1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Eurogamer Expo 2009

Discussion in 'General Video Game Discussion' started by Doctor Oak, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    This week is the week of the second annual Eurogamer - Expo, and I stopped by today's event in Leeds to have a look around. Here's my report on the day's activities:

    [​IMG]

    To begin with, the size of the show itself was impressive - especially by what we consider to be the normal emphasis on gaming culture within this country. The Leeds venue is a bit smaller (an entire floor's worth) than this weekend's London shows - but, regardless, sprawled out across two conference halls there was more than enough on show.

    In total, there were nearly 50 games available on the show floor - all playable - and about 20 indie PC games set up in an interesting, but not enthralling, group. Of these games, there were quite a number yet to be released - some not even dated yet. The demos were all preview builds used for previous, bigger, shows meaning that some builds were a good few months old by now but almost everything was playable in a meaningful form.

    I didn't get my hands on every game available purely because of the huge amounts of waiting time for the more popular games - but for most of those I wasn't able to play, I did get to experience someone else playing through the entire demo anyway to get some general opinion. So, onto the meat then:

    [​IMG]

    Monster Hunter Tri

    I've tried before to get into the Monster Hunter series on the PSP. The franchise is huge in Japan and the fandom demographic tends to cross over with Pokemon's. However, I just cannot get my head around the games at all. The immense amount of boring menus and awful RPG trappings makes it hard enough to get through the actual action of the game - but the gameplay itself is devastatingly dull once you finally get into it. Honestly, I wasn't entire sure what the hell I was meant to be doing during this demo (as far as I could gather, I was 'hunting' a specific dinosaur within a time limit, but the controls were such a trodging mess I lost the will to even bother getting through the majority of the map to truly find out.

    The best part of the entire demo was getting a chance to finally hold the new Classic Controller in my hands:

    [​IMG]

    If you own the current Classic Controller, you'll know that while it harks back to the simpler times of the Master System/Mega Drive/NES/SNES controllers, a couple generations since of well designed ergonomic controllers have made it a bit uncomfortable to hold and use in the long run. This new design, which is pretty similar to the Gamecube's basic shape - but with a much better button arrangement - is so comfortable to hold that I wish we could get rid of the Wii remote all together and use this instead.

    Although, saying that, this next game reminded me that the Wiimote itself still has some awesome tricks up its sleeve:

    [​IMG]

    Rabbids Go Home is great fun. It's actually the most fun I've had while holding a Wii Remote in what certainly seems like years. Even before the real game starts, you get treated to a lovely little touch of abusing the hell out of a Rabbid that's 'inside' your Wiimote. But the real meat of the gameplay itself is just as entertaining. The charm and humour that made the Rabbids such a success and allowed them to usurp Rayman himself is ever-present in this Katamari like crazy game. The aim is simple - collect enough crap to build a tower so the Rabbids can sleep on the moon (which is, apparently, their home). The controls - nunchuck and Wiimote based - are a delight and perfectly responsive, while the general design of the game is just eternally entertaining. If you liked the Rabbids before, you'll love this game. If they annoy the hell out of you - well, this may be able to charm you round. Or it'll make you want to thrust the Wiimote into your face. One of the two. Either way, ace game and definitely on my buy list now.

    [​IMG]

    While we're still with the Wii games, New Super Mario Brothers Wii was also on hand for play. If you enjoyed the DS instalment for the fact it was a proper Mario 2D side-scroller, you'll probably be disappointed with this one. While, obviously, the build I was playing was set up for multiplayer - it doesn't seem to be oriented towards having much else in the form of gameplay. Which, really, is the game's entire downfall. Not necessarily because a strong single player mode would be ideal, but more because the game is not online. The fun of playing against your mates will likely die out once they realise that you'll always win 'cos you actually play games and they don't (unless you're in one of those weird scenarios where you've managed to find at least 3 other social geeks) - and the demo at the show really emphasised how fun it is to take people you don't know and go into competition against them. It's impossible to capture that offline at home short of inviting absolute strangers into your house, and that seriously weakens the entire game.

    Otherwise, it's still pretty fun overall. The gameplay's not really classic 'Mario' as it's a lot more insane with 4 active players on the go, but it's not too hard to keep track of. It's also gorgeous - but that shouldn't be hard for a game with DS graphics up-rez'd. It's not exactly taxing the system.

    [​IMG]

    James Cameron's Avatar: The Game is fairly disappointing. I've struggled to be able to take in the glimmering of information about the movie itself - so, honestly, I've no real idea of what the entire thing's about. The game itself, though, is kinda disappointing for - fundamentally - being yet another 'Space Marine shoots everything dead' game. I really struggled to get into this game at all. The gameplay itself has been done to death, and the setting itself is clichéd and unfulfilling. I'll have another look at it once I've (maybe) seen the movie and actually understand what the game's about (best I've been able to gather is Space Marines vs Dinosaurs) - but it was a pretty underwhelming demo.

    [​IMG]

    Heavy Rain is one of those Playstation 3 titles that has me really wanting to pick up the system at last (which I shall do within the next year or so, fo' sho'). A lot of time has been spent talking about its graphical fidelity - which, yes, is on a whole very awesome - but, really, I have to say that the actual direction of the game is what needs to be focused on.

    The game itself is fundamentally not a lot more than a constant Quick-Time-Event (with some third person explorationy bits). So, if those piss you off already, avoid like hell. However, that doesn't mean that you have no influence over the game itself. From what I got to see, failing to follow the on-screen actions had only really a binary action list - succeed or fail. But failing, at least, didn't mean dying and restarting (for the most part). Hopefully your decisions and actions (or non-actions) can and will have larger repercussions throughout the game - but I can't really confirm anything from the demo.

    The gameplay, however, is secondary to the new level this game sets in cinematic storytelling within games. As I mentioned before, it's very pretty and graphically realistic - but the direction of the action itself is what makes the game. As the group of about 20 people were standing around watching one person playing the demo, it struck me that we weren't watching a game, we were watching a story. In effect, we were watching and enjoying just as we would a movie or TV show - and it works so well in that respect, too. The camera work is brilliant, graceful and cuts in just the right ways, while the characters move and act in a believable, realistic way (mostly thanks to an ungodly amount of MOCAPing).

    If I was to pick a game of the show, it would probably be Heavy Rain. It was one of the most interesting there, and I genuinely cannot wait to get my hands on it.

    [​IMG]

    On the other hand, if I were to pick the weakest game of the show (for me), it would have to be Dragon Age Origins. Maybe it was the setting, maybe it was the fiddly, confusing controls or the never-ending loading screens (a conversation has to load! It's like Sonic 2006 all over again) - but this game was dull and unenjoyable from the start. As you can see, it's also pretty graphically unimpressive. The models are one thing, but the environments are muddy and hard to see through. I love Mass Effect (and got to have a brief play with ME2 - which was great) - but Dragon Age Origins is just uninteresting and not entertaining...

    [​IMG]

    Finally, we have Star Trek Online. As a pretty big Star Trek fan, and someone who has been eagerly following STO's development, this was great to finally get a go on. Sadly, the demo available was criminally short and limited (not even a chance to fiddle with the character/race creator!) - but did cover the fundamental basics of ship and ground combat. Both work for the most part (and, baring in mind this is a build from a couple of months ago - and the closed Beta only started this week [ps: Open Beta was confirmed to us to be in February - which would likely confirm the February release date for the game itself, going by Champions' calendar]), with a few bugs intermittent but dismissable for reasons previously mentioned (for now). Sadly, with not a lot else contained within the demo, all else I can really comment on are the controls - which are typical MMO fare, really (read: almost identical to WoW) - and the graphics/animations - which are glorious. This game is seriously pretty and smooth.

    I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the game proper, either during the Closed Beta or by February - but I was before the demo anyway. At the very least, what (little) was available has affirmed my desire for this game and I can't wait to see how it all fits together - especially the non-combat oriented material.

    Other games I got to have a quick go at or watch for a while (and don't have [many] pics of for whatever reason - including EA being twitchy about people photographing their upcoming games despite it not being a problem for anyone else) include Bayonetta - which is one of the best things Sega's come out with in years; Mass Effect 2 - which is, fundamentally, pretty much the same as the first one; MAG - which is amazingly pretty considering the amount of action that goes on in it. The scale of the stages shown is impressive too - but overall, not a game I'm interested in principally; Red Steel 2 - which is surprisingly good looking for a Wii game, but I didn't get a chance to play it before it broke; The Saboteur - which, gameplay wise is a bit overdone and dull, but I'm willing to look past that for the fascinating setting and design choices and a great 3-screen arcade style set up of Forza 3 that I would happily steal for my home.

    Overall, a fun day with a great insight to some upcoming games. I'm looking forward to seeing what next year has in store - and hoping this is just the beginning of even more UK gaming expos, especially outside of London.

    Moar Pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Doctor Oak, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2017
  2. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #2 Doctor Oak, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2017
  3. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Friend Code:
    4167-4498-1464
    Sounds like it was fun, and I wish more stuff like that happened in areas I lived in. But alas, that's a pipe dream unless I moved off the island XP

    I'll be buying New Super Mario Brothers Wii solely because I want more stuff to play with my little sisters, but Rabbids Go Home sounds promising. I didn't actually play the original, and this one sounds fun and quirky. I like quirky games, especially quirky responsive Wii games.

    STO... I wish I was more Trekkie because while I do want to play it with you guys, I'm also worried I won't enjoy it nearly as much as I could. Guess only time will tell~
     

Share This Page