Games Games Games

E3 has been fantastic so far, and today was an exceptional day for gamers. Unlike last year when the world was melting around me, Nintendo and Sony had some substantial unveils and a fantastic line up of games. There are some pretty great looking games coming out on all 3 console platforms and its gotten me excited about video games again!

Microsoft

From Microsoft's Press Conference Modern Warfare 2 looked amazing. That beginning scene of climbing up the side of a mountain is WORLDS beyond that horrible Modern Warfare 1 opening... ugh. It's reminds me of the beginning of Mission Impossible 2 actually. And Star Trek V, come to think of it. Except you aren't on vacation. You're scaling this mountain to join a fire fight that ends with a Snowmobile battle! That totally looks like fun. ^_^

The next thing I found mildly exciting was the demonstration of Halo Recon (or ODST as they call it these days.) Though, it's really more of the same. Walking around, shooting up brutes and other aliens. They announced Halo Reach, which is another Halo 3 prequel... Solid Rental titles!

They also showed off Xbox Live's upcoming synergy with the online space and social networking including Last.fm, Facebook, and Twitter. I really wonder how many gamers will be twittering and facebooking from their Xbox. I'll probably hook up all my accounts to Live, but I doubt I'll actually use them after that initial hour.

And then Kojima came to the stage and announced Metal Gear Solid Rising, a Raiden centric Metal Gear game that leads into Metal Gear Solid 4. Even though, it was announced for the Xbox, it's also coming to the Playstation, so that makes me happy. ^_^ The REAL megaton would've been if it were Xbox exclusive.

Then shit got weird...

Microsoft showed off Project Natal which uses Camera motion sensing for input. Instead of having a crappy motion controller, you use your arms, legs, and your entire body to do crap. Why do we need this crap? In addition, Peter Molyneux announced their Natal project entitled Milo. Milo is a 13 year old boy that you talk and interact with. Fucking creepy, if you ask me.

And they ended on that. They showed off far more games than I described above including Crackdown 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Alan Wake, Rockband: Beattles, Tony Hawk Ride with that ridiculous skateboard controller, Forza 3, and a couple of other games.

All in all, I think Microsoft's conference was pretty solid. They showed off a ton of games and some new stupid crap to boot! They didn't show anything from Mass Effect 2 though...

Nintendo

Nintendo started right off the bat by announcing New Super Mario Brothers Wii, a 4 player co-op/competitive take on the 2006 DS game. This game looks incredibly fun. It's very much like Legend of Zelda 4 Swords, in which you have 4 players basically playing the same 2D game at the same time. I can't wait to play this game at parties.

Then they went off on Wii Fit Plus and Wii Motion Plus and how 3rd Party adoption of Wii Motion Plus is great. They showed off some RPGs. Crystal Bearers on Wii looks a lot like Sin & Punishment. Mario & Luigi RPG 3 was announced for America! And Golden Sun DS! They also mentioned Zelda Train Simulator in there somewhere.

Then they announced Women's Murder Club: Games of Passion, which sounds like an episode of the Red Shoe Diaries.. These are interactive novels written by James Patterson for the DS. Sounds very interesting.

Then shit got weird...

Iwata got up on stage, talked for too long, and then unveiled something EVEN more bizarre than Project Natal, the Wii Vitality Sensor. It's an accessory that you clip on your finger, and it monitors your heart rate. Iwata mentioned no properties that used this, no gaming prospects, nothing! "Look what we made! It's a thing!" Were they just going for the hat-trick of announcing 3 upcoming accessories for the Wii, or was there an actual purpose for unveiling this technology?!

Reggie returned to the stage and brought us all back to earth by announcing Super Mario Galaxy 2! Really?! Why? Isn't it a little soon for another canon Mario game? This reminds me a lot of Japanese Super Mario Bros 2 (aka Lost Levels), where they reused all the assets from the first game, and just added more levels. I think Mario Galaxy 2 cheapens Mario Galaxy 1. Which is unfortunate because Mario Galaxy is a fantastic achievement.

Reggie continued by showing off their strong third party lineup including The Conduit, Resident Evil Dark Side Chronicles and Dead Space Extraction.

And then Reggie concluded with Metroid Other M, which I have mixed feelings about. Metroid Other M is being developed by Team Ninja, creators of the new Ninja Gaiden series. The trailer showed the prospects of a very story-centric Metroid mixed with a whole lot of action. While I'm excited about Story returning to Metroid, which has been absent throughout Metroid Prime, I think the over-the-top action sequences will cheapen the depth of gameplay Metroid is known for. We shall see....

Nintendo has a strong start and a strong finish, but it was so goddamn boring in the middle. Still, they have a pretty decent lineup coming up. They didn't announce Pikmin 3 nor Zelda Wii nor Kid Icarus. Seriously though, why would they announce Zelda Wii when they've got Zelda Train Simulation coming up! They'll announce it next year, and by then it'll almost be done!

Sony

Out of the big 3, I think Sony's brand is spread the furthest across gaming. They have the Playstation 2, Playstation 3 and the PSP.

Well, they begin with some games. Naughty Dog reps get up on stage and begin to demo Uncharted 2, which looks pretty nice. The graphics have that very warm color palette that almost all PS3 exclusive titles have. All the models are very solid and tangible.

The demo begins across some rooftops until they've discovered by a helicopter! The helicopter opens fire and you're leaping from balcony to balcony, jumping away from gun fire, dodging bullets, while holding cover and blowing away some bad dudes... This whole scene totally reminds me of the helicopter fight from Tomorrow Never Dies. You escape into a building, but it's taken damage from the helicopter and eventually tumbles to the ground seconds after you leap out a window to safety!

I don't think I've ever seen an action sequence in a game so closely resemble something seen in an action movie. That demo was incredible. And Nathan Drake is hilarious as he makes subtle commentary during the fight scenes.

They showed off the new PSP, and some other games and eventually got to the new trailer for Final Fantasy XIII, with that absolutely fantastic battle music. Afterward, Jack Trenton starts talking about the "next" Final Fantasy game, which I assume is Final Fantasy XIII Versus, but he says Final Fantasy XIV. What?! Did I hear that right? "Exclusive to Playstation 3 is Final Fantasy XIV, roll that beautiful bean footage!"

What the?! Final Fantasy XIII isn't even out yet. and Final Fantasy XIV is expected to release globally in 2010?! At the end, the trailer says "Final Fantasy XIV Online", and everyone slaps their head, "D'oh!" It's just the successor to Final Fantasy XI. Well, hopefully it won't be as boring...

Then shit got weird...

Some Sony dudes get to the stage and unveil an accessory that is the spitting image of one of those "back massagers" that everyone uses as a vibrator. I could hardly contain my laughter sitting at my desk at work. "We want this device to be in the hands of our consumers." AHahahahahhaa

But the demo wasn't that bad. The detection looked far better than the Wii-mote.

Sony ended with 3 more PS3 games: Gran Turismo 5, God of War 3, and The Last Guardian, which was what I was waiting for. Previous known as Project Trico, this is the third game in the Team ICO trilogy which includes ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. They played the trailer that was leaked a couple weeks ago, but had a couple more pieces that were missing before. It looks fantastic ^_^ and of all 3 press conferences, this is my number 1 game. I cannot wait for The Last Guardian. ^_^

Unfortunately, a lot of steam from Sony's Conference was taken away by constant leaks leading up to E3. The Final Fantasy XIV announcement was huge! But they would've nailed it out of the park if The Last Guardian hadn't leaked, and the PSP Go hadn't leaked.

Overall

Nintendo's conference was a little boring, but overall all 3 had some solid games and great announcements. ^_^ All 3 platforms have games I'm interested in for the upcoming year, which makes me excited to be a gamer once again. Honestly, I thought Christmas 2008 was horrible for games. Dead Space was the only game that hit it out of the park, and that came out in September. The disappointments were vast.. Fable 2 sucked, Mirror's Edge sucked, Fallout 3 is boring. I don't even remember what was released for Wii.

But for Late 2009, Early 2010, there's tons of crap! Something for everyone. Games Games Games! Even weird ones.




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