A recap of the abundance of merriment that was New York Comic Con 2013

Oh God, my legs! Greetings, everyone! I recently got a chance to attend New York Comic Con 2013, and would like to share with you the experiences I had playing a variety of videogame titles at the event. The largest presence at the convention was Nintendo, so expect a mostly Nintendo-focused recap, with both PICTURES and WORDS. Onward!

Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land

Being a huge fan of Regular Show, I was pumped to try this out on the Nintendo 3DS, but also skeptical because the developer had worked on Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!!, which I felt was a little bare bones. Unfortunately, I ended up feeling that Mordecai and Rigby in 8-bit Land was as bare as a chicken leg that has been reduced to the bone: players just run around as either Mordecai or Rigby (you can switch between them freely with the press of a button), collecting cash and stomping on uninspired enemies that you can sometimes jump on and sometimes not (the game wasn’t clear on the whole “jumping on this guy will actually hurt you, but this guy is totally cool to leap frog onto”). Selecting levels via a map screen reminiscent of Super Mario World was cool, and the game does advertise multiple gameplay modes that involve sidescrolling space shooting, but the 2D platforming was dull and the betting cash at the end of each level on a race you can’t control was dumb.

Earth Defense Force 2025

Giant horrifying bugs to blow up into a million pieces?! Sign me up! Except don’t, because this was too hard and also a bit choppy. The game is played with a dual screen split vertically, but no one else was playing when I tried this game out, so the other protagonist on the screen had to watch helplessly as the world around him was torn asunder by the very things he fears the most. I tried playing as the lady and the frame rate was super slow, and it wasn’t a special bullet-time effect, either. Destroying bugs with rockets was fun, but the second any one insect touches you, you fall to the ground and lose all of your life (or worse, watch helplessly as your character gets thrown about in a giant ant’s mouth while not being able to do a damn thing to stop it). Curiously, I went over to the other controller and tried controlling the guy and the frame rate was fine, though I still died in seconds.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know!

I got a chance to play this dungeon crawler with two other guys, though one dropped out pretty fast and then there were TWO. I unfortunately played as Cinnamon Bun, who could only roll with his special attack and also had the ability to shoot sugary goo at enemies with a button hold. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get him across water. So while Jake and Marceline could stretch and float across and gather valuable treasure, I was left twiddling my thumbs and standing around looking like a doofus. I did a cool screen-filling attack that killed all enemies, which was nice. Looks to be mindless fun that is better enjoyed with company.

Super Mario 3D World

It looks like Peach is saying “DURRRR.” Played this with three other guys, one controlling the game with the GamePad while I used the Wiimote with the others. I used Luigi and we of course chose the level that had the new cat power-up in the preview screen. I managed to get a bell and sprinted around as Cat Luigi, and it was fun to scamper up walls and the flagpole at the end. Some weird tubes were shown that characters could go into and zip around in different places depending on which direction the D-pad was held. There was a lot of confused running around and we got lost at times and floated towards whoever was leading in our safety bubbles, but we had a good time. It’s great to see the cast from Super Mario Bros. 2 again, instead of stock Toads as Players 3 and 4. A very vibrant game that is sure to be a fantastic time with friends and family playing altogether.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Dear Lord, was this game silky smooth. Zelda was a timed demo where you could pick to play in the overworld or dungeon. I chose dungeon, and it was totally the same 1st dungeon you tackle in A Link to the Past, only DIFFERENT. Link can pound the strange block enemies with the Magic Hammer and can use them to fly upward into the air when they bounce back up, sometimes even to other floors. The game looked stunning in 3D, and Link can become part of various walls, using them to go outside the dungeon or around obstacles. The demo timed out after a short while, but it left me hungry for more.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Dixie is back! Sadly, she was not in the demo. I got to play this gem with a little boy Mega Man being instructed by his mom, and though he died a few times, his jump timing was amazing for someone so young. I was Diddy and he was Donkey, and we had plenty of lives and 3 hearts each to tackle the stage. The game looks gorgeous on the Wii U, though control-wise, rolling, pounding, and blowing is still done by shaking the Wiimote (I really wish it had button control as an option and was more like the excellent Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D). It plays more like an expansion to its predecessor, but that is in no way a bad thing. The simians can now pull plugs that make things happen in the background by holding down a button, and you can do a cool spin attack in the water by shaking the controller. Penguins with helmets were featured, protecting themselves from damage in a clever way. It was great fun, and I congratulated my little partner after the level was completed.

Pokemon X and Y

This title was certainly a treat, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t played seriously since Gold and Silver. The adventure starts you off in a city where you can run around and fight trainers and wild Pokemon. There was a Skiddo in a small fountain area that you could ride on, but he could not climb stairs, and was therefore useless. Fighting trainers was exciting because everything is animated and in 3D (especially attacks); it really brings the battles to life. The demo gives you Fennekin, Helioptile, and Sylveon to mess around with; all high level, so fighting was a breeze. The demo concluded with your trainer meeting a professor, him giving you a Mewtwo to Mega-evolve, and then sending out his Pokemon to get decimated by it. It was hilarious and evil. It’s out now, so go get it; it’s great!

Sonic Lost World

Sonic had 4 levels to choose from, so I picked the one with medium difficulty. Gameplay was fast and Sonic now has a nifty kick attack he can use to send robots flying into each other. There were moments that you could tell were scripted and on auto-play, but the majority of the action was under my control. There were some tough sections where you had to time your jumps in spike ball form to hit a series of cannonballs to make your way to platforms that I thought were very well implemented. It was great to set animals free from their capsules at the end of the stage, too. Good fun, even though it feels a lot like Super Mario Galaxy.

Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Hands down the best experience I had at the convention. I got to play Figure Skating with a partner, and who answered the call to be my assistant? Crazy Joker who wasn’t afraid to play as a female teammate. The fantastic thing about Winter Games, particularly with partner-focused minigames, is the ridiculous stuff you do with another person. I got to hold my Wiimote to the side while my partner took the other side to hold the A button while we swung various motions in unison (this was called “holding hands”). I also got to spin the Joker around me in a circle. There were points where we both had to “hold hands” while Player 2 let go of the Wiimote to jump and land. We had to hold certain poses and balance. A perfect game to play with a loved one or a random cosplayer waiting in line at a convention.

Strider

NINJAS! The new Strider was pretty fun: players can slide through air vents, climb platforms with hooks, and slice and dice enemies with Strider’s recognizable blade, which you could actually take a picture holding at the display! The only issue I had was that Strider absorbs bullets like a sponge and does not flash or get knocked back when hurt, so it is easy to lose track of how much life you have and just suddenly die. One to watch out for, though!

Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs was not playable at Comic Con, but me and a group of people did get to see a new gameplay clip. In it, Aiden Pearce goes to a gun shop to get weapons and meets his buddy who covers his butt sniping from a tower while you get some information from some gangster. Aiden had some awesome gadgets: one weapon distracted guards with a noise and immediately incapacitated them when they got close to it, there is a baton Aiden used to break appendages, and Aiden’s remote control could go from one security camera to another in a sequence to find the source of their power in order to shut them down. Once Aiden got the information he needed, however, all the guards were alerted to his presence. At this point we got to see various rifles and machine guns in use, sometimes to blow up barrels to cause explosions and kill enemies. Aiden also gets his clothes visibly stained with blood upon taking damage. It looked amazing; sucks it was delayed.

That’s all I have to report! My only regret attending the convention was that I did not get a chance to play Bayonetta 2: the line for it was always long because it was only being displayed in one area with only one giant screen, and by the time I tried to really wait in line for it on Sunday, it was replaced with a “Get your picture taken with Mario” silliness. Regardless, I had a great time, and managed to snag some cat ears from 3D World for playing so many games. Anyone else attend Comic Con? What were your favorites at the show?

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