Tuesday, June 5, 2012

E3 2012 In A Nutshell!

As I type this up, E3 2012 is still going on, but the Big Three in video games have already had their press conferences so let's get into how they all fared. 

First, Microsoft... 

We start off with "Halo 4" and it was an pretty impressive showing for the return of Master Chief. Now, I'm not a fan of the series, but I can only imagine how the fans must feel for this one. Still, I won't lie and gotta say it looks really damn good. But... not as good as "Tomb Raider."

Wow. I need this game in my life. Essentially the prequel to the original games, 21 year-old Lara goes on her first adventure in what seems like a mix of the old and some of the new (very Uncharted kind of feel). Lara is beaten up and dragged around but is still tough as nails and ready to kick some ass! Looking dirty and gritty and yet so beautiful, "Tomb Raider" is the one to watch out for.

"South Park: The Stick of Truth" surprised many with its appearance at the conference, as it kept VERY true to the look of the series and seems like its fun factor as well. Basically an RPG, you play the new kid in town, teaming up with the boys to take on all that is evil (yes, Cartman, even the hippies). Definitely gonna give this one a try.

Now, what didn't work? Too many shooters, I think. Also, best not to end the show with one either, especially when you hype it like it's no tomorrow. Sorry, Black Op 2. Also, people expect games and Microsoft brought out... TV. And Nike Fit. So where were the games?? Well, we're still looking...

Now for Sony...

"Beyond: Two Souls"... Wow. What a way to kick it off for Sony. From the creators of "Heavy Rain," we follow our main protagonist, played by Academy Award nominee Ellen Page, on a cinematic experience similar to the previously mentioned game. With one added bonus: The girl has powers. This is one to watch.

"Playstation All-Star Battle Royale" is a mouthful, not to mention "a Smash Bros. clone." I can't help but agree with many of the critics, but at the same time, this COULD be fun. It is Smash with Sony characters. Beat down Parappa with Nathan Drake? Sweet Tooth's Mecha taking on Kratos? I'll definitely give it the time of day, let's see how this one goes...

"The Last of Us" was, no doubt, THE game of the show. If you haven't checked this one out yet, YOU NEED TO. Naughty Dog, the people who brought us "Uncharted," brings us this post-apocalyptic survival adventure game where you play as the two of last survivors Joel and 14 year-old Ellie. No, you don't fight zombies, you do have to fight for life as you must collect health and there are limited ammo. No pressure!

Sony's worst? Undoubtedly, the Wonderbook. Went on too long, and really? Do kids with a Playstation want to read? Sorry, but not sure this will work. Also, not alot of love for the Move. Does that mean Sony doesn't have much faith in it? Same for the Vita. At the end of the day, it was still a good show and way better than Microsoft's.

Now, for the big one... Nintendo.

We start off with Shigeru Miyamoto playing with the audience and shows off "Pikmin 3" for the Wii U. Things look promising for the new console as the game and its atmosphere is very crisp, clear and very beautiful. It was like stepping into a garden, no matter how cheesy that may sound. I actually want to play a Pikmin game and that says something since I never had interest in the series. 

They also showed "Lego City", a silly but funny Grand Theft Auto kid-friendly type game. Entertaining, so I wouldn't mind checking it out. "New Super Mario Bros. 2" also announced, along with a new "Super Scribblenauts" and "ZombiU," a unique, zombie survival game. The developers bring up that each game utilizes the new Wii-U Game Pad and its screen to enhance the game experience, like "Arkham City" using it as Batman's utility belt and "Sing" for a karaoke lyrics screen. 

Finally, the Big N capped off their show with "NintendoLand," a combination of the usual Wii Sports-like minigame extravaganza and many of the company's franchises. 

From Luigi's Mansion to Donkey Kong Country, players use their costumed Miis to play through 12 different themed worlds and its many minigames. Seems like it could be a good time, though there's still alot to learn about this game. Working title from Plantinum and Nintendo, "Project P-100," was shown after the conference and was interesting as it looked to have a bit of Earthbound and just a drop of Bayonetta's combo attacks and Pikmin's teamwork.

What went wrong with Nintendo? There was much hype and expectation and to many, including myself, it was not THAT strong of a showing. They have a new console coming out by the end of the year, but where are the main franchises? Are these the only launch titles? How much is the Wii-U? When releasing your new console, you HAVE to bring out your best. It didn't feel like Nintendo did and they definitely need to bring everyone back on the train. Only time will tell if this will work out or what.

In the end, who had the best conference of  the three? Possibly Playstation, but really... the strongest, no doubt, was Ubisoft. "Rayman," "Assassin's Creed 3." "Watch Dogs," "ZombiU," etc. Nothing but great looking games along the board, showing how strong this company is. And for sure, Nintendo must be happy to have them as they were heavily focused on how they're incorporating their games with the Game Pad.

Not the best E3, but hey. Like Christmas, it's the best time of the year, especially if you're a gamer. So now as the 2012 edition winds down, let's just be happy and enjoy some real quality games in the year to come! GAME ON!

P.S, just because, here are the conferences... all in a couple of nutshells. Enjoy!

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