I've seen:

Muramasa- I really appreciate what Vanillaware is trying to do. Their sprites are so absolutely stunning it makes you wish 3D had never been invented. Their stories have a fanciful style to them that makes you wish for the days when every game didn't need to be "Dark and Gritty" (can't anything be gritty without being dark and vise-versa). Still, I don't like the way the games play. Odin Sphere, for all it's charm, is a soul-crushingly repetitive experience that I couldn't beat it. Muramasa sadly looks the same.

What these guys need to do is make the graphics for other games. Their games are prettier to look at than play. They need to team up with a good game studio and make the graphics for them, similar to how Team Ninja is making the graphics for Metroid: Other M.

M:OM- Speaking of this one, I'm unsure. I'm not against a beat-em-up Metroid but the trailer looks so uninspired. I can't be the only one who sees Metroid Gaiden. If I want to play Ninja Gaiden I can pick it up, I don't need Metroid to turn itself into it. Still, it's very early in the games life span so I can't really dislike it. File me under worried.

P.S. I am partially disappointed that it isn't Metroid Dread (V) that was announced. I guess I'm holding that against M:OM. Slightly.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories- I'm hopeful for this one. The "no-attacking" is a risk but it might actually imbue the series with horror again. Plus, I never played the original Silent Hill (though I did see a play-through of it) so if nothing else I get to experience the first game in the series.

Bayonetta- This looks freaking awesome! It's like Devil May Cry 1/3's sense of humor and gameplay bumped to obscene levels. Bayonetta really is a female Dante. Not just because of her taunts or the game she is appearing in but because, like Dante, she is an over-the-top satirazation of action movie hero's. Seriously, these games are what Shoot-Em-Up would be if it was a game.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow- MOTHER-FREAKING PATRICK STEWART!! How the hell did they get him for this!? More than anything else that is a good sign that this game will be good.

On a more serious note, I do like the games focus on blatant Gothic tones. That's been missing from the series since SOTN and it's nice to see it represented again.

I like that the main hero is a MANLY MAN rather than the bishoshen Final Fantasy boys we've had to deal with on the most recent installments.

The whip doesn't get used enough on the series. Except for Order of Eccleasia, I've never loved a Castlevania game that doesn't have the whip. I see it as what separates Castlevania from other games.

Kojima is a great producer so I want to give him a chance. It's certainly better than allowing IGA to make another boring clone of SOTN.

P.S. IGA is so overrated. That guy is great at making these nice little experiences. At making actual games is where he fails. OOE is the only good game he directed (even SOTN isn't that good) because he put some balls in it.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii- I kinda don't like the first one. It's a decently made platformer but it lacks the fantastic level designs of the previous 2D games. The physics seem out of whack (Mario doesn't control nearly as smootly as he does in other games). For my money, Super Mario Galaxy feels more like a true Mario game that NSMB does (and I'm not even talking about the 2D sections). NSMB doesn't have the adventurous spirit and charm of it's predecessors. It feels like a bland repeat.

Umm... That relates to NSMBW because it doesn't look like much has changed.

Super Mario Galaxy 2- AMMMMMMAAAAZZZIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGG!!!
Big In Japan
Jun 6th, 2009, 11:18 PM
Hurm. I think ill have to start wearing a pickle hat and goggles...
The Goddamned Batman
Jun 7th, 2009, 11:23 AM
My roommate ordered a copy of Demon's Souls from Asia because the Asian versions of the game are actually in English, and it didn't look like it would ever be released here. Two days after it arrived, they announced that it would be released in the US. I've watched him play, and it looks really fucking hard and all the environments kind of look the same after a while.

Can't wait for the Batman game though. And Ghostbusters. :O
Droog
Jun 7th, 2009, 04:11 PM
The only interesting game i see here is Bayonetta.
Forum Virgin
Jun 7th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Man, Rei better watch out, RoG is the Pimp of the Pickle-Hat. Obviously, if you want coverage at any future Comic-Cons, you need RoG as your "booth babe". :P
the axe and the smasher
Jun 7th, 2009, 10:49 PM
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is going to be the best thing ever.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 8th, 2009, 09:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FistfulOAwesome View Post
Muramasa- I really appreciate what Vanillaware is trying to do. Their sprites are so absolutely stunning it makes you wish 3D had never been invented. Their stories have a fanciful style to them that makes you wish for the days when every game didn't need to be "Dark and Gritty" (can't anything be gritty without being dark and vise-versa).
Actually, Odin Sphere had a very dark storyline, but you had to make some decent headway into the game to see it unfold that way.

Quote:
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow- MOTHER-FREAKING PATRICK STEWART!! How the hell did they get him for this!? More than anything else that is a good sign that this game will be good.
I wouldn't go that far. He did do a voice in Oblivion, after all.

Quote:
On a more serious note, I do like the games focus on blatant Gothic tones. That's been missing from the series since SOTN and it's nice to see it represented again.
They actually have had a lot of gothic tones in the games since then. Not all of them, but even the newer 3D ones have had their fair share of gothic architecture and such.

Quote:
The whip doesn't get used enough on the series. Except for Order of Eccleasia, I've never loved a Castlevania game that doesn't have the whip. I see it as what separates Castlevania from other games.
Well, nearly every game since SotN has included a playable character wielding the whip, if not the main character than an unlockable one.


Quote:
Kojima is a great producer so I want to give him a chance. It's certainly better than allowing IGA to make another boring clone of SOTN.

P.S. IGA is so overrated. That guy is great at making these nice little experiences. At making actual games is where he fails. OOE is the only good game he directed (even SOTN isn't that good) because he put some balls in it.
I would say they're both on roughly equal ground, as far as being producers. They both have found what their fans want and have been making games aimed at them since (IGA = MetroidVania games, Kojima = stealth games with an inordinate amount of talking), and they've both had their ill-advised departures from the norm (IGA = the N64 games and Judgement, Kojima = Metal Gear Acid and putting some whiny effeminate guy in MGS2). I just hope Kojima doesn't try to shoehorn his particular kind of storytelling into the Castlevania games. Because I like to play games, not watch them.

Also, you have that backwards: SotN is the only game IGA directed. The ones since he's just produced. And SotN is great. It's in the Alphabet of Manliness, for crying out loud.
The Mighty One
Jun 9th, 2009, 01:42 AM
Dr. Boogie: I don't know how to quote so I'll quickly reference.

Muramasa: By fanciful I meant storybook-like (which the game suggests since it's a story being read by a little girl (I think? I didn't make it past halfway of the bunny guy). By "Dark and Gritty" I meant your average FPS with a TOTALLY DARK AND GRITTY STORYLINE SINCE THAT'S WHAT TEENAGE BOYS THINK IS MATURE GRRRR!!.

Gothic: I don't know why I wrote that. I regretted it since I put it down.

Whip: Yeah, but it's never been as good as in Super Castlevania. That game had the best control scheme in the entire series. The whip could be spun, dragged for a shield, and, best of all, it could be used in all eight directions. I don't know why they gave that up. They had figured out to separate the sub-weapon (there are six main buttons on the SNES pad so somebody realized that there was no reason to keep the sub-weapon on Up + Attack anymore (they only did it on the NES since it only had two buttons (not counting Start and Select) only to get rid of it again for no reason.

Oh! This post hasn't actually addressed the whip comment and instead turned to praising Super Castlevania.

I don't like the later whip games (or non-whip) since they feel so stiff (battle-wise) compared to the greatness of Super Castlevania. It's one of the reasons I like OOE. The Beam Glyph feels like I've gotten back my precious whip in some way (even if still not as awesome as Super Castlevania). It feels the closest to combining the battle style of Super (and a little Bloodlines/Rondo of Blood) with the movement of the IGA games.

IGA: Oops. I meant that it's the only game that he directed (apparently produced) that I like as a game (Must have lost a few words there). I do have a soft spot for the guy. His games are really good at setting an atmosphere. As games they fail to work for me. There is so many bad backtracking, easy enemies, bad placement of said enemies (Ex: Why are there plants in the library in SOTN?), and confusing systems (the souls were a nice idea but they aren't as good as plain old sub-weapons plus it made people do this: http://castlevaniasoul.ytmnd.com/) that I can't take it.

On an unfair note, I think the Castlevania games aren't as good as the Metroid games at that style of gameplay, probably due to their lack of polish. The only exception is OOE and that's because it isn't really a Metroidvania game. The first 2/3 of the game are basically levels ( the exploring is fairly light) and Dracula's Castle is practically level-based (there is very little exploring. It looks explorable but in actuality it is a series of levels with no map screen change. You do it in this order (using the bosses as the order name): Wallman, BlackMore, Death or Eligor, Dracula. It's structure is actually more Demon's Crest (Capcom will never make a 2, will they?) than Metroid.

Alphabet on Manliness: No offense to Maddox, but Dawn of Sorrow was also on that list and that game is boring. As for SOTN it doesn't really deserve it's place in gaming history. It's a nice experience but it isn't as good a game as Super Metroid (not surprising, since IGA only made SOTN that way since he missed Metroid). It does a worse job than Metroid in nearly every way.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 9th, 2009, 08:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FistfulOAwesome View Post
Dr. Boogie: I don't know how to quote so I'll quickly reference.
Man, you hit the "quote" button. Geez.

Also, to do it manually, just put "quote" in brackets without the quotation marks before a section you want to quote, and "/quote" at the end to put the whole thing in one box.


Anyway, it sounds like you just prefer the old school Castlevania games to the new ones. I think there's definitely something to be had there; the new formula may have helped revitalize the series, but it was ultimately the original games that got people interested in the first place. I would much rather see IGA experimenting with new titles built in the style of SCIV rather than his most recent efforts. He did that a little with The Dracula X Chronicles, but there's definitely room for improvement in the field of whip control.


Also, you talked about the Dracula's Castle section of OoE being "practically no exploring" and having a more level-based feel to it. That particular area was almost identical in execution as the castle in SotN: a semi-linear path with some opportunities for exploration, limited by what abilities/glyphs the player has.

Furthermore, I'd go as far as to say that the same is true of Super Metroid: there's some exploration, but only until you get to a grappling point, or a room that's too hot, or an underwater area, or the like. At the end of the day, you still had the tackle the bosses in a set order to get what you needed to go where you needed to go. And as you said, that same sort of formula can be seen in Demon's Crest, albeit broken up into actual stages with a world map serving as a hub.

Personally, I feel the exact opposite about the two series. I loved SotN, and I really enjoyed Super Metroid, but that series just didn't do it for me the same way Castlevania did using the same gameplay formula. If I had to pick one element that made that decision for me, apart from Castlevania nostalgia, it would be that the exploration of different areas in the Metroid games never seemed to lead to any really remarkable discoveries.

In SotN, you could break open a niche in a wall and find some food, or you might find a cool new weapon/armor that does something really unique, like summon a group of soldiers to defend you or create money out of thin air. Heck, you might even discover a whole new area that holds a heretofore unseen powerup that lets you take the story in another direction. It was that variety of stuff that made it so interesting.

In the Metroid games, on the other hand, you could fire at walls and such to find hidden powerups, but they would be either energy tanks or powerups that increase your special weapon capacity. You did get new weapons as the game progressed, but there wasn't really any opportunity for customization, i.e. killing a metroid always requires a freeze ray and missiles.


In any case, a sequel to Demon's Crest is long overdue. At this point, Capcom could even do what they did with Bionic Commando, and have a remake of the game followed by a 3D sequel. I know I'd buy it.
Member
Jun 10th, 2009, 01:08 AM
The Ghostbusters stuff (especially the Ecto-1) left me short of breath. Really. o_o

Plus the Batmobile? If there had somehow also been a time-traveling DeLorean too, all three of my favourite vehicles of all time would be in one spot. I probably would've had a heart attack.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 10th, 2009, 04:15 AM
It looked to me like the Batmobile was a lot more gray than it was in the movies. I guess because it's getting so old.
The Mighty One
Jun 11th, 2009, 03:27 AM
Quote:
Anyway, it sounds like you just prefer the old school Castlevania games to the new ones.
You're probably right. I do enjoy the IGA produced games but I don't like them nearly as much as the older Castlevania titles or the Metroid Games. Hopefully one day the producers of the series will think of making a truly old-school game since we haven't seen one of those since Castlevania Chronicles on the Playstation (and that one sucked). The SOTN clones are Metroid style, (as far as I know) Judgment is a beat-em-upish fighter, and Kojima's new game does not bear unfair comparisons to God of War. It's time for the series to return to it's roots.

Quote:
Also, you talked about the Dracula's Castle section of OoE being "practically no exploring" and having a more level-based feel to it. That particular area was almost identical in execution as the castle in SotN: a semi-linear path with some opportunities for exploration, limited by what abilities/glyphs the player has.
I disagree (on a fact!?). There aren't very many options to do the castle out-of-order. You have to make your way to Wallman to get to the underground area. Once you do that the only path divergence is to get the Cerberus Glyph (which is mandatory). Once you do that you make your way to the underground. That is mostly straight with the only path divergence being to go to the Rapidus Glyph. After that you get a real path divergence to either go to fight Death or Eligor (but it's mostly like being able to choose between Temples 2 and 3 or 4 and 5 in Ocarina of time. It doesn't really matter which one you choose since you'll have to do both anyway). Once you kill both those guys you make your way to the top where the final path divergence is to get the Flying glyph.

Compare that to SOTN (I can't find a FAQ that states all the different paths you could take but it's a lot (I should know. I've beaten that game several times) and I think you'll see (at least from my point of view) how different their Castle's are.

On a related sidenote: I actually like the castle better that way. Since you have all the major abilites and glyphs by the time you get there (minus Paries) you truly get to enjoy the castle since you don't have to think about backtracking.

Quote:
Personally, I feel the exact opposite about the two series. I loved SotN, and I really enjoyed Super Metroid, but that series just didn't do it for me the same way Castlevania did using the same gameplay formula.
To each his own. I like Metroid more because it's more tightly designed (I don't feel like writing "In My Opinion" after everything I type. Obviously, since I wrote it, it's my opinion). The Castlevania games end up with me lost too often, especially the hell that is Harmony of Dissonance (strangely enough, it has my favorite atmosphere but my most hated gameplay). Shout out to Circle of the Moon, which is more tightly designed than any of IGA's games barring the level-based Ecclesia.

I do think I need to mention another thing that may get someone (not necessarily you) to like Castlevania over Metroid (despite my complaints they are basically the same type of game): Atmosphere. The Metroid games are based on alien planets while the Castlevania games are based in a Castle and thus have enviroments that with stone/metal/cement walls and hard, stone/cement/metal floors (generally. There are special areas like the underground). I guess what I'm saying is that the sights are definitely something that might twist a gamers opinion to one series over another (do you enjoy the alien sights of Metroid or the (fantastically) realistic Earth sites of the Castlevania games?)

Quote:
In any case, a sequel to Demon's Crest is long overdue. At this point, Capcom could even do what they did with Bionic Commando, and have a remake of the game followed by a 3D sequel. I know I'd buy it.
Agreed. Considering how remake/sequel happy they are right now with their old series, I say there is a chance for revival (if people make enough noise). I do hope a remake or sequel would be more Rearmed (awesome!) and less BC (sucks!).
Forum Virgin
Jun 14th, 2009, 06:15 PM
So am I the only one who thinks Booth Babes is a really bad idea? They have nothing to do with video games. I don't know, that's always just annoyed me. I mean I know sex sells, but come on.

Then again, we live in a world where they use sex to sell chewing gum and deodorant.

Sigh...

Great article though.
Funky Dynamite
Jun 15th, 2009, 01:50 PM
They get people to take pictures, so if you put the name of your game on their top, that's one way to get people to at least mention the name of your game.
Forum Virgin
Jun 16th, 2009, 02:50 AM
Yeah, that's true, but I'll never truly understand the whole thing.
Official Punching Bag
Aug 16th, 2009, 12:27 PM
Am I in the minority who thinks that Booth Babes should exhibit intelligence more than mere beauty as their sole worth? I mean, who knows how smart Chun Li is, she's a detective, for example. Anyway, maybe I'm just rambling because the glasses on Bayonetta make her look more intelligent.
Funky Dynamite
Aug 16th, 2009, 07:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeOfAllTrades View Post
Am I in the minority who thinks that Booth Babes should exhibit intelligence more than mere beauty as their sole worth? I mean, who knows how smart Chun Li is, she's a detective, for example. Anyway, maybe I'm just rambling because the glasses on Bayonetta make her look more intelligent.
To everyone else reading this, I ask you: What isn't wrong with that post?
Amicable Herculean
Aug 16th, 2009, 09:34 PM
well, at least he's a good at spelling
Is a RoboCop.
Aug 16th, 2009, 09:57 PM
I don't know, is Chun Li a detective?
That damn kid
Aug 19th, 2009, 09:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeOfAllTrades View Post
Am I in the minority who thinks that Booth Babes should exhibit intelligence more than mere beauty as their sole worth? I mean, who knows how smart Chun Li is, she's a detective, for example. Anyway, maybe I'm just rambling because the glasses on Bayonetta make her look more intelligent.
You realize...those are fictional characters....and...the booth babes...are models...right?

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