E3 2011: Dr Noh’s Day 2 Highlights
Here’s a few titles I played today that don’t seems to be receiving as much press coverage as they deserve.
Otomedius Excellent (X-Box 360)
Otomedius Excellent continues the Konami tradition of the Parodius series in a grand manner. Having missed out on the original Otomedius (2008) in the US, Konami surprisingly plans to release Otomedius Excellent this July. Otomedius Excellent‘s gameplay is very similar to Konami’s line of horizontal scrolling shooters: Gradius, Salamander, and Parodius. Ship upgrades are are implemented in a Gradius fashion, simultaneous multiplayer is featured in a Salamander fashion, and humor is injected in a Parodius fashion. Unlike Parodious, Otomedius Excellent stars a slew of scantily clad anime girls who pilot each ship. Some of the characters represent homages to Konami franchises such as Twinbee and Thunder Cross. Otomedius Excellent not only appeals to fans of 2D scrolling shooters, but old school Konami fans as well. With support from Cave, Treasure, and Konami, the X-Box 360 has become the console of choice for modern 2D scrolling shooters. It is somewhat confusing as to why the X-Box 360 performs so poorly in Japan, as I was under the assumption that the biggest market for a niche title would likely be in Japan. Whenever I end up owning a X-Box 360, Otomedius Excellent will definitely be on my “to buy” list.
Fortune Street (Wii)
I remember originally hearing about this title being released on the Nintendo DS in Japan under the title Itadaki Street (2007). The title piqued my interest because it featured characters from the Dragon Quest series and Super Mario Bros. series. Fortune Street is the US title for Itadaki Street. The gameplay of the series is commonly compared to Monopoly, but as I experienced Fortune Street today for the first time, I found that the game is much deeper than said board game. At a glance Fortune Street looks like a Mario Party game, as it utilizes an onscreen board and six sided dice. The real strategy involved in Fortune Street is the ability to invest your money not only into your own properties, but other players properties as well. Stocks can be purchased, and sold, effecting the value of properties. This might sound like an odd title, but with the time I spent with Fortune Street, I could get a sense of how addicting and fun it could be. Nintendo doesn’t seem to be making much fanfare for the title, but I would recommend keeping and eye out for it, especially for any Dragon Quest fans. Aside from Mario Sports Mix (2011), I believe Fortune Street may be the only other title to feature both Mario and a Dragon Quest Slime.
Tetris 3DS (Nintendo 3DS)
Every proper handheld or mobile gaming device should have a proper version of Tetris. The Nintendo DS’s Tetris DS (2006) and Tetris Party Deluxe (2010) have both been shining examples of how a fully fledged Tetris game should be made. I consider Tetris DS to be one of the best versions of Tetris I have ever played, and with the little time I spent with Tetris 3DS, I can already tell that it will at the very least be on-par with Tetris DS. I played two out of an available ten gameplay modes, and was told that the final version will feature over twenty different gameplay modes! My favorite gameplay mode in Tetris 3DS is Master Mode, which is inspired by Tetris: The Grand Master (1998) and its high level of difficulty. With the combination of a high variety of gameplay modes, slick presentation, classic addicting gameplay, and online multiplayer options, Tetris 3DS is certainly shaping up to become one of the best Tetris titles ever.