Muscle Memory

We joke about how we can remember the jingle to an old commercial or quote a movie from 20 years ago but we can’t recite the first three sentences of the Constitution or know where Iran is on a map. But the fact is that repetition is one of the best teachers.

I’m reminded of this when I started playing Resident Evil 4 HD on the Xbox 360. Like getting on a bike after years without riding, I knew exactly what I was doing. After over FIVE years, it was as if it was only yesterday. It was strange, but there was no need for a tutorial (which is good, because I don’t remember there being one). In fact, I was freaking out that they had left out the “quick-turn” ability. You can’t play the game without that ability. Luckily, instead of pressing ‘B’ and pulling down on the control stick, you use ‘A’. Once I got that figured out, it was like olden times.

There are other games like this, but Resident Evil 4 and me are pals.

I imagine that Diablo 3 is going to be like this.

What games do you go back and it’s like you never left?

Blog Banter #2 – New Year’s Goals

Blog Banter is a group of bloggers passionate about anything and everything video games. We enjoy getting together once a month to write about the same subject. You will be amazed at the different viewpoints so many people can have on the exact same topic! Links to all the participant’s articles can be found here. If you are interested in participating, contact bs angel for more information. Enjoy our stories!

This month’s Blog Banter topic is “New Year Resolutions” and gaming. I don’t really like the idea of “resolutions” as they often are nebulous and don’t have a tangible result. When I look out at the new year before me, I think of changes I’d like to make in terms of goals. Sure, a great resolution would be to “eat better” but that doesn’t get results. A goal of “lose 25 pounds” on the other hand, is what I need to motivate me to stick to the change. Rewards don’t hurt, either, but that’s a different subject.

So this year’s New Year’s Goal for Gaming for me is to branch out, try something new. I’ve always played the old stand-bys: I stick to a few specific genres like first person shooters (Halo 3, The Orange Box) or action games (Crackdown) or Nintendo propeties (Zelda Phantom Hourglass, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3). It’s time to branch out!

Resident Evil was a series I never got into. I played a couple hours of the RE remake for the Gamecube, but that didn’t float my boat. I thought about giving Resident Evil Zero a try but never got around to it. It wasn’t until I played Resident Evil 4 at Game Crazy one afternoon that really got my attention. I picked it up and never looked back. RE4 has become one of my favorite games, ever. I never played any of the “survival horror” games before this but Resident Evil 4 opened my eyes.

I’m hoping the same thing will happen again this year. I’m not sure what game it will be, but it has to be something I never would have thought twice about before. Maybe it will be Culdcept Saga for the 360. Maybe I’ll pick up a PSP, a console I never would have thought I’d ever pick up. I may go totally off the deep-end and give Endless Ocean a try. The possibilities are limitless!

Crazy Capcom!

If you’ve been a longtime reader of buttonmashing, you’ll note that there is a lot of love for the Capcom zombie games, most noteably Dead Rising and Resident Evil 4. Today in London Capcom announced the following games at their Gamer Day:

Street Fighter 4
Development has just begun and the release of the game is more than a year away. No platforms are yet confirmed – a highly stylised animated concept trailer of Ryu and Ken fighting was shown, but no game footage.

Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice
A new character and new series starring a rookie lawyer. Phoenix Wright makes an appearance but is not the lead character. Made specifically for DS.

Lost Planet (PS3)
Available early next year and will include all bonus characters from the PC version and extra downloadable content from the 360 version making it the complete package. Made possible with Blu-ray. 16 player online over the PSN.

Dark Void
A new sci-fi action-adventure IP. Trailer showed third-person and air-vehicle gameplay with a character wearing a steam punk jetpack, skydiving and landing in the cockpit of a gyroscopic aircraft, and then jumping and climbing through airbase fortesses.

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD (Xbox Live Arcade)
The game will feature a spectator mode and is scheduled for a 2008 while the team try and get zero lag for the online mode. Also features stat tracking and widescreen. Original music from Street Fighter 2 will be used, plus remixed versions of all those tunes.

Wii Love Golf
From the Everybody’s Golf team comes a cutesy golf sim, that looks slightly more technical than the PlayStation versions. Players can fade or draw the ball by twisting the Wii-mote when taking a swing.

Notice anything missing? Yep, I don’t see it either. Now, you think that they would possibly want to cash in on one of their better selling games in recent years. However, they see no need (at this time, hopefully) for Dead Rising 2.

Many (heh) of us on the staff here at buttonmashing firmly believe there needs to be a sequel or spirtual successor for Dead Rising. Co-op would be a bonus.

Also, I like Lost Planet for the 360, (On the finish list!) but I don’t see how PS3 gamers are going to be clammoring for it next year. Of course, I may be proven wrong because Resident Evil 4 has done something similar with new platforms and performed reasonably well in sales.

From this list, it’s clear that Capcom views their buttonmashing (ha!) Street Fighter games as the true breadwinners.

Thanks to Evil Avatar and Games Radar for the info.

“Made possible with Blu-ray.” That’s subtle. I wonder how muchthey got from Sony for that?

Dead Rising 2 at the Tokyo Game Show?

I’ve been seeing rumors about the possibility of Capcom announcing Dead Rising 2 at the Tokyo Game Show. Of course this is contrary to what we heard earlier, but we’ll see.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Dead Rising fan. In fact, I’ve been thinking about a great idea for a crossover game from Capcom’s franchises for Dead Rising 2. Take Leon from Resident Evil 4 (another Capcom franchise), send him to investigate some undead activity on a remote island. Frank
West, the photo-journalist from Dead Rising, follows him to document the investigation. The island will naturally be crawling with zombies, looking for some brains to eat, and Frank and Leon show up ready to bash some faces. It’s a can’t miss!

Frank powers up the duo with some sweet action photography and Leon keeps them alive with some sweet stinky weed. (Come on, he heals himself with green herbs. How else could you explain it?). The combo moves would be amazing.

Actually, I would be happy if they announced an online co-op mode for Dead Rising. Meeting up with pals in the mall to impale zombies with the post hole digger would have to be the pinnacle of online gaming.

(On a side note, supposedly Dead Rising 2 is happening on an island. How Capcom say this game has no resemblance to the Dawn of the Dead? Even if it’s the 2004 remake?)

Resident Evil 4, case closed.

I have defeated Lord Saddler once again. Just like last time, he was much easier than that son of a jackal Krauser. So how does the pro difficulty compare to the normal level? Was it twice as hard?

Not really. Even though I died over a hundred times more than the first time through, it wasn’t that much harder. It took me about 3 hours longer this time through, but I took my time and looked for all the treasures. I killed about a hundred more bad guys, but I was more efficient, increasing my hit rate to 74%. I also finished “Assignment Ada” and I’ve now unlocked all the weapons goodies. I don’t have the million pesetas to buy the infinite rocket launcher or the Chicago Typewriter, but I did acquire the hand cannon and it packs quite the punch.

Resident Evil 4 easily stands heads and shoulders above 99% of the games of this generation of consoles. Even though I feel it lost a little of its spookiness and tension once the action moved onto the island, the game still has atmosphere and suspense. I can’t say enough about it. I’m glad I went through it a second time. A must play.