Capcom Announces Resident Evil Re-Releases to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

You just can’t keep a good T-virus down. Capcom has announced that, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise, it is releasing the fourth, fifth, and sixth games in the saga on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

While critical response to both Resident Evil 5 and 6 was variable, at best – players were unhappy at the games ditching the survival horror in favour of a more action shooter style – Resident Evil 4, only the second game of the series to be directed by visionary Shinji Mikami, is still considered one of the best games ever made.

“In March 1996, the world was introduced to the first Resident Evil game, which helped shape survival horror as we know it and has since brought you some of the most loved games of all time,” the official Capcom announcement reads. “You’ve been able to play through the origins stories that started everything with the recent releases of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0, and we’ve confirmed that a remake of Resident Evil 2 is on the way.”

“Since then, the series and story have evolved to amp up the action and introduce new epic gaming moments with Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. If you haven’t had a chance to play these yet or if you’ve been wanting to play them on your current consoles, we’ve got good news for you. Starting with Resident Evil 6 on March 29, all three games will be available for PS4 and Xbox One for an MSRP of only $19.99 / €19.99 / £15.99 each.”

More Hints Regarding Bioshock Collection on PS4 and Xbox One

We all have those games which you just feel like picking up every now and again to see how you can play it differently, or just to immerse yourself in their world again. One of those games series if the Bioshock series for many. A few months we reported on the fact that a “Bioshock Collection” could be coming to Xbox One and Playstation 4, it would now seem that more information is coming forward with a Brazillian rating board listing a similar title.

With the title of “BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION”, the games are listed for release on PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the latest generation of consoles in the form of a Playstation 4 and Xbox One release. With re-releases being the rage these days, bundling together games, their DLC’s and more often than not a graphics update, we could soon see you playing the games in a whole new light.

With games like Gears of War getting HD remakes  amongst a slew of gameplay features, is it really that surprising that 2K games are looking at one of their more famous franchises to kick some life into their company following 2K Australia closure.

Would you buy (or even re-buy) the Bioshock games? If you did what platform would you choose? Personally, I love the games but unless it featured something that the previous games didn’t, I would just replay the originals for their amazing storylines.

Batman: Arkham Knight October Re-Release Performance Update

Introduction


Yawn! Seriously, the third time we’ve returned to a game. Maybe it was my fault being a bit hasty on the last large update, but that update was the serious graphical update that everyone on the PC was waiting for and it seemed to have worked for a large proportion of gamers. Some still found issues with this update, but because it wasn’t a re-release, it sort of got swept under the carpet.

The re-release was put back onto the Steam store at approximately 5pm on October 28th and it hasn’t got off to the best of starts either. The performance is still not what people expected and Warner Bros even make the ridiculous claim that Windows 10 users would require 12GB of RAM to get the best possible experience. I’m not one for giving up, but I would have gone home and cried by now if this was one of my games.

Again, we are setting ourselves up with the task of testing all of the latest graphics cards from the NVIDIA GTX 900 series and AMD R9 300 and Fury range against the latest update. This time around there will be a comparison compared to the original launch, the re-test that was completed a few weeks ago and the newest results to see how far the performance and playability has come.

Let’s begin shall we?

SEGA Could Re-Release Shenmue I And II

SEGA has been sorely neglecting the Shenmue franchise for over a decade despite the passionate pleas of its fanbase. One could argue it was down the soaring costs of Shenmue and financial risk. However, the series desperately deserved a final chapter to finish the story and remaster of the original classics. The term genius can be applied too loosely in modern society, but Yu Suzuki is a genius of game design.

Thankfully, the advent of crowdfunding helped Suzuki find a platform to produce Shenmue 3 and ask fans for help with the development costs. Initially, the project was a resounding success but the rate of financial payment reduced quite rapidly. This caused some concerns as critics believed the raised amount wouldn’t cover the costs to produce an authentic Shenmue experience.

Whatever the case, it seems Shenmue 3 has multiple sources of revenue and it’s finally happening after all these years! Up to this point, SEGA has remained fairly distant but it seems like they are more open to revisiting the series and possibly releasing a HD remaster. SEGA Europe’s marketing director Jon Rooke told Marketing Week:

“Yes, we want to innovate and back smarthphones and virtual reality but our key purpose is to go back to what the brand used to stand for,” 

“I think the buzz around Shenmue 3 shows that people love our legacy,”

“Over the next few years, we want to use engaging content and marketing to remind the public why they fell in love with Sega in the first place.”

Would you buy Shenmue I and II if a remaster came to PC?

Turok and Turok 2 Set For PC Remastering

Classic first-person shooters Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil are set for a spit and polish before a PC re-release, thanks to the new rights owner of the series. Night Drive Studios, established in 2013 by Stephen Kick, has a habit of picking up the rights to classic games and cleaning them up for new systems – as it did two years ago with spiritual predecessor to BioShock, System Shock 2 – and the developer has been quick to snap up Turok and Turok 2, both of which ripe for updates.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil will be available through Steam, the Humble Bundle store, GOG, GamersGate, Greenman Gaming, and the Night Dive Studios website.

Kick, who is CEO as well as founder of Night Drive Studios, said:

“When Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was first released it was nothing short of revolutionary. To that point, no game had ever offered the combination of graphics and an open world environment that Turok featured. We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this great franchise back to life and to be able to share these great titles with today’s gaming audience.”

We are still awaiting official release dates for both games.

Thank you WCCF Tech for providing us with this information.

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ‘n’ Tasty PC Review

Given that Abe’s Oddysee has been out for many years on the PlayStation 1 and since then, many Sony services as a digital download, albeit in its original PlayStation 1 format, this game isn’t exactly new by many standards. I loved the original game when it first came out and spent many evenings trying to solve its masterful puzzle sections and interacting with its colourful inhabitants. This game is one of the best efforts in the history of platform gaming, but how does it stand up in a modern gaming environment?

Almost nine months after the PlayStation 4 release, the PC version of the game is finally here and, of course, there’s also an Xbox One version on its way very soon. While the words Remastered or HD Edition get thrown around a lot these days, the developers at Just Add Water have gone above and beyond with this edition. This isn’t a simple texture re-buff, with a bit of a lighting tweak – the whole game has been remade from the ground up to take full advantage of modern gaming hardware.

The games iconic landscapes and 2D scenes have been rendered in detailed 3D, giving the game a stunning level of visual depth that simply wasn’t there with the pixel heavy original. This is still every bit a 2D side scrolling game, but the world just looks a lot more alive now than it ever did in the original. The same can be said about the inhabitants, from Abe, to the Sligs, characters models are vastly improved throughout. While the bulk of the animations are still what you would expect, leaving the game playing just like it did in the original, it really is a sight to behold as it flexes its new appreciation for high polygon counts. The game uses the Unity game engine, making majestic use of modern lighting techniques, high-resolution textures, particle effects and a whole lot more. It even supports 4K resolutions; which looks incredible if you’ve got a compatible monitor.

Much like the animation and controls, the sounds of the game have remained faithful to their originals, although cleaned up and improved vs their lower bit rate originals. Abe still has all his usual quirks and voice commands which you can use to interact and influence the other characters of the game world. From the simple “Hello” to the even more iconic *fart* noises; this part of the game is every bit as fun as it used to be.

New graphics, new sound are one thing, but another subtle yet hugely impactful tweak to the game, is that the page flipping has been removed in favor of a player tracking camera. This makes the game world feel much bigger and a lot more fluid than before; it’s a real game changer. It doesn’t take away from the feel of the original game, but it does make it more pleasant to play overall.

If you’ve played the original, this is the same game, from start to finish, it’s every bit the iconic game you once remembered, it just looks and feels many times better. If you haven’t played the original, what you’ll find here is one of the best platform gaming experiences ever created. A simple, yet rather deep story about Abes escape from a factory where they’re turned into slaves and as Abe soon discovers, they’re soon to be turned into food. You’ll make and lose friends along the way, you’ll interact with both friend and foe using the games intuitive action systems and you’ll find some fantastic, albeit not to taxing, puzzles to solve. The one thing that will keep you coming back for more, is trying to complete the game with a 100% success rate, as not all of your attempts to free the other slaves will be successful the first time around. Although I must admit the improved checkpoint system, as well as the ability to save and load whenever you want, can go a long way to improving your success rate.

I wish more developers would go above and beyond with their HD remasters, remakes, re-releases or whichever term you prefer. The visual overhaul here is impressive, but it’s the little attentions to detail that help make this the best Abe game to date, while remaining extremely faithful to the original release. It’s good enough to buy now, although the more patient of you would certainly want to add it to your Steam Wish List in time for any upcoming sales.

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee New ‘n’ Tasty PC Review

Disney to Release Unaltered Cut of Star Wars Trilogy on Blu-ray

You don’t have to be a big fan of the Star Wars franchise to know that many fans got fed up when George Lucas started making adjustments to the originals, detracting from the little details that people loved about the original movies. Rumors are kicking around this week with the prospect of an “original” cut making it to Blu-ray, which  is no doubt something that would excite the long-standing fan base of the movies.

The only issue we know of here is that Disney do not own the rights to the original cuts of the movie, these are still owned by Fox.

Fox owns distribution rights to the original Star Wars, No. 4 in the series, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. And as for the five subsequent movies, Fox has theatrical, nontheatrical, and home video rights worldwide through May 2020.

In fact there are a lot of hurdles on this one, Lucas himself has already said he wasn’t keen on the idea in the past, so many different business deals would have to go right and of course it will likely result in a product that hardcore fans still aren’t happy with. With a bit of luck, this one will see the light of day, but don’t hold your breath.

Thank you i09 for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of i09.

The Last of Us: Remastered PlayStation 4 Review

The last of Us has proven to be one of the last generations crowning achievements since it launch in mid 2013. It had been a while since the team at Naughty Dog had departed from the much-loved Uncharted series and while it did borrow some elements from that series, it really pushed the limits of story telling in a market that has rapidly become a combination of cut-scene riddled corridor shooters and generic quest open world titles.

The game went on to sell over 7 million copies in its first year, which is hardly a surprise given that the game got a vast amount of 9/10 to 10/10 scores from the mainline gaming media and many independent review sources. Now the developers at Naughty Dog are back once again to re-release the game and likely hope that most of those 7 million customers are eager enough to buy the game all over again. Sounds silly, but I’ve been eager to replay this game for months and the promise of massively improved graphics, 60fps frame rates and a solid 1920 x 1080 resolution meant I chose to wait a little longer and spend a little extra to play this game again in all its glory, and I suspect I’m not the only one.

The game is still every bit the great game it was, none of the core elements have been changed. I could whittle on and review these aspects, but in all honestly this is ground already well trodden in literally countless reviews, including the one I wrote myself!

“The game is well crafted, the story is simply mind-blowing and it’s got a musical score and direction on par with a blockbuster movie. While some games fail to strike the balance of story and gameplay, The Last of Us delivers on both in one of the best executed gaming experiences I’ve had in years. I managed to get through the game in 20 hours on hard mode on my first play through, something that was no easy task, especially on the last section. You can go for a play through+ mode afterwards and progress your weapons further, but the impact of the story is lessened greatly the second time around, fortunately the thrilling gameplay loses nothing of its charm.” – Me, 1 year ago eTeknix

My opinions of the core gameplay after yet another play-through haven’t changed one bit, the game is still incredible to play through and the story is as griping as it ever was. Of course it’s not the same for those re-playing, but the impact of the story still carries a lot of weight for new comers, especially the opening sequence which I know left many a little choked up.

Aside from the core gameplay, the general experience of The Last of Us has been upgraded in a big way. The changes to the game engine are huge and even the numerous smaller details add up in a big way. On the PlayStation 3 the game used to drop below 30fps in the frantic scenes, LOD used to drop off details in the larger environments, antialiasing effects were basic, textures were colorful, but often a little on the blurry side and lighting effects were limited, these are no longer issues.

The framerate is now a smooth 60fps, I’ve noticed it drop a couple of times in the larger environments, but these moments appear to be in larger none action areas as the game streams lots of texture data and only lasts for a second or two. Interestingly the game can be locked at 30fps for those who love the “cinematic” effect this gives, but once you see a side by side and you’ve played at 60fps, you’ll realize why people kick up such a fuss about it and you’ll never look at the 30fps setting again, which is a juddery mess in comparison. LOD and antialiasing are massively improved, which is no surprise given that the game now runs at 1920 x 1080, not the 1280 x 720 it ran at on the PlayStation 3, also thanks to much faster hardware and a considerably increased memory pool for rendering. Textures are also a lot more detailed and it is safe to say that while the Last of Us was one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 3, it is now also one of the best looking on the PlayStation 4.

So there we have it, a lot of improvements big and small, but overall this really is an aesthetics thing. The game looks better than ever, the game sounds better than ever and little tweaks like using the speaker in the controller for playing back audio tapes and a few sound effects is a nice touch. Overall it’s the same game, but for fans of the original the changes here make it feel well worth playing through it all over again.

“As far as awards go, I’m sticking with my original judgement on this game, it won our editors choice award last time and that is something I stand by. For those who have yet to enjoy the game, this is the definitive edition (it even comes with the Single player and multiplayer DLC included) and well worthy of purchase for any PlayStation 4 gamer. For those who played the original, this is a superb overhaul that makes returning to the title a grand experience, but it couldn’t hurt to wait a little while longer for the price to drop before picking it up again.”

Pros

  • Massively improved graphics
  • Improved sound quality
  • All current DLC included
  • Use of the light bar and speaker on DS4 is cool

Cons

  • Paying full retail for a second time just 12 months after buying the game on PlayStation 3 does feel a little strange

Natural

  • Inclusion of a 30fps mode seems pointless but does add an interesting comparison for those confused by the FPS debate

The Last of Us PlayStation 4 Review

Thank you Sony for providing us with this sample.