This Week’s Top Stories: September 13 – 19, 2010

Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure. Of course, this week all eyes were on the Tokyo Game Show 2010, which played host to an abundance of juicy gossip and show-stopping announcements.

See below for the past week’s top stories.

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Treyarch confirms no campaign co-op for CoD: Black Ops

Bugger. Another Call of Duty, another instalment that fails to offer the co-operative campaign shenanigans that everyone’s been clamouring all this time. Still, the good news is the game’s main co-op showcase has yet to be revealed, so hopefully it’ll be worth the wait, as Modern Warfare 2’s Special Ops mode proved to be quite the entertaining experience. Still, in a first for the venerable franchise, Black Ops will feature two-player online splitscreen multiplayer support, which we imagine will bring a smile to a few faces around the web. Still, no doubt many won’t be satisfied until a fully fledged co-op campaign is finally integrated in to the series, and we can’t say we blame them, either.   

More Resident Evil films on the way

This news has us metaphorically split in two. On one half, we’re thrilled at the prospect of getting another CGI Resi flick, as Degeneration was (for the most part) a well-crafted zombie romp packed full of iconic characters and action-packed spectacles. Some dodgy CGI effects notwithstanding, it was probably the best Resident Evil film adaptation thus far – so much so we’re willing to forgive Capcom for adhering to Leon S. Kennedy’s vacuous Resident Evil 4 persona of action clichés and lame one-liners. On the flip side, you have Milla Jovovich confirming another entry in hubby Paul W.S. Anderson’s blockbuster film franchise. This we’re less enthused by. We won’t mince our words here; in our humble opinion, Anderson’s RE flicks – save for a few fleeting moments of glory here and there – are an absolute travesty, baring little to no resemblance to the game’s they are supposed to be based on. Indeed, George A. Romero’s original script would have been far more suited to a big screen adaptation of the series, though instead we’ve been subjected for the past eight years to one tireless action fest after another, with the game’s iconic plot and settings merely playing second fiddle to a whirlwind of ostentatious drivel that sees Jovovich snapping undead necks and kicking Tyrants and other Bio-Weapons in to a bloody pulp. Sure, we’ll concede they’re insanely popular (and many mistake popularity as being synonymous with quality, which it certainly isn’t), but for us old farts who have grown up with the games since the late 90s, we can honestly say we could do without this utter tosh. For the love of god, Anderson, make it stop.

EA unveils Shadow of the DAMNED

So there we have it. After just north of two years, EA finally whipped the covers off Suda51 and Shinji Mikami’s eagerly anticipated horror outing during its Tokyo Showcase 2010 this week. And it’s called Shadow of the DAMNED. And it looks rather lavish indeed. Despite some dodgy dialogue, the debut trailer left us quite impressed, and it’s easy to spot Mikami’s influence from the get-go with the ever familiar RE4 over-the-shoulder action orientated antics, which is further complemented by eye-popping aesthetics and a killer soundtrack orchestrated Silent Hill sound mastermind, Akira Yamaoka. Details are still too thin to form a better opinion at present, though it’s certainly shaping up to be a promising entry in the action/horror genre that should fit snugly in with the Bayonetta’s and Devil May Cry’s we’ve become accustomed to.

Ninja Theory working on DmC

Spend a little time scouring Internet forums this week, and you’d be hard pressed to find another Tokyo Game Show reveal that has sparked as much outrage among gamers as Ninja Theory’s new Devil May Cry title. Let’s face it – this isn’t quite what we had in mind. Most of us were expecting Devil May Cry 5, featuring some subtle innovations to accommodate Bayonetta’s recent foray in to the stylish action genre, but still very much Devil May Cry as we know it. What we got was an emo-looking chap sporting Dante’s identity, in a title that looks and feels like a completely disparate beast from the iconic demon slaying antics we’ve come to know and love. If Capcom were looking to shock fans, then it certainly did a bang up job as far as we’re concerned. Quite how this will pan out is anyone’s guess, but it’s certainly sparked our curiosity. Is it a reboot? Is it a prequel? Is it a re-imagining? Who knows, but it’s got Dante in it, it’s called Devil May Cry, therefore we’re going to be watching it like a hawk.

The Last Guardian gets a ‘holiday 2011’ release window

Team ICO’s Fumito Ueda delivered the goods at this year’s Tokyo Game Show as promised, unveiling not only a brand spanking new trailer for The Last Guardian, but also staple-gunning a holiday 2011 release date to the hotly anticipated Griffin-meets-boy spectacle. Bloody marvellous. Needless to say, the trailer was nothing short of majestic, depicting some of the most polished visuals we’ve seen so far this generation, and a fine testament to the technical prowess of Sony’s beloved black behemoth. Indeed, the only problem we now have is enduring an excruciatingly long wait before finally getting our hands on the PS3 exclusive. Still, we all know it’ll be worth it in the end. Hats off to Ueda and co – The Last Guardian has effortlessly cemented itself as number one on our list of most anticipated PS3 games for the foreseeable future. To say we’re absolutely stoked would be a gross understatement.

Sony confirms ICO/Shadow of the Colossus for spring release

It all started with a report by the chaps on VG247 (in what can only be described as one of the most idiosyncratic news pieces we’ve ever clapped eyes on), fuelled by constant rumors, and finally a pre-order scheme posted on Walmart. You knew it was coming, we knew it was coming – and now it’s official. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus will be hitting store shelves next spring with a swanky HD makeover for PlayStation 3. Not only that, but both games will support 3D and have been retrofitted with widescreen. Simply put, Team ICO’s cult classics represent some of the most exquisite, compelling slices in video gaming of the past decade, and if you haven’t already played them on PS2, you’d be foolish not to snap them up for their forthcoming PS3 rebirth. What better way to acquaint yourself with creator Fumito Ueda’s works in preparation for the inevitable masterpiece that is The Last Guardian? Start saving those pennies, folks.

Ninja Gaiden III announced

Nestled snugly behind closed doors at this year’s Tokyo Game Show was news of yet another major sequel in the form of Team Ninja’s Ninja Gaiden III. Unfortunately there wasn’t much at all to see save for a piece of grisly artwork, with no in-game shots, a release date or even an idea of what platforms Ryu’s latest quest will end up on. Still, we have high hopes for the game as it marks the first instalment in the gore ‘em up to be made following the departure of series creator, Tomonobu Itagaki. Reports claim that we’ll see a more human side to the game’s protagonist, which sounds somewhat intriguing, though we’re just feeding off the scraps at this point . This’ll likely be a long way off, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on it to say the least.

Square to hold Fabula Nova Crystallis press event in January?

While elusive duo Final Fantasy Agito/Versus XIII are both in attendance at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, it’s already been confirmed by Square that we won’t be seeing a great deal on either title. In fact, at the time of writing, a series of short clips filmed off-screen have appeared and subsequently been pulled offline in a matter of minutes. What fans have been clamouring for is a proper showcase for the Fabula Nova Crystallis compilation, and if a report on FF.net is anything to go by, we may just be getting that in January. Details are practically non-existent, though if it means we’ll finally be getting some substantial details on the PS3/PSP exclusives, then we’ll surely be keeping our fingers crossed. In particular, we’re itching to see more of Versus XIII, especially considering Square has said it can’t commit to a 2011 release for the project, indicating the game is still some ways off. More as it breaks.

MGS: Rising to see “several” returning characters

Even more than two years after MGS4’s release, the knowledge that Old Snake’s time on this earth is inexorably coming to an end still cuts like a knife. In fact, for all we know, he’s already popped his clogs. Still, with one hero down another one rises, and from the look of things, Konami is keen to bring the limelight in Raiden’s direction with the release of Metal Gear Solid: Rising. However, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wasn’t secretly hoping for an appearance or two from some MGS veterans in the game, and as such this is the news we’ve been waiting for. More pertinently, however, is that as the game serves as a prequel to MGS4, there still might be a chance that ‘ol Snake may show up for a cameo or two. Whoever the developer’s have planned to show their faces in Rising, though, matters not to us – we’ll take whoever we can get. However, given the nature of the game’s protagonist, we reckon there’s a high chance the whinging Rose will show her face at some point along the journey. Let us know who you’d like to see show up in MGS: Rising in the commets section below.

Kamiya hints at Bayonetta sequel

We’ve said it before and we’ll happily reiterate once more – make it happen, Kamiya. Despite its dodgy handling of the PS3 port, Platinum Games’ shamelessly sultry action fest delivered a refreshing sword-up-the-backside to the gothic horror combat popularised by silver-haired hero Dante in Capcom’s Devil May Cry series, offering a bloody, brutal and compelling adventure. The eponymous, wisecracking witch made a cracking protagonist, the game’s art direction was lavishly beautiful, and the gameplay diverse and gratifying – plus, check out those crazy combos. Gotta love it. Indeed, SEGA has already expressed interest in pursuing a sequel, and while nothing concrete has been announced, it sounds as though series creator Hideki Kamiya has something up his sleeves going by his latest Tweets. We just hope it’s not a heap of hyperbole and wishful thinking on his part. Fingers crossed we’ll be hopping back into Bayonetta’s silhouettes in the near future.  

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 unveiled

Boy oh boy, this has been a long time coming. Ever since Tekken Tag hit the PlayStation 2 a decade ago, fans of the long running beat ‘em up franchise have been oozing at the mouth for a follow-up, and quite rightly so. The tag mechanic injected a highly welcome strategic edge in to the proceedings, offering players the chance to select their favourite fighters from Tekken’s immense character roster, pair them up with someone who they normally wouldn’t be seen dead with (and in many cases, some of the characters on offer were brown bread in the official canon, making it all the more satisfying to play as them) and pummel their opponent to a pulp with devastating team work. Add in a chunk of mini-games including the hilariously addictive Tekken Bowel, and you have one of the greatest Tekken outings ever conceived. Let’s just hope Harada-san and the chaps at Namco don’t balls this one up – it has the potential to kick Tekken 6 in to the dust.