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Wondercon 2011 Nintendo 3DS Game Previews

One of my goals in attending Wondercon was to play games that had not been released, more specifically one of the Resident Evil games for the 3DS. So first I headed for the Capcom booth, where I was dismayed only to see demos of Super Street Fighter 4 3D and Marvel vs Capcom 3. Soon however I found the Nintendo booth where they had many demos of upcoming games. The proceeding are my impressions of them.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

I only played Zelda for a little bit, but I was impressed by the overall presentation of the title. The colors of the textures were very rich, and bright, much improved over the N64 version. The controls were tight and responsive.  I had no trouble moving around with the analog stick and there was no delay when pressing an attack button. The area I played in the demo was a tutorial segment and I would have played more if I could get to a section with some combat. I tried to record the demo, but unfortunately my camera was too zoomed in at the time, and the video was unusable. Fans of the N64 version as well of Zelda games in general should definitely look forward to the game when it is released in June.

Dead or Alive Dimensions

At first glance Dead or Alive Dimensions seems to be a port of the Xbox's Dead or Alive Ultimate, but it is in fact a new compilation featuring content and characters from all four games. The demo I played only featured two modes, Arcade and Chronicle as well as four characters, with the rest locked. I chose arcade mode which played out more like Time Attack really as the was no boss or story, then chose my favorite character Kasumi, but Ninja Gaiden, Jann Lee, and I think Hitomi, were also available. The face buttons represent kick, punch, throw and I think counter. The graphics were stunning with nice bright colors, the character models and environments were nicely detailed with the character models having  a shine gloss to them. Overall the graphics held up nicely to the most recent 360 version. Arcade mode seemed a bit easier then normal when compared to other entries in the series, I only had trouble on the second to last match against Helena. Overall Dead or Alive Dimensions should not disappoint DoA fans who have been waiting for a good portable version of the game for a while now when it finally releases at the end of May.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

I was excited at the prospect of playing Kid Icarus, but was soon let down by the games awkward controls. The level played out in two stages, a flying stage that played like a 3D rail shooter, and a very linear on foot segment leading to a more open ended boss fight. In the first flying stage, the control stick moves Pit, Kid Icarus on the top screen, the L trigger fires Pit's weapon, Also on the top screen is the targeting reticule, which is oddly controlled by moving your finger or the stylus on the bottom screen. This done so that the player can move and shoot independently of one another, but it is very awkward. In the on foot sections the controls are yet even worse. Now shooting enemies only stuns them, and you must use the face buttons for a melee attack to finish them off. The stuns don't really last long enough to put down the stylus and press a face button to attack. Basically you need three hands to play the game. The control might be better without using the stylus, or perhaps if I chose a different weapon at the beginning of the demo. The lighting and textures of the graphics look Game Cube quality, with the modeling at around Dreamcast quality, which is to say that the graphics are pretty impressive. I just wish that the game had more control options to play the game with. Like for instance auto targeting enemies, or always firing directly in front of Pit, or even just mapping shoot to a face button. Currently the game isn't supposed to be released until August, and that's certainly enough time to fix the control issues that I had with the game, but at this point I wouldn't recommend buying the game until you at least try it out first to see if you can stand the controls.

Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D and Resident Evil Revelations Demo

The Resident Evil Demo was strange because it seemed to be the full version of the game, even though it's not scheduled for release until June. First I decided to play the Resident Evil Revelations demo. The graphics were amazing, like 360 or PS3 quality. The lighting and textures were superb, and the modeling was great. The demo however was absurdly short only about three minutes long. In the demo you play as Jill and explore a ship similar to the one at the end of Resident Evil 5. You also encounter three white tall blobish monsters with tendril like arms, that take about six shots to kill a piece. The controls are rather standard for a Resident Evil game. B is run, R is aim, Y is action, and while aiming Y shoots your gun. Pressing down on the control stick and the B button performs a quick turn After killing the last enemy the demo ends with to be continued. It would be nice to at least have a trailer play for Revelations upon beating the demo. Surely anyone buying The Mercenaries just for the Revelations demo will be disappointed in its length, luckily the main game is terrific as well.

I started The Mercenaries by playing as BSAA Jill in the public assembly level from Resident Evil 5. The lighting was a bit darker with the textures slightly more muddy when compared to the graphics of the console version, and likewise the Revelations demo, but the graphics were still spectacular none the less. Unlike the Revelations demo B is walk and the default movement speed by the control stick is run. I'm not sure how a walk button is really necessary, but I guess it's nice to have. You can switch to different items with the touch screen, the left most column for guns, and the next column for items. Oddly it doesn't appear that all of the items you have on your inventory show up on the touch screen. A few times I picked up a herb but couldn't use it. There must be another item menu, probably by using X, maybe the start menu, but I didn't experiment with the controls that much. The rest of the touch screen is filled up with a map of the level, which comes in handy on the rally race stages. Otherwise most of the controls are the same as the Revelations demo.

Jill remains as good as she was in Resident Evil 5, with the emphasis on her submachine gun. I had no problem dispatching majini with Jill quickly or efficiently, however I did have trouble finding time extension markers but then again I wasn't really looking for them. I also noticed that there seemed to be less enemies on screen when compared to the console versions. Here there were around 3 to 8 enemies on screen whereas the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions would have 12 to 15 enemies attacking you at the same time.

After I ran out of time with Jill, I decided to play with the at that point unrevealed character Rebecca Chambers on the factory level. Rebecca played pretty well but I didn't get too fancy with her and use her duel first aid spray torches, I was mainly focused on shooting stuff. It seemed like every majini I killed got a centipede head, which was kind of annoying. After taking out the initial batch of enemies I soon stumbled into the problem of not having anymore enemies spawn. Although I had played the level before, I still wasn't familiar with it enough to quickly navigate it and see if eventually  more enemies would appear in a different area of map.

Having run out of time again I decided it was time to switch characters and play as Claire. For some