Sydney EB Expo 2012 Recap
From October 5th to the 7th, The second annual EB Expo was held in Sydney, Australia, giving players all around the country a chance to experience a selection of games months before their releases. Games such as Assassin's Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Tomb Raider and many, many more were showcased. On top of these great games, Nintendo's next home console, the Wii U, was also on show at their booth for the first time in Australia. Over 30 Wii U game systems were present, ensuring everyone really got to experience the console a month before its release. Nintendo had a bunch of games present, such as first-party titles New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land and Paper Mario: Sticker Star as well as some third party titles including ZombiU, Rayman Legends and many more.
The Wii U will undoubtedly be another huge hit for Nintendo. Whether or not Nintendo will reel in some of their lost hardcore/older gamers is still questionable at this point, but they're most definitely working hard on bringing some third party support to the console with upcoming releases of such games as Assassin's Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition, and ZombiU.
The Wii U's GamePad feels great in your hands. Any worries you may have about it being too heavy to hold or about it feeling uncomfortable should be thrown out the window. The screens resolution is quite lower than the PlayStation Vita (for comparison purposes), but it looks perfectly fine and acceptable. The Wii U console itself looks very similar to the Wii but you will notice that it's quite remarkably longer than its older brother, with about 5 cm of extra length at the back.
Nintendo really pushed Nintendo Land to each and every player, explaining how the entire experience is made to make people work together by communicating with each other as they play. The first two games were Animal Crossing: Sweet Day and Luigi's Ghost Mansion. These games were played with five people, one with the GamePad and the others with Wii Remotes. The single player with the GamePad was always in competition with the other four and the games played very similar to how the '1 vs. 3 Mini-Games' played in Mario Party. The other two games they had available were Takamaru's Ninja Castle and Donkey Kong's Crash Course. These games were single player mini-games that really showcased how the GamePad could change the way we play games. Donkey Kong's Crash Course was rather difficult and reassured people that Nintendo Land isn't just for casual players.
Tomb Raider, the upcoming 2013 title published by Square-Enix, has truly reinvented the franchise into a new gaming experience that revitalises the series. This fresh take on a classic franchise does rather well at bringing our female protagonist into a more modern world filled with detail and richness.
Tomb Raider plays very similar to many recent third person adventure games for the current generation, but just like the original PlayStation title, it's great to see a female lead character.
During the demo, the early moments of the game were showcased. This included a number of gameplay elements such as walking, climbing and hunting. The entire demo was quite enjoyable, but it seemed to hold back on some of the more prominent moments that we all know are just lurking somewhere within the game, leaving players with just a taste of the all-new Tomb Raider experience.
If there's any title out there proving to people all around the world that the Wii U isn't just for casual gamers, it's most definitely ZombiU.
ZombiU takes a unique approach in terms of its story and motivation because you don't necessarily have your own character. Instead, you play as someone with a single life. If that individual character dies you don't get to load from 'the last checkpoint' per se. Instead you are then given control of a new character who has no items or weapons. In order to get your belongings back, you must find your previous characters zombie, kill him and loot his items to effectively continue from where you were. This is a very daring approach by Ubisoft and it may prove to be a success or a bust.
In terms of the gameplay, everything about the game seems to have an essence of uniqueness. The game is always in real time, even when you open your bag to change equipment. Thanks to the trusty GamePad though, you can create shortcuts that allow you to access your items quicker thanks to the touch screen.
ZombiU is one of the most promising titles of the Wii U launch lineup and its great to see a game developer approach a new console with such commitment as this.
It's such a privilege to be able to experience many upcoming games without being part of the official press. The EB Expo brings the future of gaming to the general public, from young video gamers, to hardcore veterans. Its fantastic to see the video game industry thrive in a convention style format and EB Games has already confirmed a third expo, next year, to be held in Sydney, Australia yet again.