NYCC 2011: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Hands-On Preview

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It’s no secret that I’m a Marvel vs Capcom fan. It’s easily one of my favorite franchises of all time, so much so that the main reason I’ve attended the last two Comic-Cons was to get hands-on time with MvC games before they launch (original MvC3 last year, Ultimate this year). This year my excitement was at a fever pitch with the reveal of Phoenix Wright as a playable character. How would he play? What would he feel like? No sooner did I walk into the convention did I find out, and guess what? He’s killer.

For those not familiar, Mr. Wright has three phases: Investigation, Courtroom, and Turnabout (just like the games!). He also has three folder symbols above his Super meter, and a fourth symbol (magnifying glass, attorney’s badge, hand with pointed finger) telling which phase he’s in.

In Investigation mode, Phoenix can pick up pieces of evidence on the ground, which will fill his folder meter. If the evidence is correct, the folder will light up, and if not it’ll stay dark. Evidence is gathered by pressing S (launcher) and any of the three attacks, each one corresponding to a folder in the meter (Light is left, medium is middle, heavy is right). Once all three are gathered, Down Down S will switch him to Courtroom mode, where his normals and specials will change and he can present the evidence for different effects. Finally, with three pieces of evidence in courtroom mode, if Phoenix hits the Objection move, it’s Turnabout time, and he becomes a BEAST.

Obviously that is a barebones summary, but suffice it to say that Phoenix represents his series well. His normal attacks include digging on the ground, throwing papers, and sneezing as a launcher. He’s fun to watch, and even more fun to play.

Of course, I didn’t travel all that way just to play Phoenix Wright. The rest of UMvC3 is shaping up quite nicely. It doesn’t play any differently than MvC3, but there are enough changes to the characters to keep players busy. Of the other new characters:

-Strider is just how fans of MvC2 will remember him. He’s fast and deadly, but he can’t take a hit worth a damn. He’s all about getting in the opponent’s grill and staying there from what I played of him.

-Ghost Rider has a lot of Dhalsim qualities with his whip’s long reach and fire-breathing specials. His Penance Stare is also one of the best-looking specials in the game in person. It’s always tough to hit command grabs, but Ghost Rider’s is totally worth it.

-Doctor Strange is going to take some work to learn. Seeing as how I only got one match with him, I couldn’t really get a handle on his many projectiles. I will say that his Spell of Vishanti super move might be one of the best in the game: an instantaneous 20-hit pillar of light wherever the opponent is standing. Watch out for Strange, he’ll be a terror in the right hands.

Those were the three new characters I got to try, but I also used my two MvC3 stalwarts, Zero and Super Skrull, and they were as powerful as ever.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is shaping up to be one of the best entries in the series, and I can’t wait for it. November 15th is already bad on the wallets of gamers (Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Halo Anniversary, Saints Row The Third, Need for Speed: The Run, and more), and UMvC3’s excellent New York Comic Con showing is only making November 15th look that much better.

NYCC 2011: Street Fighter X Tekken Hands-On Preview

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When I first heard that Street Fighter and Tekken would be crossing paths, I was ecstatic. Here were two of my favorite franchises of all time, coming together to form a fighter years in the making. While I went to NYCC to focus on Marvel, I figured I should probably give Street Fighter X Tekken a whirl too, since ya know, IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE.

The fighting system oozes Street Fighter IV, but the tag format is straight out of Tekken. There are a ton of mechanics to learn in this new system, and to new fighting fans it may seem a bit overwhelming, but I had it down pretty good in my match. Well, I guess I should say that the learning curve won’t be as crazy as you may expect. Of course, I wasn’t playing with the new Gem system either, so we’ll see how that affects things.

Because of the CRUSH OF CROWDS around Capcom’s booth (that’s what I get for waiting until 2:30, I suppose), I only got to play one match. It was a successful one though, as my Rolento and Zangief defeated my opponent’s Hwoarang and Chun-Li. Well, I should say his Hwoarang, because he never got to change characters…

Rolento was one of my favorite characters back in the Alpha 3 days. I liked his baton moves, and his reach on some of his jumping normals was absurd. I can proudly report that readjusting to Rolento took all of a second. It was like I’d never stopped playing as him. He retains all of the moves he had back in Alpha (save for his tripwire super for obvious reasons), and his speed and reach are all intact. However, with all of this praise, I should also say that I didn’t finish either round of the match with Rolento. No no, that was Zangief territory.

The Red Cyclone comes straight out of Street Fighter IV, which means I’ve been prepared for this match for longer than I thought. His Spinning Piledriver is DEVASTATING, as it defeated Hwoarang in both rounds with more than a quarter of his life left. I couldn’t believe it, neither could the guy playing next to me. Zangief will be one to watch for when SFxT hits.

I was intrigued by Street Fighter X Tekken. I knew I’d play it, but I wanted to reserve my feelings until I at least played a more recent build than the E3 demo in June. Now that I’ve seen it at NYCC, it’s official: this game will kick ass. With a collector’s edition and release date of March 6th just announced (creating YET ANOTHER wallet buster with this and Mass Effect 3), the light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. Let’s hope the wait is worth it.

Hot Off The Grill: October 25th

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Like a freshly cooked cheesesteak, each week sees the release of a new batch of games that we can sink our teeth into. Some weeks taste better than others, but the fun lies in the discovery. Don’t know for sure if you like something until you try it, right?

The battle has begun.

This week sees the release of Battlefield 3, the strikingly beautiful modern shooter designed to be a Call of Duty killer. Will it live up to the lofty expectations and deliver an experience better than Infinity Ward’s colossus? We have two more weeks to speculate, so hopefully EA can capitalize on the head start.

For the non-shooter crowd, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land will take played back to the glory days of platforminf, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi will inject some ki energy into your system, and the downloadable markets get a classic in DAYYTOOOONAAAAAAAAA USA. Here’s the full lineup:

Xbox 360:
Battlefield 3
The Cursed Crusade
Daytona USA
Disney Universe
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
Just Dance Kids 2
Kinect Sports Season Two
Puss in Boots
War of the Worlds
Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone

PlayStation 3:
Back to the Future: The Game
Battlefield 3
The Cursed Crusade
Daytona USA
Disney Universe
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi
Grease Dance
Heavy Fire: Afghanistan – The Chosen Few
House of the Dead: Overkill – Extended Cut
Infamous: Festival of Blood
Just Dance Kids 2
Monster Bass!
PixelJunk SideScroller
Puss in Boots
Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone

Wii:
Active Life: Magical Carnival
Back to the Future: The Game
Centipede: Infestation
Country Dance 2
Disney Universe
Heavy Fire: Afghanistan – The Chosen Few
Just Dance Kids 2
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
Monster High School: Ghoul Spirit
Puss in Boots

3DS:
Ben 10 Galatctic Racing
Captain America: Super Soldier
Centipede: Infestation
Heavy Fire: Chosen Few
Horses 3D
Nikili’s Pencil Puzzle 3D
Pokemon Rumble Blast
Zoo Resort

DS:
Monster High School: Ghoul Spirit
Puss in Boots

PSP:
Invizimals: Shadow Zone

This week is all Battlefield for me, though DBZ intrigues me a bit (though all of those games have), and I may have to go back to the days of the MacDade Mall arcade with Daytona.

What are you all getting?

Gaming Wiz Wit Podcast Episode 1: Fighting Game Fanaticism

Oh yeah, it’s podcast time.

Welcome to Episode One of the Gaming Wiz Wit Podcast. Today I talk about the fighting game scene, what people like to bitch about in said genre, and why those people are a bit short-sighted in their bitching.

The theme song from Gaming Wiz Wit also makes its debut, a masterful NES remix of a very recognizable song by my good friend DJ Ralphis. There’ll be more on him soon, don’t you worry.

Feedback would be EXCELLENT. Thanks, and enjoy!

 

 

Closing song is “Phoenix Wright (Turnabout Mode)” from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Not my song, I don’t own it nor do I claim to, but MAN is it awesome.

Mass Effect 3 Demo News!!!!

Straight off of the BioWare Forums!

“Hello everyone! It’s going to be a Happy New Year! Mass Effect 3 will have a pre-release demo in January 2012. This demo will have both single player and multiplayer sections, giving fans a taste of what’s to come on March 6, 2012. Be first to the front lines in the multiplayer section of the Mass Effect 3 demo! Redemption of the Online Pass for Battlefield 3 will unlock this early access. But rallying for war is just getting started – in late November / early December, BioWare will announce other ways for fans to engage the enemy with their friends online from day one!

What are the details of the Mass Effect 3 pre-release demo?

•The Mass Effect 3 pre-release demo will launch in January 2012 (exact date TBA).
•The demo will include both single-player and multi-player sections.
•The demo will be released in all regions where the game is

How can I get early access to the multi-player portion of the Mass Effect 3 demo coming in January 2012?

•Owners of Battlefield 3, on any platform, who activate their Online Pass will automatically be granted early access to the multiplayer portion of the Mass Effect 3 demo. There is no need to enter any other codes, the early access will be applied to the EA Account associated with the Online Pass.
•This applies to all regions where the demo is released (to be announced)
•The exact date of the demo launch will be announced in late November
•There will be another program whereby players and fans of the Mass Effect franchise can unlock this early access (with no purchase necessary) – this will also be announced in late November or early December.
•There will also be a tool posted on http://www.masseffect.com allowing players to check if their EA account has been granted the early access.
•The length of the early access period is TBA.
•The single-player section of the demo will be available to all players on day one of the demo launch.”

Sorry to copy/paste, but WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

NYCC 2011: Eyes-On Preview SMORGSABORD!

New York Comic Con played host to a good number of upcoming games, far too many to play in one day alone. While I played what I could, there were quite a few more that I had to begrudgingly watch others play for the sake of time. While these unfortunately can not be hands-on previews, I am happy to share what I saw while watching the masses. Enjoy.

Mass Effect 3: The demo was the same level I had seen in the 30-minute E3 presentation this past year: the Reaper invasion of Earth. This mission sets the stage for the entire game both emotionally and in gameplay. Shepherd seemed to control much better behind cover, moving from cover to cover almost as seamlessly as, say, Gears of War. Everything else reminded of the improved gameplay of ME2, and that is NOT a bad thing in the least. Oh, and judging by the piece of story I was shown in this demo, this will be the heaviest, most emotional Mass Effect yet. March 6th, get here fast.

Dragon’s Dogma: An Elder Scrolls-killer it is not, but Dragon’s Dogma is really shaping up to be an interesting affair. Battle will be waged against cyclops, griffins, chimera, and other mythical creatures. Co-op is possible as well, so you won’t have to go it alone. Battle reminds me a lot of Monster Hunter (which makes sense), so expect a lot of cat and mouse affairs. The customization video shown at the World of Capcom panel promises a very extensive character creation experience, with more faces, eyes, noses, and hairstyles than I’m used to seeing outside of a WWE title. I’m slowly becoming more interested in this game, though I’d like to have a little more information on the story of the game before I become gung-ho. There’s a lot of promise here with Dragon’s Dogma, let’s hope it pans out.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Multiplayer: The last Assassin’s Creed introduced the most unique multiplayer experience of this generation. The hours spent stalking and killing friends made me feel like a true Assassin, all under the guise that we were Abstergo agents training for the Templars. The multiplayer returns in Revelations, and based on what I saw at NYCC, it will be as enjoyable and glorious as ever. From what I had watched, the basic multiplayer match looks to be of the same format as Brotherhood: score the most points before time expires. Each character once again has its own items to use, from bombs to tripwire bombs to throwing knives and more. Basically, it looks to be an improved version of Brotherhood’s multiplayer. Couple that with an “expanded multiplayer storyline” that I’m hearing about, and there’s no reason not to be excited for it. Oh, and the single player looks excellent also. Let’s not forget that.

Halo: Anniversary Edition: Halo 1. With HD graphics. And online multiplayer. It’s everything you could hope for, at least it looked that way. I watched one whole multiplayer match and found myself reminiscing of the many nights my friends and I played Halo 1 in my friend’s basement. I knew I’d like this game when I heard about it, but now that I’ve seen it in action, I can’t wait. What is there to say?

Prototype 2: Mayhem. Absolute mayhem is the only way I can describe what I saw in the Prototype 2 floor demo. The new protagonist, Sgt. James Heller, is a souped-up version of Alex Mercer from Prototype 1. It seems the Blacklight Virus has taken to Heller a bit more efficiently, because Heller was dishing out all kinds of violence. Slashing, picking up and throwing cars, hell he even jumped up to a helicopter and PUNCHED IT DOWN. It’s one thing to hijack a helicopter mid-flight, it’s another entirely to bring that bird down with merely your fists. I enjoyed the original Prototype, but I felt it was overshadowed by a much better overworld experience in inFAMOUS, which had released two weeks before (May 26th, 2009 to Prototype’s June 9). Prototype 2 won’t have that problem, so hopefully the sequel will get its due. Let the violence begin.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land: Kirby gets the New Super Mario Bros Wii treatment in a 4-player throwback to the original Kirby’s Dream Land on the NES. Being a huge fan on the Kirby platformers back in the day, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS. All of the Copy abilities are back (including some new ones!) and they’re joined by Super abilities: huge moves that take up the whole screen and obliterate everything on the screen. Think of what happened in Kirby Super Star when you swallowed the microphone, but for more abilities than just the mic. The 4-player gameplay looks hectic and fun, and it’s cool to be able to control Kirby’s former enemies instead of just generic characters (though who wants to bet that Meta-Knight is overpowered like he is in Brawl?). This could be the sleeper hit of the holiday season.

Just Dance 3, Dance Central 2, Black Eyes Peas Experience: People dance in front of their televisions to music while performing the moves shown to them on-screen for points. Yup, they’re the same as all the others.

So that’s everything I saw at NYCC, but couldn’t get my hands on (with the exception of one game, which I’ll devote an entire article to soon). Anything there you like? Anything you can’t wait for? Better yet, anything make you want to bash your head against the wall?