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In the immortal Arnie-endorsed words of Major Alan ‘Dutch’ Schaefer: “Get to the choppa’!” Or, in this case, get to some games with kickass helicopter battles by letting your eyes travel inside. Be it taking out a Russian attack helicopter with a stealthy hero or destroying a whirlybird by damaging its rotor blades with bottles of hooch during a zombie apocalypse; the following fights with airborne a-holes are the definition of badass… eh, if someone’s recently rewritten the dictionary.
Earlier this year we pointed out how many series reboots were on the way. NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat, GoldenEye and Splatterhouse are just a few of the once-relevant names being dug up for the 2010-2011 season, plus the Sly Cooper/ICO HD remakes for PS3. In short, reviving prior successes is all the rage right now, and seeing these long-lost series with a new lease on life has kicked our nostalgic hearts into overdrive. So make with the reboots and bring these overlooked, formerly triumphant franchises back from the dead...
Traditional wisdom suggests that fictional superstars never change. Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson and Superman, for example, have endured for decades with more or less the same appearance. They never age, never look incredibly dated (save for a few misguided revamps that die off) and consistently appeal to a new generation. The same can’t be said for videogame characters, though.
As a technology-based medium, game heroes and villains cannot remain the same. They must constantly evolve, or risk looking “last gen.” That doesn’t mean the new or old designs take precedence, it just means no developer will ever, ever leave its creation alone. Now, with decades of console history to pull from, let’s take a look at the “old” designs and see how they stack up against their modern equivalents...
It's not often that a million-selling, critically acclaimed RPG fails to spawn a sequel, but that's precisely the case with Xenogears. Despite its lengthy quest, unique visual style and typically excellent soundtrack from Yasunori Mitsuda, it managed to elude Squaresoft's sequel machine. So, it stands to reason that if you weren't around for its debut, you may have missed one of the PlayStation's strongest audio works.
The song embedded inside sounds like a rave in the Shire. Have to listen now, right?
If you were to look at the PlayStation Network a few years ago and compare it to its competitors, there wouldn't be very much to say. “It's free” was usually the best argument you could offer. With time, however, Sony's online gaming network has come into its own, adding in features and content that have helped to make it – if not exactly a match for the likes of Xbox Live – at least a worthy contender.
Traditionally, a videogame advert is supposed to highlight its product’s strong points in a concise, well-edited package that screams to impressionable consumers: “Buy me, and all my officially-endorsed peripherals!”. That, or be a 30 second, cynically-produced tapestry of lies made to trick and entice people with big explosions, misleading FMV and lady parts.
The latter is the sure-fire path to tread if you’re