PAX thoughts, day 3

And now PAX has ended (rather unceremoniously if anyone saw the Omegathon final). Good year If I do say so myself. I didn't spend as much time on the show floor today to allow a friend to experience it for the first time, but perhaps that was a blessing in disguise, as after two days I was a bit burnt out. But enough about me, here are the rest of the games I got to today!  
 
Click to check out my PAX thoughts from days 1 and 2
 
Split Second: 
I don't want to be misunderstood; the demo was a ton of fun. I like to think of it as a more serious and realistic Mario Kart, since you can cause the drivers in front of you to crash in a fiery inferno under the right circumstances. It was a blast to tell you the truth. That said, I don't see it being worth 60 bucks. Perhaps its just because all there was to the demo was the driving itself (no menus or anything) but I didn't see a lot of depth to the game. I apoligize to the developers if I'm just talking out of my ass.  
 
Tekken 6: 
I really only stopped in on it because there was no line and I had a minute or two to kill, so I tried my hand at it, and it was Tekken as usual. Nothing ground breaking here (though Yoshimitsu was especially awesome looking).Its just more Tekken, which depending on the person could either be a good or bad thing. 
 
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny: 
Let me tell my story on this game first. When it was initially announced I was very excited about the prospect of playing Soul Calibur on the go. Then, over time, I started to have my doubts on how well it would control. I will be the first to admit that I ended up being very wrong. Soul Calibur for the PSP works and looks fantastic, and is worth a buy from anyone who has a PSP and enjoys fighters, or has a PSP and merely likes Soul Calibur. 
 
The Saboteur: 
Spent some good time with this game, and I love the freedom available to the player in it. From what I saw most all of it can either be played run and gun or stealth, and that aspect is like a good perfume to me. Something seemed a little off about it, but I'm not sure what it was, and it certainly wasn't game breaking. I'll be looking forward to a final version. 
 
Dead Space Extraction: 
The only thing I can say about this one is this: Soooo dissapointing. Perhaps I have been spoiled with Umbrella Chronicles, but this did not seem like a good on rails shooter. the enemies were extremely slow and could be made even slower with a press of the z button (as long as you weren't constantly using it, this ability never went away). Ammo was scarce, but it seemed less like a design choice, made to bring out more anxious feelings within the character, and more like a simple annoyance. The horror was there for sure, as I jumped in place at one point where an unseen enemy came out of nowhere, but the graphics aren't nearly up to the level that people made it sound like they were.  
 
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days: 
Another dissapointment, what I played of Kingdom Hearts was so ridiculously simplistic that even the beautiful environments couldn't persuade me from disliking it. Having not played other games in the series, I don't know what the combat was like, but I certainly hope it was more than simply doing the same three slices over and over again ad nauseum. There were magic spells too, but their use was limited, and didn't take away from the monotonous feeling. This is on top of learning that no disney or final fantasy characters will be in the game. The saving grace of this game is the good looks, but to me thats hardly a grace at all. 
 
 Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: 
On the other end of the spectrum from Kingdom Hearts is this little game from Ubisoft that I got roped into demoing by a cute Ubi employee, which she described as a "more complicated Bejewled". I could tell early on that this one could be addicting. The game pits you and a group of soldiers on the bottom screen against the computer (or what I can assume would be a second player) and his soldiers on the top. you have three different types of soldiers (plus wizards and griffins occasionally) on a grid, and you line them up either horizontally or vertically in groups of three to progress in the game. vertical lines bring the three troops to the top of the bottom screen and prepare them for attack in a set number of turns, while horizontal lines bring those troops to the front and turn them into brick walls. Attackers will move from the bottom screen to the top screen in the same row they were in, taking down enemy troops and doing damage to enemy walls.  The goal is to send your attacking forces through the defending forces to the top of the screen where they do damage to the opposing player, who has a set number of hit points. This is my suprise of the show. I've never played a Might and Magic game before, but this one caught me hook line and sinker.  
 
Cop The Recruit: 
It was my lucky day, as I was singled out by two different cute Ubisoft employees in the handheld lounge for two different games. Cop was another DS stunner (though I actually knew something about this one before hand. The E3 trailer didn't do this game justice in either graphics or gameplay. The cars, buildings, and characters were far bigger and more detailed than ANYTHING (i mean that) I have ever seen on the DS. it puts every other 3D game on the console to shame, and runs at 60 fps while doing it. On top of that, the cars IMO controled like a dream, and each one handled differently. Shooting worked like a DS shooter should and has sensitivity specifications in case you want things a little tighter.  Its not GTA (you can't run over pedestrians and shooting them is equally hopeless) but frankly, I didn't miss any of the M rated GTA material in the slightest.  There are a few things that should be changed by launch, but I think i'll still buy the game without them. First of all, sometimes its hard to see far away enemies, and some sort of indicator of their location would be nice. Also, the dialogue is cornier than the original Resident Evils. It's really, really bad. lastly, it'd be nice if they implemented diagonal running, as right now you can only run in the directions of the D pad. All in all though, Cop is the complete package, and it will shock DS owners everywhere.  
 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash up 
What would you have if you took Smash Brothers and stripped away all the special (b) attacks? TMNT Smashup. Its a pretty bland game that could use a lot more flair. Thats really all there is to say on it.  
 
The games I never got to:  
Borderlands.  
The line for this was pretty insane, even when I got in early on saturday. I was somewhat interested after the art style changed, but after watching someone play a few minutes, I lost most of my desire. 
 
Left 4 Dead 2 
Is it worth demoing? Come on, we all know its essentially the same as the first game 
 
Dragon Age: Origins 
Sorry, but I don't know the first thing about this game, and It had a line rivaling Borderlands. 
 
Zelda: Chu Chu Train (Spirit Tracks) 
Again, anyone who has played "I'm on a boat!" (Phantom Hourglass) will know everything there is to know about this one.  

21 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by AgentJ

And now PAX has ended (rather unceremoniously if anyone saw the Omegathon final). Good year If I do say so myself. I didn't spend as much time on the show floor today to allow a friend to experience it for the first time, but perhaps that was a blessing in disguise, as after two days I was a bit burnt out. But enough about me, here are the rest of the games I got to today!  
 
Click to check out my PAX thoughts from days 1 and 2
 
Split Second: 
I don't want to be misunderstood; the demo was a ton of fun. I like to think of it as a more serious and realistic Mario Kart, since you can cause the drivers in front of you to crash in a fiery inferno under the right circumstances. It was a blast to tell you the truth. That said, I don't see it being worth 60 bucks. Perhaps its just because all there was to the demo was the driving itself (no menus or anything) but I didn't see a lot of depth to the game. I apoligize to the developers if I'm just talking out of my ass.  
 
Tekken 6: 
I really only stopped in on it because there was no line and I had a minute or two to kill, so I tried my hand at it, and it was Tekken as usual. Nothing ground breaking here (though Yoshimitsu was especially awesome looking).Its just more Tekken, which depending on the person could either be a good or bad thing. 
 
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny: 
Let me tell my story on this game first. When it was initially announced I was very excited about the prospect of playing Soul Calibur on the go. Then, over time, I started to have my doubts on how well it would control. I will be the first to admit that I ended up being very wrong. Soul Calibur for the PSP works and looks fantastic, and is worth a buy from anyone who has a PSP and enjoys fighters, or has a PSP and merely likes Soul Calibur. 
 
The Saboteur: 
Spent some good time with this game, and I love the freedom available to the player in it. From what I saw most all of it can either be played run and gun or stealth, and that aspect is like a good perfume to me. Something seemed a little off about it, but I'm not sure what it was, and it certainly wasn't game breaking. I'll be looking forward to a final version. 
 
Dead Space Extraction: 
The only thing I can say about this one is this: Soooo dissapointing. Perhaps I have been spoiled with Umbrella Chronicles, but this did not seem like a good on rails shooter. the enemies were extremely slow and could be made even slower with a press of the z button (as long as you weren't constantly using it, this ability never went away). Ammo was scarce, but it seemed less like a design choice, made to bring out more anxious feelings within the character, and more like a simple annoyance. The horror was there for sure, as I jumped in place at one point where an unseen enemy came out of nowhere, but the graphics aren't nearly up to the level that people made it sound like they were.  
 
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days: 
Another dissapointment, what I played of Kingdom Hearts was so ridiculously simplistic that even the beautiful environments couldn't persuade me from disliking it. Having not played other games in the series, I don't know what the combat was like, but I certainly hope it was more than simply doing the same three slices over and over again ad nauseum. There were magic spells too, but their use was limited, and didn't take away from the monotonous feeling. This is on top of learning that no disney or final fantasy characters will be in the game. The saving grace of this game is the good looks, but to me thats hardly a grace at all. 
 
 Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes: 
On the other end of the spectrum from Kingdom Hearts is this little game from Ubisoft that I got roped into demoing by a cute Ubi employee, which she described as a "more complicated Bejewled". I could tell early on that this one could be addicting. The game pits you and a group of soldiers on the bottom screen against the computer (or what I can assume would be a second player) and his soldiers on the top. you have three different types of soldiers (plus wizards and griffins occasionally) on a grid, and you line them up either horizontally or vertically in groups of three to progress in the game. vertical lines bring the three troops to the top of the bottom screen and prepare them for attack in a set number of turns, while horizontal lines bring those troops to the front and turn them into brick walls. Attackers will move from the bottom screen to the top screen in the same row they were in, taking down enemy troops and doing damage to enemy walls.  The goal is to send your attacking forces through the defending forces to the top of the screen where they do damage to the opposing player, who has a set number of hit points. This is my suprise of the show. I've never played a Might and Magic game before, but this one caught me hook line and sinker.  
 
Cop The Recruit: 
It was my lucky day, as I was singled out by two different cute Ubisoft employees in the handheld lounge for two different games. Cop was another DS stunner (though I actually knew something about this one before hand. The E3 trailer didn't do this game justice in either graphics or gameplay. The cars, buildings, and characters were far bigger and more detailed than ANYTHING (i mean that) I have ever seen on the DS. it puts every other 3D game on the console to shame, and runs at 60 fps while doing it. On top of that, the cars IMO controled like a dream, and each one handled differently. Shooting worked like a DS shooter should and has sensitivity specifications in case you want things a little tighter.  Its not GTA (you can't run over pedestrians and shooting them is equally hopeless) but frankly, I didn't miss any of the M rated GTA material in the slightest.  There are a few things that should be changed by launch, but I think i'll still buy the game without them. First of all, sometimes its hard to see far away enemies, and some sort of indicator of their location would be nice. Also, the dialogue is cornier than the original Resident Evils. It's really, really bad. lastly, it'd be nice if they implemented diagonal running, as right now you can only run in the directions of the D pad. All in all though, Cop is the complete package, and it will shock DS owners everywhere.  
 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash up 
What would you have if you took Smash Brothers and stripped away all the special (b) attacks? TMNT Smashup. Its a pretty bland game that could use a lot more flair. Thats really all there is to say on it.  
 
The games I never got to:  
Borderlands.  
The line for this was pretty insane, even when I got in early on saturday. I was somewhat interested after the art style changed, but after watching someone play a few minutes, I lost most of my desire. 
 
Left 4 Dead 2 
Is it worth demoing? Come on, we all know its essentially the same as the first game 
 
Dragon Age: Origins 
Sorry, but I don't know the first thing about this game, and It had a line rivaling Borderlands. 
 
Zelda: Chu Chu Train (Spirit Tracks) 
Again, anyone who has played "I'm on a boat!" (Phantom Hourglass) will know everything there is to know about this one.  

Posted by Babble
@AgentJ: 
 
What was the Omegathon final? I didn't end up going today.
Posted by AgentJ
@Babble said:
" @AgentJ:  What was the Omegathon final? I didn't end up going today. "
Skeeball. As in the Chuck-e-cheese Skeeball. The real deal. and Fallout lost it in 3 rounds. He'll be back in the Omegathon next year. 
Posted by oldschool

I was surprised to see what you wrote about Kingdom Hearts, and disappointed as well.  From what I understand, that is just the multiplayer part of the game and I am more interested in the main story, so perhaps it doesn't matter. 
 
Interesting thoughts on COP.  Not mu kind of game, but I could be swayed if it turns out to be good.  Might & Moagic is something I have never played also, so another one to keep an eye on. 
 
I assume you one tired little tyke by now, so it is home for beer, beer, beer, bed, bed, bed?  Sounds like you had a blast.  Still jealous  ^_^

Posted by AgentJ
@oldschool said:
" I was surprised to see what you wrote about Kingdom Hearts, and disappointed as well.  From what I understand, that is just the multiplayer part of the game and I am more interested in the main story, so perhaps it doesn't matter.  Interesting thoughts on COP.  Not mu kind of game, but I could be swayed if it turns out to be good.  Might & Moagic is something I have never played also, so another one to keep an eye on.  I assume you one tired little tyke by now, so it is home for beer, beer, beer, bed, bed, bed?  Sounds like you had a blast.  Still jealous  ^_^ "
No, it just ended up being bed bed bed. Like you assumed, I was exhausted 
 
I don't think that it was just the muiltiplayer part of the game, unless they've put a lot of story into it. Could be, but didn't seem that way
Edited by Lunarbunny
@Babble: The enforcers kept shouting at the main theater hall doors "The Omegathon final is full, final game is Skee-ball."
Posted by RHCPfan24

Dead Space: Extraction was disappointing? I can't say I am surprised but that is a shame. I actually had hopes for that one. Good blog though, you lucky bastard. ;)

Posted by AgentJ

Here are some swag pictures: 

 


 


 
There was more stuff , but most of it wasn't worth while. I'll take pictures of the three shirts that were given away after they go through the wash
Posted by hpv

Actually, the Borderlands line wasn't that bad.  They were moving people through it fairly quickly and the game is absolutely stunning to play.  It really blew me away.  I haven't been this impressed with a game since Super Mario 64.  Absolutely stunning and the Gearbox guys were great about answering questions.
 
The Dragon Age line on the other hand was INSANE!  They were taking ten people at a time for a 30 minute demo that would occasionally run a few minutes over.  I got in right at 10 on Sunday and got to play it just after 1:30.  I was mildly interested going in and came out super impressed with it, too.  Maybe it's just the way the blood splatters and accumulates on your guys, but it was totally sweet.
 
Of course, that's basically ALL I played on Sunday.  But I have no regrets.

Posted by AgentJ
@hpv said:
" Actually, the Borderlands line wasn't that bad.  They were moving people through it fairly quickly and the game is absolutely stunning to play.  It really blew me away.  I haven't been this impressed with a game since Super Mario 64.  Absolutely stunning and the Gearbox guys were great about answering questions. The Dragon Age line on the other hand was INSANE!  They were taking ten people at a time for a 30 minute demo that would occasionally run a few minutes over.  I got in right at 10 on Sunday and got to play it just after 1:30.  I was mildly interested going in and came out super impressed with it, too.  Maybe it's just the way the blood splatters and accumulates on your guys, but it was totally sweet.   Of course, that's basically ALL I played on Sunday.  But I have no regrets. "
Interesting. any game that you can compare the gameplay to? It looked kind of like a more open left 4 dead to me. 
Posted by SJSchmidt93

Lets make this clear... I envy you.

Posted by Lunarbunny

I stood in line for Borderlands and joked with Randy Pitchford about the "poker on a riverboat with Gabe Newell" story while in line. 
 
Actual gameplay is about what I expected, which is a good thing. I only did some really basic stuff as there's way too much to do in that little time, didn't really pick up any new weapons or any of that stuff. Saw some fun things on other screens like poison shotguns and electric pistols. I like the art style and I like the way the damage numbers fly off of enemies. 
 
Best gameplay comparison is probably a slightly more RPG-ey STALKER.

Posted by AgentJ
@Lunarbunny said:
" I stood in line for Borderlands and joked with Randy Pitchford about the "poker on a riverboat with Gabe Newell" story while in line.  Actual gameplay is about what I expected, which is a good thing. I only did some really basic stuff as there's way too much to do in that little time, didn't really pick up any new weapons or any of that stuff. Saw some fun things on other screens like poison shotguns and electric pistols. I like the art style and I like the way the damage numbers fly off of enemies.  Best gameplay comparison is probably a slightly more RPG-ey STALKER. "
Crap, haven't played the game... 
@SJSchmidt93 said:
" Lets make this clear... I envy you. "
@RHCPfan24 said:
" Dead Space: Extraction was disappointing? I can't say I am surprised but that is a shame. I actually had hopes for that one. Good blog though, you lucky bastard. ;) "
Thanks for the nice thoughts guys!
Edited by Al3xand3r

Why are they even calling that thing Might & Magic? It sounds like a Puzzle Quest rip off, and it looks all animesque like Fire Emblem, so it basically has no elements of the Might & Magic franchise whatsoever.

Still, it sounds good, but it's annoying that a) it won't stand on its own light b) it may create confusion about the whole franchise to people who don't know of it (like old school) and c) eh, I can't think of anything. Still, I'd probably play it and love it if the campaign is engaging, as I loved Puzzle Quest, but was disapointed in Galactrix.

What's wrong with the Extraction graphics? Are they not like the numerous videos we've seen? I don't know what it's hyped as, just what I've seen from the videos, which look pretty good aside from things like the watery area. As for how easy it was due to the slow enemies, I imagine it gets tougher as you progress, like any lightgun game. It seems to be able to handle lots of characters on screen based on various scripted events so perhaps it throws many enemies of different types at you later.

Not that I'm excited for the game or anything, I'd probably go for Darkside Chronicles instead, whatever turns out good enough for my moods... 
Posted by hpv

I can't really say how it compares to Left 4 Dead, since I've only played like 2 minutes of that between just getting a 360 and having a 5 year old computer until very recently.  It actually reminded me a little bit of Serious Sam actually, which is both accurate and inaccurate.  I'm thinking it's because the enemies in the cave level they were demoing would do a lot of charge attacks (and had this kind of galloping motion that reminded me of SS) and the action moved pretty fast.
 
It's kind of hard to describe.  It definitely has that action RPG feel with the way the enemies were spaced out and the kind of simplified attack strategies they were implementing (but they were coming from all over, which was cool).  But at the same time feels like a complete shooter-ass-shooter, the kind where you run around and just wreck stuff with guns.  Plus, they're not playing with that gun loot.  I don't know how long it'll take to get old (or if it even will), but EVERY time a gun drops I got that feeling that other games deliver maybe a small handful of times of "holy shit I HAVE to shoot this RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!"  I can see how it could maybe get to a point where you're rocking something you really like and there's not much of a reason to switch or where you're constantly finding new things that you like better and never get to settle in on anything, but all of the guns were awesome and the controls feel really good so I don't know if I'd even mind switching them out all the time.
 
And it actually looks better when you're playing it than just watching.  The way they're using depth of feel is noticeable when you're watching someone play it but I really "felt" it while playing.  It even managed to not make me feel constrained on the sides in split-screen, which was really nice.  Not sure what was different than other games but it was working for them.
 
I'm sure there are people who aren't going to be into it as me, but Borderlands has at least 5 of my 3 favorite things in a game: going around seeing places, shooting the crap out of things, co-op, shiny stuff to grab, and sweet packaging/box art (though I'd kind of like a foiled CE).  It probably has good sound, which would make 6, but all I could hear was the pumping music from the trailer running in the background.  Though that was working for the game pretty damn well.
 
I'd say definitely give it a rental if you're not sure about it, especially if you've got a buddy or two to roll co-op with.

Posted by LiquidSwords
@AgentJ said:

 
Zelda: Chu Chu Train (Spirit Tracks) 
Again, anyone who has played "I'm on a boat!" (Phantom Hourglass) will know everything there is to know about this one.  
"
HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Posted by Claude

That's a bummer about Dead Space Extraction. And from what you played of it, you feel that Umbrella Chronicles is better? I haven't dipped my toe into the on-rail shooter genre for the Wii. Now I don't know if I should, we'll see, I guess.

Posted by AgentJ
@Claude: I recommend giving Umbrella Chronicles or House of the dead a rental, just to see what you think. 
Posted by raddevon
@hpv: Wasn't the Dragon Age demo something like 30 minutes long? That and the fact they had one demo unit was the problem... unless, of course, I don't have my facts straight.
Posted by raddevon

I'm glad you wrote up your thoughts on The Saboteur and Cop. I didn't even know those games were at the show!

Posted by AgentJ
@raddevon said:
" @hpv: Wasn't the Dragon Age demo something like 30 minutes long? That and the fact they had one demo unit was the problem... unless, of course, I don't have my facts straight. "
I'm pretty sure they had more than one unit, but the demo was about as long as you thought it was from what people told me. 
@raddevon said:
" I'm glad you wrote up your thoughts on The Saboteur and Cop. I didn't even know those games were at the show! "
Not sure how you missed the Saboteur, but if you didn't see those then you must have missed All Points Bulletein too... Thats a shame