I had a good time at EGX! I played less games than last year, but somehow enjoyed myself… more??? Maybe video games are the problem? Who knows. Here’s what I thought about the games I did play though:
Splatoon: I feel like I haven’t had enough time with it yet to really say how I feel about it, but it does seem like one of typical competitive Nintendo games that only becomes more fun the more you understand its depth.
Yoshi’s Wooly World: It feels like the New Super Mario Bros of the Yoshi’s Island series. It looks SUPER nice in motion.
Project Diva 2nd: umm
Volume: Like a trickier, more prescriptive version of the VR missions in MGS1/2. Just like Thomas Was Alone, the narration stuff is your standard ‘witty’ cack.
Monster Hunter 4U: Everything they’ve added works really well, and the game somehow looks even better than MH3U did on 3DS. Companies are really killing it with milking the 3DS hardware at this point. I haven’t quite gotten used to jumping yet but it feels AAAAHHHH SOO GOOD to land on a monster’s back and give it a good stabbing.
Smash Bros 3DS: I played a lot of Smash Bros because I Care A Lot About Nintendo Party Games. I got loads of shots of the 3DS version because it was quite easy to get on and stay on, and two shots of the Wii U version because I made it through Nintendo’s tournament event. Regarding characters: Little Mac was definitely my favourite - he’s the closest thing Smash Bros has ever had to a conventional fighting game character and it feels really good to leap through the chaos and land big meaty hits on people. They changed Charizard A LOT, which threw me off because he was one of My Boys in Brawl - RIP Rock Smash. Shulk’s weapon-change stuff was a bit too fiddly for me to pick up in one fight, but he felt kinda Ike-ish to me. The Rainbow Road level is absolutely brilliant - I’m generally not a fan of the ‘world tour’ stages that hover through a bunch of locales but here it really works - being lifted through the moon’s surface and the big revolving tube from Mario Kart 7’s Rainbow Road is a smart use of the mechanic.
Smash Bros Wii U: Maybe I’ve just spent too much time staring at the 3DS version, but the Wii U version looks pretty incredible in the flesh. Both the times I got a shot I was playing for keeps rather than trying new stuff, so all I can really say is that the NSMB stage is really fun and Fox’s new voice is absolutely awful. Also, I had no idea Dr Kawashima was an assist trophy (thanks for helping me win a 3DS doctor)
LA Cops: Not as slick and one-more-goish as Hotline Miami, but the buddy cop dynamic is a pretty good twist and it had a distinct visual style. The little skits between missions were rubbish.
Alien - Isolation: Still not sure how I feel on the game as a whole, but the challenge mode itself is exactly what I imagined when they first announced the game and how it was supposed to feel. Definitely apes the original Alien movie really well - right down to the 80s-imagined HUD elements.
Bloodborne: It definitely feels like the proper sequel to Dark Souls that people have been wanting. It’s faster, but the combat is still deliberate and well-considered. The lesser emphasis on shields makes things feel a lot less safe, which is a good way to unnerve Dark Souls veterans. Being shot at with guns rather than arrows will take some getting used to, as will the baddies saying “aw bloody hell!” rather than “AUUUGHHHHH~” when they die.
Elite Dangerous: Fun to play a ‘serious’ space sim with proper hardware and joysticks but realistically, I’d never buy it.
Lords of the Fallen: This feels like a weird Chinese knockoff of Dark Souls. I didn’t even look at the control sheet because every Dark Souls input I tried worked the exact same.
Dying Light: Felt like a better version of Dead Island. The parkour stuff is pretty simplistic but feels satisfying and sufficiently tense when you’re able to bypass a large swathe of zombies with some good jumping.
Kirby (Canvas Curse 2?): Again, like Yoshi’s, it felt really familiar to its predecessor but with a super-beautiful art style.
Mario Kart 64: This game is truly fucking awful.
Super Bomberman: I prefer the Saturn one.
FIFA Soccer 94: The d-pad down was broken so I couldn’t move into the enemy half.
Balloon Fight: I played it co-op with Ross and he done most of the work.
Super Sidekicks: The sequel is better. Also please add a ref in the next patch please SNK.