While we naturally report on all things relating to Android games and gaming, we did get to meet up with some other companies such as 2KGames and Capcom to check out their newest releases (plus we did say we would report on other stuff from GDC). So taking a break from Android for one post, here are some great games we checked out.
Darkness II from 2KGames
Where to begin with this game. After taking the provided shuttle to a secret (not really) location a few blocks down from the Moscone Center, we were ushered into a nice little place called the Box where coffee and treats were waiting. After a brief moment of waiting, we were then led into a room with a big wooden table, a big screen and surround sound. after a brief intro, the lights are turned off and Darkness II is fired up.
The pleasantries end there as we were visually and audibly treated to 2KGames upcoming release, Darkness II. This is about as in-your-face as a game could get without actually having someone come up to you and punching you in the face, while you're sleeping. Graphically, they went with a bit more of a Noir look to the game, with every texture being hand-painted. Lot's of focus went into dynamic lighting as well which really brings the mood of the game out.
Combat is also pretty awesome. Along with your two demon arms that appear when you are in darkness, you also have your two normal arms so you can really pull off some entertaining maneuvers when fighting. Another thing that 2KGames wanted to do was bring the fighting closer to you, so it is more in-your-face and it certainly does that well. It would be hard to use anything but your demon arms though as it is just way too fun killing people with them. Twisted sounding, I know. However, not as twisted as your Darkling friend who randomly kills people to help you out and once in awhile, urinates on the bodies.
In the end, after our short stint with Darkness II, I left wanting to play it even more. However, if you are not a fan of violent games, then you won't be interested in this but good news is there is a new Pokemon game for you to play instead.
Resident Evil: Mercenaries, Super Street Fighter IV and Okamiden for Nintendo 3DS by Capcom
We got to head over to Capcom's little hideaway in another hotel outside of the Moscon Center where we were treated to checking out three of their upcoming games for the Nintendo 3DS. First, the Nintendo 3DS actually has pretty good 3D which you can turn off with a switch on the unit on the right of the screen.
Super Street Fighter IV is just a great game to play all the way around. With two different points-of-view to play in (depending on if 3D is on or off) and various controls to customize, anyone who has played Street Fighter at any time will appreciate this game. You'll be able to customize special moves in the bottom screen if you aren't a pro at using the controls.
There is also local and world multiplayer available. So while you are playing your game, you can have the settings to where if someone is near you and wants to challenge you, you'll jump right into a multiplayer match against them, just like if you were in the arcade and someone dropped a couple quarters into the machine to challenge you.
Overall it was a solid title and most people who enjoy fighting games will want to add this to their collection.
Resident Evil: Mercenaries was another game we tried out at Capcom's little hideaway. This is a 3D shoot-em-up game that is based around the OTS (Over-the-shoulder) viewpoint. Keeping with the theme of the game, you can pick one of three characters, your weapons and begin decimating all types of unfriendly creatures.
As you lay waste to zombies and other creatures, you can pick up ammo and other boosts to keep yourself going strong. There are also orange crystals you can punch to extend your time. Speaking of punching, you don't have to just use weapons, you can enjoy a little hand-to-hand combat as well. Resident Evil fans will definitely enjoy this games.
Okamiden was the last game we checked out that Capcom was showing off. This games is really interesting as it mixes a few game genres into one game. Everything from platformer to action, rpg to drawing is included in this game. The combat is especially interesting because to use some skills, you have to draw on the screen with your 'ink' to create effects like wind or bombs and use your character in conjunction with those skills to defeat bosses. Your character does have attacks that you can use without doing that though.
Other aspects of the game also require you to draw so it is a very interactive game having you bounce around between combat, RPG and drawing while following a pretty enjoyable storyline. When we played it, I'm pleased to say I was the first person from the media to beat the Starfish boss on the first try! Definitely a game worth checking out.
Punch Time Explosion by Crave Games/Papaya Mobile
First you are probably thinking "Papaya Mobile? But I thought they just did Android stuff?". Well they do a lot of things and yes Android is one of their main avenues of focus. Punch Time Explosion is the equivalent of Cartoon Network running head first into Smash Bros. and coming out looking pretty.
Featuring just about every Cartoon Network character that is worth anything (52 I believe in-game) in some fashion in the game, Punch Time Explosion is the only 4-person local multiplayer Nintendo 3DS game available soon. The single-player game has plenty of storyline to enjoy and is also how you unlock characters for multiplayer mode. There are evil versions of every character as well and all of them have special attacks and an ultimate attack as well. Here is a preview of Dexter from Punch Time Explosion. We have four other previews of other characters for you to watch over at our YouTube Channel!
Multiplayer is great and you can play against up to four people locally or you and up to 3 AI opponents. There is also one secret character which they wouldn't reveal to us unfortunately. Each character has their strengths and weaknesses although Grim kicked some serious ass. Definitely an addictive game to play.
Other cool things we saw:
AMD's booth had some crazy computers being shown off with up to 5 monitors side by side, upright and graphics cards in the towers running them that you could seriously injure someone with if wielded as a weapon. We also saw a great Bioshock 2 preview and that game looks incredible as well.
Blackberry was on hand to show off their Playbook and while that is a pretty neat little thing, it did have one interesting little bug we noticed. When playing games on a Playbook through HDMI onto a TV and using the Playbook as the controller, the world in-game tilts to how you tilt the Playbook. This may not be in every game but in the Need for Speed shift game that was being demoed, when you tilt to turn, the entire world on the big screen would tilt as well.
There was as much stuff there for developers as their was for gamers with lots of game engines showing up, programs like Autodesk having demonstrations and all kinds of little mini-events at booths like that. Way too much to list here that was great to see at GDC 2011 but have no fear, we still have more Android news to post about from GDC 2011!