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February 2011

Mini-Review: Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds

Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds

They said it would never happen, but eleven years after the second installment, it's finally time for Capcom's Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360.  Dozens of characters from the Marvel and Capcom worlds such as Ryu, Spider-Man, Nathan Spencer, Wolverine, Zero, and She-Hulk have come together to prevent mighty devourer Galactus from destroying both home realms in a new fighting game that brings the series up to Street Fighter IV levels of presentation.  The traditional offline arcade mode meshes with online play and a few bonuses to comprise what has to be the biggest collection of fan service that you'll see in a game this year.  After all this time, however, can the finished product hold up to the hype and anticipation behind it?

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PlayStation Home Broadcasting Shuttle Launch Live Today

DiscoveryI love space shuttle launches.  I grew up in the tiny town of Titusville from where NASA launches the orbiters, so I watched all of the launches from my front yard back in the day.  They're an amazing sight.  If you've never seen one, then you're missing something special.  Unfortunately, most people do not live within viewing distance of the Kennedy Space Center, so watching a shuttle launch isn't as easy as taking a step outside at the appropriate time.  If you have access to PlayStation Home, however, today you can watch the final launch of Discovery live on the service.  NASA and Sony are teaming up to stream footage of the launch provided that you buy the Sunset Yacht premium personal space.  NASA has the news.

NASA's final liftoff of space shuttle Discovery will be available in a unique "social viewing" environment available through Sony Computer Entertainment America's PlayStation(R)Home for PlayStation(R)3 computer entertainment system.

Discovery's launch on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 4:50 p.m. EST is the first live streaming event to be offered by Sunset Yacht, a premium personal space from LOOT, Sony DADC's interactive entertainment development team. Users will be able to chat via Bluetooth headsets with others watching the launch - all from inside the PlayStation Home social gaming environment.

"We're excited about this new way for people to experience the exhilaration of human spaceflight as part of a larger community," said David Weaver, NASA associate administrator for the Office of Communications. "In addition to the other two shuttle launches planned for April and June, NASA looks forward to sharing more of our endeavors with PlayStation users."

I think it's great that this event is being made available to Home users.  There is really nothing like a space shuttle launch, and the more people that can experience one, the better.  This isn't the same as being there in person, but it may be the next best thing.  The downside is that the stream is only available for those who buy a specific personal space.  You'd think that they'd run the video of the launch in the Home movie theater or some other public space (not profitable, of course, but much more accessible).  If paying $5 to watch in Home is not for you, then you can call up NASA's own live feed on the web for free.  As for me, I'll step outside like I always do at launch time.  I don't live in Titusville anymore and the ground doesn't shake at my current home like it did at the old house, but I can still see the trail of light in the sky as the shuttle ascends.  A live stream will never replace that.

Sony Sending Out Early PlayStation Move Heroes Demo

PlayStation Move HeroesSony is sweetening the PlayStation Rewards pot again with an early demo of the upcoming PlayStation Move Heroes for the PlayStation 3 starring popular characters Ratchet, Clank, Jak, Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Bentley.  It's a nice treat provided one has the PlayStation Move accessory which, alas, I do not, so the reward rings a little hollow for me.  In a way though, it's actually brilliant marketing on Sony's part.  It only makes sense to target proven PS3 fans with early access to a demo that requires an expensive accessory that most people probably do not own yet.  I'm not compelled to run out and buy a Move just to play a demo before the majority of the PlayStation audience can get hold of it, but I can sense weak-willed players with money to burn rushing out to Best Buy as we speak.  If this strategy works, I predict that the next early demo will be for a game that is presented exclusively in 3D.

Secret Origins: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind WakerI grew up playing the many games of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise and was still playing at the age of 22 when the GameCube iteration of the series, The Wind Waker, hit stores in 2003.  At this point in my life I was going to college full time and working part time, spending my days out in the world and evenings back home in my little one-bedroom apartment.  I had been on the fence about buying the game at launch, however, and it wasn't until I took a private tour of developer n-Space's facilities and saw them playing the Japanese version of the game (which was already out by that time) that I decided to take the pre-order plunge just about the time that Nintendo announced it was offering the Ocarina of Time Master Quest as a reservation bonus.  By the time I was ready to make things happen, I was dealing with severe stomach problems and had to wrench myself out of bed to make the fifteen-minute drive towards downtown to Best Buy to take care of business.  I put down my $5 on the pre-order, picked up the bonus disc, and went home to sleep for the rest of the day.  I figured I'd take a day off to rest, and then revisit the quest the next day in better health.  Unfortunately, some things just don't work out as I plan.

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Big Wii Sale At Today Only

Buy somethin' will ya!While the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 have been enjoying some major releases lately, things have been quiet on the Nintendo Wii front.  If you've been waiting on a chance to pick up some new Wii titles and accessories, then is ready for you as the online retailer is offering another of its one-day-only sales focused purely around Nintendo's little box.  The big all-day discount is for Michael Jackson: The Experience of all things ($29.99), but the real action is on the hourly Lightning Deals that feature plenty of Rock Band 3 instruments in addition to a game or two you might want to actually play if the cryptic hints are any indication (a first-party RPG, perhaps?).  Every purchase made via that green link up above goes to help keep Press The Buttons running, so I thank you for your support.

Why Not Revive Mega Man Mania?

Mega Man ManiaOnce upon a time in the year 200X, Capcom had plans to remake their five Mega Man titles for the original Game Boy for the Game Boy Advance under the name Mega Man Mania.  The remakes would be in full color and peacefully co-exist on a single game pak.  The development period went on and on (and the game even changed names to Mega Man Anniversary Collection despite missing the actual anniversary it was targetting) until, eventually, Capcom canceled the game entirely and refunded all of the money it collected for pre-orders.  Rumors at the time rumbled that Capcom somehow lost the original source code to the Game Boy titles, while other rumors claimed that the compilation had been kicked upstairs to become a Nintendo DS title (like I said: the game had a long development period).  Ultimately, though, the title is dead and buried.  Adam Anania over at The Mega Man Network dreams of a revival for the lost compilation and makes a decent case for a Nintendo 3DS version of the game along with some attention-grabbing mock screenshots.

Truthfully I’m not really concerned over what kind of visual style it should have. Hand-drawn sprites? 3D models? It makes little difference to me, so long as the game has a fresh and consistent look. If anything I would prefer it to look “video gamey” and not try to be particularly stylish in any sense. I also don’t think the 3DS’s 3D effects will play a very important role. But for an example this is pretty attractive looking, don’t you think?

As I was saying, given the advancement of gaming technology it does make sense to update the look, without putting in needless amounts of effort. New Super Mario Bros. is a great example of this. It also helps to give each game a good, consistent feel. This mostly applies to Mega Man II, the black sheep of the Game Boy titles. It has content from two of the best selling Mega Man games ever made, but its mechanics and execution are terrible. Even Keiji Inafune commented in Mega Man: Official Complete Works how poorly Mega Man II turned out. However, with the right effort and care, Mega Man II could be a fantastic game! I’d even retain its original music, which can sound great given the right treatment.

If done right, I'd love to see a 3DS version of Mega Man Mania.  What sets this pitch apart from the original dead Capcom version is that this pitch actually wants to see a true remake; as in, each game in the set is remade from scratch.  There's no need to apply that original source code since the changes Anania outlines would call for a ground-up creation instead of a colorized port.  It would take more resources to make a reality, of course, but it's certainly possible.  On the other hand, if Capcom were to go ahead with this general idea, why would they combine five games into a single package?  It's much more likely that they'd divide them into five separate titles and offer them up as individual 3DSWare purchases or some such thing.  I'm afraid that the days of five classic Mega Man games on a single cartridge — in any format — are behind us.

1UP's Legend Of Zelda Blowout

Zelda 25th Anniversary

The twenty-fifth anniversary of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda franchise rolls on as 1UP has put together a staggering ten part feature on the adventures of everyone's favorite Hylian.  The team over there takes a look back at the games (of course), the music, the most embarrassing moments from the series, some unusual and rare merchandise, some little known facts about the series and its place in history, a list of useless items that Link has to collect during his travels, and much more.  It's entertaining and fascinating reading from a group that clearly loves the source material.

Nintendo Announces 3DS Launch Titles For North America

PilotwingsWhile Japan must deal with only a single first-party game when the Nintendo 3DS launches there later this week, those of us in North America who have to wait until March to pick up the DS's successor will be able to choose from more than just Nintendogs + Cats.  Nintendo of America has announced that eighteen games will be available for the system on March 27, three of which come from Nintendo itself: the aforementioned puppy title, Steel Diver, and Pilotwings ResortHere's the complete launch list, both first- and third-party:

  • Pilotwings Resort™
  • Steel Diver™
  • Nintendogs + Cats™
  • Super Street Fighter® IV 3D Edition
  • The Sims™ 3
  • Madden NFL Football 
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D 
  • LEGO® Star Wars® III: The Clone Wars™ 
  • Super Monkey Ball™ 3D
  • SAMURAI WARRIORS®: Chronicles 
  • Asphalt™ 3D
  • Combat of Giants™: Dinosaurs 3D
  • Rayman® 3D
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon® Shadow Wars

Let's all give a big welcome to the "3D" modifier which is back to take over the heavy lifting from tacking on a "DS" to a game title to denote which console it calls home (in the proud tradition of "64" and beyond).  But seriously, it's great to see some core games on the list with the casual stuff.  In fact, it looks like the 3DS launch library in North America is mostly core titles.  My launch interests lie with Street Fighter and Pilotwings, naturally, but the great thing about a new system launch is renting other titles that only seem minorly interesting just to take the new hardware for a test drive.  For instance, I'm lukewarm on Super Monkey Ball, but I'll try it again just to see it in 3D if I don't have to make an expensive, long-term commitment to it. 

Power Button - Episode 40: Closer To The Killzone, Please And Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Madness (Plus The Biggest Contest In PTB History)

Power ButtonLet's be honest for a moment: the past week has been what the great ones call "crazy busy" for all of us at Power Button.  I was out of commission with a cold, Brad Hilderbrand is preparing a massive move to a new state, and Joey Davidson has been consumed by work.  Still, we all found time to play the latest video games and form complicated opinions about them.  Join us for this week's episode of Power Button in which we kick around thoughts on Killzone 3, Test Drive Unlimited 2, De Blob 2, Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, and the second installment of Back to the Future: The Game.  At some point during the show we take a few minutes to explain how you can win some neat prizes for your Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DSi, Sony PSP Go, or Apple iPhone (or other smartphone) [UPDATE: Unfortunately, the manufacturer asked for all of the iPhone prizes back due to a shipping error. Consider them off the table as of now. Winners who wanted an iPhone prize will be given the chance to choose something else.] in the largest contest giveaway in PTB history courtesy of CM4.  Be sure to pay careful attention to learn how to enter (hint: it involves posting a comment right here on this article).  Here comes just under seventy-five minutes of new-release chatter.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, or subscribe via iTunes, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach all three of us via  and you can even follow all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons,@aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 40: Closer To The Killzone, Please And Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Madness (Plus The Biggest Contest In PTB History)

PTB Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of The Legend Of Zelda

LinkNintendo's beloved The Legend of Zelda franchise is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this week (do you feel old yet?), so to mark the occasion it seems only proper to have a look back at some of my favorite Zelda-related content that has been published on PTB over the years.  From classic music remixes to uncommon lore to fantastic imagery, Link and his world(s) definitely get around.  Here's hoping to twenty-five more fantastic years and beyond.