Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo 3DS’

(Performance Review) Kid Icarus: Uprising – Wings of Wax

January 25, 2011

SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT

Nintendo touts Kid Icarus Uprising as the “glorious return” of Pit  in “spectacular 3D.” Designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. franchises, it’s a blend of aerial and ground-based shooting “built on elegantly intuitive and streamlined play control.”

Whoa. Wait, no.

Uprising has the finest pedigree in Sakurai, the best graphics so far seen on the 3DS, fantastic art design and fun voice acting, but none of that is going to save this highly-anticipated title until someone changes the controls. Trying to hold the 3DS with the left hand, aim with the stylus in the right hand, move with the thumb pad (left thumb) and shoot with the left shoulder button (left index finger) is an ergonomic nightmare. Trying to do all that and pay attention to what’s going onscreen at the same time is video game equivalent of spinning plates while playing Twister.

To get a sense of what Uprising‘s controls are like, it’s the same basic set-up used by Metroid Prime Hunters for the original DS. It was a terrible control set-up then, too, unless you really like hand cramps. It’s possible toslightly alleviate the awkwardness by placing the system flat on a table or against your leg, but then there’s no alleviating questionable game design.

Stupid sexy Medusa

In each demo level, Pit takes to the skies in a Sin & Punishment-style on-rails shooter, then lands on the ground, switching into a bland, sluggish brawler mode. Both styles of play feel weightless, even when Pit drags his feet across the ground. Control problems persist in the earthbound mode since the only way to control the stubborn camera, and Pit at the same time, is by flicking the stylus all over the place. Awkward as hell. Dodging and running by double-tapping the thumb pad in the desired direction — also awkward . Killing enemies to unlock doors, the most basic of video gamey objectives, was all that part of the game offered anyway. I hope, hope, hope this game is deeper than that.

Listen, weird control styles don’t deter me from playing good video games. Monster Hunter is one of my favorite games on the PSP, and the best way to control that game is to use what players somewhat affectionately call “the claw” — arrange the thumb on the analog nub, and index finger on the D-pad, to control the camera. It sounds awkward, it looks awkward, but it works well.

Kid Icarus Uprising doesn’t, and I’m not even sure if it’s a good video game. It feels shallow. I don’t know what can be done about that, but the controls can be fixed easily by including different control options, ones that don’t need the stylus. There’s plenty of time to do so. Besides, more options are good! It’s the way of the world now.

Or, I guess I’ll opt to play something else.

P.S. I went this whole time and never mentioned the 3D. Well, it’s blurry. It never focused for me. Switching it off gave me a great-looking game — lasers shooting at Pit from all directions were a brief thrill — so it was no loss. But shouldn’t the 3D in a first-party Nintendo 3DS game work? Plenty of time to iron out those kinks, Nintendo.

(Performance Review) First Batch of Nintendo 3DS Games – Baby, They Ain’t Done Yet!

January 23, 2011

During Nintendo’s Nintendo 3DS showcase last week, I had opportunity to get playtime with many of the handheld’s upcoming titles. Here are a few early impressions.

HAY LSN
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
I rushed to play this one first. It’s the same game you played in 1998, with far better graphics and an improved control set-up. Using the 3DS’ thumb pad to move Link around the playfield feels really good, way better than the N64’s dust-making plastic stick (and no one’s going to miss the blurry, ugly graphics of the N64 original, either). Ocarina 3D‘s visuals impress with smoother, sharper and more detailed textures. In 3D, Kokiri Village and the Deku Tree look fantastic, with particle effects flitting about in the air, but I did switch off the 3D effects so I could concentrate on winning the Gohma boss battle. Aiming the slingshot and looking around using the gyro scope is cool, and it works, though I preferred just using the thumb pad in the end. Thank god for options. Too bad there’s no release date for it yet.

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(grump alert) Mega Man Legends 3 confirmed for 3DS

September 29, 2010

Dreams do come true

First Duke Nukem Forever, now Mega Man Legends 3. All we need left is Half-Life 2: Episode 3, Shenmue 3 and ZOE3 … and life will be complete.

The folks over at Mega Man Network provide the much sought-after skinny, and a spiffy video too:

MEGA MAN LEGENDS 3 PROJECT KICKS OFF!!

Hi everyone! This is Masakazu Eguchi, director of MEGA MAN LEGENDS 3!

So, how about that Keiji Inafune special interview? Did you like that?

As you can see, Inafune is very enthusiastic about this project. And that new development style that he said he would go into more detail about later, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed by that. We think not only fans of the series, but anyone interested in Mega Man Legends will be like, “What? …OMG!!!”

When I and the rest of the staff first heard that were that we were doing this, we were shaking in our boots. All of us were asking our bosses, “Are you guys serious?”

But the proposition was interesting to say the least. So, now here we are making intense preparations and trying to stay on schedule.

…Having said that, there are so many details about the project that I am dying to tell all of you… but you’ll have to wait and let your imaginations run wild for just a little longer, until the Comic Con in New York next month!

Until then, I’ll use this blog to introduce to members of my team, and tell you a little about what’s going on here in the Dev Lab. I’ll do my best to update it at least once a week, so check back often!

I’m also looking forward to hearing comments from all of you!

Be sure to check out www.capcom-unity.com/devroom andwww.capcom.co.jp/rockman/dash3/ for more info!

I’ll be at NYCC next week, where I’ll do my best to glean new details about this. I’ll be firing on all cylinders for this game, and hopefully find out “how ans will have an opportunity to be part of the development process like never before as they interact directly with the team!”

We’re doing it, guys.

We’re gonna get Volnutt back down.

I'M. SO. HAPPY!!!