Yesterday i’ve sacrificed my soul and waded through the hordes of surprisingly young trade visitors to play a few games that will be released in a few months anyway.
Here are all the games I’ve played along with a few short remarks:
You can feel it’s a Media Molecule game, because LittleBigPlanet is oozing out of every corner. One of the few PSVita games actually utilizing the more obscure features of the hardware, like the rear touchpad. The graphics are lovely, the art style really fits the game. I will buy it.
The Elder Scrolls: Online (PC)
It actually felt like a TES game and not like your generic MMORPG. Quite surprising especially after the leaked closed beta videos. To be honest, I hadn’t much hope for this title.
It really is a multiplayer version of Skyrim: Monsters respawn quickly, you can go questing together with other players. The characters – particularly the faces – look a lot more stylized, i don’t think it fits the setting very well.
Still risky of Bethesda to take the monthly subscription path, but we’ll see if and when it will succumb to the free-to-play model.
PVP stood out for me. It was impromptu, fast and all while doing a pretty boring and generic fetch quest. Questing in Tarren’s Mill from the days of classic WoW come to mind.
For the classes, i’ve played two of them. First the Stalker, which is the equivalent to the agile, melee DPS rogue class capable of delivering burst damage very quickly. Nothing special there. As the Spellslinger, a ranged DPS class, positioning and prediction was emphasized when firing projectiles at enemies. I liked that.
The graphics and animations are also a strong point, they’re clean and very smooth. But like always, it’s the mechanics that will keep the players engaged and we’ll see about that.
Carbine Studios/NCSoft are also leaning on a monthly subscription model for WildStar, which isn’t less surprising.
Pokemon X/Y (3DS)
To me, the best game on the show. You could play a demo version that took roughly ~10 minutes to finish. The overworld looks fantastic and the battles play like a better version of Pokemon Stadium without the annoying announcer. The last fight starred a Mewtwo on level 100 where you could test the Mega Evolution mechanic to transform him into his Mega form.
I’ve experienced a few slowdowns (especially in battle when a lot is going on) but i’m sure Gamefreak will iron these out until the release in October.
One interesting thing i’ve noticed is how the staff lady “reset” the demo device. She turned off the 3DS completely, then turned it on again while holding X and Y. She then hammered the stylus like crazy on the Pokemon Demo icon to start it. Would love to find out more about the special demo devices.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Two different demos could be played. One showed a dungeon, the other a portion of the overworld. I’ve only played the latter. Oddly enough, they had a regular 3DS and the new 3DS XL as devices to play on.
The overworld looks very good in autostereoscopic 3D. It also ran very smooth, in contrast to Pokemon. Movement and combat was lifted straight from A Link to the Past (which is a good thing!). Couldn’t find any of the new mechanics in the short time i’ve played, because the 3DS’ analog stick was so worn out that i couldn’t run, only walk. Looking forward to it.
Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft (PC)
Not expecting much and not being the biggest fan of trading card games this was surprisingly one of my favorites of the show.
It’s really easy to get into, just pick a hero along with a pre-defined deck and go. I’ve chosen Gul’Dan, the Necromancer, which has a lot of powerful but dangerous cards that often damage own units. Despite for being in Beta, it already has the usual Blizzard-level of polish. I’ve played against my girlfriend and she also liked it.
I did pass on a lot of stuff because everything was overrun after the Koeln Messe decided to hand out 20k wildcards to private persons. I then changed plans and met some people from the industry to have few beers too much. Better than waiting two hours in line for 10 minutes of playing something without sound because it’s just too loud.
I really wanted to get my hands onto the PS4 controller, play some WiiU titles like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart or Ryse for the Xbox One.. I might decide to stay at home next year if they don’t intend to change their policies about what “Trade Visitors Only” really means.