Monday, June 6, 2011

super.hype: Special E3 2011 Edition!

NEWS for Week 22, 2011: it's E3 week, baby! (UPDATE: Impressions here)

E3 2011 is over! Thanks for playing along and pretending to be excited about intangible objects!

The girl of your dreams has rejected you once again. You take solace in the fact you have a soft, welcoming super.hype (E3 2011 Edition) waiting for you back home...
you pervert

Day 0 - June 6, 2011

Microsoft E3 2011 Showcase

  • New Halo game! Old Halo game made new! 
    • Played the original Halo, thought it was great. the sequels, not so much.
  • New Fable, MW3, and Tomb Raider media. Looks unspectacular so far.
  • Kinect becomes ubiquitous! Ubiquinectikous!
    • Star Wars Kinect - please, someone record the next generation of "Star Wars Kid"
    • Ryse - As cool as this looks on screen, you will still look like an idiot in your living room. Also, inadequate space will result in the kicking of people and/or furniture. Hopefully people.
    • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier - it's awesome until you realize that if you stop hunching over, the game stops too. Or does it? What  if there's a fly in my room? What if I want to eat dinner while shooting some guys? What if I don't want my kids to have scoliosis by the time they're 13? What if I have a short ceiling? Clearly, this game was made for robotic midgets with no children.
    • Kinect Fun Labs - let's hope this glorified (glorious?) tech demo is free. Otherwise it'll be like that PS2 launch title that had you manipulating fireworks.
    • Enhanced Kinect Xbox control - pretty much. I don't have a kinect, so these things mean very little to me.
 Mass Effect 3

  • An increased scope of story - Now you're REALLY battling for the galaxy. The last two games were just filler. Sorry.
  • Focus on combat - Wait, MORE focus on combat? What was Mass Effect 2? The spiritual successor to the unknown sci-fi chapter of Baldur's Gate?
  • Global consequences for inconsequential side quests - The explanation here sounds eerily like the "Opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj" Collect 500 vials of salarian blood! Skin 200 krogans! Mine 3,000 tonnes of platinum! woohoo
  • Bullet Time - Shepard will have an ability that "slows down time for everyone but him". Will they also have an ability that makes time slow down for nobody but him? I mean, you gotta have balance after all
  • Real Melee attacks - Shepard's Omintool has been agumented with a fancy-shmancy blade device, which he undoubtedly uses for skewering, unlocking, and hacking. Just like Robocop! Good influence guys, yeah *high-five* woo
 Brothers in Arms
  • Be the Bastard - Apparently it's all based on torture now, because they're comparing this game to Tarantino's Nazisploitation flick "Inglorious Basterds". Unless I'm wrong and they're referring to the campy ultraviolence and alternate fiction and NOT the torturing. Which was 90% of the movie.
  • That's all I got for that game so far.
The Ubisoft press conference has been liveblogged by kotaku rather effectively. read it here
  • A new old Rayman game
  • Just Dance
  • a new Driver game
  • a new Far Cry game (up to #3 now)
  • the aforementioned Brothers in Arms : Furious 4
  • Some random games. Adventures of TinTin, Trackmania, etc.
  • and some info on Assassin's Creed: Revelations!
  • and then done.
Something awesome this way comes: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim gameplay! for those of you with blocked websites, I pray that YouTube isn't blocked. otherwise, I'm sorry and here's a big teasing link for you.

Twisted Metal 3 trailer. looks pretty sweet. Even has some gameplay in there!

So far the most interesting thing out of E3 (besides the big stuff that is always interesting, like HD remakes and anticipated releases) is This new IP from Insomniac (and EA):


Sony E3 Keynote!
  •  the NGP! - YES! The biggest deal here is PRICE. $249.99. That's the PSP launch price. Smart move. There are two tiers of course, depending on whether you want 3G. The bad:  no mention of expandable memory. Unless I missed that? Also: the thing is called the Vita. I have mixed feelings about that. I enjoy taking vitamins, but I don't know if I'll enjoy calling my gaming device a Vita. I'd rather call it Echo.
  • NGP games! - So the tech demos have been shown before, but now we have confirmation of launch titles beyond just and Uncharted game (not that I don't enjoy Uncharted games. They just aren't that Games like Bioshock. Where are my NEW IPs for the NEW handheld?
  • HD remakes/remasters - So I guess you could say I called it, but this is the way things are going. Nobody wants new games. They want their old games spruced up and jazzed out. Not that I can really complain, since I wasn't privileged to have a PS2 during its heyday, but really, WHERE ARE MY NEW IPs?? - Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, PSP GoW games, also MGS games.
  • Dust 514 - I haven't ever (and never will) play EVE Online, but Dust 514 looks pretty badass. I love them sci-fi shooters. And the EVE universe is certainly ripe and rife enough with whatever is required to propel a game through its paces. I may keep my eye out for this one.
  • Sony TV inventions - Split screen on a single screen? Sounds like magic to me. Or like a really bad trip. Still, the idea is cool and the tech is there (Different lines and polarized glasses to produce two separate images on the same screen), and now they're putting those 120Hz to good use (besides making my old copy of The Fifth Element look like Days of Our Lives: in Space). Will most likely be exorbitantly priced. UPDATE: a video demo of the tech can be found HERE
  • Bouncyman was right - take a drink, sir. The first words out of Jack Tretton's mouth was an apology for the PSN debacle. Drinks for all!
Day 1 - June 7, 2011

 Nintendoooooooooooooo (Kotaku has a breakdown of the Wii U here)
  • Is this the future? - No, no it isn't. It's the Wii U. In which case we see that Nintendo has become so afraid of losing money that they will slap the name "Wii" onto the next 5 generations of consoles just to make sure people will think "Man, the Wii was so cool when it first came out, so this is gonna be just as good because it has the same name, right?"
  • But the controller! - Yes, I know. A screen on a controller. Cool. I did the same thing with my Gamecube and gameboy advance. Still, a part of me is hoping that devs take advantage of the possibilities.
  • so many games! so many...old games - I love classic IPs and classic games and it's all good and well. But what bothers me, and I guess what really gets me all up in a snaggle, is the fact that these IPs take over games. They TAKE THEM OVER. When we make games, how much of the game is being sacrificed in the name of compatibility with an existing IP? Who knows. I'm being sensationalistic. I'm sorry. I do love a good Zelda or Mario game. Who am I kidding?
  • First Party - I know, it's a Nintendo unveiling. I shouldn't be surprised that all the games announced were tried-and-true. But there was Thundercrash. We'll see how that goes.
RockPaperShotgun is doing a great job covering the non-keynote type devs. Check them out!
especially this one 

 Devil May Cry
  • Polish please - I love me some DMC, but does anyone else get an iffy, kludgy, whacky, sub-DMC type vibe from this gameplay video?
  •  That's a nice movie, bro - I know DMC has always been a bit cinematic, but this game just looks...flashy. DMC has flash, Dante is supposed to have flash, but you know wHAT THIS REMINDS ME OF THE WAY DRAGON AGE 2 LOOKED. Oh God, that's it. no wonder it looks so kludgy
 From Dust
  • God, game - Man, I have been keeping my eye on this game ever since it was first announced. If you've never played Another World (or Out of This World), shame on you. Well, no. Shame on me for not telling you to play it. For not SHAMING you into playing it. Shame!
  • Seriously though - a short trailer has come out  for it, with really really really really short segments of gameplay. It looks like it's going to be a puzzler set in some kind of God game control scheme where your performance is gauged by how many people you let die. Yeah, you let them die, you know that? Their deaths will be a direct consequence of your incompetence. Talk about meaningful choice!
  • Some sweet alchemy - It looks like it's going to focus primarily on the interaction of elements in the world and their ability to combine to solve impending natural disaster. Lava + water = Obsidian. Uh, wait. I mean, lava + water = survival...?
 Prey 2 - Video Interview

    Battlefield 3 - Gameplay Trailers

    Dynasty Warriors Vita - Gameplay Trailers 
    • Musou POKE -  I like Dynasty Warrior. I don't love it, but I like it, and I think it has a place in gaming because usually they're really well executed. But this just seem SO GIMMICKY. Also, isn't it bad enough that when I'm on the subway or the bus playing GoW: Chains of Olympus, it sounds like I'm playing a freaking kalimba. Now it's going to LOOK like I'm playing a freaking kalimba.
    •  Multiple Musou - Having more than one Musou bar and more than one Musou attack seems...excessive. But it does make you feel badass.
    • Poke! Poke to victory! - Seriously, just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it. Though I will admit that for a first effort, it's an interesting way of implementing the tech into a longstanding and well-established IP. But I think that in hindsight, this type of usage will result in a lot of dropped Vitas. Or really red fingers. 
     Cryptic's Neverwinter
    • Try, try again - You know Cryptic Studios. Star Trek Online. Champions Online. You also know what happened to those games. What makes me think this game will be any different?
    • On the other hand - I do love me some Neverwinter Nights. I bought the Diamond edition on GOG a little while back and fire it up once in awhile, to great effect. It's super effective!
    The Rolling Western
    • Cute, dog - This game definitely has the visual appeal down pat. And those big 'ole letters do tend to get me worked up something fierce. And is it just me or do all the enemies look like different types of meat buns??
    • Hybrid technology! wow - Tower Defense, real-time battles, action-based combat PLUS resource gathering and base building mechanics? Super cool.
    • New IP - I love it when these get some press.
    Max Anarchy/Anarchy Reigns
    • Beat them up, scotty - It really does look like Bayonetta: Multiplayer Battle Arena Toshinden the First. Not that that's a bad thing.
    • Fatality!  - I think paradigms get a little shaken up when player controlled characters get dismembered or gibbed upon death. It really makes an impact on the mind, like "woah. My dude is DEFINITELY not coming back from that." *splorch*
    Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online
    All I'm gonna say is this may be the game
    that gets me
    back into MMOs

    Mario Party!!!!! man i love these games (also because they are self-explanatory and don't require me to write a lot of nonsense)
    • This is not the game you're looking for - Journos and Critics KEEP COMPARING THIS GAME TO GOD OF WAR, when it CLEARLY is a descendant of Shinji Mikami's God Hand/Vanquish Pedigree. Idiots.
    • But it's still awesome - Lots of fast paced action, enemy killing QTEs, cinematic boss fights, and CRAZY art direction. Also this pseudo-religious setting is kind of weird, but cool. He always looks like he's beating up buddha. Why aren't the buddhists up in arms about this? Oh, wait. I know why. BECAUSE THE GAME IS ABOUT HINDUISM
    • More arms, more mayhem - I really don't see the point of the main character having 6 arms apart from giving him a reason to hit a dude more times in a shorter amount of time. Well, that's reason enough. Good on ya, mate
    •  Never gonna give you up - I know that I've complained a lot about the lack of new IPs, but I have to be honest and say I LOVE kirby games. They can shove kirby into anything and I'll buy it. Hell, I finished Kirby's Dream Course (MAN, I should totally do a feature on that game). That being said, HAL Laboratory never really does any shoehorning when it comes to making Kirby games anyway, so disregard what I'm saying.
    • I bleed Nintendo black and red - It looks like they're pulling out all the stops on this one. The last Kirby game that included this many disparate game mechanics (platforming, adventuring, horde tactics a la pikmin, shoot 'em up segments) was...God, I can't remember when. Did they ever do a game with so many disparate mechanics? Either way, they all look great. There's an old arcade game from the 90's that did a similar thing, but I can't for the LIFE of me remember the name of it. It was a two-player side scrolling adventure game where you were like these gnome-looking guys and you shot arrow-shooting guns and you could get a powerup where a small flame sprite would follow you and spew flame in whatever direction you were firing. God that game was awesome. WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT GAME
    • More on the point - They're incorporating all the mechanics from OTHER Nintendo games. Which was the point I wanted to make before I got sidetracked by my terrible memory. Dang it! 
    Day 2, June 8, 2011
     Blogger was being stupid and erased my updates for Day 2. So blame blogger. 
    Luckily, Day 2 was pretty underwhelming anyway.

    Day 3, June 9, 2011
    • Don't stray too far, my dear - This game is throwing us back on to LV-426, the planet from the original Alien. I love the original Alien. It was a cabin fever, it was part psychological thriller, it was commentary on human nature. Aliens, on the other hand, was all about SPACE MARINES! Space Marines with big guns. Space Marines with motion detectors. Space Marines protecting feeble Space Scientists. I like the first one A LOT better. Can you tell????
    • Die for the sake of dying - I suppose it makes sense to have "fodder for aliens" so as to impress upon us the lethality of the situation (which is exactly what the redshirts did in star trek), but Alien (the first movie) didn't have to do that. All it did was methodically kill every person it met in the name of survival. Okay, so in practice those two things don't look that different. But it's important to make the philosophical distinction, because God knows we all believe in the selfishness of Xenomorphs That's why we kill them right? BECAUSE THEY'RE SELFISH
    • relive the horror, relive the glory - Iconic set pieces and moments from the movies are being carried into the game. That's cool. Next up: Aliens: Colonial Marines: The Movie: The Game - relive the iconic moments from the movie based on that game that included iconic moments from that movie in order to recreate the fantasies people have from playing games based on the movies for the past 20 years!
    • some snazzy platforming - Well, that's misleading. What I meant to say is that it's confirmed for PC, PS3, and X360 next year. It's being currently developed for the Wii U.
    There's a pretty sweet hands-on with the new Mario Kart 3DS
    • Let me tell you, kid - If you've never played a Rune Factory game, shame on you. There's very few excuses for not having done so. It's on the Wii, the DS, and now it's coming the PS3. I'm super excited!
    Far Cry 3
    • If you've played one, you've played them all -  Judging from first impressions, this game will be practically identical to Far Cry 2, which I painfully endured for about 45 minutes before quitting it and deleting from my computer indefinitely. Surely, this one will be different. No, no it won't. Damnit. 
    • Bayonetta, is that you? - Wow, this game looks...amazing. Flying about from surface to surface also looks really disorienting too. But, some of the scenes shown in the trailer above remind me a whole lot of Bayonetta. Also, the chicktagonist looks suspiciously like the girl that showed up in the Dungeon Siege III trailer/demo. 
    • Vitastic, really! - It's nice to see a Vita exclusive new IP. It doesn't hurt that it's shaping up to look like a good time.
    Carrier Command  (PC)
    • Uh, sure - Apparently this is an age-old IP being revived by detail-simulation-fanatics Bohemia Interactive. I thought ARMA and ARMA 2 were thoughtful, well-executed games, but far too obtuse at times for my tastes. Maybe I should go back and give this game a go and then develop some sort of opinion.
    • The whims, they got me - Still, some part of me sees a lot of Field Commander (PSP) in this, and to be honest, I wasn't a fan of that game when it was all said and done. I preferred sticking with Advance Wars. At the end of the day, I'm really not holding my breath for this one. Can someone prove me wrong, please?
    Ghost Recon: Online (Wii U)
    • Not just bots anymore -  Ghost Recon was always a very appealing franchise to me. Partly because of its setting, and mostly because of its tactical emphasis. It's a semi-realistic shooter, but it gives you pretty high levels of control while still allowing you go balls-out call of duty-style crazy through campaigns. And the bots you could control were obedient and accurate. Now I'm going to have to play with people and, judging by the looks of the trailer, it will be intensely annoying.
    • Tried and True - It's also nice to see (at least, I think that's what I'm seeing) that all of the Tom Clancy games continue to cling to some sort of 3rd-person perspective (either 100% of the time, or only in cover). It's a great, life-replicating perspective that really adds more depth and visual enjoyment to these types of games. Not that I don't enjoy the more claustrophobic feeling of 1st-person shooters, of course.
    Here's a huge, meandering, pecksniffian article about how disappointed one journalist is after his preview of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR)

    Live Action Mass Effect Trailer - It really some thing.
    • Let me speak my peace - I really just am extremely disappointed at the way this franchise has been handled after its introduction in Mass Effect 1. The first game was set squarely in space, in future, where Humanity is no longer the center of the universe, or of central importance. SENTIENCE was the key connection between all races, and SENTIENCE was the enemy in the form of Reapers. It was transcendent. It was written that way. You had your small, myopic, private, benevolent sentience, and then you had the massive, selfish, arrogant, malevolent sentience, and they battled it out. Personally, that's what compelled me to play through Mass Effect. What do I care what happens to HUMANITY or even EARTH, when the UNIVERSE is on the line? And now, in this trailer, Earth is the key? "The War is coming Home". What, to me? That doesn't make any sense, unless they all of sudden decide to pull an Ender's Game on me and then break the fourth wall as Shepard undergoes some sort of horrific dismemberment only to have him be revealed as an advanced cybernetic construct that has been controlled via telepathy and long-wave radio by the device in my hand which was controlled by ME, in which case yes, the "war" will be coming home to ME because I live on Earth. But Shepard doesn't. Tali doesn't. Grunt doesn't. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON BIOWARE??
    • no more apologies - I'm really just...I'm all out of enthusiasm for this franchise. I will continue to play my Mass Effect 1 and pretend that I, that MY Shepard, indeed does "take the war to them" and traverses the negative zone and lands the Normandy on the mechanical Reaper home planet, with my Magnificent 7 of Ashley, Liara, Wrex, Garrus, Tali, Mordin, and Legion, whereupon we wreak irrevocable havoc on their stupid homeworld and once and for all eliminate the malevolent antithetical sentience, thereby establishing a brand new zeitgeist for the world to function in harmony in. And yes, I killed the council, too. And no, I see no hypocrisy in that action and my hypothesized goal.
    • this looks, cool - I'm ambivalent about the idea of "time slowing down" whenever characters issue orders, because it seems very much like a cop-out, or a desperate attempt to cling to whatever "actiony feeling" the designer wants to maintain while still providing the "amazing depth" of a tactical shooter. There is a way to have both, and have it be executed well: just look at Freedom Fighters. This is especially true when he's describing the type of actions your buddies will perform. Capture this point. Flank here. Shoot enemy. These commands don't require a stop in the action. They require you to find an advantageous point of cover with a good view of the battlefield, without exposing yourself to the enemy. Not -Time Manipulation-.
    • and yet, some depth - So it turns out there will be some sort of HQ/planning phase in which you develop not only technologies, but your character's traits and your team members' traits. This is super cool. It may sound pseudo-RPG, but it's important to have, well, I believe, because you're going to be commanding AI allies. Until we develop REAL artificial "intelligence", the only way to (artfully) balance it is by simply mitigating stupidity with resilience. Hopefully it will be more balanced toward that end as opposed to the auto-aim-headshot-bot style of resilience.
    Thus Ends Day 3.
    And everyone went home, completely satisfied at all they had seen, until they got into their private jets and realized they forgot to present their good games.
    Until Next Year!