What is it with Sega Characters and Wiimotes?

October 28th, 2007

With the recent announcement of Samba de Amigo for the Wii I noticed that Sega have continued the same trend with their character art. Once again Sega have equipped the main character with a Wiimote. See what I mean:

sega mascots

I’m not sure why they do it, but its just interesting as the character doesn’t use the Wiimote in these games, its the gamer that does that. Interestingly Bleech or Ghost Squad seem to by pass this trend.

Capcom gets Narcy over Okami Flak

October 26th, 2007

When Capcom announced that they were bringing an Okami game to the Wii last week, I was really excited. Finally the rumours were true, goodie. Although my excitement quickly waned once I got past the news headline to discover that it was a direct port of last years PS2 game. I was even more disappointed after discovering that there was going to be no extra content, nothing. Just Wii controls and thats it.

Its not just me that is angry, plenty of people are angry. Enough people to warrant this post from Christian Svensson(Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Research) on the Capcom America forum:

“A few points here… I get the issues, I really do, but people seem to be missing a few things. We selected Ready at Dawn to do the port. These guys are all ex-Naughty Dog and ex-Blizzard, and they have already shipped their own titles that have ridiculously high review scores and sales (and have more on the way). Their attention to detail and technical prowess is among the best of any team I’ve ever worked with.

If we wanted a cheap and dirty port, I could have turned around and picked any one of 50 houses and gotten it done for less and perhaps more quickly. Clearly, that wasn’t the approach we sought for a variety of reasons (for the fans, for the reputation of our company, for the potential of the product, etc. okami artwork

Lastly, if this were a quick cash in, let’s face it, there’s TONS of other products that had higher sales on other platforms we could have chosen to port, quickly and cheaply. Okami, as great as it was, wasn’t a huge seller on PS2 such that its quick and dirty port would be assured “sales success” on a new platform. We picked a huge game (read: expensive, especially on testing costs), with a ton of moving parts.

So, on the contrary, we have a lot to prove with this game and I know we, and RAD are up to the task. I apologize if I bristle at the accusation that this is a cheap port, but I do.

Given that the only port we’ve done to date was RE4, which has a 90+ gamerankings score and provided AMAZING value for the platform, has this really been Capcom’s modus operendi such that this allegation should be leveled at us? Zack & Wiki is getting better reviews than just about anything you’ll see this year on Wii, except possibly Galaxy. Shovelware is not what we do.

As I’ve said in prior interviews, we’re getting the game up and running first. The game is enormous. If after we have everything working correctly, cleanly and as desired so as not to “break” the amazing experience that is Okami, we will worry about potential enhancements. As we are NOT at that point in the process yet, we are loathe to even mention any potential changes or enhancements for fear of disappointing the fans/media.

So for now, if you MUST assume the worst, assume that you will have an amazing 40-60 hour adventure that is one of gaming’s most impressive pieces of art to play in fantastic new ways. If you want to hope for the best, well, perhaps we’ll have more to say in a few months, but for now we’re going to have to ask for your patience.”

This whole topic is rather interesting because I think both sides are justified. This is a port of the original game, there should be some sort of benefit for people that have played it already. Resident Evil 4 players got a number of improvements over the Gamecube version:

Adas missions are enough to warrant another purchase of this title(they are extremely interesting). Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch these if you have completed RE4 already: Part 1Part 2

Capcom also should not get so defensive when gamers expect more from them. They are one of best developers in the world(second only to Nintendo IMO), so a port like this really isn’t their style.

On the flipside, it really shouldn’t matter if there is little in the way of additional content as this game is already ace. Bringing it to the Wii only ensures that the title gets the attention that it deserved(like RE4). Capcom chose an excellent studio to work on the game, which was a wise choice as this one isn’t going to be so easy to port across. My final point is that Wii owners should feel content with what Capcom are doing for the Wii: Resident Evil 4, Umbrella Chronicles(new trailer here, it keeps looking better), Zack and Wiki, Monster Hunter and now Okami. Over half a year ago I was concerned about Capcoms commitment to the Wii but now I am completely satisfied. Its a pity that other gamers haven’t recognised this yet. 🙁

To conclude I think that the most interesting part of this kufuffle is this quote:

“Zack & Wiki is getting better reviews than just about anything you’ll see this year on Wii, except possibly Galaxy.”

Its not like Capcom to boast about themselves in such a way. So this is very interesting indeed.

So what do you think about this whole drama? Be sure to hit us up via the comment box.

Ryan Payton Drops a Few Hints About MGS4

October 24th, 2007

Gametrailers and Joystiq both recently interviewed Ryan Payton(an Assistant Producer on MGS4). Although this is a few days old, it won’t stop me from writing about these meaty tidbits that he gave away. I’m just way too excited about this game, its hard to refuse. Lets take a look at the Joystiq interview:

Where the Game is at in Production

Payton states that the latest development build is a step up from the E for All demo. Differences include altered menus and the inclusion of more gameplay elements. At this stage, they are tweaking the AI for the games difficulty, stages and working on scripted enemy events. He believes that the demo is 80% of what the final game will be like.

Payton later continues that because the AI is still not done Konami don’t want to release a demo of the game(via PSN) as they think that people will exploit this. They think that even the demo at E for All isn’t up to Beta stage yet, so they want it to be perfect first, before releasing anything.

old snake mgs4


He knows what happens for the ending, says that there are no gimmicks. The use of “it’s the final chapter of Solid Snake” and “the final chapter in his life” kinda allures to an ending where Snake dies.

The ending is meant to pay homage to the legend, its meant to be something that people won’t believe and will talk about for some time.

Other Gameplay Modes

Payton states that there will be other gameplay modes beyond the main stealth/action gameplay design. These modes are meant to borrow from other genres and each bit lasts about half an hour. Although the interviewer suggests that this could be some sort of racing component(which sounds very reasonable) Payton declines to comment on these features. He thinks people will be pleasantly surprised by these additions.

Western Game Version

Payton states that Hideo has put him in charge of the western version of the game. So he gets to control difficulty settings etc. So he reckons that the western version will be more difficult than the Japanese version. He wants to focus more around the over the shoulder cam(Resident Evil 4) instead of auto aiming. This judgement is based from the different play styles between cultures.

Opening and Closing Movies

This part was quite interesting, theres little point in my paraphrasing it for you:

“I think that the opening movie and the ending of the game are going to be the two talks of the town. The opening movie is something that has never been attempted, and will never be attempted again. It’s something that could only come out of Hideo’s mind.”

Other Quick Tidbits

Some very interesting tidbits indeed. And in some ways a bit of a relief to know the extent to which the team are putting in for this game. My anticipation is still running at an all time high. I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date on any more significant advancements.