Penny Arcade Expo 2006 is occuring right now, which may or may not end up becoming E3 #2 now that the original E3 has been dissolved. And fittingly, a bunch of new DS game screenshots have been unveiled that show off a variety of upcoming titles. British Gaming Blog has seen fit to neatly put these together, which makes browsing through them quite easy.
The games that immediately catch my attention are Mario vs Donkey Kong, Yoshi’s Island 2, Mario Slam Basketball, and StarFox Command. All quite clearly look brilliant, although the StarFox screenshots aren’t the most flattering around; I suggest watching the video instead. I’m also somewhat intrigued by the other titles on show: Elite Beat Agents looks rather stylish, and then there’s Final Fantasy III, a 3D remake of the original.
The original Final Fantasy III was supposedly never actually released outside of Japan and the rest of the world got something else, so it should be a new experience for the majority of those reading this blog. Finally there’s 41 All Time Classics, which brings 41 classic games (as in Poker, etc) to the DS with Wi-Fi play. Not too excited about that myself, but I can see it appealing to many others — especially the older crowd.
I never thought I’d be so excited about what is essentially a spruced up seven-year-old mod, but whoa. Whoa. Team Fortress 2 looks seriously bloody good! And now there’s a gameplay video up for grabs that fills over three minutes, we can all see exactly why this game is going to rock the free world.
It’s embedded on the right, but you’ll need to click it to view the full-size version; if anyone has a higher definition version then please leave it in a comment! This small version with poor sound quality really doesn’t do the visuals or audio justice. I’ll summarise the video as a series of bullet points for easy reading, highlighting what’s revealed/confirmed about Team Fortess 2 in the video (spoiler: it’s a lot like Team Fortress Classic in pretty much every single way):
- A short piece of gameplay footage is shown for each class with the exception of the Medic and the Pyro
- The animation seen in the original teaser trailer was and is ingame
- Everything in the trailer is actual gameplay, although a lot of it is shot from a separate camera rather than through the eyes of a player
- The Spy can make himself completely invisible, although whether or not you remain invisible while moving isn’t clear
- The Team Fortress Classic formula seems to be intact; everything from rocket jumps to one-hit knife kills are seen, and the Heavy Weapon guy is as gloriously overpowered as ever
- The map shown in the original teaser trailer and this video is in fact 2fort; the layout is a carbon copy of the original; however, it has been ingeniously designed to look much more like a real, living environment rather than a pair of forts in the middle of nowhere
- You get to watch the sentry guns set by the Engineer deploy themselves, with each part developing from the last in a fluid manner
- The sniper can kill people in one shot by shooting them in the head; charging of the weapon is not seen, but could be required for instant kills
- It looks seriously slick and stylish; however, it’s not cell shaded as some are claiming with the exception of special effects
- The scout now has a baseball bat that is apparently capable of killing people with one swing to the back of the head
- Although capture the flag gameplay is presumably still the primary mode of play, flags appear to now be replaced with more appropriate/realistic objectives; in the case of 2fort, you have to steal an electrical box labelled “Top Secret” from where the flag used to be
- The Demoman can now throw his dynamite over a long distance, making him an extremely effective sentry gun destroyer
- When the Demoman’s dynamite initially explodes, only one of the five sticks detonates; the remaining four are dispersed a short distance around the blast site and then explode simultaneously; this could be a replacement for the MIRV grenades that both the Heavy Weapon Guy and the Demoman had in Team Fortress Classic as they exploded in a similar manner
Of course, the best way to examine the upcoming cracker for yourself is to simply watch it! I must say, having been away from Team Fortress for a few years I’m more than ready to return to its gameplay in a new form, even if it hasn’t evolved too much. It looks like Valve has the right idea though; take a classic formula and then tweak it. It’s basically what Team Fortress Classic was to Team Fortress.
Update: Added the Pyro to bullet one. Thanks a lot for pointing that out, Jason!
Update #2: The small video not enough for you? The chaps on the Steam forums have managed to find a higher resolution version, even though it’s still taken through a video camera. Head over to the download page and use the links beneath the set of thumbnails to grab a 960×540 copy!
Yes, that’s right. Not only will Command & Conquer 3 (confusingly titled since it is in fact more like the seventh) have live-action cutscenes — a tradition of the series that was unfortunately dropped as of Command & Conquer: Generals — but the original nemesis Kane will be back, original actor and all. For those new to the series, he’s the leader of the more evil playable army.
I’m getting really excited about C&C3. The available footage is sweet, and it looks like the series has completely gone back to its roots. Cheesy cutscenes (though they’ll supposedly be “epic”) combined with elaborate CGI sequences that brief you on the missions, the original tiberium universe, and of course NOD vs GDI. What more could you ask for? Well, other than good gameplay — hopefully that won’t be an issue.
If you’ve not been following C&C3, I recommend checking out the just-released intro/gameplay video video (Quicktime .mov). It contains a classic C&C-style briefing of the game’s premise and a bit of gameplay footage towards the end. Man, check out all those physics based collapsing buildings. The Orca’s back too!
If you’d like to remind yourself how far the series has come, watch the video of the first C&C mission ever. I still love that music; the part about 50 seconds in gets my nostalgia bumps going. Including a redux version of that in C&C would be a godly act. Let’s just hope the lack of a Westwood presence won’t dilute what is growing into a formidable amount of promising elements.
Update: Since you love convenience, I’ve uploaded the Command & Conquer 3 video to YouTube, meaning you can view it quickly rather than waiting for the beastly 60mb original to download. Also changed the post image to an old picture of Kane. Enjoy!
I suppose emulation is the wrong word to use since it’s clearly more complex than that, and the popular term seems to be “virtualisation”, but it at least makes the headline understandable by most. Basically there’s an application for Mac OS X called Parallels which allows you to run Windows within OS X, which is of course preferable to dual booting whenever you want to do something in Windows. It’s a fairly established piece of kit and there’s a lot of hype surrounding it on Digg and whatnot.
The only problem is of course that it’s literally running Windows within the Mac operating system, so there’s inevitable slowdown as a result. Apparently this isn’t destined to always be the case though, as a new post on the official Parallels blog describes:
“Fast 3D graphics support
via support for OpenGL and DirectX. You’ll be able to run games at full speed without leaving your OS X desktop!”
Sounds too good to be true really. Game support is pretty much one of the only deal breakers (apart from the overpriced hardware) with Macs for many people, since the application scene has changed dramatically during the past several years and now has provisions for most users out there. Being able to run games within OS X like this would be a massive step forward for the system and it’ll be very interesting if they can stay true to their word.
Set to debut on both the GameCube and Wii at the same time by the end of the year, Zelda: The Twilight Princess is basically the spiritual sequel to Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a true classic that many have extremely fond memories of. But you probably already know that. What you might not know however is that it’s just been confirmed the Wii version has had some changes made that make more use of the Wii’s unique control scheme.
Before, Miyamoto didn’t think that controlling the sword by swinging the Wiimote around would be any good. He thought it’d be too tiring. But having experimented with the concept since E3, he’s apparently now confident it can work well and has replaced the former boring method of pressing B to swing your sword, with physical swinging controlled by the Wiimote. Just what we all wanted!
In addition, thanks to the B button having become free due to the aforementioned change, the bow ‘n’ arrow is now controlled with the B button. According to the article the original scheme involved you ‘pulling’ the bow back by pressing down on the D-Pad, then releasing it by letting go. I personally think that sounds more engaging, but I do trust Miyamoto and if he thinks it’d get too irritating then he’s probably right.
While we’re on the subject, does anyone know what these two screenshots are all about? They were both taken at E3 2006 (original gallery) and as such are presumably of the same age, yet one clearly looks a lot better than the other. Could one be from the GameCube version and one from the Wii? Many realise that contrary to popular belief the Wii does not have the same hardware as the GameCube, but this could be an excellent example to show the differences if it is indeed a shot from each version.
I can see that the interface seems to indicate the Wii version, but that’s some serious difference in graphical quality right there. Leave a comment if you have any ideas.
As those who’ve been lucky enough to stumble into a shop carrying them knows, various outlets across the country (and indeed the world) have fancy download stations that let you download demos of various games onto your Nintendo DS for some sampling.
Only problem is that going to these places is usually a bit of a chore, and of course you don’t want to be doing it in a place like Mansfield — home of myself — where you’re likely to get your DS mugged off you the second you whip it out. So what’s the answer? To turn your PC into a download station of course!
It’s surprisingly simple looking, although probably not recommended for those who don’t know what they’re doing as it looks like your wireless can’t act as its usual internet-able self while in DS mode, even though it’s revertable. It comes as a six-step guide and even has complementary photographs so you can see what you need to do.
If you’re feeling brave and the list of steps doesn’t scare you too much, by all means give it go. If you’re successful (or not) and wouldn’t mind sharing how it went, it’d be nice if you could share some specifics in a comment such as exactly what is available for download. I haven’t done it myself so I don’t know.
There’s a fairly intriguing “food for thought” article over on Aeropause right now that looks at the prospect of pensioner gaming. It’s surprisingly something I’ve never really thought about before, and now that I’ve sat down and done so it’s quite a surreal mental image. I mean, what do you think of when you let oldies fill your head? Chances are it’s not of people talking about the latest video games, laughing out loud while gathered around a game of Mario Kart as one bloke wrecks another with a blue shell, and sitting in a circle playing wireless multiplayer on their handhelds. But that could be exactly what we’re all destined to become.
I mean, look at the picture of the bloke above that I’ve stolen from the article. What would you imagine that guy doing throughout his day? Sitting on his armchair reading the paper and watching some TV classics, perhaps going down to the shop for some milk and bread? But imagine him instead walking up to you and going on about how he spandoozled some 14-year-old newbie in Team Fortess 7 last night, then proceed to discussing the upcoming Unreal Engine 9.
Yes folks, this is our future. And personally, I’m quite looking forward to having retirement dosh to spend on gaming and filling my days with fun rather than rotting away in some manky room sleeping throughout the day due to sheer boredom, hoping my family will give me the gift of half an hour of conversation every week or so. Plus we’ll all get to wave our old gamer status in the faces of the new blood — finally we can act like war veterans!