Wednesday, July 27, 2011

EVO will have to wait...

Due to unfortunate last minute situations, I will not attend the Evolution World Finals at Las Vegas this year. I am saddened that I cannot experience the ultimate gathering of fighting gamers personally. I wished that I was able to try out the new upcoming games including Skullgirls, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, and The King of Fighters XIII as well as watch the numerous community documentaries such as Bang The Machine.

I made a promise to myself that I will go next year to not just cover aspects of the event but also compete for some of the games available.

On a positive note is that I will still watch the event from home so I can still enjoy what's available.

A review of one of the featured docs at EVO entitled Focus will be available tomorrow. If I have time, I might be able to write a review of King of Chinatown as well.

Good luck to those attending EVO this year!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oathbreaker - Maelstrom review

The Oncoming Storm

Belgium serves as a hotspot for metalcore ever since the 1990s. While not as popular as other international scenes influenced by Scandinavia, the Slayer/Cro-Mags-infused "H8000" style ('H' standing for hateful, '8000' referring to the West Flanders post area in Belgium) was a different beast. After some touring and an EP on Thirty Days of Night Records, offspring band Oathbreaker expands with a full release on Deathwish Inc. titled "Maelstrom" (stylized as "Mælstrøm") While it sounds absolutely destructive with fast riffs infused with doom on the side, there is the notion of its unfortunate problems that luckily doesn't detract too much.

The word maelstrom is defined as a very powerful whirlpool and throughout the years has been exaggerated to give it a very destructive meaning. The bulk of Oathbreaker's latest piece puts that sense into the sound excellently. Opener 'Origin' presents itself with strong d-beat drumming, Converge-esque guitar attacks, and in your face vocals from female frontlady Caro. It also foreshadows that the future songs will be as, if not more devastating. Even if Kurt Ballou is a hit or miss on mixing, he deserves credit making the feel right in Maelstrom.

Ballou's mixing is best characterized in both parts of 'Sink Into Sin' (part 2 features Amenra vocalist Colin Eeckhout). He is able to keep it very heavy even if it's fast or slow and filled with well structured guitar layering.

Towards the end is where Maelstrom's weakness is exposed. After 20 minutes or so of consistent intensity, it seems to abruptly stop with the lacking "Glimpse of the Sun." If condensed and rewritten, it might have been a good listen. Following is the album-titled song that while is a good acoustic (with clean vocals) conclusion, it doesn't feel complimentary to the previous composition.

Fortunately, most of Maelstrom's songs are absolutely catchy and well-executed that you will probably listen to more in the future than the snag that exists on the record. If Oathbreaker can improve with a more intense and consistent followup, which Maelstrom somewhat signifies, they have a bright future ahead of them in the world of metal and hardcore music.



Oathbreaker "Mælstrøm" CD/LP/Digital by deathwishinc

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pre-E3: Nintendo Press Conference

Nintendo ended the press conferences for E3 before the main convention began with more games coming to the 3DS as well as announcing the anticipated successor to the Wii.

Kicking off was a full orchestra playing songs from The Legend of Zelda series in preparation for the 3DS iteration of The Ocarina of Time as well as the upcoming Skyward Sword and to congratulate the franchise in its 25th anniversary. Events and symphony soundtracks for the series were announced by Nintendo's own Shigeru Miyamoto.

The 3DS became the next subject with new games coming down the line. This includes a new Mario Kart entry, a Star Fox game featuring gyro sensor and camera capabilities built in, and a new Super Mario Bros. game specifically made for the 3DS. Another first party game is a sequel to Luigi's Mansion with the return of the vacuum cleaner, ghosts, and mansions.

Kid Icarus: Uprising nearing release, details for its multiplayer mode was revealed where players in a team of three are tasked with protecting a special character. It's also set for later this year.

Tekken, Tetris, Driver, and Cave Story are one of the many third party titles confirmed to be in development for the handheld.

A flagship title for Nintendo's 3DS Eshop announced from the conference was the official Pokemon Pokedex. With a couple already stored in the database, players must find ways including getting AR cards to complete the large list.

Prior to E3, an open letter was released that a new console from Nintendo would be announced in the conference. Other information including pictures and technical specification were also running amok and subject to debate. As the day arrived, Nintendo shown off the Wii-assisting successor built for many different gaming demographics entitled the Wii U.

While being an expansion to the Wii, the Wii U features a new console design as well as a new control scheme that can be used for multiple occasions. The controller consists of a dual joystick and trigger format with the middle having an interactive touch screen with stylus capabilities. Other aspects of the controller include having a game playable on the controller's screen. communication with other Wii controllers such as the Wii Fit board.

CEO Satoru Iwata expanded what else was featured on the Wii U including Wii games being backwards compatible and the controller featuring many different gizmos such as a microphone, gyro sensor, and camera built in.

At the E3 floor, attendees were able to try out conceptual ideas of what can be done on the Wii U. Players though can expect actual games arriving to the console including a new Super Smash Bros. also aimed for the 3DS. Following an interview with various developers, third party games including Darksiders II, Tekken, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon, Lego City Stories, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge are also aimed for release on the Wii U.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pre-E3: Sony Press Conference

Sony ends day 0f of E3 with a conference of new games as well as a focus on their latest handheld successor to the PlayStation Portable dubbed the PlayStation Vita.

Prior to kicking off the show with games, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton comes by to talk about about the ongoing pressure after the PlayStation Network compromise months back. Working at 90%, Tretton thanks to all the supporters who awaited the return of the service.

Naughty Dog and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception begins the series of game in the conference. The live demo has protagonist Drake on a ship in bad weather at sea. While trying to escape, Drake discreetly enters the cargo bay with many stealth kills in his journey only to be caught and cause chaos. After a major firefight, the ship begins to flood and Drake tries to get to the main floors as quickly as possible before the water attempts to engulf him. A new trailer shows off Drake and his partner Victor Sullivan aided with series allies Chloe Frazer and Elena Fisher in an attempt to stop an enemy from using a special ring. It was also revealed that a multiplayer beta will arrive on June 20 with the chance to try out the completed multiplayer after getting a voucher from Subway resturants in Oct. before its Nov. 11 release.

Resistance 3 also has a live demo. Developer Insomniac shows off multiple parts in one of the games levels taking place in St. Louis, Miss. The first focusing on shooting Chimera forces with the second section having protagonist Joseph Capelli taking a device towards the war torn city. The Sept. 6 release will have both the regular edition as well as the Sharpshooter version featuring a gun peripheral for the PlayStation Move.

Tretton would return to announce a couple of new small things before introducing PlayStation Move content. Starting off, Tretton revealed an HD remastering of the God of War PSP entries as well as confirming the American release of the Team Ico HD collection which are both arriving in Sept. Tretton also got the chance to talk about a new Sony 3D TV display coming soon set for $499 with Resistance 3 and a set of 3D glasses.

The next major portion of the show comes from games utilizing the PlayStation Move peripherals. Los Angeles Lakers star player Kobe Bryant would come on by to help demonstrate the Move on NBA 2k12. Kobe was able to navigate various players, pass, and perform defense easily with aiming with the Move sensor and navigation controller. Medieval Moves is a rail shooter where players control a young knight with multiple weapons in his arsenal. Thanks to specific gestures, players can switch to sword and shield or to a bow and arrow in an instant. The game is also based in a rail design with multiple paths to take by choice. LittleBigPlanet 2 also expands to have the level creator use the PlayStation Move. JJ Abrams' Star Trek would become a game featuring the Move as well as co-op (Kirk and Spok) aiming for a 2012 release.

Following the Move is some exclusive games coming to the PlayStation 3. Spiritual sequel to the popular multiplayer game Warhawk, a trailer of Starhawk was revealed showing off the large war-like future setting with lots of guns. A Sly Cooper sequel was also announced with a special teaser involving a recurring series antagonist pretending to be the legendary thief. EVE Online developer CCP Games went out to confirm the existence of their first person shooter spinoff Dust 514 to the PlayStation 3 as well as expanding onto the PlayStation Vita. A closed beta will be available later this year with a full release in Spring 2012.

Electronic Arts will also have their games feature exclusive content. SSX: Deadly Descents will feature players to try out Mt. Fuji, Need For Speed: The Run will have seven additional super cars, and Battlefield 3 will include Battlefield 1943 in the disc.

Ken Levine of Irrational Games would announce that BioShock Infinite will now support the Move after many criticisms of the product. Owners of Infinite on the PS3 can also play the first BioShock on the same Blu-ray disc. Levine also hinted that another game in the series will be available on the Vita.

Before the reveal of the Vita, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai announcements of expanding PlayStation content to non-PS hardware such as Android platforms in a service called PlayStation Suite.

After many rumors, Hirai confirmed that the Vita is indeed the name of the once named Next Generation Portable. More technical information such as versions using wi-fi as well as 3G service under AT&T was introduced.

One of the many flagship games for the Vita shown was Uncharted: Golden Abyss. This entry plays very similar to the other Uncharted games but with the extension of touch screen capabilities. With the touch or even a drag of the finger, Nathan Drake can move to ledge by ledge easily. Gun fight aspects such as swapping weapons can also be used with the finger. Benefit is that it's not programmed and players can choose schemes or make a hybrid approach in an instant.

Idol Minds' Ruin is a Diablo-esque game aimed for the Vita and PS3. Thanks to cloud saving, players can transfer over their saves to another platform in an instant.

ModNation racers also gets a port to the Vita which members of developer United Front shows a quick example of the track editing system with touch motions. Community creations from the PS3 version will be available on the Vita version by release.

LittleBigPlanet will also receive the Vita treatment.

The final game of the show had Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono showing off Street Fighter X Tekken on the Vita with inFamous protagonist Cole McGrath as a special exclusive character in action.

Pre-E3: Ubisoft Press Conference

Publisher Ubisoft celebrates its 25th anniversary with a press conference featuring their latest series entries such as Brothers In Arms and Assassin's Creed.

Rayman and Beyond Good and Evil creator Michel Ancel with the assistance of a member from his development team shown off a live demo of the 2D-based Rayman Origins. Ancel as the titular protagonist and his partner as Globox, they are chasing an object through multiple levels including escaping a tremendous boulder as well as piloting their own small aircrafts. The demo also makes emphasis on how teamwork can help such as assisting each other in jumps.

One of the unique aspects of the Ubisoft show was their major games introduced by a version if it was made decades back such as looking like a Commadore 64 or a Sega Master System game.

Their first to have that was to show off a multiplayer trailer of Driver: San Francisco.

Ubisoft's Montreal studio would come on by demonstrating Far Cry 3. As Jason Brody stranded in Africa, he must try to find his girlfriend in a land filled with rebel troops bent on killing anybody. This third entry still utilizes the free world like environment and dynamic approach to gunfights.

Gearbox Software's Randy Picthford would then come by to the stage to announce another Brothers In Arms game. The surprising news was that it wasn't a conclusion to the main series but a spinoff game coming to major platforms. Brothers In Arms: Furious Four details a group of four American soldiers loving to kill Nazis stylized humorously and cartoon-like.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's Tintin also gets a game adaptation. The film makers comment on a trailer about how to make a good hybrid adventure experience by having aid from actual developers.

One of Ubisoft's flagship series, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, is also a spotlight game in the show with focus from the latest entry Future Soldier. With four player co-op, players can initiate synchronized attacks and plan strategies against groups of enemies. The co-op also expands to special cinematic sequences where in the demo for example has each member escort a hostage while taking down enemies from every side.

Maniaplanet and developer Nadeo makes a return to Ubisoft's stage with first announcing the first game in the multi-game customization series (Trackmania - Racing, Shootmania - FPS, Questmania - RPG). Trackmania 2 Canyon is scheduled for released this Sept. with the return of the game series' own track customization feature.

The Rayman spinoff series Raving Rabits also appeared in the conference with a live demo showing the capabilities of the Xbox 360 Kinect including multiplayer action and object tracking. Just Dance is also getting a sequel on Oct. 11 with its first appearance on the Xbox 360 with Kinect. They are also projected to be available for the PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move capabilities.

Ubisoft tries to expand the music genre with actual guitar compatibility with Rocksmith. A trailer featuring various musicians including Dave Navarro talk about their experience with the game.

Assassin's Creed Revelations closed the show off with a bombastic live demo of an aged Ezio Auditore di Firenze trying to escape Constantinople from Templar troops. Much of the series' gameplay aspects such as combat and navigation is still intact in Revelations. A trailer of the gaim shows the various areas Ezio go including the home base where the once legendary assassin and original protagonist Altair resided. Only now in Revelations show that the Templars control the former Assassins headquarters.

Pre-E3: Electronic Arts Game Changers

Electronic Arts represented the second press conference in day 0 of E3 with some heavy hitters including their sports entries and the popular Battlefield series.

Mass Effect 3 is one of the major headliners of the show with Bioware executive producer Casey Hudson showing off a new demo apart from the Kinect iteration at the Microsoft briefing. Commander Shepard is tasked to destroy a Reaper base only to find out that it's actually a living Reaper. One of the many antagonists tasked with destroying the Earth, this Reaper gives chase to a fleeing Shepard leading to a energetic rail sequence. After the delay announcement prior to E3, Mass Effect 3 was given a definite release date of Mar. 6, 2012.

The next game would be Black Box's Need For Speed: The Run. The gameplay certainly have the characteristic cinematic aspect that Black Box's Need For Speed games but they have also added on foot quick-time-events to change the pace. After the success of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit's autolog feature, The Run expands the ability with more social stats information including seeing single player progress from your friends.

Bioware Vice-President Greg Zeschuk would come out to do a quick talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic before showing a trailer based on the past CG videos.

A new trailer for SSX: Deadly Descents was revealed showing off the three major concepts that EA Sports President Peter Moore explained. "Race it, trick it, survive it," Moore said.

An EA conference isn't it without its Sports brand and info of FIFA and Madden are no exceptions. The former has a chockload of content for its 2012 iteration including refined animations, defense, collision. Another introduction is a social system called Football Club where players can communicate and compete with each other in a local friends league.

The social aspect also expands to The Sims with Facebook capabilities. Players can play a 2D version of The Sims and perform activities similar to the actual game with friends online.

38 Studios CEO Curt Schilling would introduce a new trailer of their upcoming game Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning and the many contributors to the project including Todd McFarlane.

Ever since the announcement last year, Insomniac Games' Ted Price would finally introduce their multiplatform game under the EA Partners brand. OverStrike involves a small group of unique government agents tasked with defeating their agency from creating a calamity. Each member has different abilities and weaponry such as stealth and a freezing foam gun that heavily compliments each other members' privileges.

The last as well as biggest game of the show was Battlefield 3. Two of the first things shown was an examination of the Frostbite 2 engine as well as a first quick to the multiplayer mode and one of the levels taking place in Paris. In addition to the multiplayer trailer, the stats-based Battlelog was annouced and declared free as well as a multi-console open beta coming in Sep. What followed was a live demo of a tank driver destroying multiple tanks on the armored vehicled as well as creating air raids with a UAV. As it finished, Battlefield 3 got an official release date of Oct. 25.

Pre-E3: Microsoft Xbox Media Briefing

Microsoft kicks off day zero of E3 by playing safe with Xbox 360 Kinect games and capabilities but brings their big guns such as Halo in their press conference.

Starting the conference has Infinity Ward's community manager Robert Bowling showing off a live demo of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. As a Navy SEAL in a war torn New York City, Bowling aided by supporting character Sandman attempt to sabotage a Russian sub preparing to launch missiles. After successfully infiltrating the sub and killing off some Ultranationalist troops, the SEALs breach the sub's command center and help launch missiles to attack the Russians. Their Call of Duty-esque escape has the SEALs attempt to get extracted through a combat rubber raiding craft. After the demo, general manager Glenn Scofield of co-developer Sledgehammer Games came by to say that they can't wait for the game's release.

After an introduction by Microsoft's president of the interactive entertainment business Don Mattrick, Crystal Dynamics' Daniel Neuberger and Darrel Gallagher demonstrates the latest Tomb Raider entry. This reboot game shows off a young and inexperienced Lara Croft trying to escape a cave. The demo shows off the game's interactive capabilities. When Lara gets stabbed and tries to remove the impaled object or tries to light up a room, a button prompt appears. Things like escaping the collapsing cave are more advanced, requiring the player to rapidly press the triggers. Another aspect is its navigation system. Lara now has a special vision that players can identify special objects that can help them progress.

Electronic Arts and EA Sports president Peter Moore would briefly announce that the Sports' lead games such as Madden and Tiger Woods as well as EA's regular games will feature Kinect capabilities.

Bioware CEO Dr. Ray Muzyka would show off the new features in the upcoming Mass Effect 3. Using Kinect, now players can react to conversations just be calling out the phrase. The Xbox 360 device also expands to performing squad orders such as moving to a position or performing abilities. Other things such as one of the probably many new melee abilities as well as some story is revealed as well.

Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier would be the next game in spotlight. With Kinect capabilities, Future Soldier will allow players to navigate and aim/shoot using camera gestures and make settings with voice. It was revealed that players can make many combinations to their weapons with over 200 million combinations. Players can have a long range focus or fight in close quarters with their guns. They can also try it out at an instant with a testing field. Ubisoft CEO Yves Gullermo would then announce all future Tom Clancy titles will utilize Kinect.

Xbox Live's Mark Whitten then introduces a new version of the "New Xbox Experience" with optimization for Kinect. Players with Kinect can now navigate much easier with voice-friendly menus. Whitten also announced Xbox Live's expansion of media services including YouTube support and live television. Also arriving is support from Microsoft's Bing search engine system.
Another expansion to Live's service is support from the Ultimate Fighting Championship including live fights, stat checking, and choosing a fighter's outcome.

Epic Game's Cliff Blenszinski then presents Gears of War 3 with support from co-op partner, major series fan, and voice actor to the game's newest character Ice-T. It shows off a new level where the Gears fight off a lambent monster. Ice-T fights the monster with use of a robotic armor that other players can take cover behind.

Crytek's once unannounced game has revealed to be an action game set in a feudal Rome with Kinect abilities. Ryse's concept trailer seems to show off the many dynamic capabilities when killing your enemies in hand to hand/sword combat.

After many rumors, the 10-year-old FPS classic Halo: Combat Evolved has now been remastered for HD by 343 Industries. Optimized for the Xbox 360, the Anniversary edition adds new graphics and mechanics from the recent games to the original game. Online co-op is also available as well as seven of the game's maps remade.

Turn 10 Studios' latest Forza Motorsport is now dated for a Oct. 4 release with Kinect support and monthly car expansions.

Lionhead Studios' Peter Moleneux finally reveals their first Kinect based game set in the Fable universe. Placed after Fable III, Fable: The Journey shows off a rail shooter style adventure where the demonstrator shows off cool Kinect features such as riding a horse as well as making magic powers with different hand gesture combinations.

Microsoft's Phil Spencer expands on Xbox Live and other Kinect products. It was confirmed that the successful world building indie game Minecraft would be available on Xbox Live Arcade. Kinect Disney Adventures has kids the ability to experience various rides from the theme park including Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. After a year of silence as well as claims of previous footage being unusual, Kinect Star Wars is demonstrated in real time showing a very rail-like style utilizing hand/body movements as well as voice commands (you can turn on a lightsaber just by staying a simple phrase).

Tim Schaefer of Double Fine would show off a bit of their own Kinect game made for the family. The Seasame Street: Once Upon a Monster demo has a father and son (playing as Cookie Monster and Elmo respectively) trying to combat a monster with jumps and voice shouts.

Kudo Tsunoda of Microsoft who first introduced the Kinect two years ago came to the stage to show off the Kinect Fun Labs. Built as a network of software using different aspects of Kinect, the Fun Labs is available to everyone now. They can try out such things as body and object scanning as well as finger tracking. Kudo concludes his part with a sequel to Kinect Sports. Season 2 now includes golf, darts, tennis, and football.

Harmonix comes up next to show off a quick demo of Dance Central 2. This sequel allows the songs from the original to be imported as well as simultaneous multiplayer.

Mattrick then finishes the show with a quick teaser to the new trilogy arc of the Halo series. Halo 4 is set for Holiday 2012 on Xbox 360.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pre-E3: Konami "Press Conference"

Developer Konami prepares for this year's E3 with a showcase of the games to be featured at the event as well as fans to anticipate in the future in a very conventional fashion.

To get the gaming press as well as fans hyped up for the latest game, some press conferences occur before E3 begins with others during.

Konami is one of the least popular companies out of all to have such a conference as well as being sometimes fascinating in presentation. Their previous efforts have turned to provide really interesting stories of awkwardness as well as memes that many gamers know including the popular "ONE MILLION TROOPS" phrase by Ninetly-Nine-Nights producer Tak Fuji from last year.

For 2011, a countdown was initiated for what was believed to be the next Konami live press conference and being their first before E3. As the time elapsed to its deadline, the website hosting as well as other major video gaming sites revealed that it was actually a well-edited pre-recorded video previewing the publisher's latest games.

Introducing the video was Konami Digital Entertainment America President Shinji Hirano behind a 3D backdrop showing off what might look like for the company's games in E3. Prior to introducing the games, he brought out his thanks to fans grateful for their support after the major Japanese earthquake and tsunami that damaged the country months back.

Hirano finishes off by quickly announcing downloadable content for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow as part of the franchise's 25th anniversary and a Nintendo 3DS version of Frogger.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D

The perspective shifts to creative producer at Konami's Kojima Productions Yoshikazu Matsuhana who talks about the development of the upcoming remake of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for the 3DS.

"First and foremost, we wanted to make good use of the stereoscopic 3D feature," Matsuhana-san said who intends to have the hardware take advantage of the game's jungle forest setting. "With 3D in mind, we were able to create a natural depth-of-field. It's on a completely different level than an interior setting where you might not have as many rich textures or as wide in scope.

Matsuhana-san expands on some specific hardware characteristics such as the gyro sensor and the camera being used for the game. With the ability of using different types of camoflauge to blend to the environment made ever since the original game's inception, Snake Eater in the 3DS allows players to take pictures such as a flower from their handheld and create their own known as "photocamo." When Snake Eater protagonist Naked Snake does a particular action involving balancing including crossing bridges and climbing a tree, players must steady their 3DS or else Snake might fall off and be in danger.

"We are hoping for a new kind of experince whereby holding the 3DS in your hands, you could in a sense be 'one with Snake'," Matsuhada-san said.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

Next up is the latest iteration of Pro Evolution Soccer (previously Winning Eleven) with the game's creative producer Shingo "Seabass" Takasuka.

Seabass comments that the 2012 entry should provide players who are not controlling players managing the ball with more abilities after looking at 2011's mechanic of handling the ball freely when in possession. Improvements over the offense also carry over to the defense and the AI who manages the security including animations and zone-defense.

"That's the realistic kind of experience we want to achieve," Seabass said. "I believe we are able to make a 'one body, one mind' type game."

To prevent simplicity from their reinforcements, the development team expanded their one-on-one game with improved dribble techniques.

The video feature concludes with Team Barcelona's forward and PES cover boy Lionel Messi about following for more news on Facebook.


In Oxford, England, producer Shinto Ojira takes on a small tour with one of Konami's own development team working with the country's own Rebellion Developments to help work on the upcoming 3rd person shooter NeverDead.

One of the main topics was about the main character Bryce's ability to never die, originally conceived by Ojira.

"Even though he loses limbs on occasion from the attacks, he still can't be killed," Ojira-san said. "So what happens is he picks ups he limbs and puts it back on."

He expands the concept as not just losing and regaining the limbs but how it can be used as an advantage for the game's progression. Footage shows Bryce able to detach a limb in order to fight a particular enemy.

Ojira concludes with showing off the latest trailer as well as reveal that thrash metal band Megadeth contributed a song exclusively for the game.

Silent Hill
Silent Hill: Downpour and its developer Vatra Games, situated in the Czech Republic, would be the next featured game in Konami's presentation.

Silent Hill: Revelation director Michael J. Bassett and actress Adelaide Clemens, portraying Heather Mason, comments on the upcoming game entry and the rest of the series as an influence on the film. New footage of Downpour as well as the development process including live motion capturing in the forest plays as they speak out.

Before showing off a new trailer, it was announced that Silent Hill 2 and 3 would be made for HD consoles as well as introducing Silent Hill: Book of Memories planned for Sony's upcoming NGP handheld (yet unconfirmed by Sony Computer Entertainment of America as of the message).

Kojima Productions

To help finish off is Mark MacDonald, executive director of localization group 8-4 Ltd., visiting Kojima Productions in Tokyo, Japan in hopes to clarify the news of Hideo Kojima being unable to come to E3 this year.

After a humorous entry to the offices, Kojima-san presents MacDonald a huge reveal for Metal Gear Solid with assistance from video game comedy group Mega64. Member Rocco Botte plays as a janitor interrogated by other members Derrick Acosta, Shawn Chatfield, and Garnett Hunter acting as military like guys breaking in an after hours Konami building. Actosta acting as a sort of outrageous parody of Metal Gear Solid's popular bad guy Psycho Mantis "invades" the janitor's mind.

The visions show Botte trying to play Metal Gear Solid on the go while physically moving an external electric battery and a big TV in public. While providing many laughs, the skit also confirms Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, 3: Snake Eater, and even the once-PSP exclusive Peace Walker to be available on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as an HD optimization set for a Nov. 2011 release. To add to the HD updates, both Zone of the Enders games will also be available in the format in 2012.

These HD editions does not use emulation and properties such as user interface, art, and audio have been rebuilt and optimized for the consoles. Characteristics in both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles such as right analog stick use and trophies/achievements will also be available. A new featured called "Transfarring" is also introduced to the PS3 and PlayStation Portable versions of Peace Walker.

"[Transfarring] is the ability to bridge distance and gaming hardware by transferring your game between platforms," Kojima-san explained when talking about his concept. "With Transfarring, you can play the same game 24 hours a day, whether at home or on the go."

A demonstration shortly begins with how it exactly Transfarring works featuring members of Kojima Productions. From the PS3 version of Peace Walker, they "transfarr out" the save data onto a PSP via USB cable. To avoid save issues, the data from the PS3 version is locked until it's "transfarred in" from the PSP.

"[Peace Walker] is just the first phase of my plan for the Transfarring system." Kojima informed about his future plans. "The next step will bring PlayStation 2 class games onto PS3 and NGP and allow transfarring between those platforms."

He would also conclude that is to have PS3 games transfarr between NGP versions after day one of release.

MacDonald brings up Metal Gear Solid: Rising which Kojima responds that the game will release in 2012 as originally intended. Metal Gear series mechanical designer Yoji Shinkawa would then pop on by and explain more of the concept art MacDonald sees when interviewing Kojima-san.

"It's an extension of the concepts from Metal Gear Solid 4 but we wanted to take it in a more futuristic and sci-fi direction," Shinkawa-san said. "Our teamwork is mostly complete however we got one more task that still remains."

MacDonald then asks Kojima-san of any future projects which the prolific developer responds that it's in the planning stage aimed to be multi-platform as well as Transfarring-enabled.

"We are experimenting with some of the ideas we have as well as researching, conducting interviews. From there we take the necessary info we need and move forward," Kojima said. "So when it comes to the title, the game system, or any kind of visuals, there is nothing I can really show at this time."

Kojima-san didn't seem that footage of the project can be seen from MacDonald's view. Kojima-san then let a bit of info in including it proprietary game engine dubbed the "Fox Engine."

"Up until now, we have been developing games exclusively for specific platforms," Kojima-san explained of the development process for their previous games in comparison to Fox. "We are paving the road to go multi-platform for future titles.

Kojima-san aims to have the Fox Engine help shorten development time thanks to the tools provided. What is shown ran by the engine is a test bed of a dynamically-lit forest with a horses and other various objects built for the developers to research.

Kojima-san plans to visit E3 next year.


As the video ends, a small teaser of a moving fire ball moves everywhere until it finally settles in a C positioning and the phrase "They are coming...," ultimately to tease that Contra is getting a new entry.