The Capcom E3 2014 Round-up

After a mighty 2013 that gave us Remember Me, Ducktales: Remastered, DmC: Devil May Cry and the long-awaited return of the Ace Attorney series, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Capcom were almost spoiling us [Nope. If there's no Ferrero Rocher there's no spoiling - Ed.]. With such a strong line-up last year, the company is no doubt keen to keep the momentum moving forward. At this year’s E3, I was able to check out some of their biggest titles due to be released over the next twelve months and, while there’s nothing as ground-breaking as last time around, it’s still looking to be a solid future for Capcom.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – 3DS, Q1 2015
We may spend a lot of time in our youth dreaming of having an amazing job, but we’d probably be surprised by how mundane and ‘normal’ it eventually becomes. You might spend all your time wishing you could be an F1 driver, only to spend a tiring amount of time in the simulators and training rather than actually racing.

On the other hand, when I played Monster Hunter 3, I did actually spend the majority of my time actually being a hunter of monsters, but I never found myself truly getting into it. I wanted to love the grand scale of each land, the depth of the customisation and the ability to change your fighting style as you see fit, rather than get stuck with the same class throughout. In the end, I found myself turned off by the incredibly repetitive gameplay that saw me spending over half an hour trying in vain to kill the same bloody creatures again and again. Instead of feeling like a mighty hunter, I felt like I would have had the same success if I’d been equipped with a feather duster.

However, I was keen to check out Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, eager to see what it had to offer and whether I’d manage to get on more easily with it. While that wasn’t entirely the case, I’m confident that it will have more than enough content and additions to appeal to fans of the series. For one, all of the previous fighting and weapon types are still present, along with two new ones in the form of an Insect Glaive and the Charge Blade, the latter of which can swap between either a sword and shield combo or one larger, two-handed weapon.

Sticking with the familiar dual-blade set-up, the game then charged me with taking down a Great Jaggi – an early ‘boss’ monster that will be more than familiar to those who are well-acquainted with the series. As the battle began, I found myself joined on my adventure by two cat companions, who were more than happy to keep shouting, taunting and generally making their presence felt. Initially, I was worried that they’d end up being a bit useless and that I’d have to take more care of them than I would actually fighting, but this didn’t turn out to be the case. Instead, I found that they did a great job of focusing on the smaller Jaggis circling the battlefield, allowing me to concentrate on taking down my target.

As the battle wore on, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new ability that will help make fights a lot more dynamic and strategic, as performing a jumping attack will sometimes allow you to climb onto the monster’s back and deliver some more devastating blows until it eventually manages to throw you off. Considering that one of my biggest complaints about the previous game was that the strategy often just descended into tapping the attack button until your thumbs were sore, the addition of new attacks and tactics is more than welcome.

While some of the new additions and developments will be ideal for fans of the series, they might not do too much to keep you hooked if you were on the fence after the previous games. Most of the issues that plagued the franchise are still here, but they’re just slightly less prevalent than they were before. Fighting a ‘boss’ monster is the same as it was before: attack it for ages, kill the minions, chase after it whenever it inevitably decides to travel to a different part of the map, then repeat the cycle until it either falls asleep (in which case, attack it and repeat the cycle) or it dies.

It may just be the case that, even with these changes and new features, including online multiplayer for the 3DS, Monster Hunter still isn’t one for me. There’s plenty to appeal to those who’ve invested countless hours in becoming a supreme warrior, and this is almost certainly going to be a must-have for monster hunting aficionados and those who are curious about getting into the series. However, if you were left cold by previous entries in the franchise, then this will probably be as likely to convince you otherwise as you are to ever visit space.

Ace Attorney Trilogy – 3DS, Q4 2014
I’m a sucker for the Ace Attorney series. I’m one of ‘those’ people who got so into the first instalment on the DS that I imported every subsequent entry from America just so I could get my hands on them ever so slightly faster. I’m also the type of person who, upon learning I’d be seeing Dual Destinies at last year’s E3, replayed the first three Phoenix Wright games all over again, just so I’d be marginally more au fait with the lawyer’s exploits before getting my grubby mitts on his new adventure.

For anyone whose memories of the original trilogy are a bit foggy, or for those who’ve never been acquainted with Mr Wright and his flukey court adventures, there’s the upcoming Ace Attorney Trilogy, which will bring the original Ace Attorney, Justice For All, and Trials and Tribulations to your 3DS in one neat and tidy package. Rather than just copy and paste each game into one final downloadable product, however, Capcom have brought some upgrades to the fray. For one, every instalment in the trilogy not only comes with the full English translation, but the full, original Japanese script is available for players to choose from as well. At the very least, you could use it to learn enough of the language to justify porting Ace Attorney Investigations 2, since it’s still (at this time) without a Western release.

There’s also been a graphical overhaul, with most of the characters and backgrounds having been re-drawn. It’s not a move that will be to everyone’s taste as, while some of the characters’ models have been improved, some haven’t exactly been changed for the better. It’s a bit of a shame, as there were never any moments where the original releases looked ‘ugly’, but some of the new designs could certainly be considered as such.

On the plus side, it’s possible to play through all three titles from the beginning – you won’t be locked off from attempting Trials and Tribulations just because you’ve not completed Justice For All yet. Considering that the trilogy will be released on the eShop for the same price as Dual Destinies, it’s an offer you’d be crazy to miss if, for some reason, you have not yet sampled any of Phoenix’s previous adventures.

Dead Rising 3 – PC, Summer 2014
When Microsoft were desperately trying to convince people to buy an Xbox One at last year’s E3, one of their smartest moves was to unveil a new Dead Rising title that would be exclusive to the platform. Considering that the first in the series was enough to convince people to splurge out on a 360 back in the day (including our resident swearist, Richie), Microsoft were evidently hoping that lightning would strike twice, only to show us a trailer that hid away most of the zany moments the franchise is known for and, instead, gave us something dark, gritty and far more serious than we’d expected.

In the end, it turned out to be far more insane and colourful than the trailers let on, but it was hardly the greatest first impression. However, those who gave Dead Rising 3 (or the Xbox One in general) a miss now have a second chance to catch up with it, thanks to its upcoming PC port. With it comes the potential to have the game running in 1080p, something that wasn’t actually available for the Xbox One version.

However, outside the new-found ability to up-scale the resolution and fine-tune the graphics so that it looks a bit prettier than it did on the consoles, there’s not too much else to entice you over its console counterpart. For one, as there’s no Kinect you’re no longer able to use voice commands in order to call over or distract zombies. Despite the ability to use headsets and microphones on the PC, I was told by one of the developers that this was a feature only available on the Xbox One. Similarly, there will also be no Smartglass functionality or ability to link it to your smartphone, and it was intimated that there wouldn’t be an alternative system in place to allow you to use those feature-specific weapons or abilities.

When I asked if there’d be any new missions, costumes, or weapons to compensate for the missing features, or to generally entice players, I was told that this wouldn’t really be the case. Instead, the focus is on making sure that the game runs smoothly and perfectly on the PC, with all previous DLC intact, rather than providing new content. Essentially, if you just want to play Dead Rising 3 but you don’t want to have to shell out for an Xbox One, especially, then this is your best option. However, that probably isn’t the case if you want to play a product that’s more ‘complete’, has more features that take advantage of the hardware at the cost of a slightly lower resolution.

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