NYCC 2012–Quick Impressions From the Nintendo Booth
There was a significant gaming presence at this year’s New York Comic Con, and no booth was as packed as the Nintendo booth during all four days of the show. Even with a press pass, I was only able to get hands on with two games, but both were great. Here’s a quick rundown:
WiiU–Nintendoland (Luigi’s Ghost Mansion)
In the Luigi’s Ghost Mansion game, there were five of us playing together. Four were using Wii controllers, turned sideways like the old NES controllers. The fifth person was using the WiiU GamePad. The four of us on Wii controllers were Miis dressed as characters from the Mario universe (Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi). The person on the GamePad was a ghost, whose objective was to incapacitate the four of us. The ghost can see the entire level and all the other characters on the GamePad’s touch screen, while the other four players can’t see the ghost on the main screen. Players are armed with a flashlight that has a limited battery, and they can only see the ghost when they catch it in the flashlight’s beam. Catching the ghost in your beam for a certain period will destroy it, until it respawns. If a player is incapacitated, they can be revived by another player. The goal is to outlast the ghost for five minutes.
I had a blast with this game, and so did the rest of the people playing–it was couch co-op at its best. The mechanics are very simple, but the tension of not being able to see the ghost makes for a panic-filled moment to moment experience. This is a fun one for kids and adults alike.
3DS–Epic Mickey 2: Power of Illusion
If you have fond memories of the Sega Genesis-era Illusion games, be prepared to love this game. A side-scrolling platformer, Power of Illusion also uses the touch screen to affect environments by tracing, painting and erasing objects that Mickey runs into. I played this one for a solid twenty minutes, and loved everything about it. The mechanics are great, and the use of the touch screen fits perfectly into the flow of the game. In addition to the standard jump and shoot mechanics (mickey use the paintbrush like a gun, shooting blotches at enemies), there is another level of depth to the mechanics, ranging from spin attacks to bounce attacks and more. All of the mechanics are introduced and explained well, and the game is just a joy to play overall.
It seems like the WiiU version of Epic Mickey 2 will be more co-op based, so if you’re looking for a pure platformer that captures the feel of the old Disney games, the 3DS version is the one to go with. It’s a definite buy for me.
Sadly, I did not get to play ZombiU, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Despite there being more than one kiosk set up for the game, there was a sea of people packed around each one all weekend. In a surreal moment, I was interviewing the game’s writer Antony Johnston, while right over his shoulder there were scores of people clamoring for a chance to play the game. From everything I saw and spoke with Antony about, this game is the real deal–survival horror that does not cater to the casual game or the faint of heart. ZombiU is shaping up to be the killer app for the WiiU launch.
Don’t sleep on Nintendoland, though. That game looks much deeper than people are giving it credit for, and I think that old school Nintendo fans will be surprised how much love and detail went into bringing beloved franchises together into one big package. Nintendoland is no mere tech demo, and it’s much bigger than Wii Sports.
Stay tuned to Secret Identity in the coming weeks for my interview with Antony Johnston about ZombiU. For 3DS fans, I will also have an interview with D3 about the Adventure Time game coming soon as well.