Nova's Comic-Con impressions

Comic-Con in San Diego is now wrapped up for another year. Nova attended the event and has written up his impressions of two new games, Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Dead Space: Extraction, shown off to the public for the first time:

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Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a franchise I've only just recently heard about. Despite its recent appearance into the world, it had a rather massive booth at Comic-Con. And when I wasn't dressing up as my favorite sith, or talking to the voice of Cleveland from Family Guy, I tried my hand at the emerging Wii game headed for our and your shores during (supposedly) the fourth quarter of this year.

If you are familiar with the rules and practices of Bakugan, than much of what I will write about you probably won't be surprised about. However, to all of those who don't know anything about the game or franchise whatsoever, I will try to describe every detail I experienced. The game was set up at the convention to be played by two people. I assume that single-player and three to four person multiplayer is also present, but without further research, that is only speculation.

I started out picking a character (out of a total twenty or so) and the game began. From what I could tell, Bakugan is a numbers game. The player begins the match by picking one of three Bakugan in his or her inventory. Then the player must pull back the Wiimote and throw it to toss the Bakugan ball. The ball can roll about the stage and pick up powerups. If the ball lands on one of the battle cards, it "stands" and is ready to fight. If one from each of the players lands on the same card, the battle begins. Each Bakugan has a different number associated with it. The collected powerups change those numbers to benefit the player. The game then chooses a random mini-game (of which I saw a total of three) that can vary from rhythm-game-style button presses, to cued waggle motions.

The player with the highest number at the end is the winner. The Bakugan performs a finisher move and will win the match. All of this will repeat itself until somebody has won three matches, which I was able to achieve. I shook the player's hand and walked away.

The game sports some attractive graphics that may not be detailed or realistic, but are certainly colorful and varied. The mini-games, which could include more than I saw, are a bit gimmicky and short. It would have been nice for there to be smarter mini-games that didn't include such orthodox actions. However, your tolerance for waggle and such may be different than mine, so you may find the mini-games more fun than I did.

Bakugan: Battle Brawlers will be coming out for Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS2 by the end of the year, if it doesn't get delayed for any reason. Check it out then, if it suits your fancy.

Dead Space: Extraction

The horror genre has been virtually revitalized by Dead Space. Its interesting and unique setting allows for a different experience from the regulars that consume the area. Wii has the first sequel/spinoff (whichever you would call it) of the original to grant any console.

An on-rails shooter, Dead Space: Extraction has the world of Dead Space and the mechanics of other ORS's such as House of the Dead or Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. For the short while I played, I saw a tiny piece of what looks to be a massive game. I can imagine that the small segment I saw isn't enough to realize its full potential, but hopefully allowed me to grasp the feeling of the game, if not the content.

I started the demo by watching a lengthy cutscene. Why this was in a demo intended to be played by as many people as possible, I have no idea. Anyway, the game began with the character (I assume to be Isaac Clarke of the original) in a small, rusty room. He gets attacked by several monsters that take several hits to eliminate, and his life bar is rather fragile, but the action is exciting and the violence is refreshing for the console. The graphics are also very good.

One thing I should mention however, is that the game is on the difficult side. I died a few times before I could get a good hook on the controls. The game has several power tools used for weapons (just like the first game). The enemies lose their limbs when shot in the right areas, and a lot of the powers are present. Slowing down enemies make them easier to kill, which can be especially useful when a horde of them show up.

The experience was unique and interesting, and one that intrigued me enough to consider picking this game up. Most refreshing of all perhaps was the level of interactiveness in the surroundings. Many aspects of the environment are controlled by the actions the player makes. And while I don't know how common that is in ORS's, it was a fun way to play the game.

Look out for Dead Space: Extraction in the US on the 29th of September and the 2nd of October in Europe.

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wiiboy101 said:

Looking good for a cough on-rails (gimped) game EA games, I'll keep an "i" on this one.

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