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  1. Looking at March 2013, there are a lot of anticipated hits coming out. From triple-A titles like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite, to those catered to a more niche audience like Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk and HarmoKnight, there's plenty for any gamer to be excited about. But has it always been like this? Has March always been such a month filled with juicy releases? Well, let's go and have a look! Join me on a trip through memory lane as we go through the last ten years of March releases. You might be surprised at how big (or how barren) the past was! 2003 March 2003 was a big month for Nintendo, and its biggest bombshell was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. While the game's art style put off many fans, it was still a Zelda game at heart, and one that some even flock to as their favorite Zelda game of all time. Whether you love it, hate it, or find it to be merely 'meh,' you can't deny that The Wind Waker ended up being a hit. Other notable releases: Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, Amplitude 2004 The third month of 2004 was a bit odd. There were a few new releases to ongoing series, but they weren't always well received... at least at first. Final Fantasy XI falls squarely into that category, with trying to take the series into a bold new direction of a MMO. While fans were skeptical at first, many warmed up to the concept to the point that the game still has an active userbase today. Perhaps Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be able to fill its shoes... Other notable releases: Sonic Heroes, Metal Gear Solid: The Twins Snakes, Ninja Gaiden 2005 2005, at least in March, was much like this year's in terms of releases; there were enough games that came out to sate any gamer's tastes. However, a new IP was also released this year... and that was God of War. Despite having to go up against Devil May Cry 3, which came out the same month, this gritty action game was able to stand its own ground, and was the beginning of what was to be one of Sony's best known franchises. Other notable releases: Devil May Cry 3, Lumines, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Metal Gear Solid Acid 2006 Unfortunately, March of 2006 was not a big month for gaming, though a couple hits did come out. The biggest game that came out was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the sequel to the well-received Morrowind. While not everyone enjoyed the change from Morrowind's unique world to what some think was a more generic one, Oblivion garnered a lot of praise and really helped to get the series onto a lot of gamers' 'favorite games' lists. Other notable releases: Kingdom Hearts II 2007 When writing this, I didn't think I'd ever have to put two games of the same series into the same article. Alas, March of 2007 was such a barren month that God of War II was the only big game that even came out. The sequel to the 2005 hit, God of War II continued to impress and surprise players. Compared to what the first game was up against, the sequel had a much easier time in terms of competition! Other notable releases: S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Tekken 5 2008 To be honest, March 2008 didn't have many big releases either... but then again, the biggest release would have so many gamers occupied that no one would notice. That game was Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Wii entry into the hugely popular series. With more characters than ever before, more things to do and unlock, and even online modes, it's no wonder that everyone was too busy with Brawl to notice anything else! Other notable releases: Army of Two, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters 2009 Finally, around this time, March gaming starts coming out of its three year slump and starts really pumping out some hit releases, and the crowning achievement of March in 2009 was Resident Evil 5. The eagerly anticipated entry into the Resident Evil series, 5 took 4's changes and improvements even farther, and even added online co-op so that friends could go through Chris's nightmare together. Players didn't even have to escort the President's daughter around either, which certainly helped the game's reception. Other notable releases: Pokemon Platinum Version, MadWorld, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 2010 In terms of releases, March 2009's offerings were only a taste of what gamers would get a year later. March 2010 was filled to the brim with big releases, niche releases, and everything else to keep players happy for a long time. This included Mega Man 10--the downloadable sequel to the retro-fied hit Mega Man 9. 10 brought more old-school goodness to gamers' current consoles, offering Mega Man fans much to get excited for involving the Blue Bomber's future. Other notable releases: Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions, God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Just Cause 2 2011 Pokemon games have been coming out in March for a while. The last two years saw Pokemon releases, as well as back in 2003, but this is the first time that an entry has really taken the cake. Pokemon Black and White Versions were the long-awaited fifth generation of Pokemon games, sporting tons of improvements to graphics and the user interface. In addition, this entry limited initial Pokemon catching to only the new Unova Pokemon, lending a bit of nostalgia to the game. Other notable releases: Dragon Age II, Okamiden 2012 Finally, we've made it to last year. Much like this year, there were a lot of big hits and niche games alike. Not of that matters, because Mass Effect 3 came out. As the thrilling conclusion to the hugely popular Mass Effect series, the game... certainly got fans talking. About the gameplay, about the ending, everything about Mass Effect, really. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Mass Effect 3 really got a lot of attention at its release. Other notable releases: Journey, Rayman Origins, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dungeon Defenders There you have it, ten big releases of the past ten years during March! Gaming certainly has had its ups and downs just in the month of March alone... but does this month paint an accurate picture for the rest of the year? Join me next month to (start to) find out! What are come of your favorite March releases? Any releases not in the list that you're fond of? Let me know in the comments below!
  2. When Resident Evil 6 hit the market, it was met with very mixed reviews. The 3DS ex-exclusive title Resident Evil: Revelations, on the other hand, was well-praised as a sort of return to form for the series after the very action-filled Resident Evil 5. Now that Resident Evil: Revelations is coming to home consoles, the game's producer Masachika Kawata has stated that Capcom plans on watching the port's reception upon release, and use that feedback to determine the series' future. "I think we'll get a lot of input from the fanbase and the media on what it means for Resident Evil, and what it could mean for the future of the series," Kawata told Eurogamer. "We'll definitely be looking at that as a signpost for where we need to be going next." Kawata also said that, depending on the reception of the Revelations port, Capcom may very well start focusing more on "the horror aspect and fear in the series" when developing upcoming titles. To give you an idea of how good the reception might be, the 3DS version, which was released about a year ago, has an 82 over on Metacritic. Capcom is certainly pleased about this reception, considering the game a success, but Kawata said that they would have liked it better had the game sold more. "Given the large development costs we had on the 3DS version, we would have liked to have even a little more sales than we did in the end," said Kawata. "But that doesn't mean we saw it as a failure by any means," If you would like to get Resident Evil games in the future that are more like Revelations, tell Capcom with your wallets when the game releases for Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on May 21. Will you be buying Resident Evil: Revelations when it hits home consoles? If you've played the original, would you like to see the series be more like that game?
  3. Once upon a zombie, there was a certain lack of survival horror titles bracing the gaming landscape. Sure, we had games like Sweet Home and Clock Tower, but gamers yearned for more. That was about the time when the world was introduced to a little game called Resident Evil. This was pretty much the pinnacle of the survival horror genre as people knew it back then (being the game that defined the genre), along with Alone in the Dark, both of which helped shift the genre into the 3D realm and popularized the fixed camera angle for survival horror games to come. But over time, the Resident Evil series evolved, as all franchises must do to keep with the times. Beginning with Resident Evil 4, the series ditched the old fixed camera angles for a third-person view, added quick-time events to make the gameplay more engaging, and threw in some cinematic spectacles, giving the series more of an action vibe to accommodate the increasing demand of action games. And back when that game came out, it was very well-received by critics and fans alike. But with the additional changes made in Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, now it "appears" that the series has fallen. At least, that“s what the word is on the (zombie-ridden) streets. I, on the other hand, think differently. In fact, there are plenty of flaws that made the classic Resident Evil games far less “awesome†than people think they are. And much of this love for the classics is due to nostalgia, or simply because of the age fans were when they originally played these games, making them seem more frightening than they actually are. Having reviewed Resident Evil 6 myself, I decided to go back and play the originals, and there are several things I noticed about them that makes these complaints seem like a bunch of nonsense to me… The Classics Really Aren't That Scary The dialogue sure was scary, though... One complaint I hear a lot is that “Resident Evil used to be scary and isn“t anymore.†No, I wouldn“t say it“s all that scary, to be honest. Seriously, a lot of what made classic Resident Evil scary were simply things jumping out at you, which gave the game some suspenseful sections where you anticipated that situation to happen quite a bit. The modern games had those too, though, such as with those freaking Regenerators from Resident Evil 4… And sure, they also set creepy tones quite nicely back then, but the new games still have their moments. Going back to the Regenerators from Resident Evil 4, the areas where those things are roaming around with those spine-tingling noises coming from their gaping mouths are just plain terrifying. Resident Evil 5 was a bit too sun-soaked to be truly unsettling, I“ll admit, but Resident Evil 6 did go back to having a more creepy tone, albeit not all the time. Simply put, most people who complain about the series losing its scary nature do so for one simple reason: they grew up. Seriously, I got pretty scared back when I first played the originals, and now that I“m 22, playing them for the first time in about 10 years, they simply don“t scare me that much anymore. They still have their moments, sure, but they aren“t NEAR as frightening as people remember them being. The Series Was NEVER About Zombies Say NO to braaaaaaains Contrary to popular belief, the Resident Evil series is NOT supposed to be about zombies. In fact, it never was. Ever since Resident Evil 4 took away the notion of the undead, fans have been complaining about the games not being true to the series“ roots because the enemies aren“t actually zombies. But what those guys don“t seem to understand is that the Resident Evil series is, and always was, about bio-engineered creatures being used as weapons, not the reanimated dead. And when you look at the classic Resident Evil games, you can clearly see that zombies aren“t at all the only enemies in the game, and far from the most important. Throughout the first game, for instance, you fight several other monsters, such as giant spiders, a giant snake, and various artificial creatures such as Hunter, Chimera, and the primary adversary known as Tyrant. Really, zombies were just the result of a virus that transformed humans and animals into the undead. So in that sense, the creatures introduced later on, such as the J“avo, are no different. The Series Hasn“t Changed, the Genre Has It just hasn't been the same since they discontinued the Jill Sandwich... Fans like to complain that the series has changed and so now it sucks. Guys, if the Resident Evil series kept on doing what it was doing before Resident Evil 4, it simply wouldn“t work very well. Why? Because traditional survival horror became less popular after the millennium as the console market drifted more toward Western-style action games, which means Resident Evil would have had a hard time retaining a large audience. Some franchises remained truer to the more traditional style after this point in time, such as Fatal Frame, but localization of that series ended at around the time Resident Evil 4 came out. The fact of the matter is people became tired of traditional survival horror, which is the whole reason why the genre transformed. Not many other big franchises kept the classic survival horror aspects they once had. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark - they all changed with the genre. There are games that still use many of these aspects, however, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender: The Eight Pages, but these are independent titles. And the reason these games work well is because they don“t have to compete with AAA titles. The developers spend less and the consumers pay less (sometimes nothing at all), making these games work after traditional survival horror became less popular. Had these games cost $60, there“s a good chance the fan base would have been a bit smaller. The main point I“m trying to make here is that this whole Classic Resident Evil vs. Modern Resident Evil debate is just plain stupid. People complain about how the games aren“t scary anymore; how the series is supposed to have zombies; and how the series isn“t even survival horror anymore. Well, I beg to differ. One thing I like to ask people when they bash the newer titles is, if these games weren“t Resident Evil games, would you still hate them?