Well, E3 has come and gone, sadly, but this year was alot better than last years E3, thankfully. So I will recap with my personal surprises, dissapointments and other worthy notes.
-The announcement of Crackdown 2 and Left4 Dead 2
I for one am a huge fan of the first Crackdown, and from several articles months ago saying there most likely would be no sequel to Crackdown had me hugely dissapointed. That is until the trailer was shown at the Microsoft Press conference at this E3. Crackdown was, next to ES IV: Oblivion the best 60 dollars I have spent on a game so far and am looking forward to hearing more about the sequel. I was somewhat surprised that Valve decided to openly announce a sequel so soon after the first game's release, that usually is unlike them to do so.
-Molyneux and Lionhead's "secret project" revealed
After the showing of Project Natal, I was worried that Molyneux would be creating Fable III using Project Natal. Thankfully, this wasn't the case (yet). It seemed interesting yet scary at the same time, then again things Molyneux says should always be taken with a grain of salt.
-No word on Huxley
One of the games that peeked my interest two years ago had kind of taken the downturn as of late. The latest info given to the public was an article given last year explaining the RPG elements of the game (Huxley is supposed to be a RPG-FPS MMO for 360 and PC, and will actually allow PC gamers to play with 360 gamers). After constantly being pushed back and back until a late-year 2009 release, I was surprised that no mention of the game was heard. (Although my explanation is that the developer (also the publisher) is too small to be able to afford a booth, but couldn't a representative have possibly stopped in and gave the public some news? Or even asked Microsoft if they could show off their game during Microsoft's press conference? Who knows).
-No info on the newest DLC for GTA IV by Rockstar
Even though the DLC was only officially announced the week before E3, I thought that was part of Rockstar's plan to wet our appetites for E3. Unfortunately, I have yet to find so much as a trailer regarding the new episode in GTA IV.
- A true-blue Mario sequel from Nintendo
With Supre Mario DS being the exception, this was the first time innearly 16 years thatI think I have ever seen what would actually be called a "sequel" to a Mario platformer. Or any big-name Nintendo franchise, for that matter. If you haven't figured it out, I'm talking about Super Mario Galaxy 2. From the footage shown at Nintendo's press conference, it seems most like the original, give or take a few new elements (Mario drill anyone?) along with the addition of Yoshi. And from the looks of it, Yoshi isn't there simply to ride either. It seems new abilities that only Yoshi can do will have to be used in order to complete some levels (which is fine by me as long as it makes the puzzle aspect of the game a bit more challenging).
- Sony's motion-sensing controller
The sheer fact that Sony is almost replicating the Wii remote was a little shocker. But hey, if can attract a bigger fanbase to the PS3, that's not too bad. What WILL be interesting is to see which system developers flock too, now that all three have some sort of new "immersive" gameplay. Especially since the true lack of more gritty, hardcore titles on Wii is obvious, it will be interesting now to see which developers flock to whom.
- no gameplay footage of some games
Well, the two games I was hoping to see gameplay footage of, Borderlands and Star Wars: Old Republic, had none. Well, the people at E3 got to see some, but there was nothing for those of us who were restricted to watching footage from our monitors and laptops. Borderlands, which was just announced to be released this October, is stunningly lacking in gameplay footage, and for a game so close to release. There was footage last year, but that was before the art style changed. Most people have yet to see true gameplay footage, and most of the information given by Gearbox was already shared earlier in the year through various interviews and articles. And the fact that the interviewby Gamespot with the Gearbox rep. was nothing more than abunch of personal questions geared to the rep. (if you didn't see the interview, they talked about their favorite movies for half of the time).Hopefully a demo will be available through Live and the Playstation Network shortly before its release so the general public can REALLY get its hands on with the game. The latter of the two, Old Republic, can be respected that there was no gameplay footage to the public due to the fact thatBioware is still in early developmental stages and that no release date has been announced anytime soon.
- no announcement of a bold new franchise by Nintendo
Maybe its the fact that Nintendo is still working on its "Wii" franchise (Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Music, etc.), or maybe its that Nintendo has some new device planning up there sleeves (Iwata's Vitality sensor aside). But after 3 years of the Wii selling on store shelves and no new word of an orginal IP from the Big N is a little shocking. And dissapointing. Don't let us down Miyamoto, don't let those down who had stuck by Nintendo even before the Wii was ever announced. You're genius has attracted the massive amounts of new casual gamers into the market, now it's time to reward those who knew of your genius beforehand. Pikmin was a great new IP from you, and we need more, Mr. Miyamoto and Nintendo, we need more.
Notes and Comments
- Microsoft's "Project Natal"
Does it look promising? Sure, most "new" things do. My one observation though is that while the camera can track length and width, does it really track depth? Sure, you could argue that the trailer video shown for it showed these things, but Nintendo's first trailer for the Wii remote made motion sensing look perfect, until two years later in the present day we realized we needed the Motion Plus to really get true motion control. Project Natal is something I'll keep my eye on but I'm nowhere near sold just yet.
- Keep E3 the way it was this year
This year's E3 was perfect. Not too big, and not too small, but just right. Yes, I just used a line from a children's fairy tale as an analogy. But it works. And so did this year's E3. So keep all future E3's to this year's standards.
- Console Fanboys
There is a difference between Console Wars and Console Fanboys. Console Wars is the battle between the console developers as to who's will emerge victorious each generation (if we are to look at it in respect to business, the Wii is clearly on top as of now). But console fanboys (and girls) are people who belittle the "other" consoles because it is not the one that THEY particularly own. So let me get this out of the way. TO ALL CONSOLE FANBOYS: YOU ARE NOT GAMERS. And you never will be until you learn to acknowledge each of the strengths and weaknesses of each console. Real gamers see the postives and negatives to each console, and then choose accordingly, much like choosing for college. But like college, not everyone chooses the same console. Why? Because each person has their own preferences. In gaming terms, functionality, reliability, library of games, level of immersion, non-gaming experiences, and just like college, price. Fanboys are nothing more than (insert Big Three name here)'s loyal customers who will buy anything and only anything for that system and who fall for every kind of advertising imaginable. And I for one would truthfully not be surprised if over three-quarters of these "fanboys" even bought the system with their own money, but rather had it given to them as a gift because its what the giver decided to get. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back on topic. Exclusive games don't mean jack unless they are actually good. Games like Gears of War, Resistence, and Haloare nothing more than the everyday shooter that comes out, yet for some reason because they are exclusive, people automatically assume that that makes them better than anything else. The game itself has to be good; then again, "good" is different depending on who you are talking to. So to anyone else out there who hates fanboys, just remember, there words don't mean jack.