Late Night Consoling

Anybody who has sent me an email since 4PM yesterday, please re-send it. My email account was out of commission.

Man, I'm exhausted. Too many press events lately. I keep falling asleep at my computer. But hey, how about that Sam & Max game news, huh?

Previews coming soon. I've been writing nonstop today, as you have probably noticed, so please bear with me. Links to the major sites' TGS coverage are in the Misc. Q&As/Features section, and you can find plenty of previews there.

  • Revolution Controller Unveiled

    [nintendo]

    Well, it's still not in its final form, but a work in progress version of the wireless-only Nintendo Revolution controller has been shown by Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. GameSpot Hardware has a detailed report of their hands-on impressions. Like the Revolution console itself, it does not look like the type of product Nintendo is known for producing. It is a sleek, shiny, iPod-white device that more than anything else looks like a remote control. The main component of the controller is held in one hand, and consists of a d-pad, an A button, a B shoulder button, Start and Select buttons, and a Home button (hinting at some kind of OS or media functionality in Revolution?). Rather ingeniously, when rotated 90 degrees, the controller becomes an old-school-esque controller with a d-pad on the left and A and B buttons on the right. The controller also features LED lights indicating whether it is being used by player 1, 2, 3, or 4. Unsurprisingly, it also features built-in rumble technology.

    So what do you do with your other hand (ok, besides that, har har)? Well, the controller has a port in the bottom to which you hook up a corded secondary component to be held in the other hand. Only one possible configuration--an analog stick with two trigger buttons--was on display, but Miyamoto promised there would be more; in fact, it will even be possible to hook up an entirely new controller configuration if needed.

    Control itself will make use of some kind of spacial movement recognition. The controller will understand movement in all six directions (up, down, left, right, forward, backward) as well as rotation clockwise and counter-clockwise. So, for example, in a first person shooter, moving the controller around will actually aim the crosshairs on the screen. A modified version of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was used to demonstrate this. GameSpot likens it to a PC FPS experience, with the right hand moving around to aim and the left hand used for moving (though obviously by way of an analog stick rather than WASD).

    Other uses of the controller as described in the article include controlling a plane by way of actually holding the controller like a paper airplane and guiding it around. There was also an air hockey game in which the player can put spin on the puck through a turn of the wrist.

    As noted, the device has still yet to reach its final form, but GameSpot provides a pretty thorough look at the type of gameplay it will be capable of. In a shorter article, GameSpot notes that "despite its unorthodox appearance, the Revolution controller has a comfortable feel."

    IGN has an overview up, this one a bit more succinct. IGN also wrote, surprisingly quickly, a feature hypothesizing many possible gameplay implementations for the controller. There's also a summary from Game Informer.

    Now that this particular cat is out of the bag, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo plans to follow up on the software side. In addition to the growing list of publishers who have announced support for Revolution, Miyamoto noted that Sonic Team head Yuji Naka is fond of the controller. So, Nintendo, what's next?

  • TGS Game Announcements

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube] [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]

    Tokyo Games Show news is getting started, and so the announcements are out in full force. Here are quite a few, grouped by platform and sorted alphabetically by title. Descriptions will be brief:

    - Ace Combat Zero: Namco announced a a prequel to Ace Combat 5 (PS2), which will take place 15 years before the events of that game. The game looks to keep the same type of gameplay while improving the visuals even further.
    - Devil May Cry 3 and 4 (PS2): Capcom has apparently finished work on Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, which will ship for PS2 in Japan this Winter. It will include a "very hard" difficulty setting. No word on a North American or European release. Capcom also announced Devil May Cry 4, about which little was revealed. The game is being directed by Hideaki Itsuno of Devil May Cry 3.
    - Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3): The game was already known to be in development, but now it's official. Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 4 will apparently feature Snake as "an aging cop." Hideo Kojima explains: "[MGS4] is a game for the old people. As a game designer in my 40s, I feel this is something I really need to do. I'll leave the teenage coming of age stories for my younger staff."
    - Psychic Force on PS3: Taito revealed that a new Psychic Force game is in the works for PS3. The fighting/platforming franchise debuted on PlayStation and had sequels on both PS1 and Dreamcast.
    - Tourist Trophy (PS2): Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital will be creating a motorcycle-based racing game by the name of Tourist Trophy. It will feature the developer's signature realism.
    - Way of the Samurai 3 (PS3): Spike announced the sequel for PS3, to be released in 2007.
    - Xenosaga III on PS2: In addition to the Xenosaga 1/2 on DS news (see below), Namco and Monolith Soft announced the third episode in the series for PS2. The game will feature revamped mechanics.
    - Bomberman: Act Zero (X360): Hudson Soft will bring good old Bomberman to Xbox 360 next summer.
    - The Convenience Store X (X360): Hamster is developing a convenience store chain simulator for Xbox 360.
    - Way of the Samurai Online (X360): In addition to Way of the Samurai 3 for PS3, Spike announced Way of the Samurai Online for Xbox 360. It is set for release in 2006.
    - Sea Action Game (X360): Success has announced some kind of "sea action game" for Xbox 360, whatever that might mean.
    - Mizuguchi on DS again: Lumines/Meteos/Rez/Space Channel 5 designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi apparently revealed that his company Q Entertainment is making another game for Nintendo DS. Q's first DS title was the puzzler Meteos. The new game seems to be as yet unnamed, though it will be a music-based puzzle game and will be published by Bandai.
    - Xenosaga on DS: Namco announced that 2D versions of Xenosaga episodes I and II will be developed for DS. The games will feature the same storyline with some added content and will have some kind of unexplained new system called "P.F." The second game in particular will apparently take gameplay elements from the better-received first episode.
    - Katamari for PSP: Namco has announced a PSP version of Katamari Damacy. The title roughly translates to "Our Katamari Damacy." There has been little word of the DS version since the announcement in Nintendo Power months ago.
    - Mizuguchi on PSP again: Tetsuya Mizuguchi of Q Entertainment revealed that he is working on a PSP game entitled Every Extend Extras, E3 for short. No relation to, you know, the Expo. The game is a port of PSP shooter called Every Extend, and is described as follows: "Suicidal explosion game with new feelings. Blow up self to involve enemies!" Alrighty...
    - Final Fantasy IV on GBA: Complimenting the hopefully-still-in-development Final Fantasy III remake on DS, Square will be bringing Final Fantasy IV (known as Final Fantasy II outside of Japan) to the Game Boy Advance. It will ship this December.

  • Sega and Bizarre to Create Together

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]

    Sega has been in developer overdrive lately, forging relationships left and right with well-known developers--Petroglyph, Monolith, Silicon Knights, The Creative Assembly, and so on. Today, another studio joined in the fun. Bizarre Creations, the team best known for Project Gotham Racing, entered into an agreement with Sega to produce "a next-generation franchise." Though no specifics were outline, the company's pedigree would put some sort of racing game at the forefront of speculation.

  • Own Kirby? Get a Stylus

    [ds]

    If you happen to own a copy of Kirby Canvas Curse (DS) and want a free pink stylus (come on, you're already playing a game requiring to draw rainbows), head over to Nintendo's website to sign up. It requires you to register a My Nintendo account and enter the personal serial number that came with the game. The stylus will be delivered to you in several weeks. The Japanese version of the game came with the stylus pre-packaged.

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    TGS Coverage: GameSpot, IGN, 1UP, Eurogamer.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3) [GameSpot]. Kojima Productions' Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence [GameSpot, IGN]. Polyphony's Tourist Trophy [IGN]. Insomniac's Ratchet: Deadlocked [IGN].

Xbox

Q Entertainment's Ninety-Nine Nights (X360) [GameSpot]. Epic's Gears of War (X360) [GameSpot, IGN]. Mistwalker's Blue Dragon (X360) [GameSpot]. From's Chromehounds (X360) [IGN]. Capcom's Devil Kings [IGN]. Eden's Test Drive Unlimited (X360) [GameSpot]. Namco's Ridge Racer 6 (X360) [GameSpot].

Screenshots: Dead Rising (X360). Project Gotham Racing 3 (X360). Chromehounds (X360). Dead or Alive 4 (X360). [eM] -eNCHANT arM- (X360). Rumble Roses XX (X360). Kameo: Elements of Power (X360). Frame City Killer (X360). Final Fantasy XI (X360, also PS2, PC).

Portable

Amaze's Spyro: Shadow Legacy (DS) [IGN]. Bandai and Nana On Sha's Tamagotchi Connection: Corner Shop (DS) [IGN].

Multi

EA Canada's Need For Speed Most Wanted [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, DS, PSP, GBA, PC]. EA's From Russia With Love - Gadgets Spotlight [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN]. Raven's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse - Iceman preview [GameSpot: PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC]. Rockstar's The Warriors [IGN: PS2, Xbox].

Screenshots: Resident Evil 5 (PS3, X360).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Golgo 13 for the NES. "One of the best espionage games ever made!" (submitted by Thrymm1)