Friday, 18 June 2010

E3 - An Overview

Well, E3 finished yesterday and it’s actually turned out a lot better than I was expecting it to be, going on the past few years I was expecting it to be a total flop and the usual stream of 360 shooters, Wii shovelware and Sony bragging about their latest achievements in cramming more gigaflops into an oojamaflip then anyone else. How wrong I was.

For this article I’ll just talk about what was mentioned at the conferences, them being the more important/entertaining part of the event.

Let’s start with the bad, 360, simply because it’s hilarious. Anyone else see the irony that they actually announced more casual games than the rest of them combined? I never really saw natal, sorry “kinect” as being all that good, essentially just a glorified eyetoy. Nothing physical means swordplay and gun fights which be something akin to what you’d do in the school playground and all you’re really doing is flopping around like a fish. The fact that most of the “gameplay” footage they showed was blatantly pre-rendered and poorly choreographed at that. Either that or it’s SO advanced that it actually sees into the future and makes the movement before you do. The only note-worthy games they showed (as far as I know, I missed this conference due to internet issues and the fact that I lack the care to view it unlive) where Halo Reach, Gears of War 3, Fable 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Rising, 3 of which games we already knew about, 2 of which aren’t even 360 exclusive and 2 of which are pretty generic no-depth shooters. Sounds like a promising year for the “hardcore” 360 owners to me, he lied.

Then we had Nintendo, the very people who inspired Kinect and Move, the very people who brought casual gaming to the masses, the very people who created the bandwagon for “fitness” games that the others are now trying to fol—Oh cool new Zelda. And a new Kirby... and Kid Icarus... and Metroid... and Mario. The list goes on. So while Microsoft are flustering over getting peoples grannies to play Nintendo have gone back to what makes them good, their old franchises. I’m a huge fan of some of them, but at least they have gone back to their roots. Very good news for some. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg, there’s the 3DS too, and yes it’s a gimmick but this entire generation of games is a gimmick so let’s not point fingers. Plus it's 3D sans the stupid looking glasses. I was unsure at first, but then when they released the footage and the screenshots I was amazed by the graphics and with the announcement of a old-style Paper Mario, Saints Row and Resident Evil I was sold instantly. If the 3D effects are crap, I’ll turn ‘em off. Any console with that line-up I’ll buy regardless.

Finally, Sony. Now this has me worried at first, the majority of the first half of the conference was chin wagging and statistics and stuff no-one really cares about. But then they started showing off games. Move is even more blatant as a Wii rip-off than Kinect, but as a result, it looks a good deal better. You get the usual sports games that come with such a tool but with a significant graphical upgrade so you have a reason to use it over the Wii, whereas with the 360 it’s not really worth converting just to take a nail file to some of the edges. Plus move has promise with the hardcore audience too with games like Sorcery (which actually looks kinda fun), Microsoft announced nothing of the sort. Then we have Dead Space: Extraction coming with move controls (so glad I waited and didn’t get the Wii version now, purely for the sake of HD) which comes with the PS3 exclusive special edition of Dead Space 2, Portal 2 (Gabe is a legend) and to top it all off, Twisted Metal. I saw it coming, Jeffe had been teasing for ages but that doesn’t make me any less stoked one of my top 3 games on the PS1 is finally coming to this gen.

So who won E3? Well, I personally find it hard to call. Nintendo have a better line up if you’re a fan and are offering more to a larger audience, but Sony have more games I’m interested in personally. Let’s call it a tie.

One on final note, the new Zelda got me thinking. What we have here is a Triforce. Sony is power for obvious reasons, Nintendo is Wisdom seen as they have the best business concept and marketing, as proven by sale figures, and Microsoft can have courage because it takes some serious stones to pull of anything that mind-blowingly stupid.

Guess I need to replace #5 on my Top 10...


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