Thanks in part to Comic-Con in San Diego, which officially starts today (Thursday, June 21, 2011), I've got screenshots and some small news items to share. (I just wish I was actually at Comic-Con, instead of enduring our lovely Midwest heat wave, but hey, I can't have everything.)
Get in the scrum
Publisher 505 Games wants all the fans eagerly awaiting "Rugby World Cup 2011" to know they're releasing a demo in early August. The demo doesn't exactly offer a plethora of choices though; it features only two teams — England vs. South Africa — in a match set in Auckland. The demo is scheduled for release on Xbox Live on Aug. 2 and PSN on Aug. 3.
The full version of the game is set for release Aug. 26. In the game, "players will be challenged to pick from the 20 participating teams and attempt to lead their team through the pool phase and progress to the Final with the opportunity to lift the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup."
"National rivalries, venues and player personalities are perfectly captured in game as participants will fight for the pride of their nation in either solo play or with up to three other players in local multiplayer matches. For the first time, HB Studios will also give players the chance to fight for the glory of their country online by challenging other players to one-on-one matches on Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network and PlayStation®Network." Yeah, that's a lot of PR speak.
I'm not too terribly familiar with the "Rugby World Cup" series, so don't consider this a recommendation. Download the demo and decide for yourself if you like it.
Say it isn't so, Sega
While at the last E3 in Los Angeles, I had several opportunities to play the "Sonic Generations" demo.
Generally speaking, I liked what I saw. Both the side-scrolling classic mode and the newer 3-D viewpoint mode somehow manage to hearken back to the original game I enjoyed so much on the Sega Genesis. It feels like someone somehow realized that a "Sonic" game shouldn't be solely about speed; a nonlinear level design is also an important element.
The weird sorts of combat that became an emphasis is some "Sonic" titles? Most of that needs to go in the dustbin.
And so does the character Tails. Unfortunately, despite my dislike for the chipper little freak, they're including him in "Sonic Generations," it was announced Wednesday. They sent me some character renders to prove it.
OK, I admit my hatred for Tails isn't really rational. But it's instinctual. To me, a "Sonic" game needs only two characters with personalities: Sonic and Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman if you prefer.) Can the rest.
(Right now, one of my coworkers is telling me off for not liking Tails. "Tails is my boy," he says. Pft. Whatever.)
You can find some screenshots from the game at the end of this article.
Somebody wake up Hicks
In other Sega news, "Aliens: Infestation" for Nintendo DS will be coming out in September.
And, yes, the Aliens in the title are the buggers that made life interesting for Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver in several movies).
"Players will be able to recruit and play as 19 different marines, each with their own unique dialogue, and explore iconic environments, including the Sulaco, the Derelict ship and LV-426," according to the press release. "'Aliens: Infestation' is an action-heavy side-scrolling exploration game and will be part of the Aliens expanded universe."
Development is being handled by WayForward, which did the recent Wii remake of "A Boy and His Blob," and Gearbox Software, which has some decent games to its credit, the recent "Duke Nukem Forever" not among them.
More PR speak: The game "will pit players against the overwhelming Xenomorph hive using a vast selection of iconic weapons and tools from the series. Featuring character designs by popular comic artist Chris Bachalo and equipped with an upgrade and collectibles system, Aliens: Infestation will allow players to explore large-scale versions of some of the most fan-beloved environments of the iconic films."
They just want to pump ... you up
Majesco Entertainment announced Wednesday that "Jillian Michaels' Fitness Adventure" is coming exclusively to Microsoft's Kinect this fall.
I'm just going to copy from the press release for most of the rest of this news:
"Get ready to use your entire body this time as players join Jillian on an interactive adventure, which of course is also filled with Jillian’s trademark intensity! Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Adventure, the latest iteration of the Jillian Michaels franchise, takes your fitness routine beyond a basic workout and turns it into a real adventure through a mission-based, thrill-seeking journey set in a lush jungle temple environment. The high-energy and fully customizable motion-based experience offers a results-oriented personal training experience that you can expect from teaming up with Jillian to achieve your fitness goals."
"Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Adventure features include:
As you can probably tell from the screenshot, it looks like Jillian wants to be "Tomb Raider's" Lara Croft in this game outing. Fine by me.
A whole lot of Capcom going on
Capcom made a few announcements Tuesday and Wednesday about quite a few games. For instance, they've released a new video detailing the combat system in "Asura's Wrath." Unfortunately, I can't post video here. But I can provide links, so here you go: click here.
They've also released a look at one of the many giant creatures we'll fight in "Dragon's Dogma": the golem, a creature that apparently can fire a giant laser beam. What, being a giant made of rock wasn't good enough?
I played the "Dragon's Dogma" demo at E3, and I hate to say, even though it took me a while to play through, it didn't make much of an impression amid all the other titles there. I do remember my character getting knocked down a lot, though. And the title has always amused me. What kind of dogma does a dragon espouse?
In zombie-related news, the winning weapon in the Tape It or Die contest has been announced. It's the "electric crusher," a combination of a sledge hammer and battery pack, and you can expect to wield it as photographer Frank West in "Dead Rising 2: Off the Record." That will be released for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on Oct. 11, 2011, in North America. (Trailer here)
Now, Capcom has had a bad habit lately of releasing a fighting game, then releasing improved versions of the game a few months later. Apparently "Marvel vs. Capcom 3" will not be an exception to this rule, because they've just announced "Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3." In addition to adding stages and modes, they're also adding 12 characters, including Ghost Rider and Hawkeye on the Marvel side, and Strider and Firebrand from Capcom.
As far as I can tell, the only new mode they've announced so far is Spectator Mode, which allows you to watch other players matches online. That'll actually be a big improvement, if you don't have to twiddle your thumbs in a multiplayer lobby until it's your turn to fight.
Finally, "Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition" — yes, the fighting game — will be available for download on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade on Aug. 23.
Right, those Sonic screens (and no, I don't know anything about the robo-Sonic):