Thursday, August 19 2010
The second day of the Gamescom, but the first day when the general public was allowed to enter the areas. And it WAS crowded. Even more crowded than I remembered it was last year on a Saturday. People were already queuing outside for the age-restriction-badges. Even though they didn’t know that they could get them inside the building as well, people were actually getting out of the trains and found themselves in one queue or another:
Still I had the impression that people were more waiting for the games than playing them. Especially blockbusters like the new Zelda for Wii attracted a lot of attentation and a queue which went all around the Nintendo booth. If 90 minutes waiting and 5 minutes playing is your idea of fun, then that would have to be it:
But what could be worse than waiting hours for a Nintendo game? Yes, waiting for a Blizzard game. I don’t know how long people were standing in line for titles like StarCraft II, Diablo III or the newest World of Warcraft-add-on, but it looked like a long time because the mass of people were blocking the whole way:
Now of course I didn’t wait in those crowds because I thought it a waste of time (as I could play a demo or watch a trailer if I wait a bit anyway) and because there were lots of other games which were presented by publishers and developers. Those were, for example, “Gray Matter” and “Black Mirror III”.
I liked the second game even though people seemed to hate the protagonist and thought it was not a Black Mirror game at all when it was released. But I thought it was quite refreshing the way the character wasn’t your standard goody two-shoes and less enigmatic than in the original. Still it was nothing to get really excited about as it was more of the same.
Gray Matter looked okay (even with the outdated character animations and some lifeless background scenes), but of course the story and puzzle elements couldn’t be judged by those small scenes we saw. I’m not so sure about Jensen’s new storytelling approach, especially with the decision not to have animated cutscenes (just comic). Time will tell how it turns out. Hopefully the characters and storytelling won’t be so bad as Jensen’s literary efforts…
Then we had “The Next Big Thing” which is developed by the Pendulo Studios who did the Runaway-series. It had a pretty interesting idea of real monsters living side by side with humans in a alternative universe of the 50ies. Graphics looked nice, even though the (German) voice acting was not the best and the humor didn’t get me excited as well. Still an interesting project nonetheless.
Now Casual titles become more and more prominent in gaming, not only because of the Wii. You can also find some in the adventure genre, as the Russian (I think) developer GFI showed with “Sinbad” and “Alladin”:
After so many games and running from one business area to the next (like the day before) it was also some time for relaxing, as in having a massage by one of the nice ladies who offered their hands for whatever money you wanted to give. 10 minutes of head, neck, arms, hands and upper body was not too bad. And 5 Euros was definitely worth it.
Of course you can also relax by playing some casual games yourself, as the Wii-title “Busy Scissors” a collegue played:
You had to move the Wii-Mote and Nunchuck in order to dry people’s hair, cut them etc. There was even the option to talk to them to earn bonus points! How cool is that? Like real life, and the full version would only cost 20 Euros. If you get the real deal, you’d spend more than 20 Euros… I’m already waiting for the next step in casual gaming technology where you use the Wii-periphery to cut people’s hair and massage them. Brave New World…
We also tried our luck with another girl-oriented casual title, some kind of Singstar with “Girls Night-Out” in the title. Of course it was pretty funny as we were the only guys at the stand, and the only song we actually knew from the playlist was No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak”. Concerning the video: R.I.P., it’s better that way.
Still there was another title which interested me, especially the person who performed it. A Guitar-Hero-style-game… more of that in one of the next blog entries.
Just a teaser in form of two small videos (without sound, as I realized how bad the HD-cam recorded it):