It’s that time of year again, ladies and gents! Yes, I once again ventured into the gaping maw that is the Javits Center to attend New York Comic Con 2015. Games were played, pictures were taken, and swag was definitely procured. Let’s take a look at what I got a chance to play during my four days attending, with pictures so you can feel like you were there, even though you probably weren’t!
To be young again!
Star Wars Battle Pod was one of the first things people saw when they entered Comic Con, so naturally I was very excited to try it out. Upon sitting down in the pod, you can select different missions from the screen. There was the Death Star Trench Run from Episode IV, Battle of Hoth from Episode V, and Endor Speedbike Thingee from Episode VI, each one more difficult than the last. I decided to be a big boy and choose Death Star since it was the easiest, and man do you feel pleasurable vibrations on your butt once you blast off in your X-Wing. The left lever controlled your speed, while the right flightpad controlled your crosshairs. There were two buttons on the flightpad: one for missiles and one for blasters. I had no trouble aiming and taking down TIE Fighters for a good couple of minutes, and then it was onto the climatic trench run. Darth Vader was there, Han Solo blasted him away, I used the force by waiting until my countdown timer reached zero before unloading into the Death Star exhaust, and BOOM. “That was one in a million,” said so not Harrison Ford. I had to let other people play even though I won (damn lines), but I had a good time. You don’t really get to fly around, which was a disappointment; arrows just tell you where to aim and you take care of enemies that way. Still, it looked and sounded incredible, and beats spending $35,000 for my own Battle Pod.
Next time, it’s gonna be just you and me, Hoth.
Get in the zone!
Next up, Project X Zone 2. You remember Project X Zone? That game where it’s like a Strategy RPG and has a bunch of Bandai Namco characters mixed with Capcom ones? Yeah, this is more of the same, except with more characters from each respective side. You basically start on a grid and you command teams of your characters to fight baddies (also pulled from Bandai Namco and Capcom). I would move my characters toward enemies to engage, and then battles initiated. I had some cool teams like Dante and Virgil, Chun-Li and .Hack person, etc., and there were button explanations on the bottom of the 3DS about how to attack. I just mashed until I mashed enough to conjure a special team attack or call in a 3rd character, who would jump in with a fancy cinematic and attack. Mindless fun, but fun, nonetheless. There were a lot of characters from each developer’s side (including Alex from Streets of Rage!), which showed the dedication Bandai Namco and Capcom have to keeping their fans happy.
I have no idea what I’m doing!
I don’t know a lot of the people on the bottom screen.
Look what I waited on a line to play and was disappointed by!
Oh, Umbrella Corps, who do you exist for? Are you for Resident Evil fans or fans of Call of Duty? Neither, apparently. Umbrella Corps teams you up with two other peeps to fight another team of three (in third person), and you get to play as faceless members of Umbrella. Fun. Instead of fighting zombies (though they do get in your way and can kill you), players are tasked with offing other Umbrella members (one team plays as Alpha Team while the other plays as Bravo Team). Do Umbrella teams tend to fight amongst themselves? Wouldn’t it be better to just mow down zombies and see which team had a higher kill count? Whatever, I’m not a game designer. You can customize your loadout before a round, of which there are three, and you have guns and stabby things to choose from. So let’s say you start a match full of enthusiasm, but you turn a corner and a member of the opposing side shoots you dead. You just respawn, right? Nope, you get to watch a map appear onscreen indicating who is left and where they are until the next round. This was in a mode called One Life Match, so hopefully there are other modes with respawns, but Umbrella Corps still felt like a game that has already been done, and been done better. Utterly pointless and dull, and not worth the Umbrella pin I got for playing.
This man fell asleep two minutes in.
On the opposite side of Umbrella Corps was Resident Evil Zero HD, which was from a time when Capcom had an idea of what it was doing with Resident Evil. Never had a chance to play this back in the day, but my hopes were high because I adore the Resident Evil Remake. Like an idiot, I opted for the more modern control setup, where you run in the direction you face instead of the tank controls I grew up with, but this proved quite problematic. For example, when I was trying to back away from an enemy while still facing it so I could blow its brains out properly, I would run away instead. There was probably a button I could have held to do this, though; it’s just that the controls flashed onscreen too fast at the start of the demo. I had fun shooting zombies AND zombie dogs, and everything looked and sounded superb, but my demo was cut short due to it being timed. This was a lot more fun than Umbrella Corps and I got a neat poster out of it.
Those are some scary stairs.
More like Lara Croft Go Away.
Full disclosure: I am not the biggest fan of mobile/touchscreen games. Lara Croft Go is not a game made for me, and that’s alright. I did want to try it, so I shuffled over to an open screen and jumped in. The game dropped me off in a room with a puzzle: push the statue onto the cracked floor, climb on said statue to reach tall ledge, continue. Easy peasy. Next puzzle: pull the correct statue around out of a possible three, shove onto a switch to advance, and don’t jump on the cracked floor; two steps onto it and it will collapse and you will plummet to your death. It was impossible to reach some of the statues without taking one step onto the cracked floor, so you’ve got to have a plan when you take that first step. I could not figure out the correct trajectory to pull the statues, nor if I was pulling the right ones, and gave up in frustration after a good ten tries. Lara Croft Go probably has less tedious sections in the main game, but give me Rise of the Tomb Raider any day over this.
I never played Just Cause. I own Just Cause 2, but haven’t started it. So despite my knowledge of the series, I came into Just Cause 3 a virgin. What a delightful cherry pop! I had no idea what the objective was because someone in front of me just handed his controller off to me and I played from where he left off, but I didn’t care. You can grapple onto almost any surface, including people, and just launch into them. I did that for the majority of my playthrough. Your character will zip around crazy fast once you get used to launching the grapple (I believe the default setting was left bumper, which was a little awkward), but it’s a thrill to play. Grappling up tall buildings was exhilarating, and you can launch off from a grapple anytime into a descent, complete with parachute. Um, just take my money. Looking forward to this one, and I think it’s time to bust out Just Cause 2 and give it a go.
Slice all the slimes dead!
Dragon Quest Heroes was quite a different game than the old Dragon Quest titles I used to play on my NES. No turn-based RPG commands to be found here; instead, your character just up and slices enemies to bits by mashing buttons. Your team is AI controlled, so they take care of baddies out of your field of view while you focus on the ones around you. There were two scenarios to choose from in the demo: fight a wave of enemies around a map, or go up against a boss monster. I chose enemy massacre, and it immediately felt like I was playing Hyrule Warriors again. Mind you, I love the onslaught of enemies Hyrule Warriors threw at you, though the combat was a bit simplistic. Same here: attacks were assigned to Square and X, and performing different combinations with the two buttons caused different moves to be performed. At times, my character would slash downward with a powerful finishing blow at the end of a combo, while other times he would shoot fire from the tip of his sword. Familiar baddies from the Dragon Quest series appeared like the adorable slimes, who deserved to be shredded no matter how cute they were. I went up against a giant cyclops last, and almost perished because I had no idea how to heal. Careful defense and a built up special move that eviscerated all in its path helped save my skin, and victory was mine…until I realized there was one slime left on the map. I killed it and the demo ended, anticlimactically. Regardless, Dragon Quest Heroes was a mashing good time, and if you liked Hyrule Warriors, you should definitely look into it.
3DS time once more. Final Fantasy Explorers has not been on my radar, but it looked cool enough to try. A helpful attendee from Square helped me set up my quest in the village starting point, and off I went to a nearby volcano for adventure. The very first thing I noticed was that there were chocobos in the volcano, as enemies. Yes, you are required to kill these adorable birds that were once used as transportation, and this made my soul cry. Final Fantasy Explorers was more of an action RPG where you run around trying to avoid spells and attacks while casting your own. The attendee mentioned a button I could tap on my bottom screen that would heal me incrementally and boost some of my spells; at one point, I became a giant badass sorceress which enhanced my attacks. This button had a cool down period so you couldn’t abuse it. After exploring a bit and besting a few foes, I met with the boss of the volcano: fucking Ifrit. Man, you used to help me out, Ifrit! I thought we were cool. Anyway, he was one tough cookie, and I ended up dying once even with the healing spell being used. His fire attacks would hit all over with a large radius and last, so sometimes you would walk back into a surface he lit up moments ago and catch damage. However, there was another special button to tap on the bottom screen after dealing out a fair amount of damage that would transform your character into a famous FF character for a brief period (I think I got Terra from FF VI). I did some powerful spells as Terra, and this was enough to take Ifrit out. Final Fantasy Explorers was a decent time, but I could tell it will be infinitely more fun if you play multiplayer. Everything is better with friends!
I saved the best for last. Street Fighter V was one of the highlight gaming experiences at Comic Con, with lines to play every day. There were championships going on, but I didn’t want to get pummeled in public, so I chose private sessions. Luckily, I got on a line that was best two out of three, and my brother was with me, so I played with him. I played Street Fighter V two days in a row, and was happy to see all the demos had Arcade Sticks. On the first day, the first character I tried out was Karin, who I have been missing severely since Street Fighter Alpha 3. The first thing I noticed was that SF V is faster than IV, which is a huge plus! I had trouble relearning Karin, because it has been a long time since I’ve played Alpha 3. A lot of her moves I remembered from Alpha 3 weren’t coming out, so either Capcom changed the inputs or I was remembering Karin’s moves incorrectly. My brother played as Ken, and I got beaten swiftly in Round One and Two. Grrr. Second match, I played as Nash while my brother was Ryu. Now, Nash is quite different than he was in the Alpha series, because his moves require quarter circle inputs instead of charges. I liked this change, because Nash shouldn’t have to be a clone of Guile.
During one of the rounds, my bro managed to beat me with a time out even though the game showed him having no health left, which was bullshit. I managed to come back and win the next two rounds, though. It was during this battle that I noticed something unique to Street Fighter V: there is no chip damage when you block an attack. Now, a player can’t just cheese you into a corner for a victory; you’re going to have to throw them or hit them with an attack. I absolutely love this idea, and applaud Capcom for including it. Match three, I played as R. Mika while my bro was Zangief. Yes, it is obvious I love the Alpha series. R. Mika is incredible: she’s fast, she grapples, and she launches her ass into your stomach as an attack. There is something called a V-Gauge that fills as you take damage, and you activate it by pressing Fierce Punch and Kick together. Doing this with R. Mika called out her wrestler partner to provide assistance while you comboed attacks together. Amazing. I took this round and shook hands with my bro for some great matches.
I’m not done with SF V! The next day I played, fucking Laura was added. Yes, electric Brazilian assless chaps Laura! I was so pumped to try her out, so my brother and I hopped on line once again. Of course, I picked Laura first while my brother tried out newcomer Rashid. Rashid is pretty cool because he kicks out these little tornadoes and it reminded my brother of Juri, who we both love. However, Rashid’s gassy wind attacks were no match for Laura’s electric grapples, and I took the first match. The following match, my bro tried out Laura while I was Cammy. My knowledge of Cammy carried over to SFV, and she wasn’t too different than she was in IV, so it was an easy victory for me. Good times. It must be said, all the characters my brother and I tried were motion characters and not charge ones. In fact, I overheard that Vega no longer has charged based moves, and I believe only Bison and Chun-Li still have them. I never preferred charge over motion based characters, so I like the change, but it’ll be interesting to see how the community responds. Also, look who I forgot to stand on line to meet:
Even though I attended New York Comic Con 2015 for four days, there were some things I missed/had no interest in. There was a line to play Dark Souls III, but after my experience last year with the Dark Souls II DLC, Crown of the Ivory King, I decided to pass on a repeat performance.
Not today, Miyazaki!
Also at the Con, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided…in video form behind closed doors. I had attended a showing of Watch Dogs in 2013, which wasn’t nearly as fun as actually playing a video game. So I said no to Deus Ex, even though I liked Human Revolution.
There was this sweet wall advertisement, though.
New York Comic Con 2015 was a great gaming time, overall (especially if you wanted to play Capcom games/Street Fighter V). I wish more companies were there, like Nintendo, but you can’t have everything you want. It was great to see Konami relegated to Yu-Gi-Oh! card tournaments, however, because goddamn, do I hate them. I can’t wait to go back again next year, and hopefully see some of you wonderful readers! In closing, here is a sexy picture of me with Ratchet from Ratchet and Clank:
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