NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

E3 2009: Sony Press Conference

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Damn it is nice to end on a good note! Sony’s press conference once again delivers. Bear in mind I’m no fanboy, I love my PSX and PS2 like anyone else and I think the PS3 is a good console picking up steam. I also own an Xbox and a 360 and a Wii and a GameCube and a DS. I’m a gamer and that’s it.

But now that I’ve seen all of the Big 3 conferences I come out with the same feeling I did last year: Sony tops the show, but not by much. What makes Sony’s conferences so nice is that there are very stylish, they are pro without being pompous or boring (see the Hannah Montana announcements) and they have games. MicroSoft is always close being with usually a bit more games but in terms of the conference itself they fall just a little short. And then, of course, there’s Nintendo, our beloved Nintendo, which has given us cringe-worthy conferences back to back.

But this is about Sony who reminded us nicely that the PlayStation came out 15 years ago… I know right?

Mantra: One Vision

One of the big ‘news’ today that was not software related was the PSP Go! which as Jack Tretton put it is “the worst kept secret of E3“. As a result nothing really new was said on the technical side. It will have 16G of flash memory with possible extension, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
Jack made a point to say that the all-digital console would not replace current PSPs and that all games will be available digitally as well as in UMD format.
They also unveiled Media Go which is an app allowing you to access the PS Store directly from your PC. The PS Store will have new content partners including Showtime and Manga Entertainment.
The PSP Go1 will be available on October 1st for $249.99. No price drop of previous versions was announced.

The other big news was Sony’s motion controller. It was unveiled by Richard Marx, creator of the Eye Toy and is in essence a WiiMote but with a twist or two. First of all it seems to be color-coded so for instance if you waggle the controller while it’s red it will throw a fireball, if it were blue it would be an ice ball. Second and most important it looked very VERY precise during the demo, precise enough to actually write smoothly with.
It’s important to keep in mind that, like Natal, this is still a project in development (this is set to launch in 2010) so neither the design nor the technology is final. both technologies are very impressive and promising but for now Sony’s seem more game-ready.
It will certainly be exciting to see where this goes in the future.

Now let’s move on to the games. Sony had prepared 2 videos featuring all the upcoming games for PSP and PS3 and they also announced 50 PlayStation games coming to the PS Store this year starting with Final Fantasy VII available today! But they also had some more in-depth trailers and demos for several games.

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Sweet gameplay demo with lots of destruction and flying objects everywhere. Awesome dialogue as well.
  • MAG. Live demo of a game session involving 256 players at once! seemed very complex but interesting. There appeared to be a very slight lag in the gameplay though.
  • Gran Turismo PSP. it will be in full 60FPSas shown in the trailer and will feature 800 cars and 35 tracks with 60 variations. You can play with 4 players and will be able to trade cars with others.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Ah now that’s a trailer! Unlike yesterday’s lackluster Rising trailer this one was great. This a “true sequel of the franchise” not a spin-off and the MGS4 team is developing, Kojima will write the script and produce. The game will take place in the 70s, ten years after MGS3. It is due in 2010.
  • Resident Evil Portable. Not much was revealed except that it will be a complete new game.
  • Agent. A new Rockstar property that will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and will be set in the late 1970s.
  • Assassin’s Creed II. Awesome demo and great trailer! you will not start out as an assassin but will become with the help of people like Leonardo da Vinci! You will have more diversity and more options available to you. Double Headed Blade! The game will be out the Holiday season along with Bloodlines for the PSP. Out November 17.
  • Final Fantasy XIII. A new great trailer but with so-so dubbing, not bad but not great either. i’m still on my knees for Japanese VO.
  • Final Fantasy XIV. Wow now that was unexpected. The trailer reveals that it’s actually an MMO and so a spiritual sequel to FF XI. The game will be exclusive to PS3.
  • Mod Nation Racers. The new game in the Play, Create, Share line. It is a fun kart game with more adult graphics. The very impressive demo showed the track creation tools which offer tons of options and can be tried instantly.
  • The Last Guardian. Otherwise known as Project Trico. The trailer was a gorgeous graphical update of the one we saw a few weeks ago, though a few scenes were added at the end.
  • Gran Turismo 5. A decent trailer shows WRC and Nascar but not much else was revealed as usual.
  • God of War III. An amazing demo!! Brutal ,bloody, gorgeous. The game is the final chapter of the trilogy. Coming March 2010.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Industry News, PS3 News, PSP News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E3 2009: Nintendo Press Conference

e32009_073500x375I don’t know what it is. Is it my skewed view? Is it that we have loved Big N for so long that we expect nothing short of perfect from him? Is it that we are being too harsh? or Is it that the Nintendo Press Conference was really disappointing?

Whatever the case may be the conference left me with mixed feelings. I was mostly boring and there were some announcements that can only be seen as a joke (I’ll get to that). But there were also some good and a few great announcements no matter how jaded we may have become.

Mantra: Everyone’s Game

NB: Keep in my mind that I will add/update links as HD videos pop up on the web.

A bulk of the conference was spent crunching numbers and explaining why Wii is #1 and such. It was boring to a fault. MicroSoft got it right with there “Showing Not Telling” philosophy.
Nintendo talked a lot about there Wii Motion Plus with some more gameplay from Wii Sports Resort (Archery and Basketball) and while we are all excited about this addon (aside from the attached rubber case) the way Reggie Fils-Aime talked about it made me cringe. He said “you cannot SEE the difference” and quickly queued in a trailer which seemed ironic to me… He said “every mistake you would make in the real world will reflect in the game” but then how is this a game… and is Motion Plus really that precise??
I know and understand I am really nitpicking here but that’s what I’ve come to these past 2 years with Nintendo.
And for all my criticism I’m convinced that Wii Sports Resorts will be very fun to play! It is just there delivery that annoyed me. Cammie Dunaway I guess felt annoyed that everyone last year made fun of her lame jokes and so this year she was all business. And she looked it too. Not a smile and every sentenced delivered as if we were rebellious teenager who need to hear the truth but so sick of telling it that you’d rather walk away.
Again I may be over-analyzing but I really felt this way.

Anyway enough of this. There wasn’t any really big new hardware or partnership announcement (aside from the fact that pictures taken with your DSi can now be uploaded to Facebook) so let’s get on with the games.

  • New Super Mario Bros.Wii. Fairly exciting looks very similar to the DS game playable with 4 players. Coming Holiday 2009. Here’s the trailer.
  • Wii Fit Plus. It’s Wii Fit with new activities….YAWN! Cammie actually said “It’s Brain Age for your backside” and “it’s the game that will help the Wii stay at the top of mind“. Sad. It’s coming Fall 2009.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. A new game in the RPG series looks really cool with a trailer to boot. The game will come out on DS in Fall 2009.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2. Should be the biggest announcement of the day but it looks exactly like the original except you can play with Yoshi. Still it’s Mario and a nice trailer to go with it.
  • Golden Sun. A new Golden Sun for the DS!!! This is all that’s know for now. Check out the nice trailer.
  • Metroid: Other M. A new Metroid for the Wii!!!! Looks like a 3D platformer. Great trailer.
  • Dead Space: Extraction. Nice trailer with great ambiance except for the sound glitch. Looks promising.
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Likewise looks promising. Nice trailer with some gameplay.
  • The Conduit. The graphics look nice in the trailer but that’s about it. Nothing new.
  • Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers. Not much is revealed in the trailer but it looks like there is some aiming/targeting involved.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. Showed a nice trailer and will be released on September 29.
  • Wii Vitality Sensor. The daily joke. Iwata unveiled this new ‘game’ in the Brain Age, Wii Fit series. It looks ridiculous, it attaches to your finger and………reads your pulse. That’s it. Pathetic.
  • Style Savvy. An import of Girl’s Mode in Japan. It’s a dress up game for teen girls. At least the music in the trailer is cool.
  • Women’s Murder Club: Games of Passion. Based on the James Patterson novels the trailer shows the game which seems to be a mix between interactive novel and adventure game. It could turn out pretty fun.
  • C.O.P.: The Recruit. Oh well, the trailer started out really nicely but then the game looks very average so wait and see.
  • Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Minis March Again. It will be available only through download on DSi Ware next week. Here’s the trailer.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | DS News, Industry News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Best of the Rest From E3 2009

In this post I will post everything that impressed me that didn’t come from the Big 3 conferences. So this includes EA, UbiSoft and of course the various booths throughout the floor.

Let’s dive right in!

Star Wars: The Old Republic
OMG!!!!!! As soon as i saw all the Jedi walk in I knew it. But still the trailer blew me away. It is as high quality as a Blizzard trailer would be and that is the biggest praise I can give it. Watch and rewatch it!

The Secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition
Yes Yes Yes!! This looks and sounds amazing!!!!!! I’m a huge LucasArts and adventure games fan so this is just amazing. The instant switch between classic and special edition is truly impressive

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Sweet trailer. I loved the first one and have been expecting this ever since so this is great news!

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
Sequel to FF IV available through nine episodes on WiiWare

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows
Amazing trailer!! Potentially a great 3D Castlevania at last. Kojima Productions is working on it. It looks really polished and the gameplay looks nice.

Academy of Champions
This trailer caught my eye. I’m not a big sports fan but I like the Harry Potter meets Captain Tsubasa feel of the game.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Another Warhammer 40,000 another great trailer! And this game is an action-RPG so it’s more up my alley.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, DS News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments