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Hands-on with Square Enix games at E3

By Heath | July 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Ace Casino hit up E3 and worked the Square booth.  He gives his thoughts on all of the games, RPG or not, below:

I had the honor of working as a Square Enix kiosk floater. That means I work as a grunt who watches the demo booths and makes sure no one attempts to pilfer a PSP or a headphone. As a person working the booths, I had the opportunity to play the demos to formulate my own opinions on them. Many companies shower their games with a great amount of adulation, which is quite understandable; but I’m sure that you, as the gamer, want the truth. You really want to know whether or not these games will be worth your money. Therefore, as a Square Enix insider, I want to give you my honest and blunt opinions about the games I was able to get my hands on this year.
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1 ) Front Mission Evolved (PS3/360/PC)
Release Date: September 14, 2010
I have played some of the previous Front Missions and have enjoyed them. I am quite
surprised that the series moved into a 3rd person shooter type of game. The game still
keeps to its roots and has highly customizable wanzers (childish giggle). FME features
an online deathmatch mode in which you can take your created wanzer to wreak havoc
and destruction on your foes. So far, up to six people can play together in one match.
The game reminds me very much of Armored Core. Thus, if you love Armored Core’s
gameplay and Front Mission’s storylines, you may end up enjoying FME. Another
interesting tidbit is that Square Enix had a PC demo of FME in 3-D. It seems that 3-D is
the in-thing these days. How many of you think it’s a great idea? Now, how many of you
just simply would abjure the whole concept?

2 ) The Tales of Bearsworth Manor: Puzzling Pages (WiiWare)
Release Date:
Early summer 2010
I was quite bamboozled when I first played this game. You should see the people who
tried out this demo during E3 just to see the look of confusion on their faces. The object
is to fling paper bears at various coins strewn around a map. Do you remember that
carnival game in which you tossed rings onto sticks? Yes, it’s basically like that concept.
The sensitivity and the controls can be a bit inundating. You have to twist the Wiimote to
aim the bears. Then, you have to hold either A or Z and then fling the Wiimote upwards.
There is a direct correlation between the distance the bears travel and the strength of your
flickering. If you like cute mini games such as these, then perhaps you should download
it. It costs 1000 Wii points which roughly translates as $10.

3 ) The Tales of Bearsworth Manor: Chaotic Conflicts (WiiWare)
Release
Date: Early summer 2010
Really? Are you serious? This had to be a separate game? My goodness. In any case,
the difference between this game and the game I described above is that it plays more
like a tower defense game. You have coins on the map that you must protect. Enemy
bears will attempt to harry your coins. It is up to you to fling your paper bears to stop
the marauding bears. Apparently you get some sort of bonus if you manage to beat both
games. All you have to do is ask yourself if that secret bonus is worth your 2000 Wii
points.

3) Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days (PS3/360/PC)
Release date: August 24, 2010
This game is part of Square Enix’s booth due to the Eidos inclusion into the company.
I’m not too fond of shooter games. It felt as if I were playing a normal third person
shooter; nothing too special about it. The story revolves around two nutcases named
Kane and Lynch who botched up a job in Shanghai. They then spend the rest of the game
escaping. The multiplayer mode proves to be intriguing. The type of match playable is
called “fragile alliance.” The goal is to go next to money signs to gain money. Although
it is supposed to be a collaborative effort, you have the option of killing your team mates
so that you can get more money. The person with the most money at the end of the
session wins the match.

4) Mindjack (PS3/360)
Release date: October 2010
This game is called Mindjack because it messes with your mind. The single player is the
multiplayer. Confused? It’s a third person shooter with a twist. You play as a floating
ethereal entity that mind hacks into civilians, machines, and soldiers. Once they’re mind
hacked, you play as that character until you die. Still confused? You should have seen the
faces of the people who played the demo. The demo featured at E3 showcased the single
player (which is the multiplayer mode) mode for both PS3 and 360. The blue team is
essentially the good guys; the protagonists of the story. The red team is the enemy. This
offers an interesting way to play against real online opponents during the single player
campaign. Anyone can jump in and hack into a body, thus controlling it. Once you die,
you float around and look for another body to control. In the demo, the protagonists
never truly die; they just get knocked out for awhile. The game’s story takes place
in a sci-fi type of future. I say this because in the future, we humans have apparently
found ways to survive a fusillade of bullets to the head. Although there is no health bar
displayed, I imagine that you have a huge one. I have to unload around three-four clips
of machine gun ammo just to take out an enemy; and most of my shots are hitting the
enemy’s head. I’ve also noticed that you dish out more damage the closer you are to
your opponent. The game plays like a really really slow Gears of War; it isn’t the most
fantastic third person shooter.

5) Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (PSN/XBLA/PC)
Release Date: Late summer
The game is very reminiscent of the Gauntlet Legends games due to the fact it’s top
down view and you throw spears. This is the first co-op Lara Croft game and it is
downloadable for the PS3 and 360 as well as PC. The basic plot revolves around Lara
searching for the Mirror of Smoke. An evil band of people steal it, releasing a egregious
demon named Xolot. On the plus side, the guardian of light who is named Totec is
released as well. Totec and Lara promptly team up to combat evil and solve puzzles.
Solving puzzles usually requires the utilizing both of the characters’ special skills. Totec
has a shield whereas Lara utilizes a grappling hook. When Totec raises his shield above
his head, Lara can use it as a platform to reach inaccessible areas. The grappling hook
has the same effect. The single player mode is modified so that you will be able to
complete puzzles without the help of Totec. It’s definitely an interesting concept, but I
won’t be downloading it.

6) Space Invaders Infinity Gene (PSN/XBLA)
Release Date: TBD 2010
I have never played the original Space Invaders and I found this game to be extremely
fun. You have the ability to move up and down as well as choose from different types of
fire. For instance, you can choose spread fire or rapid fire that shoots in a straight line.
The unique aspect about this game is the fact that you can use the music stored in your
PS3 or 360 and the background will sync up with the music you play. I’m not exactly
sure how that will pan out, but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless. If you love these
airplane shooters, you should definitely look into this.

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7) Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes of Light (DS)
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Did you enjoy the DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV? Well, the same team who
designed those games also designed the 4 Heroes of Light. The game reminds me of a
cross between FF I and FF V. It has the story of FF I in which four warriors group up
and attempt to save a kingdom. The four warriors all have some sort of personality;
they’re not just random warriors working for the king. It has FF V’s job system; which
has now been called the Crown system. There’s over twenty four jobs to choose from.
Some of the jobs are new to the series such as Merchant. The combat style is turn based
and there is no MP mechanic in this game. Instead, you get the AP system. You spend
AP to use your special attacks. For instance, it would cost two AP for most job classes
to cast Cure, but it only costs one AP for a White Mage to cast Cure. The game features
a multiplayer mode in which you can join forces to conquer dungeons. I’m really not
sure if this game would be worth your time. I say that if you absolutely love the FF job
system; you should give this game a shot.

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8 ) Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep (PSP)
Release Date: September 7, 2010
I personally did not bother with the handheld Kingdom Hearts games because to me, it was
obvious that the series was being milked. Both Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days
made the KH storyline more convoluted than it had to be. Due to those spin offs, I begin
to wonder if Disney has any say in how the KH story will flow. This all changes with
Birth By Sleep. First off, the game looks absolutely gorgeous. It has sold well in Japan,
selling over 750,000 units in 3 months. It has gotten relatively good reviews and I know
a couple of people who have played it and love it. I fell in love with the game just by
playing the demo. The story is a prequel to the KH series; they say that it’s made to answer questions, but will most likely just raise new ones. In any case, you get to pick from one of three
characters: Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. Terra is like your Anakin Skywalker type of
character. He has darkness in his heart and he needs to find a way to vanquish it. Aqua
plays more of the mature, mentor role. Ventus, who looks exactly like Roxas, plays the
high spirited youth role. The game will explain why he looks just like Roxas as you play
it. Each of the characters have different fighting styles which adds variety to the game.
The battle system features a command board in which you can use special attacks. Every
special attack has a cool down before you can use it again. What I love most about this
prequel is that it has a very dark tone to it all. Just by the trailer, you can feel that a grim,
dark mood will be palpitating throughout many parts of the game. You pick one of the
three warriors and play through their whole story, and can  play through all three
characters to see how their paths intertwine to make sense of the whole story. Each
character reportedly takes 15 hours to finish; making it the longest KH game to date.
If you are KH fan, you should definitely not ignore this game.

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Topics: E3 2010, Square Enix