Resident Evil 5 review

I had a number of games back in March 2009 that I had not touched and with the inevitable greatness that was Street Fighter 4 I never got around to playing Resident Evil 5.

I had a number of games back in March 2009 that I had not touched and with the inevitable greatness that was Street Fighter 4 I never got around to playing Resident Evil 5. I had heard bad things about the game and so decided not to purchase it. Fast forward to March 2010 and I have finally played it. I can safely say that it is not a better game than Resident Evil 4. However, it is a great game in its own right.

The drop in drop out co-op mode I found to be a great feature and added a new dimension to the Resident Evil franchise. I played the first few chapters with my brother over Xbox live and I was pleasantly surprised how you have to work together in the game and also, that the story mode has been well defined to accompany co-op play. There are some great set pieces where one of you is sitting on the rooftops with a sniper taking down the zombies and protecting your partner whilst the other person is running around in the opposite building trying to find the key to open the door.

The rest of the campaign I played as a single player with the AI controlled Sheva. It looks to me that Capcom have managed to patch the AI as I did not experience major issues playing with an AI character. There are certain things that wasting ammo and using up all the green herbage and first aid sprays that you have to watch out for. But this can be managed by giving Sheva all the other items that you pick up in the game.

This game doesn’t have much variation in the game compared to Resident Evil 4 but does offer some good edge of your seat action. The control method is dated compared to other action games but does add to the suspense of trying to getaway from the zombies. It can prove frustrating sometimes but similar to other action games.

The graphics are amazing in this game. The developers have worked both 360 and PS3 really really hard. Having played the likes of Uncharted 2, Batman Arkham Asylum this stands shoulder to shoulder with them and has some impressive lighting effects. There are various modes to keep you entertained such as Mercaneries but in all honesty, I play Resident Evil for the story and atmosphere and I am not interested in the extra modes. It has around 10-12 hours of story mode gameplay.

I would thoroughly recommend this game and barring Dead Space this proves the next best survival horror game of this generation.

4/5 – Single player only

5/5 – Playing co-op

Nintendo Wii peripheral failure

Having owned a Nintendo Wii since launch I was ecstatic about the motion controller.  I picked up two classic controllers and an extra nunchuck attachment plus Wii play which came with a Wii remote.  I am a huge Nintendo fan so you can see why I went the whole hog straight away.

The first batches of games such as Zelda Twilight Princess, Metroid Prime 3 Corruption, No More Heroes, Wii sports really were good examples of motion control and how to adapt them for a great gaming experience.

Since 2006 the Wii has been an extraordinary success in terms of sales and expanding the demographic in the video game sector.  This has partly been due to the success of the Nintendo DS.  In order to appeal more to this demographic I feel that Nintendo have lost their way.

We have seen several peripherals launched for the Nintendo Wii such as the classic controller, balance board, motion plus light gun attachment, racket attachments, golf club attachments etc etc.  Once seen as appealing to the ‘casual gamer’ this has become overkill over the past year.

To play Super Mario Bros Wii you are restricted to the Wiimote.  We do not have the choice to use a gamecube or classic controller.  I have to suffer playing with the Wii remote which does not feel at all tactile and would have liked the option to change the controller used.  Secondly, my gripe with the classic controller is that it is only majorly compatible with Virtual console games.  The classic controller connects to the Wii remote which dangles awkwardly on the floor or sits within your lap.  In order to play another game I have to disconnect the classic controller and connect the nunchuck controller (finding it in my cabinet first) though, this depends on which game is compatible with the nunchuck controller.  Playing Wii sports can prove cumbersome where you need to disconnect the nunchuck and reconnect depending on which game you play.

It is far worse on Wii sports resort with the motion plus.  Whichever, sports mini game you play you need to recalibrate the motion plus each time and wave at the screen like a mad man.  Using the light gun attachment is no picnic either.  You spend five minutes of your time getting the Wii remote nunchuck attachment to play ball and trying to fit it within the rubbish moulded plastic.  Playing something like Smash Bros has four different types of controller inputs.  This sometimes confuses me so I am not sure how the casual gamer feels about this.

My lightgun attachment is packed away in my Link’s crossbow training game box, my balance board is sitting underneath my TV stand gathering dust (I know I should be keeping fit more), classic controllers are sitting in my cabinet with my Gamecube controllers.

With the controller options mentioned above only certain games are compatible with each which has caused confusion within the retail market.  I think somewhere along the line with all the success the Nintendo Wii bought Nintendo have lost track of what made it so great in the first place.  Simple, clean, usable games that are a joy to play that offered a unique control system.  The Nintendo DS hasn’t suffered the same fate due to its requirement as a touch screen device.

Personally, I think all these options/variations present a barrier for someone to pick and play.  This is no different to having a standard controller akin to Xbox 360 or PS3’s dual shock at least with those you do not need to disconnect or reconnect.  Oh wait, Sony and Xbox do not think they are good enough and are bringing in Playstation Move and Project Natal.  I am all for new concepts as long as they are realised with some common sense.

Super Street Fighter 4 invest in a joystick or not?

I played Street Fighter 4 fairly heavily back in March 2009. I purchased a standard Mayflash USB fighting stick which had the double bonus of working with my PS2 and PC. This joystick was fine to use but had a square gate as it’s turning circle and I found that this didn’t have the same ‘arcade feel’.

I played Street Fighter 4 fairly heavily back in March 2009. I purchased a standard Mayflash USB fighting stick which had the double bonus of working with my PS2 and PC. This joystick was fine to use but had a square gate as it’s turning circle and I found that this didn’t have the same ‘arcade feel’. An example, of this, is pulling off dragon punches, hadokens or anything involving a circular motion. I didn’t feel compelled to spend £150 on Street fighter 4 Tournament Edition fighting stick at the time and I wish I did.

You’re probably thinking ‘this guy is crazy right?’

I used to play Street fighter 2 religously in the early 90’s. Any money that I had went straight into a Street fighter 2 arcade cabinet. Learning the moves, combos, glitches within the game I became very very good and was able to play with all the characters. The joystick lets you pull off circular motion moves swiftly, with verve and was pretty much unbreakable as a piece of hardware. There is a knack to pulling off dragon punches consecutively one after another.

There were many a ‘unofficial tournaments’ that ensued and playing against human players adds another dynamic where you become really competitive. Once I purchased this on the SNES it had lost some of that appeal as I could not pull off moves as half as good as in the arcades. Also, the joysticks that were released in the 16 bit era were not a patch on what you can pick up nowadays.

I purchased my Street fighter tournament edition fighting stick from Amazon where it was sitting in my basket since launch. On one particular day I saw the price drop to £65, I didn’t hesitate one second to purchasing this bad boy. Original sanwa parts together with fully customisable innards which was also, compatible with PC. When I received my stick I couldn’t wait to open it. The packaging was extremely impressive with nice Street fighter artwork. I took the joystick out of the box and placed it on my coffee table. The joystick had the same rapid flow movement just like in the arcades. I fired up Super Street fighter 2 on my PS3 and started playing. I felt like I was transported back to circa 1991.

I was pulling dragon punches, hadokens, spinning piledrivers and flash kicks with ease. The joystick also, has a really weighty feel and feels comfortable and stable on a coffee table or in your lap and there is no movement unlike the cheaper Mayflash USB fighting stick.

In hindsight back in April 2009 I should have purchased this for the £120 as it improved my Street fighter experience infinitely. Although, not everyone will agree or have this much money to waste. For the more serious Street fighter gamer it is a worthwhile investment. If you’re restricted with a budget then the Mayflash is for you.

Since having my stick for three weeks I have read on a couple of forums that changing the square gate to an octagonal gate improves the circular motion even more. I ordered an original SANWA GT-Y OCTAGONAL RESTRICTOR PLATE which has worked a treat and was very easy to fit in. There is a great video on youtube on how to mod this. Very easy. Screwdriver is the only thing you need.

Happy gaming!!!

Xbox 360 sales reach 40 million

How many have been RROD ing?? :)

How many have been RROD ing?? :)

Without being too cynical it’s nice to have a third competitor in the console market.  It would be a boring fight if it was just Sony and Nintendo.

GAME bosses step down

CEO and COO resign as annual profits fall 28 per cent

CEO and COO resign as annual profits fall 28 per cent

Nintendo 3DS – why is it needed?

Nintendo 3DS looks likely to be the right move

So Nintendo announced the 3DS (working title) back in march.

In terms of hardware this will most likely have a souped up ARM processor to be in line with previous DS iterations.  Nintendo have claimed that the graphics will be advanced than the current generation hardware DS, PSP or IPhone.  We could see the graphics match that of its sibling the Nintendo Wii.  We all know that Nintendo have dabbled and experimented with 3D before but this time will be different.  The chip and screen manufacturers are now in a stage to offer this technology to a mass audience with relatively cheap technology (at least in the next couple of years).  This is evident in TV hardware.  Nintendo’s handheld will be different in respect to no extra peripheral will be required to view 3D unlike TV sets which will require special 3D glasses.

Nintendo has had a tough time over the past couple of years with regards to piracy.  R4 cards have proved to have sold many more hardware units for Nintendo.  However, software sales have suffered despite the hardware surge.  This affects third party developers more.  Traditionally Japanese gamers tend to buy their games legit compared to other regions this is due to gaming being an ingrained part of Japanese life.  In other parts of the world such as Europe there are various countries who have no alternative but to pirate.  Maybe a better distribution model moulded by Nintendo would have deterred this.  With that said, I expect Nintendo to reduce their output of physical games as they have experimented with DSI ware and will learn lessons on how to distribute via a download system.  The next DS system will have some sort of ‘always on’ wireless connectivity.  I don’t believe this will have any sort of phone functions apart from maybe being enabled to use Skype straight out of the box.

This leads me conveniently onto the IPhone.  I am an advocate of the IPhone and have had all iterations thus far.  With a continual stream of software updates we have seen feature after feature added to it.  It has now become a serious gaming platform competing alongside the DS and PSP.  It has taken market share from both of these companies and the irony is that the online distribution software model has hit Nintendo and Sony hard.  Although, IPhone games have a relatively cheap entry barrier in terms cost the quality is not quite there as of yet.  Nintendo will have a hard time competing with such a system and the current DS system does actually now feel outdated.  In my opinion, the 3DS has been announced at the right time.  After a 5 year cycle of the standard DS; time has moved quickly and touchscreen now seems passe.

In order to generate consumer interest and would be DS owners to upgrade the 3DS needs to offer something new and exciting.  Hence the exploration into 3D technology.  Nintendo will achieve this in pure ‘Nintendo style’ by providing a combination of software manipulation and hardware to attain the desired result.  We cannot discount Nintendo they have proved themselves time and time again.

Personally, I am looking forward to the 3DS it will be something new, refreshing and exciting.  In true Nintendo fashion.