So today concludes my first day at PAX Prime 2011. It was good fun, but a lot of my friends and I ended up separated most of the time because we all wanted to go see different things, so I spent a significant portion of my time wandering alone, but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I made some friends while playing other games and waiting in lines.
Anyways, first off is a quick rundown of some of the swag I snagged:
-T-shirts: Uncharted 3, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, StarHawk, Gamespot
-Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One paper hats/masks
-Dance Central 2 plastic sunglasses
-Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword lanyard
-StarFox 64 3D pin
-Twisted Metal Sweet Tooth mask
Not too bad for the first day, though I am not particularly wild about the Sweet Tooth mask. So now, on to the games (in the order I played them):
-Uncharted 3: The first part of this was actually one of the producers showing off the cargo plane sequence. It was up on a projector with I would say maybe a 10-12ft screen and seriously loud speakers (you could feel the gunshots). I know there are trailers for this up, but they don't seem to do it justice, at least not in the way that this setting did, with how epic this one sequence is, and it's a relatively short part of the game as far as I can tell. I'm glad I went here first. It was awesome.
After the demo was some multiplayer time. It was hard to really get any idea how it is different than Uncharted 2. Plus I did really poorly so that didn't help. I'm sure if you played the beta you have a much better feel for it than I do though.
-Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One: The game seems like it will really be a lot of fun. I had quite a good time with the demo. I'm not sure how the single-player will work, but with others it's very fun. Some of the portions where you must work together require good communication, as most co-op games do, but there were a few things, like grapple swinging, that we couldn't quite get. You do addition damage when using the same weapons on a target, which furthers the co-operation, but at the same time there is some competition because you get a bonus for collection the most bolts, etc.
One thing that took a bit of getting used to was that the right stick it used to change weapons and when I first started playing I habitually tried to move the right stick to adjust the camera as I do in all Ratchet games and just started switching weapons instead. Keep and eye out for this one though, I think it will be a good one.
-Resistance 3: I think I will have to go back and play this one again because I tried playing it with the Move gun controller and it was not easy. Granted I didn't try changing any of the settings though. I started to get a tiny bit better, but that thing definitely has a learning curve.
-StarHawk: I have only played WarHawk once, so I am not familiar with all of the base building and vehicle piloting you can do in these games, but the combat was solid and the level we played one remind me of some ****c ones from Unreal Tournament 2004. Plus the sniper rifle was great as I wiped out a bunch of people on their team with it. I even surprised one of the guys at the booth by unlocking a gold trophy by sniping a turret, haha.
-Twisted Metal: Again, it took some doing to really get the controls and everything figured out. It's been a long time since I played a game in this series. The action was good and the graphics weren't bad. Lots of fast action and explosions. This should be a good one to play online.
-Dance Central 2: This game is looking quite good. If you're already a fan of the first Dance Central, just go ahead a pre-order this one. The side by side dancing is what was really missing from the first game and works great in the new one. Plus the new soundtrack has some great songs (Technologic!). The graphics look a lot more polished as well and there are cool new effects on your dancers when you are doing well like streams of light coming from their hands.
The points systems has also been changed. I played on easy just because I didn't know what was coming but still managed to score 1.7 million points even though the best I have ever done on the first Dance Central was 711k and that was on Hard mode. Dance Battle also changes things up with free****portions that has four dance moves up on the screen at once and you can do any one of them you want to score some extra points.
-Forza Motorsport 4: The game is gorgeous. What else can I say? It's definitely gotten better than Forza 3, which is a feat in and of itself. I think I will need more time with the game to give any impressions on the changes to the physics engine, but it seemed to be right in line with the visual upgrade. All they had set up were game pads though and I am more used to playing with a wheel.
-The Gunstringer: This was one I was looking to playing since I saw the article on Kotaku about it. There was really no line for it when I went to play it, which I suppose is a good and bad thing at the same time. The art ****is neat. From what I can tell you are actually supposed to be playing in an actual puppet show. Occasionally you will see hands move stuff in front of you or see a crowd in the background (which is also actually a FMV). The controls worked quite well, though there were times when the shooting didn't quite go off when I wanted it to. Exaggerated movements seemed to work best here.
-StarFox 64 3D: This game is looking great on the 3DS. While the game is familiar, it really lends itself well to the system's 3D screens. You ship looks like it is popping right out of the screen and laser blasts coming right at you look really cool. It controls well on the 3DS also. The thumbslider works great with the game.
-The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Dare I say it, but I was a bit disappointed with the demo for this one. There were three scenarios to choose from and I chose to try out a dungeon. As far as I could tell I just had one room to run around in and that was it. While they are touting more advanced sword control with this game, I think there will be quite a learning curve with this one. I was having trouble fighting some basic enemies. Even using the bow was a bit tough, but I think I may have just been to close to the screen on that one. It looks like the graphics need some more polishing up as well, but Nintendo still has time for that.
-Rhythm Heaven (Wii): I loved this game on the DS and it looks as though the Wii will be much of the same (in this case, good). The games playable just used the A button on the Wii remote for control. I'm not sure how or if any other the games will make use of the motion control. Note to self: remember to ask about this tomorrow. Still the same great graphical sty.le with this as well.
That's it for everything I got to see day one. Stay tuned tomorrow for more game impressions. I'm going to see if I can get around to Aliens: Colonial Marines, Borderlands 2, Bioshock: Infinite, Gears of War 3, Kirby Wii, and surely others.