Hey gang, Valkor here. As far as gaming events go, I play it close to home on the east coast, but occasionally I’ll have to expand my range out west, usually into the Los Angeles or San Francisco area. Last weekend the gang over at Bandai/Namco held their annual Gamer’s Day event where they showcased some of their newest and up and coming titles. The event was held two days over at New York, New York in Las Vegas, but I could only make it for the one. Regardless, gaming + plus Vegas? I’ was all over it!
While the first day was just a keynote speech with cocktails, the following day introduced members of the press with meeting rooms and a single room for some hands-on. Everyone was placed in groups and guided into each meeting room where developers and/or those working around a specific titled awaited to discuss their respective game and if it were part of a franchise, talk about new additions or improvements. Once we’ve gone through each room, we were lead into a large room, decked out with monitors and consoles for hands on. This was the meat of my journey and where I spent a huge chunk of my time until the events end. Without further ado, let’s get a sneak peek inside some of Bandai/Namco’s future titles.
Godzilla: You take control of the big, mean, green wrecking machine from Japan as you ravage through 20 stages tackling some of Godzilla’s fiercest, most memorable foes. The demo we were allowed to play, took place during stage five where I had to do battle not only with Ghidorah but also Space Godzilla. The game gives a good impression of Godzilla’s size in relation to his backdrop, plus you can damage/plow through buildings for maximum wreckage. The controls took some getting used to and I was trounced the first few times I tried; you don’t simply control Godzilla, more like steering him in the proper direction and once you’re in front of your opponent you can start to lay into it. In your arsenal, you not only have punches and throws, but also his super breath as well. And with all that on my side, I eventually trounced my opponents with ease. Expect a US release this coming July with several modes of play and the ability to control Gareth Edwards 2014 version.
J-Stars Victory Vs: If you’re an avid reader of Shonen Jump Weekly, then you’re gonna want to be all over this title! Take some of your favorite characters from series such as Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Fist of the North Star, Gintama and Naruto among others and slap them into a battle royale style arena with familiar locales and BOOM! I’m not a huge fighting game fan, but I’m not one to turn away from an experience and J-Stars is one game I’ve wanted some hands on since I first saw the Japanese trailer. My first few rounds were rather clunky, but over time I got the feel of it and I can see the fun in this title. Upon release you’ll have the option for local (2 player vs.) as well as online (up to 4 players) with a host of other features to keep your interest. Look for this title to hit the shelves for PS3, PS4 and PS Vita on June 30th.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3: My first Dynasty Warrior-style game was "Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage"; I didn’t review it, but I bought the game any way and loved just about every minute of it. You start out choosing your character among favorites in the One Piece lineup and proceed to lay waste to a field of baddies. It’s pretty much a button masher, but in order to pull off those special moves (some with seamless cut scenes), then you’ll need to put some focus on your presses. The graphics do a nice job of replicating the look of the anime and the controls were spot on as I was able to wreck house with the stream of baddies that flowed onto the screen, with nary a stutter or glitch in graphics. And even when you’re screen is overcrowded with baddies, it’s not that difficult to keep track of your character, plus you have some nifty sweeping moves that’ll clear em all out! I loved it and I can’t wait for the game’s release on August of this year.
Tales of Zestiria: This action/rpg title, which continues the “Tales” series took up a HUGE chunk of my time when I came across it at the back of the gameplay room. The first time I attempted to play Zestiria turned out quite awkward but I was dumb enough to jump midway into someone else’s game. However, starting from the beginning changed my perspective and I was completely enveloped into Sorey’s adventure and his land divided. The first part had me rescuing a human character and adjusting to the battle system, which was a seamless flow. And from there we were back into Sorey’s village. I haven’t played much of the “Tales”, only Tales of Xillia. But Zestiria looks to be a nice pick up this fall for JRPG fans.
F1 2015 (hands off): While I didn’t get the chance to play it, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Built from the ground up to take advantage of current gen technology; the new F1 will run at 1080p, 60 FPS and offer up a slew of new features such as weather effects, commentary from your manager, a broadcast mode and the ability to play the full 2014 season. The demo shown was of the night track in Singapore, while it was raining. It looked pretty impressive and as a frequent visitor of Singapore, I was able to catch a few memorable sights in the backdrop. F1 2015 releases on June 30th, which is mid-season of this year’s F1 races, which has already begun and you can also expect updates to keep the game current with the season.
It’s always a good time heading out to Vegas and it’s even more of an experience when it’s for an event. It’s not that often I get an invite out west and when I do I’m more than ready for the journey. Now if only Bandai/Namco can extend an invite to Japan then I’m all set. Until then, stay tuned as we’ll have more from not just this company but the games featured.