Capcom brought a full slate of games along to its off-site suite at the 2013 Game Developer’s Conference. We broke away from the regular daily gauntlet of interviews, panels, and expo-wandering to tour through the diverse lineup of hands-on stations. The hour-long session amounted to a sampler platter of what the publisher’s got coming in the months ahead, so we’ve decided to round all of the quick-hit looks up into a single overview.
Did you play the original DuckTales on NES? Your appreciation for that classic game will likely be the key factor in gauging whether or not you’ll enjoy this enhanced remake from WayForward Technologies. Capcom’s demo amounted to the game’s re-tooled Transylvania level, the same one that premiered on the show floor at PAX East 2013.
The remake is unsurprisingly a huge visual step forward from the 20+ year old game, with every layer replaced by high def hand-drawn art. The voice acting is a nice touch too, appealing directly to anyone familiar with the classic cartoon series that the game was based on. The game is… well, it’s DuckTales. You bounce around on Scrooge McDuck’s pogo-powered cane, break chests, collect gems, feast on health-restoring ice cream cones, and plenty more besides.
There’s really not an effective way to preview a game that came out more than two decades in the past. It’s clear enough when see it that WayForward did a solid job of making the controls feel responsive. We’ll see more soon enough – summer 2013, to be precise – but prepare yourselves for good things, DuckTales fans.
Dontnod’s Remember Me shows a lot of promise for those gamers who crave a little something different. It’s a melee combat-focused brawler in which players unlock fighting moves called “Pressens” from four different categories. Using the game’s Combo Lab menu, players apply unlocked Pressens to one or more attack combos. The types of Pressens you apply to a given combo determine its attributes; power Pressens up your damage potential whereas regenerative ones restore heath.
Capcom’s early demo highlights the basics of the combat. Button mashing is discouraged, with combos only working if players can time each button press to the moment of impact for the preceding attack. A handy meter at the bottom of the screen serves as an indicator of combo progress.
You’re basically trying to tailor the combo that you have built to the situation at hand; a group of weaker enemies is a good opportunity to recover some lost health with regen-focused Pressens whereas a more powerful miniboss requires a power Pressen to break through blocks.
It’s difficult to say how this combo shuffling might play out in the later game. Each Pressen is effectively spoken for once assigned to a combo, at least until you remove it. In the early going, you make frequent trips to the Combo Labs menu to swap between regen and power combos, which effectively breaks the flow of the action. The fighting itself feels great, but the combo play that promises to develop in the mid-to-late game is ultimately what will make or break Remember Me.
Look for it in stores on June 4, 2013.
Dungeons & Dragon: Chronicles of Mystara
Another retro restoration from Capcom, Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara ditches the enhanced remake aesthetics of DuckTales in favor of a more vintage look. A widescreen viewing option offers the best-looking experience, with upscaled HD making everything pop like it never could on a coin-op screen. Purists can, of course, turn on things like scan lines or external views of the coin-op cabinet.
The $15 game is actually a two-for-one situation: you get both Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and its sequel, Shadow Over Mystara. The game is a cut above similar brawlers of the time for offering the trappings that fans of D&D would expect. Characters level up, improve capabilities, gather useful loot that can be accessed from an inventory menu.
The most noteworthy enhancement, one that effectively puts Chronicles of Mystara over the top, is the inclusion of co-op. Better: it’s drop-in/drop-out. Friends can join in anytime, either locally or online. It worked well in the context of the preview session, with a publisher rep wandering over at one point and jumping in mid-level.
Chronicles of Mystara is fun to play, though much like DuckTales it seems like the sort of game that will either appeal to fans of the originals or feel completely outdated. We’ll have to wait for the summer 2013 release to know for sure, but don’t get your expectations up for a dramatically enhanced remake.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Capcom chose the Wii U version of the formerly Nintendo 3DS-exclusive Resident Evil: Revelations to showcase the upcoming console version of the game. It is immediately clear when you fire it up that there’s not as much visual polish as there was in Resident Evil 6, but the console-fied Revelations – which was designed on PC before being ported to Nintendo’s handheld – looks sharp enough.
There’s little to really say about the game that hasn’t otherwise been said (see Ryan’s review). Capcom’s added some new content in the console release that wasn’t fully showcased during the preview, so we basically just got a look at the visual enhancements in this remake. The Wii U version – which allows for off-screen play – offers quick access to weapon swapping controls via the touch screen, but it isn’t anything that amounts to an unexpected use of the GamePad.
The visual boost coupled with the more familiar dual analog controls and bits of new content should hopefully make this Revelations the definitive version for most fans. The feel is definitely there based on the small bit that we played, and that’s really all that matters. Resident Evil: Revelations is in stores on May 21, 2013.