Hands-On WiiU E3 Demos – First Impressions

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Thank you, Nintendo, for bringing to the some demos we can actually check out for ourselves! I don’t recall anything like that being done, before! Granted, it was one station at participating Best Buy stores, you had to wait in a crazy-long line, and it was only four games, but it was totally cool to actually feel like I’m part of the E3 fiasco.

Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze – This was the game I actually played. The first thing I noticed was the level of detail in the character and environment designs. It played like its predecessor on the Wii. The co-op worked nicely, and when the demo was over, I wanted more. I heard they brought back the water stages, which I thought were handled beautifully, if not the best of any platformer, in the Donkey Kong Country series for the SNES.

Mario Kart 8 – When I first saw the trailer, I thought this was going to be a dizzying experience. I can now take comfort in knowing that the character you’re playing as will appear right-side up. I also noticed that there are 4 more racers participating per race, making 12 participants on the track at the same time. With that being said, it didn’t look nearly as chaotic as it could have been, and that makes me happy. Another thing to note is that the frame rate is consistently at 60 frames per second, even amidst all the madness. To make it better, it looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL in 1080p.

Super Mario 3D World – If you’ve played the 3DS one, then you may know what to expect. The big difference here is that there is now a 4-player cooperative. It involves the same line-up as Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) – Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi and Toad. The abilities from that game have also returned, giving each character a unique play style. Toad is faster, Peach can float, Luigi can flutter, allowing him to descend slowly, and Mario is balanced and boring.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD – It most certainly is Wind Waker. However, it has gotten a well-deserved facelift. The graphics have been polished to an almost mirror-sheen (it would be weird if they were polished to that point). The shading is absolutely superb – among the best I’ve ever seen. It now resembles a painting more than ever. It also looks like they’ve made the sailing less of a chore by adding an even faster speed. There apparently have been more additions added to enhance and streamline the gameplay to make this HD version more than just an HD port and better than the original in almost every way.

However, they did not have a playable demo of the WiiU title other than Smash Bros. that I care about the most. Allow this video to do the talking…

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First Impressions – Injustice: Gods Among Us

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I went in thinking that this game wasn’t going to be anything crazy good. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. This is quite the impressive fighter. It’s incredibly easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master, just how a fighting game should be. The best part about this game is that every time you play it, you’re most likely to discover something new. Yes, the fighting mechanics are that deep even though the control scheme has been simplified when compared to the last game by developer, NetherRealm Studios, Mortal Kombat 9. Plus, you can interact with objects in the background and use them to attack and/or evade.

Probably the weakest part of the game that I’ve experienced so far has been the story mode. I’m not saying that it’s bad – it’s just that the story itself plays it safe. It feels like you’re watching a long episode of Justice League, which is just fine. I would much prefer this over a confusing story, which it seemed like it was trying to set up early on. Luckily, they went away from that. Also, to mix up the pacing of the mode, they added parts where you would do some quick time events in between the fighting and the cutscenes. Winning or losing determines the health of you and your opponent when the upcoming fight begins. These break up the pace pretty poorly. They’re very unexciting, and you just want them to be over with so you can get to the fighting.

Anyway, enough talk. The video below will do all of that for me.

First Impressions – Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (XBLA)

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Hoooooooly crap! As far as visuals go, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is one of the most impressive of the XBox LIVE Arcade gallery. The hair physics are… odd… but since everything else in the game is so stylized, it doesn’t seem that out-of-place. I’ll just let this video do the talking:

As far as gameplay goes, this is not your standard platformer. It is heavily inspired by Super Mario Bros., (and if you knew the story behind the creation of Giana Sisters, you would understand why) but switching between the sisters at the touch of a button or the pull of a trigger (depending on the situation) adds a surprising amount of depth to the gameplay. Hell, even the graphics and music completely change, as you probably noticed in the video above.

I will give this game a full review once I’ve finished it. At this point, expect a good rating. I recommend playing this, especially if you like a good challenge. The only way this game wouldn’t become recommendable is if one of the unlockables was the entirety of Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, and you would be forced to play through ALL of that in order to re-play the Giana Sisters game. SURELY THAT CAN’T HAPPEN, RIGHT?

…right?