News Nintendo Direct 11.12.2015 – Games, updates and a new challenger

Written by Twisted Ideas

As stated this is the first Nintendo Direct since the passing of Satoru Iwata President and CEO of Nintendo. This Nintendo Direct marks off the end of this year and the first half of next year with a strong and health lineup of new games, sequels, remakes, amiibos and surprises. Love them or hate them, there’s something here for everyone.

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Trailers Trailers From Last Week 3/15/2015 – Halloween comes early

Written by Twisted Ideas

Jason Voorhees has become the latest horror movie icon to become a playable character for the upcoming Mortal Kombat X. Freddy Krueger has a quick character with a lot of tools in Mortal Kombat 9. I wonder if Jason will have the same level of threat.
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Review Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Written by Twisted Ideas

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Disney is reaching deep into its vault for this one. It’ s not a movie but a video game. Not just any video game but arguably the best Disney game of the 16-bit era. Released in 1990 on the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), Castle of Illusion was a simple but challenging platformer. It had innovative level design and platforming mechanics and the some of the most memorable music on the Genesis. 23 years later Mickey revisits the castle once more. Will his adventure be just as enjoyable as his first?

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Review Double Dragon Neon and Jet Set Radio – Review Round Up

Written by Twisted Ideas

There seems to be a bit of retro reviving happening in gaming. Sega has been re-releasing old Dreamcast games on PSN and XBLA while WayForward has been re-imagining old classics for the new generation.

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News Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Release Date and Demo Impressions

Written by Twisted Ideas

A post on Sony’s PlayStation blog has revealed that Sly Cooper Thieves in Time will be released February 5th 2013 on both the PS3 and PS Vita in North America. Those who buy the game on the PS3 will receive a free download for the PS Vita version of the game.

I had just recently played the demo of Thieves in Time that was included with the Ratchet and Clank Collection. I was planning to write a first impressions but due to the length of the demo I scrapped it until a good opportunity arose.

The demo features one playable mission that’s roughly five minutes in length. You play as Sly in a circus themed level to meet with on of his past relatives. Sly feels as he did in the previous game platforming complete with acrobatic death-defying abilities. What appears to be the new main feature of the game is the ability to change into a costumes giving Sly new abilities. In the demo Sly changes into a Robin Hood-esque outfit allowing him to create tightropes by shooting arrows at targets.

That’s about it. This is designed as if it was on the PS2. The graphics are better but aren’t pushing the hardware. There are no enemies, no stealth and no real threat. I suspect or rather I hope that this is a tech demo than an actual level for the full game.

The demo feel rushed and unfinished. It is a bad representation of Sly Cooper by showing probably the worst designed level in the series. It’s amazing how excitement can change into worry. It’s also worth noting that Sucker Punch is no longer the developer. A new team named Sanzaru Games has taken the reigns for our favourite raccoon. They don’t have a large resume of games developed but the most notable ones are Secret Agent Clank and The Sly Collection. If you want to play the demo for Sly your better off getting old PS2 copies of the trilogy or the HD collection.

Review Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD

Written by Twisted Ideas

It’s no secret that the Tony Hawk’s series has fallen from grace over the years. Depending who you ask the series started to decline at a couple of different points. Some people thought after THPS 2, while some thought after Underground and for me was after Underground 2. The only thing that saved American Wasteland for me was the online play and I thought Project 8 dismal. After the failed attempt with the skateboard peripheral after Tony Hawk: Ride  Activision announced at last year’s E3 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD a re-imaging of the first two games. Tony Hawk’s arcade-like skateboarding series has bailed long ago but is THPS HD a clean landing?

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News MASSIVE PlayStation Plus sale

Written by Twisted Ideas

For all you PS3 owners out there who haven’t subscribed to the PlayStation Plus service there couldn’t be a better time to do so than right now. Over $290 of games are now FREE for PlayStation Plus users. The games being offered are:

  • Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
  • inFAMOUS 2
  • LittleBigPlanet 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Just Cause 2
  • Saints Row 2
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  • Hard Corps: Uprising
  • Choplifter HD
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone
  • Sideway New York

There’s a bit of a lull of games coming out in the next couple of months but if your willing to spend even $18 for the three month subscription you have a more than enough games to keep you occupied for at least the summer.

Article My Games of Interest for April 2012

Written by Twisted Ideas

Things are pretty quiet in games for the month of April, which is a good thing because I have a lot of games to get finished. Here’s what coming out that I’m considering buying.

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News Silent Hill HD Collection Voice Actors

Written by Twisted Ideas

Konami’s Silent Hill HD Collection coming out January 2012 will have redone voice tracks. Silent Hill 2 and 3 will have lines and redone and possible changed with new voice actors. The Silent Hill games weren’t known for their voice work so this is a welcome change. Silent Hill 2 will have the option of keeping the original cast’s voice work in the game but Silent Hill 3 has not.

It is shocking that Konami would go through the effort to redo the dialogue because most HD releases don’t put half the effort into their re-releases. I am not quite sure why Silent Hill 3 would not have the original audio as an option but I’m not heartbroken over it and I have it for the PS2 if I really want to listen to Heather Morris again.

Review HD releases

written by Twisted Ideas

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I attempted to write this review only about on the God of War Origins Collection but I found myself immediately referencing Sony’s other HD collections. I realized then that doing a review of the collection would be the no different from reviewing Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta as PSP titles. It makes more sense to look at these HD releases as a whole than doing comprehensive review of last generation games. I have been sucked into buying most of the HD releases while still owning most of the originals still. I will give a brief review of the ones that I own.

First things first the HD releases convert the games to widescreen, clean up and replace textures and sharpen polygons. What doesn’t happen is the addition of polygons. Characters and objects that looked misshapen in the originals will still look misshapen. The HUD are usually redone to be sharper. The games run smoothly at 60 fps and are have more vivid colors. These are consistent most HD releases give or take one or two things. For people with 3D TV’s the HD collections have 3D support.

The Prince of Persia HD Trilogy

Originally released in North America in a download only format we received the disc version after Europe. I only have the downloadable version so I do not know if the disc versions have new features. Then again it is Ubisoft and I don’t expect that much from them. Certain cut scenes look odd and I suspect that the original games were zoomed in to achieve widescreen. A few cut scenes have characters are slightly out of frame. I do not know if it’s a new issue or preexisting one but it’s not a big enough deal to confirm. The most surprising flaw in the collection are the glitches. The game engine caused animation glitches when performing certain actions and visual glitches when rewinding time. Those are minor but PoP: Warrior Within has numerous game ending glitches requiring a new game to fix. There were glitches involving cut scenes not triggering and portals that don’t work. It is unknown what causes these glitches. I played through WW several times and only encounter one game ending glitch that involved back tracking near the end of the game.

I have not been able to confirm whether or not Ubisoft have fixed any of the game ending glitches but in my experience you won’t encounter them. Despite the glitches The Prince of Persia Trilogy is a great collection that excels in puzzle platforming. These games feel more complete than The newer PoP games despite their age.

The Sly Collection

The Sly Cooper games are all cell shaded and cartoonish so in HD they don’t suffer as much as realistic character models. The Sly Collection adds brand new minigames. These minigames are compatible with the Playstation Move and supports up to four players. There are 4 minigames and designed with the Move in mind. They are mildly entertaining but you wouldn’t buy the collection for the minigames. The Sly Collection had content removed. Developer in-game commentary in Sly 1, hidden movies in Sly 2 and the original 3D levels in Sly 3 are now missing.

I don’t know why Sucker Punch decided to remove some content from part 1 and 2 (Part 3 had cheap 3D levels with the old fashion 3D glasses and now supports new 3D technology) but are minor and strangely not all bonus content was removed. The Sly Collection is bright vivid and original. There is a lot of fun to be had in these games. Upon completing all three games there is an announcement trailer for Sly 4.

The God of War Collection

There isn’t much to say about this collection other than character models look much better than the ones in Prince of Persia. Also to note that when first release it had a download code for the E3 God of War III demo which is absolutely pointless now that the game is released.

God of War Origins Collection

The Origins Collection is the PSP ports thus are already in widescreen and doesn’t suffer from that conversion process from full screen to widescreen.  The only new feature is an interview that can also be downloaded on the Playstation Network. There’s a good chance that a lot of people miss out on these games due to the fact that they are on the PSP. If you enjoyed the God of War games then you will feel more or less at home here.

Both of the God of War collections hold up well and have a good amount of preexisting content for action games.

These next two games are not part of a collection but are HD releases that are also available on the Xbox 360

Beyond Good & Evil HD

Beyond Good & Evil is a hard to find game and has become a cult classic. You play as Jade and you have to uncover the secrets of an alien conspiracy threatening the galaxy. Jade is a female protagonist who is feels that she is as strong and attractive as she would have to be in this adventure.  This is a unique adventure game that has a greater focus on stealth, exploration and puzzles rather than action.

Beyond Good & Evil HD is the type of game that you don’t see any more. It is the type of game that draws inspiration from many games from the past but still being its own game. The game doesn’t use the fact that she is female as a sign of weakness nor does the game flaunt her femininity. Jade is Jade and Beyond Good & Evil shows that sometimes that can be enough.

Resident Evil 4 HD

Resident Evil 4 HD unlike the others benefited the least for an HD title. Character models are improved but textures remain unchanged. The game appears zoomed but it is actually removing the black bars that were constant in previous version. The only new features are Trophies/Achievements and leader boards for Mercenaries Mode. The button layout has changed from the PS2 version. The run and action buttons are reversed to match the controls seen in RE5 and I believe that the Ashley command button has also moved. Personally I don’t understand why they did this and why there isn’t an option to revert them. Most games that use tank controls and Mario games have the run button to the left of the action button for easier control.

I love Resident Evil 4 and I own it for Gamecube and Wii but the changes in the control layout are off-putting. If you have played Resident Evil 5 and have yet to play 4 then you will see just how much 5 has borrowed from 4.

Verdict

These HD releases are mainly graphical updates and lack many or any special features. That isn’t such a big deal to me. I don’t expect for developers to start adding more game to their games that not forward thinking. The visuals are bright and vivid and add a lot to already great games. For those who have never played these games before I give them recommendations. Certain elements of some games may feel old but these were wisely chosen games. If you own the originals and are on the fence about them ask yourself if you want to play them again but don’t want to pull out your old system.