The team at Aspyr Media is having a field day with re-releasing Star Wars games at the moment, including hits like Jedi Academy and Episode I Racer. But now things are getting serious, as it’s set to squad up this April with the return of Republic Commando.
The first-person shooter/strategy game first debuted on the Xbox platform years ago, then recently resurfaced when it becomes available as an enhanced title for the Xbox One and, later on, Xbox Series X. But now Aspyr wants to introduce the legend of the Delta Squad to more players, as the game will be available on April 6th for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. In addition, it will also be reasonably priced, going for just $14.99.
The game won’t have multiplayer like the original version. However, improvements will be made to the game’s controls to make them a little more current, so they work wonders with the DualShock 4, DualSense and Switch controllers. So you’ll have that going for you. Plus it’s bound to look great!
The trailer is below, so give it a look and prepare for the return of the Commando! Now, if we can just get some TIE Fighter titles going…
In 2014, Bandai Namco decided to give Godzilla another try on the console front, after years had gone by since the glory days of Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla Save the Earth. So, on PlayStation 4, it released a contemporary fighting game featuring the giant monster and his buddies, trashing everything as best as they could.
The game didn’t quite fare as well as the company was hoping, as it got poor scores from critics and didn’t sell as well as it would hope. And when the license faded, it decided to quietly end its production and move onto other projects.
But then something happened. If you do a quick search for the game on eBay, you’ll find that it’s become an impressive collector’s item, with complete copies selling for anywhere between $160 to $250 – and maybe even higher if the game is brand new and sealed. That makes it the rarest PlayStation 4 game out there, aside from the physical version of Gravity Rush Remastered, which also didn’t get that big a production run.
So what happened? Did the game strike a chord alongside the same levels as the previous PlayStation 2/Xbox/GameCube Godzilla games? Or did fans just want something featuring the big lug, since there are really no other games featuring him?
Even though most critics found the gameplay lacking in the new Godzilla game, there’s no question that its essence is true to the original films of lore. IGN actually noted in its review (with a score of 4.5, by the way) that “the spirit of the old-school monster movie is where Bandai Namco absolutely nails it.”
The game was actually developed by the team at Natsume, a bit of a stretch from the previous developers of Godzilla games. However, the team did its homework, going for that old-school mantra and even going as far as leveling up the destruction so that it took advantage of the PS4 hardware. For good measure, players could also unlock special modes related to Godzilla, such as Evolution Mode, the Kaiji Field Guide, and even the peculiar Diorama mode, featuring a number of memorable monster models. This would allow players to recreate infamous battles from the films.
More than likely, the sheer essence of classic cinematic Godzilla is what makes the game such a huge draw. For good measure, it’s also got a who’s who of monsters from the films, as follows:
Godzilla, four versions (including the 1995 version and the more current 2014 one from the box office hit)
King Ghidorah (Heisei)
Mechagodzilla (both the 1974 and 1975 versions)
Battra (Larva and Imago)
Gigan (the upgraded 2004 version)
Jet Jaguar (YES!)
There’s just a ton of content here for old-school fans, as well as those thirsting for a big monster fight. Again, the controls may not have been as smooth as Melee, but regardless, it set the stage for some big monster encounters – and still kind of does today.
As for why fans may have passed upon it at release, it didn’t get as much hype as many were expecting. That may have been due to the lacking reviews at the time, or the fact that the license just wasn’t as big of a draw as, say, Tekken or Soul Calibur. That’s a bit mind-boggling, considering Godzilla’s universal appeal. And let’s not forget the movie that came out at the same time, too.
But now fans are discovering it and even asking for a reprinting, though the license is likely out of Bandai Namco’s hands at this point. There’s always the possibility of a sequel, especially with Godzilla vs. Kong creeping up on us next month. But, for now, if you want to track down the original, it’ll cost you a pretty penny. But, hey, to some of us die-hard kaiju fans, it’ll certainly be worth it.
So right now, we’re in the midst of a major shutdown of, well, pretty much everything due to the Coronavirus. States are shutting down bars and restaurants; stores are becoming barren with supplies; and, well, E3 is no more.
But this, soon enough, shall pass once a vaccine is figured out and all that. But even then, E3 is no more, as we pointed out in a previous editorial. And while there are a lot of digital events that will be happening (so we can enjoy them in our jammies like damn human beings), there’s not really any sort of gathering planned to get us through the doldrums of our gaming summer.
Ah, but that’s where I’d like to make a request – PlayStation Experience.
For those unfamiliar, this Sony-exclusive event was a big hit with fans over the years. It originally began in 2002 in Europe, but started its U.S. run in 2014, taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Soon enough, Sony moved it to San Francisco and finally Anaheim, where players could go to Disneyland when they weren’t enjoying up-and-coming games on the horizon.
The last couple of years haven’t seen an event like this, but both 2016 and 2017 were magical years for the event. 2016 in particular was huge, as Sony introduced a number of potential hits, like Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Persona 5, and several others. It became a haven for both AAA and indie releases. 2017, not so much, as there weren’t as many games. But it was still a winner with fans.
Then, in 2018, it kind of faded off. Sony switched it to Southeast Asia for some reason and left U.S. gamers high and dry. Then it started skipping E3 and going with digital presentations, akin to what Nintendo was doing with its Direct specials.
But here we are in 2020, with the PlayStation 5 just months away (pending any sort of Coronavirus-related incidents, of course), and there’s no word on what Sony has in mind. That’s why we’re thinking that the PlayStation Experience would be perfect. Mind you, later this summer (think late June or early July after all this illness stuff is figured out) when we could get a first look at the hardware and, more importantly, the games the company has in mind.
Sony’s always had a way to pace these shows out so that users could enjoy a handful of great games, including potential PS5 releases. So, a new PSE in Anaheim would make sense. First off, it wouldn’t be overcrowded like E3 usually is, preventing pretty much anything from being seen. And Sony could literally take the show any direction it sees fit, whether they’re hyping Horizon Zero Dawn 2, Knack 3 (c’mon, you want it) or whatever else it has planned for the new hardware. Not to mention a great indie showcase for those that want to see it.
And considering that E3 is done for (and, for that matter, EA Play and, for all we know, maybe even PAX West), we need some kind of get-together to remind us how great gaming is. And the PlayStation Experience could be the comeback ticket.
Obviously, Sony isn’t thinking about it at this moment, since it’s just released MLB the Show 20 and Nioh 2 for fans to enjoy, with The Last of Us Part II not too far off. But it doesn’t hurt to have it in the back of their minds, prepping for some kind of summer event where people could get together and enjoy all that Sony has to offer.
Just a thought. I mean, what else are they going to do, have a digital presentation? It makes sense if the Coronavirus is long-term, sure. But they want that crowd reaction. They heard it from the previous PSE events and it just works. And the PlayStation 5 could bring the biggest one yet, especially – and we’re crossing our fingers on this – if backward compatibility is a thing. We need that.
So, give it some thought, Sony. Obviously, you’ve got other things on your plate, but the return of the PlayStation Experience would be a big hit with us. And, hey, you could bring back Cory Barlog and company for presentations. And surprises. Heck, even bring along Greg Miller for something. (Provided he’s wearing a shirt.)