Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on Sep 21, 2011
Gamefest 2011 – Part 1: The Full Price highlights

Gamefest 2011 – Part 1: The Full Price highlights

Last weekend bore witness to the first annual Gamefest event at NEC Birmingham. Simply put this was the best video game show since the sorely missed ECTS closed its doors. Of course I was there for Game4anything to get my hands on some of the hottest new titles.

Most of the main players were there from Sony and Microsoft to Bethesda, Sega and Nintendo. But in amongst the huge glitzy stalls there were also some real gems that are yet to be discovered, many of which were for XBLA and PSN which we will get into in part 2 of our run-down.

So let’s start with the big-boys. The early entry for members of the press meant an easy first hour of trying out some of the big titles without the crowds. So bleary-eyed I headed directly for the Batman: Arkham City demo and got my claws on Catwoman. The good news for all of those who liked the first game is that Arkham City is better in every way than the game that came second in our Game of The Year 2010. The already excellent fighting controls have been honed to perfection and graphically the game is a big step forward from Arkham Asylum.

The unfortunate thing for the Caped Crusader is that this year, as in 2010 he is in direct competition with a certain Nathan Drake. Yes I also got hands-on with Drakes Deception, the third instalment in superb Uncharted series. This is surely set to be one of the main contenders for the GotY award this year. It is playing superbly and if the storyline and script are up to the same standards as the last two instalments then we are in for a major treat. Drake has never looked better.

Also playable was yet another behemoth this time from Bethesda. Yes, Skyrim was fully playable at the show and is looking nothing short of spectacular. The textures and detail in the game-world is jaw dropping and this is one game that everyone at G4A is foaming at the trousers for. Overshadowed slightly by Skyrim but still looking impressive was ID software’s upcoming shooter Rage. This looks like it could be a real blend of traditional style shooter and excellent story. Could this be what Duke Nukem should have been? Time will tell.

Gears Of War 3 was Microsoft’s big title and for the final instalment Epic have pulled out all of the stops. The game is simply bigger, badder and bolder. The storyline should be deeper than the previous two titles with the addition of Karen Traviss (Responsible for the GoW books.) to the writing team. Yet another title that will be taking up your time in the very near future. Also on the Microsoft stall was the HD remake of the original Halo titled anniversary. This should bring one of the greatest shooters of all time to a new audience but whether there will be enough for us who played the original to death remains to be seen.

Namco, were showing off, Street Fighter X Tekken which is going to please fans of both the fighting series. Along with Tekken Tag 2 and Ridge Racer: Unbounded. The latest in the Ridge Racer series sees it take on a new a destructive element feature straight out of Burnout and the like. Whilst the game looks and plays very well I have a inkling that fans of the series will feel ultimately let down by Namco’s desicion to outsource its development to Bugbear Entertainment. I also feel that driving games are are blurring into one indiscernible game.

One driving game that will always be different is Codemasters official F1 game and this years instalment looks to be the greatest yet. Featuring online racing, a full season and the unique two-player online championship (Allowing two players to race on the same team and against each other in the drivers championship.) the game is full of great features.

Nintendo were showing off Zelda: Skyward Sword and this is another that looks truly excellent. The gameplay mechanics are nothing short of stunning and proof if needed that Nintendo are simply one of the greatest developers out there. If only they could release more than one 1st party game every millennium. A special mention goes to the games baddie, Nintendo win the award for biggest mincing emo games character of all time.

Also on show was Mario Kart 7 on 3DS and… well its Mario Kart in 3D and well not a lot more needs saying. Its great!

One game that I truly wanted to hate was Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure from Activision. Yes we can debate the clever marketing that means the requirement for buying new characters/figures to go in the game but and very annoyingly so it is actually very impressive. Swapping the figure on the, ahem ‘Portal of Power’ will instantly change your in game character. Certain parts of the game are impassable without a certain character class so swapping between them is essential. 2-player simultaneous gameplay is also available and each figure stores its own stats that can be transferred into any game, even cross-platform. This means that your character on the Xbox could transfer into someone else’s game on Wii and still retain all its history. On top of this the game itself actually plays very well.

Dominating the Sega stand was Sonic Generations and a perfect example of Sega returning to form. As the title suggests Generations seamlessly blends Sonic gameplay throughout the ages. From the original side-scrolling to the 3D games like Sonic Adventure. The interesting thing is the way that both styles of gameplay are fused together in single levels. Finally a new Sonic game that lovers of both styles can appreciate.

So in all the show was a great success and with lots of hands-on these full price titles look like gamers are in for a treat. In part 2 of the run-down we look at what treats are in store for XBLA and PSN.

For more screens from the games mentioned in this article see our gallery below.




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