Just a quick update. I just got home from the PAX AUS convention, here in sunny Melbourne! (That's a joke, by the way... it's pouring rain today...)
It was really cool, lots of fun gamey stuff to look at, and my poor 3DS almost had a meltdown with the hundreds of StreetPasses I collected today!
I sat in on a panel with Gabe and Tycho (creators of Penny Arcade, and by extension, PAX) as Gabe drew the newest comic. So cool to watch! It will be up on penny-arcade.com on Monday. Let's just say it features an Australian legend... the "drop bear." (For those of you who have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, it was once funny to tell tourists all these tall tales about dangerous animals we had in Australia. The drop bear is one of those legends.) It was hilarious when one of the guys asking a question at the mike made the point that koalas actually have two thumbs, and Gabe spent a good 5-10 minutes correcting the drop bear's hands, which he had originally drawn as simple teddy-bear hands. A redback spider and a hotdog fairy were also added in at the last minute.
I also got a chance to play some upcoming WiiU games, which was cool. Pikmin 3 was great, although from what I played, pretty much just an HD upgrade to the previous games. Which isn't a bad thing, certainly, but it's not going to set the world on fire with its originality. I'll definitely be grabbing it on its release next week though. My first WiiU game since launch! Huzzah! I played it with the Wiimote and nunckuk, which I found to be a really intuitive control setup in the Wiimakes of the first two games. I'll be interested to try it out with the gamepad as well. I think I'd miss the direct aiming too much.
I also played Super Mario 3D world. I got a chance to play every demo level available, and I played as Mario, Princess and Toad. It should be a lot of fun, but it did get a bit frustrating when one or more characters got left behind and fell off the screen. And to the poor saps who will inevitably play this game with a Wiimote, using the D-pad for this game SUCKS! I hope there is the option to use a classic controller, or at the very least a nunchuk. Think of how irritating the D-pad was in Metroid Other M and you'll get an idea. It just doesn't work for 3D gaming.
Wind Waker HD looks great. But it's Wind Waker. Nothing new here. I'm really looking forward to traversing the seas again later on in the year, but yeah, it's still just The Wind Waker.
So yeah. PAX was cool.
Oh, and how AMAZING was Nintendo, just quietly throwing Earthbound out there on the Virtual Console yesterday? It's only like, 18 years late, but Mother 2 has FINALLY been released in the PAL regions! Huzzah!! Even though I paid through the nose for my cartridge about a year or two ago, I don't mind forking out the extra $13 for the WiiU copy. For one, it has all of the bells-and-whistles, off-TV play, Miiverse, etc. But also, I'm happy to support Nintendo in releasing more obscure foreign titles on the Virtual Console. Seiken Densetsu 3, next Nintendo!!