Friday, June 16, 2017

The Post-E3 News Grab Bag

Between E3 and a few unrelated surprises, there's way, waaaay too much stuff to report this week. I'll do my best, though.

Keith, shown with his famous progeny.
(image from NeoGAF)
* Keith Robinson, the founder of Intellivision Productions, recently died after a protracted battle with heart disease. I'm not going to pretend that I knew the guy personally, but what I can tell you is that he was deeply appreciated by everyone who met him, typically at classic game conventions where he was treated like a superstar. After all, he was the guy who kept the Intellivision brand alive long after the system left store shelves. Robinson was also a cartoonist, with the characters from his long-running Making It series appearing in Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama for the Sega Genesis. You'll find more about Keith in this heartfelt obituary on The Retroist.

* Konami's back to its cartoonish supervillain ways, making life miserable for former employees trying to land jobs with other game developers. It's gone so far as to use its connections in the health care industry to deny insurance to members of Kojima Productions, founded by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. You'd think that the future job prospects of Konami's former game designers wouldn't matter all that much to a company which has distanced itself from the video game industry. Of course, you'd be giving too much credit to Konami CEO and fetid pile of human garbage Kagemasu Kozuki, whose obsessive need to settle old scores is more important than his company's already damaged reputation, or a sense of fair play, or basic decency...

* Lots of nifty stuff was announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year, including an Atari 2600 clone with HDMI output, two sequels to the long-neglected Metroid series, and a remake of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga with bonus content. The new Metroid game for the 3DS has got my attention, because it gives bounty hunter Samus Aran the ability to swat nearby enemies with her gun arm, complete with a dramatic slow motion shot of the impact. I never thought melee attacks would make much sense in a Metroid game, but early footage of Samus Returns suggests that it will add both depth and excitement to the combat.

Inexplicably, Iron Man now sounds like
comedian Greg Proops.
(image from PvP Live)
* I played the demo of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, and I'm cautiously optimistic. The series has returned to the two punches/two kicks control scheme of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which in my opinion is a big improvement over the three ambiguous attacks used in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The graphics are also sharp and vivid, demonstrating a marked improvement over UMvC3. It's still got a ways to go before its visuals can measure up to NetherRealm's Injustice 2, but at least the contrast is higher, helping the characters stand out better against the backgrounds. On the down side, the character dialog is, to put it kindly, horrendous, and I'm not really grooving with the return of the Infinity Stones, first introduced in Marvel Super Heroes over twenty years ago. Does anyone use these? Did anyone ask for these? My best guess is that they're here to promote Marvel's upcoming superhero films, so I guess you're stuck with them whether you want them or not. Same goes for Sigma, who's merged with Marvel nemesis Ultron to become twice the overpowered douchebag he was in the past.

* On a personal note, that joystick I was making works now! I'll discuss that in detail in a future post, but I've been pretty happy with it now that I've got bolts which tightly hold the stick in place. I still need to find a way to make this controller more presentable, though, because in its current condition this thing is just shy of fugly. More news as it happens, folks.

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