Saturday, June 4, 2011

E3 2011: Impending Doom

Earthquakes are pummeling the world. Tsunamis rage across our seas. That volcano in Iceland with a really long and stupid name too ridiculous to try and spell is preparing for eruption. The zombies are marching. Were the Mayans right? Is this the end? Fire and brimstone, plague and swarm, dogs and cats living together in harmony! The end is near! But who cares, E3 is this week; am I right? If the world really is going to end next year, at least E3 2011 will let us know what games we get to rock out with while the world falls down around our heads. It all starts on Monday, June 6 with conferences from Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo will rocks are socks off with their always entertaining, and usually bizarre, conference on Tuesday. Also don't forget the show itself. If you missed our previous E3 blogs here they are: E3 2011 Preview and A Wii Conversation. Now strap yourself down and bite into that mouth piece; the leather tastes so good. It’s time to take some E3!

Alex: Thanks for that Final Fantasy-esque intro. Before E3 launches and we leave to recharge the four crystals of light, let's do some more fancy conjecturin'. Since we've poked the Wii enough I figure it's time to discuss the other gaming platforms and what to expect from them, as well as what I would like to see.

I don't expect any real hardware announcements this year. MS has unofficially said that the next Xbox won't be out until 2013-2014, so I doubt there will be any info on it. That leaves plenty of room for games. Here's my prediction: there will be shooters. Yes, I am a great fortuneteller. Maybe MS could branch out a little. Before you say anything, no, Fable does not count. If I wanted that many bugs I'd stay at a sleazy motel off the freeway. Chances are if you have a 360 you've already purchased a Kinect or it has completely fallen off of your radar. As a person who fits in the latter category, I'd like to see some games for it outside of dancing, sports, or playing with animals. Perhaps they could make *GASP* real games for it. Unless MS is happy with a gimmicky Wii rip-off. In that case, I'll continue to forget it exists.

The DS has been a rousing success. The 3DS? Not so much. . . (Here's why)
The answer? Well according to that poll Nintendo needs to drop the price and make games for it. It really seems that the 3DS was shoved out the door to try and capitalize on the 3D lust phenomenon. Guess what Nintendo, it's a game system. It needs games. So far almost everything available is a glorified tech demo (Pilotwings) or a remake/re-release (Street FIghter IV, Nintendogs). Where the hell is Mario? on mushrooms I guess. . .

As with the next Xbox, the PS4 won't be out for 2+ years. Copy and paste all the above comments about the Kinect down here for what Sony should do with the Move. The NGP/Vita (just call it the PSP2 dammit!) looks promising. I expect a big push from Sony in regards to the NGP. They haven't made a big deal over it yet but since it's due out this year, I expect some fanfare over it. The handheld looks nice, but it's got 3DS-itis as far as the launch games go. More installments of popular series are expected (Uncharted, CoD, FIFA, Wipeout) and quick money grabs in re-releases such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter IV(which probably has an STD from whoring itself out so much).

Since the Wii 2 and PSP2 will be the only console news, I expect the main focus of this E3 to be games. Pure and simple. If not, this will be a devastatingly bad E3. There's only a handful of games that are due out this year that I even care about, so if we don't get some good game news I'll be pretty disappointed.

Hobo Dan: You’re right; this year is totally about the games. Even with Nintendo bringing a new system to the show everyone wants to know what games it’s going to have. I’m much more interested in Wii 2's games than whatever crackpot new controller it will feature. Imagine Mario, Zelda, Metroid and the rest in full on HD. Imagine all of those characters in a new Smash Bros. game, in HD, fully playable online with voice chat, without tripping! Okay sorry, still having some spill over from last week. But seriously, nothing about Nintendo’s system intrigues me more than the games. Same goes for the other systems, especially knowing they won’t have any hardware announcements. Alex is right; I’m just not looking forward to very many currently announced games. Sure Gears of War 3 looks nice, but I’ll never buy it. The only difference between gears 1, 2 and 3 is the very, very, very weak story. I’ll just jump on a message board to find out what happens; oh wait, no I won’t, because I don’t care.

Speaking of stuff Microsoft over hypes; did you see that Mass Effect 3 is going to play better with kinect? I’m guessing it will be used in some sort of Alien sex scene. Seriously, how much better can a game like that play using motion recognition technology? Will I be able to flip through stat menus with my hand? Probably not, because Mass Effect 3 will be so watered down there will only be one menu screen anyway. That’s another question I have: What’s up with RPG’s getting reduced to their lowest common stat points? Skyrim’s new system will only have three attributes to put points into. Three! You can simplify an RPG all you want, but until it plays itself, you aren’t going to get grandma to buy it. Selling a solid million isn’t good enough anymore. So they push out a fast, watered down, pandering to the masses sequel that is more action/shooter than role playing. Oh, and for you all that think Bioware is going to save us all from World of Warcraft, don’t get too excited. The Old Republic may be set in the Star Wars universe, but it’s still looking like a WoW clone; only with better graphics and cut scenes we will get tired of way too quickly. RPG rant end.

Kinect, at least for me, came way too late (Sony’s Move too). The Xbox 360 is, at max, two years from being replaced. I’m not going to drop cash for an add-on I’ll never use. Besides, Xbox 3 will probably come prepackaged with an upgraded one that makes coffee and watches you poop. Okay it probably won’t make coffee… I'm hoping for some games out of nowhere that can get me excited for the next few years until the Xbox and PS3 die. Wait, am I talking about totally new IP's? Yes I'd like something new to play. What an idea. It seems like we know about all the games on the horizon. In some ways E3 has become useless. So if all this years E3 does is show us more of what we already know about, I'll be very disappointed. So don't make me sad E3, please.

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