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?

New York Comic-Con 2011: Sea of Humanity

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People…people EVERYWHERE…

New York Comic-Con is always crowded. When a show is open to the public, you have to expect some sort of gathering. Last year there were plenty of people to push your way through, from the normally dressed to the cosplayers and more. Crowds don’t usually bother me, as I’ve dealt with my fair share of conventions, but something about the crowd this year was just UNBEARABLE. I don’t know why, but people were EVERYWHERE.

Maybe it was the selection of games being strong. Maybe it was because of the way the floor was laid out. Or maybe it was because I decided to head up to NYCC on Sunday, also known as Kids Get In Free Day. Whatever it was, that place was super-packed.

There were two places in particular where the crowds were at their worst, one a result of the floor plan, the other being the fault of the booth owner:

-Capcom’s booth was located directly in front of the main entrance to the hall. Seeing as how they had some of the most hyped games of the show before it even started (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, and more), when the show opened that booth went from empty to OMG CRAZY CROWDS in mere seconds, creating a major choke point in front of the gate. Capcom gets crazy crowds every single year. Not preparing for it is preposterous. Put them in the back, so convention goers have to walk through the convention to get there. Makes sense to keep people in there for as long as possible, right?

-Nintendo had a booth in a perfect square shape near the center of the main show floor. Wii consoles lined the outside of the square, while 3DS kiosks made up the inside. Skyward Sword, easily the most popular game at their booth, lined a entre side of the booth…the side that faced giant bookshelves filled with comics from another booth. Not only that, each of the ten kiosks playing Zelda had its own line. Ten separate lines, ten people deep, pressed up against bookshelves. Chaos, utter chaos. Why wasn’t Zelda inside the square with one line letting people in ten at a time? It might have been more manageable.

Now, these are not con-killers. I still had a blast being able to play and see what’s in the near future. I just wish that they found a way to make things less hectic.

Despite their numbers, the public is what makes NYCC so damn fun. E3, the spectacle that it is, feels like it’s all business due to it being strictly industry. NYCC feels like a giant party. There’s excitement in the air, and fans with wide eyes traverse the expo floors looking for the next game to try. Of course, there’s one thing the general public does that you’ll never see at a show like E3:

Costumes. Lots and lots of costumes.

Like every con, costumes are hit and miss. For every great effort, like so…

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…you get the people that really make you want to scratch your head…

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“Eclectic” does not even begin to describe the group of people who descended on the Javits Center last weekend. One word can, though: fans. At the end of the day, these are the people who keep the exhibitors at these cons going. Without them, the companies, and the convention, just don’t exist.

But enough about the attendees, here’s what I was able to do in my 7-hour NYCC shift:

Played: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Street Fighter X Tekken, Asura’s Wrath, Skyward Sword, Rayman Origins

Saw: Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 3, Dragon’s Dogma, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations multiplayer, Halo: Anniversary Edition, Prototype 2, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Just Dance 3, Dance Central 2, Black Eyes Peas Experience

People Met: Jason Leigh, lead producer of Dead Rising 2: Off The Record, WWE Legend Virgil (though is he a legend?)

Previews a-plenty can be expected throughout the week. If you want to know about a particular game, comment below or hit me up on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/PhillyGamesBlog …we’re official!) or @PhillyGamesBlog on Twitter.

Look for those previews, the first ever Philly Games Blog review, and Episode 1 of the Gaming Wiz Wit Podcast COMING SOON to your favorite Philly gaming blog!