What do you get when you mix the visuals of Studio Ghibli with the expertise of Level 5? Ni No Kuni of course! With HD powering the vision, this cel-shaded RPG aims to be the most beautiful and vibrant games around. Prota and Suikoinfinity played this game, so let’s see what they have to say.
Prota: I played the boss battle section of the demo, so I got thrown into the fray without any real knowledge of the battle system. I have to admit, it was a little confusing at first, but I only have myself to blame for rushing into a boss fight. The combat felt like a mix of turn based and action RPGs mixed with Pokemon. Elemental attacks and weakness seem like they are going to play a pivotal role in taking down tougher enemies as most of my attack did little to injure the boss unless they were wind elemental. Knowing when to switch up your characters and their monsters also are important for managing your team and keeping everyone alive. I see a lot of potential in the battle system and, while some of the attacks seemed a little lackluster in the visual department, the gameplay felt top-notch.
Suikoinfinity: Ni no Kuni looks amazing! I couldn’t stop and admire the scenery for too long though because my goal was to rush to the end of the dungeon in the exploration demo and discover whether or not there was a boss to kill while learning the combat system. It was a race against time to the exit, so I tried avoiding battles as much as I could. Even though I had little time for experimenting, the combat system felt great, once the initial confusion subsided. I haven’t had my JRPG fix in a while, so this might do it when it releases!
Mega Man creator Keiji inafune is back, and this time he’s on his own without Capcom. But that’s not stopping him from making videogames as he’s still at it with Soul Sacrifice. Inspired by the likes of Monster Hunter and Demon’s/Dark Souls, Soul Sacrifice sees you making a choice as to what to do with certain enemies. Do you heal the corrupted souls that haunt the lands as beasts, or do you sacrifice them to boost yourself? The choice is yours.
Prota: Soul Sacrifice is a game I’ve been looking forward to for some time. The premise seems deliciously dark, but sadly some of that was lost in translation since the demo was only in Japanese. The gameplay felt similar to Gods Eater Burst, but instead of devouring monsters, you can sacrifice the souls of enemies you defeat to raise your evil alignment and power up or save their souls in order to recover life and align yourself with the righteous. The representative at the booth compared the alignment meter to Infamous’ moral system. If so, I’m really curiously how that will will affect the strength and availability of certain powers. I think that’s where the charm of the game comes from, all of the quirky powers you can use. I need to see how the co-op feels though before I totally get behind the game though, as I think that’s going to be an important aspect of it. Overall, it was definitely interesting, but I want to see more of what differentiates this title from others that fall under the same category.
Suikoinfinity: I still feel terrible for holding up the line for like 3 minutes just so we could try getting our games synced up. I hope the terrible connectivity is an issue with the demo games/vitas and not something that will stick with the final product. Having us play on the Japanese demo felt just a little lazy. Aren’t they already working on localization? With the relatively small amount of text encountered in one short mission, a build with English text should have been given. You get to pick from a pool of spells to use before combat begins, but the little picture given to each spell does little to describe what each one actually does, so the majority of the demo was spent trying to figure out how each power functions… I don’t think I was supposed to summon a giant plant monster at the start when there’s no enemies to kill. Aside from the big guessing game, once I found something that functioned like a regular weapon, the demo became much better. What wasn’t better was trying to talk over that loud ass Niconico booth they decided to put right next to Soul Sacrifice. I wasn’t able to hear shit, but it looked and played nice!
StevenDPX finally got his hands on ZombiU, one of the bigger entries in the Wii U launch lineup. However, He opted to play the game’s Capture-The-Flag mode, which pitted Humans versus Zombies. The human player would used the Pro Controller and the TV screen while the Zombie player used the Wii U Gamepad and the touch screen to spawn Zombies to hunt down the player and take the flag for himself.
StevenDPX: I wanted to see what else this tablet controller was capable of, so I tried playing as the Zombies. Admittedly, I was very horrible at it, but it did some cool things that reminded me of playing an RTS. On the Gamepad’s screen, you have an overhead view of the map. There are three flags to get, and the player is visible via and indicator. So your job is to stop his progress by throwing Zombies in his path. Some to distract him, some to kill him, and only one to capture the flag. When you level up, you’ll have access to more zombie types. Of course, you are limited to how many zombies you can place on the map. Certain zombies require certain points to be spawned, and no points mean no zombies. You also have to spread them out since you can’t spawn two or more zombies next to each other. So you have to pick your undead wisely. While I was bad at this, I can see quite a few people enjoying this mode.
Ah Pikmin, such a quirky game about a man and his sentient plant-life. For this one, we got Suikoinfinity to play this since he’s been playing Pikmin 2 on his livestream page. Have you been seeing it? You should! For this demo, I’m sad to say that the tablet functions were unavailable beyond just displaying a map. But the rep did inform us that upon release the Gamepad will be fully supported and will be the main controller. So for now, let’s enjoy Suikoinfinity play Pikmin 3 with the Wiimore+Nunchuk setup.
Suikoinfinity: (Excuse incoming profanity) This is the one Wii U game I had time to play during my day at Comic Con. I got to look at the pretty map on the gamepad, but after being handed a wiimote/nunchuk it was just a fuckin’ tease. I bought original copies of the Gamecube Pikmin games just so I could avoid that “New Play Control” shit. I couldn’t find a melee attack button, or purpose for picking up apples and stuff aside from getting a better medal at the end of a stage (I missed getting Platinum — that’s a bummer). I can’t really give an opinion on control because I couldn’t use a decent gamepad, but the combat and atmosphere felt like any other Pikmin game. Here’s hoping there’s more to pick up than fruit/points and that Louie is a playable character!
“Oh, this looks like Catherine” is what some of us said when we saw the gameplay of Pushmo. And, much like Catherine, it was quite addictive, especially for our resident Pushmo fan Suikoinfinity. So we thought it proper to let him have a go at the sequel, Crashmo.
Suikoinfinity: I haven’t had much of a chance to express how much I love it, but while the rest of the team was playing Catherine, I was learning to solve Pushmo puzzles like a pro. I like to save my on the go time for puzzle games and on 3DSware, Pushmo is among the best. The similarities to Catherine is in the idea that you’re climbing a structure by pushing in and pulling out parts of that structure; in Catherine it’s boxes and in Pushmo it’s entire walls/floors that can come in any shape. Usually the goal is at the highest (or most difficult to reach) point on the structure. The major difference is that a Pushmo puzzle is embedded into the rear wall, so, while you can push segments in or out, it’s impossible to slide them left or right. Crashmo might feel more like Catherine, because puzzles are in the middle of the floor instead of attached to a wall, so you can slide in any direction. Gravity also becomes a factor, and entire segments of the puzzle can come crashing down with a slide, hence the title. As you can see in the demo, I wasn’t exactly prepared for the change in pace, but from what I played, Crashmo seems like it’s going to be just as addicting as its predecessor. Fans of the first game should love it, and to those new to the series, I recommend giving it a shot, especially if you love puzzle games! Also, my performance is embarrassing in this video — enjoy!
Kratos is back and still ad angry as ever. However, we’re not here to see his anger. Instead, we’re here to see the multiplayer mode and to evaluate this mode has a chance of standing side-by-side with the single-player campaign.
Gesfrid: For the 1st time ever, SCE Santa Monica Studio has introduced a multiplayer feature for up to 8 players on the latest God of War game. In the beginning of the game, players can choose and customize their spartan warrior. The multiplayer game takes place on a desert. Players are on two teams of four where they will try to take control of the map so they can earn their rewards from the Gods. In the desert map, players will battle each other and go up against the giant Cyclops named Polyphemus in the background. The game offers a unique combat play-style and abilities in battle. Just like any other previous God of War game, players can use magic spells, select a variety of deadly weapons, open up chest to find orbs to heal your life or to upgrade your weapon up to a maximum level.
There is a mode called “Favor of the Gods”. In this mode, the 1st player to accumulate a target amount points will achieve victory. Points are earned by kills and is known as “Favor”. The Team can capture altars (which is quite similar to capture-the-flag) and they can also set up traps for opposing players. Another new control feature that was introduced is called “Escape and Heal” meaning you get to escape from opposing player grabbing you, then jump and heal yourself. Whoever captures the most gears and earn the most favor points, the Gods will award you with the spear of Olympus which will be used to annihilate Polyphemus and then the winning team will be able to gain it’s territory. However if the other team gain it’s territory, the giant cyclops will go back to its position and then the spear of Olympus will be lost. Overall, it is a very fun, great game so that millions of players can experience the new elements/features of God of War. Go forth in the name of Olympus!
Hideki Kamiya: a name that commands respect within the gaming community. The man behind Bayonetta and Devil May Cry is back, and this time he wants us to lead a group of superhero citizens in The Wonderful 101. Prota shows the crowd how it’s done with his playthrough of the demo.
Prota: The Wonderful 101 is a hard game to put into words. It has a visual style akin to Viewtiful Joe, you gather citizens to assist you in various ways like in Pikmin, and it has combat that is reminiscent of Kamiya’s previous action titles, such as Bayonetta. It takes all these things, and the innovation that Platinum Games is known for, and rolls them up into one extremely fun package. The touchpad worked fine for the most part, but I did have issues trying to form a ladder with it, which is when I tried the right analog stick instead and discovered how incredibly slow it was in terms of drawing the symbols. I hope you can adjust the right analog’s sensitivity when the game comes out. I also really enjoyed the section where I had to look at the gamepad’s screen to solve a puzzle in order to continue the level. I can’t wait to see what other ideas the people at Platinum come up with.
I’m not yet sold on getting the Wii U at launch, but when I do get one, it’ll be for games like this.
This time around, our Cameraman Gesfrid took a shot at playing a game for us. The game: Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge. Earlier this year, Ninja Gaiden 3 was lambasted by critcs and gamers for dumbing down the gameplay too much from its predecessor, creating a rather soulless and easy game. So with Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge, Team Ninja is seeking to rectify this issue by bringing back what made the previous Ninja Gaiden’s fun and challenging: brutal difficulty and more weapons to wield. While we can speak for the weapons in this video, we can say something about the difficulty. Gesfrid was only the second person to beat the demo (after recording unfortunately), and it was in the afternoon. Everyone else just quit. Poor souls.
Remember last year when we had a terrible camera-person and we glitched the game when playing Rayman Origins? Well that didn’t happen this year! Nope, everything was smooth sailing when playing Rayman Legends. StevenDPX took over playing as the limbless wonder Rayman with the Pro Controller while someone else played with the Wii U Gamepad aiding him on his platforming adventure.
StevenDPX: The controls handled pretty well for the game. This was also the first time I played using the Pro Controller. It did feel weird having the face buttons at the bottom of the controller, but I soon got a bit used to it. The game also supported using the control pad thankfully since I’m horrible using joysticks for 2D platformers. My co-op partner did well when compared to previous people who used the gamepad. He was responsible for clearing the way, pulling platforms, distracting enemies, and in one instance flipping a large wheel Castlevania IV style. Overall this was a mighty fun romp in the land of Rayman. Now to see if I could get my hands on Rayman Origins…