I love E3 conferences. More so than the show floor, it’s where the major announcements are made and the lasting impacts are achieved. If you don’t roll out with a kickass conference, your E3 showing is considered a bust even if your demos rocked.
You have to love the cut throat mindset of rabid gamers.
Today had back to back conferences with Nintendo and Sony laying their cards out to bare. One I had no expectations for, the other I had pinned as possibly stealing the show if it played it’s cards right. How did the two manage? Let’s start off with the easier of the two – Nintendo.
- Super Mario Galxy 2: I really didn’t see this coming, mainly because it usually takes Nintendo so long in between Mario iterations. And then bam here’s your fucking Mario, fanboys. Eat it up. Eat it slow and steamy. Creamy, isn’t it? From the looks of it, it’s pretty much Mario Galaxy but with the inclusion of Yoshi. Not exactly pushing boundaries, but what the hell, it’ll still be awesome. There really isn’t much that can happen to not make it awesome.
- Team Ninja’s Metroid: This was probably my biggest “what the flipping fuck” moment of E3 so far. I mean, I dare someone to claim, with all honesty, that they saw this announcement coming. Turns out Team Ninja’s post-Itagaki project is freaking Metroid? This came from so far left field it hit me from the right. Apparently it’ll be “edgier” but I doubt it’ll be Metroid Gaiden. I’m tentatively excited.
- Most everything else. I’m sure if you were nine or 59, you’d find something interesting in the dreck they showed, but I was bored out of my mind. I get it. Wii Motion PLUS is going to be precise, but this lengthy segment is kind of muted by Microsoft’s Natal. And because I’m not one usually steeped in nostalgia, I don’t much care about retreads of Nintendo characters in different genres or cameos.
Conclusion: Yep, didn’t really do anything for me. Way to go living up to my extremely low expectations. No, no, you didn’t need to surpass them. It’s not in your nature. It’s okay, you’ve still got your money, right?
On a more serious note, does Nintendo even care about core gamers anymore? The E3 set was worse than last year’s, and last year’s E3 was kind of a joke expo. The presentation didn’t have the manic energy (even if it was an embarrassing energy) of previous years and the games, save Mario and Metroid, were tepid at best.
And now Sony, the company I thought had the greatest chance of owning the show…
- Uncharted 2: My goodness this game is pretty. Either my eyes orgasmed while watching the game in motion, or I just had a minor seizure…Moving on. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original’s gameplay, but I definitely enjoyed the eye candy. Even to this day it still ranks among the best, and the sequel looks even snazzier. Looks more gun shootery, though, which I thought was the worst part of the original. I wished they could’ve just made a straight out adventure game because the exploration aspects (as few as there were) of the original were definitely my highlights.
- Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker: Apparently this, not the 360’s Rising, is the true continuation of MGS4…taking place in 1970. Whatever, you expect insane shit like that in a Kojima game. Best graphics ever seen on a PSP? To these eyes of mine, yes. That trailer owned and was the only saving grace of a ho-hum PSP Go presentation marred by everyone and their dead grandmothers knowing about it beforehand.
- Assassin’s Creed 2: Like expected, this game looks absolutely gorgeous. I guess the biggest question is whether they fixed the tedious mission structure and monotonous combat. I doubt an E3 demo will assuage all my fears, but I do have hopes that someone in the team of hundreds (reportedly) took note of fan and critical reaction. For now, let’s just take the sights and sounds in until the reviews start rolling.
- God of War 3: Oh my god. I apologize for the cheap punnage, but it’s apt. This game looks insane and I am so hyped for it. Hyped to the point of it probably being a disappointment no matter how godly it is (again, sorry). It looks wonderful and did you see how many enemies Kratos was murdering in the face, chest and everywhere?
- Gran Turismo PSP: Not much to comment aside from it being a racer, is on PSP and has more cars than most any gamer will ever use. Look a’ight.
- FFXIII Trailer: Microsoft might’ve gotten a super awesome, earth shattering exclusive summoning (I typed that oozing with sarcasm), but Sony called dibs on a brand spanking new trailer that kicks all kinds of ass. The English dubbing sounds appropriately melodramatic and the lip syncing is surprisingly spot on. Good job Square, you got ‘er dun. Like a boss.
- The Last Guardian: Gack! Heart…rupturing…from joy. But no, I have to live. You can drag me to hell after you claw this game from my cold dead fingers, which I guess shouldn’t be too hard seeing I avoid calcium rich foods like the plague.
- Final Fantasy XIV Exclusivity: Because I don’t care for MMO’s at all, I have no interest in this game. I’m sure hundreds, if not thousands, are rubbing one off to the trailer as I write this and good for them. Just not for me. And anyone really believe this “exclusivity” bullshit? Last I checked Square’s FFXIII was also definitely exclusive.
- Motion Wand…Thing: I forgot exactly what they called this system, but it was a rather sad showing. Not because of the technology itself, seeing that it does seem more advanced than Wii Motion PLUS, but in the wake of Natal it’s really hard for any motion technology announcement to compare. Here you have a wand, there you have your entire freaking body to do as you wish. Not really fair, is it? Poor, poor wand with ball on its end.
- Mod Nation Racer: Similar to that stupid looking Live Arcade racer shown yesterday, I can’t imagine too many people giving a damn about this. Ooooh, user generated tracks? That’s so fucking revolutionary!
- FFVII…for PSN Network: What many had hoped to be the show stealing announcement, a PS3 FFVII remake, turned out to be a release of the PSOne version. Okay, not exactly a negative announcement, but definitely a disappointing one. At least it’s out today, says Mr. Sony-dude-in-suit.
- PSP Go: There’s nothing inherently wrong with the redesign, only that the one thing I hoped for was a second analog stick. I know that’d bring up the whole conundrum of past PSP owners not getting the dual analog experience, but I don’t care. I don’t own an old PSP and was hoping for Go to be my jumping on point. Alas, it’s just a smaller, pricier, sliding PSP. No thanks, I’ll continue waiting for PSP2 if that ever happens.
I’d also write something about MAG, but I honestly don’t care whatsoever about this game. I have no idea why. It’s not like it looks bad or anything. The multiplayer sounds ambitious as hell, and I like ambition. But there’s just that je ne sais quoi that has me not caring if this game ever existed to begin with.
Conclusion: I’m disappointed. Nothing really mind blowing occurred. Most of the big reveals – The Last Guardian trailer and PSP Go have been public knowledge going in, so the wow factor was definitely gone. GoW3 did it’s damndest, and it impressed the hell out of me, but GoW3 had already been seen prior to the show. Same with Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed 2.The one big secret was the wand motion controller set up. Yes, there were rumours of Sony working with motion, but we didn’t quite know what it was. It was just too bad the wand just wasn’t as impressive as Natal.
So it was good, but security holes (or were they just badly planned viral campaigns?) and some pacing issues in the conference itself, prevented Sony from claiming the show this year.