We love going to as many of the Game Conferences as we can, looking to find the latest and greatest in gaming. Melbourne was again the location of Australia's equivalent of E3, the eGamesExpo.
Prepare to be amazed – Ubisoft part 2
After trying my hand with Ezio, I moved around to a partitioned part of their exhibit. Inside was a single TV playing what appeared to be a blurry version of the latest Avatar game based on the James Cameron movie. But after sitting down and putting on the 3D glasses, I was awestruck. The game was in 3D – and it looks absolutely amazing. Without the glasses, it looks shocking, but put on the glasses and the game has the best depth feel to it that I’ve ever seen in a video game. Gameplay was exactly the same as the standard version (which was also on display), but being able to move around in a 3D environment – not just pseudo 3D – makes the game that much better visually. The game itself is a third person shooter that, from my short time with it, is fairly typical of the genre, but I was just blown away by the 3D effects. The fact that the 3D version is on the same disc as the standard version (just accessible in the options menu) made it even more remarkable. Of course, the gamer would require a 3D enabled TV and the special glasses to run, but I can see a future where all games will be like this. Unfortunately, the guys at the Ubisoft exhibit couldn’t tell me if any other games were in production – maybe Assassin’s Creed 3 will have 3D functionality.
Dance your ass off – Ubisoft style
Thinking that would be the highlight of the show for me, I decided to have a coffee break to settle myself down before continuing on. I headed back to the Ubisoft display to see what else they had to offer. A number of people were gathered around a dance floor which just happened to be displaying the Wii title Just Dance. The game is similar to the Singstar, Guitar Hero, Rockband or Dance Dance Revolution type games except it involves waving the Wii-mote in time with the dance moves. It undoubtedly looked like fun, although my two left feet prevented me from giving it a go. And besides, the Ubisoft booth babes were certainly showing everyone how to play the game properly – and with style.
And now for a change of Wii pace – Ubisoft Part 4
The other Ubisoft game that got my attention was the Wii shooter / slasher game Red Steel 2. In itself, it is a pretty ordinary FPS, but being on the Wii makes it one of the more hardcore titles available for the normally family-friendly platform. The game has Borderlands-style visuals, but uses the Wii-mote to shoot and slash through enemies. It was quite fun, and certainly a change from the pacifist family fun that we have come to know and love from Nintendo.
Fun with AFA Interactive
One game that definitely looked as though it fits the Nintendo mould was over at the AFA Interactive exhibit. AFA Interactive distributes games for companies such as Playlogic and Majesco. On show was a remake of the 1989 classic A Boy and his Blob. If you didn’t get around to playing the original NES version or were too young, the game is a side scrolling platformer that requires the boy to feed various jellybeans to ‘the blob’ in order to overcome the game’s obstacles. Each of the jellybeans will enable ‘the blob’ to transform into a particular object such as a trampoline, a hole or a balloon enabling the boy to move on to the next challenge. The game can be addictive and has you scratching your head at times as to what needs to be done, but is certainly a heap of fun.
Another Nintendo-esque game on display at the AFA exhibit was actually a PS3 (also available on X360 and PC) game titled Fairytale Fights. The game is a blindingly colourful hack and slash platformer based in the world of fairytales. Gamers play as such characters as Jack (of the Beanstalk fame) as they slash their way through the 3D (well, pseudo 3D) fairytale kingdom. It’s a blast to play, especially in co-op.