Tagged: E3 2018

Resident Evil 2 Remake pays homage to the scrapped Resident Evil 1.5

Resident Evil 2 Remake pays homage to the scrapped Resident Evil 1.5

Watching Sony’s E3 demo of Resident Evil 2 with Capcom’s Mike Lunn and team, I was initially just excited to see the game in action. I’ve skipped all the previous remakes and haven’t touched the game since 1998. Nevertheless, like many, RE2 was a huge moment for me in gaming and so I’m more than happy to see Capcom focus on it instead of pushing ahead from RE7.

But almost as soon as they started running around the Raccoon City Police Department I couldn’t help but see a little bit of the fabled Resident Evil 1.5 in the updated design. This mythical prototype version of the game featured a different starring female, Elza Walker, and relied on the station’s shutter system to block or open access to the building. This version was ultimately scrapped but footage was released and so it’s become one of those gaming legends.

Now twenty years later we see Leon using those same slatted shutters to open paths around the station and possibly use them for crowd control as originally intended. Though not shown, the crew from Capcom also mentioned that boards will be available in limited supply to close off access to intruding zombies from windows or doorways. It makes me wonder if Elza might even show up or if the game’s other abandoned design elements like stat-boosting gear will make an appearance.

Whether fully intended or not, this feels like the Resident Evil team finally closing a loop on one of the series’ most mysterious developments. I’m even more excited now to get back to Raccoon City and see what I remember and what all has changed! Resident Evil 2 is currently scheduled to release on January 29th, 2019 on PlayStation 4 and Capcom’s already got a pre-order up on Amazon.

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 13th – E3 Edition!

It’s Free! on the PlayStation Store for June 13th - E3 Edition!

I was hoping for a little more excitement for this week’s E3 freebie update but, well, we got Fallout Shelter right?

It’s old news now but Todd Howard and Bethesda announced near the end of their E3 presentation that the free-to-play vault builder, Fallout Shelter, was “available… right… now” on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. While the Switch may be the most desirable place to play the game, PlayStation Plus members at least get a free pack of goodies to give their adventure a kickstart. The only other major notable is a free demo of the upcoming Shining Resonance Refrain from Sege and a free theme to commemorate the launch of Unravel 2 from EA.

Beyond that we’ve got the regularly scheduled PS+ bonus for 3on3 FreeStyle and Fortnite is giving subscribers an exclusive new outfit in the PlayStation®Plus Celebration Pack 2. Surviving Mars also has a new add-on this week, the  Mysteries Resupply Pack, which actually looks to make the game harder by adding more unexpected events.

Smartphone Labs has released a free avatar icon celebrating themselves and NBC Sports now has an official PlayStation 4 app, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Grab ‘n go… back to watching E3 trailers!

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

Peripheral maker PDP wants their new standalone lightgun system, MARS, to debut in 2019 as a modern and unique gaming platform. But all I can think is that it’d be a great place for Sega, Konami, Midway (via WB Games), Taito, and even American Laser Games (via Digital Leisure) to finally bring their arcade and console lightgun games to modern TVs without compromise.

LCD, Plasma, LED, and OLED screens sure are pretty but they just don’t work with the NES Zapper, the Justifier, the GunCon, or practically any other at-home lightgun to date. We got close with the Wii but I don’t think the fidelity was quite there, and besides, everyone just shoveled out meager carnival shooters instead of doing the work to update arcade classics. What I’d love to see MARS become is a Wii-like Virtual Console exclusively for lightgun games. Or if you prefer, MAME without having to resort to a mouse.

Sega alone could supply a ton of games I’ve had on my mind lately: Brave Firefighters, Virtua Cop, L.A. Machineguns, Let’s Go Jungle, and of course our beloved Ocean Hunter. Midway’s T2: The Arcade Game, Taito’s Operation Wolf, Exidy’s outrageous Chiller, and Konami’s Lethal Enforcers are just a few others that come to mind. All of the home versions of these games were hobbled by the hardware of their time and then locked away once we moved off of CRT screens.

Mobile processors are more than powerful enough to authentically render these games today and with MARS we could finally have the peripheral to make them feel equally authentic to play. Yes, the guns look a little wimpy but they appear to have enough buttons to accommodate any classic shooter I can think of. They may even have force feedback or motion sensors hiding inside but all that is still a mystery.

E3 2018: Could MARS bring classic lightgun games to modern screens?

I can’t even think of a 4-player arcade lightgun game.

What’s powering MARS, how does it feel, how much will it cost, and which developers are on board will all hopefully be revealed next week at E3. If even one classic lightgun game is in the roster I’ll start grandstanding for other publishers to join in. It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to play so many lightgun shooters and MARS seems like it could have that specific niche locked down.

What about you? What lightgun games would you like to be able to play on a modern TV?

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

My E3 Daydream for Nintendo: BYOSwitch

I’ve got two logistical E3 nightmares to tell you about today, one that’s really happening and one that I just dreamed up in response to the former. Further below you can read Polygon’s summation of Nintendo’s elaborate plan to get more people playing Smash Bros. at E3 next month in June. But basically, it involves an email process that starts weeks in advance of E3, to reserve a ticket, for a chance to play one of two versions of the game.

Now for my elaborate nightmare scenario which is much, much cooler. Unfortunately, the linchpin is that we live in a perfect world where wifi isn’t total crap at overpopulated venues. That caveat aside, how amazing would it be if you could bring your Switch to Nintendo’s booth and simply download their E3 demos? I imagine they could hard-code the downloads to destroy themselves after 10 minutes (whether you launch the game or not), disable in-game screenshots and videos, and lock it to your Switch’s MAC address so you can’t repeatedly hammer their wifi to download again. They could even barricade their booth like a Faraday cage so you have to be inside to get connected. Want to play something again? Now you get in line for a demo station.

They’d never loosen the leash like that on super early products, and the technical hurdles would be immense, but it’d be an amazing way to try out Nintendo’s E3 lineup. People would flip out when suddenly they’re playing the latest Smash Bros. or Metroid (or Star Fox Kart?!) with their own hands on their own Switch. They’re already part of the way towards my dream; Nintendo staff will be on the lookout for people playing on their personal Switches and will be handing out exclusive tchotchkes. Just make the tchotchkes a little slip of paper with the wifi password and we’re practically living my dream! Bah. Instead, here’s that boring thing that Nintendo is actually doing:

“To shorten the time fans will need to wait in line to try it, Nintendo invites E3 attendees to reserve play slots ahead of time for just this game,” the company announced. “This should provide fans with a faster, smoother experience so they can play the Super Smash Bros.game and spend more time enjoying the rest of the June 12-14 show.”

Registered E3 2018 attendees will receive information from the event’s organizers starting June 5, in an email that outlines all possible opportunities to reserve play time with Smash Bros. Only those who sign up in advance will be able to play the game at the show; they’ll receive their tickets as a QR code upon successful registration.

The tickets will entitle players to checking out one of two modes: “for fun,” Smash Bros.’ more casual type of match, and “for glory,” which is a heated, elimination-based fight. You won’t be able to choose both, mind you; at the time of registration, you must choose which of the two you’re prepared to try out at E3.