We had a number of readers ask us about what’s being shown at this year’s Expo. Here’s a quick rundown of some of what we learned for each title! We’ll keep working to get info for you over the next few days.
Check out Konami for Castlevania!
Unfortunately, there was nothing Castlevania-related at all in the Konami booth. Hopefully we’ll hear more on the series at GamesCom in Germany or TGS in Tokyo. In general Konami news, of course there was Metal Gear Solid 3D, still on pace for a 2011 release, though employees were unsure if it will be released before the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker was playable though, and it looked very sharp, considering it started life as a PSP game. Finally, Metal Gear Solid Rising is still a thing, though it is absent from E3 this year. Of course, PES 2012 was there, time will tell if it can overtake FIFA this year, but it looked very nice and realistic.
Looking at smaller profile releases, Dr. Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights is looking less like a Professor Layton knockoff and more like a possible 3DS sleeper hit.
It features an isometric view during exploration and environmental puzzle solving, but also throws Layton-like puzzles at you and finally tosses some tactical/RPG-lite battles into the mix. Coming in September of 2011, this is one title 3DS owners should probably put on their radar. -Shawn
Is the Wii U HD? What resolution can it output at?
An easy one! It’s capable of 1080p. – Graham
Is Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns 3D just like the regular DS version only in 3D, or does it have added features?
Unfortunately, it appears these two games are one and the same. That said, it looks to continue the promising run of Harvest Moon portable games. It controls and feels much the way Grand Bazaar did, and the art really lends itself very well to the 3D effect. A Tale of Two Towns is coming out on both the Nintendo DS and the 3DS, but the only difference between the two will be some upgraded graphics and 3D in the 3DS version. Basically, Natsume is pulling a Twilight Princess with this to up sales, though I don’t blame them in the least. It looks to be a good entry in the series no matter which version you pick up. -Shawn
Anything you can find out on Silent Hill Downpour? Guardian Heroes? Rise of Nightmares?
Silent Hill Downpour looks fittingly depressing and wet. We checked out both the 360 and PS3 versions, with the PS3 version running in 3D. While they both controlled perfectly fine, the 3D didn’t work very well in this build of the game. It led to greatly degraded visuals compared to the 360 version(which looked very slick, enhancing the dark and forbidding atmosphere) but also made it harder to control the camera effectively. I died a lot more on the PS3 version than the 360 version because of this. Coming in October 2011, it seems promising, though there was very little of the game on display at this time.
Guardian Heroes is a tough one to talk about. It is, without a doubt, a game that is 100% outside my normal experience. I died a lot while learning the controls, which do take some time to get used to. Eventually I got used to them and finally started killing my enemies. It takes a combination of side-scrolling beat-em’ up gameplay and RPG elements, allowing you to level up and power up all of the characters you can play as…and there are a lot of them. Basically, if you enjoyed the original on the Sega Saturn, or you’re a fan of other Treasure games, you’ll probably love this one too.
Rise of Nightmares is a game I hadn’t really seen or heard much about before getting this request, but it definitely seems like it could be one of the better ‘hardcore’ Kinect experiences coming. The graphics weren’t great(though, other than the big blockbusters, they rarely are at E3), but the controls seemed spot on, and the gameplay seems varied enough to provide some welcome body-controlled zombie smashing. The demo didn’t consist of any story, unfortunately, so I can’t comment on it, other than there is at least one very twisted doctor in the game. -Shawn
The multiplayer in Kid Icarus could be very good. the controls are a bit different and take some adjustment, but once you get used to it, it’s a blast. It consists of 3 vs 3 matches, and the first team to kill the other team’s ‘angel’ wins. Though, in order to get that angel to spawn, you have to kill one of your opponents a set number of times (3 times, in our short time with it). With 8 different weapons to choose from, there could be some nice tactical choices for teams to make. I think there’s some lasting value in it, but it remains to be seen how easy it is to actually play over wi-fi though. -Shawn
The single-player is what we’ve seen before: flying and on-ground segments both reminiscent of Nintendo’s own Sin & Punishment series. The variable weapons definitely let you cater to your style, but the three separate demos just haven’t let us see how this idea will have staying power. Also, if you’re curious about the AR cards, at the moment it’s a purely cosmetic battle thing. There’s no gameplay, photo-taking or anything strategic. Yet. – Graham
Anything other than Skyward Sword for Wii?
Actually, despite Nintendo not mentioning anything for the Wii other than Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, there is quite a bit still coming out for it. A new Mario & Sonic 2012 Olympics game will be released, but also the Kirby Wii game, Fortune Street (a localization of party board game Itagaki Street) and Rhythm Heaven are all set to be released for it this year. – Shawn
It is strange that they ignored all these at the briefing, but Rhythm Heaven is great. Kirby Wii has four-player drop-in drop-out local co-op with each character (Kirby, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee and King Dedede) controlling differently. Fans of Mario Party, or more appropriately Dokapon and Culdcept, will enjoy Fortune Street. And those are just the first-party offerings. Among the random things at the show are a surprisingly-solid Centipede: Infestation, a great-as-usual Lego Harry Potter game and… yeah, you’re right. It’s not a great show for that system. -Graham