Avalanche Studios have a certain inclination for over-the-top action and destruction. The very first time I played Just Cause, though unrefined, I knew the Swedish developers were very capable. Their idea of ludicrous action, massive explosions, and stunt driving came to fruition in the Godlike comedic action of Just Cause 2. So here is Renegade Ops, a vehicular combat title that tries to capture the beautiful destruction of the Just Cause games while scaling down to the size of Micro Machines. John Moschitta Jr. not included.
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Little known fact: the upcoming HD remake of Guardian Heroes began it's life as Guardian Heroes 2, that is until Sega said "Hold that!"
"The project started as Guardian Heroes 2, but the publisher - that's SEGA - said in order to create a sequel, they wanted us to revitalize the IP. So instead of starting on the sequel we made a remake," Treasure's Hiroto Matsuura told Eurogamer.
Fair enough. Even though Guardian Heroes was perhaps one of the best beat 'em ups of the presentfuturepast, and undoubtedly atop the Saturn's catalog of highly underrated gems, it's an old IP. Test the water before diving in, play it safe to gauge the interest of OGs and new jacks alike. Color this OG broke, because I'll be throwing my greenery at anything that has the Guardian Heroes branding on it.
But wait! Teasing the sequel already? Matsuura you bad, bad man! "The original core game mechanics is a 2D, layer-based game and that's what we like about it. We may create characters and backgrounds in 3D, but the core mechanics will be the same."
Bring it on! Guardian Heroes is set for October 12, weighing in at 800 imaginary Xbux. Buy it so we can all have a sequel, for Zur's sake!
Every once in a while a console exclusive comes along that makes me want to drop a hot wad of cash on the console in question. This year it may be Shinobi for Nintendo 3DS, a nifty little ninja side-scrolling action title that really impressed me when I got to katana-swinging and kunai-tossing. It's just as I remember Shinobi; fast, stylish, versatile, and difficult as fuck! The first stage was your typical Shinobi fare, classic ninja treading through the burning pagoda and fighting off scores of other ninja. You only have around 10 or so kunai, so you have to be conservative with your throws. Either that, or blow them all on the double-jumping, screen-clearing spread-kunai shot, a staple from the days of Shinobi III, one of my favorite games ever.
After clearing that first stage, I was treated to a section on horseback, where you have to avoid incoming obstacles as well as fend off ninja assailants. There's no sugar coating it, I died a lot during this segment. Maybe it was a weird mixture of the three-quarter behind view coupled with my lack of 3D viewing experience. Or maybe it was because I suck. The point is, no matter how many times I died, I wanted to keep going at it, and pass the damned challenge. When you continually die and persevere as opposed to slamming the control down in frustration, you most likely have a decent game on your hands.
The mix of nostalgia, slick brush-stroke inspired art, and the healthy challenge has me thinking that Shinobi will end up being a bit better than decent. Now I must ask, does anyone have a 3DS they'd like to let me borrow?
What happens when you take a bucket full of Micro Machines and strap them full of high-powered armaments? Renegade Ops, the action-packed vehicle shooter that isn't nearly as mundane as its name. Created by Avalanche Studios, the boys behind the Just Cause series who know quite a bit about wanton destruction, this game knows exactly what we want: explosion porn!
Renegade Ops is not what anyone was expecting as the follow-up to the open-world antics of Just Cause 2. This title is very much inspired by the Strike series of vehicle shooters: isometric military shooting action. Every moment of the game is dripping with bullets and explosions; pewpewbangboomaction, yeah! The sights and sounds of exploding buildings and splattered soldiers in a jungle setting was very pleasing to the eyes and ears.
Controlling the little bugger took some getting used to, as the off-road jeep I was at the helm of must have been in a slippery mood. There wasn't much traction on the jungle dirt, as I imagine would be the case in real life, so battles with the more fortified enemies consisted of a lot of donuts and a lot of machine gun rounds. At the moments when I was able to sacrifice mobility for firepower, the alternate firing function planted some tripod legs into the jungle floor and let blast a thunderous single-shot cannon. Things that make you go boom!
Unfortunately, I didn't get to take any of the co-op modes for a spin, but the short single player session I had was a blast. The final product looks to span across a multitude of locations and vehicles, to keep everyone happy. As downloadable games go, Renegade Ops has as much promise as the best of them, and twice as many explosions. What else would you expect from the Just Cause devs?
That's what I gather from this prologue trailer for Captain America: Super Soldier. And while the trailer is entirely CG movie, I can attest firsthand that the gameplay feels almost exactly like what Cap is pulling off in these cinematics.
I'm kind of surprised at the lack of buzz that Captain America: Super Soldier has generated so far. I can only imagine this is due to the quality of Sega published movie tie-in games of the past. Thor: God of Thunder says hello. But let us not judge Super Soldier on the failures of the past because it looks pretty damned good. Sure the action is almost a straight jack of Batman: Arkham Asylum, but you can't really complain about that. The freeflow combat thing is a joy to be in control of, whether you're Cap, Batman, or Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
Captain America: Super Soldier drops in under a month, on July 19. That's right around the corner, so come on people. Let's get excited and make some noise for a movie tie-in that may not be complete trash!
Header image by Modus
I'm not a religious man by any means, but I think that may change. About once a month, I remember the incredible Sega Saturn - and acceptable Game Boy Advance - game, Guardian Heroes. I remember how it may have been the greatest beat 'em up I played as a youth, with awesome art, frantic action, a killer soundtrack, and 40-plus characters to mix it up with. Good old days. Whenever I fondly recall Guardian Heroes, I pray for a new take on the series, and for the past few years my prayers have gone unanswered. Until today!
I could not be any happier to write this. My fingers are harmoniously humming Valgar's snappy theme as they slide across my keyboard in glee. Guardian Heroes is getting the full HD treatment for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Re-mastered graphics, local and online co-op, 12-player online arena battle mode, and even completely new play modes like time attack and arranged mode. This is the second best day of my life. The best day will be Guardian Heroes' release date, sometime this summer.
In case you have never heard of or played this opus, here's a little backstory. Guardian Heroes is a 2D, side-scrolling beat 'em up with RPG elements (see: character progression) developed by Treasure, released in 1996 on the vastly underrated Sega Saturn. The ability to choose branching paths allowed Guardian Heroes multiple endings and a new way to play each time you tackled the engaging story mode. I can't event describe how much of a masterpiece this title is. Just know that your childhood suffered greatly if you never gave this game a spin, but all will be righted this summer. Excitement!
Sega has today released a proper trailer for their upcoming shooter, Binary Domain. Unlike the trailer released late last year, this one is full of gameplay that looks extremely decent. Unforunately, it is also filled with bland looking characters. I was hoping Toshihiro Nagoshi (producer of the Yakuza series, tanning bed activist) might have pulled some strings to get the bootleg Commander Shepard and token black guy tweaked for some originality, but alas, no.
Regardless, Binary Domain is still a ways out - due to release some time in 2012 - but the early returns are somewhat convincing. Of course, you'll have to get over the fact that it's pretty much half Gears of War, and half Vanquish, which was already half Gears. So what does that make BD? I hate math.
After his work on the Yakuza series, Nagoshi knows what a compelling story in a game should be, so there's that. Also, there are some interesting action sequences in the trailer, like jet skiing and building sliding, to go along with your typical shoot 'em up fare. If the former outweighs the latter, and Binary Domain keeps on with the eye candy, we might have an acceptable Gears/Vanquish/Gears knockoff on our hands.
Platinum Games and Sega have formed a formidable little alliance between themselves, releasing quality games like Mad World, Bayonetta, and Vanquish. Their latest, Anarchy Reigns, is more of the same; unique style and furious action. The two are taking this title into unfamiliar, yet almost mandatory territory, multiplayer story. Sorry, I just wanted to rhyme all that. Sounded awesome, didn't it? Say it again. Louder!
We've yet to see any of the multiplayer in action, but what we've seen of the game in motion thus far ooks promising. Announced late last week, Sega has already hit us with a total of 5 teasers; one overview, and four detailing each of the flavorful cast of characters that you'll be putting the beats on suckas with. For your convenience, I present you the character teasers bundled up into one explosive video.
Hope you enjoy chainsaws, jet hammers, katanas, and big ol' butts.
In the most unlikely scenario that you have PlayStation Plus AND you won't be spending all your free time playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, you'll be pleased to know that a demo of Yakuza 4 will be available for your consumption on February 15. If you are not a member of PlayStation Plus, you'll have to wait until February 22 to get your fix of the Japanese underworld.
Yakuza 4 hits retail on March 15.
Last year's news of Platinum Games working on a multiplayer title has finally resurfaced, now with more details! Anarchy Reigns is a brawler at heart, upping the ante of the experience by adding multiplayer support. It's said to offer a diverse range of game types, ranging from tag team battles to a full-on battle royale, where a mess of players beat the life out of each other.
Jack, protagonist of the awesome Wii exclusive Mad World, makes an appearance with chainsaw and all. He looks a little different in high def color, but it seems like he hasn't lost his penchant for brutality. Other characters appear to have some resemblances, such as the bull-headed fellow who draws some similarities to Mad World's Big Bull Crocker, and the female whose got an ass like Bayonetta. Fuck it, I'll just go ahead and say the Metal Gear Solid: Rising ninja character is Vanquish's Sam Gideon in a new suit. It's a Platinum Games reunion!
Anarchy Reigns is set for a Fall 2011 release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.