While I didn't get to attend E3 this year (one day, I swear I will go), I attentively lived on the internet while watching G4 for the past few days to try to soak up all the E3 coverage I could. There were a few great moments, like the amazingness of the 3DS; there were some epic fails, like the Kinect. Overall, though, the E3 showing was pretty good for all 3 of the big hardware companies (though some of the press conferences didn't help).
Without a doubt, Nintendo walked away the big winner. Not only was their press conference simply spectacular, but Sony and Microsoft both had less-than great conferences. Overall, I'd rate Nintendo's conference with an A. Their focus was on games, almost all of which will wind up in my library (3 of which are already pre-ordered), and then the amazing 3DS announcement came and rocked my world. A new Zelda game was shown, and that wasn't even close to being the highlight. That's how amazing Nintendo's conference was. In second I'd put Sony with a grade of a C. The Move seems decent, though it's painfully obvious that it's a rip-off of the Wii Remote, and the 3D gaming on the PS3 could be cool, I guess, if you have an appropriate, expensive TV. Killzone 3 was really cool looking, I must admit, but other than that, there was a whole lot of meh. The highlight, in my opinion, was the airing of the new PSP commercials. In general, commercials shouldn't be a highlight. In last place I would put Microsoft with a D. Some of the parts were cool, like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Rising, but there was so much emphasis on the Kinect and it was painful, just painful, to watch. We'll be joking about Skittles the tiger for E3'a to come.
And now, for the list of the 10 games of E3 that got me the most excited:
10. LittleBigPlanet 2 - November 2010 (PS3)
I admit it, I never played the original LittleBigPlanet. The first game struck me as a traditional sidescrolling platformer with a level editor and nothing more. From what I've seen so far of the sequel though, this game looks like so much more. The variety of games that can be created from the level editor looks great and users are no longer limited to creating platformers. I was so taken by the demos that I actually just ordered the first game so that I can play through it in time for number 2.
9. Child of Eden - TBA (360, PS3)
Child of Eden is the only thing at E3 that looks like it will be worth purchasing the Kinect for. The spiritual sequel to Rez is very similar to that title in that they're music-based shooters that look like candy-coated acid trips. Of course, I say all of this as a compliment. Rez HD has proven to be a considerable time sink for me, and I have high hopes that Child of Eden will provide the same amount of entertainment.
8. Super Scribblenauts - November 2010 (DS)
I'm still a little upset about how the first Scribblenauts turned out. Going into 2009, it was my second-most anticipated game and then topped my list after E3 '09. It was actually a game I hyped AAAA. However, it turned out to be a hugely missed opportunity; the concept was amazing, but the controls were simply broken. Now, 5th Cell has fixed up the controls, allowing for buttons to be used to control Maxwell, and I'm left anticipated a Scribblenauts title all over again. This time around, the gameplay will hopefully match the excellence of the core concept.
7. Donkey Kong Country Returns - Q4 2010 (Wii)
Honestly, if Nintendo had casually mentioned that there was a new Donkey Kong Country game in the works, that would have probably been enough to put it in my honorable mentions section. However, they did so much more by showing a phenominal trailer. From the moment the music started, I became certain I wanted this game. Also adding to my desires is the fact that Retro is the developer and that the hands-on feautres I've read all say the game seems great. I can't wait to see how K. Rool looks after all these years.
6. Metal Gear Solid: Rising - TBA (360, PS3)
I guess now's the time to admit it: I've never played a Metal Gear Solid game. I have all four of the games sitting in my basement, waiting to be played, and now I finally plan to truck through them after seeing how great Rising looks. What really got me interested in Rising was its great showing during Microsoft's press conference. The emphasis on the action and the swordplay really made it look like a lot of fun and I can really see myself having a blast slicing enemies into itty bitty pieces, all in beautiful HD. My No More Heroes-loving self really got excited for this game... I think I may need therapy.
5. Portal 2 - 2011 (360, MAC, PC, PS3)
Portal 2 would have likely wound up on this list without having as strong of an showing as it did. Even though it's been a while since I last played the first game, "Still Alive" is still stuck in my head and I still find myself randomly chuckling at the memories of some of GLaDOS's jokes. Needless to say, Portal 2 was a game I was excited for before E3 even started. After reading about it some more though, I find myself frothing from the mouth more than ever, just wanting to get my hands on it.
4. Lost in Shadow - Fall 2010 (Wii)
Lost in Shadow is a game I knew about, but didn't particularly care about until E3. It's strange, because it's a game that seems right up my alley. It's a puzzle/platformer with gorgeous art, similar to Braid, I guess. In it, you run along the shadows in the background and manipulate the objects in the forground to make the desired path. It seems interesting, but what really makes the game seem great is how abasolutely glowing the hands-on features about the game have been. People have been gushing about the game's excellence. Over the past 3 days, my anticipation for this game has grown tremendously.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - 2011 (Wii)
First off let me say that any of the games in my top 3 could have taken my top spot. Skyward Sword, no doubt has me amazingly excited. I'm probably more excited to play it than any other title on my list, but I have a few reservations. The focus, according to Miyamoto has been taken away from the story and put onto the "fun." This may be great, and I trust Miyamoto, but I'm not 100% sure yet if I'm ready to have my Zelda games lack a certain epic-ness. The epic-ness may well be there, but nothing really was spoken about it. Still, there's no doubt in my mind that the game will be excellent, but it may just be a little different than the Zelda titles we're used to.
2. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Fall 2010 (Wii)
No single reveal trailer at E3 made my jaw drop like Epic Yarn's did. At first, the visuals had me in love with the game instantly. Then, the gameplay in the trailer had me pre-order the game since it looked like so much damn fun. Finally, the great press the demo received made me bump up my pre-order to overnight shipping since it was so well received. It's been a decade since Kirby was on a platformer on a console, and it looks like he's back and better than ever. Fun and an insanely amazing art had me loving this game months before it's even being released.
1 - BEST OF SHOW. Rage - 2011 (360, LNX, MAC, PC, PS3)
I'm somewhat embarrased to admit how minimally I was followed Rage before this E3. id Software's long in development FPS did nothing short of leaving me speechless while I watched videos of people playing it. First off, the game looks gorgeous; even on the consoles it will impress some PC elitists. Then there's the other key aspect of the game: how kick ass it looks like it will play. The huge post-apocalyptic world and addictive-looking combat has me excited like no FPS has done for me in years. I can't wait to get this game.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Kid Icarus: Uprising (what a trailer!)
StarFox 64 3D