|They kinda remade this...|
|...Maybe now they should kinda remake this?|
Let’s move on to the most recent exploits of TMNT’s previous publisher – Konami. What the hell has happened to ‘em? Konami was, bar none, the best and most trustworthy third-party developer and publisher back in the 80’s and 90’s. Contra, Castlevania, Silent Hill, Metal Gear… you could even leave a licensed title in Konami’s hands and they would brew up something great, such as the early Tiny Toon Adventures games and the Nintendo versions of Batman Returns. After the release of their PlayStation 3-exclusive hallmark Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Konami’s had a serious stroke. First, Silent Hill truly went down the tube, then they made that horrible abomination known as NeverDead, and I’m hardly surprising anyone by saying my expectations for Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance (what a mouthful) are in a dark space below zero.
I haven’t tried Silent Hill: Downpour yet, but what I’ve read about it does not convince. There hasn’t been a good Silent Hill game since Silent Hill 3, and even that game wasn’t exactly a masterpiece you just couldn’t refuse. After 11 years, Silent Hill 2 remains the best, most replayable and defining game in the franchise, standing clearly above the rest. It is pretty much the reason people are expecting a lot of every new Silent Hill game that comes along, even if nothing but disappointments, even embarrassments, have emerged from that camp in the last eight years. There is one Konami franchise besides classic Metal Gear that has stayed strong in these hard times that the 21st century has turned out, and produced us a bunch of good, even great games to gawk at, amidst some random forgettable ones, and that’s Castlevania.
Let it be re-stated that I wasn’t very thrilled about the well-promoted reboot of the franchise, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, initially when it came out in 2010. Even if the story was a very fresh and surprising take on the Castlevania mythos, the gameplay scheme hit me as an outrageous carbon copy of just about every great third-person action game there ever was. However, let it also be remembered that I had just borrowed the game from a friend, who was so enthusiastic about it that he wanted it back A.S.A.P. – so I was in a kind of hurry to finish it. I recently bought the game for the Xbox 360, and actually owning the game and seeing the story unfold for the second time opened my eyes. It still suffers from a lot of different problems, practically as well as aesthetically, and its unoriginality is transparent as hell, but it is a good game.
|I'm not surprised. I'd be more surprised if someone actually |
didn't know what this was supposed to be about.
|Yes, I see it. We all see it. Thank you.|
As far as I’m concerned, Resident Evil 6 has all the potential to be the video game of the year. I loved the first trailer, I loved the second one even more. After Resident Evil 5, I was convinced Capcom had done everything they possibly could, and even if they didn’t talk about it, I was pretty sure Resident Evil 5 was the end of the original continuity of the series. I was pretty sure that from there on out, the series would be all about utterly unremarkable or downright shitty spin-offs like Outbreak and Operation: Raccoon City. I was DAMN sure that Resident Evil 4 couldn't possibly be outdone, as even Resident Evil 5 didn’t quite make the cut. However, having an all-star cast like this, interesting plot twists like this even after Albert Wesker’s total and absolute death, and such seemingly explosive energy and intense action never seen before in this particular franchise will surely make this game a must-have for someone who’s been obsessed with the franchise from day one.
|Isaac's back. And he's got a beard.|
Speaking of EA, it’s known that when it comes to games developed by BioWare, they’re currently focusing on expanding Mass Effect 3, BUT Dragon Age III has been confirmed to be in very early stages of development. As dedicated as I am when it comes to BioWare, this game can go both ways, up ‘til the point of eternity it’s finally released in; there’s simply no reason to polish up the fact that the game has the potential to suck. However, if BioWare has truly listened to what fans have had to say about Dragon Age II, and if they have truly used as much time on polishing the basic gameplay scheme as much as they’ve claimed, Dragon Age III also has the potential of being the greatest role-playing game of the century. There’s nothing to look forward to yet, nothing to reflect on, so only time will tell the story and possible legacy of Dragon Age III. We know the name of the game, and that’s quite enough for me to get all hyped up.
I’ve been thinking of a couple of “part fours” I’d like to see. A couple of months ago, Bethesda put out a few screenshots that were meant to demonstrate how they’ve worked on facial construction – something they’ve been laughed at since Oblivion. First of all, the pics looked great, but that’s not all: the colours, the details, and a certain aura about the pics prompted a lot of people to sit back and start waiting for Fallout 4. Then, Bethesda went and announced an MMO RPG taking place in the Elder Scrolls universe, instead. That’s where I and a million other people went all “the fuck!?” All of us do not want a new Elder Scrolls game so soon after Skyrim, be it as different as it may. We want a new Fallout game, a truly new one, not another carving from the same old engine like New Vegas was. OK, so millions of people can’t be wrong: The Elder Scrolls’ fantasy universe is great, but what Bethesda needs to remember is that there are millions of other people eager for another round in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and even those people who have “waited for a true Fallout game since Fallout 2”. GIVE US FALLOUT OR GIVE US DEATH!
Then there’s the fact that Mass Effect 3 is constantly referred to as the end of Commander Shepard’s journey by its developers – there has never been any solid thesis of Mass Effect 3 being the very last game in the Mass Effect series, and I think it’s great. I think that the universe still has much to give, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were initial drafts of a spin-off or two just lying around the BioWare office, waiting to be rediscovered and polished by the guys who gave us the greatest new game series of the century thus far.
|We're going back to where it all jumped the shark.|
Let’s rewind a bit, back to the Silent Hill franchise. I said that even though I liked Silent Hill 3 very much, it was not a masterpiece. Silent Hill 2 was, and it’s still that game that serves as the beacon of hope whenever a new Silent Hill game comes along. Another, totally unrelated franchise is exactly the same, with the difference that the first Silent Hill game was good. The first Assassin’s Creed game was not good. However, it did manage to get players involved and entangled in a storyline which is one of the most impressive conspiracy theories ever told. Assassin’s Creed II was a masterpiece; it was such a great game that Ubisoft opted to focus on twisting the story to a blob in future games, and never change the game again, but for the worse. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was still a very good game just as Silent Hill 3 was in comparison to the previous one, but Assassin’s Creed: Revelations was an utter disappointment. The story wasn’t much to get excited about, and the gameplay simply hadn’t been positively updated at all in two years. Well, Ezio Auditore’s saga ended with Revelations, and now Assassin’s Creed III is coming, starring a new pseudo-lead by the name of Connor Kenway and featuring a whole new scenario in the midst of the American Revolution. I guess I’m supposed to feel ecstatic about Ubisoft finally turning a new leaf in the Assassin’s Creed series, but it will still bear the same basic plot that has already been mangled beyond recognition, the basic gameplay still seems to be the same as ever before, AND it’s yet another annual release in the series. Ubisoft just doesn’t seem to get that the main problem with the waning success of the series is their God damn money hungry rush to spew these games out. I’m not saying I’m totally counting Assassin’s Creed III out, but Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and the first gameplay trailers for this one made me very skeptic towards the AC brand’s future.
|It's good. Not excellent, but so much closer to |
home than Final Fantasy XIII that it hurts.
|Somehow I just feel this game is going to wipe |
the floor with the rest of 'em T'Raiders.
There are many other games and sequels, whether they’ve been announced or not, I could discuss within this context, but I think I’ve went over the ones that are most important to me on a personal level, and the main reason I wanted to do this was to create some discussion and evoke thoughts among you. Which games will make your near future that much more bright, or which sequels would you like to see emerge out of the blue? Think about it, and have a great week.