Next, we head off to SEGA’s booth to discover two HUGE surprises. First, every game SEGA is showing is for the Nintendo Wii. And, second, one of them is the bloodiest Wii game I have ever seen. And, I love it! SEGA brought four games to Comic Con: Sonic and the Black Knight, The Conduit, House of the Dead: Overkill and Madworld. We had hands-on time with all four titles. Here are our impressions.
Sonic and the Black Knight
I wrote a review for Sonic: Unleashed not too long ago, which included the phrase “the best way to “fix” Sonic may be to stop trying to “fix” Sonic.” That phrase referred to the fact that the gimmicks used to “refresh” Sonic games over the last few years have not been able to hide development missteps, such as the loading screens in the last game. That being said, I approached Sonic and the Black Knight with an open mind. The game,a s you may have guessed, involved a medieval theme to Sonic’s adventure. To support this, Sonic will be using a sword this time around. To my great surprise, the game actually plays really well. The action is fast and the sword is integrated well. Sonic also has a useful blocking mechanic this time around. The training level we played ended with a showdown against an enormous dragon. After scoring enough hits, Sonic jumps on top of the dragon’s head and shatters the crystal spike on top of his nose. The game looks great and seems to run at a consistant frame rate. Controls are tight and easily picked up. This looks like it could go a long way towards “fixing” Sonic. As long as there are no loading screens…or night stages. The game releases on March 3rd.
This is a game that seeks to fill a difficult niche, a serious Wii “Halo-like” FPS. The game his an intriguing story, which casts you as a Secret Service Agent who finds themselves in the middle of a perceived terrorist attack. It turns out , in fact, to be an alien invasion. The game takes place in a freshly-invaded Washington DC. You will play through levels based on famous landmarks including the Library of Congress and the Pentagon. I asked how true to life the Pentagon level would be, but I was told that information is classified. The game looks fantastic, especially considering that it is a Wii game. The combat is fast pasced and the control scheme works well. The big deal with this game, however, is the fact that you can heavily customize the controls, to the point were you can even lengthen or shorten to turning box. This should help a lot of people, like me, who are not the best FPS players. I am looking forward to putting this one through it’s paces. The game releases in June 2009.
House of the Dead: Overkill
SEGA’s Survival Horror/Shooter series is readying another iteration. This version is for the Wii and will be a prequel to the main series. It will feature the first case of Agent G. As with all the other games in the series. This will be a rail shooter. Since movement will be controlled by the game automatically, you will only need a Wiimote to play this game. The controls are simplistic and intuitive. The B trigger button shoots and you aim by pointing the Wiimote. The enemies are varied and numerous. They come in wave after wave and get rigth up in your face, causing some truly terrifying moments. I am confident this game will live up to the pedigree of it’s predecessors. But, don’t take my word for it, the game is on shelves now, so check it out for yourself.
Finally, we have what I consider the most amazing offering from SEGA. From the makers of Okami and the original Resident Evil comes Madworld. Now, this game is already an odd duck, as it is an “M” rated Wii game.But folks, hold on to your hats, because this is not just any “M” rated game. This game is so violent and so bloody that you will find yourself in utter disbelief that this game has come from the same development team as Okami. The game is completely in black and white, with the only splashes of color coming from the blood your enemies spurt when you dispatch them. The game is best described as a cross between the movie The Running Man and the ultra violent and disturbing video game Manhunt. I had a chance to play the game and it is way too much fun. The controls are simple but the onscreen actions are cruelly satisfying. There will be “Death Trap Challenges” scattered throughout the game. One warning though, besides the violence, this game liberally uses profanity. IF you are sensitive to that sort of thing, this is not the game for you. But, it is definitely looking like the game for me. You will be able to see for yourself when the game hits shelves on March 10th.
SEGA had great games on display at Comic Con and I would like to thank all of the helpful pr folks at SEGA, especially Scott Fry from One PR Studio.
Check out the trailers for all these games here.