Well known for it’s great displays of Japanese culture, art, fashion and some fantastic demonstrations, Hyper Japan is a great convention to go to. Kuniku and Lefranzine popped in for the Sunday session to have a mooch around and soak up some of the atmosphere. Although the convention felt very quiet for a Sunday, there’s no denying the where the majority of the entertainment was going on. The Nintendo area was constantly busy with people queuing to play the demos on offer, crowds gathered to watch the Mario Kart 8 and new Super Smash Bros Brawl tournaments and some weird and wonderful Karaoke U performances.
Although we explored the main floor, there is a certain draw to the Nintendo area and I’m a little ashamed to admit the stalls didn’t get as much of our attention this time around. There is a reason for this though. We’re gamers. We like games and we are also big Nintendo fans. So we queued up and got involved. After watching some of the new Super Smash Bros game up on the big screen while the competitors mashed the chuff out of the GameCube controllers, we were drooling a little. But as we own a small number of the games on offer already we tried to get stuck into the demos for the ones we will be all over when they are released. So here’s a little taster of what we played, observed and are looking forward to the most.
Super Smash Bros Brawl 3DS
We queued for a little while to have a go on this one, but we didn’t realize we were actually joining the line for the 3DS tournament and there were other console hubs to go to to have a quick play. Whoops! Anyway, 4 players up and 4 3DS consoles to get your hands on for a round of smashing the crap out of each other. I’m not sure if the consoles were just completely knackered or whether I suck that badly but the controls did not seem to be that responsive. The thing you have to remember about the 3DS though I suppose is that it’s not that big and it’s not going to be up to the same spec as the Wii U version (which was only on offer to play for the tournament unfortunately). I for one prefer the 3DS XL, so playing on the standard 3DS hurt my eyes a little but graphics wise was still ok. The game itself is great fun and the new characters on offer will make you want to keep playing with your friends (or enemies). Our second go at the demo was on an XL which I was certainly more comfortable with and boy, can you tell the difference in the graphics! It was stunning. Still not Wii U standard, but clearer and much easier to manage on the larger screen. The controls were certainly a little more responsive too. All in all, it’s going to be a good game. I only wish we could have played on the Wii U to feel the full benefit of how great it is going to be. Still, when it comes out in a couple of months time, I’m pretty sure we’ll be all over it and Kuniku will ju-jitsu me in the face for the cartridge.
Sonic Boom 3DS/Wii U
I had only heard a little bit about this game before Hyper Japan so I wasn’t planning on playing it. Still I had a quick go on one level on the 3DS and watched a little bit of the Wii U version while queuing for another game. It was one of the forward scrolling levels with very basic controls with the objective of collecting coins and avoiding the obstacles. There’s an EnerBeam which allows you to essentially zip line through sections of the course to get to the next section without crashing out of the level. I gathered from the rep that the game gets a little more involved but I just wasn’t feeling the demo on 3DS. Which is why I was a little disappointed that my stamina didn’t hold out long enough to queue for the WiiU version. It’s a step forward from the Sonic Lost World game with a mixture of side scrolling and 3rd person overview. It’s fast, punchy, the grapics look great and Knuckles looks like he hit the steroids pretty hard. I wish I had held out to get a go on the demo so I’m sorry I failed you guys because I’m sure it will be great fun on both consoles and I didn’t really give it the chance it should have had.
Hyrule Warriors Wii U
The queue was long and we were subjected to some truly terrible Karaoke during the hour wait but we got there in the end! When I picked up the controller, I wasn’t sure who to pick with Zelda and Link being the 2 demo options. So thought I would give Zelda a shot as I guessed Kuniku would pick Link. I wasn’t disappointed and from what I saw of Link, whichever character you play as will be great fun. It is essentially Dynasty Warriors crossed with the classic Legend of Zelda goons and bosses but it works really well in this reviewers opinion. The controls are pretty easy to get to grips with, although at times I would hit attack and suddenly Zelda would annihilate a whole battalion of the pesky sods standing in her way. The attacks are pretty swift and effective at times, but if you just run around randomly tapping the attack button, you’re probably not going to feel the full effect. Of course the battleground has a few hidden areas which give you items to use including chests and jars dotted around for the smashing. The general jist of the demo was to take over the Keep with your band of budding soldiers which throws you straight in to meet the baddies that stand in your way. The lock function is pretty handy when you lose your sense of direction and need to focus your hits on the big goons that hold the area. I’m sure it will also develop later in the game as you continue to level up and acquire more skill or gear. There was lots of slashing, darting about and thrashing the life out of the enemies before a well known boss pops up to take you on. Annoyingly my demo timed out because I was too busy slashing things to remember to actually follow to objective but I loved what I played. I must say I thought it was worth the wait, but the demo went by too quickly!
Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker Wii U
Now I always said I would want a whole game of the Captain Toad 3D puzzles after finding them a charming addition to the Wii U version of Super Mario Bros! I couldn’t believe it when it was actually announced! So when I saw the banner for it I was a little bit excited. There were 4 levels on offer but I only got to pick one. The first puzzle is a good introduction to the style of the game. The second was the one Kuniku chose to have a go one. Then there was a boss level and a familiar haunted mansion mind bender which looked great fun! With the introduction of uprooting plants for extra coins or diamonds that you search for throughout the level there is a certain element of difficulty as you try to work your way through to the end. Timing is a big part of it too because if you risk trying to cover too much ground, you are likely to get squished as I did a couple of times. The camera rotation is handy to spot those little hidden areas where more treasure is concealed so you don’t have the frustration of missing that one diamond that you can never seem to find! On Kuniku’s go, there was more focus on the gamepad interface which allowed you to aim and fire rocks at the surroundings to get through the level. I love what Nintendo do with the gamepad for their games and it does bring a new perspective of play to the gamer. I would also have thought that you can play solely on the gamepad but don’t quote me on that. I suppose the likelihood of replay is slightly limited as once you’ve mastered the puzzles, you probably won’t go back much, but I think it’s a great little game from the demo so I’m certainly looking forward to picking it up!
Heart of Gaming stall
Shoot me now for never hearing of this place before I saw them at Hyper Japan. I knew of gaming abodes but didn’t realize how close one was to us… or near enough! There was Goldeneye, Street Fighter 2, Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Ikaruga which is just a taste of what they have to offer. Now, I was never great with arcade games because my left hand does what it wants most of the time but I gave Donkey Kong a go which was great fun even if I wasn’t that good. I got through the first level at least! So I’m definitely going to give them a visit. I might even have a hen do there!
There were many games that we didn’t play, namely Bayonetta 2 because there was one demo unit and quite a queue and a lot of the 3DS games including Monster Hunter 4 were a little busy for us to hang around for. For the most part, I would happily go to a convention and just spend the day sitting around clearing our 3DS Street Passes and hopping on to the demos as and when they are free. I certainly hope some of the demos we missed out on this time around will be available at the next conventions we head to. But as Nintendo fans, we are certainly looking forward to what’s coming up!