Posts Tagged ‘Comic Con’

Star Fox 64 3D Preview

August 13, 2011

I played one complete level of Star Fox 64 3D at Comic-Con. It was really cool, but not quite as impressive as Super Mario 3D Land or Mario Kart 7. It reminded me of a much improved/more exciting version of PilotWings Resort.

One thing I need to say before we get started is that this is the first Starfox game I have ever played (how can I call myself a Nintendo fan!?! Well I suppose I have never played a Metroid game either… What’s wrong with me?!?), so I don’t have a background of love for the series. I am very biased when it comes to Mario, I am one of the biggest super-fans you’ll ever meet, so this preview will be a bit different from my two previous from Comic-Con.

Now on with the preview.

The 3D effects were not as pronounced and obvious as they were in PilotWings Resort, Super Mario 3D Land, or Mario Kart 7, but they were present and helpful. They were not over powering, but instead they were just there. It seems they learned there lesson from the sometimes over powering 3D in PilotWings Resort. They added another dimension allowing you to look “deep into the screen” without bugging your eyes.

Gameplay was very engaging and fun. You fly your Arwing with the circle pad and shoot stuff. Flight games aren’t really my thing, but I still found the game quite fun. Shooting down all the enemy fighters was very fun and worked very well.

Toward the end of the level you run into a giant robot. It took me some time to figure out his weakness, which I suppose is good.

In the level I played, Falco, Slippy, and Peppy were flying with me. They gave actual voiced commentary (which is rare in video games) that was also nicely presented on the bottom screen. They also helped me shoot down enemies, but in return, I had to shoot bogeys that chased them.

Controls handled well. Not amazing, but just good. In my 15 minutes or so playing, I didn’t use the motion control method, I stuck with the standard buttons/circle pad and it seemed to work very well. I found myself pressing the wrong buttons many times, but I’m sure after more play, it would become second nature. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to flight games, or it could be that there is a bit of a learning curve, most likely though it’s a mix of both.

The coolest thing about Star Fox 64 (in my opinion) was the multiplayer mode (which I was not able to try). With a single game cartridge you are able to play with 4 players locally. One of the coolest features is that the 3DS’s inward facing camera takes video of you and displays it above your fighter as you fly, so you can see the reactions of the people you’re battling with when you shoot them down.

Starfox 64 3D seems to be a good game. It has nice 3D, it’s fun, and it has great multiplayer battle capabilities. I may have to pick it up after it’s released on September 9th. (Yes, in case anyone is paying attention, that must mean I gave in and bought a 3DS – more to come on that!)


Mario Kart 7 Preview

August 6, 2011

I played two tracks on Mario Kart 7 during my brief time with it at Comic-Con. I wish I could have played more, but there were so many other games to try. I played the underwater track and the Donkey Kong Country Returns based track (courtesy of Retro Studios involvement in the game). Both were pieces of excellence.

The 3D greatly improved Mario Kart 7. There were many subtle things, and many massive/in your face things. In many cases the subtle things seemed to be better. For one, when I was driving through the course, my little character (I was playing as a Koopa) looked behind his kart at me, and his little  face stuck out of the screen. Not by much, but still very noticeable. There was no blur, just a crisp Koopa face staring at me. Sure there were bigger 3D things (like the blooper ink spraying in your face), but I found all the small things particularly eye catching.

Of course there is depth too. When you look ahead you feel the expanse of the track. It really helped judging distance and added a whole new element to the amazing virtual mushroom kingdom. Main gameplay is set in standard Mario Kart style, but there are a large number of new features (customizable karts, kites on karts, and underwater karts) and one major returning feature that hasn’t been around for a long time (coins that increase your speed the more  you collect). I can’t really talk about the customizable karts because I didn’t get the chance to build my own kart, although I’ve heard it works very well, and the giant kart someone had created before me was quite awesome. Let me go into detail on the other features.

The kites on karts gimmick works really well. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, in Mario Kart 7, when you catch some air after going over a ramp, your kart sprouts a kite that allows you to fly back down to the track. It’s a great change of pace from standard driving and a lot more fun than I thought it’d be.  Also, I can see how you could really shave time off courses by cutting corners with practice.

In Mario Kart 7, when your kart goes underwater, it sprouts a propeller/jet/thing that propels you forward. Underwater you move much slower, which gives you more time to avoid the giant cheep cheeps and clams. The under water level I played had particularly good 3D effects. Bubbles and such were very pronounced.

Coins have been in only 2 of the previous 6 Mario Kart games (Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit) and not sense the Gameboy Advance. Like I said before, coins in Mario Kart 7 increase your speed. The effect is noticeable, and occasional influential in getting that last bit of speed. I am happy to see them make a comeback.

Next year at con, if Nintendo has a lounge, you’ll find me there for at least a few hours. There was so much competing for my attention, but the two tracks I did play made me want more. The two tracks, the one that was under water and the track based on Donkey Kong Country Returns, were both well designed and very memorable. The underwater track was full of life and had some nice branching paths. The Donkey Kong track used enemies from Donkey Kong Country Returns and was super fun to race on. Other tracks include one where you race on Wuhu Island (from Wii Sports resort, PilotWings Resort, and Wii Fit) and some great “retro” courses including Maple Treeway from Mario Kart Wii (which is one of  my all time favorite tracks) and Luigi’s Mansion from Mario Kart DS.

Everything in Mario Kart 7 seems to offer the complete package. Graphics, gameplay, and many new goodies. I can’t wait to play it more after it is released this December.

Super Mario 3D Land Preview

July 28, 2011

At the end of my Comic-Con adventure, I walked over to the Nintendo gaming lounge at the Marriott to play Nintendo’s newest games before they hit stores. I played quite a few games at the con, but nothing compared to the happiness I got from playing Super Mario 3D Land.

Before I go into details on the game, I need to give some backstory. I am colorblind, wear glasses, and have a stigmatism. I have been unable to see the 3DS’s 3D effects on demo systems at Target and Best Buy or playing on my friend’s. I have been thinking it was something to do with my eyes. I was wrong. In the dim lighting of the gaming lounge I could see the 3D perfectly. I’m assuming that it has something to do with the lighting, but I don’t know for sure. If you have a 3DS, can you let me know if there is a difference between playing in dark areas and light areas? Maybe it’s just the quality of the game. I don’t know. Anyway, the four 3DS games I played at the Nintendo lounge (Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Starfox 64 3D, and Kid Icarus briefly) all had 3D effects that worked flawlessly for me.

Now on to my impressions of Super Mario 3D Land.

There are 2 things you first notice after picking it up, how good the mushroom kingdom looks with all that depth and how slow Mario moves. First let me talk about Mario. As a design choice in this game, Mario moves much slower, strangely that’s ok. You can hold down a button to make him run faster (I ended up holding it down a lot), but you really don’t need to. It works surprisingly well.

Now, for the 3D effect. The world looks clear, crisp, and full of life. The 3D depth and effect looks amazing. I was truly mind blown just how everything looked from the depth into the world to the fireballs and ink that would fly at the screen. Once I even ducked to try to avoid ink hitting me in the face! One of the coolest experiences playing the game is when Mario goes down a warp pipe and you appear in a zoomed out room with a overhead-ish view. You are standing on a platform and there is a block with a large coin on it floating above you and in front of you. Now because you are viewing it from a top down view, that normal block floats a good inch and a half out of the screen in clear, crisp 3D. I was ecstatic. Then when Mario jumps on it! Just amazing.

I played all four levels available (cause that’s just how I am) and every level worked very well. I played through an outdoor grassy level, an underground dungeon-ish sort of level, a level based off of moving platforms, and what looked to be a mid-world airship boss with a mid-world boss character from Super Mario Bros. 3.

There were two items available in the demo: the Tanooki Suit and the Fire FlowerIn all 4 levels you have the option to use your Tanooki once a level. For reasons I can’t figure, the Tanooki suit doesn’t let you fly or turn into a statue like it did in Super Mario Bros. 3. It only let’s you flutter around and swing your tail. Now Nintendo has said that that it would be difficult to be able to fly in a 3D Mario game on a handheld. What no one is pointing out is what nonsense that is. Mario flew in Mario 64 DS just fine, and that was 5 handhelds ago! It makes no sense to me. Then why can’t you turn into a statue! There is no limitations with that! This whole Tanooki suit thing just makes me think that Nintendo is lazy. However, the game plays just fine without either of those abilities. The Tanooki suit is very fun to use and really helps complete levels in Super Mario 3D Land, it just makes me more annoyed than anything that I can’t fly.

Gameplay itself is fantastic. Mario has a full arsenal of moves including a new summersault roll move that came in handy a lot during my demo. The levels I played were well thought out, fun to play, and showcased the 3D effects well. So many great little moments. One of my favorites is when Mario is going to walk through these giant swinging spiked balls that are moving toward and away from you. Just brilliant.

The game is filled with shout outs to past Mario games, from the airship with the mid-world boss from Super Mario Bros. 3, to the way every level ends. Every level that I played ended in Mario jumping on a flagpole for the first time in a 3D mario platformer. I didn’t think this would work well, but surprisingly it worked great. They did it perfectly.

It’s hard to explain just how good Super Mario 3D Land is, and I could go on and on trying to. This game justifies spending the $170 on a 3DS (maybe not $250, but for $170 I see it being worth it). It is the perfect example of a Mario game. A great mix of quality, fun, and a great new gimic. I personally can’t wait to play more when the game comes out this November.

Lego Marvel and DC Comic Con Pics

July 21, 2011

FBTB got some really good shots of the new Marvel and DC minifigures at Comic-Con. The DC figures are near final design while the Marvel ones are in various early prototype stages. It was announced that in addition to the Lego sets based off Marvel and DC, Lego will be making Hero Factory figures of certain DC and Marvel characters. In the gallery you can also get a look at the Green Lantern promo. I can’t wait to see everything for myself! I’ll be posting previews and impressions of stuff at the Con starting at the beginning of next week.

Lego Also Nets Marvel License!

July 20, 2011

I can’t believe it. Lego netted the Marvel and DC Comics licenses in one awesome swoop. Here is the press release and sources.

Two of the world’s most iconic brands are joining forces as The LEGO Group, world leader in high quality construction toys, and Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a global character -based entertainment company, announced a wide ranging strategic licensing deal. Through the multi-year agreement starting as of January 1st, 2012, Marvel has granted LEGO Group the rights to develop a distinct Marvel branded construction toy collection — LEGO SUPER HEROES — which will bring the characters, vehicles and action of Marvel’s renowned universe to the world of LEGO® build-and-play adventure. The LEGO SUPER HEROES Marvel collection’s initial construction sets, minifigures and buildable characters are scheduled to launch in May of 2012.

The LEGO SUPER HEROES Marvel collection will spotlight three Marvel franchises – Marvel’s The Avengers movie, and X-Men and Spider-Man classic characters. The LEGO Marvel’s The Avengers movie line brings such ever popular Marvel characters as Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Loki and Black Widow to LEGO minifigure form. The LEGO X-Men collection includes minifigure comic versions of Wolverine, Magneto, Nick Fury and Deadpool, while the LEGO Spider-Man sets offer minifigure comic versions of Spider-Man, and Doctor Octopus. The first buildable characters in the LEGO SUPER HEROES collection are highlighted by Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man. Select figures will be unveiled in the LEGO booth (#2829) during Comic-Con International at the San Diego Convention Center July 21-24.

“Our partnership with Marvel helps us continue to deliver some of the best and most constructible Super Hero stories of all time,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president, licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “We’re thrilled to partner with Marvel to create creative, constructive play sets for builders, fans and collectors alike.”

Joann Mclaughlin, Executive Vice President Toys & Hardlines, Marvel Entertainment, commented, “The partnership with LEGO Group furthers Marvel’s strategy to align our brand with the best in class leaders across various industries who have the global marketing expertise and distribution clout to stand out in the retail environment. This deal solidifies the already robust presence of our characters and the overall Marvel brand in the ever important toy category.”

The retail debut of the Marvel-inspired LEGO SUPER HEROES collection is timed to coincide with the highly anticipated Summer 2012 blockbuster movie release of Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures feature film Marvel’s The Avengers.

The Fandom Post.



Lego Gets Full DC Comics License

July 20, 2011

Here is the full article from FBTB.

Variety reported a few hours ago that LEGO now has the full DC Comics license. In short, expect to see LEGO sets based on their most popular characters including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and villains the Joker, Bane, Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor.

LEGO will unveil the initial wave of sets at Comic Con which kicks off tomorrow night. 3,000 minifigs of Batman and Green Lantern will be “distributed”. FBTB will be there all week, so stay tuned for our full coverage.

Full article snippet below, link to actual article below that:

Warner Bros. has expanded its relationship with Lego, granting the toymaker access to DC Entertainment’s complete library of comicbook characters and stories to launch DC Universe “Super Heroes” as figures and playsets.

The multi-year licensing deal, made through Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will start rolling out the new line in January, starting with 13 characters, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and villains the Joker, Bane, Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor.

The first toys will be shown off at the Lego booth at Comic-Con Intl. in San Diego, where 3,000 exclusive Batman and Green Lantern minifigures will be distributed to launch a promo that runs August-December, enabling fans to create and submit videos, photos or illustrations of the characters to win trips to Legoland and Warner Bros. Studios.

WB and Lego had already been producing toys and videogames around the Batman franchise, and will launch a new set of playthings around next summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” through the Lego Batman collection. The “Lego Batman: The Videogame,” published by WB Bros. Interactive Entertainment, has sold more than 12 million units since 2008.”This partnership gives builders a chance to recreate the characters, vehicles and worlds of some of the most iconic super heroes, so they can relive the action and even customize it, a proven and winning formula in Lego construction,” said Jill Wilfert, VP, licensing and entertainment for the Lego Group.

WB builds on Lego partnership

Nintendo Coming to Comic Con with Massive Line-Up Including Super Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 3DS

July 18, 2011


In a recent announcement, Nintendo has said that they will be coming to Comic Con with a huge line-up of games for the 3DS, Wii, and DS. They will only have a small booth on the show floor, but they have a gaming lounge set up at the Marriott Marquis & Marina at 333 W. Harbor Drive, adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center. Here is the full list of playable games.

Nintendo 3DS:

Super Mario

Mario Kart

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Star Fox 64™ 3D

The Legend of Zelda™: Ocarina of Time™ 3D

Pokédex™ 3D

METAL GEAR SOLID® Snake Eater 3D from Konami

Shinobi™ from SEGA®

Super Street Fighter® IV 3D Edition from CAPCOM





The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Kirby™ Wii

Rhythm Heaven™

Fortune Street™

Captain America™: Super Soldier™ from SEGA

Just Dance® 3 from Ubisoft®


Nintendo DS™ family of systems:

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker™ 2


Via the Nintendo 3DS Blog.