The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: E3 2011

E3 is the one video game press conferences/expo that I look forward to each and every year. Sure there are others out there like GDC , Tokyo Game Expo, and to a lesser extant San Diego Comic Con, but E3 always adds an air of surprise that is not captured in those other expo’s. With coverage provided by G4 tv and IGN and various Youtube video’s I was able to watch the press conferences of the big three to see what they have in store for us in the coming months and years. I saw The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

MICROSOFT

The Premise

Prove to the hardcore audience they so proudly covet that their new boondogle, the Kinect, is really worth buying.

The Good

Microsoft has always impressed me at E3 because they always let their games and exclusives do the talking for them. This year they moved away from that tradition, but not entirely. Games like Gears of War 3, Halo 10th anniversry edition, Tomb Raider, Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon: Future Solider, Minecraft, Halo 4, were all talked about/revealed/shown to much praise. Microsoft is damn sure eager to shove kinect down the throats of gamers like they have been at E3 the last two years, this year however they have found my crack in my defense against the dark arts of Kinect – player options. My motto is whatever controler someone wants to use to play a game is the best way to play that game. With that in mind, Ghost Recon: Future Solider you can use the motion and voice commands to quickly navigate through menus when customizing your weapons, getting rid of the monotony of scrolling through menu after menu.

Mass Effect 3 allows players to say the choices in the dialogue wheel and give voice commands to squad members on the fly. Of course we will have to wait and see if this will all work as well as it was demonstrated at E3.

Another interesting announcement is network TV coming to Xbox Live. Combine that with the Kinect voice commands and you will never have to search for the remote again. Halo 4 was the big surprise coming from Microsoft at E3. Rumors since the 3rd Halo have been bouncing around the Internet since people unlocked that ominous ending when beating the game on Legendary mode. This time 343 studios is taking over the project so its going to be interesting to see in the coming months what they have in store for fans.

Finally we get to see some more Gears of War 3 campaign video which looks awesome despite Ice Cube being there.

Lastly Modern Warfare was shown which is tradition…

The Bad

Did Microsoft succeed on selling me a Kinect? Nope. Despite the voice commands and implementing new features in upcoming “hardcore” titles Kinect still doesn’t excite me all that much. If I already had a Kinect I probably would be thrilled that some of these new features will be included, but as a selling point it just isn’t worth paying 150 dollars for. The Kinect only titles look like cheap gimmicks to  impress your friends not actual games. Both Star Wars Kinect and Fable: The Journey look like glorified on rail shooters, but instead you shooting bad guys with a fake gun you move around to interact with the environment.

Star Wars: Kinect

Fable: The Journey

And what about people with actual disabilities, how the fuck are they going to play something like Kinect sports: season 2?

Let me break down every Kinect only game there will ever be: Move+Timing= Succes or Failure. No puzzle solving no immersion, just move your body when your told to move it. Every game will have the same gameplay mechanics as Dance Dance Revolution. There is no thought to these games or depth, in fact by trying to make players feel like they’re in the games interacting, Microsoft is taking away a vast ocean of immersion and giving players a wading pool with a big pile of shit floating around in it.

The Ugly

This is why it takes a special type of actor to be a child actor…

PLAYSTATION 3

The Premise

Were sorry, Playstaion move, PS Vita

The Good

Like I said in my Microsoft review: the best controller is the one the player wants to use. I personally am not a huge fan of motion controls or touch screens, but I do like the the PS Vita. My main problem with motion controls is the computer has to interpret what the player is trying to do, where as pressing a button that is assigned for one specific task needs no interpretation. Touch screens always will have the disadvantge of my hands being in front of what I’m trying to play. The PS Vita gives game developers the option of using Touch screens when it will be cool, like when making tracks for PS Vita’s Mod Racers,

or scaling a wall with Nathan Drake in PS Vita’s new Uncharted Golden Abyss.

Giving gamers and game developers more options leads to more imaginative games, I can’t wait to see what people do  with this new hardware. The games at E3 from Sony were not so surprising but none the less games I want to play. Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception,

Resistance 3,

and somewhat of a surprise Sly Cooper 4

are all out coming soon. Starhawk the spiritual successor to Warhawk was shown,

also from the makers of Eve Online comes Dust 514 which is a first person shooter set in the Eve Online Universe and is said to effect outcomes in EO and vice versa.

From Sony’s third party games Bioshock Infinite was shown taking a dig at gamers like me questioning if the game play is real.

The Bad

I’ve think I’ve talked enough about how much I dislike motion control only games so I let you guess what I thought of Medieval Move.

The real embarrassment during this whole press confrence was when 2k sports came out to showcase why Playstation Move should be played with the next cookie cutter NBA game.

Essentially turning your home basketball experience to something that can be found on the PC. You control the players with the analog sticks and pass and steal by pointing and clicking. I don’t know about you, but all my friends who play the NBA (insert year here) games always complain that they can’t use their mouse from their computers instead of that clumsy Dualshock controller. To make matters worse 2k sports brings out that lovable rapist Kobe Bryant to play the game, which invites for on the fly fake trash talking. If Kobe Bryant plays NBA (insert year here) games he probably doesn’t trash talk like that, its probably more like this…

The Ugly

In April of 2011 the Playstation Network suddenly was unavailable to the millions of customers that it provides content to. This lasted until May of 2011 when full service was restored. Sony tried to make it up to its customers by introducing the welcome back program giving them free games and a free month of Playstation Plus. This diruption in service sucked for everyone involved, but part of me is happy. The reason this all occured was because of a group of hackers were pissed the fuck off because Sony released a patch that blocked the use of the Linux operating system on the PS3. The one thing you never want to piss off is a hardcore Linux user. So a hacker by the name George Hotz cracked the PS3 defense allowing people to release their own software on the system up to and inclucding pirated games. Sony quickly put up a makeshift defense against the endless horde of pirates, but this defense had a back door that other less mischivious and more malicious hackers exploited and stole information on all PSN users. According to Sony no credit card info was taken, but given the amount of info needed to make a profile on PSN they might not need it. If Sony had just let those Linux users use the system they bought and payed for they way they wanted to use it none of this would have happened. The argument for hardware and software ownership is not going to be made here in this blog today, but I am going to do a Nelson (from The Simpsons) HAW-HAW at Sony while changing all my passwords and credit card info.

DON'T FUCK WITH HIM

Nintendo

The Premise

We are Nintendo- your going to buy it just watch.

The Good

Where the fuck do I start.  Who wouldn’t want to see a full Orchestra play music from all the Zelda games. If you said the Turks you would be right; I personally can’t wait to see the orchestra live. Nintendo showcased another trailer for Skyward Sword that just makes me even more excited to actually playing the game.

My big complaint for the 3DS was the lack of quality games for it, by the end of this year it looks like I won’t be making the same arguments. Kid Icarus looks like a cross between Space Harrier and Kingdom Hearts.

Whats a Nintendo press conference without Mario? Mario 3DS was shown for the first time which looks like it borrows from the Mario Galaxy series as well as Super Mario Bros. 3.

Mario Kart 3ds looks like a lot of fun with its new hang gliding action.

Lugi’s Mansion is getting a sequel on the 3DS for the five people who didn’t get burned out on the first one.

Starfox is coming to the 3DS which has a cool Multiplayer feature allowing other players to moon you while playing.

Then came Nintendo’s big announcement: The Wii U. No not Wii university where students compete for credits by playing the Wii, its a new system centered around what can be best described as a tablet PC. The ability to transfer whatever you are playing to the tablet and take that tablet to the shitter (thanks Craig and Matt) is an awesome idea. Not only that but.. oh fuck it just watch…

…yeah add the fact that the system reportedly houses 1.5x the power of the PS3 means the Wii U is going to be fucking awesome.

The Bad

I have one question for Nintendo that they apparently are not willing to answer at least not yet and that is: How much? This all looks great but what’s the cost going to look like when we see it next year? Also what’s the U’s online capabilities? I guess we are just going to have to wait and see.

The Ugly

Reggie Fils-Aime scares the shit out of me.

A baby a day keeps the doctor a way.

And the Winnah is…

if its not obvious its Nintendo with its obvious understanding that you can’t be the cool kids with all the toys sometimes you need friends. Nintendo’s listened to the complaints voiced over the Wii, about its lack of third party support, graphical limitations, and the desire from fans to have traditional style controls. Kudos to Nintendo for making me a fan all over again. Not that I really left it was just weird to see an old friend change for the mediocre.

Pour me a drink Superman…

Reggie caused my drinking problem

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~ by Andrew Braid on June 19, 2011.

2 Responses to “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: E3 2011”

  1. Kinect looks so awesome! I love what they are doing with visuals and story… Not too sure how on point the system is with body movement. I’d be excited to try Fable and of course the Disney Kinect, I’ve always wanted to fall down the rabbit hole.

  2. People who i’ve talked to that have played Kinect say they detect a small hiccup before the game has registered that the player has moved, but it’s not really my bag. If you ever buy it invite me over make me a believer.

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