I got to toy with Sony’s Wonderbook at a one-on-one event in downtown Manhattan. Most will remember Sony’s new book-meets-augmented reality gadget from its E3 conference back in May. It stalled the show for a while due to technical problems, but nothing went wrong with my experience. It was flighty, carefree fun, the kind of thing a gamer parent could enjoy with his/her child. The power of reading combined with the interactive possibility of video games! It’s edutainment for the motion-controller generation.
Not far from the Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation demo at Sony’s NYCC booth sat another afterthought of a demo: Persona 4 Golden. This ultra-enhanced port of 2008 PlayStation 2 RPG Persona 4 boasts a laundry list of new features and improvements.
I experienced very little of those new features in this demo, one of which was the gorgeous new animated intro. It’s dazzling; a smorgasbord of color and stylish design. Persona 4 Golden has got to be the PS Vita’s best-looking game in terms of presentation.
I got to go hands-on with Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, the Vita-only tie-in to Assassin’s Creed III, both due out in a couple weeks on October 30th. I wish I could say I was impressed with what Liberation had to show, but I can’t. Why it left me cold is multiform. First, it was poorly designed demo played at Sony’s terribly designed “booth” at New York Comic Con last week. There was no tutorial to give me even the basics of combat and with no one knowledgeable on-hand to offer a hint of assistance I was left to my own devices. There was a controller schematic at the demo station yet that proved useless. Sluggish gameplay and unresponsive controls marred an otherwise interesting-looking title.
With the release of Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U, rapidly approaching (November 18th, for those not in the know), fans interested in picking it up will no doubt want to look into what titles to purchase to complement it. While Nintendo’s launch window is absurdly long (spanning from November to March of 2013), there are over 20 great-looking titles hitting store shelves on day one. One such title, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, is an enhanced port of Ninja Gaiden 3, released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 earlier this year. Ninja Gaiden 3 suffered from grievous design flaws, including bland enemies and levels, simplified combat mechanics and weapon options, unresponsive controls and a forced and melodramatic storyline. For an action game of Ninja Gaiden’s caliber, the direction Team Ninja went with Ninja Gaiden 3 was utterly baffling and insulting for long-time fans, who had come to cherish the technical combat and brutal difficulty of previous titles. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is Team Ninja’s attempt at correcting the issues that ruined the original release, and I’m pleased to report that they’ve made huge strides on that front. While there are still a few niggling technical issues with Razor’s Edge, I’d argue that it is a truer sequel to Ninja Gaiden 2 than 3.
This past E3 I only got to watch the new, vulnerable Lara Croft shimmy across a wrecked plane hanging off a cliff in Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot. At an off-site New York Comic Con event last week, I played the same scene for myself and in doing so, gained a feel for Tomb Raider’s simple controls and graceful movement.
Each button on the controller (Xbox 360 in this case, though the game will also be available on PS3 and PC in early 2013) has one function, so controller complexity shouldn’t be an issue. That’s a far cry from the awkward tile-based movement of Lara’s older PS1 adventures. In the pre-beta demo I experienced, I guided Lara up to the crashed plane after soaking in the vast watery vistas around her. She ran at a good clip, despite holding her side the entire time from a puncture wound, and the camera glided along right behind her, always at the best and most cinematic vantage point, though the camera was also controllable via right analog stick.
New York City’s Jacob Javits Center once again played host to New York Comic Con, a four-day extravaganza that culls together comics, movies, fantasy, sci-fi, celebrity, anime, and video games. The varied entertainment mediums and genres attract a great many people; a lot of people. Some of those attendees step onto the show floor in their everyday garb, but a seemingly equal number come dressed as Batman, Nightwing, Master Chief, Doctor Who, or other nerd-icon.
Gamers whose joysticks have been active since the days of the 16-bit console war will find it hard to not to cast a nostalgic eye toward Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. The upcoming arcade racer is the sequel to 2010′s Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, a game that culled properties from the varied SEGA universe and plopped them into one title for some Mario Kart-like racing action. Featuring more levels, characters, and racing modes, Sonic and All-Stars Racing is a light-hearted romp through one video game company’s history.
There’s a whole lot of hunting going at New York Comic Con this year. Absent from our shores for far, far, far too long, Capcom granted mercy and silenced our pleas by finally bringing Monster Hunter back to the West with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the 3DS and Wii U. A combination of elements from Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii and the Japan-only PSP release Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, it looks to be the most complete version of Capcom’s action-RPG series yet. At least until Monster Hunter 4 comes out.
New York Comic Con 2012, the east coast celebration of all things geeky, is a week of way. The crew is gearing up for our annual coverage of anime, comics, and of course, video games, but we also have another yearly tradition: chatting with Alyssa, a cosplayer that we met in 2010.
In previous years, we discussed her connection to Mortal Kombat’s Mileena, nerd tendencies, and the joy that is New York Comic Con. This time out? Well, you’ll see.
Tekken Series Director Katsuhiro Harada and Tekken Game Designer Michael Murray chat it up with 2D-X about, well, Tekken in an exclusive interview record at New York Comic Con 2011! This is one sure to raise the ire of long-time Tekken players when it comes to the future of certain series characters.