It’s been fairly busy for me recently and adding E3 into the mix, it’s only gotten busier. I did want to write a little spiel on the topic nonetheless since it is the biggest video game event in North America. So far, I’ve only watched Nintendo and Sony’s conferences, so my thoughts will be about those two. I am not planning to watch Microsoft since I don’t have a 360.

Sony Conference: General Thoughts

  • I’m surprised how little Vita there was in the conference. It’s a brand new system, so Sony needs to push it more than this. But, seeing how it’s doing in Japan right now, I guess there isn’t much to show on the game front. I still need to check out what sorts of games they have on the show floor since I believe they were boasting that there would be like 20 or so Vita games at E3.
  • In a similar vein, cross-platform titles, while cool, aren’t going to sell me a Vita if I can just play the game on PS3. I’m not that rich, so if I can get a game without having to invest an extra 250~300 (depending on the memory card costs on just a Wi-Fi model) so that I can play it, you can bet I’m going to get that game for the other system I already own. This is coming from a handheld gamer that actually prefers to play on the go.
  • Outside Beyond and Last of Us, not much from Sony that really impressed me. This is probably because I do not like “realistic” or super violent games in general, so there really has to be a hook to get me on board.
  • On that note, I haven’t ever played a God of War title but wow, they are really brutal. I’m constantly being surprised just how much violence some games pack into them. I mean, Kratos (spelling?) is dislocating heads of the enemies, or tearing them off. Sure they aren’t “human” but they are humanoid and it looks real (like how you would go about dislocating or tearing off a real person’s head) and very savage. But perhaps I’m not as desensitized as the regular gamer. I rarely play anything violent. Well beyond the typical cartoon violence found it hitting enemies with swords/sword-like objects until they disappear.
  • Which reminds me, Playstation All-Stars. Well I know people have already mentioned how much this resembles Smash Bros. and I honestly don’t really care that it’s so similar. My problem is, I don’t really care about Sony characters. I mean I like Ratchet and a few others, but I don’t know, I just don’t have the same attachment to them as Nintendo’s characters. Perhaps it’s the fact that I grew up on Nintendo (and Sega). Also, I don’t find the “darker” levels appealing. Beyond the fact that I’m not really into fighters (took me a while to even give Brawl a try), the real appeal was the colourful stages and characters, so I don’t really feel any desire to play this game. Is it just me?
  • Also, damn it Sony, you know my weakness: Harry Potter! The Book of Spells looks really neat, albeit also kind of tedious. I mean having to constantly look at the screen and adjust the book. AR is really a cool direction and this book-game idea is certainly neat, but I worry about the execution. That said, I don’t have the PS eye or move, so chances are, I won’t be getting this. :(

Thoughts on Beyond:

  • First thing that came to mind: I honestly need to play Heavy Rain.
  • Cool to see another interesting female character and I certainly like this idea of her seeing something “other” and working together with this invisible force/thing. I just hope it doesn’t turn into those save the helpless female character games. (¬__¬) I mean, from what we have been shown, it shouldn’t, but I’m always a bit wary since whenever there are dual protagonists and one is female, the female tends to be the designated protection object. The female character looks really interesting, so it would be a real shame if the game went down this route. I’m going to remain optimistic though and keep my eyes and ears open for more info. :)
  • Theme-wise though, it sounds interesting and in my opinion was the best/most interesting game shown off at Sony’s conference.

Thoughts on Last of Us:

  • I’m not really into the whole action shooter games but the premise alone has me interested.
  • I wonder if you can avoid killing so much. Like make truces/alliances with enemies. It would be a bit more believable if that was an option.
  • “Dawn of the Werwolf” poster. lol.
  • Also, I hope there is some kind of explanation why there were only male enemies. Or at least this was just an exception and there are different sorts of people you encounter later in the game. I really really hope this is the case because the game looks interesting and it would be a shame to see it boggled down by silly gender stereotypes.

Nintendo’s Conference: General Thoughts

  • Why was the 3DS coverage so minimal. :| Yeah, I know why, but I seriously hate it when game makers play the console/handheld favourites game. Sure we have the 3DS video conference thingie happening today to make up for it, but at the heart of it, that still means 3DS is less important and is going to be designated off to the side. Perhaps my memory is bad, but I don’t recall coverage of Wii getting cut out so much last E3 when the 3DS was the main attraction. I recall Skyward Sword was a pretty big deal. Not cool, Nintendo.
  • Also, Fire Emblem: Awakening better be announced today on that 3DS conference thingie or else I’m going to be really really disappointed. It is seriously my most anticipated 3DS game along with Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. The latter has already been confirmed for October release quite some time ago. Yeah, I’m a big FE fan. I’m still bitter about 12 not getting an English release even if Shadow Dragon wasn’t that good.
  • What happened to Iwata? I wonder why he didn’t make an appearance. I hope this isn’t a sign that North America is becoming less relevant for Nintendo. I’ve got an North American 3DS. D:
  • I wish I could be more excited for Pikmin 3, but I haven’t played any of the other games, so I’m not on the hype train. This did remind me that I should probably play a Pikmin game one of these days….
  • Back to 3DS, out of the three titles shown off, Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario look really good. I haven’t played any of the games in both serious before, but they both look like a lot of fun. :D
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the other hand, well let’s say I’m a little wary. The focus on “gold” and how easy it is to collect coins in the game and get lives makes me worried that this game is going to be even easier than the first one. D: I really hope I’m wrong because I’m always up for some Mario, but the clips shown off did not give me any confidence. D: Tanuki Mario making a return is pretty sweet though. :)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii U though looks quite nice. I saw a few brief levels that looked like they could be quite challenging. The Miiverse features look interesting (although I hope you can turn them off).
  • Not really interested in any of the “western” games shown off, outside of Rayman Legends, but that was so short and seemed more like an afterthought. :(
  • All around quite an interesting conference, but it lacked surprises. We knew about all the 3DS games mentioned this year from the prior year and we knew about Pikmin 3 thanks to leaks. NSMB Wii U while interesting isn’t exactly surprising and NintendoLand is more a tech demo.

Thoughts on NintendoLand

  • The mini game collection sounds fun. The ghost mini game shown off on the Iwata feature after the conference looks like a lot of fun and I could really get behind it. The DK mini game doesn’t seem as fun as the ghost game, but still interesting. The Animal Crossing game looks alright too.
  • That said, if this is a standalone game retailing for full price, count me out. As interesting as it looks, 12 mini games aren’t going to cut it for 50$. I’m hoping it’s packed in with the Wii U or something else like Wii Sports and Wii Play were, but if it is stand alone, I would only get it if it’s in the 20-30$ range.

Thoughts on Miiverse

  • This has a lot of potential to be really cool but also really annoying.
  • If Nintendo gives us the option to turn it off and on and to filter who we want to see comments from (i.e. just family members or just friends), it could be really neat.
  • Also spoilers would suck big time and that’s mainly why I’d like the option to turn it off completely or restrict it to people I know won’t be assholes and spoil stuff for me. That and I wouldn’t want the messages appearing during certain events as that would break immersion.

And that’s about it. What did you think of E3 this year?

–SW

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