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Resident Evil: Archives = Resident Evil Gamecube Remake

Resident Evil: Archives

In terms of remakes, Resident Evil released on Gamecube is the standard I hold all other gaming remakes up to. When Capcom decided to put a new polish on their classic survival horror, they added more than just prettier graphics. Now, we’re getting a second remake, or you could call it a remake of a remake. It begs the question, can they improve it even further?

After reading the fact sheet about the game I’m a bit puzzled. There’s a single line in the sheet that has me worried, “This is a Wii version of the classic Resident Evil remake, originally released on GameCube in 2002 which featured new rooms, areas, items and creatures that were not included in the PlayStation original released in 1996″

So, there isn’t going to be much more to this game other than it being a straight re-release of the Gamecube game? As I keep reading the fact sheet, there’s nothing mentioned of anything new coming for the Wii version. No talk of updated control schemes, no boost in graphics, and most importantly no new content.

Don’t believe me, read the features section of the fact sheet:

You take control of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha team members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine (both recently seen in the smash hit, Resident Evil 5). Your mission is to investigate the ominous mansion at the core of the horrific disaster and uncover the secrets behind a radical, genetic research facility. With unspeakable horrors lurking around every corner, the ultimate test will be to make it out alive! Relive the thrills and terror that defined the genre of Survival Horror and launched a franchise that has sold over 40 million games worldwide.

Features:

· The Original, Reborn: This is a Wii version of the classic Resident Evil remake, originally released on GameCube in 2002 which featured new rooms, areas, items and creatures that were not included in the PlayStation original released in 1996

· Survival of the Fittest: Battle against putrid zombies, infected dogs and horrific gigantic bosses as you struggle to survive

· Defense weapons: Defensive weapons protect characters when being attacked

· Your favourite Resident Evil Characters on the Wii: Play as Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, who each uncover two completely different paths as they explore deep within the horrific mansion

· In-depth Puzzles: Solve dangerous, intricate puzzles and uncover terrifying secrets

· More than 10 Different Game Endings: Unique endings dependent upon play decisions and successes

As you ponder what to make of this latest development, enjoy the screenshots below.

(Click To Enlarge)
Resident Evil: Archives Screen 1 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 2 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 3 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 4 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 5 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 6 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 7 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 8 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 9 Resident Evil: Archives Screen 10

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse Not Coming Stateside

Nintendo or Tecmo just made a little bit of my soul die…

*sigh*, I always hate to be the bearer of bad news folks. For those who were under the assumption that Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse would be coming to the US, should set yourself up for disappointment. The series that produced the scariest game of all time, for me (Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly), won’t be receiving a Wii continuation in the states. This is coming from a Tecmo rep who spoke with IGN. He/she had this to say…

“Nintendo holds the publishing rights to ‘Fatal Frame Wii,’ which was developed by Tecmo LTD. and Grasshopper Manufacture and released in Japan on July 31, 2008. Nintendo of America has since then decided not to publish the title in North America – consequently, the title will not be released in this territory. As the owner of the IP, Tecmo feels very unfortunate that the fans of the series in North America will not have a chance to play the game, but respects the final decision made by Nintendo of America.”

Ha, I have no respect for the decision. If you read my blog, you know I don’t throw statements like that wildly.

The statement made by the Tecmo rep goes against a statement made by Reggie Fils-Aime to MTV Multiplayer. He stated that Nintendo didn’t have publishing rights for the game in the states. So, apparently no one knows what is going on. That or someone does know and doesn’t want to admit the truth.

Either way, we’re all screwed out of an experience that could be a blast on the Wii. The gameplay style of Fatal Frame is pretty much made for the Wii. I’m generally not one for petitions, but if anyone does start one I’ll be happy to sign. Hopefully it won’t come to that. Maybe, whoever does own the publishing rights will wise up and get it done, or perhaps sell the rights to someone that will.

Cursed Mountain: Mixing Buddhism and Horror

Around September of last year, I posted a video of an upcoming survival horror game that piqued my interest. It was called Cursed Mountain, and showed a lone man surviving on top of a cold mountain somewhere in another country.

There wasn’t much else to talk about Cursed Mountain, until now. The publisher/developer of the game sat down with IGN to talk about the game, and show off some gameplay footage. If you want to read the entire interview, click here. All you really need to know is the backbone of the plot which is quoted by Martin Flipp…

Cursed Mountain is the first game that combines the elements of mountaineering, Buddhism and horror. We are offering the player a new and very unique setting on the top of the world.

The gameplay footage looks beautiful, but I have some qualms. First, there’s a couple of places in the video that look really dark. Not spooky dark, but I can’t see where I’m going dark. I’m sure there’ll be brightness settings for the game so it’s a very minor setback. Anyhoo, enjoy the videos below…

House of the Dead: Overkill First Impressions

House of the Dead: Overkill

I’m not sure why video games and zombies go hand and hand together. Is it the feeling of shooting something in the head to kill it that appeals to gamers? Or is it easier to code AI for the undead that attracts developers? Well, the monsters in House of the Dead: Overkill are apparently mutants, so this discussion of zombies doesn’t matter anyway.

I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that was more deserving of its ‘M’ rated status than House of the Dead: Overkill. During its intro, which has a scantily clad stripper working a pole, you’ll find that House of the Dead: Overkill tries to go over the top and succeeds on nearly every level. On a side note, kudos to Headstrong Games for making the intro credits play in front of a hot stripper. I think it’s the only time I’ve never skipped a credit screen if given the option.

If you’ve seen any of the HotD: Overkill trailers then you know that Headstrong was going after the 70’s B movie horror feel when creating the game. After playing through the first three stages, it’s safe to say they pulled it off well. Everything in the game oozes with campy, horror movie flare. The menus have that gritty, old movie reel look with some hilarious music playing in the background. During my look around all of the menus, I found the aim calibration a little off. I had to move my sensor bar around, and make sure my Wii Zapper was at the right level to get my aim right. Kind of a nuisance.

So, the presentation, music, and stripper intro is nice, but what about the parts that really matter? As I mentioned before, I’ve played through the first three stages. Each stage starts with a cut scene, which all three have nearly went the same. Showing Detective Washington, and Agent G arguing about something, and throwing around f-bombs, like its going out of style. Actually in just the first three stages, I think House of the Dead: Overkill has set a record for most uses of the word f**k in a video game. It’s almost overused, even in the sense that the game is trying to be over the top. There’s a difference between being extreme and just being repetitive.

The story is simple so far, Agent G, and Detective Washington are after a sinister villain named Papa Caesar, who is turning all of Bayou City into crazed mutants. Not ‘zombies’, which Agent G refers to as the “z word”. The story is rather funny, and Papa Caesar fits in wonderfully as a crazed southerner villain.

The meat of the gameplay in House of the Dead: Overkill is a treat to play through. If you’re a fan of earlier installments of HotD, then you should know that Headstrong carries the torch very well. The on-rails experience provides an intense, fast paced gun show that will keep you well entertained. I’ve only played with the Wii Zapper control configuration, which works for the most part. The reload button, which is the ‘A’ button can feel a bit akward at first. You have to slide your finger up and around the zapper to reload, but becomes second nature after awhile. The difficulty has been balanced so far, as you can play a level with minimal mutants or add in more, for a greater challenge.

The levels have been varied so far, along with the mutants themselves. They repeat some, but keeps a good enough variety that it doesn’t repeat too often. The game is beautiful when it’s in motion, but during cutscenes and slower parts of the game some of the edges appear rough and not as polished as it could have been. The old school movie reel look makes its way from the menu into the actual gameplay which is a nice effect. My only gripe is that there have been a few glitches through my play through so far. During parts of the game when the camera has to swing around quickly, there’s hitches that slow the pace of the game down. I’m not sure if its the game just not being able to handle the speed, or if its my disc.

The audio, and voice acting so far has been a delight. I love the menu music, and the tracks for the stages have kept up well with the fast paced arcade gameplay. Detective Washington, and Agent G are voiced well, but I noticed that certain parts of cut scenes that Agent G slows down when talking. I’m not sure if this was on purpose, or if there’s a reason Agent G starts having to sound out his words.

HofD: Overkill looks to have a great amount of extras, and unlockables as you progress. There’s a Gun Shop where you can purchase up to 6 different weapons, if I remember correctly. On top of that you can upgrade your equipment, with cash you’ve earned by playing through the game. There are extras to look out for in the stages as well, with the golden brain, and slo-mo icon. The golden brain is just something to shoot for extra points, but the slo-mo cap is a nice feature. If you shoot the green icons that appear in the stage, everything slows down. It’s not an original element, but is pulled off really well. Everything from the stage’s music, mutants, even the dialogue slows to a crawl. Then, when it speeds back up is pulled off tightly.

From what I’ve played so far, I’d say that House of the Dead: Overkill is definitely worth a look. You have to enjoy arcade style on-rail shooters, and if you do then at least rent this game. The over the top style, is shown off with great flare and you can tell was handled with extra special care. The cursing might get old, not that I’m offended, it’s just overused even in the silly sense they’re shooting for. Beyond the small hitches in the framerate, HotD: Overkill runs smooth, and I’ve definitely been pleased with the purchase. Plus, did I mention there’s a stripper with a pole in the intro?

LIT First Impressions (Spooky, and Challenging)

LIT

LIT, is one game that I’ve been looking forward to since I first heard about it. Last night I took a chance, and decided to download the game to see what it was all about. I only got to play about 20-30 minutes of it, but I’m definitely glad I did.

The idea of mixing horror, and puzzle elements is something traditionally reserved for pre-Resident Evil 4, and in the Silent Hill games. LIT differentiates itself from those games for many reasons I’ve noticed so far. First, LIT is a pure puzzler, atleast from what I’ve played so far. If you’re looking for any kind of high octane action you won’t find it here. LIT trades in gunfire, and explosions for atmosphere and mood. Which it has in spades.
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LIT and MERCS Coming To Wii Shop Channel Today

Today’s WiiShop downloads couldn’t be more different if they tried. LIT, is a horror/puzzle game releasing on the WiiWare. You have to battle through a dark, and possessed high school by strategically utilizing light switches to vanquish your foes. read more »