Just a quick mid E3 blog folks.
So... The power of achievement whoring takes me over again, this time thanks to Fuse and the simple name change of 'emblem' to 'achievement'. This has been the first E3 I've actually sat at home and watched (partly thanks to being unemployed) and partly due to my own Project Natal excitement. But it was Cheevos that made me leave my PC on when I went to my parents house for those missed press conference
I've written briefly before about my hopes that Natal would become a companion cube-like companion... um... cube, chiming in with it's virtual intelligence, so the fact I could sit in my back room in an ex mining village in Yorkshire, pretending I'm in California watching the gaming equivalent of Oscar night (minus the awards, the clothes or (so far this year) the celebrities. Not that I'm dismissing the likes of Kojima or Molyneux, love to have a pint with them... justcouldn't imagine putting up posters of them on my wall as a teenager or reading about where Mizuguchi had lunch last week in Heat.) was a big big win for me.Anyway
So the big Cirque de Fou-fou reveal on Sunday comes with Project Natal's official name. Kinect... O...kay. I'm sure the net was flooded with fan boys slagging off the name change but I just reminded myself that a) Project Natal as a name made no sense, what next Project Swindon, b) it's still less stupid than the Nintendo Revolution becoming the Wii and c) Wii turned out to be a great name. Kinect... Ah ha! I 'kin' see what they did there... It's connecting AND Kinetic. W00t for you guys. Plus someone had already got Eyetoy and Move... Who was that.....?
Then the XBox conference (which I had to watch on Youtube, thanks Gamespot) and out comes Kinect!!! The (genuine) excitement! Think of the possibilities! Think of the options! Think of the cool Tom Cruise Minority Report style things! Woo...
First, the things I liked... Waving at it so it recognises you... funny. (I wanted it to recognise me anyway sans wave) Talking to it. Good. Just what I wanted. Video calls... okay. Bring on all those naked gamers! The ability to stop and fast forward with your hands... Getting nearer to Minority Report... okay... What else... well.... That was about it.
ESPN... Firstly I live in Britain so probably not going to get it and if we did, wouldn't watch it because it's sports. But the cynical part of my brain says if this is a success maybe ALL channels will become this way. Moving on...
Control scheme. Now I realise that the Kinect needs to seperate the difference between activating something on purpose, and swatting at an annoying fly. You don't want to sneeze and delete your gamer profile but surely there must have been a better and more original way than hold your hand over the thing you want and holding it there. First time I saw it I immeadiately recognised it... but as What? When? Arghh... Oh yeah, the EYE TOY ten years ago. Selecting a game on eye toy Play was as simple as waving your arm in the air and rubbing or tickling the option you wanted... and here it is again. Can't the 8 sensors and crystal ball in the camera notice you pointing at stuff... Even if you have to shoot it with a pretend hand gun... just something... not that. Watching the woman controlling her yoga get fit thing... Your Shape: Retro Evolved... was the most passive thing I've ever seen. She didn't seem immersed, she looked embarrassed and half crucified. (and the blob that was her body on screen? Ouch. Can't wait to see what it makes of my podgy frame, probably run out of orange pixels)
Then we get into the games.... oh god.
As I said early I was really looking forward to this so the gaming aspect was my most anticipated thing of E3. Why did I bother getting excited? I own a DS AND a Wii... oh wait, I've played all these games already.... but this time I'm paying for the privaledge of not needing a stylus, Wii-mote or Wii-fit board to stroke my Nintendog, play virtual bowling or jog on the spot. Woo! The only thing I'm secretly looking forward to is Dance Central so I can join the literally THOUSANDS of Street Dance groups plaguing Britain's Got Talent. Think it was bad watching nerdy white guy dancing. Wait till short, fat, nerdy white guy hits the scene. Word.
Forza.... interesting aside from having to hold your hand over what ever you want to look at... but it reminded me of a tech demo a guy did using his wii sensor on a hat and the wiimote on the TV, and looked through his telly like it was a window with it tracking just as it would if it were real.
Kart Racing? okay... didn't look bad. Didn't look like anything special though. IS it still free? I doubt it. Still rather have played Burnout Paradise.
God those rafting women were so screechy. It was horrible... so yeah... You can lean AND jump? wow. When I heard about a Natal rafting game I though it may be like the Disney Quest simulator I played once in Florida where you actually paddle. Would that have been too difficult?
Less said about the Star Wars demo the b...
So where was Molyneux's alledged Fable III Kinectivity? or Charlie Brooker's Pedo Groomer 2010? Where.... were games I'd want to play? I know they're after Nintendo's casual gaming market and bringing in new players but... I was here first. Give me something. And not Gears, COD or Halo. I have Bad Company 2, that'll do. Try something clever or original or even just a good game with a bit of leaning in it. An RPG where you talk to it. Something less..... casual... less party game fun. Something less... 2 years ago. PLEASE
Rich's Top 5 Emotions for the MTV Generation
1) Dull Surprise