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Games I'm looking forward to most from E3 2013

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Yeah, I'm a bit late on this one, but as usual, I talk about what games I'm looking forward to after E3. Here we are.

Watch_Dogs

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Platforms: 360, Wii U, PS3, PS4, XBONE, PC

When this was first revealed last year, I didn't think much of it, especially when the most interesting open-ended action adventure game that interested me most at the time was Square Enix/Eidos and United Front's Triad/Police adventure, Sleeping Dogs (which I still need to play). But overtime, even before this year's event, I started to grow more of an interest. I always did thought it had a unique premise though, around hacking and spying and from what I see in trailers, it makes for an interesting take on being a vigilante.

Super Smash Bros. 4

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Namco Bandai

Platform: Wii U, 3DS

Finally revealed and pretty freaking hyped (for my own sake). :D New fighters, both from Nintendo's own franchises (Animal Crossing Villager and...Wii Fit Girl), and so far, ONE third party character with a strong Nintendo legacy (Mega Man). Who knows what other characters will be in next (be it first or third party characters), but either way, who's up for a good ol' Nintendo crossover beatdown?

Bayonetta 2

Publisher: Nintendo (funding), SEGA (IP owner and advisor)

Developer: Platinum Games

Platform: Wii U

Controversies aside (as well as the fact that I haven't yet played Bayonetta 1, which I'll get for 360), I'm still looking forward to this one, because after a hiatus from publishing M rated games (and having less than pleasent luck save from when they did it the first time when they still had their old buddies at Rare), I'm still heavily backing of Nintendo's will to save this game. From what I see of footage, it's still has that high octane action, brutality and raunchiness of the first game. So those who think Nintendo will censor this game, can we please get off their back for that? I know their censorship is... weird (they censored Thraja's butt in the NA version of Fire Emblem: Awakening and even censored "Damn" in EU and international Trilogy versions of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for unknown reasons, but there's has been no major reports of third party products being censored by them, not since Mortal Kombat II on SNES), but they seem to be leaving this one alone (didn't think they would mess with it due to SEGA still advising for the game).

Sonic Lost Worlds

Publisher: SEGA

Developer: Sonic Team

Platform: Wii U, 3DS

Speaking of SEGA, time to look at their mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. With his recent Colors and Generations faring him very well, they announce the Nintendo exclusive Lost Worlds. Some compare it to the cancelled Sonic X-treme for SEGA Saturn, others compare it to Super Mario Galaxy. Me? I just see something retro and new at the same time. For some of the new things, I like the sound of Sonic doing some parkour like things, I mean, with how he runs so fast, I'm surprised he isn't vaulting over obstacles.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Kojima Productions

Platforms: PS3, PS4, 360, XBONE

I may be a more recent Metal Gear fan (though MGS2 got me started, it was MGS3 that made me more of a fan), but I'm still looking forward to several things on this one. One thing is the open world gameplay, though not a new thing in stealth action (didn't Eidos' Thief use that first?), it does sound like a great concept for the series at least, another is Kiefer Sutherland as Snake/Big Boss. I admit, I will miss David Hayter as the character, but I have no doubts that Kiefer will do a good job as he is a pretty good actor.

Other games to note:

Pokemon X/Y (3DS)

Infamous Second Son (PS4)

Batman: Arkham Origins (Wii U, 360, PS3, PC)

Rayman Legends (Wii U, PS3, 360, Vita)

What I'm playing: From Kanto to Skyrim

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Recently, we got:

Skyrim

I'm liking it thus far. I chose a female Dunmer/Dark Elf again, naming her after my Hero of Kvatch in Oblivion, for my Dragonborn character, she's the second in line. I did a few missions in the main quest, but I wandered off into College of Winterhold to brush up on my magic (yep, like my last character, she's a magic user mixed with blades).

As for a game I've already been playing, I beat the Elite For in Pokemon: SoulSilver and have gotten into the Kanto region. Before that, I got a Riolu in a trade with my brother (has since evolved into a Lucario) and I also got a few of my Pokemon (Onix-Steelix, Graveler-Golem, Kadabra-Alakazam) to have their trade evolutions. When I arrived in Kanto, I beat Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, and Janine. Triying to remember my way to get into Pewter City so I can face off against Brock, later Blaine, and Blue, but right now, Sabrina is my next goal.

Off to play some more.

My thoughts on NIntendo's E3 2013 Direct

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Let me address these things, yes Nintendo did play it safe here, and yes the show could be better. Beside that and the fact that the stream was laggy as hell, I still enjoyed it for what was shown.

Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)- Honestly, I had a feeling this was going to happen. In fact, I'm looking forward to it because I still can't get over how bad Donkey Kong was abused before the first Returns was even conceived.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)- Yeah, it's Mario Kart, but when Nintendo still has a quality racing series on their hands, I still can't help but be excited, and at least there's some twists that this installment is adding to the series, notably driving on certain walls.

Pokemon X/Y (3DS)- What can I say when I've said all I could in the past blogs? Pokemon in 3D and character customization (though it looks limited)? Sign me up.

Super Smash Bros. 4 (Wii U/3DS)- Trailer is FINALLY revealed and in the stream, we have a couple character confirmations, one of them being the Animal Crossing Villager and a guest star: MEGA MAN! And it isn't Capcom's horrible joke in Street Fighter X Tekken where they put some fat guy (I may sound like a bit of a hypocrite there as I know it's wrong to make fun of or insult people for stuff like their size and heck I don't make fun of video game characters for it, but I really have no idea what Capcom was thinking) in a Mega Man suit and making him on-disc DLC just like... my favorite Tekken character (yes, I'm still pissed). But the original, more cute looking, but still so badass Mega Man. After the trailer revealed... the Wii Fit Girl (I'm overlooking this one).

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)- Footage of the most controversial Wii U game is finally shown and it still looks as raunchy as the first (unless I'm missing something). I even like Bayo's redesign with shorter hair. Reminds me, I need to get the 360 version of the first one.

There's even a couple third party montage's, most interestingly shown are Batman: Arkham Origins and Sonic Lost Worlds.

If there is one more flaw I must note, there's quite a bit that is delayed until 2014. True, there still is some stuff for this year (like Donkey Kong and Wonderful 101, which I didn't mention), but still, the 2014 delays are still a tad bit ridiculous. Other than that, I enjoyed what I saw.

By the way, sorry I took so long with this one. My computer is acting up and used a relative's to write this (this puts my YT plans on hold though).

Microsoft and Sony's E3 2013 Press Conferences

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Well, I'll say this, Microsoft's showing was MUCH better than the last meetings in the past few years, but Sony did even better. Granted with a lot of games shown, there is too many to note, ESPECIALLY when a lot of them don't catch your eye or are on multiple systems, so I'll keep this short.

Microsoft DID mostly stick to one thing: GAMES (no TV, no Kinect, no other boring crap they shouldn't have a central focus on) and several of which that they showed off, even though they are mostly third party (like Metal Gear Solid V, which has the most interest out of me from that). Also revealed a new XBOX 360 model that's about the same price and shockingly, they also revealed Killer Instinct, however, considering Rare's way for the last few years and that the developer they are teaming up with Double Helix, who made not so pleasent games like Battleship and had quite a few Silent Hill fans miffed with Homecoming, I'm a little uneasy. Where MS nearly lost me though was the freaking prince of the XBOX ONE, at $499 (US).

On Sony's show, much like MS, showed off a lot of games, most interesting to me is Infamous: Second Son. What makes the meeting better is the lower price of the PS4, which is $399 (US) and the ability to STILL play used games without any DRM. Heck, there was even a smaller video on the matter:

Now, I wait for Nintendo's pre-E3 Direct. Some of their last few conferences taught me to keep my hype low from them when it comes to E3 (blame 08, 09, and 2012 for that), but with Super Smash Bros. 4 confirmed to have a trailer, I'm hopeful.

Why asking Nintendo to be multiplatform is asking for even more trouble

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I already made a blog stating my thoughts in the matter in more brief terms years ago, but it was getting to a point where I need to write a bigger blog on this. I admit, Nintendo wasn't doing so hot with the 3DS (though in Japan at least, it did pick up massively) and right now, they aren't doing any better (like they said they would) with the Wii U, but I still have my hopes that Nintendo will pick things up for that console. Will Wii U be as successful as the Wii? Probably not, but it is possible to still be popular and not sell as well as it's predecessor (see: Game Boy Advance compared to Game Boy).

That being said, even if Nintendo picks things up like they do, it still doesn't stop the continual demands (even from industry insiders both former and current, more recently coming from Eidos life president, Ian Livingstone) for them to be like their former competitors, SEGA (more noted) and Atari (less noted), and be a third party developer/publisher either because their consoles like N64, GameCube and Wii U aren't selling like they should or the hardware just doesn't appeal to them and only play it because of exclusives.

Sure you could defend that you would be spending less money on more hardware, but that seems to be the only real benefit... if they don't fade away in many other aspects much like SEGA and Atari.

Let's look at what happened to other two...

SEGA had wide success with the Genesis/Megadrive, but reception with their hardware was starting to fade with the CD/32X add-ons and degraded even further with horrible Saturn sales (though to be fair, N64 was struggling too, but that ended up being more popular) and with it, the company was struggling financially. As short lived as the Dreamcast was, it still proved that SEGA had positive reception among gamers, but all that went downhill when they had no choice but to drop the Dreamcast due to a mix of more financial struggles, major hardware flukes like really easy piracy, and the hype for the PS2.

I remember reading an issue of Nintendo Power in Elementary School that Sonic was making a Nintendo appearance on the Game Boy Advance and I remember being very excited myself, but me being a kid back then, little did I know of the dark times that would come for that poor blue hedgehog.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2006

Sonic the Hedgeog 2006 not only confusingly uses the name of the SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive cIassic (which seems to be a trend with these reboots, see the later released Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider), but uses it insultingly due to a horrible storyline (with a major note being Sonic and a human female named Elise's relationship) and overall being more broken than the previously panned Shadow the Hedgehog (On Shadow's game, yours truly likes this one but more of a guilty pleasure these days, but that doesn't mean I can't note the mass hate around it).

Even a port of the cIassic game damaged them even further...

Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis

Much like the GBA port of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (titled Mortal Kombat Advance), Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis broke what made the original great by having massive slowdown and game breaking bugs, most of which randomly kill you when they shouldn't.

Even many of their other IP's faced some sort of struggle, we haven't seen a new Jet Set Radio, Panzer Dragoon or Shenmue since the XBOX, the last Nights game on the Wii was a bomb and the only return we ever saw of the characters from those games were in a crossover kart racing series with Sonic which so far, only spans two games (Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing and Transformed). Add one more franchise before I move on, despite it being more recent... Bayonetta. Just this announcement alone sparked controversy (which put it not only on SEGA's shoulders, but Platinum Games and Nintendo share it as well) and is more then likely a sign of what's to come for that game (and Nintendo's already facing an uphill battle into the M rated market after bad sales of Eternal Darkness and Geist, both for the GameCube).

[video=6396412]

On to Atari, who had it even worse with their consoles especially after the video game crash of the 1980's. Their then newer systems (7800 and Jaguar) failed and the last time we ever saw the likes of Pong or Breakout were on the PlayStation. By then, they became mostly known (in North America at least) for localizing many games from a popular anime/manga franchise created by Akira Toriyama (being a fan of this franchise myself, I do own a few games, although they aren't mentioned). But it all ended for them when Namco Bandai (though I believe the Bandai half has been licensed off of franchises for games and toys for years) took over NA distribution rights.

Atari did publish other games like Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit, but how many people even remember NYPD Det. Carla's case in the diner murder compared to having many interactive versions of Goku fighting his rival Vegeta or the epic moment when he transforms into a Super Saiyan and takes his revenge on Frieza?

While there are gems to be had in there (not only do DBZ fans love it, but many people in the fighting game community did too)...

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3

...there was still too much shovelware

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Battle 22

Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku

Dragon Ball Z: Taiketsu

Dragon Ball Z: Sagas

To conclude, how would Nintendo's own stuff even fare up to systems with audiences with very different appeals? Would Pokemon be holding it's own against Final Fantasy, Tales, and many other JRPG's? Would Smash Bros still be noted on the same consoles that have more Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken and Guilty Gear games? Would Mario be that memorable of a platforming series compared to Little Big? I have my doubts.

Well, there's my thoughts on the matter and probably my longest post to date. Comment below and tell me your thoughts?

Certain gaming news and my thoughts

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First news...

Microsoft showed off the XBOX One in a rather unimpressive showing (it's just like their past E3 presentations), and gave it a confusing name. How confusing? Watch AVGN's Chronologically Confused videos and find out. Already, there are other things that bug me about it, like paying a fee to play a used game.

In other news...

Mortal Kombat 9 is announced for PC after two years, though the port isn't directly handled by Netherrealm Studios. Instead it's... High Voltage Software. The SAME High Voltage Software who was just as guilty as other developers in developing a crap tons of Wii shovelware as well as have a hand in the piece of garbage known as Kinect Star Wars. Admittedly I DID like the Conduit, but even through Wii's limited shooter library, there were still better games (like the CoD4 port done by Treyarch and Eurocom's Goldeneye Remake was great too).

I really hope Netherrealm knows what they are doing.

Now a rumor...

A rumor appeared on TSSZ (shared by GoNintendo) that the new Super Smash Bros (co-developed by Namco) may not only have Sonic return, but may feature an appearance from Bayonetta. Should this rumor be true... why Bayonetta? Yes you could argue it's because of Nintendo's involvement in Bayonetta 2, but here's another issue, Bayonetta left no legacy to Nintendo gamers (at least not yet), so it would still make no sense to add her. Say what you will about Solid Snake's appearance in Brawl after the Metal Gear franchise being more present on PlayStation consoles, but at least Snake has left a deeper legacy with Nintendo deeper than Bayonetta ever will.

[spoiler]

Metal Gear games that have appeared on Nintendo systems (pre-Brawl):

Metal Gear (NES) - Hideo Kojima despised this port

Metal Gear 2: Snake's Revenge (NES) - Not the cannon Metal Gear 2 as Hideo Kojima did not know this existed, he worked on the cannon one for MSX2 though.

Metal Gear: Ghost Babel/Metal Gear Solid (GBC) - An(other) alternate continuity after Metal Gear on MSX2, but this had Kojima's involvement

Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes (GameCube) - A remake of the PlayStation original that was handled jointly by Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Silicon Knights (no wonder several members of Eternal Darkness' voice cast was a reunion of this series :P)

[/spoiler]

To end on something not news related, I was being really nerdy when playing Oblivion and named by enchanted Electric Akaviri Dai-Katana after Raiden (Metal Gear agent/cyborg ninja, not Mortal Kombat's Earthrealm thundergod) and I started playing Assassin's Creed 1.

A couple bits of new Pokemon X/Y info

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So, since the revelation of the new mainline Pokemon revealing that the series is going 3D in a new generation (Black and White was short lived, wasn't it?), some more info on the games have surfaced.

(Obviously) new Pokemon. One of them being a martial arts panda bear named Pancham. There has to be some Mythological or Literary story on fighting panda bears, considering prior to this, Ling Xiaoyu has a pet Panda in Tekken, Jack Black has voiced a Panda named Po (with Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Lucy Liu, and Seth Rogen voicing as animals based on various kung-fu animal forms, Dustin Hoffman being their master) in Kung Fu Panda, and Blizzard made the Pandarians in World of Warcraft. Now Pokemon is jumping in on this.

Trainer customization. Though what's seen so far looks like nothing more than swapping skin tones and hair colors, it's a start. After playing Pokemon Battle Revolution, I have wondered why Game Freak hasn't adapted to character customizations in their main Pokemon games, considering most playable Pokemon trainers have little to no personality but still allow customizations to your Pokemon team, I think customizing trainers should be there to add more character based on how the Player feels.

Still eagerly seeing how this turns out. Still should get a 3DS so I can play it (preferably an XL for more battery life).

Pikachu in... Conker's Bad Fur Day?

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Well, isn't this something? First the Tekken 3 (Arcade/PlayStation) music samples (from Eddy Gordo and Jin Kazama's stages) placed in the N64 original (Jin's theme was removed from the XBOX version), now this:

Considering Conker's adult nature and Satoshi Tajiri's wish to never have Pokemon overtly violent, I am not surprised this was removed by Nintendo's order (confirmed by Chris Seavor). I also wouldn't be surprised if Tajiri saw this and ended up less than pleased, considering Nintendo still allowed Conker to even be released.

Another revisit: The Johto region

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While I still wander the joys of Cyrodil, I'm also playing ANOTHER RPG. This time, it's from Japan, on a handheld, and is a remake of my favorite Pokemon games of all time:

Pokemon GoldPokemon SilverPokemon Crystal

That remake:

Pokemon SoulSilver

Been a while since I played a traditional handheld Pokemon game, not since Ruby/Saphire/Emerald (which are still great games, but quite a bit of what game Gold/Silver/Crystal great was stripped, making it my least favorite gen because of it) and fitting I return to a remake of the Johto region. I've started with a Cyndaquil (which has since evolved into Quilava).

It seems a lot of what I remember is still intact from the real-time mechanics (now run by the DS internal clock), to even the music (which has been redone to suit the DS tech), even the biggest d***head of a rival you'll ever meet. Though some environments did get a revision (Sprout Tower is surrounded by water, rather than a forest), and I did forget a few things (like when your criminal rival shows up), but I think a lot of what I remember is still there.

I've gotten two gym badges so far, now to get further.

Nintendo lacking an E3 press conference

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This is quite a hot topic as Nintendo, who's usually one of the big three attractions of E3 is not doing a major press conference this year. They are still attending, but will present different ways to show off their games (one of them being Nintendo Directs) and will have smaller meetings.

I'm not sure what to quite make of this myself to be honest, but I guess if the news still gets out there. Nintendo has mostly missed Tokyo Game Show on too many occasions and they are still fine then.

But that being said, there are still some critics against this...

...while others defend (this being from a surprising source, considering his quite critical stance on Nintendo, especially since that controversial Skyward Sword review)

Well, to end this blog, I'll ask: Guess which cartoon I've recently watched again after many years? :D