Thursday, July 18, 2013

UPDATE: Ultra Street Fighter IV Update, Mega Man V too! posted an article, giving some good news: if you only own Super Street Fighter IV, when buying the $15 Ultra DLC, it will indeed include content from the Arcade Edition!!!

This makes me consider changing my plans - because, when I decided to opt for the hardcopy edition of Ultra Street Fighter IV (for $40), I was going under the assumption I'd have to pay $30, to get both the Arcade and Ultra content (each costing $15. Combined, equal $30). With this change in news, it would be better to just get the DLC for Ultra.

The hardcopy, though, has all the previously released costumes. You won't get that through the DLC purchase of Ultra Street Fighter IV.

(yes, Shuma Gorath still judges you, Capcom!)

I'm pleasantly surprised with Capcom - as this is a move that in uncharacteristically generous. Usually they squeeze you for every penny you have! This is the same company who released Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, including all sorts of new characters -- but still insisted people pay extra for Jill and Shuma Gorath. And they where even worse when it came to Street Fighter X Tekken. So, really -- kudos on Capcom! Maybe they really did learn a lesson, from the SF X Tekken disaster. (Nearly destroying this revived fighting generation, I guess, makes them financially motivated to actually treat customers fairly.)

Despite this... I'm still planning on getting the hardcopy disk. Not that the costumes are that important - but my PS3 is very full of data, and I would fear it couldn't take anymore. Plus, I always feel better having an actual hardcopy of what I buy.

Oh yeah, in other news... Dream Come True: Capcom is releasing Mega Man V, the fifth Gameboy adventure, onto the Virtual Console. No date for it yet -- but this is exactly the kind of news I was hoping to hear about. You see, I loved the Mega Man Gameboy games. They where essentially a cheaper alternative to their console brethren; the NES games usually played via Blockbuster. So I have a lot of affection for those black & white Mega Man adventures! The released Mega Man Anniversary Edition, on the PS2, was likewise a dream come true - giving you all the NES Mega Man games in existence. I was likewise excited about the Gameboy Anniversary Edition -- which was advertised, but never released. Capcom withdrew plans -- which really, really sucked  because, in preparation, I sold my Mega Man Gameboy games, 1 through 3. Only 4 survived. So I consider the release of the Gameboy games very important, for Capcom finally making good.

As for Mega Man V -- I simply never had a chance to buy it. It was releasing near the end of the Gameboy Color's lifespan, and it simply went by me without notice. It has since then become a cult fan favorite - as it pits Mega Man against Solar-System themed bosses, with a heavy emphasis on story. Missing out on it really hurt.

So I am very happy to hear about this revival of Mega Man V. Capcom still has a ways to go, to fully gain back fan trust -- but, these announcements make me feel like they are actually serious about making good on past failures.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Street Fighter X Mega Man

I am not a PC gamer. I'm tried it out, on a few occasions, for a test-play of Final Fantasy XI - but otherwise, consoles have always been where I get my gaming fix.

A curious thing happened, though, when Capcom last year announced the release (A FREE Release!) of Street Fighter X Mega Man -- a fan produced game, approved by Capcom, and given out free for download on the PC.

Not being a PC gamer, I didn't have a controller to play the game on. So I missed out, having the game pass me by. I figured Capcom would eventually release a console version of the title -- maybe charge money for it, but I was OK with that; just as long as it was on a console. That obviously never happened. So curiosity set in, and I downloaded the game. What a wonderful game it is, too! It brought back all the memories of a brand new Mega Man game -- mechanics and obstacles that where new and fresh, with the same excellent gameplay the series is known for. How did I play it? Well, just being curious, I attempted to cobble together a controller-like set up with my keyboard. It did not work... -- though I was proud to have reached Ryu, using this clunky control scheme.

Still, if I wanted to play this game right - a regular controller is a must. Yet I'm not ready to spend a bunch on a PC Controller, just to play one game. Thats when, miracles of miracles -- The Salvation Army had a Logitech wireless controller, for only $8. Its a risk, though, buying used -- it came in its original packaging, but it was clearly stuffed back in it, for resale. My fears where heightened when I found no software disk to go with it. Did I just waste $8? Turns out - Logitech offers the needed software for their products, ready to download. It installed, and to my surprise - not only did the controller work - but it was connecting and operating with the game exactly as it was suppose to!!! Suddenly, no more clunky gaming - just a pure Mega Man/Street Fighter throw down!

I'm just excited that this worked, and what I got at Salvation Army worked as well! The game isn't new - but being on the PC, I would think there are still some fans who might not know about it. Or - might not have the set up (like me) to properly play it.

The game, really, is a fan-dream made reality - with detail and professional polish. It's simply excellent - and brings back those challenging early Mega Man days as a kid. (Yeah, the game is hard. But fun!) The choices of characters, to stand in as the 8 Bosses, where quite well selected - the weapons in the game are fun and inventive. The music is also top-notch, mixing classic themes with Street Fighter music. For a fan produced game - this is really astounding! And, for all their money-grubbing schemes, with DLC, and Super Ultra re-releases, Capcom really stepped up, by not only allowing and approving of this game - but then giving it out free to players.

If you have the chance - this is a great game to get and try out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ultra Street Fighter IV

Capcom is going back the well again, bringing us the latest update for Street Fighter VI. For a glorified cash-grab, I'm actually not upset about this. They have two options -- either buying the DLC pack for $15, or a new psychical edition for $40.

The $40 one is what I'm planning on getting - as it will include ALLL of the DLC Costume Packs released so far - plus, it will include the 4 characters from Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, which I skipped over. (I couldn't convince myself to buy it, seeing as you where essentially just getting Yun and Yang, along with different versions of Ryu and Akuma. Basically, it felt like I would only be getting 2 characters. I'm pretty sure the content from the Arcade Edition will not be included in the DLC version of Ultra Street Fighter IV. (making the $40 Physical Copy more economical.)

....but, I was wrong...

UPDATE: Its been announced that, if you just have Super Street Fighter IV, buying the Ultra DLC WILL include the content from Arcade Edition. Good news, huh?

The characters and stages being brought over to this game come from Street Fighter X Tekken - which, by coincidence, I recently bought! SF X Tekken was a failure, mainly because they released it - with many characters locked, until you shell out another $20 to access them. It was a fun game -- but that kind of scam for consumers is pretty unforgivable. The only reason I bought into it was because the psychical copy was reduced to $20 -- making the total price $40. (A far shade better than people who bought it, at release, for $60, + $20) The game, though, still has issues -- Cole (from the Infamous series) is included in the game, but is not playable in Arcade Mode. Same for the 2 Playstation Cats. They may have well just not included them!

The addition of new characters is cool, but I'm really hopeful the 5th, unnamed character, will be really worth it. Will it be a brand new character, never before seen? Or is it a character coming over from another franchise? Asura and Bad Box-Art Mega Man have already been discounted.

I like the fact that Hugo, and Elena are being included - as I adored the cast of Street Fighter III.

Poison is an interesting addition, going from background attendant to Hugo, to playable character.

Rolento, though, is a character I have mixed feelings about. I liked him in Street Fighter Alpha - but, that was before 9/11. I know villains are a big part of Street Fighter -- but, being an armed militant, this character just isn't palatable for me any longer.

Also, the new stages that are being brought over from SF X Tekken are probably going to have to be adapted - as Tekken characters, I suspect, will no longer be running around in the background. I doubt the stages will move, as the battle continues, like before either.

Its still a long wait, before this all hits stores, though. The game is scheduled for release in early 2014. Thats a half a year away. At least I have SF X Tekken to keep me busy until then. Also - to get the most for your money,  you might want to Pre-Order it - as you get DLC costumes for Hugo, Elena, Poison, and Rolento.

Monday, July 15, 2013

DC vs Marvel Animated Shows, ROUND 2

Both DC and Marvel have positioned themselves on opposite sides, dueling for Weekend Morning supremacy - with a block of shows. As detailed before about their initial offerings, DC came in with strong shows of Green Lantern and Young Justice, while Marvel was lukewarm with Ultimate Spider-Man, but strong with Avengers.

Green Lantern had a slow start, but became an incredible series, which is sorely missed - being canceled solely because of a lack of toy sales. I believe the cancelation of Green Lantern is what drove Bruce Timm out of DC's animation house, which is a steep and grave loss. Young Justice continued to impress throughout their 2-season run, wowing me even further with a 5 year leap ahead, adding more and more characters, and more and more intrigue.

Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man disappointed legions of anticipating fans, who assumed the series would be similar to the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, but instead got a modern-day "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends". The show boasted incredible animation -- but it seemed wasted in a show that was aiming, more than usual, to a young and immature audience. Where we just spoiled, during the 90s, with mature shows like X-Men and Batman? The show became merely entertaining for the humorous aspects, and some of the fan-driven episodes, with good results, like for example, the Damage Control episode (highlighting Dwayne McDuffie), the Thor-Frog episode, and the followup Spider-Man-Pig episode. The series, simply put, is a fun distraction - but was never aimed at the over-20 crowd to begin with.

The Avengers tv series bowed out, ending on season 2, to incredible success. If ever there was an example, of how to do a Comic Cartoon show right -- Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was it. The writing, animation - everything was perfectly in synch, managing to deliver great story arcs like Secret Invasion, the Red Hulk saga, and including characters like Spider-Man, the New Avengers, and Yellow Jacket.

Avengers Assemble

Almost as if, in total opposition to the excellence of Avengers EMH, Avengers Assemble comes in with sub-par animation, weak storytelling, and even weaker characterization. This is clearly from the same group responsible for Ultimate Spider-Man, but at least with that show, there was an attempt at 4th-wall breaking humor. There's nothing funny about this horrible show. Taking its cues from the Avengers movie, the series seems like the exact type of corporate-directed, drivel that you'd expect from lesser franchises. Comic Animation fans, quite frankly, have long experienced and deserve better than this. This series just looks awful, from every conceivable angle. From the bright saturated color pallet, to the faux wide-screen scenes, the entire series looks decidedly unappealing. Visually, they are attempting to match what we all saw in the movies -- but, the realism, turned into more simplistic animation, unsurprisingly falls flat. There's simply no style, no imagination, or balance to the art direction. The characterization, besides being cartoonish caricatures of their movie-counterparts, fails to deliver on all fronts. The entire show, quite frankly, is a hollow shell of what the Avengers film was.

I am even less thrilled by previews coming out to Hulk Agents of S.M.A.S.H., which looks like yet another childish attempt by this failure of an animation house.

DC Nation

For all intents and purposes, Marvel has ceded their foothold in this battle against DC. Still, could DC, somehow, screw it all up -- loosing, despite the abject failure of their competitors? Yes, DC, can and is failing. Teen Titans GO is entertaining, and certainly visually appealing -- but it's also just a joke-machine show. Theres no drive to watch one episode from the next.

What is DC's second attempt, following up the cancelation of Young Justice and Green Lantern? Well, in complete contrast to the cartoony Teen Titans GO, Beware the Batman attempts to recapture the noir appeal of Batman during the 90s under Bruce Timm. I have to wonder, though, how much Bruce Timm was involved in this series, before he left. Its certainly in his style - the same CGI style as Green Lantern - but this dark series seems to be missing that imaginative edge.

Not saying the show isn't good -- it's dark, creepy, -- just, well... too dark and creepy for it's own good! The show decidedly is aiming for a Dark Knight-style series - but all I keep wishing for, while watching it, is a more colorful and fun series to breakout. Where's Robin when you need him, to brighten the mood? Alfred, with a nice sarcastic comment here and there, is nowhere to be found - instead replaced by a hardened ex MI-6 spy. Katana adds a new element to the shows dynamic - but, it just feels like this show is trying far, far too hard to be a stone-cold noir detective drama, with little time for fun or adventures in-between. The series tries to bolster itself to longtime fans, by hosting obscure, and even more obscure villains -- all resulting with me wondering "Why Should I Care?"

What I think, though, that is this series' biggest problem, though, is this simple fact: we didn't need another Batman series this soon. Coming off of Batman Brave and the Bold - the promise of a darker Batman series seemed nice - but, I feel now was a misplaced direction to build a series upon. Better to wait and have a excellent Batman series, rather than rush, slapping together something with Batman's name on it.

Avengers Assemble went in all the wrong directions beforehand -- now, it seems, Beware the Batman is going in all the right directions, but with similar disastrous results. At least Beware the Batman is watchable, though...