Straight speedruns and feats of skill are always impressive, but sometimes it’s just as impressive to see a game completed where someone has found an interesting way to make things hard for themselves.
That’s what Manekimoney has done here with a Resident Evil 4 playthrough that was completed with 0% weapon accuracy. That means using the knife, of course, but also a range of weapons that deal area damage but don’t count against the player’s accuracy rating, like rocket launchers, grenades, and the mine thrower.
While that might make it sound a bit easier than a knife-only run, it’s far from it, as there are sections of the game where you need to handle things remotely without harming other characters (like Ashley when she needs defending), so using weapons like the mine thrower takes, ironically, a great deal of accuracy, since you need to be dealing splash damage only to enemies.
Also notable are some of the tricks involved in gaming Resident Evil 4’s ammo system, like stocking up on handgun ammo so that dead enemies won’t drop more of it, and how other types of ammo needed to be protected at all costs, since they’re needed to clear certain parts of the game where more traditional means aren’t available as part of the challenge.
First teased earlier this week, here’s the first proper look at Project Resistance, an upcoming 4v1 “asymmetrical co-op experience” set in the Resident Evil universe.
Four players can team up as regular humans and play as survivors, where they can run around, interact with stuff together and try to escape a secret facility, while one player can take control of Nemesis Mastermind, the bad guy behind said facility, and just run around murdering everyone (with the help of security cameras, which he can use to track survivors).
There’s a beta next month in Japan. No word on a release date, but the game is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Steam.
Monster Hunter World’s latest expansion, Iceborne, is a massive addition to the base game. It adds tons of new monsters and brings back old favorites. That also means new armor, and while plenty of it looks badass, a few pieces are bafflingly terrible.
Iceborne offers a lot of good armor sets. The Master Rank Tobi-Kadachi set is fabulous, and armor from from returning monsters like Glavenus and Nargacuga retain classic looks as chunky gear and sleek, ninja-style digs respectively. But some of the pieces are a little ridiculous, especially the weapons. Many of these have been changed from their classic designs, leading to some truly gnarly stuff. Chief among these are weapons and gear from the explosive-slime slibbering Brachydios. When I first saw these, I laughed my ass off. A video by Monster Hunter veteran gaijin hunter highlights some of the more perplexing armor and weapons.
The Brachydios dual blades are particularly egregious, to the point that gaijin hunter and some players on social media have compared them to KFC chicken drumsticks. Indeed, they’re a radical departure from how Brachydios blades looked in previous games. Those were pretty sleek, with neat glowing parts. These are something straight out of the Flintstones. Other changes include totally new designs for Nargacuga dual blades. Meanwhile, some Brachydios weapons keep their classic designs but only if they’re above rarity level 10.
Some of the lower-level items can have their appearances replaced (and layered armor sets also can hide some of the stranger designs) but that’s a small Band-Aid for a curious change to iconic weapons and armor. It’s not the end of the world, but when so many of Iceborne’s designs are high quality, the clumsier and less elegant weapons really stick out. It’s hard to say if anything will change or if new designs will be limited, but I know I might hold on to my Viper Kadachi dual blades and Shrieking Legiana set a little longer before bothering with Brachydios gear.
2018’s Monster Hunter: World was a successful update to the long-running beast-slaying series. Fully functioning ecosystems and updated combat crafted an experience where each battle was a unique challenge even after hundreds of hours. World’s latest expansion, Iceborne, is massive. Building up a solid framework, it brings dozens of new monsters and ups the difficulty for a deeply rewarding adventure.
This piece was first published on September 4, 2019. We’re bumping it today for the game’s release.
Iceborne is set after World’s lengthy main campaign. The Hunter’s Guild and Research Commission, having traveled across the seas to the New World and bested unimaginable foes, encounter a new mystery. Massive flocks of flying creatures are fleeing for parts unknown, led by a legendary ice-encrusted elder dragon called Velkhana. Following these creatures and their mysterious leader leads to the discovery of a frosted island teeming with undocumented wildlife. All the while new monsters start to prowl familiar forests, and mysterious subspecies of old beasts emerge from the shadows. It’s up to the player, as a skilled monster slayer, to venture out into the wilds and face off against these new and deadly marvels.
The expansion can only be accessed after completing the main game’s story. Because of this, there is a rise in difficulty that results in some of the best fights in the entire series. These fights, which take place on a new “Master Rank” tier of encounters, reimagine fan-favorite monsters alongside entirely new fights. As in the rest of the series, the deadly trek through beast after beast is ambitious in scope and occasionally frustrating to play.
The first thing Iceborne did was test me. Its first creature, the strange Beotodus, is a sort of slithering wyvern that slides through thick snow the way a shark might prowl the ocean. I poured over 300 hours into Monster Hunter: World, and I immediately saw what Iceborne was doing. Beotodus shares a body shape and animations with the mud-slinging Jyuratodus. This meant that Beotodus moved like something I knew, it also could form a protective icy coating on its body—something a Jyuratodus or a different creature called a Barroth can do with sufficient quantities of mud. It was a crash course, a cleverly designed battle meant to reacquaint me with the ebb and flow of Monster Hunter combat while it’s increased ferocity acted as a warning that things would not be so straightforward this time.
That is, of course, the point. Iceborne is not built for comfortable, casual play. It is specifically designed to push players to their limits. Again and again it pulls out more ferocious monsters, creatures who move faster than anything previously seen and whose strikes can cause debilitating status conditions. Mistakes are costly: Monsters hit harder, your old armor will not save you here, and the environments themselves are harsher. While it is possible to speed through the early assignments, there is bound to be a moment along the way where a new foe puts up a hard roadblock in the way. When this happens, you are faced with a choice: Give up or bash your fist against that wall until you finally burst through in glorious victory.
The first time that happened was when Iceborne’s Master Rank quests really clicked for me. I was assigned to slay or capture a Tigrex, a sort of mixture between a tiger, dragon and velociraptor. The first time I fought it, I could not believe how fast it moved. A single leap, even from the furthest distance, could close the gap and knock me on my ass. This was immediately followed up with claw swipes and tails whips that were less the action of a dangerous creature and more akin to a force of nature like a lightning strike or tidal wave. It was gorgeous and terrifying all at once. The Tigrex had a habit of charging around the battlefield for what felt like an eternity at a time, rushing in harried rampages that kicked up stone and from which no amount of running or dodging could save me. I quickly failed.
Thus began a grind to slay previous monsters for higher-quality armor. When I returned, I faced the Tigrex with confidence, rushing in close and matching its aggression. I unleashed furious flurries with my dual blades that lashed at its legs and webbed arms. I dodged the madcap dashes that previously sealed my doom until the beast, thwarted by its zeal, tumbled over and offered me an opening. I slashed again and again and I broke its face first. As it reared a claw, my blade smashed into it and shattered bones off. The Tigrex fled deep into some caverns where a pack of girros—small lizards whose bites have the capacity to induce paralysis—swarmed the Tigrex. While it was paralyzed, I attacked again and broke more and more fragments from its body until it regained control and fled to its nest, where I captured it with tranquilizing bombs.
Creating these moments is Monster Hunter’s greatest strength and, paradoxically, its largest weakness. Iceborne’s fights are not simple 10-minute sojourns; they are 30 to 40 minutes of intense adaptation. Failure—which comes after being knocked out by a monster three times—is devastating. That failure sometimes comes because you lack proper equipment and supplies. This means circling back to battle old foes multiple times until you kill or capture them enough to gather the materials required for new armor. In other cases, it might mean expeditions to gather honey for creating better potions or bugs for the tranquilizing bombs that make it possible to capture monsters. It can bring pacing to an absolute halt. Of the 17 to 18 hours of Iceborne I’ve played so far, plenty was devoted to grinding monsters until I had everything I needed to best whatever new foe awaited me. It was exhausting. Still, it always felt good to achieve victory.
To help with this, Iceborne offers a variety of new gadgets and ways to fight. Chief among these is the Clutch Claw, a short-range grappling device that tethers you to a monster and immediately grips you onto whatever body part you snag. Used properly, it is possible to leap to flying enemies’ wings and slice them until they’re little more than tatters. If armed with ammunition for your slinger, you can latch to an enemy’s head and fire directly at it, sending it staggering into walls and writhing in pain. With certain weapons, you can add a claw swipe to the end of a combo. This launches you into an uppercut-like attack that, with the right weapon, is perfect for breaking appendages. These moves pair nicely with a host of additional attacks added to each weapon—for example, longswords get a samurai-esque iaijustu skill; gunlances can plant explosive mines on enemies. The clutch claw increases the pace of combat considerably, making it easier to get close to monsters, use these new attacks, and deal some goddamn damage. It ensures some equity between Iceborne’s ferocious monsters and hapless hunters. It works like a charm and breathes new life into World’s combat.
Iceborne’s new weapons, encounters, and environments produce fights unlike anything I’ve ever played. There’s an undeniable rush that comes when you manage to truly assert yourself over a monster. I once faced a Brachydios whose hide excreted an ooze that would explode after a short time. It barreled around the battlefield bashing bomb-like mines of slime into the ground. Yet as I attacked its strange, boxer-glove-like hands and shattered their scale plating, its threat waned until it was little more than another indignant beast, easily captured and claimed for research.
Iceborne’s increased focus on narrative and wide variety of jaw-droppingly animated monsters impresses upon the player how majestic and truly breathtaking the natural world can be. Its snow is lovingly crafted, depressing around the player as they trudge along. Each new monster offers fresh surprises that are awesome to behold. The characters continually proselytize about the glory of the New World and the twinkling beauty of the new region, the snowy Hoarfrost Reach.
In all of this, there is an undeniable tension. Each Monster Hunter is, at its core, a game of conquest and consumption. It is about asserting the worth and power of man over the natural world. It is about trudging into nominally exotic “new worlds” where you break monsters down until they are whimpering, pathetic shadows of themselves, weak enough to be killed and carved into bits or captured for the benefit of a burgeoning frontier society. And because of this, Iceborne’s platitudes about natural splendor feel hollow. Yes, the world is gorgeous, and it is a miracle that we were ever born to behold it. Now if you don’t don’t mind, I need to slay at least three more Glavenus so that I can finish my armor set.
This tension is not enough to rob Iceborne or any Monster Hunter game of its excitement. I would not have spent hundreds of hours of my life enraptured by its battles if there were not a fantastic game here. But as Iceborne ramps up the production value and takes time to show characters basking in its truly gorgeous world, it’s worth noting just how freakin’ strange it feels when characters start claiming the New World as their home. This isn’t just an expedition anymore; it’s explicitly colonization. It is expansion, onward into new lands that are, by some vague right, the domain of man. But a Monster Hunter that explores this tension would not be Monster Hunter, so Iceborne’s wide-eyed nature-loving ultimately feels half-baked.
Still, Iceborne is a remarkable celebration. In bringing back a slew of fan-favorite creatures (including two of my favorites: Glavenus and Nargacuga) it’s clear that this expansion is as much a nod to series veterans as it is a chance for fresh-faced hunters to cut their teeth and become truly elite hunters. For some fans, World felt extremely limited and lacking in variety. Iceborne seems laser focused on addressing these complaints. There’s still some repetitiveness, and some additions are uninspired, simply adding new elements to old creatures: a lightning-spewing Anjanath here, a sleep-inducing Paolumu there. But every now and then, there’s a true surprise. Holy shit! Did that Coral Pukei-Pukei just suck water into its tail and fire it like an industrial-strength water jet? Why yes, it did.
The party lasts for far longer than I imagined. Time and time again, I found myself gearing up for what felt like the final battle. Surely, I would defeat the elder dragons and be a hero once again. Each time I thought I’d reached the end of my journey, Iceborne would pull the rug from under me and offer a whole new tier of monsters to fight. Well done, hunter, but we just heard there’s an acid-coated Glavenus and some kind of frost-armored Legiana out in the reaches. Go handle that and then maybe we’ll be ready to finish this. Iceborne’s scale can be frustrating—sometimes you just wanna fight the damn dragon—but it’s also genuinely impressive.
There is so much here, so many monsters to face, that even after almost 20 hours, I’ve still yet to encounter many of the creatures shown in Capcom’s reveals. With enough time devoted to grinding out armor sets and truly focusing on battles, my 17-18 hours could easily expand to 25 or 30 hours, to say nothing of the time higher-level fights, special events, and playing with friends will take. That’s daunting, but players fearful that Iceborne might be a simple sprint will be pleased to know that it’s actually an intense climb.
Iceborne is one of the most ambitious expansions I’ve played for any game, and it largely lives up to those ambitions. The snow-swept forests and glacial caves of the Hoarfrost Reach are breathtaking in their beauty, and Iceborne’s extensive catalogue provides plenty of challenge. Old-school fans will find a triumphant return to the difficulty they love while those who started with World will clash with some of the franchise’s best creatures. Iceborne picks up the pace without altering the core spirit of what made the series great. And while its narrative and truisms never reconcile with the core gameplay, the experience is consistently exciting. It can be a grindy slog at times, but that’s Monster Hunter. And more Monster Hunter is always welcome.
In Resident Evil 4 players have a huge variety of weapons and attacks to choose from. But YouTuber Dante Ravioli decided to use something very different to kill one of the most famous enemies in the game. Instead of a shotgun or pistol, they kicked a door into the chainsaw guy’s face a few dozen times. Surprisingly, this worked.
Dante Ravioli didn’t think this would work. Using just a door to kill a tough enemy sounds ridiculous. It just sounded too improbable to him. However, his whole YouTube channel is dedicated to testing out crazy, impossible or strange challenges in games. “I had to at least give it a shot,” explained Dante Ravioli.
To pull this strange kill off, Ravioli lured the chainsaw guy towards a building with a door and then proceded to run into the building. Then he waited right near the door. Using the loud motor of the chainsaw, Ravioli was able to figure out when he should kick open the door, which damages any enemy directly behind it. Then he just did this over and over and over, until eventually, he had killed his target.
It took him around 30 minutes to successfully kill Dr. Salvador, the actual name of that chainsaw-wielding boss. The first half of that was filled with some mistakes and restarts. Once Ravioli got the timing down, he was able to kill the chainsaw loving doctor in about 14 minutes. He posted the whole unedited fight on YouTube.
It is quite comical to see such a deadly and scary enemy reduced to a bumbling idiot. He keeps falling for the same trick, over and over. Come on, dude. Quit falling for this door trick. You’re a doctor. You’re smarter than this.
This isn’t the only boss Ravioli has killed using a door in Resident Evil 4. A much more challenging opponent was the Verdugo. It took two hours of door smashing to finally kill that tough enemy. “This took so many attempts that my thumb was starting to hurt after mashing the ‘door open’ button for so long,” said Ravioli.
While Dante Ravioli would love to kill more bosses in Resident Evil 4 using just a door, it seems unlikely. The problem is that most bosses in the game aren’t near doors. However, Ravioli does believe that if a door was available near other bosses in the game, this could work. It seems nobody is immune to a door hitting them in the face a few dozen times.
In 1996 Capcom released Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, a competitive puzzle game featuring chibi versions of Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters. The closest Capcom’s gotten to making a sequel is a failed free-to-play mobile game. It’s cool, though. Indie developer Nicalis just released Crystal Crisis, and it’s all current-gen gem-fighting fans could possibly need.
The only thing Crystal Crisis, out now for Switch and coming soon to PlayStation 4, is missing is the licensed Capcom characters. Instead of chibi versions of Ken, Chun-Li, and Morrigan, developer/publisher Nicalis has populated its take on puzzle combat with a cast of indie darlings. It’s got Quote and Curly from Cave Story. Aban Hawkins from 1001 Spikes makes an appearance. My favorite sword-wielding princess, Solange, takes a break from Code of Princess. Astro Boy? Sure, why not? I particularly enjoy the inclusion of Turbo Duo mascot Johnny Turbo, who’s both a fighter and the voice of the game’s tutorial.
It’s an eclectic mix of characters, each bringing their own quirks and special abilities to the puzzle-fighting arena. The core game involves two or more players matching gems as they drop from the top of the screen in pairs. Players match same-colored crystals into clusters. When a special gem called a “spark crystal” appears, matching it with a similarly colored cluster will cause it to disappear, dropping garbage gems on their opponents. Garbage gems can’t be matched until a timer counts down. The goal is to bury opponents in garbage gems until there’s no more space for blocks to drop.
As players make matches, their “burst gauge” fills. Once filled, they can activate a burst power. Each character has unique defensive and offensive burst powers. For example, Johnny Turbo’s attack burst slows the speed at which his opponents’ gems fall and prevents them from insta-dropping (slamming) gems. His defense burst increases the rate at which garbage gems count down, making it easier for him to recover from strong enemy attacks. Burst powers can turn the tide of battle in an instant, so choosing a character is much more than a cosmetic decision.
Bursts aren’t the only way Crystal Crisis sets itself apart from Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Pairs of gems in the new game can wrap around the sides of the screen. If the player has a red-and-blue pair dropping, they can have one drop on the far left of the screen and one drop on the far right. It’s just a slight change to the Puzzle Fighter formula, but it makes a big difference. And for those who hate differences, both bursts and screen wrapping can be turned off in the game’s menu.
Crystal Crisis gives players a lot of different ways to play. There’s an arcade mode, where players can run each character through a gamut of battles. Story mode is slightly more guided, giving players a choice between which two combatants they wish to play as for each stage of the narrative. There’s local versus for up to four players, which is lovely but lacks the flashy presentation of two-player battles. There are ranked and casual online matches as well. Most of the game modes can be played in multiple ways as well, with options for survival, tag-team, and memory battles unlocked as players progress. There’s even something called inline mode, which removes spark crystals, turning Crystal Crisis into a basic match-three style puzzle game.
What impresses me most is Crystal Crisis’ presentation. The music is excellent. The menus are lovely. Best of all, Nicalis got a legendary voice actor to narrate the game. Listen.
That’s Peter Cullen, AKA Optimus Prime. When Optimus Prime says you’ve won the round, you’ve really freaking won the round, dammit. If Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo had gotten this level of love and care, we wouldn’t need a Crystal Crisis. But it didn’t, and we do, and it’s awesome.
CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has become quite popular these days, thanks to a recent viral meme and now a new mod from BeastGamingHD and Marcos RC brings the internet’s favorite gangster into the world of Resident Evil 2. But he isn’t alone. Mr.X has been replaced with the one and only, Big Smoke, also from San Andreas.
The mod adds audio clips and character models ripped right out of the original San Andreas into RE2. So when Smoke hits CJ he asks “You okay, man?” in a sad and serious voice, which makes me laugh everytime I hear it.
This Big Smoke and CJ mod is just one more to add to the giant pile that is Resident Evil 2 mods. From broken faces to a nearly naked Mr.X, the modding community has really been pumping out wonderful content for RE2.
The latest video game throwback is here: Capcom Home Arcade is a plug-and-play fight stick with 16 classic arcade games, including standbys like Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, lesser-seen favorites like Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, and a few non-fighting game titles like Strider and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.
The joystick comes with an HDMI cable and a USB power supply, so it’s ready to go right out the box.
I missed out on Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma when it first released in 2012. The reception was positive, if somewhat mixed. The Kotaku review noted that it was a game with potential that fell short. Since then, it’s developed a cult following thanks to intense monster slaying and a large open world. The upcoming Switch port for its enhanced version, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, is fantastic, and after pouring nearly 20 hours into it this weekend, I’ve yet to get bored.
In Dragon’s Dogma, you’re a dumb schmuck fisherman whose heart is ripped out by a dragon. You survive as the Arisen, a chosen hero destined to slay the beast. What follows is an ambling adventure through a hostile open world packed with chimera, ogres, and other massive creatures. Each new battle is a chance to test your mettle and experiment with an intricate job system that offers numerous ways to tackle challenges. It’s a bit janky, but God if it isn’t fantastic fun.
Whether you’re using holy magic spells to zap a necromancer or smashing a golem’s gems to methodically down it, every single encounter in Dragon’s Dogma is amazing. Combat splits the difference between Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. Striking a large enemy’s weak point yields dramatic results: The best way to fight a griffin is to climb on its back and shred the wings to ground it. You can stop a chimera from casting magic if you kills its goat head first. For every moment you spend exploring the world, there’s a boss monster lurking in the woods or ready to swoop out of the sky. Skyrim’s dragon attacks were neat, but I could kill those with a few well- placed arrow shots. Dragon’s Dogma’s monster fights are hard, consistently intense work.
The moment Dragon’s Dogma “clicked” for me was when I was playing as a Mystic Knight, one of the game’s advanced jobs. They can imbue their swords and shields with magical energy. I had been imbuing mine with fire magic so that anyone striking it would take damage. When a bandit rushed me, I raised my shield for a perfect parry. The bandit flew into the air and was burned to a crisp by a fireball that blasted from my shield. The world of Dragon’s Dogma is generic fantasy, no more unique than Skryrim, but combat keeps things fresh with a variety of jobs that have unique skills and strengths. A broadsword-using warrior can uppercut enemies into the air; a powerful enough sorcerer can summon a massive dark-energy tornado that lifts goblins into the air and drops them to the ground with a splat.
You’re also able to summon AI companions called Pawns. These assistants, the majority of which are player creations, learn from their experiences. After fighting undead, for instance, they’ll be wise to the fact that zombies are weak to fire magic. If I have a Mage Pawn, they’ll buff my party with holy magic when facing necromancers or dark beasts, allowing my Ranger pal to let loose with blessed arrows. They’re prone to some mindless risk taking from time to time, but it beats going it alone. Even better, your created Pawn earns rewards when summoned by other players. I’m playing before launch, so that only happens from time to time, but it’s still helped in many cases. It feels good to know that you’ve helped someone else, even indirectly.
The port functions well, too. Whether handheld or docked, it runs well and is easy to control. Unlike Dark Souls Remastered, which is a good port that is hard to play handheld, I’ve always felt like a capable player with Dragon’s Dogma, regardless of the mode I’m in. The graphics aren’t perfect—everything’s a bit brighter for some reason—but it runs well. This is the Dark Arisen version, which adds all of the preexisting expansion and downloadable content, including a difficult multilayered dungeon that feels plucked straight out of Dark Souls. It’s as complete a Dragon’s Dogma package as you’ll find.
I was aware of the cult following Dragon’s Dogma had amassed, but I’d never poured much time into it myself. That was a huge mistake. This is a deep RPG where your job class matters and where each new trip through the world results in epic battles. There are aspects that can feel repetitive, and the main story isn’t anything to write home about, but I’m hard-pressed to think of the last time I got this excited about exploring an open world. Fans looking for an excuse to replay Dragon’s Dogma should be pleased, and if you’re a newbie like me, you’ll find an RPG to sink countless hours into it when it releases on April 23.