Tuesday, June 22, 2010

E3: Sony Conference

Killzone 3 in 3D was the first game trailer to take the spotlight. The audience put on their 3D glasses to enjoy the arctic theme of the new game, along with jetpacks for some first-person platforming. Killzone fans won't be dissapointed.

The PlayStation Move was demoed with a new game called Sorcery. A third-person magic game basically. You cast spells with your Move and the Wand ingame follows your movements. One of the cool aspects of the game is the ability to combine your spells to create some real havok. The Move seemed to work really well. Another game shown had various characters from popular Sony games such as Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank and Sly Racoon in one game called Heroes on the Move. Use the Move as your weapon in this platformer. Looking good. The Move controller will cost $49.99, but that's if you already own the PlayStation Eye. So no, it's not cheap. Other Move titles announced include Time Crises: Raging Storm (yay!), SingStar Dance and Echochrome 2. All these titles will be $39.99 when launched.
EA came on stage to show off Medal of Honor. The trailer certainly doesn't dissapoint and the PS3 limited edition version will include a bonus game of Medal of Honor: Frontline. EA also showed off the new Tiger Woods game with the Move, again it seems to work really well. A patch update off PSN will add the Move functionality. Finally, with Dead Space 2, the PS3 version will also include a PS3 port of the Wii game, Dead Space Extraction.

This time their was no new hardware unveiled on the PSP front. Though with the 3DS being shown this year, you can bet Sony will be showing the PSP2 at E3 2011. A trailer with new games was shown, such as the exclusive God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Gravity Crash Portable, 3rd Birthday, EyePet and Invizimals. 70 new games for the PSP are coming this year.

LittleBigPlanet 2 gameplay was shown. It pretty much lets you create any kind of game you want instead of just a platformer. Very impressive showing.

A subscription based model for PSN known as PlayStation Plus was unveiled. for a $50USD a year fee, gamers can access exclusive content for the PS3, download some games for free that would normally incur a charge and get a discount on downloads. Apparently you can only keep the content as long as you are subscribed to the service. Not sure how this works.

Having bashed the PS3 console for a long time, it was a surprise to see Gabe Newell show up and announce that Portal 2 is coming to PS3 as well as Steam. Not only that, it's also going to be the best version apparently. For someone who once said the PS3 is a "waste of time", I found it quite amusing.

Next up was Final Fantasy XIV, the only MMO. The trailer didn't show much, it looks pretty sure and there will be exclusive content for the PS3. Speaking of exclusive content, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, will also have content for the PS3 only.

Gran Turismo 5...again. Yes, another trailer. But this time, finally, we get a release date. Set your calenders for November 2.

Now we have Infamous 2, Cole will have more powers, not just lightning and will be in a new city. More of the same, should be great.

After many denials David Jaffe shamelessly unveiled a new Twisted Metal game for PS3. A Sweet Tooth van rolled on the stage with Sweet Tooth himself leering at the crowd to much applause. Only a bit of the multiplayer game was shown, but it's looking to be quite a blast with 16 players battling it out. Graphics were still pretty rough for a PS3 game, but this should improve by them time the game is released in 2011. A nice way to end Sony's E3 showing and certainly made Microsoft's show the worst by far in comparison.

E3: Nintendo Conference

After a few years of lackluster showings, Nintendo came out all guns blazing with the best show at E3 2010. Something to make everyone happy was shown, with plenty of new games in everyone's favorite franchises.

Shigeru Miyamoto showed off Zelda Skyward Sword. The game looks really fun and requires you to use the Wiimote as your sword and shield. However, it was quite embarassing I'm sure, as the motion controls did not work on stage properly, apparently from interference. We were assured that the controls work perfectly fine when playing the game.Mario Sports Mix looks to continue the tradition of Wii Sports with Nintendo characters. Play a whole heap of different sports that Mario has not starred in before. These include Volleyball, Hockey, Dodgeball and Basketball. It looks okay and will surely appeal to the Wii Sports fans.

Next up was Wii Party. Basically a party game with over 70 mini-games using Mii characters. Another casual game.

Did you enjoy Just Dance? Well, you'll be happy to know the sequel was shown with more of the same. It contains over 40 songs and now 8 players can play the game.

After two Golden Sun games on the GBA, we're finally treated to a Golden Sun game on the DS. The trailer showed more of what Golden Sun fans know and love, except now with full 3D graphics. It's called Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and comes out this holiday season.

A sequel to an exclusive Goldeneye 007 game for the Wii was a surprising announcement. The style and gameplay of the game very much seems to mimic the N64 predecessor.

Disney showed off an interesting platformer starring Mickey Mouse. Epic Mickey allows you to paint or erase the game world to solve the puzzles and move forward in the game. It's exclusive to the Wii and looking great already.

Kirby is being brought back to life on the Wii console after being absent so many years. Kirby Epic Yarn looked like an interesting and unique 2D style platformer.

After being out a while in Japan and selling millions of copies, Dragon Quest IX is finally coming to the West on July 11th.

Another big surprise was the announcement of the return of Donkey Kong Country. Even though a 3D Donkey Kong game was released way back on the N64, this game retains the 2D gameplay of the SNES generation, but with 3D graphics of course. It's being developed by the same team that did the Metriod Trilogy on Gamecube and Wii and looks very promising.

Metroid M by Team Ninja was one of the coolest games shown. The view is no longer in first-person, but more traditional 2D and third-person style. This is one to look out for in August 31st.

The 3DS was shown and looks like an incredible piece of hardware. A 3.5" stereoscopic widescreen LCD handles the 3D without the need for glasses. The 3D effect can be controlled with a slider. How much depth you want is up to you. Nintendo claims that the screen did not work well as a touch screen, especially with the 3D. Therefore only the bottom screen will be touch sensitive, just like on the original DS. A cool feature is the two cameras on case which can take 3D photos. Unfortunately these are still only 0.3MP. There's also a camera on the front for DSi compatibility.

The system has improved Wi-Fi and communication with other 3DS devices and can also be used to watch 3D movies. An analog stick has been added to the controls and the system is compatible with all DS and DSi games. Not much more information was given. Battery life is still unknown, as is release date and price.

Many were pleased to hear the next announcment of Kid Icarus' return and to the newly unveiled 3DS, no less! The trailer showed a great looking action game with sword and shooting elements both on the ground and in flight. Graphics wise, the game was about Wii standards, but considering it's an early launch title, it may improve. Kid Icarus Uprising is coming soon.

Nintendo did an excellent job this year and many will agree they had the best show this year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E3: Microsoft Conference

Microsoft started off the biggest gaming event on the planet for this year. The event is sure to bring some nice surprises and Microsoft had a few of their own. While, their conference wasn't bad, it was much to Kinect (Natal) focused. In a way it was a bit disappointing and I thought more exclusive titles would be revealed, but there was nothing really new on offer.
The opening game shown was Call of Duty: Black Ops. The trailer which we've seen before E3 was shown. Followed by actual gameplay, with a cool looking helicopter scene. Hopefully the single player experience is more fun than Modern Warfare 2's lackluster campaign. Microsoft announced an exclusive deal with Activision which gaurantees all Call of Duty downloadble content to be available on Xbox Live first for the next three years.

Hideo Kojima took the stage to show off Metal Gear Rising. It looked excellent, I have to admit. Being able to choose the trajectory of your sword swing in slow-motion to cut up your enemies or even cars in any way you see fit seems like a fun concept indeed. All exclusive were shown after this.

Cliff Bleszinski showed off 4-player co-op in Gears of War 3. Apart from the addition of two extra players in co-op, two female soldiers, new melee moves and some mutating Locust, it looks like more of the same. Hopefully it won't become repetitive as quickly as the second game.

Peter Molyneux showed a trailer of Fable III. Looked good, no ingame footage though.

A live-action trailer with a bloody gladiator was shown. Not much info except the name, Codename: Kingdoms and the Crytek logo at the end. It's piqued my curiosity.

Halo: Reach was shown next. A trailer of the campaign ingame and also included space combat. Looks good, but nothing really new.

Kinect received a lot of conference time. The camera which allows you to control your Xbox with your voice or gestures is a fairly cool idea. The games look extremely casual though. You can watch a movie or video chat using just your voice and hand movements, no controller required.

ESPN is coming to Xbox Live and it's free for gold members. Sports fans will be happy as long as they have a decent connection.

A girl played with a Tiger on screen using Kinect in a game called Kinectimals. Microsoft is definitely trying to gain the children and family market. Kinect Sports, a direct ripoff of Wii Sports was presented, followed by Kinect Adventures which has a whole host of mini games.

The Microsft equivelent of Wii Fit was up next, with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft. Fitness fanatics will love it, gamers will probably avoid it.

Harmonix showed off a dancing game called Dance Central. The demo was impressive and it looks like a viable way of learning how to dance without the embarrassment of onlookers.

A Star Wars Kinect game trailer which may finally allow you to swing that imaginary light saber and see it on screen. Let's hope it plays as good as it looks.

A Forza type game was shown, again using Kinect, and allows you to drive with an imaginary steering wheel and move the ingame camera view by tilting your head. Interesting, but no substitute for a real steering wheel I say.

Finally, something really cool. A new black slim Xbox 360! It looks to be about 33% smaller and is whisper quiet. It comes with five USB ports. Comes with a 250GB HDD and the latest Wi-Fi built in, all for the same price of the current console at $299. The new power supply will be tiny in comparison to the old. Will be available as soon as next week!

A competent, but slightly lacking display. Hopefully Nintendo and Sony will drop some serious bombshells!