The most talked about point was that the control scheme for the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has been revised since E3, and now the player actually swings the sword by swinging the Wii remote. Some think this is great and adds to the immersion; others think it's pointless and will be extremely tiring. I think it's the wrong move. I'm not so much concerned about it being physically tiring; since that action doesn't use the pointer function you should still be able to rest your hand on your lap. That said, the game was simply not designed for this functionality. I can't think of any reason the user experience would actually be improved by having to wave your hand, even if the movements are only slight, every time you want to swing the sword. It just screams tacked on functionality to me. This wouldn't be a problem, except that Nintendo recently noted that contrary to prior expectation you will in fact not be able to use a GameCube controller with the Wii version of the game. So, just pick up the GameCube version, right? Well, that version doesn't support widescreen, as far as I know. The Wii version is in widescreen and runs at 60fps. I'm just holding out hope that maybe even if it doesn't support the GameCube controller, it will support the Wii classic controller.
Miyamoto also noted that Nintendo is considering releasing Wii remakes of some of its GameCube titles for budget prices, and he encourages other publishers to look at that option as well. This is something I would support. I would love to see Microsoft and Sony do the same. Obviously it would be incredibly foolish to budget full scale remakes, but certain little changes could be great. Things like a $20 reissued Pikmin 2 (GCN) with that game's local multiplayer taken online would be great. Do the same exact thing for the first Halo (Xbox) game, I'll buy that too. Maybe Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) with a rock solid framerate. Oh, and ensure widescreen and progressive scan support for all of them. Resident Evil 4 (PS2, GCN) would be another great candidate there. No doubt some people would claim that these are cheap cash-ins, but I don't see how. We've been doing this for decades with movies and music, remastering and releasing them on new media formats. It's a great thing. If nothing else, it ensures that great games get another shot on the shelves, instead of the usual six months before they disappear and you're forced to buy a scratched up used copy missing its instruction manual. To sweeten the deal on these reissues, just stick in some developer interviews or concept art or what have you on the DVD--make it like the Criterion Collection of games. I'm on board.
Wii to Launch Post-PS3?[nintendo]
Though Nintendo has officially only stated that its upcoming Wii console will release in the United States before Thanksgiving, many analysts and gamers have also expressed expecation that it will preempt Sony's PS3, which launches November 17. Recently, Nintendo has been sending out invitations to "Wii Private Launch Parties," giving gamers selected by Nintendo, as well as friends of those gamers, the chance to try out Wii and its launch lineup before it hits stores. So far, reports have surfaced revealing parties in cities such as Chicago, Austin, and Miami, all of which occur in September and October. However, today, Melissa, a co-host of online gaming video show GameLife, posted in the Gaming-Age Forums what she claims is an invitation to a Wii Private Launch Party in Los Angeles on November 17, 2006--the same day as the PS3's launch. Assuming the image is legitimate, this would suggest that Nintendo's next console will launch either the same day as Sony's machine or some time before November 23, in order to meet the Thanksgiving deadline.
Nintendo could not be reached for comment by press time.
EA Finishes Announcing Bad Company[ps3] [xbox360]
Battlefield: Bad Company, the next iteration of Digital Illusions CE's Battlefield series for PS3 and Xbox 360, was unofficially revealed last week, but today Electronic Arts put out the full announcement. The press release claims the game world is "90% destructible," greatly increasing the number of gameplay possibilities and tactics. "The heart of DICEÂ’s multiplayer games is the frenetic, unpredictable nature of the sandbox experience, where anything could happen at any moment, and thatÂ’s what weÂ’re bringing to the core of Battlefield: Bad CompanyÂ’s single-player campaign," said DICE senior producer Karl Magnus Troedsson. Other than the promise of open ended gameplay, the press release still lacks a huge amount of tangible gameplay descriptions, but the company did release a single shot showing an extremely high detail closeup of three soldiers' faces.
Digital Illusions CE's Battlefield: Bad Company is set to ship for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2007.
Xbox 360 Live Vision Camera Seen Early?[xbox360]
Various sites tracking back to the Cheap Ass Gamer forums have reports of a gamer who claims to have obtained an Xbox Live Vision video camera for Xbox 360 this weekend, several weeks before the peripheral's expected September release. It seems to be a true account, with photographs of the hardware itself as well as the other contents of the box and the receipt from the store at which he purchased it. For those curious about the device, the gamer in question also posted a lengthy review about the camera's functionality, which was added to Xbox 360 in its hefty spring update.
The Xbox Live Vision camera was purchased from a Toys 'R Us store in Kennesaw, Georgia for $39.99 before tax.
Activision Remixes Hits for PSP[psp]
With all the retro collections being announced for PSP lately, one gets the feeling that publishers may have been paying attention to all the gamers who enjoy emulating older titles on the portable system. Activision is the latest to collect its own classic properties for PSP with Activision Hits Remixed. The title promises over 40 of Activision's Atari 2600 games, including Pitfall, Kaboom!, Chopper Command, Stampede, Keystone Kapers. The games will be updated with "modernized front-end graphics" but will presumably keep their gameplay mechanics intact. Multiplayer games will be playable via local wireless, either with two copies of the game or with one copy by using the Game Share feature; players can also take turns, trading off a single system in between lives. Activision also promises various "retro unlockable," though these were not described.
Activision Hits Remixed is set to ship this fall for PSP.
Miyamoto Proposes Cube to Wii Remakes[gamecube] [nintendo]
IGN has translated details of a Nintendo Dream interview with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, in which the designer speaks on the possibility of remaking GameCube titles for the upcoming Wii and releasing them at budget prices. "We'll be upgrading the development tools, but GameCube code can be used for the most part as is," he said, in terms of the effort required for such a procedure. "In that sense, I believe that it would be good to remake GameCube games for Wii, and that some titles would become better with the change to the Wii remote controller." In terms of pricing, he said, "[GameCube titles] are sold at used shops, so we don't feel we could sell them for full price. However, development costs have been taken care of, so we could probably sell them at a more accessible price." He went on to suggest that third party publishers consider doing so as well.
As long as such projects don't detract from original development--and it seems unlikely they would--it could be a positive thing not just for Nintendo systems but for all consoles. For my full thoughts, see my intro above.
GameSpot has a lengthy analyst roundtable about Sony's prospects with PS3. Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, Pacific Crest's Evan Wilson, and Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian give their thoughts on the price of the system, the appeal of Blu-ray, what Sony's long term strategies may be, and how publishers are reacting to the machine.
IGN has translated details of an interview with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, speaking on what happened to design ideas from cancelled or postponed Nintendo games such as Mario 128 and Marionette.
GameSpot checks out the PS2 version of Sonic Team and Total Entertainment's Phantasy Star Universe (PS2, also X360, PC).
Screenshots: Bully (PS2).
IGN has translated details on the control scheme for the Wii version of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, also GCN).
IGN has a preview of FarSight's Scarface: Money. Power. Respect. (PSP).
Movies: GUN Showdown (PSP).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Legend of Kage for the NES. "I loved this game because of the crazy super-high jumps you could do. I never could figure out how to get far in it, but it was fun to just run and jump around." (submitted by dmiller)
A Criterion Collection for games would be just about the most fucking awesome thing ever.
This is pretty much what i consider Resident Evil Remake to be, although it can't be cost effective to put so much production value (and flat out change) into the process.
Well, REmake sold for the same price as a normal, new game, but required less work, arguably, as the scenario, monster designs, story, etc were already done.
Sure, that's only a small part of the final product, but it's still something.
I'd love it. Way too many important games are lost in the constant upgrade shuffle, it would be awesome to see them live again via legitmate emulation or "restored" ports.