News: Konami Wins the Toss, Elects to Bowl

Metal Gear Solid 3DS

Metal Gear Solid 3DS

Snake Eater Declares on February

Konami have hit the ground running this week with an announcement right off the bat that the much anticipated Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater has been thrashed for a quick-fire 21 into the month of February – and with Hideo Kojima occupying the crease, the game shows little sign of being caught out ere the Captain makes his declaration.

When Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater releases on the 21st of February, it will do so with a slew of additions and doodads above and beyond the addition of a 3D display, promising an experience substantially different from that of the PS2 original. The original game’s use of camouflage is to be heartily supplemented by the ability to use the system’s camera to reskin Naked Snake’s fatigues to a texture of the player’s choosing. Moreover, the addition of the 3DS’ touch screen has been tasked as the menu screen, hopefully alleviating the original game’s frustration of having to dress Snake’s injuries. Hideo Kojima has made additional use of the 3DS’ modern hardware by remapping special actions (such as balancing on ledges) to the system’s gyroscope. Finally, the system makes use of Nintendo’s patented ashtray device, which comes highly recommended to players desirous of eschewing the system’s facebuttons as a means of aiming their weapon.

At long last the portable debut of one of the greatest games ever made is upon us, but with the release of a high definition PS Vita version right around the corner, one is tempted to wait.

March Collects Silent Hill’s Top Order

Konami continued their strong form this week by bowling a hat-trick of Silent Hill release dates, and while March may be well outside of the crease, the decision is not expected to go to the third umpire.

Konami will kick off their March deluge with the release of Silent Hill: HD Collection, the high definition re-release of the second and third games in the series for the PS3 and Xbox360. The Silent Hill: HD Collection was originally thought to have been released by now, but after Konami made the controversial decision to replace the game’s original voice acting, it has resulted in the release window being blown out to 2012. Next on Konami’s list will be Silent Hill: Downpour on the 13th of March for the PS3 and Xbox360. Silent Hill: Downpour will follow an inmate by the name of Murphy Pendleton as the prison bus he is on breaks down, stranding him in the town of Silent Hill. The game has been described as being much more of an open world environment than is traditional for Silent Hill games, allowing players to take on side quests located around the town – but perhaps the game’s most prominent new feature is the fact that its soundtrack has been composed by the interesting music group known as Korn. Finally, on March the 27th Konami will be releasing their oddball PS Vita title, Silent Hill: Book of Memories. This dubiously licensed curio will invite players to team up via online multiplayer as they battle their way through isometric environments packed with some of Silent Hill‘s most iconic monsters.

While Konami were no doubt wise in avoiding the packed January release window occupied by fellow traveller of the survival horror genre, Resident Evil: Revelations, three franchise titles in a month nevertheless strikes one as market saturation.

Tomb Raider Reboot

The new Lara Croft

Square Enix Are Gearing Up to Spend Some Time in the Field

Square Enix along with touring partners, Crystal Dynamics, have this week announced a succession of warm-up games ahead of this year’s series reboot of Tomb Raider. The games will be held in conjunction with geocaching.com and promise enthusiasts a fun way to kick off the Tomb Raider campaign, though of course fan favourite, Lara Croft, is being rested ahead of the series.

Square Enix’s Tomb Raider hype campaign largely amounts to a year long scavenger hunt on a massive scale. Geocaching.com provide the largest location-based real world treasure hunting experience, which can be accessed via an app downloaded to a user’s GPS. In collaboration with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics they have created a sequence of Tomb Raider themed location based adventures which should lead into the forthcoming franchise title. While it makes a certain kind of thematic sense for Square Enix to take this route with their Tomb Raider campaign, one must nevertheless remain a little dubious as to the degree of synergy they will see between a game made for gamers and game campaign designed for people who enjoy spending time outside.

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