"Hadouken Cabs"…? What the Hell Is Sony Up To?
Sony’s been dropping this odd viral caveat off at different gaming junkets, and I’m just damned stumped trying to figure what it’s really for.
The mock ad features “Hadouken Cabs,” a taxi company that’s apparently been “knocking the competition out since 1987.” The 30 second spot is, obviously, filled to the brim with Street Fighter references, an allusion to the original PlayStation’s launch year, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flash of the DualShock 4.
What in the hell is Sony — and, guilty by association, Capcom — teasing? Something Street Fighter; something PS4. Well, it must be that the upcoming re-re-re-release Ultra Street Fighter IV is also on its way to the next-gen…
Except Capcom’s own Yoshinori Ono, the man who perpetually carries Blanka in his pocket, says there aren’t enough resources to port Ultra to the next-gen. Maybe Ono’s being sly. But would this face lie to you?
That can only mean, then, that Street Fighter V is a PlayStation 4 exclusive!
Except… Producer Tomoaki Ayano very recently stated SFV likely won’t be ready for the public until 20-goddamn-18. Like a dodged hadouken, that dream flies off-screen.
Unless a Mishima Airlines commercial is uploaded next week, this ad alone doesn’t point too firmly to Tekken X Street Fighter, which has been suspiciously quiet for suspiciously long. The mystery stands and we’re left to anxiously ponder. Which is exactly what they want, man.
Capcom’s 30th Anniversary PSN Sale: Games 50 - 65% Off
My love for Capcom may often be… tested. For every time they burn me, I have to remind myself of good times we spent together. Maybe that friction is what makes our relationship work, though? It keeps the intrigue well in place. I mean, the sexual attraction plays a big part of it, too, that’s for sure, but— You know what? I’ve revealed too much.
Capcom’s gotten through 30 whole years of “hadokens” and that pained expression Mega Man makes when he’s vaporized. To celebrate — the 30 years, I mean, not the Blue Bomber’s death grimace — PlayStation loyalists can score some wicked deals on a selection of digital games on PSN. Here they be (PS Plus discounts are denoted by the +):
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 - $4.99 / $3.49+
Capcom Arcade Cabinet All-In Pack - $14.99 / $10.49+
Devil May Cry HD Collection - $14.99 / $10.49+
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara - $7.49 / $5.24+
Final Fight Double Impact - $4.99 / $3.49+
Okami HD - $9.99 / $6.99+
Remember Me - $19.99 / $13.99+
- Remember Me Combo Lab Pack - $1.99 / $1.39+
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City - $14.99 / $10.49+
- REORC Echo Six Expansion Pack 1 - $ 4.99 / $3.49+
- REORC Echo Six Expansion Pack 2 - $4.99 / $3.49+
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition Complete Pack - $13.49 / $9.44+
Street Fighter X Tekken - $19.99 / $13.99+
SFxTK Additional Character Pack (12 Characters) $9.99 / $6.99+
- SFxTK - Swap costume complete pack - $8.99 / $6.29+
- SFxTK - Alternate costume complete pack - $8.99 / $6.29+
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - $8.99 / $6.29+
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition - $14.99 / $10.49+
Sakes alive; some of these titles are cheaper than a pumpkin spice latte. And, like that sugary brew you enjoy singeing your gullet with, this sale is only available for a limited time — with all deals ending October 21st.
Resident Evil Remake’s Poor Sales Upped the Action in RE4
Survival horror just ain’t what it used to be. In Resident Evil's case — in which its modern titles each and all feature robust amounts of gunplay and even martial arts action (you'd slap me if I told you that during the PS1 era) — a marked shift away from its survival horror roots can be traced back to one pivotal turning point in the franchise's history.
Series mastermind Shinji Mikami recalls that it was the 2002 Resident Evil remake’s financial failure that goaded him to turn Resident Evil 4 into Die Hard with parasitic, pitchfork-wielding villagers. I understand; I was befuddled by this news, too. The game was lauded as a critical success, after all. But Capcom’s exclusivity deal that locked REmake onto the Gamecube (and, years later, the Wii) might go a long way in explaining the disparity.
"The Resident Evil remake is one of my favorites of the series too,” said Mikami in an interview with IGN initially about a totally different game (The Evil Within). “But it didn’t sell very well. Maybe there weren’t many people ready to accept that. Because of the reaction to the Resident Evil remake, I decided to work more action into Resident Evil 4.”
Had the remake sold well, RE4 would have been a scarier, more horror driven game says Mikami. “With Resident Evil 1, 2, 3, and all the rest of the series beforeResident Evil 4, I was always saying to the staff, ‘Scaring the player is the number one thing.’ But for the first time, in Resident Evil 4, I told the team that fun gameplay is the most important thing… That all came out of the commercial failure of the Resident Evil remake.”
Even after all these years, Shinji is still burned about RE4's dominance overREmake. “And then of course Resident Evil 4 sold really well. I have kind of a lingering trauma there, because the Resident Evil remake didn’t sell — much more than people would think.”
My, my, our RE creators are having themselves a walk down memory lane as of late. Not too long ago, Hideki Kamiya was reflecting on how he very nearly ruined the hell out of Resident Evil 2 (the game was restarted from scratch at Mikami and team’s insistence even though the original build neared 60% completion). Can’t wait to hear in another decade just what the hell went awry with RE5 and 6. Keep an eye out for that article come 2023.
Capcom Goes Deep Down on TGS
It’s doubtful I could be more proud of a headline. Thank you, Capcom, for enriching my day.
The questionably named role-playing action game, Deep Down, first unveiled all the way back in February has resurfaced at Sony’s pre-Tokyo Game Show presentation (doing pre-shows is the new black in industry eyes, dontchaknow?).
We were served new gameplay footage, hosted by the one and only Ono — I hope you understand Japanese because the translation overlayed in the video is the kind of gibberish you’d expect from smashing keyboards together, except spoken aloud — along with our first concrete details on the game.
Deep Down, developed on Capcom’s new Panta Rhei engine, is first and foremost a PS4 exclusive. Unlike Dragon’s Dogma — which is unrelated despite also being a Capcom developed role-playing game with the initials D.D. (thems the makings for a conspiracy) — Deep Down is an online RPG. A brief segment at the end of the stage demo shows two knights on separate screens duking it out with a dragon.
The most curious fact about the game comes in its setting which depicts New York circa 2094. Before you Reign of Fire fans both combust with excitement and start existing (not in that order), the game’s trailer alludes to a character being able to relive others’ memories, meaning the medieval action could be period-specific instead of evidence of a post-apocalyptic drag-geddon.
With generation-hopping storytelling, online multiplayer, particle effects beautiful enough to warrant a next-gen, and screen-filling, fire-belching dragons, Deep Down, only two public showings in, is already making a name for itself. Even if that name is depraved.
The Next Resident Evil Will Be Full-On Survival Horror
I feel like we were just talking about Resident Evil (and how it shaped me into the well rounded human being I am today, of course). Well, let’s go at it again. Capcom will bump this blog’s status up to The Green Herb if I give the series enough shout outs (I’m coming at you, man).
Resident Evil 6. Reading that title either forced a complacent shrug from your shoulders — likely coupled with an “Ehh” — or made you roll your eyes so far back into your head that your roommates are frantically calling 911 and/or a fucking exorcist. Well, therein lies the problem.
As easy as it may be to paint Capcom as a faceless, uncaring entity that churns out product regardless of vehement fan input, you need to remember that your dollar bends wills, and after RE6 missed its projected seven million unit sales goal by a margin of two mil, you best believe the Japanese publisher is listening intently to what you want.
Take it from Mr. Michael Pattison, Capcom’s former European Marketing Director, as he told it to MCV: “We have obviously seen the consumer response and the PR response.”
Now presiding as VP of third-party relations at Sony’s European offices, Pattison easily offered up his opinion on RE6, weighing in that the mixed critical and fan reaction to the game cannot go ignored, especially going into Resident Evil 7.
"With Resident Evil 6 specifically, we probably put too much content in there. There were comments from consumers that said it felt bloated,” said Pattison. “The Leon missions went down very well, and because we did Resident Evil: Revelations on 3DS, there was a cry out for us to focus our attention on survival horror, rather than be too many things to all people. You’ll find where we go next will likely be more targeted at our core fanbase.”
Commenting on the general consensus that zombie-oriented, post-apocalyptic media has been flogged like an undead horse, Pattison still believes there’s a deep seeded hunger for quality survival horror games, pointing to a recent A-list hit as a potential guiding factor for RE7's development team.
“The Last of Us shows a good direction of what the consumers want,” Pattison said. “Tomb Raider  as well; we spoke to R&D and they looked at that and they enjoyed that experience. I think that proves there is still a strong market for that sort of content.”
Far be it for me to mislead or misinform you folks, but I have been hearing more or less the same thing, though in tiny whispers, that Capcom is working on RE7 and that the aforementioned titles are hugely influencing the game’s attempt to regain its former horror glory. Next-gen Resident Evil firmly re-planted in the survival horror genre? Let’s keep calm, keep cool, and try not to rupture something from all the internal screaming like the kind I’m doing right now.
Resident Evil 2 Director Admits He “Messed Up in a Big Way”
Hideki Kamiya is a man with a storied career in video games. Straight from his own studio, Platinum Games, his directorial credit lies on The Wonderful 101 and, more famously, the tightly wound ball of hack n’ slash insanity, Bayonetta.
But a sizable chunk of Hideki’s resume comes from his time working at Capcom. During his tenure at the Osaka, Japan centered company, he coordinated critical and cult hits such as Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and the original Devil May Cry. Once upon a time ago, Hideki even worked under Shinji Mikami as a system planner for the very first Resident Evil.
That fabled gig led to a project I could honestly give Hideki an open-mouthed smooch over if the timing were right and he was open to it. Yes, I could only be talking about my most personally affecting, favorite fucking game of all time: Resident Evil 2.
As perfect as I’ll loudly and embarrassingly try to convince you the game is, Kamiya admits that, behind-the-scenes, RE2 was a veritable shit circus.
Strider (PC/PS3/PS4/X360/X1 - Q1 2014)
From the ashes of GRIN’s cancelled reboot, Capcom is staying closer to Strider's roots, enlisting Double Helix's services to do so (the studio, which is finishing up Killer Instinct for Microsoft, is now making a habit of giving mouth-to-mouth to dead franchises).
Though making a graphical jump to 3D, very little else of Strider's 2D platforming, reactionary hack n' slash ways have changed from its old school predecessors. Even the story gels closely to 1989's original narrative. You are Hiryu, the youngest enlistee to earn an A-Class ranking in the rigorous “Strider program,” making you just enough of a light-footed hardass to off Kazakh City's biggest tyrannical sonavubitch, Grand Master Meio.
Appearing to be a hellish cross between the Soviet Union at its prime and Blade Runner, players are allowed to freely traverse the landscape in true MetroidVania fashion, whacking those fool enough to run into the titular hero with your Cypher — Hiryu’s plasma powered sword designed to inflict spectacular amounts of pain upon his enemies as well as absorb new properties to aid your speedy murder tirade.
Some of the best franchise revivals know to stick close to the source material. Injecting 2.5D into Strider is a smart move, allowing the title to walk between fresh for newcomers and classic for old blood begging to see Hiryu outside of yet another damn fighting game. Going for digital instead of full-on retail tells a tale of wisdom on Capcom’s part, too. The price will be easier to down for the discerning consumer and Capcom gets to test the waters to see if a new Strider sinks or floats through a safer, cheaper to publish bet. Win-win territory there.
The last ingredient is simply that the game has to be good. Strider is running towards an early 2014 release on both current and next-gen consoles.
Purdy Cover Art of the Day: Ultra Street Fighter IV
Ultra Street Fighter IV: Adds Five New Challengers, Six New Stages
Headlong into the virtual slobberknocker arena of Evo 2013, Capcom announced at their panel fightstick veterans can look forward to yet another hefty update to Street Fighter IV; yes, that’s four whole years after its initial console release.
The PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions of the game will see the DLC update at $15 or paired up in a new $39.99 retail package featuring all previous updates, characters, and costumes, both set for release sometime next year. In addition to a laundry list of fixes and balances, five characters will join the roster — including series familiars Elena, Hugo, Poison, and Rolento along with an unannounced brawler making their Street Fighter debut — and will also feature six new stages for players to embarrass their foes on.
This spot will be updated with an official trailer once it releases tomorrow which also promises to reveal the upgrade’s name. Sorry to spoil the surprise but I’m guessing this “Hyper Street Fighter IV" logo making the rounds is no longer purely coincidence.
UPDATE: Close but no Sagat, as they say. 2014’s upgrade to SFIV is not Hyper, it’s Ultra. As promised, here’s your first glimpse at Ultra Street Fighter IV. Will Street Fighter IV trump Street Fighter II as the most re-released fighting game in Capcom’s catalogue? Ask me in about a dozen or more versions.
Resident Evil 6 and Left 4 Dead 2 Crossover! Valve and Capcom’s Undead Collide Exclusively for the PC
Did not see this one coming but, as evidenced above, Capcom and Valve have joined forces to provide exclusive content to PC players of both Left 4 Dead 2 and the upcoming Resident Evil 6 port.
On Capcom’s end, RE6's PC version will have a remixed Mercenaries mode fittingly called “No Mercy” in which the four survivors of Left 4 Dead 2 — Coach, Ellis, Rochelle, and Nick — are featured as selectable characters replete with custom weapon loadouts. Valve has also relinquished two iconic infected for players to get slaughtered by; the Witch and the Mini-Tank (a bite-sized, still assholey version of the big boy Tanks). All this content will be made available as a free background download come April 5th.
On Valve’s side of the zombie spectrum, a small roster of RE6's gruesome B.O.W.'s will run rampant in Left 4 Dead 2 thanks to the power of the Steam Workshop tool set. The Lepotitsa, Napad, and Ogroman — some of the biggest, meanest sons of bitches RE6 owns (the Ogroman alone stands at two stories tall; expect some reduction there) — will invade as cameo Specials in L4D2 later this Spring.
"We’re huge Resident Evil fans,” said Valve’s senior writer, Chet Faliszek, “so when the opportunity arose to work directly with Capcom to combine L4D2 and RE6, we jumped at it.”
Well, thanks to Capcom and Valve, my console edition of RE6 has been outmoded into the ground, through the earth, and out the other side of the world. Time to start a PC fund, folks (to which PC players resoundingly reply: “Duh.”)