The what awards? Black Betty select who? I asked the same questions the day before the event. On Friday IGN AU held an event at the Maritime Museum in Sydney to announce the best games of 2012 sponsored by Mountain Dew. It sounded like the last place you’d ever expect to see a Pietriot, but also an opportunity. Out of the blue someone offered me a ticket and I jumped on it. Free food, beer, games to play? Why not. It was all worth it when I saw this!
Nintendo had quite a big presence as they normally do at events in Australia, but with a big difference; this wasn’t a Nintendo event! In fact, they weren’t even nominated for anything besides Best Handheld Game with Pokemon. Monster Hunter 3, Rayman Legends, Nintendo Land, Super Mario Bros, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Black Ops 2 were spread out among other playable games like Aliens, Tomb Raider, God of War, Sleeping Dogs and Metal Gear Rising. I played most of them and met a lot of cool gamers during the night.
Despite the beautiful allure of unreleased games, I spent the most time with Nintendo Land. Mario Chase is probably the best 5 player game ever made and involved a lot of yelling, cheating and failed communication “strategy”. I hit the camera man behind me while celebrating a win and then signed something to say they can use the footage, maybe it’ll appear on Youtube and 60 minutes will use the footage in a story about violent gamers.
Master Chief wasn’t impressed. Luckily Halo 4 won game of the year to cheer him up! Some Microsoft guy was there to accept the award and then disappeared into the shadows again. Perhaps to put his costume back on. There was also an Xbox 360 unit with Wrecked set up; 4 player top down racing was perfect for this event with lots of people jumping in to play.
Monster Hunter 3 was definitely the coolest thing there, but I only played it once with so many distractions. The biggest feature that stuck out was two 3DS players showing up on the Wii U; the first real connectivity game for 3DS / Wii U has arrived. The 3DS players get their own two screens, but they show up on the Wii U version just like a standard local multiplayer game. I shamefully never bought Monster Hunter on Wii so I wasn’t very good and can’t talk about the gameplay mechanics much. I started out by eating some lizard sandwich or something at the bar, apparently that raises your stats according to the Nintendo rep. Then we ventured out and searched for some monsters! The environments look amazing and I ran by some cute happy dinosaurs who luckily didn’t attack me. I met up in an area with the 3DS players and we took on some giant flying thing, who flew away after we chopped its tail off. Nintendo then shoved a camera in my face and interviewed me about the game where I rambled for about 5 minutes. He asked about the lock-on targeting and I had no idea it was even in the game. With the slow Great Sword I had it seemed better not to target because it took about 3 seconds to swing, I had to watch the huge monsters patterns and swing in advance. I don’t see how you can even use lock-on targeting in this game, these monsters take some serious strategy. Or furious rolling with the B button, in my case.
This is where serious gamers sit down to be serious. Castlevania was on all 4 3DS systems when I sat down so I figured that’s the game I would play. The first thing I noticed is that it ran like garbage, the framerate was terrible and the game felt empty. It’s the ugliest 3DS game I’ve ever seen and the slow response of the controls meant I played for a few minutes before walking away. I think they put that game there on purpose just so people wouldn’t sit there too long. The event was half outdoors with a nice breeze coming through and sights to see in every direction.
Aliens was a very interesting game I hadn’t seen much of before, and it was the only game at the event we couldn’t take photos of. I didn’t line up to play but I watched some guy play for about 20 minutes and it looked fantastic. The graphics have a real sharpness about them that reminded me of Conduit 2, clean and vibrant but not an overwhelming amount of detail. The aliens were well animated and knocked objects over as they approached the player, it felt more like a horror game than a FPS. The most impressive thing about the game was the cutscene with no QTE’s. It seems Gearbox is one of the few developers left who still knows the difference between a videogame and a video. I left impressed with the game but unimpressed that the SEGA guy couldn’t tell me anything about the Wii U version. One of the guns had a screen poking out of it which is basically begging to be on the GamePad. Don’t screw this one up, SEGA!
Time to relax with Rayman. Lots of beer was consumed at the event and lots of Rayman was played, in no particular order. The demo here was just the same one that’s available on the eShop, so go check it out. Halfway through we started slapping each other off the platforms and it became oddly competitive but hilarious, it seemed like an inevitable conclusion to each level. Multiplayer is definitely the game’s strength as well as the beautiful graphics. The graphics got even better after a beer.
Master Chief continued to sulk but Mario was all smiles! Awards were then held and half the screens were turned off, but I took this opportunity to play Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge which was facing the other way with a Nintendo rep happily playing along. I was completely blown away by the style of this game; very fast paced, stunning graphics and smooth controls. Is this the same game I read so much crap about? It was fun but intense and I was somehow fighting dudes on the ground and rooftops at the same time. I love how instant your actions are that you can slice someone in half and then fire a projectile half a second later. Completely unrealistic but it sure makes a fun videogame. It was incredible but I did get beaten up a lot, it’s hard to tell how frustrating the game would be at high difficulties. We scrolled down the move list on the GamePad and it took about a minute to get to the end. I looked up occasionally at the awards to hear “Walking Dead” or “Halo” and a few jokes about “other websites”, IGN staff clearly jealous of Pietriot’s freedom. We yelled out a joke about a 7.9 review score and lack of kart skins but I don’t think anybody got it. This post is brought to you by a keyboard, by the way.
After the awards the night started to wind down and we got in as many games as we could. I checked my StreetPasses and surprisingly Resident Evil Revelations got the most hits. That’s right Kid Icarus, you’re not hardcore enough for this event. There was a big VIP area on the floor above, mostly full of people dressed up in suits who probably wouldn’t know the difference between a StreetPass and a footpath. Some guy threw up in the bathroom too, obviously after playing God of War. That’s about all I remember, overall it was a fun night full of cool people and being a gamer once again proved to be an awesome thing!