Thursday, June 7, 2012

E3 2012 Recap

Wow, what a disappointing year for gaming.  E3 failed to impress by miles. 


Microsoft opened up, of course, with Halo 4.  Master Chief is shown kicking the ass of some aliens that look an awful lot like creatures from Metroid Prime.  Halo 4 looks pretty fun with Cortana going crazy and all and it gives hope to a promising showcase from Microsoft . . .


For the rest of the show they don’t present any more video games or at least video games to care about.  We did get some weird cryptic messages from PixelJunk and some 3D Angry Birds but other than that it was just Apps, Apps, Apps, turn your MS devices into a Wii U gamepad, Kinect, Kinect and of course Usher.  They literally “Ushered” in a golden age of gaming with a 15 minute dance off.

They did show Black Ops 2, but I honestly couldn’t care less about the Call of Duty franchise anymore.  It’s scary to think that Microsoft assumes that this is the path the video game industry should take.  Microsoft’s conference succeeded in proving that their first priority isn’t the games, it’s all of the peripherals and apps that they shoved down our throats for an hour.  It was an embarrassment and may God have mercy on their souls.

+Halo Prime
-1-minute pixeljunk trailer with nothing to go off
Microsoft Grade:  D


Jesus Christ how horrifying, this moment was prophesized by the ancients.  The Doomsday is upon us. How could we let it get this far?  It is our doing, these are our sins.  We must repent.  God will come to reap the sinners.

Crysis 3 looked pretty cool, though

+Crysis 3
-DLC up the ass
-The Old Republic damage control (haha we all know that game is crap)
-nothing else
EA Grade:   F


Now Ubisoft knows how to throw a press conference.  If you ignore the awkward bantering from the host Aisha Tyler, you will be immersed in trailer after trailer, demo after demo of yes, ACTUAL GAMES!!!! 

Farcry 3 looks gorgeous and I’m not just talking about the boob groping.  Sure the gameplay isn’t too unique but the demo did prove that aesthetics and story can take a presentation a long way.  I loved the constant insane banter of the terrorist leader as the player killed hordes of his mercenaries.

Not being a huge fan of Splinter Cell, the demo for Black List impressed me.  It reminds me of a cross between Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear Solid.  The trailer for Avengers: Battle for Earth showed off a fight between Wolverine & Venom, and Spider-man & Magneto.  Then you see the Avengers atop a building looking on as the Skrull invasion begins.  Awesome.

I was surprised that they had an entire section dedicated to the Wii U even before Nintendo’s conference had begun.  They showed off Rayman Legends which nicely incorporated the Gamepad.  The run through of the church level with that badass version of “Chasing A Dream” had me convinced that I was buying this game at launch.  While the trailer for ZombiU looked promising  it didn’t really do much for me.  It kind of looks like what Ubisoft tried to do with Red Steel for the Wii; showing off the gimmicks while ignoring gameplay.

The big trailer was Assassin’s Creed 3 which had Connor mess up some damn red coats in a beautiful trailer much like last year’s for Revelations.  The demo that followed showed off how AC3 is just like the rest in the series.  It’s not a bad thing it’s just there wasn’t too much that differentiated it from Altair or Ezio’s adventures except it’s in Murrikah now!

Then there was some MLG sort of deal  that I didn’t give a damn about.  But after that was the demo that everyone is still talking about.  Watch Dogs.  The trailer showed some guy using his cell phone to hack the city up!  He hacks the bouncers’ phones so he can sneak in a club then beats the crap out of another one with a baton.  After a bit, he hacks a street light causing a huge crash and a giant gunfight erupts.  He easily takes his targets out while a gas station explodes behind raining embers around the street.  Watch Dogs looks to blend stealth, action, puzzle solving, shooting, open world exploration in a way that made my mouth water.  Watch Dogs definitely takes the prize as biggest surprise of e3.

+Watch Dogs
+Splinter Cell
+Rayman Legends
+Wii U showcase
+Assassin’s Creed 3
+Left the sports and fitness stuff to a quick montage
-awkward host
-not a lot of surprises/most of it we’ve already heard about
 Ubisoft Grade: B


Sony offered a mixed bag of goodies for their presentation.  Nothing mind blowing but hey at least they had games (or movies.)  Sony opened up with Quantic Dream’s Beyond, the successor to their 2010 hit Heavy Rain.  It stars Ellen Page as Jodie Holms, a young girl with psychic powers (or a ghost friend I'm not entirely sure).  The trailer was an interesting look into the game but unfortunately it did not show any gameplay whatsoever.  Nonetheless, I’m excited for it.

Sony then failed to impress with their demo of Sony All-Stars Battle Royale.  There was absolutely nothing new other than the reveal of Nathan Drake and Big Daddy.  As much of a fan as I am of the Super Smash Bros. series, I can’t seem to get myself excited for this title.  It just appears to be a blatant copy that lacks the charm of the Smash series and it’s going to take a lot more hype from Sony to get me interested in this game.

The gameplay for The Last of Us showed a lot of what the game is about; surviving in a dying world as you and your partner work together to keep on surviving to the next day.  The dialogue is plentiful and the action is perfectly balanced with moments of silence as you assess the conundrum of whether or not to enter a decaying hotel despite the dangers that lie in wait.  The demo succeeded in building hype and I’m actually looking forward to more news regarding it.

Then there were 15 minutes of Move story book nonsense that no one could seem to get to work just right.  The mediocre presentation ended with a demo of God of War Ascension which was underwhelming to say the least.  The demo showed off Kratos generically fighting off goat and elephant men in his usual fashion.  Now, God of War 3 started out with the epic punishment and brutal death of God of the Sea in one of the greatest video game intros of all time.  Then we go to him having trouble fighting a man sized elephant.  Yeah, my hype level has hit an all-time low.

+The Last of Us
-Sony Smash Bros.
-God of War Ascension failed to impress
-Move story book time!
-No news on how they will save the Vita from its inevitable death
Sony Grade:  C


I’ll be honest, I was fan-boy levels of hyped going into Nintendo’s conference and the intro didn’t disappoint.  Miyamoto did an adorable skit about Pikmin and voila, they showed the first video of Pikmin 3!  The beautiful environments, those adorable Pikmin, that Wii U gamepad integration, it was all there.  Yes, Pikmin 3 quickly became the star of Nintendo’s conference especially since nothing else worthwhile showed up.

The only other good game they showed was New Super Mario Bros. U with its gorgeous backgrounds and familiar gameplay.  Unfortunately nothing new came to the show.  No surprises at all.   No Star Fox/Metroid crossover rumor.  No big first party titles to get everybody amped for the Wii U.  Nothing.  They even pushed aside the 3DS conference for the next day to show off the Wii U games but there was no point since they spent half the conference talking about how cool Nintendo Land will be and it is obviously not.  I don’t need a ten minute tutorial on how to play a mini-game.  I knew how to play in the first 20 seconds they showed it. Yet, they kept beating it into our brains as if they wanted so hard for us to like such a crappy concept.  No I didn’t like it so stop talking about it please.

Reggie then came onto the stage and said “Now let’s finish with . . .”  WITH WHAT?  A SURPRISE!?!?!?  YES PLEASE REGGIE!!!  “One more walk through the theme land that is Nintendo Land.”  And all it showed was fireworks.  Nothing else.  My heart sank.  I was devastated. I didn’t think I could look at Nintendo the same way again.  It was the MOST disappointing conference at e3. 

What boggles my mind is that they had an awesome third party game called Project P-100 which is an insane blend of Pikmin and Viewtiful Joe made by Platinum Games.  And they didn’t show it until after the conference!!!!  That would have fit perfectly in their hour of show time but I guess they couldn’t cut out a little Nintendo Land time for a game that could have possibly saved their presentation.

The Wii U comes out this holiday and yet Nintendo refuses to bring out their A-game.  I don’t understand it.  They have almost nothing to look forward to with the launch of the Wii U except for Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends, and New Super Mario Bros. U.  As much as I like Batman: Arkham City, I will NOT buy it again for the Wii U.  Everybody who is interested in the least bit in Arkham City or Mass Effect  3 have already bought it and played it.  Nintendo offered little to nothing to in these ports.  They didn’t even explain how Assassin’s Creed 3 or Darksiders 2 will be better on Wii U.  If the fans want the same game without buying a whole new console they’ll buy these games for the system they already have.  It’s a dangerous path Nintendo is taking and I just hope they can make it out on top in the end. 

+Pikmin 3
+Reggie’s body was ready
+New Super Mario Bros. U
+Wasn’t bad enough to deter me away from getting a Wii U
-Nintendo Land
-3DS pushed aside
-Didn’t explain how the ports will be better
-No surprises
-No Zelda/Metroid/Star Fox/ F-Zero/Donkey Kong or anything
-They don’t know what they hell they’re doing with the Wii U

Nintendo Grade:  C

Overall e3 Grade:  C

No comments:

Post a Comment