Many fans at PAX East were disappointed to find that the Chibiterasu special edition plushies sold out the first day. But what they weren’t disappointed about was the fact that Capcom’s 3DS lines were far shorter than those across the show floor at Nintendo. Mike Gutierrez and Nicole Kline got to check out Okamiden, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, and Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition.
Genre: Cute Adventure RPG… Not in 3D!
Release Date: March 15, 2011
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Okamiden is an action-adventure game for the DS and a sequel to Okami, and has players again using the “Celestial Brush” to dispatch enemies and interact with and change the world around them. In Okami, you played as Amaterasu, reincarnated as a white wolf. In Okamiden, you play as her son, Chibiterasu. New to the sequel is the ability to use melee attacks on enemies as well as use the brush to kill them. I only got to play the game for a few minutes, but from what I saw, it is as adorable as I’d hoped. I jumped right into a game someone had already started, so I was playing as Chibiterasu with a boy on his back. I fought some monsters and, upon beating them, they turned into delicious onigiri (Japanese rice balls) that were quite kawaii (cute!). I didn’t get to perform any complex puzzles, just stepped on some buttons to open bridges to get to new areas. Utilizing the stylus for the Celestial Brush was quick and easy. The game’s cuteness and accessibility almost makes it seem like it’s aimed towards a younger crowd, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Okamiden came out this past Tuesday, and we hope to have a review up very soon. – Nicole Kline
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Genre: Zombie Shooting Action… in 3D!
Release Date: July 5, 2011
ESRB Rating: Mature
While I was blown away again by the 3DS, this new installlment to the Resident Evil series didn’t really do much for me. I chose to play as Claire Redfield, Chris’s sister. It was disjointed and confusing – I scrambled trying to figure out how to aim and shoot while enemies attacked me from every side, killing me within a few moments. Shooter controls on the 3DS – and on the DS family in general – feel awkward and cumbersome, and Resident Evil’s control scheme doesn’t do much to alleviate that. The game does look great, and while you can actually shoot and reload while moving, you still can’t aim, which is pretty frustrating, but better than what Resident Evil usually gives us. I imagine fans will be thrilled and titillated, and I was entertained in the few moments I stayed alive, but I’ll be passing on this one when it comes out. – Nicole Kline
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
Genre: One-on-One Fighting… in 3D!
Release Date: March 27, 2011
ESRB Rating: Teen
My time with the 3D upgrade for Super Street Fighter IV was good, but not great. The game plays well enough on the 3DS’ control setup, although I couldn’t tell if the D-Pad or analog nub would be better and neither one seemed to particularly work great. It was cool to see the 3D running for a more traditional kind of game, but the novelty wore off after my first few minutes. The dimensions were separated into your characters and the foreground, one or two objects just behind them (like a branch on the swamp level), and then a background so far away that it wasn’t just obviously 2D, it straight up looked bad. With such a minimalistic use of the 3D, you really start to wonder what the point is, as the game looks nowhere near Capcom’s assurance of being a portable version at the same level of quality as the console game. Furthermore, I was kind of insulted that combos and special moves are on the touch screen for you to tap to perform them. I wasn’t sure if I was playing on some kind of easy mode for casuals, or if the game just doesn’t expect you to function with the disappointing movement controls. Finally, I might have just been stupid, but I couldn’t find an easy way to get back to the character selection screen. I refuse to believe Capcom reserved a unit exclusively to demonstrate how awesome pink M. Bison is. If you’re a fighting fan picking up a 3DS at launch, this is absolutely for you, just don’t expect too much. – Mike Gutierrez
Capcom’s handheld lineup seems to be a mixed bag – while Okamiden felt like a strong game, the two 3DS games were less than stellar. This seems to be par for the course with the 3DS games so far, though. As developers scramble to get their games ready to come out within the orbit of the launch of the innovative device, they seem to be leaving out some crucial gameplay elements – like fun. Hopefully they’ll add that to the latter two games before they launch, because it’s a pretty important aspect of gaming.