Watching Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft hold their press conferences today was bittersweet for a number of reasons. Sure I wasn't there to see them live with the staff of GameSpot and I had a hard time not thinking of publisher decisions from a business perspective, but I realized my tastes are very different today. I'm not sure if it was because I was watching most of the coverage with my two kids or a possibility that my tastes have just outgrown all the "mature" content.
Whatever the reasoning, a few games stood out to me as my new titles of interest.
Once upon a time I applied for a job at Chair Entertainment. Since Epic acquired the Provo-based studio (and maker of one of my favorite XBLA games, Undertow), I have struggled to see how the two companies could go well together. From what I have seen of Shadow Complex and what I know of the creators, I will have to carve out some money to download this Epic title. I like Metroid, I like Castlevania, and I love to hate the corruption within the United States government . . . so, why not?
Lego Rock Band
It wasn't really shown in a press conference, but a new trailer dropped for it today. It reminded me what I love most about Legos and what I dislike most about Rock Band (the heavy songs I hate). I'd love to link the trailer, but I can't. Playing inoffensive contemporary tracks on a pirate ship, in a castle, or adorned with space paraphernalia is a dream come true. They just need to get some tracks from Man . . . or Astroman! and The Aquabats in there and it is a no-brainer.
The Beatles Rock Band
I can hope my instruments will carry over and multiple vocalists will be able to harmonize on some of the greatest songs of the 20th Century, but I don't know for sure. What I do know is my adolescent love of The Beatles and my current enjoyment of casual rhythm games conjoin to form an undeniable draw for me to want to play this game. Admittedly, I don't know much about it--since the live streams of Microsoft's Press Con were universally dead to me today--but I did catch a fun trailer while I was on Giant Bomb. That counts for something I suppose.
Metal Gear Solid Rising
I enjoyed MGS4 last year as a great way to wrap up the Solid Snake storyline, but I wanted more time to understand the mess that had become Raiden. Hopefully MGS Rising will be that opportunity. After all, with synthetic blood, artificial limbs, and fake angst, you'd think they could give him a replacement lower lip. I mean, really.
Final Fantasy XIII
Sure it is not coming out until next year, but I have some cautious optimism. I skirted FFXI and FFXII, but I am interested to see what is going on in the return to a true futuristic Final Fantasy universe. Lost Odyssey was a Pyrrhic victory for my JRPG tastes. By playing it I realized my appetite that can only be satiated by SquareEnix, anything else is not as interesting and Atlas leaves a nasty aftertaste.
As far as games I might rent or borrow from my financially flush friends, I could include:
Halo 3 ODST
Forza Motorsport 3
Mass Effect 2
That pretty much was the extent of my Day 1 impressions. I concluded everything else I saw was wholly unappealing to me. Perhaps Day 2 will have Sony reigniting my interest in my PSP or providing a compelling reason to spend money I don't have on their third console. Heck, they might break with Microsoft's strategy and announce a new console. At this point, any manufacturer is foolish to release new console hardware. Natal isn't bad, per se, but really wasn't the closer a lot of us were looking for from Microsoft's introduction to this revitalized E3. Nintendo may very well showcase that Mario game they are working on during their Press Con tomorrow. personally, I want a decent Zelda, even if it will be on the DS. At this point in my life, family gaming is becoming more and more interesting to me.
Ubisoft, whenever you bring James Cameron out, make sure you have a way to get him off the stage. You should have learned from his history with the Oscars.