by Frankie at 11/18/2005 5:47 PM PST
This week a few graphical treats and one graphical punch in the fanny. We take a look at DOA4, matchmaking playlists and some mutant biker gangs, roaming through the desert.
Ha! I am heading off to the desert tomorrow for the Xbox 360 launch event called Zero Hour! Which I am reliably informed looks something like this:
When is It? We'll play Xbox 360 games from sundown on November 20 through 12:01 A.M. on November 22.
What's On? Hundreds of gaming stations fully tricked out with hi-def monitors and digital sound Play the full Xbox 360 launch lineup
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ First opportunity to play a 32-player match of Perfect Dark Zero on Xbox Live
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Highly anticipated games that will ship this year and into 2006, from 2K Games, 2K Sports, Activision, Bethesda Softworks, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios, Namco Hometek, SEGAÃ‚Â®, Square
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Enix, Tecmo, THQ, and Ubisoft
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Full access to all Xbox Live Arcade titles
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Demos, sneak peeks, and live game play of Gears of War
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Round-the-clock refreshment stations
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Live entertainment and music, including a genuine "Kaiju Big Battel" and rock band Louis XIV
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Exclusive schwag, such as Zero Hour Xbox 360 faceplates
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Onsite Best Buy store where partygoers can purchase their Xbox 360 consoles, games, and accessories.
There's a small chance I will be playing some backward compatible Halo 2 matches and answering any questions leveled at me. Unless they are regarding our next project Ã¢â‚¬" at which point armed security guards will hustle me into a limo and away to an undisclosed location (the pub). I will aslo sign ANYTHING, including bad checks.
We should carefully point out that apart from HDTV resolution, none of the features associated with Xbox 360's Live environment will have the slightest effect on Halo 2 Ã¢â‚¬" when you play it, the game will look, feel and act exactly as it does now. That means feedback, cheat reporting, mod banning and all that stuff, will continue just as it is now.
You CAN play Halo 2 from your 360 against someone using an Xbox and vice versa. They won't see any difference either. Same thing holds true for System Link Ã¢â‚¬" you can use any Ethernet cable to connect the two different systems Ã¢â‚¬" even the Xbox-style "crossover" cable. The emulation is 100% - from interface to netcode. All identical. And in our serious testing, no difference in gameplay or balance was detected between the two systems.
We've been involved with the development process of this very closely for two reasons. One is that we are obsessive about making sure our universe is treated with kid gloves, respect and stunning brilliance. Two is that we heart Itagaki and are totally obsessed with seeing what he's got up his sleeves.
One odd conversation we had with Team Ninja, was regarding the colors of Spartan costume made available in DOA4. Some colors we wanted to do in Halo 2 we couldn't for balance reasons. Black, for example. But the good news is, since there are no gameplay balance issues, Black is back, baby. Black Spartan = best Spartan. Sketch is in love with the Steel model (pictured below). You will decide when DOA4 arrives. 1UP.com's excellent interview with Mr. Itagaki is a must-read, but it doesn't tell the whole story.
We've been playing with Spartan 458 on all sorts of levels against all sorts of characters and personally speaking, she and Ryu Hayabusa are now my go-to characters. My favorite match up however, is Spartan 458 versus Hitomi, just because she's dwarfed by our Spartan.
Team Ninja knocked it out of the park. The lighting, the animation, and most of all, the gameplay. She feels like a Spartan. Huge, pummeling strikes, thundering throws and bone-breaking grapples. The way we envision Spartan hand to hand combat is the way Team Ninja represented it in the game. We'll bring you more on this soon.
Noguchi, the King of all Tools says, "I heart Itagaki too. I wish Itagaki would do PR for us." Noguchi also says cryptically, "I'm working on stuff that nobody really understands, but that makes the game infinitely better." He is of course talking about our next project, revealing officially at least, that it's a game. I reckon it's cloth physics or sparks. Or a new sweat engine.
I lucked out last week and got the chance to play a little somethin'. That's all I'm saying. Except that it was a blast, and surprising at times.
I got asked by a LOT of people if we had large versions of a couple of top story images from our front page. After careful consideration (read: Andrew made them and gave me them so I could take all the credit) I have decided to share them with you. Just click these for the big versions.
For the full story about this visit Halo 2's home site at www.bungie.net and check out the news there, hehe LoL!