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January 2010

Capcom Interested In Tatsunoko DLC

Phoenix WrightHere's a rarity for you: a game for Nintendo's popular Wii console may be getting some downloadable add-on content that isn't just new Guitar Hero tracks.  Capcom's fighting royale Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars has only just launched, but the company is already thinking of the next iteration of the game and apparently has interest in adding characters Phoenix Wright and Ingrid to the fight.  Considering that this is a Wii game we're talking about, one would assume that we're looking at some sort of Super Tatsunoko vs Capcom that we're expected to buy all over again here, but the company actually wants to add those characters via downloadable add-on content.  Real add-on DLC for a Nintendo console?  I never thought I'd see the day.  Kombo has the details.

The topic of characters from Capcom's Ace Attorney series of Nintendo DS (and now WiiWare) games has come up here and there throughout the development cycle of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and it seems that the idea hasn't died yet. In fact, it seems more likely than ever now that it could happen.  That is, provided certain conditions are met.

The first, of course, relates to sales. Producer Ryota Niitsuma only recently
revealed that if the game does well enough, they would like to add more characters through downloadable content.

However, even with that, there is something of a catch. Since Nintendo expanded the Wii's memory options with its SD memory card solution, some games-- most notably
Guitar Hero titles-- have gone on to offer downloadable content for the Wii. But it seems that a developer cannot simply just decide to do it; it would appear they require Nintendo's blessing first.

Nintendo, please believe me when I say that if Capcom is even the last bit interested in doing this, you'd better let them do it.  We don't see many top-level core fighting games on the Wii, and if Capcom is willing to go above and beyond to improve their game, then do not stand in their way.  This is an opportunity to build some major goodwill with an audience that has largely written off the Wii as a home to casual-aimed shovelware.  Don't screw it up.

Castlevania: Rondo Of Blood Rated For North American Virtual Console

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood If you missed out on playing the Japanese-exclusive PC Engine-CD adventure Castlevania: Rondo of Blood when it was ported to the Sony PlayStation Portable internationally a few years ago, you're about to get a second chance at vampire slaying.  The original version of the game (not the PSP remake, natch) has been rated by the ESRB for a North American release on Nintendo's Virtual Console service.  Kombo has the details (but really, what more do you need to know?)

The game had already been rated on Wii by the OFLC in December, confirming a European release some time this year. This now applies to North America, although no specific release date has been confirmed. Rondo of Blood has been available on Virtual Console in Japan since 2008.

Rondo of Blood originally came out for the TurboGrafx-CD in Japan in 1993. The first western release was a 1995 Super NES port with much of the content like entire levels and story paths cut out. Judging by the ESRB label "Rondo of Blood," the Virtual Console release will probably be the TurboGrafx-CD version.

As the last traditional Castlevania game until last year's Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth, those who miss the old fashioned mostly-linear gameplay of Konami's famed franchise had better not pass this one up again.  Heck, I have the PSP version and am interested in playing it again on the big screen as nature intended.  No release date has been set and we know how Nintendo loves to drag its feet on releasing anticipated games, but we'll eventually our patience will be rewarded.

God Of War II Was Almost A PS3 Launch Title

KratosSony's God of War II was one of the last major releases for the Sony PlayStation 2 before the console's successor took over the mantle of top PlayStation, but it almost didn't work out that way.  As Game Informer reports, there was serious consideration among Sony's top brass to make Kratos's second adventure a launch title for the PlayStation 3.

When asked whether he thought God of War II should have been delayed in order to be a PS3 launch game, [Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment’s senior vice president of product development] said “We had a lot of debates about it, actually. I always firmly stood by keeping it on PS2. Many people, including marketing, suggested that maybe it should be moved to PS3. What I believed was that God of War II would be the best-selling and best game of the year. We had always seen that, at the launch of a platform, the developer has to spend a lot of time becoming familiar with the platform and software tools. Technical issues take up a lot of the development, perhaps leaving less time for really polishing the game. Towards the end of a platform is when you see really great games, after developers really begin to understand the hardware.

“In the
God of War franchise,” he continued, “I saw an opportunity for the Santa Monica team to complete their vision for the second game on a platform they totally understood. That was my argument and the company and team supported it. I’m very happy with the result. So to your question, I have never regretted the fact that we released God of War II on PS2.”

I believe that making God of War II a PS2 release was the better decision in the long run.  Had the game been a PS3 title, then the PS2 would not have benefited from one last blockbuster title and Sony could not have released the God of War Collection two-pack for the PS3 (well, at least not without some grumbling from the peanut gallery).  Besides, thanks to the Collection, we still get to enjoy a PS3 version of the game.  Everybody won in the end (especially Sony — they were able to sell the game twice).

Adidas Game Controller Shoes Are A Solution In Search Of A Problem

Adidas Originals Forget about your Classic Controller Pros and tournament fightsticks.  Adidas - yes, the athletic gear manufacturer - has announced a new shoe that doubles as a video game controller.  Was anyone clamoring for this?  The Consumerist has the details on this product that seems to be a waste of everyone's time, money, and energy.

[Each shoe will come] printed with an AR code on the tongue. When you hold the code in front of your webcam, you'll gain access to a virtual version of the adidas Originals Neighborhood. Each month between February and April, we'll launch a new interactive game within the Neighborhood and your shoe will be the game controller.

Here's a fun idea for you, Adidas.  You make shoes, right?  So make shoes!  We don't need augmented reality games that require holding an overpriced shoe up to a dinky webcam to play little web browser games.  There are better things for all of us to do with our resources.  There's an interesting idea at heart here, but there has to be a better way to use it than this.  I know I'm being especially harsh, but I just can't see the point of this product.

Capcom Announces Release Dates For Lost Planet 2, Super Street Fighter IV, And More

Super Street Fighter IV Capcom has a busy season planned, as the company has announced release dates (or general months as the case may be) for North American and European versions of Lost Planet 2 (Sony Play Station 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360), Super Street Fighter IV (PS3 and X360), Monster Hunter Tri (Nintendo Wii), and the downloadable Final Fight: Double Impact (again, PS3 and X360).  Get your weapons ready!

  • Lost Planet 2 - May 18, 2010
  • Super Street Fighter IV - April 27, 2010 (North America) / April 30, 2010 (Europe)
  • Monster Hunter Tri (with Classic Controller Pro in North America) - April 2010
  • Final Fight: Double Impact - Spring 2010

Once we get through the February/March glut of games that were delayed from original November/December 2009 dates, we have plenty waiting for us in April/May.  I didn't think it would be possible to top last year's ongoing release of quality titles, but 2010 is shaping up very nicely so far.

Kombo Breaker - Episode 58: Hey, Let's Catch Up

Kombo BreakerIt's time to take a breath and prepare for the massive influx and guests and games for upcoming episodes of Kombo Breaker, so this week Brad, Joey, and I discuss what we've been playing over the past week and what we're anticipating playing in the near future.  Listen to find out why Joey owes me ten dollars for Flower, for instance, and we touch on those great Mega Man art books that have left me incapable of shutting up.  Download this week's episode directly from Kombo or subscribe via iTunes.  Also, don't forget that we're currently taking applications to fill the empty panelist slot left by Dan's departure.  We have some great guests lined up for our next few shows in which we'll hit topics such as the new Mass Effect 2 and upcoming projects from PopCap Games.  The best is yet to break!

Wii Classic Controller Pro Coming To North America

Classic Controller Pro Despite beginning its life in Japan with an unknown international future, Nintendo of America has announced that the Wii Classic Controller Pro is coming to North America in April for a mere $19.99 alone or with Capcom's upcoming Monster Hunter Tri for $49.99.  Some say that the Pro version of the Classic Controller is the version of the Wii peripheral that should have launched in the first place, but better late than never, I always say.  Here's some of the press release in which the important difference between amateur and Pro models are detailed: 

The new Classic Controller Pro includes a second row of shoulder buttons and ergonomically friendly grips. The Classic Controller Pro plugs directly into the Wii Remote™ controller, and until now, has been available only in the Japanese market.

The sad thing is that ordinarily I would upgrade to the new model, but I hardly use my existing Classic Controller anymore as it is, so I see myself holding off on this one for quite some time.  Still, it's nice to see it coming overseas after all.

(via Joystiq)

Weekly Poll: Made To Move

Poll011810 There is overwhelming support out there for video game art books, so here's hoping that developers and publishers behind some of gaming's most beloved franchises take the hint and start cranking out quality books.  You have your assignment, gaming industry.  Get to work.  We'll show up with cash or credit cards in-hand if you follow through.  Well, 81.6% of us will, at least.

We know they won't though.  Instead the industry is running full-speed ahead to capitalize on the motion controller trend as Microsoft prepares Project Natal and Sony tweaks its PlayStation wand controller.  Which technology interests you the most?  Or maybe you plan to stick with what you know in the form of Nintendo's Wii remote with WiiMotionPlus add-on.  Then again, what about remaining stationary?  Let's hear your thoughts (movement not required).   

Kombo Breaker Seeking Female Co-host

Kombo BreakerWe're looking to fill the fourth chair over at the Kombo Breaker podcast, and since three men talking about video games week in and week out will only take one so far, we're seeking an intelligent, in-the-know woman to join our panel.  Here's the call to arms:

Hey ladies, do ever listen to gaming podcasts and think to yourself, “I know way more than those clowns”? Well here’s your chance to step up and prove your skills. Kombo Breaker, one of the gaming community’s premiere podcasts, is looking to fill a vacant host’s chair with a strong female voice.

Here’s what we’re looking for: first and foremost you’ve got to be a serious gamer, completely plugged into the scene. We’re looking for ladies who play all sorts of games; from Peggle to Modern Warfare 2 and everything in between. If you know how to execute a sticky grenade kill while falling from a 100 foot high ledge and then surviving the drop then we want to talk to you.

Also, we need you to be well-versed in the personalities of the gaming industry as well as the big news of the day. Our show prides itself on featuring special industry guests from development, publishing and journalism on a regular basis, so you need to know who the players are and why they’re important. Furthermore, if you happen to have a healthy rolodex full of contacts who you think might be interested in coming on the show, all the better.

Finally, a flexible schedule is a must. You’ll have to be willing to set aside a few hours in the evening once a week to record the show, as well as a willingness to adjust to a new day or time so we can sync up with our guest’s schedule. On top of that, you’ll need to have enough time to research each week’s topic and be ready to come in guns blazing.

Technical requirements are a Skype account, a broadband Internet connection and recording equipment that doesn’t make you sound like a robot or the AM Radio from Brave Little Toaster (as much as we love him).

So, as you can see, this is a serious commitment and a lot of work, but man, is it a ton of fun. While we can’t offer you a salary, you’ll get to rub elbows with gaming’s elite on a weekly basis, and if you do a super-good job we might just buy you some fancy microphones and mixing boards so you can sound legit.

Those interested should send an email to [email protected] with all your info as well as a summation of why we should pick you as our new co-host. Interviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Join us, won't you?  Speak up if you have any questions.  Good luck to all of the applicants and we look forward to talking with each of you.