NostalGeek

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

E3 2009: Microsoft Press Conference

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Today at 10:30am PST E3 officially launched with the Microsoft press conference. It feature several announcements, some big and some small, some exciting, some yawn-inducing. But overall I think it was a good conference.

Mantra: Showing Not Telling.

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

The big announcement of the conference was Project Natal. The long speculated camera with movement recognition. It turns out it will also feature facial and voice recognition.
They really pushed it with appearances from Steven Spielberg and Peter Molyneux but it was a mixed bag.

The lame painting demo, though somewhat fun gave me the same feeling as Wii Music last year. Completely gimmicky and useless. Not precise enough to be used in games. The Ricochet demo, likewise, was fun in the sense that the girl who did the demo after 5 minutes seemed ready to jump into the shower. So what of hour long sessions…..

The whole Lionhead demo is also bittersweet. On the one hand the demo itself is sad! Following on the whole new stuff for Live, now you don’t need to press a button with Natal voice recognition, you don’t need to see your friends because you have Facebook and Twitter everywhere and with Milo you don’t even need a friend! Sad really.
But on the other hand if you look past the presentation itself. What it offers in terms of new technology, when harnessed, could be amazing in games. Imaging being in Resident Evil 5 and instead of having to go through ammo inventory management hell, you would just say “give my shotgun ammo” and ..voila! Truly an amazing potential that has yet to be developed.
It is after all still a ‘project’ so let us give them the benefit of the doubt.

In other none-straight-game-related stuff, Microsoft announced new partnerships:

  • Last.fm which will allow access to the famous music site. In addition people with gold subscriptions will have access to it all for free. This feels like this year’s Netflix deal.
  • Facebook. This a a pretty big thing if it’s exclusive but all in all it allows you to do what you already do on your PC and Blackberry from your 360. YAY lazy.
  • Twitter. Same as Facebook, nothing to add.
  • Sky TV in the UK which will allow you to watch live TV.
  • All videos will now be available instantly in 1080p. Nice but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The announcements most of the people who may read my blog (however few) are interested in are the games. On that front I thought Microsoft did pretty well so let’s dive in.

  • The Beatles Rock Band. Paul, Ringo and Yoko! Pretty big PR. Check out the amazing game intro. All You Need Is Love is a 360 exclusive and I am so getting this game! I don’t own it yet and the Beatles guitars look awesome. Out 09-09-09!
  • Modern Warfare 2. They showed the long trailer that came out last week but they also had a gameplay demo in the snow with blizzard weather and snowmobile that was awesome!
  • Final Fantasy XIII. It was basically the Japanese demo of the English version with English voices. I’m still praying for VO in the game though. They unveiled Odin which was cool. It’s set to release in Spring 2010.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction. They showed a very nice demo and trailer. The game looks darker and features some new stuff like an EMP grenade and ‘Mark and Execute’ which allows you to sort of set a sequence and get it going for a fast kill.
  • Left 4 Dead 2. Featured a great trailer and a release date for October of this year.
  • Halo 3: ODST. Another sweet trailer, Bukcle up and prepare to drop! Some gameplay footage in New Mombasa as the Rookie. The game will have a flashback systema nd you will play several ODSTs to build up the plot.
  • Halo: Reach. Unveiling of the game. Set around the time of the novel ‘Fall of Reach’ which was a prequel to the game. No surprise another nice trailer. Set to release in 2010 and there will be a beta access with ODST.
  • Alan Wake. At last!!!! A very nice footage of the game. Walking around at night with a tryst flashlight. It reminded my a lot of Alone in the Dark on the DC. You seem to be facing ghost which are neutralized with a sort of EMP weapon. The game is coming out Spring 2010.
  • Forza Motorsport 3. A short trailer and a live demo showing the different views with the head vision going left and right. A new very deep costumization and video editing system for Live. Release date set for October.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising. and HERE. WE. GO. After Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy Sony lost the Metal Gear exclusive. Aside from this the whole thign was fairly poor. Same trailer we’ve been teased with for weeks (and the countdown hadn’t even reached zero!). Even though it’s called Metal Gear SOLID it Kojima made a point to say it doesn’t feature Solid Snake but Raiden as we knew.
  • Shadow Complex. New Epic Game for XBLA. was unveiled through massive sound problem so we didn’t hear a bunch of stuff. The animation looks a lot like Bionic Commando Rearmed and the map is reminiscent of Metroid/Castlevania.
  • Crackdown 2. Featured a nice trailer but that’s about it.
  • Brutal Legend. Tim Schaeffer detailed some of the voice work and characters in the game with a  fun trailer. Included are Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead’s Lemmy Killmeister, Lita Ford and more. Still coming out Rocktober!
  • Tony Hawk Ride. unveiled the final design for the skate peripheral as well as a basic trailer. nothing thrilling.
  • Joy Ride. A sort of Mario Kart with your Avatars in the cars. But it’s free so there’s really nothing to complain about. Could be fun.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GameTrailers Pre-E3 Trailers

gttv_logoE3 doesn’t start until Tuesday but GameTrailers has some early goodies for us!

Last night GTTV aired what they called VGA’s E3 First Look 2009 on Spike. So aside from the sad attempt by Skipe to try to shove the lackluster VGAs down our throat (the freaking thing takes place in December and has nothing to do with E3!) and the mandatory girl who obviously knows nothing about video games (sorry Rose McGowan), we actually had some pretty cool stuff.

Some of the stuff didn’t air last night but has since popped up on GameTrailers.com.

Not everything was great but nothing sucked (as opposed to the VGAs). I’m going to post the trailers that I like most.

On a sidenote I wish I could embed the HD version from GT but WordPress doesn’t support that so I have to go through the Tube.

Enjoy!

The Saboteur: amazing trailer, ambiance and art direction. I’m feeling good!

Mafia II: Mafia II!!!! Need I say more??? This is going to be epic!

Mass Effect 2: looks fraking sweet!! Awesome music too

Arkham Asylum: Joker gameplay looks awesome and Mark Hamill is the best

Dragon Age Origins: the Grey Warden! Great trailer!

Alpha Protocol: very effective trailer with good gameplay promise!

Dante’s Inferno: cool trailer, I like the ambiance

Brink: good but not much info. It’s the next Bethesda so it has my attention

Just Cause 2: very nice surprise, looks like loads of fun

Lost Planet 2: a nice effective trailer

Brutal Legend: as offbeat as you can expect from Tim Schaeffer

More trailers where shown like Madden, NHL 10, DJ Hero…. but these are, to me, the most noteworthy.

May 29, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday July 30, 2008

Fable Pentalogy?

Peter Molyneux has always been one for juicy statements and today he struck again. In an interview with GameTrailers from last week he announced that he had plans for Fable III, IV and V and that it was all part of a big arc as would be evident once we play Fable II in October.
He also said he was contemplating doing a sports or driving game simply because these genres seem ‘locked in stone’ and he likes the challenging aspect of making something different.
One can only hope.

Now where is Syndicate?!

Activision, Brutal Legend Survives

Following yesterday’s eventful announcement Tim Schafer announced in a very straight to the point manner that “Brutal Legend is fine.”. Roger and out.

Delays, Delays and Delays!

  • Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.K. from 2008 to Early 2009
  • Battlefield Heroes from Summer 2008 to 2008
  • Tiberium from End 2008 to fiscal year 2010 (April 2009-March 2010)…Ouch!
  • Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway from from August 2008 to September 2008, because apparently they want to coincide the release of the game with the anniversary of Operation Green Market (which the game depicts). If you have no clue what I’m talking about do yourself a favor and go rent Band of Brothers…NOW!

July 30, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday July 29, 2008

Star Trek Online Revealed!

Originally owned by Perpetual Entertainment, which closed its door in January, the MMO based on the world-famous TV show seemed to be facing tough times. Thankfully the license was acquired by Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes/Villains) and along with the confirmation came a bunch of lovely screenshots.

Vivendi Properties Shake-Up. Who Lives and Who Dies?

After Vivendi Games merged with Activision earlier this year and subsequently formed Activision Blizzard, there had to be some changes happening. Well these past days have been a roller coaster ride of announcements.
It was revealed that Activision would be publishing Vivendi’s best selling properties: Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Ice Age, along with the upcoming Prototype and another unknown project.
While there are other publishing arms that weren’t mention in the press conference to take care of the other franchises, it leaves several big games on the potential cutting board. Chief among these are Ghostbusters, Brutal Legend and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena.
Today a Sierra representative announced that, while he couldn’t speak for other franchises, Ghostbusters is not canceled.

We can be sure to have more announcements in the coming days n the subject while Vivendi and Activision review their properties but I for one hope they do bring us Chronicles of Riddick because I’m very excited about it.

XBLA Dates, Dates and Dates

  • Geometry Wars 2: Retro Evolved out on July 30
  • Braid (which has me very excited) on August 6
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed on August 13
  • Galaga Legions on August 20
  • Castle Crashers on August 27

Wizard 101, MMO for Beginners

KingIsle, Texas-based developer, is currently working on an MMO aimed at a broad audience. The game lets you play a Wizard in training on his way to the Ravenwood school (of Witchcraft and Wizardry). you will be able to choose a pet to accompany on your quests, learn different schools of magic through various teachers. The fighting system seems to be card-based which can be found on the ground around the world and quests will involve puzzles and mini-games.

DC Comics Acquires Rights for Resident Evil and Devil May Cry Comics

The two major Capcom franchises will join previous acquisitions of Gears of War, Prototype and just recently Mirror’s Edge and will be published under the Wildstorm banner of DC Comics.

Telltale Games Loves Wallace & Gromit

The studio that successfully relaunched the Sam & Max franchise through episodic treatment is planning to do the same with the famous English characters. The game will be called Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures and will be a classic point ‘n’ click adventure.

July 29, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments