[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

September 30th, 2010

Of all the Survival Horror series, one I enjoy most is the Project Zero or Fatal Frame series… if I were to make a website for a game it was either that or Minna no Golf.

Project Zero Work in Progress.

That would probably have been the case if there wasn’t already a nice website out there for the game and also if the game was more true to it’s original feel. With some game series or franchises, things get a little stale or game play or design go backwards instead of forwards. Project Zero is probably one of those who have fallen into this area of progression, with the game starting off to a great start with Zero, then topped by Crimson Butterfly and then holding it’s position with The Tormented… while the latest release Mask of the Lunar Eclipse on the Wii wasn’t improving it seemed the series was heading sideways.

With basically a drought for news on anything to do with the series and Nintendo holding the localised release of the game in western countries… you’d think that maybe the series might be dead. Well yesterday there was a few articles and press releases which contain visuals of the new upcoming work in progress Project Zero featuring the characters from Crimson Butterfly. This could be signs of a remake or Mio and Mayu have matured, but why is it for the Wii again…?

Seeing as with the previous version, Nintendo had rights to the publishing of the game… and their decision was to hold the release of the game in western countries [due to chances the game will not sell well in western regions]. Eventually it lead to fans creating a English patch for the Japanese game. Tecmo did also say that they would try not let this happen again in the future as they are quite sorry the game was unable to reach the western fan base of the series. So what are they doing now…?

I’ve always looked forward to a HD version of the game to play. Looks like that may not be happening, though I don’t see why if they are already remaking it anyway… Also if the motion controllers are what they are after, that doesn’t mean much as the PlayStation Move is now available so that doesn’t make sense. The only reason this could be happening is that Nintendo maintains the license to the series or franchises now as Tecmo may have sold it to them for a set number of years. A move which may have cost the series it’s progression and success.

Anyway here is what the original Crimson Butterfly looked like… comparing with the new graphics up the top there is clearly a noticeable difference. Mio and Mayu have had their costumes modified a little and some other enhancements… really? One thing that was irritating about the Wii release was that in Lunar Eclipse, there wasn’t much difference between the look of the girls you were in control of. Most of them were given enough polygons to emphasize their face and chest while the rest of the body was pretty much left for awkward moments when stretched or animated. The original PlayStation 2 releases of the game seemed to have done a better job… it just seems like they wanted the game to look better than the originals however decided that they would need to cut corners else where [such as straight and stiff looking limbs that fold awkwardly] to maintain that effect.

That aside the Wii never seemed to do the game much justice. Ignoring that Suda did change the way the game play and system works a little, there are times where the game would lag uncontrollably when travelling between rooms or sections of a building. Why does it happen? I even tested it with USB loaded version of the game and it still had the same lagging performance at the same area of the game… this wasn’t a bug that just happens to be on the game because we are running it off a disc. It happened even when the developers were probably testing it off the Wii SDK… which means they should have fixed it in the testing phase. If they were struggling with resources and performance in the first place, why announce another release for the Wii when there are clearly better alternatives out there where the series can succeed on?

Well I look forward to the release of this game… but there is always going to be that thought of how much better this series could have been if they weren’t crippling their ideas and development teams just for a little bit of cash. With the PlayStation Move now available, there is no excuse not to make this in HD if they wanted the motion controllers… Also atleast if they released it on the PlayStation 3 the game would be region free and not force legitimate people to hack and modify their consoles just to play a game they would have gladly purchased if it were released in their respective regions. [Also more exposure for the game if people were playing it online on the PSN or Live with the Trophies and Achievements systems.] In the end I could move over to Biohazard for my Survival Horror gaming… too bad the horror factor in that is pretty low.

September 20th, 2010

Going to the Tokyo Game Show was quite interesting. This was my first time to such an event, so it was an all new experience to see how things work at these exhibits. I was actually not in Tokyo at the time the event started, so I needed to travel a few hours to reach the location which this year was at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Upon arriving at the station near Makuhari Messe there is many people walking towards the exhibit. You can follow them or listen to the people who try to guide you there with signs or gestures. Anyway, as you get closer to the building there is already a huge mass of people gathered outside lining up to enter… If you have a pre-purchased ticket you can move along to join the line, otherwise you need to line up to obtain a ticket. [Pre-purchased tickets are cheaper but you need to print it out yourself.] Even so, it turns out the line you are lining up at after the tickets is a security check line… After that it is actually straight into the exhibit.

It was packed. One thing that means is, you’re not going to be able to see everything. So prior to going I would probably recommend knowing where and what everything you want to look at is located. It is also probably much easier to do everything you want to check out if you were alone… I wasn’t. So I mainly hung around the Sony, Capcom and Level 5 area. I did drift to the other parts but mostly just to eat lunch and look at what else is on offer at the event.

Almost everything has a line… either that or you need to line up somewhere else before you can line up at a popular game. An example was most of the 3D or PlayStation Move booths at Sony required you to line up at another line to obtain a coupon that gives you a time slot so you can try the game you want to play. The other case was you could be lining up at a up coming game that also gives you some limited goods for trying the game, which was the case for Ni no Kuni… of course you could also try it at the Sony booth without a 30 or 60 minute line to wait in.

The real nice thing about going to these events is you can see and experience the games rather than base your judgement on the videos and pictures or content offered online. Truly some games need to be seen to be enjoyed or appreciated… since some games or media content are staged. This explains why without a press license we are unable to take pictures of videos of any games at the event as they are mainly all work in progress of concept demonstrations. Mavel vs Capcom 3 did look much nicer than the online videos show it to be. Little Big Planet 2 was nice to see too.

It’s probably a good plan to also try things that will probably be too expensive to experience at home or concept games that probably won’t make it to any platform in the near future. Since I was there with two of my online friends, we decided to try play Minna no Golf 5 in 3D because we probably can’t afford the set up at home or it might not even be released for the current version of the game. It was an interesting experience which you can read about here. I didn’t try the PlayStation Move as it was already released elsewhere in the world so it isn’t exclusive, also it was good enough to watch the booth assistants demonstrate it as it gives a good idea of how responsive it is.

If you plan to hang around from the start to the end, then another good idea would be to prepare your own lunch. You can hang around in lines and eat your lunch instead of lining up and paying for a lower than standard quality lunch which saves you time and money so you can play and view more games. I guess the same case goes for if you want to buy some limited goods at the place, you need to be there early so you can insure that you will obtain the goods you want… I had no interest in that part of the show, but my friend was lining up two hours before the event in order to get his hands on a Moogle plushie.

To wrap it up, I quite enjoyed the event except there shouldn’t be a need to line up to reserve a spot just to try a game. Also it would have been nicer if we were allowed to take pictures of the event instead of only the area between the buildings that had cosplayers getting their photos taken… That area would have also been nicer if it wasn’t where we needed to walk through to get to the other areas of the event, as in they could put it in another area away from the people who are trying to navigate around the exhibit. Some freebies would have been nice too… :)

September 16th, 2010

So the Tokyo Game Show 2010 started today… I haven’t been following the news and press release closely, but I do see a few things I look forward to trying this weekend. Ni no Kuni, Patapon 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, GranTurismo 5, Little Big Planet 2, PlayStation Move and also up coming 3D games. I don’t think they will be awesome but might be a good experience and enlightening to what 3D may or may not be capable of.

Minna no Golf 5 had a short 3D display… I wonder if that means they are planning to patch the current game?

Anyway doesn’t seem like an awesome line-up of things to come but it is interesting none the less. :D