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Posts with tag PAX07

PAX 07 hands-on: Insecticide

I didn't get as much time with Crackpot's Insecticide as I liked, but I got to mess around in both an action stage and the detective mode, at least superficially enough to know how they worked. I can tell you right away that all three Psychonauts owners, as well as LucasArts adventure fans, are going to want this.

The action mode looks and feels just like Psychonauts, with the exception of touch-screen integration, of course, and your character's use of a projectile weapon rather than melee. It's pretty much a standard 3D platformer. The graphics have taken a significant hit compared to the concept art, obviously, but the style of the game (like its neighbor at the Gamecock booth, Dementium) helps cover. The touch-screen control scheme was a little hard to manage, seeming to involve more limbs than a non-arthropod like myself had available. However, I quickly found that I could lock-on to targets with a button, and could therefore avoid the stylus altogether. I fell through platforms a couple of times, but that was actually a pretty common problem for some of the really early versions of games I played at PAX.

Continue reading PAX 07 hands-on: Insecticide

In Zelda, even walking can be an adventure

We don't have to tell you that a lot of people weren't exactly fans of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker; Nintendo fans who loved it (and even those who didn't) heard the complaints over and over again. That's made a few people a little wary of the upcoming Phantom Hourglass, and we understand. Really, we do, even if we don't necessarily agree. But from every scrap we've seen from the latest handheld entry in the franchise, it's shaping up to be a real adventure -- which is the biggest complaint about the series as time goes on. We've seen it. We've done it. We've been been heroic through the ages, and though we love every moment spent in Hyrule, sometimes, we crave something a little different. From the looks of things, we're about to get just that, and more.

Our own JC Fletcher spent some time with Phantom Hourglass recently at PAX, and his report is nothing short of glowing. Everything in the game feels fresh and new, and what's more? It's just plain fun. There are all the elements we need for a Zelda game: familiar enemies and tasks, but the smooth stylus-based controls turn the forests and seas of Hyrule into a whole new world. We've been waiting for this one for a long time, but the closer we get to release, the more it seems that it's all been worth it.

We've tucked a video behind the break that offers up a short glimpse of simple navigation that shows off the stylus-based movement, so you can see for yourself. Just watch out for the trees.

Continue reading In Zelda, even walking can be an adventure

PAX 07 hands-on: Dementium: The Ward

Tiny DS demo stations around Gamecock's Fury booth had demos of Dementium: The Ward available, and I made it a point to try Renegade Kid's horror FPS. The graphics may be simple in terms of polygons, but the game does its best to set a mood, which can be difficult on a handheld!

I was immediately impressed with the framerate. I'm not a frame-counting expert, but the game ran perfectly steadily at what looked like 60 FPS. The simple geometry of the game's environments and enemies is masked by the lighting effects (you can really only see about five feet in front of you without a flashlight) and a dirtying effect around the periphery of the screen, which is normally black but turns red when you take a hit. These work similarly to the noise and fog effects in Silent Hill to create a mood while hiding technical limitations. Taking inspiration from Silent Hill is generally smart, and this isn't the only example of such influence.

Continue reading PAX 07 hands-on: Dementium: The Ward

Down down: No Contra 4 at PAX

My PAX expo hall map showed a small Konami booth toward the back of the hall. Just small enough, I thought, for a couple of DS demo stations showing off a certain side-scrolling sequel. I was sure I'd come back a hero, having gotten my hands on Contra 4 for real, and bringing back hyperbolic froth based on real playtime rather than screenshots and video.

You can imagine our disappointment when we saw the actual Konami booth, then. That's it above, occupied by Derrick and Garrett from Mega64. ProTip: it's not Contra 4.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. That's not the whole Konami booth. There was another DDR machine behind it.

PAX 07: Namco Museum DS has more options than games

Poor Namco Museum DS was sitting there in the Bandai Namco booth all alone, while people ignored it in favor of new games. It needed just the right person to come along and play some Dig Dug II.

Dig Dug II is, of course, unchanged, as are all of the games in the collection-- that's kind of the point of Namco Museum (with the exception of the oddball Wii version). However, players have the option to change the method of presentation significantly. You can view the game in the normal DS orientation or turned sideways, with the screen rotated in either direction, depending on how you want to access the controller. You have the option for full-screen or the original aspect ratio in all of these configurations. There's also a softening filter that can be applied to the graphics. With so many options for displaying the games, it's slightly frustrating that there are only eight games in the collection. We want definitive DS versions of Bosconian and Metro Cross and The Legend of Valkyrie!

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