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Capcom Holiday Gift Guide

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With the holidays just a few weeks away, Examiner takes a long look at a hearty helping of Capcom gaming goodness, breaking down their six biggest titles of 2013 from the newest update in their always awesome “Devil May Cry” series to a remake of an NES classic, “DuckTales.”

Are these titles worth adding to your Christmas list or getting for a friend? Continue reading and find out for yourself.

DuckTales ReMastered: For those that grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System classic, you’ll feel right at home with the remastered version. But with new sprites, a new tutorial level, new voice work by the original cast and updated controls, this DuckTales can hold its own with a plethora of platformers on the 360. Although it does show its age at times, many of the problems arise from the same faults as the original, such as flimsy and unresponsive controls, making anyone who first experienced it in 1989 much more forgiving.

One other problem is the story, which has a much larger hold of the game than the original. Newcomers won’t find this a problem, as the original voice of Scrooge McDuck, Allen Young, handles the workload wonderfully. Veteran gamers however will wonder why the game stops every 10 minutes or so for story elements that aren’t necessarily needed. Either way you look at it however, it’s obvious that more attention to the story makes for a “fuller” title this time around. Newer gamers will find it an interesting piece of nostalgia and just like old-school gamers, find the HD coat of graphical paint a nice touch.

The Final Verdict: Originally released over the summer, “DuckTales: Remastered” is still a worthwhile holiday purchase a few months later. At a fan-friendly $19.99 retail price point, it’s essentially a low-risk high reward purchase.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen: The first major expansion for the “Dragon’s Dogma” series, “Dark Arisen” comes with plenty of new weapons and enemies. For those who haven’t played the series yet, Capcom provides the type of title here that like an “Elder Scrolls,” “Fallout” or “Diablo” fan can quickly get attached to. But unlike the afformentioned games, regardless of how strong you are, there are enemies in the game that can quickly kill you. That sense of vulnerability is hardly found in an RPG like this. Add in the size of the world and the sheer depth of the story and you have an epic RPG experience.

The game plays like a combination of “Skyrim” and “Shadow of the Colossus.” The typical Action/RPG fanfare is all there, but the combat system, which allows you to jump and climb on large enemies, is super intuitive and fun. The three different types of classes and the ability to switch them up makes for rewarding and different gameplay.

The story too is a deep and gripping one. After fighting off a mighty dragon from your village, you find yourself embattled in the type of story that steals your attention. From the game’s first few scenes, where you kill a Cerebus, to the game’s "opener," where you stare into a Dragon’s eyes and watch him steal your heart, you’ll feel more than compelled to continue playing.

The “Dark Arisen” expansion, which becomes accessible after you finish the main game, contains anywhere from 12-15 hours of extra gameplay in the form of a new dungeon on Bitterblack Isle. Still a foreboding a difficult adventure, even veterans of the series will fear death at every corner. Much like Atlus’ “Demon’s Souls,” you’ll die often, but you’ll quickly want to rejoin the fight and avenge what is sure to be just another death. Simply put, while the combat is satisfying and fun, it does require thought. Those who wish to just run into battle with their sword will be the first ones to die.

The Final Verdict: With more weapons, enemies and things to do, the first major expansion pack for “Dragon’s Dogma” is an absolute must own. For those who haven’t played the series yet, there’s never been a more opportune time to start.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies: Like a great TV drama, the Phoenix Wright series requires you to fall in love with both the story and the characters. More an electronic and immersive graphic novel than a fully-fledged video game, the series isn’t for casual button mashers. Just like some gamers prefer first-person shooters over RPGs, the group that prefer this hybrid title will instantly fall in love with “Dual Destinies.” And for those that are attracted to its sheen, they’ll find it a game that can easily steal hours of their time.

Those who would rather spend their time looking through a sniper’s scope, than reading a plethora of text however, can’t and won’t appreciate what the series has to offer.

The Final Verdict (No Pun Intended): For the first time in full 3D, there’s more than the signature story telling that makes “Dual Destinies” shine. The courtroom and the characters look beautiful, as well as the many cinemas that help put the pieces of the story together. You won’t expect the game to look this good. Considering its narrative-heavy diet, it certainly doesn’t need to either. Nevertheless, it’s easily one of the game’s biggest selling points.

DMC: Devil May Cry: Hilarious and sexy, this “Devil May Cry” will appeal to fans of the original more than the other games in the series. The world and gamers have changed quite a bit since the first game came out on the PlayStation 2 and this latest edition in the series manages to grow with the times as well as poke fun at its awesome legacy. With the world under the grips of one man, our hero Dante is looked at as a “loose end” and must be dealt with. Happy and content as a drunken, sex-crazed loser in his trailer, the last thing Dante wants to do is fight against the minions of hell.

If the story sounds familiar, well, that’s because it is. Dante, stuck in limbo once again, must fight his way through hordes of enemies and a ton of levels. Again, there’s sexy women to be had that help Dante along the way as well as his twin brother, Vergil. Like the other games in the series, it makes up for its predictability with awesome boss fights, a sick combo system and beautiful graphics. Looking a lot like the scenes from the film “Constantine,” when Keanu Reaves is traveling through hell, the visuals in “DMC” are easily one of the game’s brightest features. At the same time, the tried and true gameplay was never broken and luckily, Capcom doesn’t try to fix it.

The Final Verdict: This sleeker, smoother and more provocative addition to classic series will leave you drooling from the opening montage. After you kill a few dozen enemies with your trusty sword and guns, you’ll feel like you’ve been reunited with an old friend.

Lost Planet 3: Set 50 years before the events of the first “Lost Planet,” this game is definitely geared more towards fans of the series. At the same time, since it’s a prequel, it’s not a bad place to start for newcomers either.

If you’ve played the series before, the gameplay is similar in the fact that you’ll explore by yourself and in your mech. There’s a heck of a lot of third-person shooting to be had and if you’re the kind of gamer that enjoys the “Gears of War” series, these gameplay sections will be fun and intuitive.

While the enemies and gameplay are cool, it’s the characters, graphics and story that’ll hook you the most. Like a James Cameron film, you’ll be taken to a far-away world with plenty of friends and unknown alien enemies. The interaction between the characters and plot development in the end is what really sets the game apart from its predecessors.

The Final Verdict: The “Avatar” inspired story is not a bad one and the mech-battling holds up well too. There isn’t a moment however that truly inspires or makes you say, “Wow.” That being said, fans of the original will still find this a worthwhile romp through the backstory of the series.

Remember Me: There are some huge concepts in “Remember Me.” More like a Christopher Nolan film than a video game, the story is incredibly immersive. When you’re memories become a commodity, the world needs saving and Nilan, the best memory hunter of the all essentially comes back from the dead to save the world. With it’s chic level design and awesome lighting effects, the game often times feels like “Assassin’s Creed,” while the constant jumping and climbing remind several gamers of the “Prince of Persia” series. Overall, it’s an intriguing blend of story and action.

Most of the game however is of the rather vanilla and straight-forward combat type. Definitely linear, there isn’t much time to explore this beautifully rendered world of memories. The game’s whole combo system, as well, is a bit too much. Involving programmable combo strings, or “pressens,” which you must manually input in another menu screen in order to learn, it almost taken the fun out of the simple brawling. While the combos themselves are cool, there are a few too many steps involved in order to reap the benefits of the story.

If you have the patience to battle through the extra frills and menus however, “Remember Me” will knock you out of your boots at times.

The Final Verdict: If you’re into beat-em-ups with endearing characters and a one of a kind story, then “Remember Me” will strike a chord with you. The combat is fun at times, but in the end, it’s rather too lather, rinse, repeat for most gamers. That being said, the story is one of the most thought-out and well-written of this console generation. There’s a ton of potential here, but the linear combat system hurts the game’s overall appeal.

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