Resident Evil: Revelations- Proof Traditional Handhelds Are Here To Stay
What's that? Smart phones will replace portable systems? Nope, not even close to happening.
With iPhone and iPad graphics advancing at such a quick pace, some financial analysts and smart phone supporters think traditional gaming handhelds are an endangered species.
The counterpoint? Resident Evil: Revelations.
Look no further than Capcom's latest adventure for proof that systems like 3DS and PlayStation Vita are here to stay.
It starts with the visuals, which are among the best we've seen on a portable device. The game drips with detail from every digital pore. You see the boat, and it's the little things as well as the big...the paintings hanging on walls, flickering candle light, fog in a well-lit dining room, the snow from a TV on the fritz, grime inside a toilet, pieces of equipment in some medical bay...this is just a few steps below console quality. The ship even tilts with the ocean. Phenomenal stuff.
Granted, iOS plays host to some impressive looking games, Infinity Blade 2 being one. Keep in mind, though, that IB2 and its prequel restrict your movement to just left and right, and even then, that's to dodge attacks. You can't move freely within the environment. There was that Epic Citadel demo that showed us what could be done using Unreal Engine, but it was devoid of enemies and many special effects, things that would possibly (and significantly) affect performance.
Then you have other elements, like the cut scenes and story as a whole. No mobile game has a narrative that deep and involving, with characters players genuinely care about. Developers just haven't taken the necessary step to offer this sort of thing on the App Store. The closest we've come are point and click adventures (mostly ports of old games), the Infinity Blade series and perhaps a few Elder Scrolls clones, most of which are cheesier than even Resident Evil.
Of course, and if you're a handheld purist, controls are a huge deal. On smart phones, you need those virtual analog sticks and buttons. With 3DS, you have physical buttons and a circle pad, maybe two, if you pick up Circle Pad Pro.
Don't get us wrong. We enjoy playing games on iOS and love what companies have done thus far, but until 3DS sales plummet and mobile phone graphics meet console standards, it's a bit too early to simply write off portable systems.
At the end of the day, you don't need a finance degree to make that call.