2012 – a year that promised much, and will no doubt go down in the textbooks as one of the most interesting years of modern times. The Olympics offered a summer of sporting enjoyment in Britain, a Korean man dancing like a horse became the most popular thing the internet has ever churned out, and the world didn’t end as predicted by ancient calendars running out. Each point to their own a notable landmark I guess.
And so what of the world of videogames? It was an enviable task set for this year by the exploits of 2011; a year where games reached levels of exceptional quality in some cases. 2012 was a horrifically clichéd year in that some things were very good, and some things very poor. Below is my run through the year; I’ve broken away from looking specifically at the big three companies in detail to allow some more room for analysis, and to keep the points a bit shorter for reading purposes. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2012→
I apologise for starting a review so bluntly, but it seems that whenever I have witnessed Mass Effect 3 being mentioned in conversation, it is the finale that is the immediate point of contention. Rarely has the conclusion of a game been so poorly received; Bioware were only just cleared of a ridiculous court case that claimed that the game broke advertising rules by not giving players a satisfying ending based on their playing history with the franchise. The thing is though, it’s really quite sad – because ending aside, Mass Effect 3 is an excellent game and has much to praise. Continue reading Beyond The Finale, There’s A Game In There – Mass Effect 3 Review→
Unfortunately, this week starts with some pretty dire news, and it concerns the GAME Group, the company that owns both GAME and Gamestation which are the two biggest game retailers on the high street in the UK. Basically, due to credit problems that have been swirling around GAME in particular for a while, the stores will not be selling any titles from EA during the month of March – meaning they will not be stocking copies of Mass Effect 3, one of the most anticipated games of the year. Anyone who preordered from the stores is being given £5 worth of credit in return. Now as you might be able to guess, this isn’t good – taking the decision is a very bold move on the GAME Group’s behalf, believing that by not cashing in on this short term opportunity they will have the credit to support themselves throughout the rest of the year – but they are missing out on a potentially very large sum of money from not selling titles like Mass Effect 3. You have to wonder if GAME is on the verge of following the likes of Woolworth’s in disappearing from the high street. I personally think that over the last few years they haven’t done themselves much favour by selling second hand games for relatively extortionate prices and not having much new stock around (if your local GAME store is different, I’d very much like to know), but to the same effect the high street really can’t take the hit that the shutdown of these stores would cause. Let’s hope they sort the credit out and then buck up their ideas
We have a new title announced for the autumn months – Bioshock: Infinite is getting released internationally on 19th October. The game, which has looked pretty damn spectacular from the footage Irrational Games have released since its reveal in 2010, will no doubt be one of the big hitters in what is shaping up to be another incredible Winter season for game releases.
So the rumours weren’t bollocks after all – Assassins Creed 3 will indeed take place during the American Revolution. Ubisoft very kindly decided to release the boxart today to confirm the rumours, which you can see below. Will the game work with guns and axes rather than bows and blades? Who knows – so long as they don’t pull a ‘Black Ops’ version of history and have you kill George Washington, I don’t really care I guess – Assassins Creed has never really been my cup of tea
Finally, one of the great Sega Dreamcast games is finally getting its long awaited release on the seventh generation of consoles – it’s not Shenmue. Instead, Jet Set Radio is getting a full HD remake (unlike the likes of Sonic Adventure which were port jobs). The cult graffiti-em-up title, well received first time round for its striking visuals and ace soundtrack, will be arriving on PSN, Xbox Live and PC during the summer.
New console releases usually lead to a busy week of news, and the last few days have been no different. Alongside the newest handheld in town, there’s also some other issues that have burned their way to the top of the agenda…
So the wait is over – the Playstation Vita is finally available in the UK to purchase. The console was given its official launch at midnight on Tuesday in London, and you can now pick one up from various retailers for about £230 – although as ever, the supermarkets are going to be the best place to pick up a good deal (Asda are doing the standard Wi-Fi version for £197 at the moment). Among the launch titles, from initial reviews it seems like there’s a fair bit of quality amongst the games with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, FIFA 12 and Lumnies getting the high scores. If you have picked up a Vita, please write in the comments – I’d be interested to see what people make of Sony’s latest gamble in the handheld market. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for sales figures over the coming days to see how the British public have responded to it as well.
And now for what can only be described as a shit-storm from Bioware regarding DLC content for the upcoming Mass Effect 3. Yesterday, a piece of DLC called ‘From Ashes’ was leaked onto Xbox Live before being swiftly removed. The DLC will allow you to recruit a Prothean to your team (which if you know anything about Mass Effect is a pretty big deal), and will be available as from day one. If you buy the Collectors Edition, you will not get charged for the content. The punchline? It seems that the game isn’t finished, and you will be paying more to actually get the full game. I apologise for being smarky and cynical, but this smells of money grabbing from EA, who took control of the Mass Effect franchise from the second instalment. If this piece of DLC isn’t relevant to the storyline, then I don’t really give a damn – however, the fact that it seems integral to the entire plot of the Mass Effect canon has rightfully made fans angry. Long story short; I’m increasingly worried that we as consumers are being forced to pay more than we should have to for a complete game.
Atlus have confirmed that their arcade based fighter, Persona 4: The Ultimate In Mayonaka Arena, is going to be released in the United States. The 2D fighter, featuring characters from both Persona 3 and Persona 4, will be coming to both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 this summer under the slightly more manageable title of Persona 4: Arena. There is no word on a European release thus far, but one would think that Atlus would localise the title as they have done recently with the excellent puzzler Catherine. I’ve been playing through Persona 4 recently after recommendation, and I am quickly finding myself enjoying the Shin Megami Tensei universe as a whole, so I would very much welcome a European release.
The customary update for a FIFA title following the January transfer window is now available for FIFA 12 – it will download automatically if you enter a head to head match. I haven’t got the patch myself so I can comment on any stat changes yet, but at least Paul Scholes have returned to the Manchester United setup.
Borderlands 2 is set for release worldwide on September 21st 2011, as the Winter catalogue of games starts to build up.
Finally, Kojima Productions are beginning a search for people to help make the next Metal Gear Solid title, which we should presume will be Metal Gear Solid 5. Kojima himself recently said that he would probably have to make the fifth game – here’s hoping that the game will materialise and that it’s not another spin-off.
That’s your lot for today, feel free to check out my ever expanding Best VGM list from the tab at the top of the page.
A few bits and bobs to report on today, and its mostly news from Capcom.
The big rumour going about at the moment is to do with the possible announcement of Resident Evil 6. This week, viral videos and images have been spread around the interwebs from a strange domain name (nohopeleft.com), basically showing images of the world gone to hell. Eagle eyed readers will notice the biohazard symbols littered around the pictures, and the date of 19.01.12…which is today. Capcom are holding an official event in their homeland of Japan tomorrow to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the famous horror series, and surely announcing the next instalment would be the icing on the cake. One wonders that if they do whether the game will take the path of its immediate predecessors Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 with their ‘stand still and shoot mechanics’ or whether we will have a return to the scary games…you know, the ones of the PS1.
Elsewhere from Capcom, we have more reveals for the Street Fighter X Tekken roster. Joining from the Street Fighter roster are Balrog, Vega and Juri, while Law, Xiaoyu and the ever awesome Paul arrive from Tekken. I confidently predicted that this would be the superior of the two crossover games (we have still yet to hear anything about Tekken X Street Fighter – and besides, I greatly prefer Street Fighter to Tekken so I am biased), and the ever expanding roster continues to please me immensely.
In a bold move, Take Two have announced that Max Payne 3 will be delayed in its release. Originally set for March 2012, it has been pushed back two months to May, meaning that it now joins the likes of Bioshock: Infinite, Borderlands 2 and (maybe) GTA V in Take Two’s 2013 financial year. The company expects that they will release a net loss for 2012 as a result of the delay
Hideo Kojima has confirmed that there will be a playable demo of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance at E3 later this year. The game, which is now under the wing of Platinum Games, has split the Metal Gear fanbase with its emphasis on OTT action, so it will be interesting to see how the game plays.
Finally, we have a confirmed date for the Mass Effect 3 demo – it will arrive on Xbox Live and PSN on February 14th 2012. Clear some hard drive space
Welcome everyone, to the first of what I hope will become an annual event on this blog – my review of the gaming industry in the year that was 2011. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to have consistently updated this blog throughout the year, and thank you to everyone who has supported it via constructive criticism, or even things as simple as comments and views – I hope to continue in a positive form next year. But alas, the world is bigger than myself, and that is what the focus is in this article.
It wouldn’t be a massive exaggeration to claim that this has been the biggest year for games in ages, certainly since the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006. The overall calibre of games has been on a notable rise this year, with a handful becoming instant classics, and the industry as a whole has advanced even further to consolidate its place as a genuine rival to the other great entertainment mediums such as film. That is not to say the year has been devoid of mistakes and mess-ups; amongst the success stories, there are a quite a few cock-ups that are well worth mentioning. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2011→