February 20, 2008

GAME PREVIEWS: Street Fighter IV Video Impressions and Mario Kart Wii!

OK, GDC's currently on, and I can't wait for the new Nintendo announcements, which should be big. For now, though, I've got Street Fighter Video Impressions which is literally my impressions on Street Fighter IV's videos, and my Mario Kart Wii feature. So yeah, it won't be the most accurate representation of a preview, but hey, can't hurt to write, right?

Street Fighter IV (XBox 360, PS3, Arcade)
It's a highly anticipated return of the legendary fighting franchise, but I think the game is going to fall flat headfirst.

The trailer was pretty, darkly impressive, but you won't see any of that stylized cinematic 2D-3D fusion fighting action in the game proper. Yeah, there's great art direction going on from the man who brought us the character designs and art direction from the classic Street Fighter II, but I'm just not flat-out impressed. But don't take my word for it. There are a few new game mechanics such as the "revenge meter" and "focus attacks" as well as a slew of classic and new brawlers in the mix. Plus, the finishing special moves are cinematic and cool!

In 2D!
Plus, the fighting's in 2D- just the way it should be played, so who knows, it may be a pretty solid installment for the series. But for now, all I see is the same complex combos (not that I'm complaining about them), renamed meters and nostalgia reliance.Come on!
If Capcom wants to impress, they better show off what they've actually fleshed out. Otherwise, it will be just another over-hyped disappointment. And you know that there has been a lot of that. You've been there before, I've been there before, everyone's been there before. Why? Because the same applies for the movies. But hey, I'm dabbling on different territory!

FEATURE: Mario Kart Wii
Have you ever wondered what the world would be without that plumber? He revolutionized platforming, he has appeared in sports games innumerable and now he's back with his trendsetting racing game, Mario Kart designed for the Wii.It has become the subject of several rip-offs such as Crash Team Racing for the PS1, but since this is the original, you can expect a lot of the racing action everybody loved since well, 16 years ago! Its DS counterpart has become subject to praise from several professional gaming journalists, with X-Play's Morgan Webb even proclaiming it as "the best kart racer of all time". My experience, especially with multiplayer, of that specific game can also attest to that statement, bold as it can be.
CAPTION: How mobile can a steering wheel get?

And going back, Mario Kart Wii will be bringing a whole lot of favorites back: Split-screen multiplayer matches, online matches, online scoreboards, power sliding, drafting and 16 courses from past iterations. And for an even fresher change of pace, they've included bikes wherein you can just tilt the Wii remote up to perform acrobatic moves that increase your speed. And judging from the pictures, they can be used simultaneously.
CAPTION: Back from the dead- Split Screen Racing! And something new- Bikes!

16 more new courses, a constantly updated (online!) Battle Mode (which gives the player objectives to perform tasks) and a mobile steering wheel sweeten the pot. If this isn't something that will make Wii fans salivate, other than Super Smash Bros., then I don't know what. It's being released in the "Early 2008" timeframe which is kinda vague, but good to hear nonetheless. It ships with that steering wheel and is also like Super Smash Bros.- it has 5 five control schemes: GameCube controller, Wiimote, Wiimote and Nunchuk, Wiimote and Steering wheel, and Classic Controller. Can't wait.
Brace yourself for courses so daring in Early 2008.

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