Authenticity is a tricky subject. How do you determine if a work of art is real and not just a product of a lumbering corporate machine? When it comes to video games, the subject of authenticity often comes up when sequels to classic series are produced. When Capcom’s DmC: Devil May Cry was first announced, fans cried foul. Not only was the game not developed by the original developers, it was going to be made by the British studio Ninja Theory rather than a Japanese team. The thinking was that the game would lack the classic Japanese theatricality that made games like Devil May Cry 3 great. It wouldn’t be authentic.
Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly column devoted to import gaming and game development outside the US, is at least partially concerned with issues of authenticity.
Double Helix Games brings back Strider.
Californian game studio Double Helix Games has a rough history. The majority of its output has been abysmal licensed games like the awful Battleship and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie tie-in games. More problematic, though, were the sequels it made for Japanese franchises. Silent Hill: Homecoming and Front Mission Evolved weren’t bad games, but they lacked the spark the original Japanese teams at Konami and Squaresoft that birthed the series had. Capcom is giving the team yet another shot at a Japanese property, though.
Double Helix Games is working on Strider HD, a sequel to the sidescrolling action games designed by Koichi Yotsui and Nezumi Otoko. It will be the first new game starring the ninja Strider Hiryu since 2000’s Strider 2 hit arcades and the PlayStation. Unlike the first two games, Strider HD won’t be a linear series of levels, but an open exploration game similar to Metroid where you unlock new abilities that give access to new areas of a branching world. Details are scarce but Capcom indicated that Strider HD is still the product of the original minds behind the series, with those Japanese creators dictating design to Double Helix. Whether Yostui or Otoko are involved, though, is still a mystery. Strider HD will hit PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2014.
It’s doubly peculiar that Capcom is using a Western studio at all on Strider HD, even just to collaborate. The company swore in April that it was going to refocus on internal development after over-relying on outsourcing to non-Japanese studios was years.
Soul Calibur coming back for more?
Of the Japanese fighting game series that survive, Soul Calibur may be the one in most dire need of invigoration. Even Tekken Tag Tournament 2 captured some excitement in Namco’s aging fighting flagship when it came out last year, but 2012’s Soul Calibur V felt flimsy and unfinished. The fighting was solid but the new characters were lame and the single player mode was a joke. Namco’s on the right path to bringing it back. The company announced an HD remake of Soul Calibur 2, the pinnacle of the series, at Comic Con this weekend promising a version complete with all the old modes, including the long lost Weapons Master and Team Battle features. Meanwhile, as noted by NeoGAF user Xav, Soul Calibur producer Masaki Hoshino has indicated that he wants to make a brand new game soon. Could the recent trademark for Soul Calibur: Lost Swords be a hint at Soul Calibur 6? Fingers crossed.
Assassin’s Creed comes to India.
It’s been fascinating to watch Assassin’s Creed maintain it’s international flair on the way to becoming one of the most popular series in the world. It’s a Canadian-developed game published by a French company that stars heroes from places like Italy and the Middle East – Assassin’s Creed III was almost disappointing for its focus on America. The series is branching out into the wider world again, though. As Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag goes to the Caribbean, the series is also going to India in a new comic book called Assassin’s Creed: Brahman, starring assassin Arbaaz Mir. Canadian writer Brenden Fletcher is penning the tale, continuing the tradition of Assassin’s Creed’s multicultural production.