NY Comic-Con: Day one game impressions

Posted at 1:39 a.m.

After missing a bus ride into the city thanks to a sea of parking meters, having to bare the cold without a coat and nearly getting flattened by a NYC taxi, we’re here tonight to give you the run-down on the handful of games we got to play at Comic-Con.

The amount of floor space dedicated to gaming was almost daunting, to say the least, and as such, we couldn’t hit everything in one day. Here’s what we did play.

H.A.W.X. (360)

Andrew getting his hands on a flight simulator before crashing it./photo by Karen Rivera

Andrew getting his hands on H.A.W.X. (Not pictured: The horrific crash immediately following the picture.) /photo by Karen Rivera

This game’s been on my radar since Ubisoft announced it back in E3 of last year.  In the game, you play as a member of an elite fighter unit known as H.A.W.X.  (High Altitude Warfare eXperimental squadron).  At first glance, the game plays like any other fight combat sim. One wouldn’t be remiss to think at first glance that this was just a polished, prettier Ace Combat.

I got to play the game with the flight stick made for the game by Saitek and it was very responsive. The game was interesting, as the player can interact with the other computer controlled members of the squad with the use of voice command. While I didn’t get to use that feature, I also understand why, with the convention floor being as loud as it is.

The game still stands as a must-play for me. Expect to see a review of some kind when the game ships in March.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Nintendo DS)

Liberty City’s debut on the Nintendo DS is around the corner and the game was on display in the Big Apple. Rockstar Games had prime real estate on the convention floor, as their “booth” was right at the entrance to the hall.

I didn’t get too much time with the game, since I was in a rush for the MTV News/Newsweek panel, but what I did get to play was pretty cool. The game’s visual style is what I call “next-gen isometric.” Basically, the game looks like a higher res Grand Theft Auto 1 or 2, featuring more of a top-down view than the full 3D aesthetic that propelled the GTA series into legendary stature.

As I said to Karen while I played it, I definitely want to get a DS for this title.

Damnation (360)

Not all games on the show floor can be good. Damnation is one of those not-so-interesting games. From what I can gather about the story from the time I spent with it, the setting is in the Wild West with steam punk elements in it as well.

As soon as I picked up a controller, I was shocked at how much the game reminded me of Gears of War. From the camera angle to the way the weapon indicator in the top left looked to the way you selected your weapon, I felt I should be running around with a tank’s worth of metal strapped to my character’s body yelling at things to “get back in their holes.”

One other thing that was disconcerting was that for the first time in my storied gaming history, I started to get slightly motion sick while playing the game. To be fair, it might have been the TV, but it looked like the game was being played through a light fish-eye-lens. That made for quick turns and movement to look disorienting and the ensuing headache made me certain I wasn’t interested in this game.

Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution (Wii)

Ready to Rumble 2 - More like Ready to Fail. Insanely./photo by Karen Rivera

Ready to Rumble 2 - More like Ready to Fail. Insanely./photo by Karen Rivera

Blech. That’s all I really need to say about this game…

Okay. Really, this game is what would happen if a third-party developer got drunk one night and after several bouts of Wii Boxing, decided to make an incompetent copy. The game’s control felt pretty sluggish, as my actions with the Wiimote and Nunchuck weren’t accurately portrayed on the screen. Now, I know that there’s no 1:1 movement on the Wii just yet (until the WiiMotion Plus comes out) but at least in Wii Boxing, I was able to register body hits. When I asked the man standing beside me how I would go about hitting the other boxer’s bread basket, he told me to just move like I was going to.

I did that. And proceeded to get knocked the *@&$ out. Very frustrating.

House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii)

(This impression by Karen)

Karen gets scared while killing zombies on the operating table./photo by Andrew Martins

Karen gets scared while killing zombies on the operating table./photo by Andrew Martins

Think “Grindhouse” and pulpy. That’s what “Overkill” feels like to me. Your standard zombie killing game, the staple of arcades everywhere, just got a lot campier. And it’s pretty awesome.

While the vibration and reaction time is a little hard to get used to, the simple game setup is what makes it worth playing and buying. The difficulty definitely was well-paced for newcomers to first-person shooters on Wii–myself included.

I only played for about 10 minutes before deciding that I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself, but Andrew and I agreed that this game is worth having. Or at least renting a few times to take out some aggression on some crazy ass nurse zombies.

Especially with two players.

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~ by Andrew Martins on February 7, 2009.

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