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Early Look At the New Bionic Commando

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the you-and-what-arm-eek dept.

Games 63

G4 had a chance to try out the upcoming Bionic Commando title due out in May. The game is a sequel to the NES version from 1988. Their impression is mostly positive: "The gameplay is fast and exciting, but a little light on combat, at least during the first level. There are also challenges that unlock upgrades for Nathan. These could be as simple as doing five zip kicks or as complex as killing a specific enemy with a specific move. It's a great way to add depth to the game and encourage the player to use all of the moves available to them." However, they do criticize the game's linearity, where movement is often restricted by arbitrarily placed radiation clouds. Capcom recently announced that a demo for the game will be available in the coming weeks.

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63 comments

360 and PS3? (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 years ago | (#27595067)

Come on, this game is begging to be Wii only. Use the wiimote to control the bionic arm. Their lack of vision here disappoints me.

Re:360 and PS3? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595423)

But that pretty much sums up the Wii.

Lots of great potential, but it's all used for crappy party games and such for the most part. I'm not sure if it's lack of innovation on the studios part or if it's to do with Nintendo not fostering an environment where these sorts of games can thrive.

Perhaps it's just because the Wii really can't deal with decent sized and decently detailed game worlds that people have come to expect, who knows.

One of the games I liked on the Wii was ghost squad, which I picked up for like £5 or something because it's fun for a quick blast. It's not even particularly a new idea - games dating back to the spectrum light gun had that sort of thing.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27595531)

Perhaps it's just because the Wii really can't deal with decent sized and decently detailed game worlds that people have come to expect, who knows.

You mean the kind that people got on the PS2 which is weaker than the Wii?

Re:360 and PS3? (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27596595)

Nintendo want a family-friendly toy. Hell, they won't even allow beer pong [go.com] on their sissy system without substantial changes.

Wiis are all fine and dandy for infantiles and 3 year old kids, but men with hair on their nuts deserve better. More realism. Like curse words [elitecoder.com] and heads asploding [elitecoder.com].

Bonus: if you can name the console and game the above linked pictures were taken from, then you win smug self-satisfaction.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27596845)

They allowed beer pong uncensored on the European WiiWare service, noone bought it... (the game was a big seller in the US)

I think a drinking game is a different case for censorship than a game that just contains objectionable stuff since a drinking game actively encourages the player in front of the screen to drink alcohol according to the on-screen events and it's likely that people would get drunk playing the game, do something stupid and the headlines would read "Wii makes man fall out of window". That's why MadWorld was let on the system without restrictions, the game does not actually involve stabbing real people in the process. If someone tried to make a game where a part of it is to use the Wiimote to physically hit other players in real-life I don't think Nintendo would allow that.

Re:360 and PS3? (3, Informative)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | about 5 years ago | (#27598305)

So exactly how do you explain the following Wii titles:

Resident Evil 4
No More Heroes
Madworld (one of the violent and profane games I've played in a while)
House of the Dead: Overkill - which just got the Guinness World Record for most swearing in a video game.

The problem isn't that Nintendo is unwilling to approve mature content, it's that many publishers aren't willing to try putting mature content on the system, and because they've been stalling on doing so, many of the gamers who would have bought those games have started to bail on the system. Just because the system has family friendly titles doesn't mean there aren't some dads out here who also want to play more mature games after the kids go to bed. At least Sega and Capcom are keeping that category alive.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 5 years ago | (#27595751)

But why only Wii? It's not an either-or proposition.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27596903)

Considering the tech differences you practically have to redo everything from scratch if you're going to make a port so cross HD-Wii games tend to have at least two versions developed more or less independently of each other with the Wii version usually handed to some incompetent outsourcing house that then produces a huge pile of garbage. It's not a new phenomenon on the Wii, the handhelds always got the crappy versions of cross platform games too and I recall many copmplaints about the botched PS2/Gamecube version of Splinter Cell last gen.

Hence asking for either a PS360 or a Wii game means asking for a qualified dev team to be put on the job.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 5 years ago | (#27600395)

I'd like to ask this same question myself to many, many developers. It seems they either go for PS3/360 or Wii, rarely both.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

bryansj (89051) | about 5 years ago | (#27596325)

But you are forgetting that the PS3 has Six-Axis controllers! You'll get to play the game holding the controller level and then get to flick it around. I'm sure it will be used with great results if any of the previous PS3 games are any measure.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 5 years ago | (#27597131)

I can't remember the last time I used the wii to play a wii game.

Typically I play downloaded classic games or gamecube stuff.

Re:360 and PS3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27597259)

Maybe its because the Wii controller sucks balls. Before it came out, we were all expecting it to be precise enough to have virtual swordfights with, and what we got was a controller that responds to shaking.

Personally, I don't want to spend half the game wildly flinging the Wii-mote overhand to get the Bionic Commando's claw to extend.

RE5 as well (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 5 years ago | (#27597669)

I have to agree... like Resident Evil 5, I wish the target platform was Wii. These games were meant to be played with that controller.

Re:360 and PS3? (1)

twosmokes (704364) | about 5 years ago | (#27600101)

Yes please. What I need now more than anything is a thumbstick to move and a brick to shake to do every other action. Because it would be fresh and exciting.

I'm bitter about my Wii purchase. Does it show?

Wii? Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595183)

Yes, Wii might have distinctly different control mechanism that would suit this game but it is seriously lacking in terms of horsepower from both the CPU and the GPU.

Certainly I would not want to watch some cat sized pixels dancing on my 1080P TV. In fact, it would make me puke!

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (2, Insightful)

Malenfrant (781088) | about 5 years ago | (#27595225)

Also, just because it might work well with the Wii controller, why should that make it Wii only? Why not as many different platforms as possible? Saying it should be limited to one platform only is just elitist nonsense.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595245)

Yay! C0n5013 W4R5 in slashdot!!!!

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 years ago | (#27595291)

You see, I don't play games to droll at pretty pictures. I play games to have fun. Have good gameplay mechanics, a good control scheme, and an interesting idea and you can have atari 2600 level graphic for all I care. I've been gaming for 20 years, and I've had more fun with my wii than I have on any platform since the super nintendo. For that matter I can find a lot of little flash games with sprite graphics that are more fun than most AAA games that come out these days- developers have almost killed gaming by putting flashy graphics over fun.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595343)

How can you blame the developers? They're just going where the money is, and that's in games with flashy graphics.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595359)

Apparently EA, Capcom(Monster Hunter), Sega, Activision and all the big players kinda disagree (and heck I can tell you the one still believing in this kind of stuff at Midway will soon be laid off)

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 years ago | (#27595453)

I do wonder, lots of titles fail, obviously, since there is so much crap released, some dominates and then there are some titles in between. If your title fail or become one of the later ones isn't it much better if it's somewhat more simple in technology and for things like the DS instead of huge complex PC titles?

Sure the return in $ may not be as good, but in % vs the investment and also when it comes to the risk taking I would assume the simper titles will be better.

But then a simple title need to offer something else than pretty graphics, such as a good experience, so eventually they delivers more on that, or it's total crap which should never had been released in the first place and which makes me feel sad for the people who actually buy it.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27596953)

The money seems to be even more in games that do simple things well with little technical effort and a topic that people can instantly appreciate. Those are the games that cost pocket change to develop and then go on to sell millions of copies, making an insane return on the investment. Flashy games also cost flashy amounts of money to make and while some of them do sell big they still won't reach the insane investment-profit ratios of games like Nintendogs.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#27599769)

Not really. Those huge-budget games need to sell at least a million copies to break even. Anything less and it's a big money loss. Take Mirror's Edge for example.

Meanwhile, Carnival Games takes a minimal amount of development costs, sells millions, and makes the developer and publisher a ton of money. But have the publishers caught on to this? No, instead they raise the average game price by $10, spend more than ever on big budget nonsense, and piss and moan about the used market killing their profits. Hopefully one day they'll get it.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 years ago | (#27595431)

Sprites vs renderings is like art drawings vs photos.

You must appreciate the details and all the work put into making it look cute/nice/impressive vs OMG, WE NEED AN IMAGE OF THIS and then put it up right there.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27595561)

Generally it depends on what you're doing. Lots of characters with little animation, go with sprites. A few characters with tons of animations (e.g. a fighting game) 3d models may be easier. Customization doesn't play nice with sprite animation at all. The ease of rendering them lets you throw a few hundred at the screen even on a last gen system without slowdown.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27595701)

(from the "yay for car analogies" department):

Graphics is to games what new car smell is to cars. Sure, the customer loves it, but it wears off fast. And after that, he only cares how it steers and how much he likes actually driving it.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

twosmokes (704364) | about 5 years ago | (#27600075)

Not exactly. It's more like how the car looks. Some people can look past an ugly car and enjoy driving it because of how it steers. Others dread getting into their car because of its boxy look and terrible interior in spite of the fact that it drives well. Then there's a third group who would rather have both.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

PixelScuba (686633) | about 5 years ago | (#27595963)

Classic "old timer" gamer syndrome. Currently, there seems to be this backlash attitude that games can only be "good looking" or "fun to play"... that those lines can never cross. I would argue that both visuals AND gameplay are necessary to make a good experience.

I think a perfect example of requiring state of the art visuals to make a better product would be the upcoming Ghostbusters game. The entire point of the game is immersion, this is a sequel to the movies so it needs to look as close to a movie as possible. This is where the Wii/ps2 version seems to fail... it's a cartoon, not the movie. If you want to truly create an interactive experience that makes the player feel like a "ghostbuster" you have to make the game as photorealistic as possible. If they look likcartoon characters, the best feeling you'll get from the graphics is an episode of the Real Ghostbusters.

Is there room for a full length, cartoon style ghostbusters game. Absolutely, but it won't have the same impact that hyperrealism will. You can't truly experience a game tied to a movie franchise if it looks nothing like it.

This notion that games can only be fun or good looking is really grating to me. I might agree that there is some degree of "overboard" with developers and detailed visuals... but it depends on the game. Each game is different and the visuals are not separate. Mirrors Edge wouldn't look good as a blocky Doom style game. The new Giana Sisters game wouldn't be better if it had been done with lens flares and 3d. Visuals are part of the games package... if visuals are too sloppy or too poor, it takes away from the whole experience. Sometimes that means you need to make a full 3D world with HDR lighting, bumpmapping and 40k polygon characters... and sometimes you can make a great game with some good 2d artists.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

Gulthek (12570) | about 5 years ago | (#27599477)

People like you always forget that the games of yesteryear *had* cutting edge graphics for the time they were made! It's *always* been about pushing the envelope of what is graphically possible!

Almost killed gaming by putting flashy graphics over fun? Are you fucking serious? Name *one* game that sold well that had "flashy" graphics and zero fun.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#27599825)

Almost killed gaming by putting flashy graphics over fun? Are you fucking serious? Name *one* game that sold well that had "flashy" graphics and zero fun.

Final Fantasy. Over and over and over again.

Re:Wii? Are you serious? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 years ago | (#27606407)

Even on the 2600, many games had better graphics than Adventure.. yet Adventure is considered a classic and people still play it.

I thought it was Mattel Baseball for the 2600, but I can't find info about it on wikipedia, that I liked as one of the best baseball games I've played -- because it's so simple.. and you're basically dots IIRC.. (Maybe very crude stickmen.) IIRC there were other more sophisticated baseball games for the 2600, but the simpler one was more fun. (I even brought it to college in the early 90s to play with my roommate.)

Stop making remakes (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 years ago | (#27595279)

A remake...of a 21-year-old game? Come on. Get some new ideas, for chrissake. The current crop of game-playing kids wasn't even born then, how could there be any demand for a remake? Oh, but I know - there are no new ideas, and instead it's all rewarmed crap from an earlier era. What's next, Bionic Commando: Electric Boogaloo?

Re:Stop making remakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595283)

Not to be an ass but you're expecting the company that made SF2 Ex plus Alpha Turbo Championship to come with new idea and stop using stupid names?

Re:Stop making remakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27595383)

So you prefer remakes of, say, last-year titles? Like NHL '09 as a remake of NHL '08... Yeah, that's a lot more interesting.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 years ago | (#27595467)

At least they got an idea "let's remake this", probably because it delivered something special, instead of not getting an idea and deliver more of the same old / what everyone else release.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27595591)

Well, swinging around on a grappling hook is always a good idea (but also easy to botch, especially in 3d where many games go with a lock-on system which completely undermines the whole make-your-own-stunt appeal of the rope) and I don't think they're actually keeping more ideas from BC than that, just using the name to get some extra hype because many game reviewers did play games on the NES.

Of course I'd rather see Ninja Five-O (GBA) get a follow up because ninjas > commandos but then again a 3d game would probably botch it with requiring lengthy combos to kill enemies instead of jumping past and killing them with one slash...

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Rurik (113882) | about 5 years ago | (#27595647)

And what is YOUR idea? It's easy to tell someone to come up with something original, but you give it a shot. What is a brand new idea that no one has ever done, that would be good as a video game and sell a million copies?

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 years ago | (#27595687)

Of COURSE a remake, the more ancient the game the better. Hell, you can even remake all the crappy games of the time. Nobody is going to remember it and will laud you for your fresh and new idea.

'scuse me while I write a remake of Pong.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27597179)

'scuse me while I write a remake of Pong.

That's been done so often... I'd point at Bit.Trip Beat but taking that as the latest example would run the risk of there being about 100 other remakes being released between BTB's release and now.

Anyway, some games could really use remakes to remove the bad designs stemming from a period where people simply didn't know better. Take Zelda 2: Link's Adventure. The game is loved by some, considered terrible by others. It could be greatly improved by altering some key design parts (like the lives system and being forced to start back at the temple or whatever that is every single time you run out of lives). Look at Metroid, the first game pretty much sucked, Zero Mission was a massive improvement despite falling short of Super Metroid in level design. Castlevania 2 could similarily get some improvements in a remake considering how far the Cv games have come since then. Of course it only really makes sense to remake a game when you have actual ideas for improving it instead of merely replacing the graphics with newer ones (take the GBA version of SMB2 and 3, having all of the games for the price of one in All Stars was the point of that remake, not the improved graphics).

Doesn't look like the retail BC game will really be much like the original and they've already released a remake with better graphics and the same gameplay on the download services. A well done grappling hook in a 3d platformer would be a novelty though, all those ever seem to manage is grapple points you can lock onto and I think the grapples in the old FPS CTF mods didn't allow swinging.

Re:Stop making remakes (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 5 years ago | (#27595771)

Actually Bionic Commando wasn't crap - it was a tour-de force of its day. If anything, because so few kids today got to play it, it's a perfect opportunity to bring that fun to new gamers. BC: Rearmed was exactly that, leveraged well.

I was an original BC player and Rearmed rocked my world, even after having played through it again on Rocknes merely a month beforehand. If you didn't enjoy BC the original maybe it's not for you, but give it a chance and perhaps you'll find something that rocks your world too?

Games are like dames. Some are cheap and you get what you pay for; some look pretty but it's just cosmetics; and some are classy and only get better with age and experience.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27596293)

The current crop of game-playing kids wasn't even born then, imagine the demand for a remake with this fresh audience.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | about 5 years ago | (#27596663)

A remake...of a 21-year-old game? Come on. Get some new ideas, for chrissake. The current crop of game-playing kids wasn't even born then, how could there be any demand for a remake?

You may not be aware of it, but video games are no longer solely the domain of unpopular 12-year-old boys. A lot of those boys have grown up, are in their 20s and 30s now, and still play. And they have a good amount of disposable income available for the hobby, which both Sony and Microsoft have used to their advantage. You would not have seen anybody foolish enough to offer a mainstream console with a $600 price tag in the late 1980s.

Some of those bys even have girlfriends, spouses and children now, who also enjoy gaming, which is one reason for Nintendo's continuing success.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#27597601)

No, they waited 10 more years to release the NeoGeo, which was God knows how much in today's inflation-money.

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

sammy baby (14909) | about 5 years ago | (#27597313)

What's next, Bionic Commando: Electric Boogaloo?

Son of Bionic Commando.
Bride of Bionic Commando.
I Was a Teenage Bionic Commando.

(You can do it too, kids!)

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#27598667)

(You can do it too, kids!)

Bionic Commando Commando... wait...

Re:Stop making remakes (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | about 5 years ago | (#27604925)

Bionic Commando Commando... wait...

Yeah! It's the Six Million Dollar Man, but with the additional challenge of chafing.

Played it -- good update for the game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27596541)

This year at SXSW in Austin, Alienware(Dell) was running some game tournaments, and one of the games was Bionic Commando. In the multiplayer version they let us play, the characters had bright, solid colored suits that made people very easy to see and tell apart. The games were fast paced, and being able to climb to the top of a tower while shooting people made the game interesting.

And also, the zip-kick is pretty cool. And in the multiplayer games, you got a higher score for killing the opponent with more style! Zip-kick death was +Style and shooting someone in the air was +style, etc...

Hmm... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 5 years ago | (#27596687)

...the arbitrarily placed borders blocking you from exploring further places combined with the targeting system looks a lot like Enter the Matrix.

NES version? Boo! (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 5 years ago | (#27596989)

I've played both the NES version and the C64 port of the coin-op and I have to say the NES version, while being good enough fun, has too much back-and-forth in that very 80s console platform adventure way. The coin-op was a classic platform run-and-gun with a quite simple but very flexible control system. If you want retro, go back to the source!

Re:NES version? Boo! (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 5 years ago | (#27599891)

You think the arcade version of Bionic Commando was better than the NES version? I've played through both and I have to tell you, you're not only wrong, you're fucking crazy. Do you think the NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was better?

Capcom's doing this? Oh christ no. (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | about 5 years ago | (#27597553)

I assume that since Capcom's responsible for this game key features which are included on the game disk will only be unlocked after I pay them extra for it.

Re:Capcom's doing this? Oh christ no. (1)

Verteiron (224042) | about 5 years ago | (#27598683)

And the main character will open his mouth when he jumps, like he's screaming.

Oh wait, the Bionic Commando dude can't jump. Well, that's one worry less!

Namco, EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27599015)

Namco are just as bad, and EA have planned DLC that fixes pacing and difficulty issues in the game, but they charge you for it, and it launches at the same time as the game's release.

Cool! An Anne Hathaway/Sela Ward love scene! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 years ago | (#27599729)

> There are also challenges that unlock upgrades for Nathan. These could be as simple as
> doing five zip kicks or as complex as killing a specific enemy with a specific move.
> It's a great way to add depth to the game and encourage the player to use all of
> the moves available to them.

No it isn't. Good game design is a great way to get people to use all the available movies: Because they are fun and spectacular to do, and don't feel gimped.

"Rewards" is a piss-poor way to encourage the player to use all the available moves. I am reminded of "combos" from, among many other games, the City of Heroes new melee class of dual blade wielding. You get combo rewards of additional effects or damage for using what are, in reality, very pathetic moves you'd never otherwise use.

This forces you to make combos the game designers want you to do, which is the exact opposite of a free-form combat character, which is exactly what the CoH Scrapper class is. No more clever "attack chains" -- some doof who knows less about the fun of a scrapper has pre-designed some for you, so you can play your own style, and be gimped, or play their style, and be fun-gimped.

*Sigh* Who puts people in charge of these game designs?

I take this bazooka. Go Get Him! (1)

JJRRutgers (595466) | about 5 years ago | (#27600643)

Some of the best unintended video game translation comedy this side of All You Base came from this game. Also the fact that Nintendo censored the Nazi element of the game, yet forgot to eliminate the image of Hitler from it.

Crapcom promotes self censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27603605)

Crapcom's lame attempt to legitimize the atrocious Nintendo video game censorships by removing Nazi references in this sequel is a blatant insult to the gamers and the industry! BOYCOTT CRAPCOM NOW!!!

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