Wednesday, June 19, 2013

E3: The Aftermath

So, another E3 completed, this year filled with content regarding new consoles, curbstomping, funny memes and pictures, and borderline irrational reporting. Oh, and games, let's not forget the most important part of a console. So for this post, I dedicate it to what were, in my opinion, the best of the best in E3.

1 . Sony being a massive troll

Need we say anymore? Oh, okay...well, Sony pretty much took what Microsoft said it would do and gave it the finger. No used game blocks, no messy DRM issues (though it's left at the developer's discretion), region-free, and an attractive price point of $399. Publisher choice of DRM usage and PS+ subscription required to play online notwithstanding (though this latter part may not be that big of a deal), Sony confirmed what should be done for a video game console: an unrestricted piece of hardware capable of playing your library.

Though Microsoft has recently battled back...

2. Bayonetta 2 shaping up to be very delicious

Can I have you, please?

I have a confession, Bayonetta: I haven't finished Bayonetta yet. I'm sorry, love! I've had you for three years, but other games come between us. But then you released that trailer for Bayonetta 2 and it's making me hold off on selling my 360. I must finish you; I must master the art of the hack-and-slash type of game because my goodness, the Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 is shaping up to be marvelous. Giant demons fighting on top of fighter jets and buildings,

Oh, it's totally ok if you're not in the next Smash Bros. by the way.

3. The Legend of Zelda; twice in one year!

I need my Zelda. Now. Gimme.

I don't feel obligated to tell you why: it's Zelda. That's all that matters.

Ok, then. Pretty much, if it wasn't for Link to the Past, I wouldn't be a gamer (or Zelda fan for that matter) today. The sense of familiarity from the over world will feel nice and Zelda games (minus Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) have always kept me coming back for more. What other hidden things will this 3DS game bring for us?

Of course, we can't forget that Wind Waker HD is coming out this year. A revamped Triforce quest, new boating mechanics, Miiverse interaction, redone Tingle Tuner, and an upscaling to HD should do wonders for this charming (and violent, look at that ending!) game.

Sailing once again...

4. Super Smash Bros. is bombing, psychotic, and fit

How do you make the fans swoon? You include the Blue Bomber, the most requested third-party character after the revelation of Solid Snake during the revelation trailer of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. With Sonic's inclusion to the mix, fans were constantly begging series creator Masahiro Sakurai for more third-party characters, the most requested being Mega Man. The fans went nuts at this revelation and yet still, they want more characters to brawl against the likes of Mario, Link, Samus, Pikachu, Kirby, and other series regulars. I've seen some more modest requests like asking for Snake and Sonic back to some of the more outlandish ones, like Naruto of manga fame.

Well, let's just say Sakurai went full on troll crazy with the other two revelations.

I'm glad I've never played Animal Crossing now...

I'm feeling the burn!

What other zaniness will the next Smash Bros. (both for Wii U and 3DS) bring? Just hope it's a game that is full of general cursing, bad mouthing, cheering, and laughing; in other words: FUN!

5. Destiny is calling, it wants to be played

Something about this game just makes it look so good. The open world feel of it, the sense of familiarity from various games such as Mass Effect, and the intriguing storyline. And of course, Bungie is one of the more popular video game creators out there; they're usually good at giving back to their fans (tenfold). I have little doubt that this game will be a success (and have a slim hope on seeing it on Wii U).

6. Star Wars: Battlefront (is it 3 or just reimagined?) by DICE

Look, I like the Battle of Hoth; really, I do! But isn't it getting awfully overplayed? Still, I guess we should be thankful that the game was revived...or maybe DICE is simply touching up what was originally finished up. Hope to see more of this in the future.

7. Nintendo is a child

And that's a good thing. When the other two console makers forget that it was kids who made the gaming industry the success it is today, you'll end up with copy after copy of brown colored American hero shooters that seem to plague consoles. This is one of the reasons I prefer to game on Nintendo over the other two; though it may miss out on what some call "crucial" games, I'm not crying. I like charm, wit, and an overall fun time in my games. It just depends on how you find yourself enjoying entertainment. Yeah, I guess I am old fashion.

What a bunch of loonies...

8. Microsoft Xbox One(Hole)

On May 21st, Microsoft decided that a VCR looking, draconian DRM enabled*, social media hog, TV within a TV device known as the Xbox One (hope the average consumer doesn't confuse it with the first one!) would be the next wave of gaming. And who knows, maybe the average consumer wanted these things. What I can tell you is that it's not what gamers want out of their consoles.

How about supporting the fanbase who made the Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE such a success (I'm not looking at you, prepubescent 13 year old shouting racial and sexual slurs over me kicking your ass at Call of Duty) by providing what a gaming console should do: play games! Crimson Dragon looks to make good use of the watchful eye of the Kinect sensor.Meanwhile, Killer Instinct made many fans of the original happy...until it was discovered that the game was pay-to-play title. In other words, one can download the game for free, but with only one character available from the start, they must pay to play the other fighters. Showing off the impending Halo was nice, but it might just make gamers a bit impatient waiting for it (I should know; I get that way with Zelda). Basically, third parties were on board, none more than EA which promises the best and early content on Xbox One. However, price wise, we'll see if the unit can move at $499 with the help of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts (both titles available on the 360 too...).

Basically, the worst enemy of the Xbox One (aside from it's terrible features in contrast to the PS4) is Microsoft PR. When you have the head of a company, such as Don Mattrick, stating that if you don't have internet, you should settle for an Xbox 360 or stating that all the Xbox One packs (bad features and all) is worth $499, you need to kick them out ASAP. It's kinda like what Nintendo expected after the success of the Wii and DS; instant success without thinking straight. What happens if the console doesn't sell? Will EA do what they did to Nintendo; pull out support until more units are moved (I doubt it). Will Microsoft sell off its gaming aspects (lolno) and simply drop out of the console race? Will anyone buy an Xbox One?!

*As of today, Microsoft has removed the restrictive DRM from the Xbox One. Looks they realized the 12-foot hole would be too much too scale so they've tried using that shovel as a step to get out of the hole (i.e. they listened to the complaints and are attempting to appease. However, some features are going to be withheld and in order to remove the restrictive DRM, one must download a patch. Will this be enough to sway the fans back to their console? Maybe it should be renamed to be the Xbox OneEighty.

"Like me...please?"

9. Metal Gear Solid 5, starring Jack Bauer

The first game Microsoft showed off at its presser happened to be a series that has stuck around the Playstation brand for at least the past two decades. Oh sure, Metal Gear had its roots in Nintendo consoles and compilations, ports, and side games have appeared on other consoles. But a brand new Metal Gear  game needed to be shown off, one that wouldn't only be seen on Sony's brand but rather also Microsoft's. Enter Metal Gear Solid 5.

"Look Ma! I can hide on the side of my horse!"

Sneaking's back. Shooting's back. Convoluted story's back. Cheesy dialogue's back. Weird characters are back. David not. The titular voice actor of Solid Snake was finally confirmed to not be voicing protagonist Big Boss in this pre/sequel(?) after providing the voice in Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, and Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (not to mention being the voice of Solid Snake). Instead, we're going to be treated to the delectable hymn that is Kiefer Sutherland's screaming voice (remember 24?). Will it work out in the end? Some gamers are bummed about the change, particularly since Mr. Hayter said he was coming back but series creator Hideo Kojima stating that he wasn't. Hmm...Snake confirmed for the next Smash Bros. voiced by Hayter?

10. Pokemon X/Y, because face it, your journey to "Catch 'Em All" will never end

Nintendo had a roundtable regarding the upcoming generation of Pokemon and discussed new features such as character customization, confirming speculation of a new type, and new forms of battle such as 5-on-one and sky battles. As a Pokemon fan, the idea of a character customization is nice (the female trainer looks better than the male one) and the new formats of battle are ok (gonna beat up 5 God Pokemon, Bidoof, in one go!). But what caught my attention was the confirmation of the Fairy-type and retyping of some older Pokemon a-la-Magnemite; conversely, Jigglypuff, Gardevoir, and Marill.

Now, why do I care about this type? It means I can go full on geek mode as I prepare for next year's Pokemon VGC. Will I care for Sylveon's stats to make it on the team. Oh, but it'll surely carry Helping Hand and that's a great way to boost her partner's attack. Will the Fairy-type resist the Dragon-type? What does this mean for the greatest Pokemon to exist, Garchomp? What can Sylveon learn? When will Marill and the majority of Johto Pokemon stop sucking (never)?! Why am I such a Pokemon breeder?!

Because I am.
Normal/Fairy; Psychic/Fairy; Fairy; Water/Fairy...or maybe I'm looking too much into this.

11. Safety in sequels!

CoD: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 and Assassins Creed 4 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Killzone: Shadow Fall and oh my! Sequels running rampant around E3 is nothing new but people still complain (or cheer). But its funny, the same people cheering for a new Battlefield bemoan Nintendo for pulling out another Mario game in the form of Super Mario 3D World. There are a few things about this. First, if something works, of course a company is going to keep going for it until it doesn't. Second, how about playing the game before knocking it? Third, if you're gonna bitch about sequels, do it for all of them, not just selectively. And fourth, if you don't like the game, don't pay attention to it.

Now that that's out of the way...I will say that there was plenty of safety amongst the gaming companies, though the spotlight shone on Nintendo more. Of course, with waning third-party support, Nintendo has to show what the Wii U can do by putting out its IPs. However, many weren't initially thrilled at Super Mario 3D World or the top secret Retro Studios game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. What we do know is that Nintendo games appeal to the masses and are usually worth investing in; Nintendo has been in the business for quite a while now, so they know how to make their games. The problem right now, though, is that they didn't really show what the Wii U is capable of. None of the games are making heavy use of the Game Pad and all the games they showed off feel like safe investments. Take a risk soon, Nintendo, please?

12. Show the Chief, get the crowd nuts

All it took was a little display of Master Chief trudging through a desert, getting confronted by what looked like a massive Promethean tech, and the Chief pulling out the chip that held Cortana's essence (now held in the form of dog tags) was enough to get a rouse out of the Microsoft audience and speculating when 343 Industries will release Halo 5. Even I'm intrigued by what's to come with the next title (though I'm not rushing to buy an Xbox One any time soon)!