Content about Konami


I am so glad I’m finished with Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor.  Everything that could go wrong in that game does, and does so quite valiantly.  Even operating something as simple as a window visor is impossible thanks to the crappy Kinect controls.  But, honestly, this isn’t the first time a developer has gotten a motion experience wrong with Microsoft’s device – and it certainly won’t be the last.


Nintendo’s 3DS system got off to a bad start when it released last year, with a mostly lackluster launch line-up and lack of features for the system.  But now, finally, it seems to have gained its footing with some stellar game releases, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, amongst others.  And while its showing at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo wasn’t the greatest, there are still some great games to look forward to.


I can already hear dozens of folks screaming at Konami now.  “What did you do with Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker?!  Why wasn’t it included?”  And by that I mean I’m referring to Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the PlayStation Vita, a package that only comes with two of the three ingredients that the original PS3 and Xbox 360 releases had.  Those two games, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, are certainly enough by their own merits, but you know folks are going to complain about the lack of Peace Walker.  But is it really that much of a deal breaker?  No.


The idea behind E3 was to showcase the latest and brightest games of 2012, but there are always a few games that disappoint us. Some games on our list made serious changes to their formula, and not for the better. Other games took center stage at E3 when they shouldn’t have. There were many games at E3, but here is our top five list of disappointments.


The free-to-play market had a huge showing at E3 and was showcased at Sony’s Online Entertainment booth. Recently SOE converted all of its most popular MMOs into the model, giving new life to D.C Universe while reintroducing fans to the PlanetSide series.


The Metal Gear Solid franchise has always been known for creating a captivating atmosphere that originated in Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. At that time Hideo Kojima development work was the hallmark of game design and video game storytelling. But much has changed since then and with Snake’s storyline wrapped up in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it's time for the series to move in a new direction. They’re for, a new development team and a new main focus is the story behind Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.


Rumored for what seems like the longest time, Konami finally confirmed during its virtual press conference yesterday that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is on the way.  The sequel, which once again follows the plight of Gabriel Belmont, will be an all new adventure that carries some of the atmospheric touches of the first game, while possibly introducing some new powers to keep things interesting.


Ever since Metal Gear Solid Revengance premiered at Spike’s Video Game Award show, many question were brought up on how much were shown that was actual gameplay and how true is it to the Metal Gear brand. GTTV showcased a brand new Metal Gear Solid Revengance trailer answering many questions, but still leads much to debate on this addition to the Metal Gear franchise.


Ahhh, the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  Every year, game companies show off their best wares at the event.  Some are clearly anticipated from previous announcements, while others are huge surprises that come out of left field.  Konami is no exception to this rule, as they’ve dominated E3 in the past with announcements such as Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.  But even we’re left to wonder just what the company will announce at this year’s expo, as they’re planning a huge announcement.  That won’t stop us from guessing, though…


Over the years, some fascinating games based in the Wild West have come about, featuring heroes riding tall in the saddle and wearing cowboy hats to signify that they mean business.  While some have fared better than others (like Paradox’s fascinating but limited Lead and Gold for PlayStation 3), developers have no doubt tried their darndest to capture the essence of the likes of Sergio Leone and other influences to create the best “Wild West” experience.


Throughout the history of video games, the oldest stereotype surrounding the industry has always been do violent video games affect player behavior and personality. It is a known fact that people who play games are exposed to more violence than the average consumer. From nuking entire civilization to obliterating players online, it’s has become more and more common now that games are more focus on squarely providing violent action. For this reason alone, parents have long held an underlining negative attitude towards the industry and those who stand by it, but is this criticism injustice or have developers gone to far? Should government step in?


I’m not sure what keeps compelling development teams to keep trying to make World War II-oriented flying games.  Maybe they’re trying to get a leg up on the Ace Combat series; or maybe they’re just trying to create the next “great thing” in the genre, like Secrets Weapons Over Normandy and the Blazing Angels series managed to do over the years.  Regardless, Konami’s stepping up this time around with Birds of Steel, and it actually feels like the most authentic entry in the genre to date.  But be warned, that doesn’t necessarily make the experience one that everyone can get into.


The fighting game market is still thriving quite well these days, with thousands of players stepping up for tournaments and proving their worth in games like Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters XIII and Street Fighter x Tekken, among others.  But by no means should you ignore the “little guys”, the teams that are still making less-than-popular fighting games that are just as good as the “big boys”.  Case in point – Skullgirls, the latest from Revenge Labs and their respective publishers at Autumn Games and Konami, has finally arrived on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network after what seems like years in development.  And now that it’s here, you shouldn’t dare miss it.


I admit, I was a little concerned about how Silent Hill: Downpour would turn out.  When I played the game at Konami’s booth last year at E3, I couldn’t quite get the hang of it, even though I’ve easily gotten into Silent Hill games in the past.  And considering the disappointing treatment of Silent Hill HD Collection last month (two games for $50, and with all kinds of glitches), I was fearing the worst.  But despite a few problems, Silent Hill: Downpour weathers the storm well enough to please fans of the long-running survival horror series.  Don’t expect a miracle by any means, but do expect plenty of scares and a good, engrossing story.


When Konami released Metal Gear Solid HD Collection over the holiday season, I was thrilled by the treatment they gave the classic games.  Sure, there was no sign of Metal Gear Solid, the game that started it all, but the other three – namely Peace Walker – were given the kind of respective revamping they truly deserved.  It made me excited for collections to come, particularly Zone of the Enders Collection, which is coming later this year.  In the meantime, here’s Silent Hill HD Collection, a game that brings back two of the more popular chapters in the series, redone for today’s gaming consoles.  While it’s sure to attract fans of survival horror, we can’t help but think that the scares are coming from the wrong place.


People could argue for hours on end about which Metal Gear Solid game was the best.  Some would say that the original PS One release can’t be beat; others feel that Peace Walker was a significant move forward for the series; and some will even swear up and down about Sons of Liberty rocking hard, even with the odd inclusion of a nude Raiden.  However, most of the consensus believes that Snake Eater, the third chapter in the series, is truly significant, if only because it takes place in a different time, telling the story from a new point of view.  And if you somehow missed this story, you have another chance to catch it, this time on the Nintendo 3DS with Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater.


It’s frustrating to see an interesting concept in a video game go to crap because the developers couldn’t come up with a way to make the gameplay more enjoyable.  Case in point with Konami’s NeverDead – it has some good ideas behind it, and the main protagonist has a good head on his shoulders.  Well, part of the time, anyway.  But the game's potential is squandered by bad controls and ultimately bad decisions that may leave you cursing at the thought you have to live through all this.


Gotta love it when you see rumors leading up to the release of a big title, but without confirmation from the company that's releasing said title, and then they come out of nowhere and release it anyway, and the audience remains just as thrilled as they would be if it was announced.  Konami, you sneaky devils.  Anyway, after 21 years of being stuck strictly in arcades (we'll forget the crappy PC port exists), The Simpsons Arcade Game has finally gotten a home release for digital download.  And as expected, it's been worth the wait.


Know what's great?  When an independent game darling gets its time to shine in the spotlight thanks to a generous publisher.  We're seeing a lot more of these hit the gaming scene, and personally, I love it, though a little more advertising for said product wouldn't be a bad thing.  This time around, Konami has published Puddle, a 2010 Independent Gaming Award darling made by Neko Entertainment.  Just in playing it for a few minutes, you see where its appeal lies.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really let on how tough the journey gets until you really get into it.


If there's a company that has proven that old-school games do big business, it's Konami.  A few years back, it brought back the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game to Xbox Live, attracting a whole new crowd to the old-school beat-em-up antics, complete with online play.  And last year, it continued to capitalize on such success with the enjoyable X-Men: The Arcade Game.  Next week, it'll be back once more with the long-overdue -- and highly requested -- The Simpsons Arcade.  And yes, it's officially coming, at least from what Sony says.


We do love ourselves a good Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.  Just ask us how many countless hours we spent on Xbox Live Arcade playing the original arcade game, beating the crap out of Shredder's thugs while having some laughs with friends.  Well, another kind of good game may just be right around the corner, as Rocksteady Studios, the team behind Batman: Arkham Asylum and its Arkham City sequel, could be working on an all new game featuring the New York-based quartet.


We're just a couple of hours away from kick-off of the Spike Video Game Awards 2011 show, but already we know two of the bigger secret titles that are set for revealing.  And we've got the details for you inside.  Are you ready for the Revengeance?