Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nerdlert #7 Some thoughts on E3

I write an article called "Nerdlert"...I would be doing a great disservice if I didn't chime in on the going ons at this years E3. For those not in the know E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo...or the biggest trade show for video games. Every year the big three attempt to outdo each other and this year seems to be no different with some exciting hardware coming from Nintendo and Playstation gunning for the 3DS to steal some market share with "Vita." So here you go, these are the ten most exciting announcements from E3 in my mind.

10. Playstation Vita
Sony's follow up to the PSP might actually do the unthinkable...outperform Nintendo in the handheld department. A feat that has NEVER happened, but with the soft launch of 3DS and Miyamoto and Co confusingly not waiting to have some blockbuster games as launch titles the "Vita" is poised to have a grand launch. Coming in both a 3G and Wi-Fi model like everything else it is going to be a social media device designed for online play. Two of the main features that were discussed at the press release were the introduction of "Party Room" which allows players to chat with each other through the built in mic, and "near" which was only vaguely described, but seems to be a location based program that allows you to tap into fellow PS Vita users around you to grow your friend list and find new opponents/friends. The rest of the details were a bit sketchy, although one thing that excites me was the announcement of a whole new BioShock game for Vita, again I am a diehard Nintendo fan, but lately they seem to enjoy rehashing old games with slight tweaks(albeit to great success) but there are far too few Super Mario Galaxies and too many Smash Bros Brawl(cmon worst online functionality ever). So why is this here at number 10? well I have never owned a portable system...I love the ds ...I desperately WANT to love the 3DS...but for now this seems like it could deliver the goods, bringing a touchscreen to Sony as well. Also good work not trying to develop a whole new video category this time around...does anyone even own movies for their psp?...anyone?

9. Luigi's Mansion 3DS
I mentioned above that the 3DS has been having a tough time getting some legs. Nintendo seems to be well aware of that fact and came to E3 with a strong array of 3DS titles that seem to finally embrace the 3D aspect and have delivered stellar visuals and exciting gameplay elements. Do you remember Luigi's Mansion? The game aside, it was an amazing launch title for the Gamecube if only because it showed off the capabilities of the machine. The mood and ghost effects throughout the game added the perfect blend of whimsy and gloom to make the game a joy to look at. The lighting effects were spot on and the flashlight aspect of the game would have blended perfectly with the Wii. The game itself was a bit repetitive for my tastes...and as fun as it was to suck up various objects and shoot them back with my second favorite cleaning utensil, the vaccuum(wet swiffer being my first) you kinda did the same thing over and over again. And don't even think about making the argument that Mario is a bunch of jumping...cause I swear i will find you and smack you. Now Luigi is back in a whole new adventure, this time with a few more tricks and some updated graphics. Now there is a "combo" system that rewards you for sucking up more than one ghost at once. Using the motion sensors the 3DS lets you tilt to the game to look above and below you in order to find more items hiding in the dark. His more famous brother is a bit down the list, but that doesn't take away from being excited about this title.

8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Xbox360/PS3
Everyone loves Black Ops. I'll be honest and say that I only played it briefly and thought it was a nice entry in the franchise, but Modern Warfare 2 is an amazing FPS, which managed to improve on the already great Modern Warfare series. That being said I am extremely excited to have the Call of Duty series back in MW territory, with single player mode that looks to be the most epic yet. Of course people are here for the hours and hours of fragging people across the country online and I'm sure this will deliver. They have upped the ante a bit though and added a new online feature called Spec Ops which takes you and one friend and pits you against wave after wave of advancing enemies. Starting off with just a pistol at first you gain money and supplies the more you kill which leads to more weapons and the ability to call for support. This looks to be a great riff on the classic survival mode we have seen over and over in games. I'm ready to enlist...for the record I love using handguns to take people out.

7. Resistance 3 - PS3
Manfred calls Resistance 2 one of the best FPS games ever made if not the best example of the genre. Manfred I have a feeling your emotions will be similar when this streets in November. The games takes our hero Capelli, through a world in which the US and Europe have already fallen to the Chimera. As he navigates this desolate landscape struggling to find ammo to fill his weapons a constant sense of doom and hopelessness abounds, as the enemy continues their advances without pause. I am a bit late to the PS3 table, it is exciting to be here ready to jump in with everyone else at a title like this. Word is the game has changed little since its previous iteration with its only new quality being a severe increase in hopelessness throughout. For you to come out with that as your new feature is quite confident on the part of studio. I hope they deliver..oh yah f#ck you PS MOVE...Wii still does it better

6.Halo 4 - Xbox360
The only Xbox360 exclusive to get on here...why? cause it's frakking Halo. Not Reach(which was fine...or or ODST...but HALO. Goldeneye started the FPS genre and showed how to properly execute it and create a complex multiplayer experience. Halo perfected it. Not Call of Duty or any of the other myriad options we have now, but Halo. Halo 2 still ranks as my favorite in the series and to have Master Chief returning in a new adventure is cause for excitement any day of the week.

5. Batman Arkham City
Arkham Asylum was the best Batman game ever made. Period. Lego Batman is a close second. It managed to strike on the gritty realism that makes Batman so intriguing, pushing the Nolanverse into even further darker territory by bringing in some of the more supernatural and absurd elements while still keeping the very adult themed Batman, but even then there was plenty of room for improvement, the game ended far too soon and well punch punch punch is fun for a bit but I would have loved to use even more gadgets in much more natural settings. Now the Riddler is a real foe...who rather than create riddles for you has set up death traps across Arkham with which you must save people from. More? How about being able to play as Catwoman as she tries to recover whatever valuables she can...more? Oh yah Hugo Strange and Two Face show up as well. The point is they keep pushing the game to make it feel more and more like you are Batman, forcing yourself to use observational skills as well as your brute strength to solve the game. Really excited for this one, especially after the anti-climactic finale of the last one. I finished wanting more and now its here.

4. Super Mario Bros 3DS
A whole new Mario game just for the 3DS which will include some old school platforming with the new agey search for stars. Sounds like this will take perfect advantage of the 3D engine that the 3DS has to offer. Also word is the Tanooki suit is back? I can't wait to transform into a statue for ....wait what did we use that for again?...I'm a Zelda freak for sure...but its Mario...the best plumber/platformer of all time. Galaxy 2 managed to make platforming relevant in this age of FPS and high def graphics....let's hope Nintendo continues the trend.

3. Mass Effect 3
Like I said I'm a bit late to the PS3 table, but I picked up Mass Effect 2 almost as soon as I got my system. It won multiple awards and boy did it deserve every single one. The game is a Sci Fi shooter RPG and it manages to be the best example of each...or at least one of the best. The game is so engrossing and so complex, it allows you to make your own way as different decisions affect the outcome of your story, all the while providing lightning fast fight sequences that force you to utilize powers, teammates and different ammo for each weapon. This new edition looks to improve on the perfection that was Mass Effect 2. Making the weapons more customizable, adding more melee capabilities and some stealth abilities including a dive and roll. The story is simple enough the Reapers have made their way to Earth so now Shephard and Co. must save the home planet. Expect plenty of planet hopping still, it's not like Bioware to lessen the scope of their games, especially when this is poised to be the best entry in the franchise. I can't to call Garrus and get in the thick of it.

2. Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword - Wii
I have a triforce tattoo on my wrist. Swan song(as it seems to be since Wii was all but absent this year) or not this is the only game that matters this year. One to one precision? enemies with enhanced combat mechanics? check...first new Zelda for a home console since the launch of Wii?...yah check. Best game of all time is Ocarina of Time....the sequels are all brilliant but nothing comes close to that groundbreaking masterpiece...will this do Ocarina justice? I sure hope so. But no matter what Zelda games are always great. Like i said ONLY GAME THAT MATTERS THIS YEAR.

1. Wii U
The successor to the Wii will have a tablet as the controller. Nintendo is my childhood, and while PS3 is churning out breathtaking graphics, game for game Nintendo still has my heart. They are revolutionaries in the video game business and aside from the lack of quality games for the Wii the ones that they do have(Galaxy, Mario Kart, Twilight Princess, Donkey Kong, Madworld, No More Heroes) are amazing and put most Playstation games to shame. That being said....Nintendo really needs to nail this one. It is a little concerning that after the announcement of this new cosole their shares have dropped almost 5%...needless to say confidence in the company is shaky at best lately, and with good reason. They need to take this amazing hardware(i think) and make sure that it launches with some amazing games and proper support. WiiWare should've been the best ...but they stopped caring and PSN keeps making new games for its store. So what do we know? Well the controller has a camera a mic, dual analog stics, a touch screen...the system will finally run in 1080. One of the demos showed at the conference was of Link battling Gohma(big spider monster) and using the touch screen to changing camera angles or house your item menu. If you think about the possibilities of the DS then you can really start to grasp what Nintendo will be able to do when connected to a system of significantly more power. The Wii was able to bring new gameplay mechanics to a stale environment, I'm hoping this new system will do the same.

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One last thought - seriously a tablet for a controller....I need to see more(oh also I don't own an sorry about the bias shown here)

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