PAX Roundup Two: ALL-STARS, SLY, MICKEY, More
PlayStation All-Stars Battle RoyalSony’s Super Smash Bros. clone is approaching completion with a roster that’s looking complete and several new stages to throw down on. Along with the other announced characters players can look forward to battling with separate good and bad versions of Cole McGrath from InFamous, Nariko from Heavenly Blade who was seemingly drawn out of tech-demo game memory, a more up-to-date sword swinger is Cyborg Ninja Raiden from the upcoming Metal Gear game and the ‘new’ Dante from the upcoming Devil May Cry appears as well (classic Dante fans have to settle for Marvel vs. Capcom 3). New stages include a PaRapper the Rapper stage that start’s in the Chop-Chop Dojo and a 2D version of the Uncharted 3 cargo plane sequence. Both new stages also displayed this game’s adherence to the concept of the crossover, as in the PaRapper stage it appeared that the 2D cel-shaded town was under attack by a massive, fully rendered walking fortress, while the cargo plane was eventually attached by armored war balloons that astute game watchers could recognize and being from the oncoming BioShock: Infinite.
Little Big Planet KartingWhen a game franchise gets to the ‘kart racer’ stage of its life cycle its usually a warning sign that the energy has left it. LBP Karting hopes to buck this trend by incorporating its signature community-powered design element into gameplay. Gamers will now have, in a first for the franchise, to ability to use 3D objects when creating tracks, custom karts and custom weapons and share them across the network. In the sample track demoed a Sackboy in a cupcake shaped kart raced along a sandy beach occasionally using a grappling hook to transverse wide gaps. While weapons like ice missiles and mines where available, the most useful power-up was one that turned your kart into a rocket-propelled boxing glove that let you plow though the competition.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in TimeSly and the gang are back after a long absence for another platforming adventure that has each member of the team using their special skills in turn to pull their heists. In the demo level Sly and his hippo friend are separated on their way to their target and must clear the way for each other in turn. Sly’s natural agility is augmented by a costume change ability that granted him a (rather slow) sword attack and the power to slow time. Knowing when to use these powers seemingly is the key challenge and the latter let him pull switches and make it though open gates before they close. After the action switches back to Sly’s hippo friend and he’s used his strength to bash his way though some walls, the game takes a bit of a swerve as the infiltration of an enemy machine takes the form of a top-down shooter where you must outmaneuver its security system to unlock the final door to your goal. Fans of the franchise will be made very happy by this game, as will fans of platformers that are not afraid to mix things up.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of TwoBusting out from the Wii and onto the other major consoles is this sequel that really seems to take to heart what was good and what not so much about it’s unconventional predecessor. The most significant change is the game has been developed for co-op play. Player one is still Mickey, armed with his magic paintbrush with can still create or destroy with it’s paint/thinner mechanic, but player two is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, now a full fledged ally of the famous mouse. Oswald (voiced for the first time in the character’s 60+ year history by VO legend Frank Welker (Megaton, Curious George)) is instead armed with a powerful remote control that can deliver a powerful electric shock attack or take control of robotic enemies. While meant to be played via drop-in/out split screen co-op, players can tackle the game (which has both a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ path as well as a way for busy gamers to ‘fast forward’ though the experience) solo, summoning Oswald when needed to perform the required co-op platfoming moves.
LocoCycleTwisted Pixel has been doling out information for their next title very gradually but offered the most details yet in gameplay videos shown only a couple of times all weekend. LocoCycle is caged as a ‘melee combat fighting motorcycle game,’ it features IRIS, a seemingly sentient state-of-the-art motorcycle who is bring pursued by forces unknown (which include threats including men shooting from cars and armored jetpack wearing foes) while comically dragging human mechanic Pablo by his ankle. Its worthwhile to note that despite IRIS’s apparent intelligence and combat ability (‘she’ is able to separate her duel rear wheels to create what amounts to legs to
perform massive aerial combos while moving at high speed) ‘she’ is comically unaware that Pablo is in extreme danger. Also unveiled at PAX was SPIKE, IRIS’ rival motorcycle, a villainous chain-clad classic chopper style bike that is the visual opposite of IRIS that will be voiced by veteran killer robot: Robert Patrick.