Braving New York’s Comic Con

February 25, 2007

This year’s [url=]New York Comic Con[/url] had nearly double the floor space of last year’s inaugural event, but that didn’t stop the Jacob Javits Center from being overwhelmed with throngs of geeks, fanboys (and girls) and cosplayers this weekend. The staff at the convention center was more than prepared for the crowd this year, so everything ran smoothly. Unless you count the combination of a four block line and bitter cold.

Gaming had a huge presence at the Con, from the massive Darkness and TMNT: The Movie kiosks to the Sony booth, crammed with gamers crowding around the PS3 stations. The opposite could be said about the PSP booths, as tumbleweeds rolled past the handheld stations throughout the day weekend’s festivities.

Some upcoming games on display were Bullet Witch, Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, and the Xbox 360 build of Guitar Hero II, but the oddity of the show may have been Freestyle Street Basketball, a massively multiplayer online…street basketball game, complete with levels, classes, and special moves.

The biggest surprise of the show, game-wise, was definitely Pirates of the Burning Sea. Flying Lab’s small booth was packed with fans and onlookers all day long, both Friday and Saturday. I had the opportunity to sit down with the developers, talk about the game, and spend a healthy amount of time with a beta build of the summer MMO. A full preview of the game will be coming this week, so keep checking Snackbar Games for updates.

I also got to watch some Atari reps play an early build of Godzilla: Unleashed for the Wii. If the idea of aiming a kaiju monster’s breath weapon with the Wii remote appeals to you, you’re in luck, but you’re going to have to wait awhile for its projected Q4 release.

Elsewhere, there were plenty of board and card games on display, too. In next week’s Gaming Unplugged, we’ll have an interview with Tenacious Games about their CCG The Spoils and its upcoming 1st Edition, Part Two set.

WizKids’ booth was aflutter with Clix games, but I did manage to sneak in and get a look at a prototype of Master Chief, who’s featured in WK’s upcoming Halo 3 ActionClix game. I couldn’t snap any photos at Bungie’s request, but we’re going to be talking about the game with them soon.

More Halo news? Of course! Marvel Comics announced that A-list creators Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev would be launching an ongoing Halo comic series this summer.

Altogether, the floor was still dominated by comics (and people dressed as stormtroopers), but there was a huge gaming presence in New York this year, and it’s only going to grow as the event goes forward. Look for other features and coverage from the weekend’s event in the days ahead.