PREVIEWSPillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...
Namco Bandai’s sequel to its flagship brawler will be getting a unique makeover this September. Makoto Iwai, the president of Namco Bandai America, and Dan “Punkass” Caldwell, CEO of TapouT clothing, announced that Tekken 6 will feature custom-designed TapouT apparel for its gigantic roster of fighters. But the news didn’t end there; apparently, you’ll be able to purchase your very own co-branded Tekken 6/TapouT T-shirts that should be available around the launch of the game, meaning you should have no problem getting together your Jin Kazama cosplay outfit before next year's convention.
After the announcement, Makoto and Punkass took each other on in a match. Makoto chose King and basically toyed with Dan the entire match, letting him win a round, then in the second round letting Dan wear down most of his life before getting completely annihilated for the rest of the match. All with color commentary from MMA fighter, Bill Lidell, and TapouT co-founder Skyscrape.
The first stop on our trip around the chaos that is the showroom floor was the TOMY booth, where they were highlighting their upcoming Naruto titles: Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Destiny 2 for the DS, and Naruto Shippuden: Clash of the Ninja III for the Wii.
As you may recall, I wasn't too friendly to the first installment of Ninja Destiny. Okay, I was downright brutal. But apparently someone was listening because there seem to be marked improvements in this first DS title released under the Shippuden series.
Graphically, everything looks much cleaner and brighter than that of the first installment. They’ve also added a new RPG mode that follows the first three story arcs from the animé series. It will also feature a quest mode that will randomly generate dungeons that you’ll have to brawl through to unlock all of the game's 34 characters.
Ninja Destiny III is being developed by the same team behind Tetsunoku vs. Capcom and has been rebuilt from the ground up in an effort to address fan complaints from the last installment. Controls have been made more intuitive and given more of a GameCube feel, like playing a combination of Smash Bros. and Tekken. New ultra moves have been added as well along with new, original fighters - such as Granny Chiho, who uses two life-sized puppets attached to strings to do all her combat - to help make this more than just a re-hashing. Expect to see it on shelves by the end of October.
Kickin’ it with Konami
The folks who brought us such greats as Metal Gear had a lovely, isolated hotel suite for journalists to stop by and take a break from the utter chaos that was the show’s floor. But there was more to do there than just eat pizza and drink beer, there were video games to play as well.
Metalocalypse: Dethgame: Announced shortly before Comic-Con began, I was not expecting to get hands-on with this title, but as a fan of the animated series I was pleasantly surprised to do just that. Dethgame looks to combine the blood-by-the-gallons combat of MadWorldwith the brutal humor of the show.
You play as one of thousands of Klockateers, DethKlok’s personal army of roadies. The level I got a chance to demo showed groupies breaking into the band’s home/fortress, Mordhaus. As a Klockateer, it’s up to you throw these punks into meat grinders and bash their heads into toilets until you end up meeting some gruesome fate, at which point, you’ll be replaced by another faceless minion in an executioner’s mask. And of course we can expect the greatest metal band ever to make an appearance as well. After all, it’s their game. Look for it to hit XBLA and PSN later this year.
Tornado Outbreak: Think Katamaribut with natural disasters instead of rolling balls. In Tornado Outbreak, you play as a wind warrior recruit who must prove his greatness by destroying things like buildings, cars, and dinosaur-themed amusement parks. (Hopefully, FEMA will actually show up to help the survivors deal with all the damage this time. But I wouldn’t count on it.) Look for more info on Tornado Outbreak as we get closer to its release date.
Card games for kids and very lonely adults.
The Pokémon level popularity of animé-based card games was in full effect at the Con. We took a moment to stop by both the Bakugan and Chaotic booths and checked out their digital counterparts.
Bakugan for the Wii has you playing as a custom avatar alongside the series' main protagonist, Dan. Throughout story and battle modes you’ll use the Wii-mote to throw your bakugan onto the field, at which point you’ll play a pinball-like mini-game, traveling around the game collecting power-ups and hopefully landing on the card you placed down on the game board. Once both players have made their way onto the board and used whatever power-up cards they see fit, you’ll engage in one last mini-game that has you popping bubbles of certain color. Then get ready to kick back and watch some giant animé monster action.
Chaotic takes a more kid-friendly RPG approach. You’ll play as the show's main character, Tom, as he goes around running errands, completing missions and amassing an army of monsters by scanning them during turned-based battles riddled with mini-games. Buy it for your kid’s 360 later this year.
Over at the Hudson booth, I had chance to scope out one of their upcoming titles to be released on PSN, XBLA, and Wii-Ware: Military Madness: Nectaris. Based off the classic Turbographic-16 game of the same title sans the "Nectaris" part, it does not look like it strays far from the original gameplay that has gained the series a sequel several years later; that is, a turn-based hexagonal-grid board strategy game that has you pitting your best troops against the enemies' in a last-man-standing all-out war. No making a bunch of buildings that unlock new buildings to build. Just point, click, shoot.
You’ll have 24 units to choose from to carry out your orders ranging from light infantry and tanks to the all new Commander unit. The great thing about the commander unit is that it’s the one piece you can customize to fit your personal tactics best. If you’re more of a defensive player, you can give him a shield, or if you’re more gung-ho, upgrade his lasers then take him online in multiplayer matches to see how you fair against human opponents. Look for it to blow up later this summer on PSN, XBLA and Wii-Ware.
Dungeon Fighter Online
It’s no secret that I’m the resident hardcore old-school gamer back home at the GR compound, which is probably why Dungeon Fighter Online had such an appeal to me. It’s an MMORPG from the same folks behind Maple Story, but it plays like a classic arcade side-scrolling brawler and carries the same aesthetics as one, only you don’t end up plugging all the tokens you had just to keep playing. Essentially, what you’re getting is an eternal beat-'em-up with randomized dungeons, with Nexon’s dedication to monthly updates and live events to make sure content doesn’t get stale.
There will be five classes of characters to choose from based off traditional archetypes, each with their own subset of four varieties. The combo system will have a lot of depth and will allow you to gain extra experience depending on whether you go for style or technique in your finesse. Oh, and it’s all free to play.
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
A certain Italian man working in the private sector has been kart racing for years, and it’s about time SEGA took its resident speedster and put him behind the wheel along with some of your other favorite characters from their franchises like Aiai from Monkey Ball and that crazy-ass monkey from Samba de Amigo.
Everything you would expect from the genre is here: levels inspired by their parent games, crazy courses with loops and jumps, plus a ton of quirky power-ups. Each racer will also get their own custom kart along with the “I’m totally getting screwed and need to even the playing field” power as well, such as a conga line that gets everyone behind you dancing, Amy’s giant hammer smash, and Sonic’s ability to transformer into Dragon Ball Z-esque Super Sonic and take off at crazy fast speeds.
We weren’t told much else other than that there will be support for on-line and ;ocal multiplayer and that there would be more major announcements about the game at Cologne on Aug. 19th. Look for it on 360, Wii, PS3, and DS early 2010.