Just across from the Dark Void screen sat an inconspicuous Wii cabinet with the neo-retro Mega Man 9. We were disappointed with the cheap filtered display that lent a blurry look to the low-res graphics; there are much better ways to handle this, especially on a game that isn't very taxing. Everything else oozed authenticity though, and it was apparent that Capcom has painstakingly reverse-engineered their old games in order to retrace their steps back to 8-bit era.
No compromises have been made in preserving the feel of the classic NES games. This isn't just a game with an NES-like visual style; it sticks to the rules and could have run on the real deal. The difficulty is likewise intact, with some nasty precision-platforming to test your timing. We were disappointed to find moves like the slide and charge-shot missing, but the level design offered some revealing clues that Mega Man would gain some interesting new abilities along the way.
Resident Evil 5 was the star of the show, and Capcom gave it the appropriate treatment with giant high-def screens, leather seats, and surround sound setups for an optimal experience. The previous game in the series was not only a reinvention of the franchise, but the most critically acclaimed game in the series, so it comes as no surprise that Capcom is pushing their follow-up hard.
And make no mistake; this is a direct extension of RE4 in every way. The control scheme is nearly identical, with the left analog used to turn and move forward and back - a rough transition from the similar games with more Gears of War-like schemes. Just like its predecessor, it pushes the series further away from the classic notion of survival-horror and into shooter territory with plentiful ammo and lots of gunplay. Waves and waves of Plagas-infected African villagers stormed the newly roided-out Chris Redfield in what seemed like an endless flood.
The biggest change is the new partner system. Unlike the useless damsel in distress that was Ashley in RE4, Sheva is a combat-savvy hard-body, and more than capable of holding her own. Sure, you're still accountable for keeping her alive, and you'll need to pay attention to her cries of distress, but she'll save Chris' butt just as much as he'll save hers. We didn't get to play co-op, but we can see how this will have massive appeal.
After over an hour, our time in Capcomland had to come to an end. We didn't even get to play the new Bionic Commando titles, but this should just serve as a testament to just how much there was to see here. It feels like some companies didn't take this new smaller E3 as seriously, but the house that Mega Man built stepped up in a big way, and we hope it pays off for them.
CCC Game Journalist