And so after a very long day, I find myself back in the comfort of my room. Today’s MCM Expo was a great laugh and was a very fun experience for all who went; there were some excellent cosplays being shown off, including the usual assortment of anime characters, a very well choreographed Mortal Kombat duo and a incredibly buff Duke Nukem, obviously pleased about the upcoming release of Duke Nukem Forever, who was picking up the chicks. As promised yesterday, while on the Expo floor I managed to get some time with new titles set for launch in the future, and this is my brief summary of what I found out.
Taking the headline spot was Nintendo’s highly anticipated The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D, set for release on the Nintendo 3DS next month. After braving the long queues, I was treated to a ten minute trial of the opening stage of the game, where Link goes inside the Great Deku Tree. Anyone who knows me personally or has read my blog will be aware that I am a Zelda sceptic, but I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the game in the short time I had with it. First things first, the 3D is very well implemented; I tested the screen between normal and 3D resolutions several times, and found no problems: it also helps that the game overall has been given a great graphical update, and character models and buildings no longer look so blocky. The gameplay is also much sharper than I remember it to be on the N64; the analogue stick is responsive and Link is no longer so cumbersome in making jumping or attacking movements, making it much more user friendly. Nintendo also seem to have stuffed this game full of hints to help the challenged; Navi popped up at several points with useful information. Utilising the 3DS’ split screen mechanic is another welcome addition, meaning that the screen is no longer cluttered up with button prompts. Equipment, the map, and skills have all been moved to the bottom touch sensitive pad, and its now as simple as pressing the screen to select new equipment on the fly as the top screen (which shows the action) gets paused. It took a small while to get used to the small prompts on the bottom screen, but by the end of the 10 minutes I was pretty well acquainted with them. Basically, from what I played it looks like it will be a worthy remake of the N64 version, and will no doubt sell by the bucket load and become the must have 3DS game…before a Mario 3D game comes out.
The other game I managed to get a substantial amount of time on was an anime game, in the form of Bleach: Soul Resurreccion, which is a PS3 exclusive. It seems that the game takes a leaf from Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (a fighter released last year, and a very good fighter at that: check it out if you haven’t played it) in that it actually pays attention to the story of the anime rather than being just a straight up fighter, although instead of progressing via one-on-one battles it played out like a Dynasty Warriors game; enemies appeared, I attacked furiously, they disappeared, I moved ahead, more enemies turned up etc and so forth. I think this game has the promise to be alright, if they make sure it isn’t as boring as hell by just being repetitive screen clearances over and over again. I would have played more, but then the PS3 crashed on me and I had to reset it for the next guy in the line. Come on Sony, it can’t be that hard to make a decent Bleach game surely?
Apart from these two games, I must admit I was pretty disappointed in what was on offer. A Gears Of War 3 4 vs. 4 matchup system was running all day, but seeing as I had some experience of the beta I decided to pass on this, and the Arcade version of Super Street Fighter 4 just seemed like a needless gimmick to stretch out the lifespan of a game that has already been flogged to death. I was also heavily disappointed by the lack of any Duke Nukem footage; I got a pretty funny 10 page magazine on the game for free in a goodie bag, but I want to see the game in action with me controlling it before I can accept that it is indeed happening.
Aside from this, a few marketing stores at the Expo managed to pique my interest. Special mention must go some beautifully crafted Halo: Reach figurines, the random guy who was selling SNES consoles and the original cartridges, including boxed up versions of Final Fantasy 4, 5 (which being Japan only release is very rare) and 6 which really did tempt me, and another man who had hundreds of GBA cartridges available for sale. I’m quite fortunate that there is an excellent little retro shop inLincolnthat does the same job, or I could have spent a whole lot of money today.
And so as promised, there is my brief overview of gaming news at the MCM Expo. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need lots of sleep.