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Eurogamer 2011: Thoughts, Hands-Ons & Over-View

4th October 2011 KingofMetal79 and Amy Meredith

eurogamer Earls Court

Nintendo 3ds:

Zelda Bird

super mario 3d land

This is probably the most anticipated of all the 3DS games at the show. It looked awesome and played really well. The 3D element was really good and it had a nice Galaxy feel to it. Also as you are probably aware now the game sees the return of some classic Mario power ups. There were 4 levels to try on the demo and the first contained traversing some unfolding yellow tiles previously found in Super Mario Galaxy (SMG).  There was another level that was more akin to the classic Mario platformers of the NES/SNES era, with pipes etc…it played a bit like Little Big Planet with its 2.5D style, whereby the player moves between the foreground and the background to evade enemies and to negotiate the terrain. If this is half as good as the sublime SMG and SMG2 and you own a 3DS (or even if you don’t!) you can’t afford to overlook this on its release in November.

super mario kart 7

It had the feel of its big brother on the Wii and played almost identically. The 3D effect didn’t seem as pronounced as Super Mario but this may be due to the track I played as there weren’t many obvious 3D elements/moments – I only played one track. At the beginning there were several options to modify your car. Following the standard character and kart selection there is now the option to tweak the tyre settings and new ‘glider’ add on. For anyone who has played any iteration of MK will know the buttons from the off and the ability to jump, drift and shoot weapons is as you remember it. This will be an instant classic whether you are a long time fan of the franchise or a  newcomer.

kid icarus: uprising

This is an awesome game and have loved it both times I have played it. When I Initially got to play this back in February I was a bit dubious about how the control system would hold up (using the touch screen to aim rather than a second stick) but after a few flirtations with Masahiro Sakurai’s new shooter and I am glad to say that I don’t think it will be much of an issue. I wish Nintendo would just release this already!

metal gear solid 3d

This had a similar set-up to Peacewalker on the PSP version and therefore is held back by the lack of a 2nd stick. Weirdest thing was that when you switch between third person view and first person view the game switched out of 3D to 2D – not just an odd choice but rather off putting as your eyes have to readjust. While a great game I’m just wondering how this will sell seeing as the HD version (with full PS3 controls) is scheduled to be released prior to its launch. I am not convinced that the addition of another dimension will convince people to buy in on the 3DS rather than the PS3 and even if the idea of playing the game on the move it may even be worth waiting for the recently confirmed Vita port.

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zelda: Skyward sword

Being a massive fan of the Zelda franchise for over 20 years means any new release in the franchise is always a big event.  While the Twilight Princess was an incredible game I did feel that the game needed to introduce something fresh, or move in a new direction if the franchise is to be able to compete with this gen’s rpg/adventure greats. While (as expected) nothing was given away in terms of story, 3 distinct demos were available to play at the Nintendo booth: a boss battle, a dudgeon and bird flying minigame. The flying bird mini game consisted of you and 2 other players attempting to chase down a 4th bird carrying a statue. For anyone use to the stingray racing on SMG the controls will seem second nature – boost with the A button and rolling the wii-mote left and right to steer. While this element of the demo was not the most thrilling it did give you a good indication of the variation in levels the final game hopefully will possess. The dungeon level just gave you an over view of how Link is controlled with the Wii-Mote and the way he interacts with common objects within the game Universe. The third and final (and the most interesting and fun) demo was the boss battle with Stalfos. Having not played Zelda before using the Wii-Mote (as I played TP on the Gamecube) I was very interested in seeing how my favourite adventurer fared using motion control. I was initially worried that combat

would become tiring very quickly and standard ‘Wii-sports’ waggling would be all that is required to dispatch enemies….however my fears were put to rest in a matter of minutes when the advanced accuracy of the Wii-Motion Plus means that it is now possible to map all the classic Link hacks and slashes onto the Motion Plus. Therefore a downward movement of the Wii-mote creates an overhead hack or a forward push creates a deadly thrust and a left to right/right to left movement creates a sideways slashing move. All the moves were very responsive and the tracking seemed very good. It also added an extra level of immersion never before seen in the Zelda universe and was exciting enough in itself to get me very enthused about Skyward Sword. Now add the uniquely rich Zelda universe, immense characters, memorable boss battles, mind melting puzzles and apparently almost 100hrs of gameplay and you may just have a future classic in the making. I cannot wait to play the game on its release in November.

Very short video of a cut scene contained within bird flying mini-game

Once again it was that time of the year that TFTV, girlfriends and friends travel to Earls Court to get to grips with some of the games and tech that will be vying for our hard earned cash over the next 6 months or so. If last year’s Expo was remembered for Gears of War 3 Beast mode and Brink, Eurogamer Expo 2011 was the year of the ‘Queue’, whether it be for Battlefield or OnLive. However at the end of the queues were some superb games waiting to be played...

uncharted 3

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Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated new game was represented on the game floor with a considerable area dedicated to the new iteration of the multiplayer (MP) that was introduced in Uncharted 2. I had several games on the MP and I really enjoyed it. There are a few tweaks that have been made including the ability to change your weapon load-out and improved contextual melee kills – including the ability to pull/kick enemies of walls/cliffs/ladders etc.  There was a rather cool moment in the Team Deathmatch game I was playing when halfway through, the map was engulfed by a sandstorm that briefly impeded the vision of all the players. I thought this was rather unique and added an extra dimension to an already rich and entertaining MP. I hope that there are similar event on all the maps in the final release and that their appearance is random rather than at the same point in each game.

During the Nolan North talk on the Saturday we were privy to a live demo involving a previously unseen level. The demo started out with Drake dehydrated and lost in the middle of a vast desert. After clambering arduously over several sand dunes, with the sun baking down on his back, Drake tumbles down a dune into the remains of crumbled ancient city. After a few shoot outs and several kills the demo came to an end. The first thing I noticed was the detail in the graphics and the quality of the much discussed sand physics. With each step Drake took in the sand you could see little whisps of sand kick up as well as the each footprint collapsing in one itself a few seconds after each was left – the detail was immense.