Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Vapor Condenses!

I've been playing Duke Nukem Forever for the last few days. That's pretty crazy. If you haven't followed its torturous course between multiple delays, engine changes, overhauls, and finally cancellation, followed by its subsequent resurrection, you might not appreciate just how crazy that is. Well, consider this exerpt from an interview with George Broussard and Scott Miller that appeared in the official Duke Nukem 3D strategy guide, published in 1997.

Scott Miller: We are also making Duke Nukem Forever, which will be out next Christmas for sure. DN Forever is not a sequel though, rather it's simply another episode in the life of Duke, just like each episode of Star Trek is not a sequel to the previous episode. DN Forever will be a side-scrolling platform game similar to the original two Duke games, but with far better technology and graphics. We're using the same Duke model from Duke Nukem 3D and adding dozens of new frames. Duke will climb chains, poles, ladders, walk hand-over-hand along wires and pipes, do midair flips, and ride several vehicles, including a jet ski and a Harley. The graphics will be very realistic and dark in style, and not cartoonish like the first two Duke platform games. Duke will have several familiar weapons, like the shotgun, RPG, and Ripper, plus several new weapons. And, of course, he'll still have his legendary attitude and Duke Talk(tm).

Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for so long that it was once a side-scrolling platformer! Unbelievable. I'll have more to say about DNF in a later post. There's stuff to talk about, for sure. For now, let's just say that I'd like to have played the platformer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Triumphant Pre-E3 Return

Apologies for the last few weeks of no updates -- overtime at work, a nasty cold, excuses excuses. We're coming up to my favorite time of the year, though, so I wanted to get back in the swing of things: E3 week! It's that magical time when game companies unveil the surprises they've been cooking up for the last year in an attempt to win the heart and mind of that fickle beast, the elusive gamer. What company 'wins' E3 is a pointless discussion for the most part, but it's also fascinating. Who will it be this year?

There's been one pre-E3 news conference of note so far, and it was Konami's on last Friday. No memorable wackiness this time, unfortunately; it was pre-recorded, and undoubtedly vetted by the Powers That Be. That's okay. We'll always have One Million Troops, Tak Fuji.

The big news from the Konami conference, as far as I'm concerned, was the announcement of three new HD collections: a Zone of the Enders HD Collection, a Silent Hill HD Collection, and a Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, each of which will be on Xbox and PS3.

Outstanding! Especially the MGS one, which will contain MGS2 (Do You Know What Day It Is, Jack?), MGS3 (The Best One), and Peace Walker (Yes, This Is Why You Bought a PSP), all gussied up in HD and apparently containing Trophies/Achievements. You might laugh, but I love Achievements, and the Metal Gear series has long had the sort of gameplay that would be perfect for the things. If they rereleased MGS4 with Trophies, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat, for instance.

Some people are disappointed that the collection doesn't contain the original Metal Gear Solid, but I'm okay with it. The amount of work necessary to smooth out the jaggies on the original was probably prohibitive, and anyway the Twin Snakes version that was done for Gamecube is all tied up with Nintendo. You don't want to get involved with their lawyers, if you can help it. Plus, if you get the collection on PS3, which I'm planning on doing, you can get the PSX version of MGS and play through the whole series on one system anyway.

It comes out in November. That feels like a long time from now. Want!