I agree with Matt when he says Nintendo's franchise updates have been ahead of the curve. As noted, keeping the good parts and reinventing what doesn't work really is the "secret" to making it happen. Nintendo's not the only company to successfully pull off revamping a classic, but they certainly have a higher rate of success than most. However, I fully expected their winning streak to end in a big way when it came to Metroid.
Game Description:Metroid has been a fan favorite since it first debuted on the NES in 1987, and it's only gotten better with each installment. Now everyone's favorite heroine, Samus Aran, is back for her fourth expedition. Packed to the gills with exploration, creative power-ups, and wicked enemies, Metroid Prime is a first-person adventure worthy of the Metroid stamp.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how Nintendo updates their classic series into 3D. We agreed that games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are light-years beyond most other games in terms of how well they are able to retain the ambiance and personality of their 2D predecessors while providing a radically new gaming experience.
My overall reaction to Sly Cooper was almost the same as James, the difference being that I enjoyed the game just a bit more than he did. Sly Cooper certainly isn't the most original or innovative platformer to come along in recent memory, but it's one of the few titles that really stand out in my mind. In keeping with the 'thieving' theme, the developers at Sucker Punch went about 'stealing' all sorts of good ideas from Metal Gear Solid and infused them into one of the most charming new platformers to come out this year.
Despite managing to avoid the most obvious traps of the younger sibling relationship, however, Metroid Fusion is still at heart a little sister, and always will be for one reason: it is simply nothing revolutionary.
While I didn't grow up in a culture like Ryo's (or Gene's), I have lived in places with many similarities. I can definitely relate to elements in the game that are signatures of non-Western cultures, and appreciate their genuineness. Gene's comment stating "This is a foreign game with foreign concepts" has legitimacy and weight, and it would be wise to keep this in mind before entering the world of Shenmue II.
I grew up in a collectivist society, which stresses community effort and family over the dog-eat-dog individualist philosophy. Both terms are extremely generalized and say little about each culture, but there are subtle things that are the key in determining which is which. I never had much use for directions or street names. Growing up on the small island of Guam, directions were given by indicating landmarks of everyday things, like a tree, blue trimmings on a house or strange looking stones. We had street names, just like they do in Shenmue and its Xbox sequel, but apparently the entire community found that they were more of an inconvenience.
Game Description: Shenmue II is an epic adventure with all the elements of a great movie—drama, mystery, suspense, and action—and offers a unique gameplay experience that seamlessly blends elements of action, adventure, fighting, and role-playing games. In Shenmue II, players assume the role of Ryo Hazuki, a young man dedicated to the task of tracking his father's murderer and unlocking the mysteries of the Phoenix Mirror. Shenmue II continues where Shenmue left off and brings Ryo to Hong Kong with many questions still unanswered as he follows the trail of Lan Di, the man who killed his father.
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