Hello again, back again with another blog and it’s quite of a big one.
Well, it’s E3 time again and unlike last year, I’m not going to do a round-up on the press conferences because I don’t feel like doing that and getting flamed for that :P So instead, I’m going to do a Top 11 of the best things that I saw at E3, either on a press conference, hands-on report, whatever and it doesn’t matter if it’s hardware or software, I chose the top 11 things that intrigued and/or wowed me at this year’s E3 and trust me, it was really hard to try to nail this down to ten as there was so many games that I really wanted to get and also wowed me as well.
So without further ado, let’s get started with #11!
#11: Xbox 360 Slim
While the Xbox 360 game library may be lacking in exclusives, they’re not lacking in range of hardware as they unveiled their 5th version of their console known as the Xbox 360 Slim. Thinner, smaller and more travel-friendly (via console or hard drive), they made a lot of changes that kinda makes the current models feel outdated. For example, the system now has Built-in WiFi (which I think they should have done in the first place but oh well), a 250GB hard drive which is now smaller and compact, a much smaller power adaptor and just overall, a better looking and improved console.
Since my old 360 died due to a disc-read issue and had to settle for an Arcade version, I think I could trade it in and get the new slim model for a much cheaper price as it retails for $449 at launch which I think it’s kinda too much considering how cheap the 360 is nowadays but I don’t know, I guess it’s the hard drive that makes it more.
#10: Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage
A game that I had some interest in importing but I guess I don’t need to since Tecmo/Koei is brining it to the west. Based on the cult favourite manga/anime franchise, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage brings the glorifying elements of Dynasty Warriors and combines it with the over-the-top gory action that the franchise is well-known for. I’ll admit that I never seen the anime, even though I want to but this game looks phenomenal. While it may have that Dynasty Warriors feel which may cause repetition but the presentation and the ability to play as other characters, I guess I can overlook the repetition of the game. Not to mention the developers talking about improving the enemy AI and more extreme violence which makes it the more superior version.
The reason this is on the list is because this is a title that had little to no chance of coming to the west but I guess the strong support of the die-hard fans must have paid off as fans and non-fans can experience the glorifying world of Fist of the North Star on their 360 and PS3.
#9: Mortal Kombat
While there was a leakage of the possible movie titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, it wasn’t for the proposed new Mortal Kombat that co-creator Ed Boon has promised. This however, is the game that he was talking about. A complete throw-back to the classic Mortal Kombat games back from the mid-90’s with a 2.5D look in high-definition and not only that but all the fatalities, stages, characters, etc. from the original games have returned with a brand-new and darker look.
Ed Boon stated this game as a fan-service game, a game for the die-hard fans and can also allow new players experience the franchise in an old-school way with a fresh new look. One big addition which isn’t really new in fighting games but a first in Mortal Kombat series is Tag-Team mode which I don’t think I need to explain any further of that. The only thing about it that I’m a little disappointed is that they didn’t mention if you can do team-fatalities, which may be missed as it would seem cool to combine fatalities to make it even more over-the-top.
Other features include characters from the 3D MK games (Sorry, no DC universe) and an X-Ray feature where you can pull off a special attack that can cause physical pain on your opponent (breaking bones, damaging muscles and body organs), kinda reminds me of that crappy movie-based game Fight Club which had the same X-ray feature.
So all in all, Mortal Kombat may not have been that surprising as it was announced a little earlier before E3 but when I saw the stage demo of the game, I have to say it looks awesome even if it is a little stiff at time. All I just hope the fatalities are easier to pull off.
#8: Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
A game that I wasn’t really excited about (almost at all) until recently when I saw the stage demo on Gamespot. I thought it looked incredible and hopefully it’ll be incredible to play but then again, it’s from Capcom and they have been best known for some of the best fighting games in history and their Vs Capcom franchise is no exception.
Pretty much a love-letter for those patient enough for this game to be announced and while it was announced before E3 but to get the chance to experience it is something else. Taking the 2.5D route they did with Street Fighter IV and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, MvC 3 has been given a facelift to make it one of the prettiest looking games around that combines the look and feel of the two worlds.
While the roster isn’t complete yet, they are promising to bring back familiar faces from the Marvel world such as Wolverine, Spider-Man and Hulk as well as characters from the Capcom side like Ryu, Mega Man (maybe) and Morrigan, they’ve also added two more characters to both sides (which makes it 4 in total) for the first time, such as Deadpool and Iron Man at Marvel’s side and Dante and Chris Redfield on Capcom’s side. Other additions and changes to the game is that the game now has more simplified control-scheme, similar to Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom and the ability to tag partners while doing an air-combo. The other additions are pretty much obvious such as single/team special attacks, story mode, online mode and more.
So in the end, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was a surprise to me on how cool it’ll be. As much as I did enjoy Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom on the Wii, I’m hoping that this will be just as fun as that without having to go through the annoying balancing issues the previous game was complained so much on.
A real shock to me because I have no interest in the Playstation Move whatsoever but this really stunned me.
Sorcery is one of the big titles they showcased at Sony’s Press Conference that utilise the Move controller and I have to say but the looks and how it plays it’s quite impressive. The concept of the game is basically Harry Potter but with the art-style of the overlooked PS3 title Folklore. You can cast different spells and flick the controller to cast them in any way like either setting your enemies on fire or creating a firewall with the fire spell and you can even combine spells like a tornado spell with a fire spell.
You can even mix potions that can refill your health or change into a different creature that can get you into different places where you couldn’t go. There’s not much else to say, it sounds nice, the graphics are nice with its dark and mystical look and it’s a promising title that actually wants me to get the Move. That’s all I can say.
#6: Twisted Metal
Man, I haven’t played Twisted Metal in years. While Sony’s Press Conference had 3D gaming, Move, Kevin Butler, Gabe Newell announcing Portal 2 for the PS3 and so forth, one of Sony’s most beloved franchises cames back in full force for the Playstation 3 after a lot of lying done by game director by David Jaffe, saying that there wasn’t a new game in the series (trying to be secretive?).
Anyway, the game is basically what it is. Gritty, fast-paced and explosive action featuring unique characters and vehicles in large arenas to explore and cause destruction. This new title however is focusing a lot on multiplayer and will feature a new mode called “Nuke”. The game will feature single-player, of course and for the first time ever, there’s now aerial combat to keep the experience fresh and challenging.
But the main heart of the game is its gritty style, dark humour, explosive antics and everything people know and love about Twisted Metal to begin with. I’ll be happy to play it again if they fix the driving controls (pressing up on the analog stick to accelerate doesn’t work with me).
#5: The Sly Collection
Oh, good old Sly Cooper, I miss you so… But not for long!
One big surprise at this year’s E3 from Sucker Punch is that they’re brining back the character that started them off. Our favourite thief, Sly Cooper and his team returns to the Playstation 3 in this nice compilation game known as The Sly Collection.
Okay, so obviously they’re not exactly “bringing him back” from his days on the Playstation 2 but they are giving the chance to play as him in the three games that were originally released on the PS2 and put it all into one Blu-ray disc with extra features. The game’s graphics have now been put into high-definition to make the game as crisp as possible, the functionality of putting the game into 3D, trophy support and mini-games that support the Move.
Honestly, this is the best collection that I’ve seen at E3 ever. It gives the original fans more if they haven’t gotten the entire collection and gives the new gamers something fun to enjoy on their Playstation 3. Welcome back, Sly.
#4. Rayman Origins
Not much has been revealed about this title but then again, I haven’t seen Ubisoft’s press conference as of this blog. But I did see the trailer for it and I was amazed. I never played a full Rayman game in my life but this makes me want to get into the original games.
Rayman Origins seems to be like a prequel to the main franchise, being the 2D platformer the first game was as the sequels were 3D. It has a quirky feel to it, an amazing cartoony art-style and it just looks like a lot of fun. While it may not be a full retail game but it’ll look superb as games that retain classic 2D gameplay with great visuals, games like Braid, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, A Boy and his Blob, etc. So if you’re sick of them damn rabbids, this is what you asked for!
#3: Child of Eden
This is a title that I know little about but for some reason, it left a huge impression on me. Another game that they’ve shown at Ubisoft’s press conference and as I said before, I didn’t see it but read an article and watched the trailer for it and wow… it looks amazing. So amazing that Shigeru Miyamoto said that this is the game of the show. Now that’s saying a lot.
Child of Eden is a funky shooter from former Sega designer and Q? Entertainment founder, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. The developer behind cult favourites including Rez, Space Channel 5, Lumines and so forth. This is more of a spiritual successor to Rez as it shares many of the same elements these games have, with the funky, strange yet fascinating visuals, groovy techno beats and simple yet fun gameplay but that’s not all…
The game is being slated for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and you can play it with the traditional controller but you can also have the option to use the Kinect camera (Project Natal‘s final name) if you have a 360 or the Move controller if you have a PS3. So I am looking forward to this game as it may considered to be one of those “diamond in the rough” titles and since I enjoyed Rez and Lumines, I hope that I can also enjoy Child of Eden when it gets released.
#2: Sega’s Line-up
Prior to E3, IGN released this game list of titles that were confirmed to show up at E3 this year and when I looked at Sega‘s line-up, I was amazed. So many games that I want to get my hands on…except for one which is called Sonic Free Riders but other than that, their line-up was fantastic.
Two great looking Sonic titles, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 which is a throw-back to the classic Sonic games from the Mega-Drive and Sonic Colours, which is basically Sonic Unleashed but without the “Werehog” stages. But it doesn’t stop there as they have two Wii-exclusive titles by High Voltage Software, Conduit 2 and Tournament of Legends, a brand new title from Platinum Games (creators of MadWorld and Bayonetta) under the direction of Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami, Vanquish and finally, the sequel to the game that put Total War on the RTS map, Shogun 2: Total War.
Also I shouldn’t forget to add the games that are developed exclusively by Sega themselves including Yakuza 4 (I’m so happy that this is coming to the west), Valkyria Chronicles II (the PSP sequel to the cult-favourite SRPG on the Playstation 3) and finally, Phantasy Star Portable 2 (same as the first one but now with online multiplayer).
Oh I forgot to mention that they’re re-releasing classic Dreamcast games to the Xbox Live Arcade (possibly coming to the Playstation Network as well), including Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi, if only they brought out more games from the Dreamcast era like Skies of Arcadia and so forth, that would be fantastic.
So just with the games that I mentioned, it clearly shows that Sega probably has the best game line-up than any other 3rd-party developer at E3 this year. There’s not much else I can say about that, other than “God bless you, Sega”.
Now those have been spoken about, but you’re probably asking… What is the best thing I saw at E3? I’ll tell you…
#1: The Nintendo 3DS
This was a big shock on how Nintendo finally redeemed themselves with an excellent press conference. As we all know that 2008 was an embarrassment and 2009, while an improvement but still didn’t offer a lot but this year… They’ve done it.
Not much talk about sale figures, casual games and No Cammie Dunaway (no offense to her but she’s really boring). It was all games that people wanted from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid: Other M, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Not to mention the 3rd-party titles that looked promising which were Epic Mickey, the Goldeneye remake and Dragon Quest IX.
But the best part of this Press Conference was Nintendo’s unveiling of the 3DS. Nintendo’s take to do what Sony is doing with 3D gaming but on a portable console and no glasses. The design is basically the same as a DSi but with some noticable changes, such as the 3D effect (obviously) and having no need for 3D glasses to view it. Although if you don’t like it, there’s a slider that can give you the ability to set the 3D effect to full, low or turn it completely off. It has two cameras on the top of the 3DS to take pictures (like the DSi) and view them in 3D, you can watch movies in 3D and again, all without any glasses…Amazing.
But that’s not the only addition to the 3DS, there’s an analog slider where you can move around in a traditional 3D game (much like the PSP’s analog pad), the home, start and select buttons are at the bottom of the touch pad and you have most of the button placements like the DSi did, but going back to the specifications as it will have WiFi integration and also it will support software downloads.
I should also add that you can play your old DS games on your 3DS and as well as (I think) you can transfer your DSiWare games to your 3DS, so it’s good for those who own a DSi or DSi XL to transfer their downloaded content to the 3DS. I’m guessing via SD card to transfer your downloaded content but I’m not sure.
But the one thing about the 3DS that killed everyone in shock of how awesome it is was the promising line-up of games. From the announcement of the launch title Kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario Kart, not only it has a lot of games from Nintendo but several 3rd party developers like Namco with Ridge Racer, Capcom with Street Fighter IV, Tecmo with Ninja Gaiden, Konami with Metal Gear Solid, THQ with Saint’s Row and many more. It was un-fucking-believable.
No one can do a handheld console better than Nintendo and their history starting from the Game Boy proves that and they continue their heritage of excellent handheld systems with the 3DS. Making this the best thing at E3 2010.
Now for some special mentions that I wanted to talk about them more in-depth but don’t have the time to do so. So, I’ll talk about them briefly…
Best New Accessory: Nyko’s Raven Controller.
While Sony and Microsoft’s new accessories didn’t impress me a lot, Nyko’s new Raven controller did. It’s a controller for the Playstation 3 that has an odd but interesting design with the soft-feel texture on the controller and there are two designs, one’s more like a traditional
Best Act at a Press Conference: Kevin Butler.
The spokesperson for the Playstation 3 & Move controller, Kevin Butler comes out and while taking stabs at Sony’s competition, he also gave a hilarious but rather awesome speech about how “Gaming is god”, etc. It was so funny to watch, you can watch the speech here via the video I posted above.
Anyway, now it’s times to round-up the other games I’m excited for that are coming out in 2010/2011:
- Crysis 2
- Fable III
- Gears of War 3
- Castlevania games
- Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
- Crackdown 2
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn
- Epic Mickey
- Killzone 3
- Red Faction: Armageddon
- Fallout: New Vegas
- Infamous 2 (even though I don’t like Cole’s new look)
- Mafia II
- Lost in Shadow
- True Crime: Hong Kong
- The 3rd Birthday (never played a Parasite Eve game though)
- Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (hopefully better than the original)
- Ghost Trick
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
- Naughty Bear
- WWE All-Stars (Maybe)
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
- Quantum Theory
- God of War: Ghost of Sparta
- Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time
- Metal Gear Solid: Rising
- Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
- Motorstorm: Apocolypse
- Devil’s Third
There’s a few more they’re more like minorities to the list and it’ll make this blog a lot longer than it should be. So, that’s all I have for this blog. Thank you for reading and see you all next time.