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E3 2011 (Part 1)
Portal 2, Valve and the fanbase
50th rant special!
The Console War
Welcome back to the second part of the E3 2011 recap. This time we will cover Sony and Nintendo. Sony was next up on stage and the first thing they had to mention was the PSN outage from a while back. Can't blame them, though since it was a hard time for Sony, the third party publishers and the players and they wanted to take the right opportunity to apologise for the inconvenience (my rant on Sony is on its way). They said what they were going to show at E3 would hopefully bring back those who gave up with Sony after the PSN outage but asides from Uncharted 3, I wouldn't feel at loss if I sold my PS3 after the incident (which I wouldn't since I'm not hasty with getting rid of consoles). Sony provided such a dull show once again and there isn't any new exclusives they announced at E3 to look forward to asides from one game.
What we'd expected and dreaded from Sony's conference was more 3D crap and more PS Move. Neither are anything worth of great value for the console and can easily live without. Sony did mention the prices for their 3DTV products would drop in price but not even that is convincing. I'm happy enough with having a 23" HDTV in one of my bedrooms. The other boring stuff from Sony was the Playstation Suite and this was something to do with having Playstation stuff on mobile phones? Sorry, I'm not a user of these new mobile phones and only have a standard Nokia phone so I switched off here.
The only games that stuck out to me were Sly Cooper and BioShock Infinite. The former I hadn't even heard of the series before while BioShock Infinite will be multi-platform. However, it may be that I'll get BioShock Infinite on PS3 after the disaster that struck BioShock 2 with Games for Windows Live login and being a broken piece of shit. As for Sly Cooper, not knocking the game here but chances are I may not even look into this until five years time. I'm far too slow with gaming these days. Although Infamous 2 was shown at E3, the damn game came out the day after the conference so what was the point of even showing it? They may as well show Duke Nuke Forever which came out on the same day in Europe as Infamous 2. Why was this shown instead of a single second clip of the new Twisted Metal game? Surely that's one of Sony's most anticipated games right now.
Most of the games Sony showed were rather bland. We had Resistance 3, some space shooter game that I refuse to even remember due to blandness, a new Star Trek game that blends in with these games and some Harry Potter reject for the PS Move. Too much of it is forgettable but at least there's less to catch up on. I feel I'm falling behind with new releases too much already.
The big announcement for Sony's conference was of course the new portable named PSVita. Quite a bad name if you ask me considering its similarity to Vista. Name aside, this seems to join the trend with iPhones and such so I'm not sold. I want to see some games worth getting for the PSVita since there wasn't enough on the PSP to justify a purchase for it. Sure, the PSP had some Metal Gear Solid games, some Final Fantasy (especially Tactics remake) and Silent Hill: Origins but half of them migrated to console and I think more will follow eventually. Maybe if there's enough games that are worth a damn on the PSVita besides the Uncharted game, then I'll consider the PSV.
Overall, Sony's conference was boring as hell. The 3D advertisements, PS Move, PS Suite, PSVita and most games were nothing but a snorefest. All that caught my interest were Uncharted 3, Sly Cooper and BioShock Infinite. Sure, there's Twisted Metal to look forward to from them as well but they didn't show the fucking game there! On the bright side, the small amount of games to look forward to shall give me time to catch up on Uncharted 1 and 2 and any other big PS3/360/PC titles I've missed out on.
And last but not least is Nintendo's press conference. Like Sony, Nintendo had something big to announce so I had high expectations for what they were going to offer. To starts things off, Nintendo opened up the show with a full orchestra and to be honest, it was pretty cool to hear and much better than Sony's 3D wankery that was only good for those who were there. Shigeru Miyamoto announced 3DS re-releases of Link's Awakening, Four Swords on DSi (hopefully on 3DS as well) and most of all, Skyward Sword is said to be out for the holidays this year. I should be excited but I still need to finish off Twilight Princess. Still, this is good news assuming there won't be any delays.
Nintendo showed some 3DS games and I'm liking what I saw from them. Mario Kart 3DS is an easy buy providing they don't include too many stupid baby characters from Mario Kart Wii, Starfox 3D is a possible like and should be a step up from Starfox Command while Luigi's Mansion 2, I never played the first one and although it didn't look bad, it's a possible miss considering my slow pace of gaming. The biggest announcement was Super Mario 3DS. What really caught my interest was how it looks like a hybrid of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 64. I'm sure this will be a better combination of gameplay style than the floptastic Metroid: Other M. These games alone give enough light for the 3DS, especially when we'll get some of them this year!
And now for the big announcement from Nintendo. Their new console which is to take serious competition with the PS3 and 360, having HD graphics and is to appeal to the hardcore gaming community. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Wii U... What, seriously? That was the best they came up with naming their new console? At least it's better than just naming the new console Nintendo as previously claimed by Game Informer but this name is still dumb. It sounds like a Wii parody and doesn't even suggest it's the eighth generation of gaming. The Wii U just sounds like a console to catch up with its competitors now that Microsoft has Kinect while PS3 has PS Move.
The controller doesn't even suggest it appeals to non-casual gamers as previously stated. Infact, it looks like a fucking iPad and if you slapped the Apple logo on the handheld (sorry, I meant Wii U controller), sales would skyrocket. The whole idea for having a huge screen on the controller is ridiculous. Not only would the cost of the Wii U be extreme, if Nintendo were going to make such a big controller with a screen, they may as well made this the new handheld console instead of the 3DS.
Surely a new console has new games to look forward to, right? Asides from a few titles that most would be playing on the 360 or PS3 such as Arkham City and Battlefield 3 which will come out before the damn console does, they've got a rocky start for third party titles already. They already announced games may be miles better than all the shovelware crap that filled up the Wii's retail shelves but come on, these are games that many will play already on other consoles beforehand. Just add some good bonus content and we might be good. As for first party games, all they've confirmed so far is a new Super Smash Bros. game (as well as on the 3DS)... You know, I actually hate Super Smash Bros. these days. I can no longer stand the franchise and the third party character suggestions are going to be a pain to hear over the next few years. If anyone dares to say Naruto or Vegeta should be in Super Smash Bros. 4, please allow me to scream like a lunatic.
I'm hoping these are just first impressions and the Wii U will improve from this. The game lineup isn't that promising right now and the price for the Wii U console and controller combined will need us saving up.
Overall, Nintendo's conference was actually the best out of the five. Sure, the new console is very doubtful right now but hopefully things will get better for it. As for the new titles, it's all sounding good except for new Super Smash Bros. and the lack of a new Metroid game (especially the almost forgotten Metroid Dread) is a disappointment but that's just me. Hopefully I will pick these games up somewhere down the road as they deserve the most attention out of everything that was announced from these shows, even if two of them may be just yet more Mario games.
In conclusion, E3 2011's press conferences were all bad for the most part except Nintendo which although offered a console that's giving many gamers huge doubts, at least they're giving the 3DS a good lineup which is what the new handheld really needed. Games worth hyping for is what Sony needs for the PSVita if they want to be competitive in the handheld industry. Ubisoft and EA are hit and miss with their performances but at least some games are on the horizon. Sadly, Microsoft still gives me no interest from what they offer, especially when their last two press conferences have been mostly about the Kinect but at least I saw some footage of Tomb Raider 2011 and hoping it might be worth a damn. Well, same time next year for E3 2012. Can I improve my gaming habits by then? Only time will tell.