Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.
The stories for this week:
- Mega Man 10 Gets Staggered Release Across Platforms
- Microsoft's X10 Brings Lots of News
- Activision Swings the Axe: Luxoflux Shuttered, Other Studios Slashed
- Wrong About BioShock 2, Not Sure on Dante’s Inferno Yet
- Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Only Notable Release This Week
Mega Man 10 Gets Staggered Release Across Platforms
Capcom announced the release dates for Mega Man 10 and they are staggered throughout March. First up is the WiiWare version on March 1st. Then comes the PSN version on March 11th. Finally XBLA gets it on March 31st. Kind of sucks for people that only have a 360, but really you should be playing this game on WiiWare if you have a Wii. It was the best version of Mega Man 9 when it came out.
Source: Colony of Gamers
Microsoft's X10 Brings Lots of News
Lots of news coming out of Microsoft’s X10 this week in San Francisco. First up is that Alan Wake, a game I’ve been highly anticipating, is going to be released on May 18th in North America and will be Xbox 360 only with no PC release in sight. There will be a limited edition release with some nice stuff in it along with some pre-order bonuses.
Next up is that the Halo: Reach beta will begin on May 3rd. Remember, if you have a copy of Halo 3: ODST then you have the ability to get in on the beta. Microsoft and Bungie are promising it will be a different multiplayer experience than previously seen in Halo.
Fable III had its first showing as well. You play as the Fable II protagonist’s son or daughter and you are able to transfer data from that game into the new one. Peter Molyneaux has said that the ramifications of your Fable II actions will only be minor and not necessarily major like the Mass Effect 2 experience. You build yourself up and become king or queen of Albion. The game seems to be more geared toward how to live life as a king. Molyneaux said earlier this week we would be “pissed off” at the game, but it seems the points of contention are that orbs are no longer around and the health bar is gone completely. The game is scheduled for a holiday release. I guess the biggest surprise for me is that Natal support was not announced because there is supposedly a major game that will have Natal support in it this winter.
The other news at X10 came from 3rd parties. Capcom announced that Lost Planet 2 would be released on May 18th (same day as Alan Wake) and that Dead Rising 2 would be released on August 31st in North America. They also announced that Dead Rising 2 would see an Xbox 360 only release called Dead Rising: Case Zero which will bridge the two games together. This game will be released on supposedly XBLA before the release of the new game. Valve was there as well to talk about the DLC coming to the Left 4 Dead franchise. Only other news of note was that Ubisoft reiterated the release of Splinter Cell: Conviction on April 13th and letting the press play the updated demo.
All in all this is looking like a strong year for Microsoft from a first-party perspective after a relatively weak 2009 in that regard.
Source: Colony of Gamers
Activision Swings the Axe: Luxoflux Shuttered, Other Studios Slashed
Proving that Electronic Arts isn’t the only place cutting a good amount of staff, Activision has now joined the party. First off they closed Luxoflux, makers of games like Kung Fu Panda and last year’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. They are probably best known for creating Vigilante 8 and the True Crime series. No number on layoffs or if people will be relocated to another studio in that case.
Along with this they also laid off some people at both Neversoft (Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk before the recent RIDE game) and Radical Entertainment, creators of last year’s Prototype. The latter is not a huge surprise given that Prototype probably sold less than expected. The former may not be surprising either since Activision is paring back on the Guitar Hero releases by finally getting some common sense.
I hope those laid off find jobs soon as these types of stories are always sad.
Wrong About BioShock 2, Not Sure on Dante’s Inferno Yet
I often take pride in my ability to perceive how good or bad a major game is before it comes out. I’ve rarely played a game at events prior to releases outside of E3, so this is all gut instinct most of the time. In the past weeks I’ve talked about how I had major red flags with BioShock 2 given the number of developers tied to the single-player experience as well as the fact that Ken Levine is not overseeing this game, the man that basically created the original. Well, looking at reviews (I haven’t played the game yet and have someone else at Colony of Gamers reviewing it) it is looking like I was wrong about the red flags. Although the game doesn’t necessarily reach the heights of the first one, it is sounding rather good and one I’ll have to pick up along the way.
Dante’s Inferno on the other hand I have been playing and will hopefully have a review over at CoG early next week. I haven’t played a whole lot and the game certainly steals liberally from the God of War series, but so far the game isn’t a bad one. My one complaint would be the camera work because I really wish I could swing it around myself instead of the game being the decider on camera angle. Yes, it is more God of War-like, but those games are better at the camera perspective than this has been so far. From the review numbers I’ve seen I’m finding my colleagues aren’t liking the game very much, but I wonder if they’re leaning too heavily on the blatant God of War rip-off attempt instead of seeing that stealing the mechanics from that game may not be such a bad thing.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth Only Notable Release This Week
Another quiet release week coming up. Although Aliens vs. Predator comes out this week, early word is that the game is very bad. So, that leaves Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth on DS as the only notable release. This is another game in the Phoenix Wright line, this time you take control of Miles Edgeworth, Phoenix’s major opposing counsel in the previous games. This game will have more crime scene investigation parts than previous games. I personally love these games and can’t wait to pick this up at some point.