Tag Archives: CAPCOM

Who’s That Flying?! Review: A Soaring Good Time

The Guardian of Earth has failed in his duties, has allowed hordes of Doom Beasts to run rampant in Earth’s fair cities, and has been put to trial by his intergalactic peers — the Galactic Counsel of Space Justice — to face space justice for his inadequacies …

Who’s That Flying?! — a.k.a. WTF?! — is a unique side-scrolling shooter emphasizing both its narrative and its action. The tale unfolds as the Guardian of Earth recounts events to the council, often hilariously, with players reliving his exploits — as action-packed stages of alien blasting! — in the telling. The dialogue is punchy, full of banter, and laugh-out-loud funny, if a tad juvenile at times.

With excellent use of humor, unique game mechanics and a presentation as stylish as it is adorable, WTF?! manages to set itself well apart from other app store shooters. What’s more, the game is just plain fun!

In most shooters, players must avoid collisions with enemy ships and projectiles, while collecting power-ups to better their chances of success. WTF?! eschews even these basic conventions. For starters, the Guardian of Earth cannot die; he can only fail in his appointed duties. Ravagers are the most basic of enemy types, but also of greatest concern to our hero; their goal is not to defeat him, but to get past him so that they may rampage in the city. Each ravager that gets by the Guardian of Earth will do damage to the city, and when the city suffers enough damage, the Guardian will have failed.

The Guardian of Earth is too powerful to be harmed by these creatures; collide with a ravager and the Guardian will simply tear it apart. More effective in dealing with the ravagers’ constant threat, however, is the stream of laser beams the Guardian constantly spews. By destroying ravagers, the Guardian of Earth builds his multiplier. As the multiplier builds, his Awesome Meter increases in several levels, each level corresponding to increasingly devastating special attacks. Allowing a ravager to slip by, however, breaks the chain and empties the Awesome Meter’s current level progress.

The thrust of the game then is to chain attacks, building the Awesome Meter to unleash destruction upon your foes, and not allowing a single ravager to slip past you. Collisions are okay, but misses are not.

Beginning with the second stage, however, new enemies appear to attack the Guardian of Earth directly. While they cannot kill him, they have various means of distracting him, stunning him or blocking his attacks, allowing ravagers to slip by unharmed to wreak havoc upon Earth’s cities. Larger enemies need be softened up with laser beams, with the Guardian then able to grab hold and pummel them. Fun stuff!

And so WTF?! is both a shooter and a defense game, an intriguing blend of genres.

The game’s audio/visual presentation is cartoonish and further serves to drive the game’s humor. The Guardian of Earth spins and hurtles through the air impressively, showboating for his fans while battling invaders. As he builds chains, the crowds below can be heard cheering, but begroan his failures when a ravager gets by him. All the while, the Guardian proclaims his own awesomeness and enthralls his audience with his tales of daring-do.

The game includes 12 achievements, in-game labeled as “Evidence” for the trial. The OpenFeint social gaming platform is supported, but Game Center is not — indeed, WTF?!

Aside from the lack of Game Center support, the only gripe I can level against the game are its controls, which take some getting used to. Left or right joysticks are available as options, but the Touch controls are definitely the way to play. But even so, the touch controls are a mite wonky and imprecise. Essentially, a joystick is centered wherever you touch the screen; I find myself having to crank the sensitivity WAAAAAY down to prevent my Guardian from swirling all over the screen. After a short adjustment period the controls become manageable, but I would far prefer to see 1:1 relative touch controls, like those found in Space Invaders Infinity Gene and a number of other shooters. Maybe I can hope to see such controls (and Game Center support?!) added in an update …

Minor shortcomings aside, Who’s That Flying?! is a wonderfully fun game and an easy recommendation. I’ve been having a blast with it!

Who’s That Flying?! [$2.99] is developed by MediaTonic and published by Capcom. Reviewed on an iPhone 4.

Dark Void Zero Review: A New NES Classic Hits the iPhone

Dark Void Zero is a spin-off title and retro throwback based upon Capcom‘s Dark Void, released earlier this year for PlayStation 3 consoles. Dark Void promised open environments and combat flowing seamlessly between ground fights and air skirmishes using a jetpack. With epic intentions for both gameplay and narrative, the developers aspired to lofty heights. Unfortunately, the game fell flat by most estimations, its enormous potential unrealized, likely due to time and/or budget constraints on development. Dark Void Zero met with more positive reviews, however.

Originally released to DSiWare simultaneously with the PS3 game, Dark Void Zero has now come to the iPhone.

The story of the making of Dark Void Zero it somewhat unusual. To score Dark Void, Capcom solicited the talents of television composer Bear McCreary, well-known for his brilliant scoring of the Battlestar Galactica 2004 TV series. A long time fan of Capcom’s Mega Man series on the 8-bit NES console, McCreary jumped at the opportunity to score Dark Void for the company. Excited to be working on Dark Void, and being particularly in love with the music from Mega Man II — easily the best videogame soundtrack of all time — McCreary created a chiptune version of his theme for Dark Void and sent it to Capcom. On his blog, McCreary wrote:

I was especially thrilled to help launch a new action / adventure title from Capcom because I’ve grown up playing their games, starting with Mega Man II.  In fact, I had so much fun scoring Dark Void, I created a special 8-bit version of the Main Theme and dedicated it to Mega Man mastermind Inafune-san, who was also involved in the production of Dark Void … I called the track “Theme from Dark Void (Mega Version).”

Capcom enjoyed the piece so much, they blogged it on April Fool’s Day, joking that Dark Void itself was being revamped as an 8-bit title. And thus was Dark Void Zero born, an idea spurred first by a composer’s enthusiasm, then promoted in jest, and finally embraced with real intent by Capcom’s developers. Continuing to jest, they claimed the game was a lost title unearthed from Capcom’s vaults, and created a mythology to back the story, which can be seen in this video:

The game itself is a prequel to Dark Void on the PS3. The Void is a world parallel to our own, a world between worlds where the Survivors, humans having become trapped in the Void, fight against the Watchers, an alien race striving to break free of the Void in order to overrun our Earth. Amongst those trapped in the Void is Nikola Tesla, the oft mythologized 19th century inventor and electrical engineer known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism. It is Tesla, utilizing his own technologies, who arms and leads the Survivors against the Watchers, and who will provide players with guidance as they traverse Dark Void Zero’s three expansive stages.

Players take on the role of Rusty, a Void-born test-pilot fighting against the Watchers. Having finally established a reliable portal — Portal X — leading to Earth, the Watchers are rallying their forces for invasion. Tesla tasks Rusty to infiltrate Watcher territory and to shut down Portal X before they can invade.

Dark Void Zero is lovingly rendered in 8-bit everything, and masterfully emulates the feel of classic NES action/platformers such as Mega Man and Metroid. For the soundtrack Capcom returned to Bear McCreary, who recomposed more of his score for Dark Void as chiptunes for Dark Void Zero. As Rusty, players navigate three vast stages of the Void, utilizing several different weapons and a jetpack to traverse obstacles and Watcher defenses. On his own, Rusty can jump and fire his equipped weapon in eight directions. With jetpack equipped, he can also hover and soar upward.


Retro Spectacular: If ever you’ve blown dust out of an NES cartridge before playing it, you’re in for a treat with Dark Void Zero. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Capcom were the masters of 8-bit gaming on the NES, and that pedigree shines in this game. Younger gamers just may not get it; but any gamer that’s ever loved an NES will fall in love with Dark Void Zero. In every way, it feels like an NES classic, and that’s exactly what the developers had in mind. The game begins with an inside joke for old-school NES fans: a Dark Void Zero NES cartridge pops onto the screen and must have the dust blown out of it before you can play.

Graphics: Though they may just look dated to some, their datedness is all a part of their charm. Dark Void Zero is an 8-bit masterpiece, not to be judged by modern graphical standards, but by its intent. Dark Void Zero is beautiful.

Music: I am a massive fan of Bear McCreary. I own all of the soundtracks for Battlestar Galactica’s four seasons, two movies and the mini-series on which McCreary worked alongside composer Richard Gibbs, as well as the soundtracks for Caprica and Dark Void. He is a brilliant composer much in demand these days — he currently scores the television series Human Target, Caprica, Eureka and Trauma, recently collaborated with Captain Ahab on their new album, and is scoring a new anime film from the producers of Ghost in the Shell, titled Titan Rain. In additional to all of this, he also performs regularly with his orchestra — the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra — and somehow found the time to create the “Theme from Dark Void (Mega Version)” that eventually led to the creation of Dark Void Zero. He then went further, translating his Dark Void score into a brilliant 8-bit soundtrack reminiscent of classic Mega Man games. McCreary is a significant talent making a significant contribution here; the tunes rock. The Dark Void Zero soundtrack is available for purchase separately, and well work the $3.99 asking price. Get it here.

Weapons: Rusty will find a variety of weapons strewn about each stage, including Watcher renditions of shot guns and rocket launchers, powerful plasma cannons and more. There are also limited duration power-ups such as three-way shots and force fields.

Bosses and Mini-bosses: All great NES games had mini-bosses and bosses, and Dark Void Zero fits the mold perfectly. Challenging mid-stage battles await, and massive Watcher bosses will try to swat you from the sky at the end of each stage. Memorize the patterns, dodge the attacks and look for vulnerabilities; classic!

Replayability: With only three stages, Dark Void Zero is relatively short. Making up for its length, the game does much to encourage replay. Each stage contains two types of collectibles — 100 Tech Points and a set of secondary objectives — and an array of OpenFeint achievements. There’s a God mode, multiple difficulty levels to be unlocked, and a complex scoring system that accounts for difficulty level, lives remaining, enemies killed, collectibles found and more. The game includes multiple leaderboards, and scores can only be posted on level completion, meaning that all is lost if you should come to a premature end. Because enemy placement and patterns are always the same — a trademark of old-school NES games — the game encourages memorization-based strategy; practice makes perfect over the course of the game’s three lengthy stages, and completionists will find plenty to do. Practice is easy, as you can choose which stage to play at any time, and the game has an excellent save and resume feature.


Controls: The virtual d-pad and buttons are small, and the jump and shoot buttons a little too close together. With practice, the controls are entirely manageable; they could just be better.

Length: Despite its pure awesomeness and high replay value, Dark Void Zero’s three stages will invariably leave you wanting more. The included content is certainly worth the price of admission. I just wish there were more.

Dark Void Zero is a love-letter to old-school NES gamers, and being conscious of their target audience, Capcom delivers in a major way. No other developer is better suited to creating this type of game, and Dark Void Zero should be considered the new standard for retro, 2D action titles for the iPhone and related devices. Since catching wind of the iPhone port several months ago, I have been eagerly awaiting its release. And if you can’t tell by this lengthy and gushing review of the game, I am not disappointed in the least. Dark Void for the PS3 may have flopped, but Dark Void Zero is tops. Period.

Those looking for a premiere retro experience on the iPhone need look no further than Dark Void Zero.

Dark Void Zero ($2.99) is published by Capcom. Reviewed on an iPhone 3G at version 1.0.

And Only Minutes Later… ‘Street Fighter IV’ Released on App Store

It seemed like just a couple of minutes ago that we posted of Street Fighter IV coming tonight.  Wait, it was just a couple of minutes ago.  Street Fighter IV has arrived onto the iPhone at approximately 8:10 Pacific Standard Time.

Of course, as for all iPhone games, expectations should be kept in check until you actually get some hands-on time.  To me, the controls look a little bit iffy, and pulling off all those combo attacks seem to be quite difficult.  Nonetheless, it would be best not to judge a game by its screenshots and actually start to play the game.

The features included are as follows:

  • Fight as eight Street Fighter characters in seven different environments.
  • Full move sets including Unique Attacks, Special Moves, Focus Attacks, Super Combos and Ultra Combos.
  • For a true arcade experience, battle head-to-head on Bluetooth against friends and foes alike.
  • Robust “Dojo” boot camp transforms neophytes into Street Fighter masters in five in-depth lessons.
  • Customize the controls for your style of play. Move the buttons anywhere you want on the screen and set the level of transparency.
  • Unleash super moves with a tap of the “SP” button, or toggle it off from the “Options” menu if you want to enter the button combo manually.
  • Four levels of difficulty.

Let’s just hope they don’t release a Super edition weeks into the release of Street Fighter IV.  Street Fighter IV costs $9.99, and there is no lite version available.

Street Fighter 4 to be released tonight!

According to an article on Joystiq, Street Fighter 4 will be released into the App Store tonight.  Capcom has apparently stated that it could appear any time within the next few hours.  Get ready for some old fashioned button mashing!  Wait a sec…


Street Fighter 4 has been one of the most popular fighting franchises in the history of fighting franchises, and the release on iPhone should prove to be quite successful.  While Capcom has a knack for ruining games for the iPhone, it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out.

If you aren’t familiarized with Street Fighter IV and its predecessors, check out this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Street Fighter, commonly abbreviated as SF, is a Japanese fighting game in which the players pit the video games’ competitive fighters from around the world, each with his or her own special moves, against one another. Capcom released the first game in the series in August 1987.

And that’s that.  Expect Street Fight IV to drop into the App Store TONIGHT!

‘Street Fighter IV’ iPhone Gameplay Video

That’s right, Street Fighter IV is coming to iPhone courtesy of Capcom.  IGN broke the news just last week, and today, they have released an all new gameplay video showing off much of the moves.  While I’m a little bit concerned about the control method, everything else looks to be the same.

First off, the graphics looks absolutely outstanding.  We’ll have to see if these graphics can transfer onto the first and second generation devices, but for now, we can definitely see Capcom worked more than usual in bringing Street Fighter IV to the App Store.

Here’s a list of fighters:

  • Ryu
  • Ken
  • Chun-Li
  • Blanka
  • M. Bison
  • Abel
  • Guile
  • Dhalsim

Street Fighter IV is due in March and will be priced $9.99.

[via IGN]