Vinny's forum posts

#1 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

This week will be pure StarCraft 2 featuring a Chan versus Shoemaker rematch, which makes me just tingle with excitement. Tested's own Will Smith will be joining us on the couch to help keep pace with these two click-happy juggernauts.
Here are some amazing cast shots if anybody is short on promo materials.

#2 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -
@tmj said:
" Thought March 27th was the release date? Vinny wrote March 3rd. :P "
Oops, yeah, you're right! Fixed! Thanks.
#3 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

If there are two things New York excels at during January, it's cold weather and extremely cold weather. Recently, Nintendo invited a small group of press in from the chilly streets of SoHo to come warm their hands against its latest portable offering, the Nintendo 3DS. Outside a nondescript building, awash in exhaust from the city's mechanized army of morning commuters, I eagerly waited in a huddled mass of my peers, kept warm by my cheap black coffee and the notion that by the afternoon I would have my first real experience with Nintendo's hotly anticipated new handheld.

 I will buy almost anything from this man.
The event kicked off with Nintendo punctuality. The always impressive Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage and proceeded to pitch the crowd on his new product. A telescoping stylus, backwards compatibility with DSi and DS games, motion sensors, and of course 3D. A bit of time was spent listing off games available at launch, and within a launch window defined as the time between launch and this year's E3.

Of course, our intimate audience was waiting on what was probably the day's biggest news, the price at launch. Reggie donned his used-car-salesman's smile and teased the crowd that focus groups claimed they would be happy to part with between $300 and $400 for this technical marvel. Reggie's smile shifted from saccharine to sly and revealed that Nintendo would, in fact, be ready to put you behind the wheel of a 3DS for the low-low price of $249.99 on March 27th, 2011. (Reggie didn't mention he would lose his job if we told his boss about this incredible deal he just gave America.)

We were released to an adjacent room to see and play the 3DS ourselves, and I immediately set my sights on Pilotwings. The all-new analog stick on the 3DS really helps with steering the vehicles, which include a plane, hang glider, and the always-welcome rocket belt. I did some training missions with all three and found the experience to resemble my memories of Pilotwings back on the Super Nintendo, which is to say, I really enjoyed it. I can't say there's much more than "Pilotwings" in what I got to play, but for some that may be enough.

Designing the controls intelligently will be key to successful 3DS games.
I moved onto Steel Diver, which puts you in control of a submarine in two distinctly different gameplay modes. One sequence has you using the touch screen and stylus to manipulate depth and throttle sliders to maneuver your side-scrolling sub through obstacles. That part was was fairly routine, but the other mode is what really caught my attention. Using the motion sensing capabilities of the 3DS, you simulate looking through a periscope, turning your entire body 360 degrees as you search for enemy ships on the horizon. Once you spot your target you fire away and take them down. While it sounds pretty simplistic, the mapping of your rotating body to the rotation of the periscope feels great and very natural. In my opinion it was the best use of the motion controls on display at the entire event.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D was next on my list. From what I played, it seems like a completely competent version of the game. It looks great, and the frame rate seems solid, even though you'll get 60 FPS at 2D versus a halved 30 FPS when playing in 3D. There are some other superficial changes, like Dynamic View, which changes the camera angle to more of a three-quarter perspective. Dynamic View didn't seem like the way anybody would want to actually play the game, but considering you'll be able to spectate during online and local matches, it might be a fun way to watch. The touch screen can display shortcuts to your Supers and special moves, but it's completely optional, and you can filter your competitive matches to exclude folks who indulge in that brand of insanity. 

Super Street Fighter IV 3D was also one of the more interesting examples of the 3DS's new StreetPass feature. Within SSFIV 3D you can build little teams of figurines you've purchased from the game using points you accrued during your playtime . Once you've assembled your figurine fighting force, you can exit the game, even close the 3DS, and then engage any other SSIV 3D and StreetPass enabled 3DS that has the balls to come within striking distance of yours. Later, when you check back in on your gang, you'll see the outcome of any battles that may have occurred while you weren't looking. It sounds fun, but it also sounds like something a lot of folks just won't experience on a large scale because of where and how many of us play our handhelds.

 The 3D may not immaculately manicure your nails but it definitely works.

Next stop was the augmented reality station. A helpful Nintendo attendant placed a black card with a question mark printed on it in front of us on a table. She then pointed the 3DS at it and used the cameras on the backside of the 3DS to display video of the table and card on the 3DS screens. Within moments, the card appeared to unfold on the table and multiple targets sprang up. It was up to me to position myself around the ordinary-card-turned-virtual-targets and shoot them all. After I had eliminated them, a rather mean dragon appeared and I had to maneuver to find its weak spots and take him down. The whole experience was really impressive. Unlike other recent attempts to inject more variety into the way we interact with games, the augmented reality left me eager to get on board with the technology. The session was short, and it wasn't perfect. The system would occasionally get confused with the tracking, which would cause the screen to fuzz out like an analog TV with a bad reception. The lapse was only momentary and it would reengage quickly, allowing me to continue playing in an environment that felt more like science fiction than reality, even if it was augmented.

 Kid Icarus rises up.
There were plenty of other items on display. Face Raiders was another, though less impressive, augmented reality game. Kid Icarus: Uprising was on display, which puts you on rails through some air combat and combines it with some fast and furious ground levels. There was a new release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, with updated graphics and the addition of some tilt controls, most noticeably during the first-person aiming portions. I also played Ridge Racer 3D, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, and more which all claimed to be releasing at launch or during the launch window. While some of these games seemed impressive on their own, they didn't really strike me as anything that was taking full advantage of all of the fun technology that Nintendo has packed into the 3DS. If God had intended all things to be portable, he wouldn't have made HDMI.

The one aspect that was shared across every game I played that day was the 3D. While it's right there in the system's name, the 3D portion of the 3DS seemed to have the least impact on me in terms of gameplay. It worked, for sure, and objects receded into space as intended, but it was sometimes disorienting and I found myself turning the slider to 2D when my eyes just didn't want to deal with it anymore. On every game I played, the 3D was purely cosmetic, and disabling it didn't seem to change the gameplay. The 3DS has so many new features that actually allow us to interact and play games in interesting and novel ways; putting so much muscle behind an entirely cosmetic attraction seems to sell the rest of the system short.

The 3DS has a lot of promise. When developers tap into the combinations of controls the system has on offer we will be having experiences that just aren't possible to replicate on any other platform. There is no question that the 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS. The haze in the gaming crystal ball obscures whether developers take advantage of this stuff, or if we will find ourselves drowning in titles that just don't seem to meet the expectations of the console and its eager audience. I walked away from the event with the firm belief that the system is absolutely more than a DSi with added 3D. As aways, the wait is now on to find the software that make me give Nintendo my money.
#4 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

Me too! I just hit 20 last weekend.

#5 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -
#6 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

I'm a big fan of motherboard and video card box art, and every time I see the artwork for Vanquish, all I can think is "Man, that would look even sweeter fading away in the window of a crappy computer parts store that really must just be a front for dog fighting or gambling or something." 

#7 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

There's a Quick Look incoming. Should be up later today!

#8 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

Awwwh, I think it's a fine name. Never change Viggo123! Thanks for coming by TNT and being an awesome sport.

#9 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

I wonder how much this will cross into the RTS genre. Age of Simpires? SimCraft? Star Wars: Galactic BattleSims?

#10 Posted by Vinny (2126 posts) -

haha, this is great.  I just want to play it on loop.