Dead or Alive 5 (Tecmo Koei, PS3 version)
I had a 15 minute demo with Dead or Alive 5 on the PS3. I’m not going to lie, I’m not the biggest Dead or Alive fan, but I have played a decent amount of the previous installments to see the differences in this latest one. Probably one of the largest staples in the DOA series has been its graphics and they sure are pretty in DOA 5. Everything from the beautifully rendered (and destructible) environments to the character models, DOA 5 is pure eye candy. The character models also take battle damage and will get dirty over the course of a battle which I thought was a nice addition, oh and the boob physics are as awesome as ever.
The combat in DOA 5 is your standard DOA fare. The combat is very basic at its core, which is good for first time players, but I can easily see that devolving into a button mashing fest, a problem that has long plagued the famed series. There were some new mechanics implemented like the stun feature, which will give a lucky player a momentary advantage in battle to pull off probably some ridiculous combo.
If you really love Dead or Alive than you will be right at home. I couldn’t really notice anything too different with the game, which is both good and bad. DOA 5 is scheduled for release this September on both the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge (Tecmo Koei, Wii U)
Believe it or not the first game I played on the Wii U was this. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is the Wii U iteration of the action title that launched previously on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Admittedly I didn’t like Ninja Gaiden 3 on the 360 because well, it just didn’t feel like a Ninja Gaiden game. It was insultingly easy and felt automated. The demo Tecmo Koei had available for the press was only about 10 minutes long, but those 10 minutes were very telling of how they improved this version is over its predecessors.
The demo offered a great little sequence of Ryu fighting some random enemies and served as a tutorial for the game, but also gave newcomers like myself a crash course on how to use the Wii U gamepad. No Wii U gamepad specific features were present in the demo, but it gave me a good idea of how playing an action game will feel on the Wii U gamepad. The controller is surprisingly light and not too cumbersome to navigate. The screen on the gamepad is gorgeous as well which is clutch, because that screen on occasion will serve as your only means of viewing the game (if your TV happens to be occupied).
The combat felt more intuitive over the previous version and you actually had to block and dodge enemy attacks, well, because they actually attack you, viciously at that. The game’s brutality is still intact and looks really good on the Wii U hardware.
Other than that I was pleasantly surprised with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge seeing how much I disliked the previous version. It holds up in the graphics department and will probably be one of the prettier Wii U titles. If you wanted to see Ninja Gaiden return to form, this might be the ticket.
Double Dragon Neon (Majesco, XBLA Version)
The classic side scrolling beat’em has returned. Double Dragon Neon is the ultimate homage to the originals offering a simple yet abundantly addictive experience complete with drop-in and drop-out 2 player co-op.
The game embraces its roots and it shows through the 80s themed soundtrack and the ‘Neon’ graphical aesthetics. The art design is fantastic and is in complete service to fans of the original. The crisp visuals have a slight toon shade over them and it works really well.
In addition to the traditional striking and grappling mechanics the game has implemented a mechanic called the “High Five” system where people playing co-op can perform various high fives and do things like get temporary damage boosts or split health. So if you have a ton of health and your partner is in bad shape, just give him a quick high five and you can share your health with them. I can see this mechanic becoming increasingly important throughout the game as your tactics will change based on difficulty and the number of enemies in your path.
My time with Double Dragon Neon was an enjoyable one. Like I said the game is total fan service for fans of the originals and will appeal to newcomers as well. Double Dragon Neon has a release window for Summer 2012 and no price point has been set. It will be available for XBLA and PSN.
That is it for now folks. Stay tuned for more E3 2012 coverage over the next couple days here at HeyUGuys Gaming.