By AgentJ 17 Comments
I hope you're all grateful... Even getting there early, I ended up waiting in a three-and-a-half hour+ line to finally put my hands on the game named lifetime achiever for Vaporware of the Year.
WinnersDUKE NUKEM FOREVER. I myself am shocked to say that this game is flat awesome. It really is. My memories of the Duke from back in the day are few and far-in between (13 years to be exact), so it's not some misplaced sense of loyalty or reminiscence. This game is as foul, mysognistic, and badass as anything I've ever played. The controls are clean and tight, there's a ton of variety (from driving a Monster Truck to drawing penises on a chalkboard), and it seems that every aspect of the game I saw was some sort of inside joke. It's hugely self-aware, and it works. It looks like a current gen game, despite being developed for hardware two generations old. I'm not a huge fan of first person shooters, so I can't say with 100% certainty that I'll pick it up, but at this point I'd bet on Duke. It's really coming folks, get used to it.
The best thing about it all is that my one issue with the demo is likely being fixed. The opening scene comes from Duke's perspective as he's taking a break in front of a urinal, using the right trigger to pee. A hilarious way to start things off, but there was a problem; there was no option to aim your stream. I brought this up with the developers at the Gearbox Panel this afternoon, and they sounded very receptive to a fix (if any GBers have video footage of this, please post it!)
Final Fantasy IV. Sharp readers will be thinking to themselves right now, "hey, Final Fantasy IV wasn't at PAX!" Very true, but go back to that first sentence in this post. I was in a very long line. I needed something to do with myself, other than talk about what a freak I am with Vidiot and Hailinel. So I got a good long look at the game, and have decided it's a solid, visually standout (for a portable) JRPG on the DS. And that's that. For those disappointed that this isn't FF XIV, I'm sorry, but I don't play MMOs.
MORTAL KOMBAT!!!! Mortal Kombat has never been my choice of fighter. It always felt a little clunky to me, and not all that technical. But I can freely admit that I was impressed with this iteration of the franchise. Things seemed to flow far better than other iterations, and while veterans may cry that they spilled a little SFIV into the game, I think even they will find they like the end product. It is certainly the best-looking game in the franchise. I just wish they would keep the simple fatality combo from the demo (down+Y)
Super Scribblenauts. Changes were made, and I think anyone would have a hard time finding fault with any of them. Controls can be handled with the D-pad or face buttons now, the vocabulary is even stronger than before, and the addition of adjectives takes it all to another level. Just typing in "Giant" anything was always good for a laugh. And making inanimate objects "Angry". Good times.
Valkyria Chronicles 2. It's already out, so some of you have undoubtedly bought and played this one through. Regardless, the game really is Valkyria Chronicles, and it looks great on the PSP. Just don't use TV-Remote play for this one. I did at the demo booth, and it looked awful.
LosersOmegathon Final AKA OMEGACLAW. For the third straight year in a row one competitor has completely run away with the final match. Don't get me wrong, the CLAW was a great idea (though next year, could we go back to video games?) but the guy that went first caught a stuffed animal on his first turn and never picked another one up. His opponent, however, ended up with 6. The contest is in clear need of a bit of balance. Maybe Super Mario Kart next year? (or 3DS Kart? Bring in some 3D screens for the audience? Kick ass?)
Me. Because of my Duke line, I never jumped in for Epic Mickey, Dead Space, or Kinect, and I apologize for that. In retrospect, I'm not that disappointed; I'd rather see what I did than play any of those games.
Next up. Convention awards and Wrap-up.