Monday, June 27, 2011

Third Rate Game Play: Rayman 3D

Game: Rayman 3D

System: Nintendo 3DS

Developer: Ubisoft Casablanca
(Rabbids DS, Prince of Persia DS)

Publisher: Ubisoft

Player: Alex

Experience: Completed Game

Ubisoft is synonymous with a number of franchises today, including Assassin’s Creed and the Ghost Recon series. However, back in the late 1990s, these franchises were either nonexistent or were still growing in scope. What truly defined Ubisoft back then was one of the most highly-regarded platforming adventures of its time: Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Unfortunately, it would also become one of the most ported game in Ubisoft’s history.

Rayman was the creation of Game Designer Michel Ancel, who had previously worked on The Intruder, Pick ‘n Pile, and Brain Blaster in programming and art. Rayman, his directorial debut, was originally in development for Super Nintendo, but the project shifted to the Atari Jaguar after the SNES CD-ROM addition was cancelled. The original sidescrolling adventure would be released on Playstation, Sega Saturn, and PC as Rayman Gold, Rayman Forever, and Rayman Collector (a French-only special edition). Later, Rayman was released on Game Boy Advance (as Rayman Advance), PSN, and most recently for DSiWare.

The sequel, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, is much more well known and lauded than its predecessor, and it, too, has been ported consistently over time with little upgrades to each rendition. Rayman 2 originally released on PC and Nintendo 64, and shortly thereafter saw releases on Dreamcast, PlayStation, PlayStation 2 (as Rayman 2: Revolution), Nintendo DS (as Rayman DS), and finally on iOS and PSN. The Nintendo 3DS rendition would be the game’s ninth release in just over a decade.

Before Rayman 3D was released, Rayman had continued with Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, which saw releases on GameCube, PlayStation 2 Xbox, PC, and Mac, but Ancel left part-way to focus on Beyond Good & Evil. Following the sales failure of BG&E, Ancel returned to Rayman to create Rayman 4, which involved a race of underground rabbits hellbent on taking over the world. This Wii adventure game turned into a mini-game collection known as Rayman: Raving Rabbids. Since then, the Rabbids series has replaced Rayman in importance to Ubisoft, along with Assassin’s Creed and the Tom Clancy line of games.

The developer of Rayman 3D is Ubisoft Casablanca, whose game portfolio has been, for the most part, handheld-related. The company developed Nintendo DS versions of Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Rabbids TV Party, and both Nintendo DS Prince of Persia games, Prince of Persia: The Fallen King and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. Rayman 3D is the developer’s first Nintendo 3DS title.

"Rayman, one of Ubisoft's most iconic and beloved characters, is back to engage audiences in the thrilling 3D world of Rayman 3D. An adaptation of the classic Dreamcast game Rayman 2, Rayman 3D is a single player Action-Adventure game that blends classic Rayman gameplay with the groundbreaking features of the Nintendo 3DS/ Features include: adjustable 3D effects via the 3DS' 3D slider, improved graphics and analog controls, a variety of possible character movements, unlockables and more."
"Rayman 3D isn't a simple port - we have improved the experience by adjusting the difficulty curve and the camera angles in the game. We also improved the game system and controls to make the game more accessible for all players. We polished the characters and the level's visuals thanks to the capabilities of the console. Finally, we used stereoscopy to create more immersion so that the player really has the feeling that he or she is diving into Rayman's universe.”
-Abderrazzak Elkaouni, Producer, Ubisoft Casablanca

As stated above, Rayman 3D is the 3DS version of the classic game Rayman 2: The Great Escape. In Rayman 3D, the Glade of Dreams has been taken over by Admiral Razorbeard, and in a move to complete their takeover, the evil robot army kidnaps Rayman and removes his powers. Thankfully, his friend Globox comes to save him, and once he breaks free, Rayman learns that in order to defeat Razorbeard, he will need to obtain the four magical masks of the land to awaken Polokus and regain his full powers.

Rayman 3D is a third-person platform adventure title through mostly-linear levels during which Rayman fights against Robo Pirates and solves platforming puzzles. Throughout the adventure, Rayman collects Yellow Lums, which provide great knowledge of the world to him and allows him to advance through particular world gates within the game. Rayman can turn his head into a helicopter to cross gaps and get carried through wind currents, and he can also use his energy shots to swing on Ring Lums and sail through the air. Over time, Rayman also rides on giant fruits across lava flows and on the backs of legged bombs. This is no ordinary adventure, to be sure!

The only major addition to the game is the enhanced 3D visuals. The game is a port of the Dreamcast game, for the most part, without many actual game additions of note.

Rayman 3D released with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, but despite the close proximity to this article, Ubisoft Casablanca already released a second title for the device since then. The game, Rabbids Travel in Time 3D, is a side-scrolling platformer for the 3DS which launched April 2011. It can be assumed that any Rayman-related game in development for Nintendo 3DS at the moment is being developed by Ubisoft Casablanca, but current games in development are unknown.

As for the Rayman series in general, creator Michel Ancel is currently working on the next big adventure for Rayman using the new Ubi-Arts engine. Entitled Rayman Origins, this adventure was originally a downloadable, episodic adventure for XBLA and PSN, but now the artistic sidescrolling multi-player game is coming to all consoles and handhelds later this year are a full-retail game. Ancel is also producing a much-anticipated Beyond Good & Evil 2, which is expected to debut on the next generation of consoles.

Ubisoft as of now has continued to release content on all consoles and handhelds. It has plenty of games in development across several franchises. To list them all here would be frivolous, as so many genres and development companies are under the Ubisoft name. The publisher’s biggest games coming out since Rayman 3D include the 3DS game Cubic Ninja and the Kinect Rez-successor Child of Eden. Games coming soon from Ubisoft include Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Driver: San Francisco.

Debuting Third Rate Game Play’s 3DS videos, Alex decides to show off a number of levels spanning the game’s adventure. The game’s introduction levels start off the video, but then a completed gamesave is used to explore later levels.

Levels demonstrated include The Cave of Bad Dreams, The Sanctuary of Water and Ice, and The Prison Ship. A quick look is given toward the game’s Bonus Levels amid the exploration of these already-completed levels.

How does the game look, sans 3D? Find out by watching the video!

Having not completed Rayman 2 before, finishing the game was a great experience for me. However, I could tell that this version of the game is not the best version. The game is full of graphical glitches, and the framerate is completely uneven, which is a shame as it looks really good at particular instances. The music is of higher-quality, but at the same time, sound effects seem to be low and occasionally have no volume, despite no attempt to mute them. Overall, Rayman 2 is a great game, but Rayman 3D is probably too expensive for a somewhat-buggy port from a game now over a decade old.

As for the recording, it was hard to set up the camera so that I could hold the system and not shift it around a lot. The camera only showed the top screen, as the bottom screen was completely stone-faced the whole time. At times, Tony made sure I readjusted the system to fit the camera’s view as well as possible. However, any problems with angles would be corrected in post-production. I would love a means to keep the system stuck in place, but for right now, the current setup is sound.

Overall, it was a good introduction using our handheld recording method, even if it does not show our faces and takes a lot of setup time to get right. As for the game, it is a standard mediocre port of an otherwise great game.

3RM Says: MMff! Good thing this Rayman guy doesn't have limbs, or else
they'd all be broken! Medic!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

StreetPass Princeton's 2nd Event!

StreetPass is a feature for the Nintendo 3DS which requires 3DS users to be within close proximity to other 3DSs in order to gather new content and help complete a number of games in the 3DS's built-in software. Over the last few months, a myriad of StreetPass groups have been created for 3DS fans to come together, experience StreetPassing, and have fun playing recent releases for the Nintendo 3DS.

StreetPass Princeton began its monthly gatherings last month, and then, the event focused on AR Cards, a QR Code Challenge, and a Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition mini-tournament. For the full write-up on that event, check it out here.

The new venue...

This second monthly gathering was different all around. Whereas last month took place at Princeton's Panera Bread, this month's event took place in the back of Quakerbridge Mall's Gamestop. Displays were pushed off to the sides, and a table was set up near all the attendees, complete with food for all, or at least most of the people there. We were told that hotdogs were available, but by the time we got there an hour later, all of them had been eaten. However, what we did get to eat was part of a large cake, complete with StreetPass Princeton's new logo!

The event's cake, beside StreetPass Princeton's new logo.

Around the store, people could see a number of black-and-white designs taped to displays and counters. These codes correspond with particular Pokemon which appear when using Pokedex 3D, which became freely available when the Nintendo eShop opened earlier this month. While there were no AR Cards or QR Codes for people to use, the Pokemon codes were welcome, even if there were a few which repeated themselves around the store. Attendees could also send other pokemon to each other using wireless connectivity.

I remember Snivy being a little bigger in the stats...

The main focus of the event was not Pokemon, nor was it the recently-released Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. The event's top priority was a Dead or Alive: Dimensions tournament, and for a $5 buy-in, players fought valiantly for Gamestop gift cards. In the end, Sou Sol was able to reign supreme as La Mariposa, but everyone else still had a good time. From fourth place, winners received $5, $25, $50, and finally $100 in Gamestop gift cards. Even if people lost, there was also a redemption tournament to keep people playing, so long as they kept away from the boss characters!

A few gamers playing Dead or Alive and chatting up games.

After the tournament was completed, StreetPass Princeton raffled off a handful of Dead or Alive character cards, but the biggest raffle-off was a commemorative Mario Galaxy coin, complete with a small certificate of authenticity.

StreetPass Princeton was not the only one giving away stuff at the event, either. NintendoWorldReport's Neal Ronaghan arrived with T-Shirts and copies of Papaya Studio's Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion, which he gave away with some trivia questions to some attendees at the show. He also initiated a few matches of the game through 3DS's Download Play, of which we took part. While Download Play consisted only of four characters and one level, it was enough to have a few fun matches while the Dead or Alive tournament concluded.

One aspect of last month's event remained the same: the musical choice. 2B A Master, a pokemon-focused music album, was still playing in the background, and occasionally StreetPass Princeton head Rob Oehlberg would start singing along, particularly with the PokeRap. The other attendees were perhaps not as enthusiastic about it, but the overarching attitude was pretty good, even as the show was heading toward the end.

The turnout was pretty good, considering how tight the location and how tournament-focused the event was. People from all ages and groups came to the event, whether they spoke with the rest of the attendees or not. We even got to see Jordan White from StreetPass NYC drop by before we had to leave. Overall, while there is room to improve and grow, it was still another successful event for StreetPass Princeton.

3DS owners young and old showed up and had a fun time.

Oehlberg told us that the event had just over forty people attend, and considering how cramped that Gamestop can be at times, that was quite a feat! There are plenty of interesting events coming up on the horizon for StreetPass Princeton, and he let us know what to expect. Next month's event is expected to come July 17th and take place back in the Princeton area. He said for us to plan for a barbeque at the park and to look out for zombies! There is something special coming soon for a later StreetPass event, but he told us to keep that secret.

In the meantime, here's hoping everyone enjoyed the event, and to those out there not near another StreetPass group, make your own! You never know what small community of gamers can arrive together with a common delight.

Hotdogs were available, but we could not prove it by the time we arrived!

A highlight for us: we found Victini, attached to Punch-Out!! for Wii.
Seems fitting, in a way.

StreetPass Princeton's Facebook:
StreetPass Princeton's Twitter:!/SPprinceton

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Game On: The Lost Episode (5.03)

Let us rewind a year and some change. The day was April 22nd, 2011, and Game On's new format was a success. Unfortunately, graduation and finals pounded on the team constantly at this point, and frankly, the workload outweighed the benefit to finishing the episode.

So, over a year after filming, we present, for historical sake, the partially-edited and organized draft of Game On Episode 5.03. The video contains completed skits and the bloopers and content in between them. Another short and random video was filmed immediately following the Game On shoot, but that will be shown in another video, due to its clear irrelevance.

What the episode was planned to have:

1) Game News: This was to include a clip of Captivate 2010, in which Marvel Vs Capcom 3 was announced. NPD Sales and Nintendo-related information was also conveyed. Ubisoft's removal of manuals also padded the news segment. The Captivate video was partially completed, but it was deleted when the episode was disbanded.

2) PAX East 2010: Hydro Thunder Hurricane. This was a gameplay clip of a single level playthrough while the developer from Vector Unit discussed the game concept to us. This video is complete and available:

3) Impressions: Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. We did not play the game enough to claim it as a review, but we did play it enough to at least give it some impressions and video footage. The footage was recorded, but glitches in the recording system made audio almost impossible to get. The actual text was written but not finalized.

4) Quick-Look: Afterburner Climax. A short five-minute playthrough of the XBLA trial. It was recorded and waited for the episode's completion.

5) PAX East 2010: Mommy's Best Games. An interview with Nathan Fouts about his current output and looks toward the future. Includes discussion on Weapon of Choice, 1Up Shooter, and Grapple Buggy. This was finished and released:

6) Review: Olu. This Xbox Live Indie Game was fully recorded and had a fully-written review up. However, the actual editing never took place, leaving this Rez-like in limbo.

Overall, the episode's content was pretty packed, and while we had progressed into it somewhat, the workload just became too much at the time. As a result, the epsiode was cancelled, but now you can watch the in-studio skits, showing what could have been.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Third Rate Game Play: Martian Panic

Game: Martian Panic

System: Wii

Developer: N-Fusion Interactive

Publisher: ZOO Games

Player: Alex and Tony

Experience: Played Level 1

In 1998, N-Fusion Interactive was formed, and since then, the company has produced a number of projects for PC, Xbox 360, and Wii. When it first formed, the New Jersey-based developer created a number of first person shooters for PC including Cabela's Ultimate Deer Hunt and its sequel for Activision, Deadly Dozen and its sequel Deadly Dozen: Pacific Theater for Infogrames (now Atari), and Elite Warriors: Vietnam. Its first console production was Hour of Victory for Xbox 360, but since 2009, the company has only released games on the Wii. The company’s most recent large projects are Go Play Circus Star, published by Majesco Entertainment and Medieval Games published by Vir2L Studios.

Publisher Zoo Games is relatively new into the gaming scene. The company came as a result of a number of mergers and acquisitions of smaller Eastern American game publishers. Originally, Zoo Games was called DFTW Merger Sub, Inc. In 2007, the company merged with Green Screen Interactive Software, LLC to create Green Screen Interactive Software. Up to this point, games published under the Zoo Games label were developed by UK publisher Zoo Digital Publishing, which was formed by Gremlin Interactive-founder Ian Stewart as part of ZOO Digital Group. The other company to be acquired by Green Screen was Destination Software, formed in 2001 and best known for poorly-reviewed GBA titles and the Snood series. Destination Software was acquired by Green Screen Interactive in late 2007, and Zoo Digital Publishing was acquired in mid-2008. While Zoo Digital Publishing was sold back to its original owners only months later (as Zushi Games, now Funbox Media), Zoo Games has remained mostly unchanged since then, save the acquisition of Empire Interactive’s backlog of products.

Up to Martian Panic, large projects for Zoo Games have included OrderUp! developed by SuperVillian Studios, the Diner Dash series with PlayFirst, and its creation of IndiePub, a group dedicated to releasing independent games onto gaming consoles. As of August 2010, IndiePub had not released any games, but it had held a number of contests to begin offering publishing deals with independent projects.

"The Martians are coming and it's up to you (and your friends) to stop them! Battle a horde of loony Martian invaders in this 1 to 4 person shoot-em-up game for the Wii. Packed with non-stop action, players will use a range of powerful weapons against a gang of colorful and comical enemy invaders. Collect powerups and rescue helpless civillians to get high scores and earn achievements. Visit a range of iconic locales from the drive-in movie theater to the Great Pyramids of Giza. Everything in the game is rendered in colorful comic book style with a retro 50's science fiction vibe."

Martian Panic fits within the usual rules of Wii-based light-gun shooters, and this time the game tries to fit the model into an alien invasion that families are sure to enjoy thwarting. The game takes place in the mid-1950s, just in time for Martians to start an invasion of Earth, despite their clear addiction to manmade products such as Zapp-o-cola. With the world bound to be destroyed, it is up to a group of six people to save the day, ranging from a salesman to a stay-at-home mom to a jazz musician. No matter whom players choose, all that matter is that they have to shoot Martians and defeat the mother ship before it is too late.

The game plays very similar to most any other light-gun shooter. The game moves on a fixed path through each of the game’s locales, and enemies emerge suddenly or slowly into view for the shooting. Sometimes players will have to save a citizen from Martians, and saving them usually results in power-ups of some kind, whether they are rapid fire weapons or health items. Over the course of the game, more Martian forces with increasingly complex attack patterns emerge into the battlefield. Some enemies can actively affect your reticule, while others will throw grenades and dodge attacks. Up to four players can play cooperatively, as well, making the adventure accessible to a large group of people at once. The game offers replayability by providing awards for saving every civilian and destroying enough objects in a level, which will provide artwork and models for later viewing.

At the start of each level, Martian Panic provides an animated short in a comic style which helps establish the humor that makes Martian Panic unique from other shooters. In the midst of stages, character dialogue and commentary from both friends and foes further entertain and keep the game from being all about Martian vaporization.

Martian Panic was released in August 2010, so any sequel might be a little ways away if it is ever getting one. The story of the game fits within a single iteration, so it is best to assume the game is a one-off, but those looking for more on-rails shooters should find plenty coming or already out for the Wii, anyways.

Since the release of Martian Panic, N-Fusion Interactive released Supple: Episode 2 via the online game service in late September 2010. The blog has remained inactive since October, but the company’s page states that the company is working on “an Xbox 360 Kinect well as two Wii titles.” Whether those two Wii titles include Martian Panic or not, we are not sure, but either way, more games are on the way from N-Fusion Interactive.

EDIT: It turns out that N-Fusion Interactive was involved in the development and subsequent release of Zoo Games' Dino Strike, another light-gun shooter involving dinosaurs. The company website must be out of date, so the company might only be working on a Kinect game as of June 2011.

Zoo Games continues to release games on all platforms, although their lead platforms are Wii and DS. Games published since Martian Panic include Silly Bandz, Mayhem 3D (for PS3 and Xbox 360, by Left Field Productions), and Pirate Blast, the last of which is another light-gun shooter. Zoo Games is currently prepping for the release of a hardcore racing title, Fireburst, developed by ExDream. The company’s IndiePub segment published its first major release, Auditorium HD, in late 2010 with the help of Empty Clip Studios and original developer Cipher Prime. IndiePub is currently getting Storm onto XBLA, PC, and PSN this summer as well as Jason Rohrer’s Diamond Trust of London, which was dropped by Majesco last year. Needless to say, Zoo Games has been really busy since last year.

There was something interesting about this game that made Alex want to try it out, and without much of a warning to his brother, Martian Panic arrived for 3RM to play. Knowing full well that the game, like most other light-gun adventures, was going to be a short game, Alex decided to record the full game. This becomes the first full “Let’s Play” video recorded in Third Rate Game Play.

Starting off with the first level and moving continually onward, with a pause or two in the middle, Alex and Tony venture forth to save Earth via the odd protagonists, all while trying not to fall into madness, themselves. Will they make it in time? Following the game’s completion, the two look at the game’s extras, however few they unlocked.

Wii Remotes get loud, it seems, and unfortunately the audio of the game sometimes drowns out the players, but it could have ended up a lot worse, to be honest. The video had trouble getting uploaded onto Youtube, so there is no higher-res version for online view at this time.

Frankly, the game is too hard for youngsters playing alone, if Cadet Difficulty is anything to go by. Yes, we died in the game, much to our dismay, but the easiest difficulty did not seem to mind a slip or two. As a result, the game was completed in under two hours, as expected. The style and level environments were more varied than we initially expected, and the enemy types became more interesting as the game progressed. It is a shame that the starting levels seem so boring compared to later levels.

The humor is hit-and-miss, and at times jokes are overused or reused throughout the game, which somewhat cheapens the experience. However, the character dialogues break things up, at least for a little while. The game oozes with cheese, and one level literally is surrounded with it! That does not mean Martian Panic is bad, but those expecting the next Umbrella Chronicles with this game will be sorely disappointed.

The game is very cheap, and if you want a shotgun peripheral, it is a little more expensive. We enjoyed the experience for what its worth, but the game is over quickly, and replaying it for the awards did not really cross our minds. Fun but slightly lacking in depth.

3RM Says: Spaceships are hard to come by, so I just made a model to swing on-EEEP A FIREWORK!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

E3 2011: The Conferences, Impressions

Unfortunately, these couple weeks were full of things for us here at Third Rate Minion, and as a result, releasing these videos seems late. However, I also follow the rule of "Better Late than Never," and besides, E3 is still fresh in our minds.

So if you'd like to hear recaps and commentary on each of the big three's press conferences from this year's E3, indulge in our video goodness.

We will have a look at what predictions went well soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Konami's E3 Press Event Impressions

Just before E3 really takes off, us here at Third Rate Minion shot a quick video highlighting our impressions of the Konami Press Event last week. Feel free to take a look!

Friday, June 3, 2011

E3 2011: Konami's Pre-E3 Press Event

With less than five days before the upcoming stampede of gaming announcements, impressions, and other bits of tomfoolery, Konami came forth and unleashed its first annual Pre-E3 Press Video to the masses, and while it was not as awkward as the infamous press conference of last year, it did leave some desire to see Tak Fuji once more.

The Press Event began with a look at the company's major 3DS effort for the year: Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater. The game's producer took a moment to highlight how the game's appearance on the 3DS would bring depth to the stealth action title, and he unveiled two of the new rendition's additional features. Using the 3DS camera, players can take photos of real world objects and implement the photos into Snake's camouflage. Furthermore, at some crucial moments in the game, players will need to keep the 3DS balanced so as to prevent Snake from losing balance on high terrain. The trailer unveiled a little twist at the end, but overall, the game is still pretty much Metal Gear Solid 3 with a 3D display.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 was the second game on the agenda, and it looks as good as the previous entries in the series. Additional motion captures have been taken to improve the fluidity of the animations and help create a highly-immersive soccer game for all.

Entering its second E3, NeverDead is a third-person shooter which puts players into the place of an immortal demonslayer, and the results are both intense and humorous. Bryce is a demon hunter who has been cursed with immortality, and in modern times, he is given the task of stopping a demonic invasion of the city and potentially seek peace in his immortality. Players have the benefit of immortality, but in its place, they must find ways to put their body parts back together so as to finish the fight. The game is developed by Rebellion Developments, known for the most recent Aliens Vs. Predator. It is expected for a winter release.

Silent Hill got a fairly large chunk of the press video, particularly with an emphasis on the upcoming adventure title, Silent Hill: Downpour. Footage of the game was shown heavily while actors from the upcoming Silent Hill movie discussed how the movie was coming along. Downpour, originally slated for fall, will be releasing this winter. Downpour follows Murphy Pendleton, a convict who enters a raining Silent Hill after his prison transport crashes. The game was shown last year with little gameplay, but this time, the game seems very close to completion, and it looks pretty good thus far. The game is being made by Vatra Games, which produced this year's Rush'n Attack: Ex-Patriot for XBLA and PSN.

Before moving along with the franchise, Konami announced Silent Hill: Book of Memories for the NGP, but nothing other than the logo was shown. It has not been approved by Sony, and without any footage shown, this game is most likely quite some time off, so keep hype on the low end for that game.

Hideo Kojima will not be at this year's E3, but he appeared in the Press Video with Mark MacDonald of 8-4, a video game translation company. Here, Kojima gave a number of announcements, but none of them were entirely new Kojima Productions games. Metal Gear Solid: Rising is still slated for a 2012 release, but no new footage was shown. That is not to say Metal Gear Solid will only be on 3DS this year.

Konami announced Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Zone of the Enders HD Collection, and Silent Hill HD Collection, all for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. These collections take the Playstation 2 originals and upgrade their graphics to a full 1080p resolution, so your eyes will not be cut by the jaggies ever present in previous-generation games. The Zone of the Enders HD Collection, slated for 2012, will have both games in the series, while Silent Hill HD Collection contains only Silent Hill 2 and 3 (why 4 is missing, I do not know). This year's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is the most robust one, containing not only Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 but also an enhanced port of the PSP original, Peace Walker. Notice the oddity in releasing Metal Gear Solid 3 for 3DS during the same timeframe? We do.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is the first game to use Hideo Kojima's newest interface: Transfarring. Transfarring is a system which allows game saves to be transferred from the console to the mobile versions of Kojima Production games; for the HD Collection, this specifically means sending saves between the PS3 version and the PSP version of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Kojima says that he eventually plans to extend Transfarring to NGP and PS2 games in the future.

Before leaving, Kojima unveiled his other development: the Fox Engine. This game development engine will allow Kojima Productions to develop highly-competent graphics for multiple platforms at the same time, giving the potential for multi-console releases in a much shorter timeframe. He demonstrated a little technical demo of the engine, but he did not specify what the project will be. Based on the video, the engine is implied to work with PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Clearly if Project Cafe is involved, too, we will not know until a later date.

As the press event concluded, a small teaser video was shown, and it seems to be that a Contra game, possibly a massive reboot, is currently in development. Rumors spread of a 3DS Contra title, but others believe the game is a full-blown HD project a la Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

This brings up a final question: why did Konami's President mention Castlevania's anniversary if no game was shown? He mentioned Frogger, as well, but the announcement of Frogger 3D came just yesterday, so that is not an area of concern. Perhaps there are more surprises for E3, but if not, Konami appears to be playing it quieter this year compared to previous years. We will just have to wait until next week to see if Konami is sneakier than Snake at game-unveiling...

Expect an impressions video in the near future.