Jun 07 2012
Who Won E3?
Ironically when it comes to the big three this year (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft) Iíd have to honestly say none of them won E3. Microsoft failed to really show us anything new game wise from them. Instead they showed off Halo 4 which is sure to be a huge success and Gears of War: Judgment. Both of these titles we knew were already currently in development for awhile now. Sure they showed off Assassinís Creed 3, Tomb Raider, & Splinter Cell Blacklist which all look amazing but those arenít exclusive to the system. Weíre judging their press conference solely on exclusives and their tech. I will admit that SmartGlass is a big feather in Microsoftís cap itís their answer to the Wii U and it seems to do what the Wii U canít do. I think that will definitely help increase sales and itís nice to see that Microsoft is integrating tablet and mobile device functionality into the mix.
As for Sony they had a pretty strong press conference since they didnít really have a tough act to follow. They showed off strong exclusive titles like The Last of Us and God of War Ascension which wowed everyone. But they failed to really focus on the PSVita, in fact if you werenít at E3 you wouldnít even know that thereís several solid vita titles coming out in the next couple of months which include Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, Gravity Rush, Playstation All Stars, and Little Big Planet. Iím baffled as to why Sony didnít even talk about the Vita in their press conference much? The most we saw on stage from the Vita was its cross play functionality which definitely is an interesting conception that Iíd like to see more of in the future. But virtually the Vita got no attention from Sony which is not a good business move by a company trying to establish its new handheld in a market dominated by Nintendo.
As for Nintendo well they were the biggest disappointment. Nintendo didnít have a strong showing at E3 some may argue they did their entire press conference backwards. They showed off their major titles for the Wii U at the beginning and then the whole conference tanked towards the end. Itís pretty obvious Nintendo thought Nintendo Land was going to get them the same buzz Wii Sports did during the Wiiís unveiling but the exact opposite happened.
So if I had to choose out of the big three as to who won E3 it would normally be Sony. But honestly the true winner of E3 this year would actually have to go to Ubisoft a third party developer. Ubisoft had the best E3 press conference they show off various titles they were developing, went into more detail about Wii U than Nintendo actually did in terms of gameplay on stage, they showed off Rayman Legends which looks amazing, and the won the crowd over with Watch Dogs which generated the most buzz coming out of E3. So Ubisoft wins E3 the big three were very disappointing this year but Sony had the stronger showing of the three.
Best in Show:
Watch Dogs, the game looks amazing, the gameplay shown off is intriguing, the fact that this title is apparently going to be open world opens up endless possibilities. The way you can interact/hack the NPC in the game is interesting. Most importantly itís a brand new fresh Ip something that is rare in this day and age. Most places will probably pick Halo 4 as Best in Show, which is hard to argue but I personally was looking forward to seeing something fresh and not just a sequel to an existing franchise which is why I went with Watch Dogs as best in show.
Halo 4, God of War Ascensions, and The Last of Us. Despite both Halo 4 and God of War Ascensions being sequels they are guaranteed to do well for their retrospective systems. Sure they are basically the same game youíve been playing for ages but theyíre still fun to play and solid additions to solid franchises. The Last of Us looks very impressive I was blown away by the game at E3 but unfortunately it falls into the more of the same category it reminds me of Uncharted way too much with that style of gameplay. Iím still looking forward to playing the game upon its release but it didnít win me over like Watch Dogs did.
On the MMO side of things I have to give an honorable mentioned to The Elder Scrolls Online looks like a fun MMO to play but sadly there wasnít enough shown off for the game to be able to declare it best in show. On the platformer side a genre I love that gets no attention anymore by developers Iíd have to say Rayman Legends deserves an honorable mention. Iím really looking forward to that game.
South Park the Stick of Truth, I had been following the game for awhile. I really didnít have high expectations for the game considering every South Park game that has come out, has been utter crap. But for once weíre getting a game that is true to South Park and seems like a lot of fun. This game definitely one of the titles to keep an eye on this year.
Worst in Show:
Hmm thereís a lot of contenders to the throne but at the moment Iíd have to say the worst game on the show floor is Nintendo Land. It has a few decent mini games but Itís a title virtually no one is interested in whether youíre a journalist or a consumer. Sure some of the mini games look like they can be fun for a few minutes. But the game in general feels more like a gigantic tech demo for the Wii U as oppose to being a full fledge game. Itís a title you pick up for a few seconds have some fun and after an hour youíll never play it again until you have a drunken party. Thereís some confusion as to whether this will be packaged with the Wii U or if itíll be a retail game.
I hope for Nintendoís sake itís packaged with the Wii U, I donít realistically see enough interest in this game to warrant it being retailed.
Most Disappointing Game:
Most disappointing game would have to be Call of Duty Black Ops 2 which is guaranteed to get me flamed. Itís basically another amazing first person shooter game in a market thatís over saturated with first person shooters. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 hasnít done much to reinvent the franchise. Sure itís set in the future but instead of trying to improve the single player campaign the major focus still is on multiplayer. Most will argue you donít play Call of Duty games for the single player campaign but in my eyes this Call of Duty installment feels like just an ďupdated versionĒ of Call of Duty Black Ops.
I feel like itís time to retire this franchise.
What I would like to see from the Gaming Industry:
I say this every year and Iíll say it again, the gaming industry needs to move away from producing nothing but first person shooters. The market is oversaturated with titles like these and since thereís such a strong following for it by fans of that genre developers continue to clogged the market with more of them. If youíre not a FPS fan like myself thereís not really much out there for you to play. Your options are pretty limited when it comes to games that donít feature gun play in them.
Yes we have a few action adventure titles out there but it would be nice to find a title to play that doesnít involve me or my character using a gun in it. Iíd like to see titles that arenít filled with nothing but violence. Sure violent games can be fun and relieve stress. But Iím tired of games like this being all flashy or should I say over the top, with no substance at all. I want stories that are engaging, games that are challenging, and ones that actually seem intelligent. I feel like not every game has to use over the top violence or gun play for that matter to tell a story.
I hope one day major game developers realize that thereís more to gaming than first person shooters and games involving gun play. Thereís clearly a growing trend for casual games to make a comeback considering the sales of IOS games like angry birds and PSN/XBLA. Iíd like to see a reemergence of Platformers & RPGs. Especially platformers considering back in the 80ís there were tons of them and most were more challenging than the crap being put out today.
This is why I think the Wii ironically did so well in the beginning of its life cycle. It provided an alternative to the nonstop assault of FPS and games involving guns. Sadly though they had the wrong idea with the Wii by going the strictly casual route. In order for Wii U to be a huge success with casual gamers & core gamers, it needs to be able to supply every type of gamer with what they need. Thatís the problem with every system currently out on the market today, none of them cater to the ďall around gamerĒ they donít have a perfect balance of game genres.
I hope come next generation developers realize they can maximize profits by laying off FPS and games involving gun play. Iím not saying donít make these games but make less of them so that weíre not over exposed to them. Too much exposure to one type of thing is never good in the business world eventually consumers get burnt out and stop purchasing their products.