21 August 2010

Gamescom - Day 3

The day started a bit chaotic. Another friend of mine who had his day off wanted to come along to Gamescom. He had the 'great' idea of driving us there by car. We only had to meet him at his place at 9:30 A.M.. I left my house at 9:00 A.M., and purposefully missed the train that would have gotten me there at around 9:30, because I thought I would take the bus at 9:10 which would have taken me to his place at around 9:20. After waiting for a long time I realised that today was a Saturday, meaning that the bus wouldn't be at my place until after 9:50 A.M.. When I went back to the train station I read that the next train would arrive at 9:51, so I decided to call my friend and pick me up.

On our way to the Gamescom we got into some heavy traffic jam. Luckily we didn't have too much trouble finding an empty parking space, but we did need to do a lot of walking to get to the main entrance of the Gamescom. My other friend (the one from the previous days) rushed to the Blizzard stage to sign in to the Starcraft 2 Challenge competition, but didn't even get a runner up spot. They had all been taken away.

After some scouting through various halls we dediced to meet at 11:30 at the THQ booth to play some Smackdown vs Raw 2011. We were overwhelmed by the controls (as was expected with a Wrestling game) but we actually thought that it was quite good. The moves didn't seem too quick or too slow, there was a lot of action and showing off possible. We even managed to do a couple of the wrestler's signature moves.

Second we went to the Nintento area to try out some Donkey Kong Country Returns. After some initial problems (we tried to do a boss-fight right after getting the controls) we got right into the game. As far as I remember the old Donkey Kong Country the new one felt exactly like it. Easy controls, nice coop action, and easily accesible jump and run craziness. Also kudos to the Nintendo lady at that booth who was very nice :)

Next we tried out PES 2011. Now, I used to play a lot of FIFA. But that was back in the 97-99 era. And boy, how much has changed since then. Back then the players used to do exactly what the controls felt like they would do. You would point the D-Pad to the right and he would either pass or shoot to the right. But nowadays who have to pay close attention to the animations, the player's standing and the enemy to figure out how the shot or pass will actually play out. It feels a lot more realistic than back in the old days. I can't say if it's more fun but I also won't say it isn't. I'll leave that up to more experienced FIFA/PES players.

Finally I tried some Torchlight II or a couple of minutes in order to compare it to Diablo 3. Gameplay-wise it felt very much the same. Nice gameplay with well-thoughout skills in a monster-friendly environment. Hack'n'Slay at its best. I played some sort of barbarian who would gather bonus points for each kill. You could spend those points on each special attack you used, making the attack stronger the more points you gathered previously. Much like the Rogue from World of Warcraft or the Assassin from Diablo 2. The only thing I couldn't quite figure out is how to activate newly learned spells and I had some problems with soem hotkeys. Other than that it was as accesible as Diablo 3. The graphics were similar to those of Torchlight I but I guess they updated the engine a tad. There were exterior environments also. The only downside compared to Diablo 3 will probably be the atmosphere. It's just too comical. But I guess it will be a superb way to pass you time until Diablo 3 is released.

The second half of our day we spent watching the Semi-Finals of the Starcraft 2 tournament. The hall was filled with people to its very edges and we only got a good spot towards the middle after some good scouting of empty positions. But we did have to lie on the floor. I was actually so tired that I had to close my eyes several times, only to be awakened by louder-than-usual screams by the crowd or comments by Day[9] or Apollo. There were some great matches.

Through the break they had this german hip-hop musician named Sammy Deluxe. I don't have anything against hip-hop, not at all, but his music was very annoying. He was especially irritating because he often made comments about how video games made people ignorant towards public interests and that we should play less. Those comments may have been okay to some extent but using Gamescom as the place to voice them... Seriously? Go to hell, man!

After the break I found us some empty chairs at the back of the room. It made enduring the tournament a lot easier. We're looking forward to tomorrow's final games and hopefully my friend will get his wish to play the Challenge missions at the Blizzard stage.


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